Featured Image Credit: aaki.waki / Instagram
|Height:||8 – 18 inches|
|Weight:||9 – 32 pounds|
|Lifespan:||8 – 12 years|
|Coat Colors:||Brown, black, and white|
|Temperament:||Charming, loyal, sociable, affectionate|
|Suitable for:||Active singles; couples; families with children|
The Maltese German Shepherd mix intrigues dog enthusiasts due to the fact that their characteristics are often different from their parents. They can brighten up your home while being protective at the same time.
The Maltese Shepherd may not look similar to its parent breeds, but it can resemble their nature, which makes it recommendable for families with children.
In this guide, you can learn everything about this hybrid. Stick around to learn about its appearance, genetics, lifespan, health, and much more!
What Is a Maltese German Shepherd Mix?
The Maltese German Shepherd mix is the result of crossing a Maltese and a German Shepherd Dog (GSD). This odd pairing of a toy breed and a large dog results in a furry hybrid dog with teddy bear eyes. The Maltese German Shepherd mix also goes by the name Sheptese or Maltese Shepherd.
Due to some contrasting traits that they get from their parents, Maltese Shepherds have interesting features.
They are sociable and hyper, even with other animals, while being confident of themselves despite their small stature.
A Maltese Shepherd puppy does not get tired of showing its sweet and happy self. It always seeks to always brighten up the mood of its owners and its environment.
Once it gets older, a Maltese Shepherd dog shows its hard-working side, keeping kids company as long as it’s allowed to. Sheptese dogs can benefit from training and have shown they are able to apply what they are taught.
Can a German Shepherd Mate With a Maltese?
A lot of dog owners and enthusiasts desire the attributes of the German Shepherd. It’s why this breed often gets paired with other breeds to mate and create offspring that may inherit its characteristics.
Due to their size, German Shepherds are usually paired with other large dogs with nearly similar traits, such as the Labrador and the Husky. When you breed it with a much smaller dog, like the Maltese, caution is important.
The Maltese is one of the most preferred breeds across the globe. This furry and royal-looking toy dog has been in the company of people for a long time, and its traits make it also desirable for crossbreeding.
Despite the widely varying sizes of the German Shepherd and Maltese, records from the Dog Registry of America (DRA) show that it’s possible for these two to mate and produce a Sheptese dog.
It’s strongly advised, however, not to cross these two breeds without enough preparation and knowledge on how to proceed with their mating safely.
Due to the small size of the Maltese and the much bigger stature of the German Shepherd, it’s strongly recommended that the male should be the Maltese when these breeds mate for offspring.
Maltese German Shepherd Mix Origin and History
Both the Maltese and German Shepherd have rich histories, with the former just being more ancient than the latter. However, it’s yet to be known when and where the first Maltese Shepherd puppies were born and raised.
It’s also unclear why the Maltese Shepherd dog was bred and for what purpose. But the resulting mix has been undoubtedly unique and well-loved. In fact, the Sheptese is already among the most desired mixes.
To understand the Maltese and German Shepherd mix better, let’s review the history of its parent breeds.
From its name, the Maltese comes from Malta, an island country in the Mediterranean Sea, located between Italy and the North African coast. These dogs were originally bred as companions or lap dogs.
Meanwhile, the German Shepherd has also been around for a long time now. It was bred and developed in Germany in the late 1800s for herding sheep and protecting livestock from wild animals and thieves.
Since both its parents have defining attributes that many people desire and can depend on, you can expect no less from the Maltese Shepherd. This mix is arguably better than its parent breeds in its own way.
Maltese German Shepherd Mix Appearance
Maltese German Shepherds vary in appearance depending on the dominant genes from their parent breeds, but Sheptese dogs often do not resemble either of their parents.
This mix has a set of large brown eyes that can charm humans and signify assurance of dependability and loyalty.
A Maltese Shepherd’s face is a bit chiseled with a relatively long snout, taking after its German Shepherd parent. Its ears are usually floppy, like the Maltese, or sometimes erect, like the GSD’s ears.
Sheptese dogs get the stocky build of the German Shepherd, paired with the size of the Maltese. They can grow a little bit taller than their Maltese parent.
Further, the Maltese and German Shepherd mix usually take after the black & tan fur coat of the GSD due to the dominant genetic type of the latter breed. It’s rare when the Sheptese dog inherits the Maltese’s silky, white fur.
The coat length of the Maltese Shepherd usually gets the length of its German Shepherd parent, meaning it has a double coat that sheds throughout the year and blows around twice in the same period.
To learn more about these sweet and loyal mutts, check out this video:
Maltese German Shepherd Mix Size and Weight
Maltese German Shepherd mixes vary in size, depending on which parent they take on. However, they do not get to be as big as their GSD parents. Sheptese dogs also differ a bit from both parents in terms of stature.
Maltese Shepherd dogs can grow about 8 to 18 inches and weigh around 9 to 32 pounds, depending on the size and weight of their parent breeds,
Sheptese dogs usually reach their maximum size by the age of 12 months, while some may grow up to 18 months. Their growth can be unpredictable due to various genetic types inherited from their parents.
Maltese German Shepherd Mix Temperament and Personality
Maltese German Shepherd puppies are great family pets, especially when they have begun training and are given socialization at an early age.
The Maltese German Shepherd mixes are also generally charming, sociable, and affectionate. They have so much energy to run, play, and accompany you for a long period during the day.
Having that much energy, a Maltese Shepherd dog should regularly exercise. Being given a role at home, like picking up the newspaper from the porch, satisfies its desire to work and affirms that it’s part of the household.
What’s more, they adapt to their environment quicker than other dogs due to their inherited intelligence, and this is where training and socialization can mold them further into what you would want them to become.
Maltese German Shepherd Mix Lifespan and Health Issues
A Sheptese dog usually lives between 8 and 12 years. Even with their energetic and fit build, Maltese German Shepherds aren’t exempt from common canine diseases.
Below are some of the health conditions that typically affect Maltese German Shepherd dogs:
- Organ Overgrowth/Underdevelopment: The Maltese Shepherd can experience organ overgrowth. This condition affects organs, such as the heart, and causes it to grow past its intended size. It can also have organ underdevelopment, wherein the affected organ isn’t enough to support the functions of the dog.
- Patellar Luxation: A lot of toy and small breed canines, including the Maltese Shepherd mix, are genetically predisposed to have patellar luxation. This health issue occurs when the kneecap of one or both hindlegs shifts out of alignment.
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: These are two separate conditions wherein developmental abnormalities occur. There is loosening of the hip joint and abnormal weight distribution on the elbow joint. They are often seen in large or giant breed dogs, including the GSD and its mixes.
It’s highly recommended to take your Maltese German Shepherd mix to regular veterinarian check-ups to spot early signs of health problems.
It’s important to provide your dog with the best medical care, especially when it is reaching the prime of its age.
How to Take Care of Your German Shepherd Maltese Mix
Given the common health problems of the Maltese Shepherd, there are basic steps in taking care of this hybrid. Each canine breed has its own appropriate food, grooming, and exercise needs in order to live happily.
You can take care of the Maltese German Shepherd mix through the following:
Food and Diet
As an active breed, a Maltese German Shepherd mix needs a balanced diet consisting of fiber, fats, and protein. Avoid feeding it large amounts of carbs as it may place a large metabolic load on its body.
Sheptese dogs will require larger amounts of protein in their diet as they grow. It’s also best to boost their diet with joint and bone supplements, which will help support their active lifestyle.
It’s strongly advised to feed your dog based on which parent breed it takes on. Keep in mind that a dog’s diet will drastically depend on its size and energy level.
You can refer to feeding guides for the Maltese and German Shepherd to have an idea of how to feed your Sheptese dog.
Cleaning and Grooming
Regardless of the Sheptese dog’s coat type, it’s imperative to groom and bathe them regularly. Taking care of the dog’s personal hygiene is crucial as it can prevent skin diseases and parasites.
Also, the amount of loose fur a Maltese Shepherd sheds depends on which parent breed it takes after. Sheptese dogs with GSD coats typically shed more than those with Maltese coats.
If the type of coat it inherits comes from the Maltese, expect silky fur, which is easy to brush and trim. If the Sheptese dog gets the German Shepherd’s coat, you have to be consistent in brushing it to manage the shedding.
Cleaning your dog’s ears is also important to prevent parasites. Sheptese dogs that get the GSD parent’s ears usually have it easy with the cleaning, while those that inherit the Maltese’s need more thorough care.
Further, give importance to its teeth healthcare by brushing them or providing them with dental chews.
Training and Exercise
Conduct obedience, socialization, and potty training with Maltese Shepherds at a young age to instill the right behaviors. They are inherently smart due to their parent breeds, but training will help hone them further.
The Maltese Shepherd’s parents are known for being active breeds, so expect its exercise demands to be relatively high. You can walk it outside or visit the local dog park at least five times a week.
If you’re not able to go out with your dog for some reason, give it something to play with at home or in your backyard. You can also avail of pet walking services.
Maltese lose their appetite, while German Shepherds become destructive when they have not left the house for a long time. Expect the same from the Sheptese if you do not give them enough exercise.
How Much Does a German Shepherd Maltese Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
It’s safe to say a Sheptese mutt can cost around $400 to $1,000, given the price of its parent breeds.
The price of Maltese Shepherd puppies depends on certain factors, including gender, background, and physical features. If one of its parents comes from a champion bloodline, expect to pay more.
You can see in the table below an estimated cost of expenses in caring for your Maltese German Shepherd mix:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$50 – $100|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Bed||$30 – $180|
|Crate||$30 – $370|
|Leashes and Collars||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$20 – $40|
|Grooming Essentials||$30 – $160|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$525 – $2,240|
You also need to manage your finances to be able to accommodate ongoing costs and potential emergencies. If your Maltese Shepherd becomes ill, funds for treatment and medication should be at your disposal.
For more information, you can refer to the estimated cost of owning purebred Maltese and German Shepherd dogs.
Places to Find Maltese German Shepherd Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption
The Sheptese dog is a relatively new breed, so expect that there are limited sources to find these dogs either for sale or adoption. Fortunately, there are many online platforms where you may find a German Shepherd mix puppy.
You may find Maltese German Shepherds from these reputable sites:
- Keystone Puppies – Based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Keystone Puppies has an “Accredited Breeders Contract” for sellers to hold breeders up to ethical standards. It claims to be the first Lancaster business to have an “Animal Welfare and Breeder Accountability Specialist.” You can check their listings for available Maltese German Shepherd mixes.
- NextDayPets – You can look for Maltese GSD puppies for sale from reputed breeders on this website, which is easy to navigate. Based in Annapolis, Maryland, Next Day Pets also has puppies for adoption for canines who are in need of a loving home.
- Greenfield Puppies – If you’re looking for an established source to find a GSD Maltese mix, you should check out Greenfield Puppies. This platform has been operating for over a decade and prioritizes high-quality breeders to help puppies find their forever homes.
You can also check out this list of Maltese and German Shepherd breeders for a chance to find Sheptese dogs in your vicinity.
If you can’t find a reputable breeder, or if you want to save some cash, you can try adopting instead. Here are some organizations to find a Maltese German Shepherd mix for adoption:
- Metropolitan Maltese Rescue (MetroMalts) – Based in New York, MetroMalts is a non-profit group that rescues stray and abandoned Malteses and their mixes. Founded in 1998 by Maltese lovers, it offers assistance to owners of adopted dogs even after the adoption is complete.
- All Shepherd Rescue – Based in Baltimore, All Shepherd Rescue rehabilitates German Shepherds and related mixes in need. Their dogs that are up for adoption have received veterinary care and obedience training and have been spayed or neutered.
- Lil Paws Maltese Rescue – Based in Austin, Texas, Lil Paws Maltese Rescue is also a non-profit rescue group of volunteers that rescues homeless and needy Malteses and related mixes. It has a comprehensive adoption process and also holds ‘meet and greet’ adoption events.
To help your search further, you may also check our guides on the best German Shepherd and Maltese rescue organizations. These rescues occasionally have mixed-breed dogs like the Sheptese under their care.
Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd Maltese Mix
Deciding to own a Maltese German Shepherd mix can be daunting. While its loyalty to owners is assured, it also has its drawbacks.
To help you decide, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning a Sheptese dog.
Here are the pros of owning a Maltese Shepherd:
- Useful watchdogs: The Sheptese dog may not look intimidating as its German Shepherd parent, but it usually inherits the protective nature of the GSD and the Maltese. It may look and act like a toy dog, but when a threat appears, it will alert its owners and act as their safeguard.
- Convenient size: The Sheptese dog is a small canine that can be slightly bigger than its Maltese parent. Its size allows owners with small houses to bring it inside their homes. It’s easily mobile and can be transported easier than large dog breeds.
- Friendly dogs: A Sheptese socializes easily with both humans and fellow canines and will always react to its environment in a healthy manner, without unnecessary fear or aggression.
Here are some cons of owning a Maltese German Shepherd mix:
- Limited sources: As of posting, it’s presently hard to find breeders that produce Maltese Shepherds, let alone those that ethically raise them. You can increase your chances of finding one by checking the breeders and rescue centers mentioned in the previous section.
- Health problems: Maltese German Shepherds are prone to various severe health problems. Moreover, some of their diseases are genetic, which are very expensive to treat and require comprehensive medical treatment.
- High energy levels: Maltese Shepherds have higher energy levels compared to some breeds due to their parents’ hyperactive nature. Owners must satisfy their dog’s stimulation needs; otherwise, they may end up with a dog that chews on furniture and barks non-stop.
Maltese Shepherds have perks and drawbacks linked to their size and intellect. It’s critical to be aware of these to avoid the possibility of you giving up your pet in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Maltese German Shepherd Mixes Shed?
A Sheptese dog sheds fur as much as the parent breeds it takes after. If it takes after the Maltese, it won’t shed much. However, if it inherits the German Shepherd’s coat, it may shed more noticeably.
Are Maltese German Shepherd Mixes Hypoallergenic?
No, Maltese German Shepherd mixes are not hypoallergenic. However, the amount of dander it produces will depend on the coat type it inherits.
For instance, if your Maltese Shepherd takes on the Maltese’s coat, then it is more likely to produce less dander. Meanwhile, if it takes more from its German Shepherd parent, then it may produce considerably more dander.
Do Maltese German Shepherd Mixes Bark a Lot?
Both parent breeds are known to bark a lot, especially the Maltese, which has a bad rep for being prone to excessive yapping. This is especially true if the dog is deprived of attention and exercise.
Final Thoughts: Is a German Shepherd Maltese Mix the Right Dog for You?
The Sheptese is best for individuals or couples with active lifestyles as well as families that can match its energy.
Moreover, while this breed is suitable for first-time owners, it will be more manageable for experienced owners.
If you want a unique dog that has the best traits of the German Shepherd and the Maltese, then the Sheptese is your best bet! However, before getting one, make sure that you are mentally, physically, and financially prepared.
So, are you ready to welcome this unique hybrid dog into your home? Share your thoughts about the Maltese German Shepherd mix in the comment section below!
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.