The small and sprightly little Highland Maltie is a feisty little pint-sized pooch that is sure to steal your heart in an instant. A hybrid breed derived from a mix between the Westland Highland White Terrier (Westie) and the Maltese, the Highland Maltie is a highly lively and active pooch.
This breed needs a lot of time, effort and dedication. They can be a full-time deal and so, may not be suitable for all pet owners. Read on to know everything about this fun-loving, fearless breed.
Highland Maltie: At a Glance
- Ancestry: Hybrid of West Highland White Terrier (Westie) and Maltese
- Height: 10 to 12 inches
- Weight: 10 to 16 lbs
- Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
- Appearance: Small and compact build with a pure white coat and an elegant bearing
- Temperament: Playful, loving, inquisitive and stubborn
- Group: Unknown
- Suitable For: Pet owners living in apartments and small homes with yards, experienced dog owners and families with older kids
Origin and History
A hypoallergenic designer breed, the Highland Maltie was created in the 1980s as a cross between the West Highland White Terrier (Westie) and Maltese. While the history of the Highland Maltie is fairly recent, the parent breeds of the Highland Maltie have a more dated history.
The history of the Maltese can be traced back to 2 millennia, where they were considered to be dogs prized by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. While the exact place of origin of the Maltese is not known, this breed was extremely popular. Measuring less than 25 cm in height, the Maltese is categorized as part of the Toy Group by the AKC in 1988.
The Maltese breed was brought to England in the 16th century and became the darling of the royalty including Queen Elizabeth 1, Queen Victoria and Mary Queen of Scots. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Maltese was bred to the tiny size of a squirrel, which nearly destroyed the breed. It was the late 1800s when the Maltese breed set foot in the USA and became extremely popular here.
The West Highland White Terrier, popularly known as the Westie was originally from Scotland, where they were bred to hunt foxes, badgers and hunt vermin like rats. The origin of Westies can be traced back to the 17th century and was called the Poltalloch Terrier. In the year 1906, they were named West Highland White Terriers and recognized by the Kennel Club of England.
Related: 17 Westie Mixes You Will Love
Appearance of the Highland Maltie
Described as having a noble, distinguished and elegant bearing, the Highland Maltie with its erect carriage, compact body, pure white coat and short legs is sure to capture your heart and make you fall in love. Typically, weighing between 10 and 16 lb and 10 to 12 inches tall, the Highland Maltie is small and compact.
The Highland Maltie has a rectangular body, medium-sized head and a pure white, furry face with a dark nose, dark expressive eyes, fluffy eyebrows and feathering around the muzzle. Some dogs have erect ears like the Westie parent, while others may have drooping ears like the Maltese parent.
The tail is of moderate length and may be fluffy. The white color of the coat is the distinctive feature of the Highland Maltie. The coat is thick, long and silky, with a slight crimp or wave. The dog has small paws and firm, rounded but fluffy black-colored pads.
Highland Maltie Temperament
The Highland Maltie is an alert, lively and feisty little dog. They are bold, fearless and love their family, kids and other pets at home. This little dog has a huge personality, is independent and has a stubborn streak. While not the prime instigator of a fight, they are not shy or afraid to approach any daunting situation head on.
The Highland Maltie breed is highly intelligent and has a sweet disposition, which makes them an excellent family companion dog. Highland Malties love to be the center of attention, however, if provoked they can become impatient and nippy.
While the Highland Maltie generally gets along with other animals; however, their strong prey drive may make them instinctively chase other animals, especially smaller animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, etc., which can be prevented by early socialization. These dogs are very agile and enjoy activity; however, they are the happiest when they can snuggle on your lap and cuddle.
Highland Malties are sensitive dogs and so it is important to use gentle training methods, a kind tone with a lot of praise and treats. While they are not hyperactive, these dogs need their daily exercise. When bored, they can be avid diggers and can also get yappy sometimes and need to be trained not to bark a lot.
Related: 26 of the Most Popular Maltese Mixes
Highland Maltie Health
While Highland Malties are fairly healthy dogs and don’t have a long list of health concerns; nevertheless, they may suffer from the following conditions including:
- Patellar luxation
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
- Eye infections
- Ear infections
Highland Maltie Exercise Requirements
The sprightly Highland Maltie is highly energetic and has loads of energy. Active both outdoors, as well as indoors, the Maltie loves to be a part of their human’s daily activities. A 30-minute walk or play with other dogs is sufficient to burn off some energy and keep your Maltie healthy and fit.
Playing games and sniffing at things around the place can keep your pet mentally stimulated and happy. While being a small-sized dog, the Highland Maltie does quite well in an apartment or small home, you should not ignore your pet’s exercise as this can lead to boredom and nuisance behaviors like chewing things and yapping incessantly.
Highland Maltie Maintenance
The Highland Maltie is a compactly built, sturdy dog with a luxurious, non-shedding coat. This is a great hypoallergenic breed perfect for people suffering from allergies. With their distinct white fluffy coats, alert erect ears and shiny, dark eyes, Malties are a perfect blend of mischief and love.
The Highland Maltie sheds minimally all through the year, with a bit more during the shedding season. The thick coat of the Highland Maltie can grow quite long and requires a lot of maintenance to keep them well groomed.
The thick, long and silky coat of the Maltie can get tangled and matted quite easily and requires regular brushing 3-4 times a week with a strong bristled brush and grooming at a professional groomer once in 2-3 months to keep your pet looking the best.
If your Maltie spends a lot of time outdoors and loves to explore and dig, then he may require a bath often. Bathe your Maltie as required with a dog shampoo, which will help to preserve the natural oils in your dog’s coat and make grooming much easier.
Brush his teeth regularly, check your pet’s eyes to make sure that the long eyebrows are not getting into his eyes and irritating them and his ears for any infection.
In conclusion, if you decide to bring home a Highland Maltie, you’re going to be in for a treat with this adorable, feisty and fun-loving pooch. A great combination of the West Highland White Terrier (Westie) and Maltese, Highland Malties make excellent companions and everlasting friends to your family.