The Maltipoo is a charming crossbreed between two of the most beloved breeds: the Maltese and the Poodle. This small-sized dog has won the hearts of animal lovers thanks to its adorable appearance, affectionate character, and sharp intelligence.
Let’s discover everything there is to know about the Maltipoo, from its origin to daily care, to help you understand if this breed could be the ideal companion for your family.
Origin of the Maltipoo
The Maltipoo is a hybrid dog, which means it is the result of a direct cross between two pure breeds: the Maltese and the Toy or Miniature Poodle.
This crossbreed was first created in the United States around the 1990s with the goal of creating a companion dog that was not only affectionate and intelligent but also had a coat that reduced the chances of causing allergies. The Maltipoo is not recognized as a breed on its own, but its popularity continues to grow.
Physical Characteristics of the Maltipoo
Being a cross between the Maltese and the Poodle, it can inherit a combination of physical traits from both parent breeds.
However, there are some common features that many Maltipoos tend to share:
- They are generally classified as small-sized dogs.
- Weight: The typical weight ranges from about 5 to 20 pounds, depending on whether the Poodle in the mix is a Toy or a Miniature.
- Height: The height at the withers can vary from 8 to 14 inches.
- Skull shape: The skull can be slightly rounded.
- Eyes: They usually have dark, round eyes that express liveliness and intelligence.
- Ears: Their ears hang down the sides of the face and are typically soft and covered with fur.
- Structure: Maltipoos have a compact and well-proportioned body.
- Tail: The tail can be carried high and curved, similar to that of a Poodle, or carried straighter like that of a Maltese.
The coat can be wavy, curly, or a combination of both. It tends to be soft and can vary from medium to long in length. They are considered good choices for people with allergies, as they tend to shed less hair compared to other breeds.
The coat can come in a wide variety of colors, thanks to the diverse genetic heritage derived from its parent breeds, the Maltese and the Poodle.
The variety of colors makes each Maltipoo unique in appearance, here are some of the more common colors:
- White: often inherited from the Maltese, which typically has a pure white coat.
- Black: Less common, but can appear, especially if the parent Poodle has a black coat.
- Brown/Chocolate: a shade that can range from a light tan to a rich dark chocolate.
- Gray: this color can vary from a light gray to a darker shade, sometimes also referred to as silver.
- Cream: a light and warm shade that is not purely white.
- Apricot: this color has a reddish or pale orange tint and can vary in intensity.
- Red: a more vibrant and deeper shade compared to apricot, with a clear red undertone.
- Phantom: a combination of colors, usually black with light brown patches or markings, similar to what is seen in some other breeds.
- Parti-color: a combination of two or more colors, which can include any of the above-mentioned colors, with distinct and well-defined patches.
The Maltipoo’s coat can also feature various shades and patterns, including brindle and spotted, although these are not as common. The precise color of the coat can sometimes change as the dog matures; for example, puppies born with a dark coat may lighten as they age.
Temperament of the Maltipoo
They are known for their playful and loving temperament. They often have a contagious energy and enjoy the company of people.
They are very intelligent dogs, thanks to the genetic heritage of the Poodle, known for its mental acuity. This intelligence makes them relatively easy to train. They are also very affectionate dogs and tend to form close bonds with their owners, which makes them excellent companions.
However, because of their strong attachment to their owners, they can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for prolonged periods.
The diet should be balanced and appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. As a general rule, young and active individuals will require more calories compared to older or less active ones.
It is recommended to feed them high-quality food, rich in essential nutrients that contribute to maintaining good health. Controlled portions and a consistent diet help prevent overweight. It is always best to consult a veterinarian for specific feeding advice.
As we’ve seen, the coat can vary from wavy to curly and is usually of medium length. It doesn’t shed much and is often considered hypoallergenic, making it a popular choice among people with allergies.
However, it requires regular grooming to keep the coat in good condition. It is advised to brush the coat several times a week to prevent knots and tangles and to bathe regularly.
Ear cleaning and nail trimming are also important parts of the grooming routine.
They are generally healthy dogs, but like all hybrids, they can inherit certain health conditions from their purebred parents.
This can include issues such as hip dysplasia, eye problems, and heart disease. It is important to provide them with regular veterinary check-ups and all vaccinations and preventative measures like deworming and parasite control.
These dogs tend to have a relatively long lifespan, also thanks to their small size, which is a common factor in breeds with longer lives.
Typically, a Maltipoo can live between 10 and 15 years, but some can live even longer, especially if they receive proper care, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and periodic veterinary check-ups to prevent and treat any health issues.
When considering bringing a Maltipoo puppy into the family, it is vital to do so through a responsible breeder who raises the puppies with attention to well-being and socialization.
The puppies should be energetic, curious, and not show signs of excessive shyness or aggression.
It is also important to start training and socialization as early as possible, as the first few months of life are crucial for the dog’s behavioral development.
Frequently Asked Questions about Maltipoos
To conclude, I will try to answer some common questions about these dogs.
Are they suitable for families?
Absolutely. Maltipoos are known to be very patient and affectionate with children and adapt well to family life. However, as with all breeds, supervision is recommended when they interact with very young children.
How much exercise do they need?
Despite their small size, they are quite energetic dogs and need daily exercise. Regular walks and playtime are essential to keep the Maltipoo fit and mentally stimulated.
Do they shed a lot?
As I mentioned earlier, they are dogs that shed little, making them a good option for people with allergies. However, this does not mean they are completely maintenance-free; their coat requires regular grooming.
How long do Maltipoos live?
Maltipoos have a relatively long lifespan, often living between 10 and 15 years. With proper care, a healthy diet, and regular physical activity, Maltipoos can enjoy a long and happy life alongside their owners.
Are they easy to train?
Yes, they tend to be intelligent dogs that learn quickly. Positivity and reinforcement during training are effective tools for teaching these dogs obedience and tricks.
Our conclusions on Maltipoos
They are a blend of sweetness, intelligence, and adaptability. Whether you live in a city apartment or a house with a large yard, this dog can perfectly integrate into your lifestyle. Their ability to form strong bonds with family members and their adorable appearance make them a popular choice worldwide.
If you’re looking for a loyal companion that can bring joy and affection into your life, the Maltipoo might be the right breed for you.
Always remember that, as with any pet, welcoming one into your home means committing to a long-term responsibility to provide love, proper care, and attention.
With the right commitment and understanding of their needs, they can become not just a pet, but a true member of the family.
Maltipoo at a glance
And now, a summary table of all the characteristics of this dog.
|Crossbreed between Maltese and Toy Poodle
|Not officially recognized, no breed standard
|Height at Withers
|Approximately 28 cm
|Approximately 4 kg
|Starting from 1,000 euros
|Playful, curious, brave, sociable
|From short and curly to medium-long and wavy
|Solid or bicolor, all colors are accepted
|Country of Origin
Other small dog breeds to discover
Here are some examples of other small dog breeds besides the Maltipoo:
- Chihuahua: famous for their small size but big personality, Chihuahuas are lively and devoted dogs, both short-haired and long-haired.
- Pomeranian: these dogs have a thick, fluffy double coat and are known for their lively and curious nature.
- Toy Poodle: a smaller version of the Poodle, known for their intelligence and their curly coat that doesn’t shed much, considered hypoallergenic.
- Yorkshire Terrier: these dogs have a beautiful silky coat and are very affectionate and energetic.
- Shih Tzu: originating from China, these dogs have a short muzzle and a long silky coat that requires regular grooming.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: these dogs have a regal appearance, are gentle, patient, and suitable for all family members.
- Boston Terrier: also known as “American Gentlemen” for their coat that resembles a tuxedo, they are friendly and lively.
- Jack Russell Terrier: they are very active and intelligent dogs with a strong hunting instinct and a lively personality.
- Pug: Pugs are known for their wrinkled face and characteristic snort. They are sociable and affectionate dogs.
- Dachshund: popular for their long body and short legs, Dachshunds are brave and playful.
- Bichon Frise: these dogs look like cotton balls and are cheerful and playful.
- French Bulldog: this breed is loved for its sturdy appearance, bat-like ears, and amiable character.
- Miniature Schnauzer: They are energetic and protective dogs, with a distinctive beard and thick eyebrows.
- Corgi: With their short legs and elongated bodies, Corgis are active and affectionate dogs known for being the mascots of Queen Elizabeth II.