11 Reasons Your Malshi Is Anxious

Malshi dog with anxious look on it's face

The Mal-Shi, a dog breed known as an adorable little pup with a unique personality. These sweet dogs have a lot to offer; they're loyal, playful, affectionate, and fun. Owners of Mal-Shi dogs' make it a priority to keep their beloved pup healthy and happy. While this may seem easy, staying on top of your dog's health can be complicated. There are lots of factors that go into keeping your dog healthy.  These particular dogs require grooming, medical care, dental care, exercise, and proper nutrition to maintain optimal health.

While the physical health of your dog is important, so is their mental health. Just like humans, dogs can develop various psychological health conditions, including anxiety, stress, and even canine dementia. These conditions can impact your dog's life and lead to other issues. Because of this, it's best to address your Mal-Shi's anxiety promptly and get them the care they may need.

To properly address your Mal-Shi's anxiety, you must first learn the signs and symptoms of this condition, as well as potential causes. Anxiety in animals can vary in severity, cause, and frequency and should be handled on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless, there are some common symptoms, causes, and treatments for canine anxiety that can help your dog overcome this condition. We'll take a look at all of the Mal-Shi anxiety basics, as well as 11 reasons your Mal-Shi is anxious.

Mal-Shi Dog Breed 101


 The Mal-Shi is a relatively new mixed dog breed that was first seen around the 1990's and has been gaining popularity in recent decades. Crossed between the Maltese and Shih Tzu parent breeds, the Mal-Shi is a small dog that's typically between six to twelve pounds and can be up to ten inches tall. One of the best traits of the Mal-Shi is they have very low shedding levels and are considered hypoallergenic. This is a great choice for  making them the perfect addition to homes that have dog allergies.

The Mal-Shi breed fits in all types of homes, including those with children, other dogs, cats, and seniors. They are extremely gentle and friendly, and they love to be with their families. While the Mal-Shi dog is playful, they have low exercise needs. They are active enough to follow you around your home and accompany you on outings but don't need to go for long walks regularly. Simply playing fetch or walking around their home or yard is enough exercise to keep your Mal-Shi happy and healthy.


Two Malshi Dogs

Like most small dog breeds, the Mal-Shi has a long-life expectancy of twelve to fourteen years. They are typically a healthy dog breed, though they are prone to certain health concerns, including hip dysplasia and cataracts. Aside from physical health issues, Mal-Shi's can develop psychological conditions, such as anxiety. To best manage your Mal-Shi's anxiety, it's beneficial to stay informed on the signs and causes of this condition.

Canine Anxiety Basics


 It's true, dogs can be susceptible to developing anxiety. Anxiety symptoms look different in dogs than they do in humans. While symptoms may vary from dog-to-dog, there are some common ones to look out for.

Anxiety in dogs is often seen when they exhibit changes in body language. A Mal-Shi who's feeling anxious may begin to cower down or hide behind people or objects. In addition, their ears may begin to face back or down. Dogs who are feeling anxious may even begin to shake or tremble.

Yawning, drooling, and panting can also be common signs of canine anxiety. If your dog has just woken up from a nap and isn't hot or hungry, these behaviors may signal they're feeling anxious. An anxious Mal-Shi will often express their anxiety through barking, whining, and howling. If your Mal-Shi doesn't need to be let out to go potty and is whining, this may be because they're experiencing anxiety.

Another common anxiety symptom in dogs is restlessness. An anxious dog may begin to pace around their backyard or do laps around the coffee table. On the other hand, some anxious dogs may become lethargic and have lower energy levels than usual. For some dogs, they may have potty training regression when feeling anxious and begin to have accidents inside. A decrease in appetite and refusing to eat is a very serious sign of anxiety and should be addressed by a vet.

scared Malshi dog under bed

Anxiety symptoms can differ greatly in each dog. If you notice any of these common signs of anxiety or other behavior changes in your dog, be sure to inform your vet. They will be able to assess the situation and make a proper treatment plan for you to follow on how to best combat your Mal-Shi's anxiety troubles.

11 Reasons Your Mal-Shi is Anxious


Once you notice symptoms your Mal-Shi is suffering from anxiety issues, try and narrow down a possible cause. Some dogs are triggered by many situations and experiences, while others react to very few. By using the process of elimination, you should be able to pinpoint what exactly it is that's causing your dog anxiety and when this is occurring. After you figure out the root cause, it will be much easier to take the appropriate steps to help minimize this anxiety trigger. Here are 11 reasons your Mal-Shi may be anxious and what you can do about them.

Harsh Discipline

The Mal-Shi dog breed is highly intelligent and in-tune with their environment, which can cause them to be extra sensitive to their surroundings, harsh words, aggressive actions. During training, it's best to focus on positive reinforcement rather than negative discipline. They will respond better and reach their training goals with easer if you choose a light approach. Plus, punishment methods may increase the chances your Mal-Shi develops anxious behaviors and can delay successful results when it comes to training. 

Instead of punishing your Mal-Shi when working on obedience or agility training doesn't go as planned, focus on what they're doing correctly. Positive reinforcement is usually quite effective! Learning a new trick or skill can be difficult; therefore, reward any small improvements and cooperation with treats and praise.

To help decrease their anxiety levels try offering calming dog treats during training. Calming dog treats contain special ingredients that help to combat canine anxiety and soothe your dog. They taste delicious and are loved by both dogs. Before giving new foods or treats to your pooch, talk with your vet first. Some Mal-Shi's with allergies or underlying conditions may not be able to handle calming dog treats, so it's best to check first.

Changes In Routine

Routine is an important part of life. Most people enjoy the structure and pattern of the day-to-day habits because it gives us a sense of control and order.  A Mal-Shi also likes a familiar day that flows smoothly without surprises.

Dogs also have a sense of routine they rely on throughout the day. They know what to expect, and that's a comfort to them. Without a routine, anxiety can build as they worry about what will happen next. Will they be left alone? Will you be going for a walk? Anticipating the unknown can be stressful for your Mal-Shi, which can lead to heightened anxiety.


White Malshi dog looking up

To avoid this, consider sticking to a set schedule daily for your Mal-Shi. Try to be consistent with mealtimes, walk times, and other events your pup does each day.  It won't be anxious because they'll know what to expect next.  Why not commit to a solid routine and prevent any unnecessary anxiety for your sweet Mal-Shi?

Being Home Alone

Mal-Shi's tend to form extremely strong bonds with their owners. When the owner leaves for any amount of time, it usually causes separation anxiety. Affectionate, loyal dog breeds, such as the Mal-Shi, can experience overwhelming anxiety when they are left alone. This condition can be distressing and troublesome for both you and your dog.

One of the best ways to minimize the separation anxiety your Mal-Shi may experience is by providing them a safe place to rest or hide-out in when you're away. Crate training is a popular and effective solution. A crate creates a space just for your Mal-Shi where they feel safe and secure being by themselves. Many Mal-Shis will choose to spend time in their crates on their own when they want a nice spot to relax and unwind. Utilizing a crate when you're away can help minimize their separation anxiety and make being alone less scary for your dog.

 scared Malshi under bed

To make your dog's crate more relaxing, consider adding a calming dog bed. Calming dog beds add an extra sense of security for your dog when you're away. They're made of soft fabrics and plush textures, making them the perfect place to sleep. Not crate training your Mal-shi? Calming dog beds can be kept anywhere in your home for your dog to enjoy and minimize their anxiety.

Chaotic Environment

As stated earlier a Mal-Shi can be a sensitive dog breed. They're very aware of their surroundings and which is why a chaotic environment can be stressful for them. Having a birthday party at your home? All the noise, new people, movement, and action that comes with a party can be overwhelming for your Mal-Shi and can cause them anxiety.

To prevent your dog from stressing out, don't put them in a chaotic environment. Instead, be sure to provide them with a safe space to retreat to for comfort. Putting their crate or calming dog bed away from noise and people they aren't used to can help them relax.

Lack Of Exercise

The Mal-Shi breed isn't known for being extremely active, although they do still need regular exercise. Without enough exercise, they can become restless and unsure of what to do with all of their excess energy.

It's best to ensure your Mal-Shi is getting enough physical activity each day. Exercise can help keep anxious feelings at bay and prevent other health conditions, such as obesity, from developing. Simply take your Mal-Shi for a walk, to the dog park, or play indoors with them to keep them active. Afterward, they will likely be relaxed and anxiety free!

Adapting To A New Home

Change can be stressful for both humans and dogs. We're creatures of habit, which is why a big life change, like moving to a new home, can easily trigger anxiety. A new home means new smells, sights, and sounds that your dog must get used to. It also signals a change in their routine, whether this change is short or long-lived.

To help your Mal-Shi adjust to a new home, consider playing an indoor scent game with them. Hide treats around your new home and accompany them as they hunt to find them. Scent games will allow them to explore the house in a way that isn't scary and help them overcome the anxiety of changing to a new living space. Consider using calming dog treats during these scent games for added anxiety relief.

Malshi with a sad face

Family Additions

Adding a new member to your family home can be a major adjustment for your Mal-Shi. Whether this family member is human, canine, feline, or any other animal, this addition can be stressful for your Mal-Shi to get used to. The last thing that any dog owner wants is for their pup to feel anxious because of their growing family!

To help minimize the anxiety that this experience can cause, be sure to show your Mal-Shi extra attention during this transition. Don't forget to give them as much praise and love as you did before the arrival of the new family member. With your attention and reassurance, your Mal-Shi will have an easier time adjusting to the growing family and overcome the anxiety that this can trigger.

Loud or Unknown Noises

Mal-Shi's are always on the watch for potential threats or predators in their environment, which is why loud or unknown noises may trigger their anxiety. Garbage trucks, other dogs barking, and fireworks can be very stressful for a dog that isn't sure what these noises are or where they're coming from.

Offer your Mal-Shi plenty of reassurance and comfort when the time comes for those fireworks to start booming or it's time for the garbage truck to make its rounds. Loud noises can be scary for little dogs and providing them with a calming dog bed or crate can give them a safe, comforting space to retreat to if needed. If your Mal-Shi needs a little extra help, you can always give them calming dog treats. Especially during times of extreme noise, like during Fourth of July firework shows.

Lack of Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation is one of the most important keys to keeping your dog from becoming anxious. It keeps their mind busy, gives them to a job, and prevents anxiety-causing boredom. There are many ways to provide your dog with mental stimulation, and finding the one that works best for you and your dog is the key to anxiety prevention.

Puzzle toys are a great way to keep your dog engaged and stimulated. Simply stuff some food or treats inside and let your dog find the best way to reach it. In the process, they won't feel bored and anxiety won't creep up on them because they are actively using their mind to solve the puzzle.

Anxious Family Members

Did you know that dogs can pick up on your stress and anxiety? This highlights the importance of taking care of your own mental health. In doing so, you will help alleviate any stress or anxiety your dog may be feeling. So, take a walk, a bubble bath, listen to some music, or do whatever helps you to unwind and relax. You'll also be helping your dog unwind and feel stress-free by doing so!

Lack of Socializing

Socialization is a fool-proof way to help minimize your dog's anxiety. During socialization, your dog can explore new places, people, and dogs with the security of having you nearby. Doing so can help them overcome potential anxiety triggers by realizing there's nothing to fear.

To socialize your Mal-Shi, try taking them to the dog park. Here, they can freely roam around and meet others while exploring a new environment. They will also get plenty of mental stimulation and exercise, which are known to reduce canine anxiety. The dog park is a great one-stop-shop for dog anxiety prevention and can easily be included in your dog's daily or weekly routine.

Malshi dog with bored look on it's face

Wrapping Up

The Mal-Shi breed is known for being loyal and overall adorable, though they can be prone to developing anxiety. Knowing the causes of your dog's anxiety is the first step in helping them to overcome it. After you have narrowed down what's causing your Mal-Shi to become anxious, be sure to try various methods to help relax them and minimize their anxiety. Once you find the methods that work best for you and your dog, they are sure to live a healthy and happy life by your side.

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