The Maltese Chihuahua mix, or Malchi, is a lively little breed of dog. They are happy to always be at your side, whether it’s for playtime or a cuddle.
These dogs are fearless, despite their tiny size, and can sometimes be quite bold.
Is the Malchi the right breed for you? Let’s find out!
Where Does the Maltese Chihuahua Mix Come From?
Mixed dogs have recently been growing in popularity. Maltese Chihuahua mixes come from one Maltese parent and one Chihuahua parent.
Maltese dogs have been around for at least 2900 years. This makes it difficult to know for sure where they originated. Now, they are very popular on the Island of Malta, which is of course how they got their name.
It seems they’ve been highly regarded from the beginning. In ancient Egypt, it was believed they could heal people. When they began to be brought into England, they were treated like royalty, owned by the rich and even the Queens themselves.
Chihuahuas likely originated in Chihuahua, Mexico, but their history and ancestors before then are heavily debated. We also don’t really know what they were bred for, but they’ve fulfilled the role of companion dogs for hundreds of year now.
Fun Facts About the Maltese Chihuahua Mix
Kate Beckinsale has a Maltese Chihuahua mix named Ingrid!
Other celebs love the mixes’ parent breeds. Maltese owners include Lindsay Lohan, Elizabeth Taylor, and Frank Sinatra!
Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Madonna are just a few of many celebrities who have Chihuahuas. These fabulous pups are so beloved some of them are even movie stars themselves!
Chihuahuas have starred in many films including the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua and its sequels.
Maltese Chihuahua Mix Appearance
Maltese Chihuahua mixes are 6-14 inches tall and weigh 4-12 pounds. Though its size can vary, it’s undoubtedly a tiny dog.
They typically inherit their coat length from the Chihuahua parent, so it does vary between litters.
Colors, however, vary even within the same litter. They can be white, cream, brown, or black. They can also be any mixture of these colors.
Maltese Chihuahua mix pups can have upright triangular ears or more floppy ones. Their tail lengths also vary.
Some things that stay consistent are their big, round eyes and their black noses.
Maltese Chihuahua Mix Temperament
When looking at a mixed breed, we know each pup will combine its parent’s traits in different ways. By looking at the parents we can get a decent, but not precise idea of how the Maltese Chihuahua mix may behave.
Chihuahuas are known for their big personalities. They can be sassy and temperamental. They bark too much for some pet owners.
To the right person, their sass can be hilarious, and their temper managed. Proper training methods harness their bold nature and channel it into confident and polite adult dogs.
Chihuahuas tend to be protective of their families, and are very attached to their owners. This makes them lovable dogs, always at your side. It can also lead to separation anxiety.
Maltese are trusting and gentle. They are energetic and love to play. Since they are people-pleasers, they are typically easy to train.
These dogs are quite laid-back, and fearless in a trusting way. They will approach strangers with ease. Maltese can also make great watchdogs, but this could lead to problem barking from this side of the Malchi family, too.
As we discussed earlier, Malchis will combine these traits from their parents. This results in a breed that is energetic and protective, perhaps to the point of being clingy.
Depending on which traits they inherit, they may be easy or difficult to train or fall somewhere in between.
They’re also prone to excessive barking.
One thing to keep in mind before getting a Malchi is that Maltese and Chihuahuas are both small dog breeds. This makes them vulnerable to injuries.
For this reason, they aren’t recommended for families with small children.
Malchis should be handled gently so as not to hurt them. They may also become aggressive in self-defense if they feel threatened or teased.
Training Your Maltese Chihuahua Mix
Depending on which parent your Malchi inherits their temperament from, they could be very easy to train, or more on the difficult side.
Our training guides can help you train your Malchi pup, whether they are agreeable or stubborn.
Another thing you’ll want to look into is socialization. All pups should be introduced to strangers and other dogs at a young age, but for some Malchis this is especially important.
If they inherit distrust of strangers from their Chihuahua lineage, you want to work on that and help them feel comfortable around unknown people and animals.
If they are more trusting and friendly like their Maltese ancestors, this may be an easier task, but is still a necessary one.
Malchis and People
You’ll also want to train your dog not to bite, which this breed is prone to when they feel threatened. The easiest way to do this is to make sure all their early experiences with people are positive and rewarding.
This way, they will build up trust, not feel threatened, and therefore have no reason to be aggressive.
Do not leave children alone with dogs, and never let them be rough with or taunt a dog. Any dog is prone to aggression when mistreated, and Malchis are also prone to getting hurt themselves if handled too roughly.
When it comes to exercise, Malchis need short walks and indoor playtime. They don’t need a lot of space and are perfectly suited to apartment living.
Maltese Chihuahua mixes are energetic but don’t need a ton of activity, as they do get tired quickly.
Maltese Chihuahua Mix Health
Malchis are prone to several health conditions. Some of these stem from their small size and are common in most small dog breeds.
- Dental problems
- Hypoglycemia – low blood sugar levels
- Tracheal Collapse
- Luxating Patella – dislocated kneecap
- Eye Problems
- Liver Shunt
- Heart Problems
- Hydrocephalus – fluid buildup in the brain
If you’re adopting from a breeder, be sure to ask about the parents’ medical history. A good breeder will breed two healthy parents so that no genetic health problems are passed down to the puppies.
If you plan to rescue a Malchi, just be aware of these health risks. All dogs should be taken to the veterinarian regularly, tested for common diseases, and kept up to date on vaccinations.
Maltese Chihuahua mixes are also prone to injuries due to their small size.
Most Malchis live to be 12-15 years old.
Grooming needs will depend on fur length. If your dog has a longer coat, they will need to be brushed once a day to avoid matting. Shorter-haired Malchis should still be brushed regularly, about once or twice a week.
Malchis should be fed an appropriate amount of food for their size. This should be broken into two or more meals throughout the day.
Do Maltese Chihuahua Mixes Make Good Family Dogs?
Maltese Chihuahua mixes do make excellent family dogs. They will love to be by your side every minute of the day, and they’re very playful which makes them a great addition to the household.
However, we don’t recommend Malchis for households with small children. This is because they are very small dogs. They are easily injured if a child is too rough with them. They might also lash out if they feel threatened.
Rescuing a Maltese Chihuahua Mix
An excellent option for adopting a Maltese Chihuahua mix is to go through a rescue. You may find a Malchi at your local shelter or general animal rescue. If you can’t, try contacting some breed specific rescue groups as they often rescue mixed breeds as well.
Finding a Maltese Chihuahua Mix puppy
The one thing you want to avoid when adopting your new puppy is puppy mills. Do not shop at pet stores, and vet any breeder you’re considering buying from.
Your breeder should be happy to let you see the parents and the environment the dogs are kept in. They should willingly offer veterinary records.
The puppies and parents should all be healthy and up to date on all vaccinations.
If you need help finding your new pup, check out our puppy search guide!
Raising A Maltese Chihuahua Mix Puppy
Raising a new puppy can be tough, especially if you’re a first-time dog owner. Luckily, we’re here to help!
If your pup takes after its Chihuahua parent, it might be quite stubborn and more difficult to train than those with the laid-back energy of the Maltese.
This is why we have a Chihuahua training guide to teach you just how to train your Malchi.
Maltese Chihuahua Mix Products and Accessories
These products could be perfect for your new Malchi pup!
Pros and Cons of Getting A Maltese Chihuahua Mix
Malchis can be great family dogs. They are loving, playful and protective of their families.
They are energetic and fun but don’t require a ton of exercise to stay happy and healthy. They’re well suited for apartment life.
These dogs are not always good with small children. They are also prone to injury and must be handled gently.
They can be prone to excessive barking and separation anxiety.
Similar Maltese Chihuahua Mixes and Breeds
Here are some other Maltese mixes and Chihuahua mixes you may want to consider:
Maltese Chihuahua Mix Rescues
If you’re looking for a Malchi rescue, look no further! Below is a list of Maltese and Chihuahua rescues. These rescues will often have mixed breeds available as well.
If you know of any rescues not listed here, please let us know in the comments!
Maltese Chihuahua Mix Rescues USA
Maltese Chihuahua Mix Rescues Canada
Maltese Chihuahua Mix Rescues UK
Maltese Chihuahua Mix Rescues Australia
Is A Maltese Chihuahua Mix Right For Me?
A Maltese Chihuahua mix is perfect for individuals or families who don’t have small children. Malchis are energetic and lively. They want to be around their owners constantly and can be very protective.
Malchis may not be the breed for you if you have small children or dislike barking and watchdog behaviors.
It’s important your whole family is able to handle dogs gently, as this breed is small and prone to injury.
References and Resources
Alam et al. Frequency and distribution of patellar luxation in dogs. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2007.
Harrington et al. Hydrocephalus. Elsevier Inc. 1996.
Petrick, S. The incidence of eye disease in dogs in a veterinary academic hospital: 1772 cases. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association. 1996.