- Breed group – Cross between a Maltese and a miniature/toy poodle
- Height – 8 to 14 inches
- Weight – 5 to 20 pounds
- Coat length & texture – Medium-long, wavy coat
- Coat color – Most Maltipoos are white, cream, or tan, although some may be black, gray, or two to three different colors. Maltipoo puppy coats may get lighter or darker as they get older.
- Exercise needs – Active
- Intelligence – High intelligence
- Barking – When bored
- Life span – 10 to 15 years
- Temperament – Affectionate and gentle but sensitive
- Hypoallergenic – Yes
- Origin -United States
Maltipoo fun facts
- Maltipoos are sensitive and prefer lots of attention and stimuli. Give them plenty of petting, scratches, belly rubs, and toys to keep them from feeling bored.
- Although they like to be active and stimulated, Maltipoos aren’t suited for long walks, fast runs, or a lot of time outdoors.
- Maltipoos are highly intelligent, so they do well with training, which helps to keep their minds stimulated.
- They’re known by a few different spellings: Maltipoo, Maltapoo, and Maltepoo.
Maltipoo temperament and characteristics
The Maltipoo was bred for companionship, so it makes sense that these dogs love attention and affection. This small dog is a cross between a poodle and a Maltese, two intelligent breeds. Maltipoos tend to be playful and require plenty of stimulation to keep them from getting bored. When they become bored, they may bark or engage in misbehavior. Maltipoos may bark when a stranger comes to the door, but they are generally warm and welcoming to newcomers. They are also great around older children as they don’t do well with rough play common among young children. They also get along with other pets, but always introduce a new pet slowly and gently to other household members.
Common Maltipoo health problems
Generally, these dogs have few health problems. But health issues can arise and repeat among Maltipoos and other crossbreeds the same way they do with purebred dogs, including:
- Ear infections. Ear infections are common — thoroughly clean a maltipoo’s ears.
- Skin infections. Maltipoos may experience skin irritation or skin infections, so keep crusty scabs clean and skin in good health.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. This sudden illness can cause pain and a limp in one of the dog’s rear legs. It occurs when the head of the femur bone loses its blood supply which causes the bone to deteriorate. This disease is suspected to be genetic, but more research is needed.
- Luxating patella. A luxating patella is a kneecap that moves out of place. One or both stifles may be affected. When patellar luxation is mild, it may cause a pup to skip occasionally on the affected leg. If a patella luxation is severe, then a lameness will occur due to the kneecap being completely displaced and unable to move back into its normal position.
- Progressive retinal atrophy. This genetic disease causes degeneration of the retinas and affects middle-aged Maltipoos. Symptoms begin with night blindness, ultra-shiny eyes, dilated pupils, and the development of cataracts. Over time, this disease can cause complete blindness.
- Dental disease. If dental care is not provided, this crossbreed is prone to bad breath, chronic oral pain, and losing teeth. Provide at-home dental care such as brushing your dog’s teeth or including a dental water additive each day in your dog’s water bowl. A professional dental cleaning may also be needed every one to two years to keep teeth healthy.
Costs of caring for a Maltipoo
Prepare to spend at least $500 to $1,000 a year for your Maltipoo’s health care and grooming, which is essential for keeping their fur in good condition and preventing skin irritation. Annual check-ups and vaccines cost around $300, plus another $500 if a dental cleaning is needed. Heartworm and flea/tick prevention usually cost about $100-$200 annually. Maltipoos need a grooming visit every one to two months, adding about $300 to $400 per year. If your Maltipoo has any health issues, you’ll pay more for additional vet visits and any necessary tests or imaging and medications.
Pet insurance for Maltipoos
Pet parents may want to purchase a health insurance plan to help reduce out-of-pocket expenses. You may choose an accident and illness plan to take care of any sudden illnesses or diseases, a comprehensive plan to cover emergencies plus other expenses, and/or opt for a wellness plan to alleviate costs for regular check-ups. Whatever plan you choose, sign up as you bring your furry friend home to get the maximum benefits from your policy.
You could also set aside money every week or month in a pet savings account. Use it for vet visits, a trip to the groomers, or a steady stream of new toys to keep Maltipoo minds active and stimulated.
History of the Maltipoo
The Maltipoo is a crossbreed derived from the Maltese and poodle breeds. Named for the Mediterranean island nation of Malta where it originated, the small breed was once popular with royalty and was introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s. Poodles originated in France in the 1400s and were eventually bred into smaller versions, the toy and miniature poodles.
Maltipoos, especially by those standards, is a newer crossbreed that originated in the United States around the 1990s. They were intended to be companion dogs known for low shedding, one reason why they’re considered hypoallergenic.
👉 No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, but some are better than others for allergy sufferers.
Caring for your Maltipoo
Maltipoos have unique care needs based on their size and genetics. Prepare for short walks, plenty of playtimes, and many trips to the groomer.
Maltipoos are small dogs, so they will thrive in apartments as well as single-family homes. Although they are active and love to play, Maltipoos don’t need long walks. They also aren’t good candidates for a run around the neighborhood. Instead, plan for a few short walks a day and keep plenty of toys around to prevent them from being bored. This dog loves attention, but they may be prone to separation anxiety if you leave the house without them.
Maltipoos have an attractive, thick coat with wavy or curly fur, but this cuddly coat does require plenty of care. They rarely shed, but you should brush their coat every day or two to prevent matting. Give them a bath and a fur trim around the face once a month, either at home or with a groomer. You may want to consider professional grooming services once every month or two, especially if your dog has a curly coat.
Grooming is more than just the maltipoo’s luxurious fur, though. Make sure to brush their teeth several times a week to prevent dental disease and keep up with regular dental vet visits. These dogs need regular nail trims at least once per month. When their nails clack against your floors, it’s time. Because Maltipoos are vulnerable to ear infections, keep up with regular ear cleanings about once a month.
Diet and nutrition
Due to their small size, Maltipoos require small meals. Overeating can lead to obesity and other related health problems. Talk to your dog’s vet about the appropriate amount of food based on their individual dietary and nutritional needs, but there are some general guidelines for feeding Maltipoos. An energetic and growing Maltipoo puppy needs high-quality puppy formula three times a day. Once a Maltipoo is over a year, transition to an adult formula or two meals a day.
Training your maltipoo
Thanks to their lineage of Maltese and poodle breeds, this hybrid cross is smart and easy to train, even for novice dog owners. It’s best to begin training when the dog is a puppy, and consistency is key. Even 10 to 15 minutes per day spent training is enough to begin teaching Maltipoos preferred behaviors. Socialization should also begin early, once the dog has all of its puppy vaccinations and can safely be around other animals. Be sure to show positive reinforcement immediately after the Maltipoo exhibits a preferred behavior to quickly instill good habits.
Breeds similar to the Maltipoo
Not quite sure that a Maltipoo is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:
- Goldendoodle — Goldendoodles look similar to Maltipoos in fur texture and coat colors, but they are larger, weighing 15 to 50 pounds.
- Yorkipoo — Yorkipoos and Maltipoos are both affectionate and smart, but Yorkipoos tend to be more cautious around strangers.
- Biewer terrier — Biewer terriers and Maltipoos are loving and energetic, but the purebred Biewer terrier is more reserved around strangers and other dogs.
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Frequently asked questions
What are Maltipoos good for?
These gentle, loving dogs make great companions. They love to play, but they also love to cuddle. Maltipoos shed little and are nearly hypoallergenic.
What are some tips for training a Maltipoo?
It’s best to start training them when they are young. Give them a special treat immediately when and where they perform the correct behavior you’re teaching. Be consistent, and prepare to spend a few months working on the preferred behaviors.
What is the average cost of Maltipoo puppies?
Most maltipoo puppies cost around $1,000, but the costs can range from $500 to over $4,000 depending on different breeders. As so-called designer dogs, these puppies can be expensive.
Why do so many people like Maltipoo dogs?
Maltipoos shed little, are easy to train, and tend to be gentle, loving, and friendly even to strangers. They are good with kids and other pets, making them great for families. Maltipoos love to be playful and have fun, but they also want to sit in your lap and cuddle. Their temperament and intelligence make Maltipoos a good option for people living in apartments and even first-time dog owners.