West Highland white terriers -- or "Westies" -- and Maltese are two famously adorable and furry dog breeds. When they're bred together, their puppies are born as "Highland Malties." Not only do these youngsters take on physical traits of both parts of their heritage, they inherit behaviors, as well.
If you're considering bringing a Highland Maltie into your life, you might be able to anticipate aspects of the little guy's disposition by taking into consideration typical behavioral traits of both Maltese and West Highland white terriers. This also applies to other things such as the way a dog might look as an adult, or perhaps even how large he might get. Although accurately guessing everything about an individual dog isn't realistic, this might help you get a helpful, basic idea of what to expect.
Westies are Scottish pooches who adore human companionship. They're typically loving, jovial, faithful, inquisitive, self-assured and even resolute in nature. Westies can be a little on the needy side and a bit headstrong. Although amiable with most, they're not a strong match with wee critters. They often go after them -- relics of their extensive hunting pasts pursuing foxes and the like. Westies also are usually better fits for life alongside older, rather than younger kids. Some common habits of Westies are both digging and barking.
Maltese are generally sweet, pleasant, smart and spirited dogs, courageous in spite of their unassuming little bodies. The Malta natives, unlike Westies, tend to be rather timid around new people. They usually are harmonious around fellow pets, however, including canines. Similarly to Westies, Maltese also often have success with older kids. Older kids are generally more delicate around them. It isn't rare to hear a Maltese barking a lot. When they bark, it's usually to notify the people in their lives of potential intruders.
Westies are peppy and dynamic canines who love being on the move. They require daily exercise, and usually flourish with brisk play sessions and extended outdoor walks.
Maltese are similar to Westies in that they also typically possess boundless amounts of energy. Daily physical fitness also is vital for these cuties. Outdoor walks are beneficial for them, as are backyard play sessions -- think a game of fetch, for example.
Blend of Both Sides
If you bring a Highland Maltie in your life, don't be surprised if you see any of these characteristics in your pet. Don't be surprised if you notice the absence of some characteristics, either. If your dog seems nervous with the next door neighbor hanging around, that could be the Maltese side of him coming out.
- The Humane Society of the United States: Which is Right For You - Pure or Mixed Breed?
- American Kennel Club: West Highland White Terrier Page
- Westminster Kennel Club: West Highland White Terrier
- DogChannel.com: West Highland White Terrier Dog Breed Profile
- Animal Planet: West Highland White Terrier
- Animal Planet: Maltese
- DogChannel.com: Maltese Dog Breed Profile
- American Kennel Club: Maltese Page
- Westminster Kennel Club: Maltese
- Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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