“Maltese Papillon Mix”
While there is a lot to be said about purebred dogs, it’s hard to deny that the constant inbreeding necessary to keep the breed “pure” can cause a number of genetic problems, both physical and temperamental. In order to combat this, kennel clubs have been encouraging what they refer to as “hybrid dogs”. These are dogs that result from the mating of two purebred dogs, bred in an effort to not only get the best traits from both parents but also to help mitigate some of the genetic problems.
One such breed is the Papitese, a breed that comes from a mix of the Maltese and the Papillon. These small breed dogs are certainly adorable, and they’re becoming quite popular due to being incredibly loyal and social as part of their breed temperament. However, just like with all dogs, not everyone is the right owner for a Papitese. It’s not that they’re a bad dog owner (though they may be), it’s that each breed has its own specific needs and issues. Not everyone is prepared for the kind of work required for each breed.
Both the Papillon and the Maltese are small breed dogs, with the Paillon reaching a max height of 11 inches and a max weight of 9 pounds, whereas the Maltese have a max height of 10 inches and a max weight of 7 pounds. The Papitese generally sits near the middle of that weight, with a minimum weight of 6 pounds and a maximum weight of 10 pounds.
These are smaller dogs, meaning you generally won’t have to deal with the problems large breed dogs tend to have. While they’re certainly energetic the way many small breeds are, that energy is contained in a tiny package. So even when they do get a little bit over-excited, you’re unlikely to have to deal with the dog accidentally hurting someone by not realizing how large it is.
Their size also means you won’t have to worry quite as much about feeding them, though the same goes for Papitese as for any other dog. Namely, it’s better to get high-quality dog food in order to ensure the best nutrition. And the best dog food tends to be rather expensive due to requiring so many meat products to contain proper nutrition for a carnivore species.
Even so, due to the small size of Papitese dogs they generally only eat 1/2 cup to 1 cup of dried dog food each day. This is a rather small amount overall, so you’re unlikely to need to buy new dog food every month, and possibly not even every other month.
If you’re looking for a dog that has a friendly, sociable temperament then the Papitese is a great choice. Both the Papillon and the Maltese breeds are known for being friendly dogs that can interact with children and strangers with ease. The Papitese takes those social traits and ramps them up to eleven.
This makes the Papitese incredibly easy to train, though there are a few things that have to be managed. One such thing is the fact that Papitese are incredibly sensitive to anger and upset. Most dogs are sensitive to their person yelling at them, but Papitese can shut down completely or develop anxiety issues. Because of this, it’s important to ensure that obedience training is done in a calm, patient way. Otherwise, you could wind up causing permanent emotional damage to your beloved friend and family member.
In addition, Papitese aren’t especially good guard dogs. They’re great watch dogs, as they can be easily trained to bark the moment any unknown person comes to the door, or any person comes to the door at night, or whatever watch dog skills you might want them to learn. However, their small size and general friendliness means that they’re unlikely to scare off any intruders, let alone cause much damage if they physically attack. It’s hard for a 9-pound dog to do a lot of damage, even when they want to.
Even so, the Papitese is a great dog if you have children or are generally sociable. Because they’re playful and friendly, there’s hardly a person a Papitese meets that they don’t like. It helps that they’re also generally quite intelligent, meaning that they can learn how to interact with people rather easily.
As if that wasn’t enough, they’re known to be an incredibly loyal breed. If you’re not prepared to make a lifetime commitment to your pet, then a Papitese isn’t the dog for you. Papitese dogs are going to bond with their owner and will be completely devastated if they’re abandoned.
Life Expectancy And Health Problems
While the Papillon and the Maltese both have life expectancies of around 14 years, the Papitese has a higher lifespan of 16 to 18 years. This is particularly long for a small breed dog, and thus health problems might occur the older the dog gets.
There are the medical problems common to all small dog breeds, which can be dealt with if you know what to prepare for. Leg and hip problems, for example, affect all dogs but affect small breed dogs in a particular way. Small dogs develop what’s known as a luxating patella, which means their kneecap can come out of place. Similarly, avascular necrosis can cause the hip joint to collapse. This is similar to hip dysplasia in large-breed dogs.
Papitese can also develop the dental problems that many small breed dogs develop. Because of their size, small dogs often don’t have the jaw space to comfortably fit all 42 teeth that they grow as an adult. The solution for this is the same as in humans. Make sure your beloved pet gets regular dental care, brush their teeth daily, and allow the veterinarian to pull any teeth necessary to keep them from overcrowding.
More specific to the Papitese, you might wind up dealing with eye problems or liver shunt. The eye problems are issues such as retinal atrophy or aberrant cilia, both of which are inherited from their Maltese roots. Retinal atrophy is often times irreversible, or costly enough to be effectively irreversible, so if you can otherwise keep your pet’s quality of life generally good many vets simply suggest regular check ups in order to ensure no major eye damage is occurring. Aberrant cilia is a condition in which a second set of eyelashes grow in, which can be removed via surgery.
Lastly, there’s the possibility of liver shunt. This is a condition in which the circulatory system doesn’t develop correctly, leading to poor growth. Luckily, liver shunt often shows up early in a dog’s life, which means if your dog is displaying seizures, disorientation, or is constantly pacing about anxiously, you should take them to the vet to get tested.
Should You Get A Papitese?
Knowing all of this, do you think the Papitese is a breed you should own? Not everyone is looking for a small dog, and many people dislike the idea of purebred dogs (even hybrid dogs) due to the myriad of generic health problems they tend to have.
Even so, with their long, silky coats that shed minimally and their black, white, brown, and gray fur color that’s often mixed together, Papitese dogs can be quite adorable. When you add in the fact that they’re incredibly loyal and friendly, as well as great with children because of those qualities, a Papitese begins looking like a great choice for a beloved family pet. It all depends on what you want in a dog!