Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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While the name ‘Mauzer’ is more often associated with the Bosnian politician, it does in fact refer to a cross-bred designer dog that is composed of the white and fluffy Maltese and the ‘salt and pepper’ Miniature Schnauzer. These scruffy yet adorable canines are known for the loyalty and affection that they show their family and could certainly be described as ‘lap dogs’. Most individuals can be quite yappy and require plenty of dedicated training time if they are to become responsive and obedient within the home.

A small dog that rarely reaches heights over 33cm, the Mauzer is a ‘pocket-sized’ pooch that can adapt well to life in a small home. They usually have the highly-set, folded ears characteristic of the Schnauzer that perk up whenever they hear a noise. Their circular eyes are dark brown in colour and very attractive. Most have the typical Schnauzer beard and moustache, which can make for additional grooming needs, especially if fed a wet or raw diet.

About & History

Mauzers were first bred within the United States and have not been on the scene for very long. Their parents, on the other hand, have several hundred years of history under their belts; which makes for an interesting read.

The Maltese

The Maltese is probably best known for its snow-white fur that is long and straight, often reaching the ground in show dogs. They have ‘clingy’ personality types and will bond very tightly to one owner, often becoming anxious and upset when not around them. The first Maltese dogs originated in South-eastern Europe and were brought to the island of Malta by trading sailors. Here, the breed was refined and the name ‘Maltese’ stuck.

Throughout the years, other pedigrees were introduced to the line in efforts to prevent it from becoming extinct, and these breeds would have included the Poodle and some small Spaniels. Belonging to the Toy Group of the Kennel Club, they are aptly described by them as ‘pampered pets’.

The Schnauzer

Schnauzers are German dogs, and while there are Giant and Standard variants, it is only the Miniature that is used when it comes to breeding the Mauzer. This type of Schnauzer was first recorded in 1888 and belongs in the Utility Group of the Kennel Club. Many owners will be familiar with the Miniature Schnauzer thanks to their appearance on the packaging of the popular worming product ‘Drontal’.

This dog was used as a worker on German farms in Bavaria and filled a number of roles, including vermin exterminator and watch dog. As with the Maltese, the Poodle also features in the history of the Schnauzer, alongside the Affenpinscher.


Mauzer dogs are small and not overly stocky. They have rounded skulls and prominent square muzzles. Their semi-drop ears and alert eyes afford them an inquisitive expression. They have a neat body and medium-length, straight limbs. Their tail is usually covered in long fur and may be held straight out or curved above their back.

These small dogs measure between 25cm and 33cm and will only reach weights of between 4kg and 6.5kg. The fur of the Mauzer is rarely just white like their Maltese parent and they will usually have some grey or black colouring, as well. Fur is longest on their face and many inherit the delightfully long facial fur of their Schnauzer parent. While some breeders will advertise the Mauzer as being a hypoallergenic dog, they may shed their fur lightly, so this is not guaranteed.

Character & Temperament

With one of their parents (the Maltese) being described as a ‘velcro’ dog, it is little wonder that the Mauzer forms very strong attachments to its family, typically favouring one person above the rest. While this can be a positive thing when it comes to training, it can also lead to an unhealthy relationship whereby the Mauzer relies heavily on the person and becomes anxious when they’re away. In the worst cases, separation anxiety can develop.

The Mauzer is relatively tolerant of children but, as with most other small dogs, requires constant supervision when near them. They can become snappy if their requests to be left alone are left unheeded. They get on best with older children and get enjoyment from playing with them and being taken on walks to the local parks.

Most Mauzers make good watch dogs as they are alert and naturally protective of their family and home. They will bark loudly and repeatedly until they feel any threat has left. Due to their small stature, they are not employed as guard dogs.


A brainy dog who is keen to please its master, the Mauzer can be good fun to train. It must be said, though, some individuals take a while to warm up to their training sessions and can be stubborn in the beginning. Mauzer dogs like to be kept busy and appreciate varied training sessions that incorporate problem solving and scenting.


A small and generally healthy dog, the Mauzer typically lives into its early teens. A number of health issues should be monitored for within the population.

Porto-Systemic Shunt

A shunt that bypasses the liver means that food and toxins are not processed as they should be and affected dogs are usually quite unwell. Symptoms can include a generalised failure to thrive, nausea and even neurological symptoms, such as seizures.

Some shunts are easily detected on abdominal ultrasounds, whereas others require contrast dye and more specialised imaging modalities to identify them. Medical management can improve symptoms in the short term but surgery is needed to resolve the problem.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus

A heart defect that pups are born with, vets may appreciate a ‘washing machine’ murmur on physical exam. Without treatment, dogs will inevitably progress into heart failure. While a specialised and expensive procedure, a surgical repair is possible.

Idiopathic Hyperlipidaemia

These Mauzers will have abnormally high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol within their blood. There are other causes of hyperlipidaemia, such as Cushing’s Disease and Hypothyroidism, so these conditions must be ruled out before determining a dog has Idiopathic Hyperlipidaemia.

Affected patients are more likely to develop a painful condition called pancreatitis and should be managed on strict low-fat diets during their entire lives.

Diabetes Mellitus

Just like humans, dogs can develop diabetes. Dogs tend to develop a form similar to type 1 diabetes in humans that is unrelated to their diet or lifestyle. Owners may notice that despite an increased appetite, they are losing weight.

Symptoms also include an increased thirst and more frequent urinations. Most can be treated with insulin injections and a prescription diet. While diabetes is not something that dogs are ‘cured’ from, most can live a normal life when well managed.

Exercise and Activity Levels

A couple of 20 to 30 minute walks each day should satisfy the Mauzer. On top of this, they relish the opportunity to explore within their garden and play games inside the home. They require mental stimulation in the form of interactive toys and feeding puzzles in order to keep their inquisitive minds satisfied.


Owners must pay particularly close attention to the facial fur of the Mauzer as it can become wet and dirty after eating or sniffing about outside. Dogs need to get used to having it cleaned and trimmed on a regular basis. Those that develop longer coats will need daily brushing, while others may only need to be brushed a couple of times a week. Many owners will keep their Mauzer clipped short throughout the year to minimise grooming requirements.

Due to their small skull size, these dogs can have dental overcrowding and are predisposed to periodontal disease. Due to this, it is advised that their teeth are brushed daily if possible. This can be made more tolerable by using a meat flavoured doggy toothpaste.

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