What you’ll come to find about a Westie and Maltese mix is that they are a combination of the two most popular small dog breeds in the world. If you’re searching for the best possible companion in a small dog, this is one of our favorite breeds.
Also known as a Highland Maltie, the combination of the West Highland White Terrier and the Maltese can offer you an adorable, loving, and highly intelligent friend.
The History of the Highland Maltie
You can indeed find evidence of the Maltese in ancient Roman, Egyptian, and Greek writings, and the breed has only become more popular over the years.
In the 16th century, with its arrival to England, the Maltese quickly became the favorite dog breed of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria. However, in an attempt to breed them so that they would be approximately the size of a squirrel, they were nearly destroyed.
Luckily, dedicated breeders were able to keep the Maltese alive, and their popularity boomed into the United States around the 1800s.
West Highland White Terriers were mostly used in Scotland as tools for hunting badgers and foxes; not to mention, they were fantastic at killing vermin. Since then, they have become one of the most popular family dogs, especially when trained.
What Is a Highland Maltie’s Personality?
The best way to figure out a breed’s personality is to take a look at its two parent breeds. You can guarantee that your small dog will have a booming character filled with fearlessness and boldness. However, they are also incredibly loyal and loveable with a funny personality that you’ll love to see.
One of the most exciting aspects of a Highland Maltie’s personality is that they are not one to back down if provoked. This is why you should train your dog as early as possible, especially if there are children in the household. Also, you will have to take time to make sure they are properly socialized with other dogs.
Highland Malties are also known for their stubbornness and sensitivity, so when it comes to training, you will have to use kindness and positive reinforcement, such as the best training treats.
You’ll love how intelligent they are, which can help them to learn new tricks easier than with other breeds. Also, compared to different Westie mixes, the Highland Maltie isn’t too hyperactive, though they still require daily exercise.
The Health of a Highland Maltie
In terms of health concerns to keep an eye out for, the Highland Maltie don’t have an extensive list of major or minor concerns. Sometimes, they may be diagnosed with ear and eye infections, though these can be prevented and treated with regular grooming.
A few of the more severe health ailments this breed is prone to include:
- Patellar Luxation: Patellar luxation can severely impact your dog’s quality of life. This is when the knee shifts from its regular position. Although this is a common ailment in small dog breeds, it can limit their exercise and ability to walk.
- Cataracts: Just like humans, cataracts are a disease that can cause blindness and blurry vision if not treated and watched. The thicker and denser they become, the more likely your dog is to go blind.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: As another degenerative disorder, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease can cause spontaneous degeneration of your dog’s femur bone. This issue will prevent them from being able to use their hind legs due to their hip joint disintegrating over time.
What Does a Highland Maltie Look Like?
The two main words you can use to describe a Highland Maltie are noble and elegant, especially as they were once the favorite breed of the royal family.
Most variations will have a brilliant white coat with short legs and a very compact body. Overall, they appear to be a well-balanced breed with amazingly expressive eyes.
How to Maintain a Highland Maltie
Another essential part of being a pet parent is to prepare yourself for regular maintenance. This point is exceptionally accurate with a Highland Maltie, as they have dense and wavy coats.
Even though they aren’t as active as other pet breeds, you can guarantee they will love spending a lot of time outdoors. They also have a low shedding coat, which can help them to be hypoallergenic, as long as you take the time to brush their coat daily.
To help prevent tangles and matting, you’ll want to use a brush with firm bristles and gently comb through their fur. Please pay special attention to the areas around their eyes, as their eyebrows can sometimes be mistaken for their coat.
It’s incredibly crucial that you regularly check your Highland Maltie’s eyes and ears for dirt, which are prone to infections. You will also want to use a gentle shampoo to maintain the natural oils in their coat, as this can help to make grooming substantially easier.
Tips for Exercising Your Highland Maltie
Highland Malties love to stay busy, but they certainly aren’t one of the most active breeds that we’ve explored this far. It can be a great idea to have a dedicated play space for them outdoors where they can run around and be one with nature.
You’ll also find the majority of their activity will come from following you around the house and keeping an eye on everything you’re going.
The most important aspect of exercising your dog is to make sure you bring them to dog parks. Highland Malties require socialization so that they can learn to play nicely with other dogs. Once they make friends, they’ll love exercising even more. Merely bringing them to the park will enable you to relax while they run around and burn off excess energy.
You may also want to invest in several types of toys that will keep your pet entertained. As they are an incredibly intelligent breed, you’ll want items that will heighten their mental acuity and keep them interested. Even if you play with your dog yourself, they will find hours of amusement with simple things, as they are made to be companion dogs.
Westie and Maltese Mix: Final Thoughts
A Westie and Maltese mix is a fantastic option for families and single pet parents who want a loving companion. With a moderate level of energy and a lot of love to give, a Highland Maltie is easily one of the best small dog breeds to opt for. They will also love living in a home or an apartment, as they don’t require too much space throughout the day.
By knowing more about Westies, you’ll be able to predict the behavior and needs of your Highland Maltie with ease.