Not actually a dog breed per se, the Maltipoo is a popular cross of the Maltese and Poodle, known for their fun-loving and affectionate nature. Active and charming, they’ll fit into all kinds of homes: apartment or house, family with kids or elderly single.
Although these dogs sometimes have the unfortunate status of “designer breed,” you may find them in shelters and rescues. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop if you want to bring a dog home.
Maltipoos are highly affectionate and would make a great choice for a novice pet parent. However, they’re highly sensitive and do not like being left alone for long periods of the day. As companion dogs, they crave the company of their humans and may develop separation anxiety when they don’t get the attention they need. But if you can provide a loving home that meets this mix’s needs, you’ll have an adoring family member who can dish out plenty of cuddle sessions.
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash like this one in public!
Health And Grooming Needs
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Hybrid DogsHeight:8 to 14 inches tall at the shoulderWeight:5 to 20 poundsLife Span:10 to 13 years
More About This Breed
Maltipoos are a popular cross of the Maltese and Toy or Miniature Poodle. True to their parent breeds, Maltipoos are affectionate and gentle. They make super companions for empty-nesters and are excellent therapy dogs.
Cross breeds such as the Maltipoo are often referred to as designer dogs, rather than mixed breeds, because they’re purposely bred and are a combination of two known breeds.
Because both Poodles and Maltese are considered non-shedders, people who breed Maltipoos hope to end up with a hypoallergenic dog. If you’re allergic, however, it’s important to know a little something about pet allergies before you run out to get a Maltipoo.
All dogs produce dander (dead skin flakes) and saliva, which carry allergens. And allergies can build over time. You may not react to a dog when you first meet him, but develop an allergy after living with him for days, weeks, or even months. Spend lots of time with a number of different Maltipoos to see how you’ll react.
If you decide that a Maltipoo is for you, you’ll find that he’s an active, feisty, fun-loving dog. He enjoys life, and his perfect day includes playing dog games, going for a walk, and racing through the house.
Maltipoos can be a good choice for first-time or timid owners. They’re easy to train and learn quickly. They also do well in homes with elderly people or with older children who can handle them carefully. They enjoy long cuddles and are sensitive to their people’s wants and needs.
Maltipoos can adapt to any kind of home, from an apartment to a house. No matter what their housing, they love being with their people, and should live indoors with their human families, never outside or in kennels. They’re not recommended for homes where they’ll be left alone for long periods.
Maltipoos can be barkers and will alert you to everything that’s going on. You may need to work hard to teach them to discriminate between what’s important to bark at and what’s not.
Maltipoos are fun-loving, happy dogs who’ve stolen many hearts. For those who appreciate their cuddly appeal and can give them the companionship they need, they can make an ideal pet.
- The Maltipoo is a cross breed, the result of breeding a Maltese with a Toy or Miniature Poodle.
- Maltipoos are active and energetic. They need daily exercise — a good walk, romp in the yard, or a game of fetch will do the trick.
- Barking can be a favorite pastime for a Maltipoo. They make excellent watchdogs, alert barking to warn you of anything suspicious, but they may not be the best choice for noise-sensitive people or those who live in housing with noise restrictions.
- Maltipoos shed little. They’re considered good for allergy sufferers, but keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. All dogs shed dander and saliva, which carry allergens. The best way to find out if a Maltipoo triggers your allergies is to spend a lot of time with him.
- Maltipoos need daily brushing and monthly baths to keep their coats clean and tangle-free. Clipping the coat is also suggested.
- Loving and gentle, the Maltipoo gets along with kids. But because small Maltipoos could easily be injured, they’re only recommended for families with children older than six who know how to handle dogs.
- Maltipoos are smart and can be easy to train.
- Maltipoos generally get along with other dogs and pets.
- Maltipoos can do well in apartments and homes alike. They have high energy levels indoors.
- Maltipoos are companion dogs and may suffer from separation anxiety if they’re frequently left alone for long periods.
- To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store.
The Maltipoo was created to be a small-breed companion dog for allergy sufferers. Whether he’s really hypoallergenic is up for debate; every dog is different in the amount of allergens he produces, but in any case, he’s a charming ball of fluff with a growing popularity.
Maltipoos have enjoyed the affections of celebrities and are among the more popular of the so-called designer breeds. Most litters are the result of first-generation breedings between Maltese and Poodles, but some people also breed Maltipoos to Maltipoos.
The Maltipoo is not officially recognized as a true breed, but fans have formed the North American Maltipoo/Maltepoo Club and Registry.
The Maltipoo varies in size, depending on whether the Poodle parent was a Toy or Miniature. Generally, Maltipoos stand 8 to 14 inches tall and weigh 5 to 20 pounds.
This is an intelligent, affectionate, fun-loving dog who generally gets along well with everyone he meets. Gentle and devoted, Maltipoos enjoy spending their days perched on their owner’s laps or walking beside them. They can also be active and feisty, and enjoy a good play session just as much as they relish a long cuddle. They’re alert and make excellent alarm dogs, but don’t count on them to provide any kind of protection.
Like all dogs, Maltipoos need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure that your Maltipoo puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
Not all Maltipoos will get any or all of these diseases, but
it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this crossbreed.
- White Shaker Syndrome manifests as tremors over the entire body, lack of coordination, and rapid eye movements. Episodes usually start when the dog is six months to three years old and is stressed or overly excited. This condition isn’t painful and doesn’t affect the dog’s personality. If you suspect your Maltipoo has White Dog Shaker Syndrome, talk to your vet about treatment options.
- Epilepsy causes seizures in the dog. Epilepsy can be managed with medication, but it cannot be cured. A dog can live a full and healthy life with the proper management of this disorder, which can be hereditary or of unknown cause.
- Patellar Luxation, also known as “slipped stifles,” is a common problem in small dogs. It is caused when the patella, which has three parts-the femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap), and tibia (calf)-is not properly lined up. This causes lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait, sort of like a skip or a hop. It is a condition that is present at birth although the actual misalignment or luxation does not always occur until much later. The rubbing caused by patellar luxation can lead to arthritis, a degenerative joint disease. There are four grades of patellar luxation, ranging from grade I, an occasional luxation causing temporary lameness in the joint, to grade IV, in which the turning of the tibia is severe and the patella cannot be realigned manually. This gives the dog a bowlegged appearance. Severe grades of patellar luxation may require surgical repair.
- Portosystemic Shunt (PSS) is an abnormal flow of blood between the liver and the body. That’s a problem, because the liver is responsible for detoxifying the body, metabolizing nutrients, and eliminating drugs. Signs can include but are not limited to neurobehavioral abnormalities such as poor balance, lack of appetite, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), intermittent gastrointestinal issues, loss of appetite, urinary tract problems, drug intolerance, and stunted growth. Signs usually appear before two years of age. Corrective surgery can be helpful in long-term management, as can a special diet.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative eye disorder that eventually causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. PRA is detectable years before the dog shows any signs of blindness. Fortunately, dogs can use their other senses to compensate for blindness, and a blind dog can live a full and happy life. Just don’t make it a habit to move the furniture around. Reputable breeders have their dogs’ eyes certified annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist and do not breed dogs with this disease.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease affects many toy breeds. When your Maltipoo has Legg-Perthes, the blood supply to the head of the femur (the large rear leg bone) is decreased, and the head of the femur, which connects to the pelvis, begins to disintegrate. Usually, the first signs of Legg-Perthes, limping and atrophy of the leg muscle, occur when puppies are 4 to 6 months old. The condition can be corrected with surgery to cut off the diseased femur so that it isn’t attached to the pelvis any longer. The scar tissue that results from the surgery creates a false joint and the puppy is usually pain free. Prognosis is generally very good after the surgery and many dogs suffer only minor lameness, particularly during weather changes.
Before buying a Maltipoo, it’s important to research the health concerns that affect both the Maltese and the Poodle. Both parents should have health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for patellas (knees) and thyroid and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that the eyes are normal, including a DNA test for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Because some health problems don’t appear until a dog reaches full maturity, health clearances aren’t issued to dogs younger than 2 years old. Look for a breeder who doesn’t breed her dogs until they’re two or three years old.
Maltipoos are people lovers and should live indoors with their family, never outside or in a kennel. They make fine apartment dogs so long as they get daily exercise and aren’t allowed to become nuisance barkers.
The Maltipoo is an intelligent dog and takes well to training. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as food rewards, play, and praise, and you’ll be successful in no time.
Maltipoos are active, and they need daily exercise to stay healthy, happy, and out of trouble. Excess energy can lead to destructive behavior, and you might be shocked to know just how much damage a small, bored dog can do. Give your Maltipoo 10 to 15 minutes of exercise each day. A short walk, play sessions in a fenced yard, or a good game of fetch down a hallway will do the trick.
Maltipoos can be noisy and will alert bark when they see something or someone that looks suspect. Take this trait into consideration before getting a Maltipoo, especially if you live in a building with noise restrictions.
Recommended daily amount: 5/8 to 1.5 cups of a high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.
How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you’ll need to shake into your dog’s bowl.
Keep your Maltipoo in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you’re unsure whether he’s overweight, give him the eye test and the hands-on test. First, look down at him. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can’t, he needs less food and more exercise.
For more on feeding your Maltipoo, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Maltipoo has a low-shedding, low-dander coat with a fluffy, soft, wool-like texture. It’s medium to long in length, and ranges from slightly wavy to curly. The coat comes in a variety of colors, with the more common colors being cream, white, and silver.
The Maltipoo needs daily brushing to keep his coat clean and free of mats. Many Maltipoos are clipped to keep them tidy and cool. Generally a Maltipoo only needs clipping once or twice a year, but his head will need a monthly trim.
Expect to bathe a Maltipoo at least once a month to keep the coat soft and clean. Trim the hair around the eyes to keep it looking neat. Ears should also be kept clean since they’ll trap dirt, debris, and moisture.
Other grooming needs include dental hygiene and nail care. Brush your Maltipoo’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and bacteria. Daily is better. Trim his nails once or twice a month, as needed. If you can hear the nail clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Short nails keep the feet in good condition and won’t scratch your legs when your Maltipoo jumps up to greet you.
Start grooming your Maltipoo when he’s a puppy, to get him used to it. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth and ears. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.
Children And Other Pets
The Maltipoo is a social dog and gets along well with children. Small Maltipoos aren’t suited to homes with kids younger than 6 years old, however, as they can be easily injured.
As with any dog, always teach children how to approach and touch your Maltipoo, and supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear pulling from either party.
Maltipoos generally get along with other dogs and pets, whether or not they’re raised with them.
This cross is frequently available at animal shelters. If you’re interested in adopting a Maltipoo, check your local shelter or the following rescue groups:
- North American Maltipoo/Maltepoo Club and Registry Rescue
- Poo-Mix Rescue