The Australian Shepherd Maltese Shepherd mix is one of those new hybrid dog breeds that can be hard to wrap your mind around.
Reason being, the Australian Shepherd and the Maltese are very different in both size and appearance! So how might it work if these two different purebred dogs produced puppies?
That is exactly what we are about to discuss in this article. As it turns out, there can be some notable advantages when two purebred breeds are crossed together, including improved health for the puppies.
Read on to learn all about the Aussie Maltese, the Australian Shepherd Maltese mix dog.
Watch Australian Shepherd and a Maltese Shepherd Dog Playing
This adorable YouTube video gives you the chance to watch a tiny Maltese chasing an Australian Shepherd around the yard as they play together.
This video highlights how two dogs of vastly different sizes and temperaments can actually get along quite well together!
Australian Shepherd Maltese Mix: Dog Breeds History
Whenever you decide to make a commitment to a new evolving hybrid or a cross-bred dog breed, there can be some amount of uncertainty when it comes to what you are getting into!
For example, what type of temperament and personality might your pup inherit? Here, a great way to learn more about the possibilities is to study the history of each parent dog’s breed.
Australian Shepherd history
The Australian Shepherd dog breed is currently listed as 17th out of 196 registered purebred dog breeds, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
These dogs might take their official breed name from the land down under, but technically speaking, the breed itself evolved in Europe.
It wasn’t until later that Europeans who owned these dogs moved to Australia and the breed became closely associated with that country and way of life.
Australian Shepherds are intensely smart and active and so when the breed arrived in the United States, these dogs were a natural choice to learn and perform tricks in rodeos and traveling shows.
This is when the name Australian Shepherd finally stuck as the breed continued to evolve. Today, Australian Shepherds can be found working around the world on farms and ranches, in shows and rodeo circuits, and, of course, in the homes of loving owners.
The Maltese dog breed is currently ranked 37th out of 196 registered dog breeds, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The Maltese dog takes the breed name from the island of Malta near Sicily in the Mediterranean. The Maltese dog, with their long hair coat and diminutive size, has always been bred to be a lap dog to people, and often royal people at that.
Maltese dogs have been prized through the centuries for their appearance, smarts, and playful personalities. At one point, they were nicknamed the “Roman ladies dog,” because women in Rome would tuck these pint-sized pups in their sleeves.
Australian Shepherd Maltese mix history
As you can see, your Australian Shepherd Maltese mix dog will inherit a healthy dose of personality from each parent dog.
No matter which parent dog your puppy most favors you can expect your dog to be smart, playful, people-oriented, and highly entertaining to share life with!
Australian Shepherd Maltese Mix Personality & Temperament
Another great way to cut through some of the uncertainty associated with choosing a hybrid dog breed is to find out more about the typical personality and temperament of each parent dog breed.
This will help you prepare to train and socialize your puppy and provide the most enriching daily activities.
Australian Shepherd personality and temperament
As you just learned in the previous section here, the Australian Shepherd is a true working dog breed. These dogs are built to stay active and busy and are so good at the jobs they have even starred in movies and television shows!
This tells you that any puppy that takes after the Australian Shepherd parent dog is going to need a fair amount of exercise and play to stay happy and healthy as a companion canine.
Maltese personality and temperament
The Maltese dog may be equally as smart as the Australian Shepherd, but these tiny toy-sized dogs have a very different personality and temperament.
They are happy with indoor playtime and maybe a short walk – otherwise, your Maltese generally will want to be wherever you are, and probably sitting right on top of you at that.
You can expect any puppy that favors the Maltese parent to needless daily exercise and to crave lap time with you.
Australian Shepherd Maltese mix personality and temperament
Here, you can see that the two-parent dogs, the Australian Shepherd, and the Maltese, have very different personalities and temperaments in terms of their daily preferences and needs.
It is important to be sure your puppy is a good match for your lifestyle, time availability, and personal preferences.
With a hybrid dog breed where it is impossible to predict genetic influence during breeding, the best way to make sure your dog is a good match is to work with a later-stage (F2 or later) hybrid breeder and make your preferences clear upfront.
Australian Shepherd Maltese Mix: Size, Height, and Weight
Another area where the Australian Shepherd Maltese mix dog can really differ is in their height, weight, and overall size.
Because hybrid dog breeding in the earliest stages (F1, F1b) can be inherently so unpredictable in terms of which parent dog will most influence a puppy genetically, it is important to tell your breeder if you have size concerns to deal with.
For example, if you live in a place where only small dogs are allowed, you will want to select a puppy that will be smaller and more like the Maltese parent dog.
Australian Shepherd size, height, and weight
The Australian Shepherd is considered a mid-sized dog. In adulthood, Aussie Shepherds can weigh anywhere from 40 to 65 pounds and stand 18 to 23 inches tall (paw pads to shoulders).
Male dogs tend to be up to 15 pounds heavier and stand up to two inches taller than adult female dogs.
Maltese size, height, and weight
The Maltese are definitely a toy-sized dog. Typically, a fully-grown Maltese adult will weigh less than seven pounds and stand less than 12 inches tall from paw pads to shoulder tops.
Australian Shepherd Maltese size, height, and weight
Here, you can see how amazingly different two puppies from the same litter can be in terms of size, weight, and height.
Australian Shepherd Maltese Mix: Training and Exercise Needs
The Australian Shepherd and the Maltese also differ greatly in the amount of daily exercise and activity they need and in the type and quantity of training they will need.
Australian Shepherd training and exercise needs
As a true working dog breed, the moment an Australian Shepherd dog’s growth plates close (signifying the dog has attained their full adult height), these dogs are ready to run and jump and work and play from dawn until dusk.
A bored Australian Shepherd will definitely be a destructive Australian Shepherd and you should be prepared for this if your hybrid puppy most takes after the Aussie Shepherd parent dog.
In terms of training, the Australian Shepherd is known to have some problems with aggression if improperly trained, as the South Texas Aussie Rescue charity points out.
Specific socialization and training are required to help this herding dog tone down the nipping and biting that are often required to herd large, stubborn, or frightened livestock out of harm’s way.
Maltese training and exercise needs
The Maltese is not known to have any specific “problem” behaviors and does not require much more than a couple of indoor play sessions daily to stay happy and healthy.
However, Maltese dogs know exactly how cute they are and are not afraid to be stubborn if they think it is worth their while, as Pet Care RX explains.
Here, it is important to be persistent with training and not let your dog pull the cuteness card to get out of learning commands!
Australian Shepherd Maltese training and exercise needs
This is another area where it is important to work with a hybrid dog breeder who can help you identify the puppy that will be the best match with your time, lifestyle, and activity level.
Australian Shepherd Maltese Mix: Coat Care, Shedding & Grooming
If there weren’t already enough areas where the Australian Shepherd and the Maltese purebred dog breeds are completely different, now we come to coat care.
Here again, differences are plentiful!
Australian Shepherd coat care, shedding, and grooming
As a true working dog breed, the Australian Shepherd has a double layer coat that sheds year-round and seasonally.
During the seasonal sheds, called “coat blows,” you may find that your life gets over-taken with dog hair.
Because the Aussie Shepherd has a long coat, you will need to brush your dog as often as daily to keep tangles and mats from forming in the coat.
Maltese Shepherd coat care, shedding, and grooming
The Maltese dog is iconic in part because of this breed’s long coat that can seem more like human hair than dog fur.
Owners that don’t plan to show their Maltese often opt for a short puppy clip to keep grooming duties to a minimum. Otherwise, it is a true part-time job to keep a Maltese in a full-length show coat.
Australian Shepherd Maltese mix coat care, shedding, and grooming
Will you have a lot of coat care to do with your Australian Shepherd Maltese mix dog? Yes, most likely you will, and you should be prepared for that.
Australian Shepherd Maltese Mix: Longevity & Health Issues
Purebred dog health is one of the most concerning issues facing dog breeders and owners today.
Since there are no health tests for hybrid dogs, you will want to work with a conscientious hybrid breeder that performs all recommended pre-screening, pre-breeding genetic health tests on each parent dog and keeps good test results records.
Australian Shepherd longevity and health issues
According to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the Australian Shepherd breed has the following known possible genetic health issues you need to be aware of:
- Hip dysplasia.
- Elbow dysplasia.
- Eye health issues.
- Autoimmune thyroiditis.
- Collie eye anomaly.
- Multiple drug sensitivity.
The Australian Shepherd has a typical life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years.
Maltese longevity and health issues
According to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the Maltese Shepherd breed has the following known possible genetic health issues you need to be aware of:
- Patellar luxation.
- Cardiac issues.
- Liver issues.
The Maltese have a typical life span of 12 to 15 years.
Australian Shepherd Maltese mix: longevity and health issues
This overview highlights that the Australian Shepherd and the Maltese can have some very different genetic or heritable health issues to watch for.
Many of these issues, such as dysplasia and patellar luxation (trick kneecap) relate to the formation of the joints. Heart, liver, and eye functions can also be impacted by issues passed from the parent dogs to the puppies.
When you work with a breeder that makes sure breeding dogs are tested for the genes that cause these types of health issues, you can be sure your puppy (and your wallet) won’t be impacted by a potentially life-limiting condition.
Australian Shepherd Maltese Mix: Is This the Right Dog For You?
Is an Australian Shepherd Maltese mix the right next companion canine for you? This article gives you the information you need to make an informed decision.
For the right person, an Aussie Maltese can be a wonderful companion.