Wondering what kind of breed Rihanna’s adorable pup Oliver is? Or maybe you have seen these sweet little doggies which look like puppies in the park and want to find out more about them?
The Maltipoo is not exactly a breed. It is a hybrid between a Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle.
The mix between these two adorable breeds is actually perfect, and the Maltipoo is a very charming, gentle and active little dog, which is a perfect companion for just about anybody, be it a large family or a single person. They are also excellent therapy dogs and are highly preferred by empty nesters looking for a fur baby.
The Maltipoo has become increasingly popular in the last few years, mainly because its cuteness is irresistible, and it keeps its young puppy look even as it ages. Also, it is considered a hypoallergenic dog, which more people with dog dander and dog hair allergies are looking for.
So, if you want to find more about these absolutely adorable miniature designer dogs, read on for all the details.
Maybe the Maltipoo is the perfect pet, companion and fur baby for you too!
What are the origins of the Maltipoo?
As mentioned previously, this popular designer dog is a cross between a Miniature or sometimes a Toy Poodle with a Maltese.
The Maltese are an ancient breed which originated from Malta, and hence the name. It is a toy breed and has a soft and silky white coat and cute button-like black eyes and nose. Overall, the Maltese are a very loving little dog with quite a perky personality.
It was originally bred as a lap dog, and has been pampered as one for centuries.
As for the Poodle, it is one of the most popular choices for the newer cross-breeds such as the Cockapoo and the Labradoodle. Poodles are incredibly intelligent dogs, with an active nature and with hypoallergenic coats. There are standard, miniature and toy poodles. The two smaller ones are used for cross breeding with the toy-sized Maltese.
The reasoning behind this cross-breeding is mainly because both Poodles and Maltese are considered to be hypoallergenic due to the fact that they are non-shedding dogs, which makes them excellent pets for people with dog allergies or respiratory problems.
And also, of course, mixing the sweetness and lovability of the Maltese with the intelligence and active nature of the Poodle is a superb idea and the end result is living proof that the Maltipoo is one of the most adorable and cute designer dogs around.
The Maltipoo also retains its puppy-like looks even as it ages, so it is even more attractive to dog lovers.
A Maltipoo coming from an experienced and responsible breeder will be easy to train and care for, which makes this designer mix a popular choice among first-time dog owners as well.
Some main characteristics and statistics
- Canine breed group – hybrid
- Height: 8 – 14 inches at shoulder height
- Weight: 5-20 lbs.
- Average lifespan: 10-13 years
- Adaptability – high
- Dog friendliness – average
- Shedding – low
- Affection level – high
- Activity and exercise needs – low
- Social needs – high
- Apartment friendliness – high
- Grooming requirements – high
- Friendliness o strangers – high
- Tendency for barking – medium
- Health issues – medium-high
- Territorial instinct – low
- Friendliness to cats – high
- Intelligence – medium-high
- Trainability – average
- Child friendliness – low
- Playfulness – average
- Watchdog abilities – high
Some basic highlights and fun facts about Maltipoos
There are first and second generation Maltipoos. The first generation dogs have a purebred Poodle and a purebred Maltese as parents. Second generation Maltipoos have Maltipoos as parents.
Coat colors and types
The coloring of the coat of the Maltipoo can vary widely depending on their Poodle heritage. They can be very light colored or have a dark solid color. The Maltipoos can be brown, red, white, black, silver cream-colored, apricot and more.
The coat type of this designer crossbreed can differ as well – from silky-soft, to thick and curly or wavy and wiry.
Maltipoos are perfect for even the smallest apartments. They can live in any kind of house, but cannot tolerate being outdoors for long, especially in colder weather.
One of the specifics about Maltipoos which makes them even cuter is the fact that they keep looking like sweet little baby puppies even as they grow up and age.
Mutts or designer dogs
Yes, Maltipoos are crossbred from Poodles and Maltese, but they are purposefully bred. Also, keep in mind, that even the oldest dog breeds are a product of some kind of interbreeding as well.
Famous Maltipoo owners
Many celebrities including Rihanna proudly display their Maltipoos on the red carpet. Some of the famous Maltipoo owners include Ellen Degeneres, Blake Lively, Miley Cyrus, Ashley Tisdale, Carmen Electra, Jessica Simpson, Brooke Burns, and Vanessa Hudgens.
History of the Maltipoo
The Maltipoo was deliberately created as a toy-sized companion dog for people with allergies. Due to the fact that both Poodles and Maltese dogs are considered hypoallergenic and low shedding, there is quite a lot of logic in creating this cross-breed. Whether or not the Maltipoo is actually hypoallergenic is not so clear though. Many experts agree that there are no purely hypoallergenic dogs, as they all release dander even if some of the breeds shed much less than others.
Still, the experiment with the mixing of the genes of these two old and well-recognized breeds has turned out to be one of the cutest and most successful ones. This is evident by the growing popularity of the Maltipoo among the rich and famous as well as among ordinary dog lovers too.
The Maltipoo was developed sometime during the 1990’s in the US. It was the time when the demand and interest in designer dogs were already growing steadily.
So, it made perfect sense to combine the great personalities and traits of the Maltese and the toy or miniature poodles into one fluffy and charming crossbreed.
But we must be honest, even though both of these miniature dog breeds are known for their affection and lovability, the Maltese is known to be somewhat assertive and may even nip if it is provoked.
On the other hand, the miniature Poodle is generally a very gentle dog and is more tolerant, which in many cases overrides the assertiveness of the Maltese genes in the Maltipoo.
Even though both miniature and toy Poodles are used for parenting Maltipoos, the more popular choice is the miniature breed, because the toy Poodles can be a tad too sensitive and fragile.
Today, there are 1st generation Maltipoos which are direct results of breeding a Poodle and a Maltese, but some owners and breeders are breeding 2nd generation ones by pairing two Maltipoo parents as well.
The Maltipoo has not been recognized as an official dog breed, but there is a Club and Registry formed by the fans of the North American Maltipoo and Maltepoo.
Because nature is not as predictable as we may want it to be, different litters and different puppies from the same cross-bred litter may turn out looking more like Poodles with Maltese temperaments, or vice-versa – with the looks of a Maltese and with Poodle personalities.
You need to be positive that you like the looks and the temperament of both dog breeds before going ahead and adding a Maltipoo pup to your family!
Since miniature and toy poodles and Maltese dogs are rather small, the expectations are that the Maltipoo adult will not reach a height at the shoulder of over 14 inches, and will not weigh more than 20 lbs.
The Maltese is a toy dog breed and reaches an average of 8-10 inches in height and a weight of 6-8 lbs.
Toy Poodles are even smaller and will reach up to 10 inches in height and a weight of just 4-6 lbs. While as miniature Poodles are a tad larger and can reach a height of u to 15 inches at the shoulder and weigh about 10-15 lbs.
To get an idea of how big your Maltipoo pup will get, you should expect it to reach around the middle of the minimum and maximum heights of its parents.
On average, a Maltipoo will grow up to a height of 8 to 14 inches, and will reach a weight of 5 to 20 lbs. in its adult years.
This designer dog is a very affectionate and fun-loving one and will get along with just about everybody it meets. The Maltipoo is a devoted, loving and gentle dog which will both enjoy spending the entire day on the lap of its owner, as well as some games and activities outdoors or inside.
These tiny dogs are actually very alert and will inform you whenever they sense someone is nearby or entering, but even though they are great alarm-dogs, given their size and temperament, you shouldn’t expect to get any protection from a Maltipoo.
Even though they are loving and adorable, just like any other dog, Maltipoos do need to be socialized early on. They need to be exposed to different people, situations, sounds, sights, and experiences while they are still puppies and as they are growing up, in order to ensure that your dog will be well-rounded when it grows up rather than anxious and unfriendly to people, dogs and other pets.
No matter whether your Maltipoo grows to be more like its Poodle or its Maltese ancestors, in both cases, you need to socialize it properly if you want a dog with a good temperament.
The same goes for training. Since young Maltipoos are rather active and energetic, you need to take the time to keep them active on a daily basis.
This, of course, doesn’t mean running a marathon or climbing a mountain with your pup, but a nice long walk, a game of fetch or some games and fun time in your backyard or at home should be sufficient.
Be warned that Maltipoos are excellent watchdogs which will bark to warn you when anything suspicious is going on. This is a trait which people who are sensitive to noise or who live in apartment buildings or housing with noise restrictions should consider before adopting a Maltipoo.
You can start training your Maltipoo from an early age to resist barking at any slightly unusual sound, in order to curb this behavior in the future. Of course, use gentle correction and reinforcement if you want to nip this potential nuisance from the bud.
Also, due to the fact that they are very devoted dogs, Maltipoos are prone to separation anxiety. So, if you are usually gone for long hours every day or if you tend to travel a lot, you may need to reconsider your choice for a dog.
Otherwise, if you properly socialize and train your Maltipoo, it should get along very well with all of the people in the house, as well as with strangers, other dogs, cats and other small pets you have.
Since Maltipoos are tiny and gentle dogs especially when they are still puppies, it is not recommended for families with children younger than 6 years of age, or kids and larger dogs who love roughhousing to add a Maltipoo to the family, because they can easily be dropped or injured.
To ensure that you get a Maltipoo with the temperament, lovability, and trainability you expect from this crossbreed, make sure you get your dog from an experienced and responsible breeder, or you may end up with a dog that is nearly impossible to train, with a loud and snappy character, as well as with potential genetic health problems.
As with any other breed or cross breed, it is essential to be aware of the potential health problems which these dogs may have, in order to take proper steps for preventing them and treating them in a timely manner.
Here are some of the diseases which are more common among Poodles and Maltese dogs to keep in mind before adopting a Maltipoo:
White Dog Shaker Syndrome
This disease will not affect the personality of your dog, nor is it painful for it, but you do need to talk to a vet about possible treatment options if your Maltipoo starts showing the symptoms. The disease usually appears from an age of 6 months to three years and manifests itself in sudden tremors of the entire body, rapid eye movements and a lack of coordination. This usually happens when the dog gets over-excited or stressed.
Unfortunately, epilepsy cannot be cured, but with the proper treatment, this condition can be managed pretty well. A dog suffering from epilepsy can live a long and happy life with the proper medications. The cause is usually hereditary or of unknown cause.
This disorder is also sometimes called slipped stifles and is quite common among very small dogs. It is present at birth but becomes evident later as the dog grows. It is a misalignment of the thigh bone (femur), the kneecap (patella) and the calf (tibia) of the dog’s leg.
This condition can cause lameness or a skipping or hopping gait. Due to the rubbing of the joints at the knee (patella) can cause degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis at a later age. In some mild cases, the condition can be solved by manual realignment, while in more severe ones surgery may be required to repair the luxation.
PSS (Portosystemic Shunt)
This is a condition in which there is an abnormal blood flow between the liver and the other organs of the body. Since the liver is responsible for metabolizing the nutrients, detoxifying the body and eliminating drugs, this is quite a serious condition. The symptoms of PSS include a lack of appetite, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), problems with the balancing, gastrointestinal problems, urinary tract problems, intolerance to medications as well as the stunted growth of the dog. The symptoms may start appearing when the dog is two years old or older. The condition can be managed by a special diet or a corrective surgery.
PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
PRA is a degenerative disorder of the eye which eventually leads to blindness due to the loss of the photoreceptors in the eye. PRA can be detected years before blindness occurs. Thankfully, dogs can very easily adapt to blindness by using their other senses, and the fact is that blind dogs can lead a happy and full life, if you provide them with added care, such as keeping the furniture in the house in the same place, and assisting them when necessary in unknown places.
The disease can be detected with DNA tests, so make sure that the breeder you are getting your Maltipoo from has had their dogs certified by a veterinary ophthalmologist, because responsible and reputable breeders do not breed dogs suffering from PRA.
Legg-Perthes causes the decrease of proper blood supply to the head of the femur bone of the rear leg, which causes the head to disintegrate gradually. The signs of this disease usually become evident at an early age of 4 to 6 months. This condition can be resolved via surgery which involves cutting off the disease femur and detaching it from the pelvis. A false joint is created by the scar tissue, which will leave your puppy pain free and happy. The post-surgery prognosis is usually very good, with some dogs showing some signs of lameness only when the weather changes.
Fragile bone syndrome in toy Maltipoos
Unfortunately as most teacup sized toy breeds, the toy Maltipoo is prone to having fragile bones, soft spots on the skull and from improper development of the bones due to their tiny size.
This is the condition where one or both of the testicles of the male dog fails to descend to the scrotum from the abdomen by the age of 2 to 4 months. This condition can be detected by palpation or echography by a vet and requires the dog to be neutered and the testicles removed in order to avoid testicular tumors from developing later on.
Low blood sugar in puppies can be dangerous and even fatal if measures are not taken immediately after the first symptoms occur. Toy breeds are especially susceptible due to their tiny fat storages and thus very little fat fuel. The symptoms to watch for are drowsiness, coldness, becoming unresponsive, weakness, seizures, trembling and others. As soon as you see any of these symptoms wrap the puppy up in a warm blanket or use a heating pad or thermophore to keep it warm. Try feeding it or give it some concentrated sugary syrup or honey and head off to the vet.
This is an inflammatory condition of the digestive gland which leads to pain in the abdomen, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Go to your vet if you see some of these symptoms.
Final words about the health of Maltipoos
But, by reading about all these health issues don’t get scared away from adopting a Maltipoo. These are diseases which are more common among Miniature Poodles and Maltese dogs, but your Maltipoo may never get either one of them. It is just good to know what the risks are, and what types of symptoms to watch for beforehand so that you can take timely measures if you notice any worrisome signs after time.
Also, reputable Maltipoo breeders perform annual medical tests of their dogs in order to get them certified as clear from problems with the patellas (knees) by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, as well as from thyroid problems, and certificated that they are PRA-free by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation.
So, make sure you get a dog from a breeder who has these certificates if you want to limit the risk of your puppy being affected by one or more of these diseases.
The good news is, that being a crossbreed, the Maltipoo is much less prone to get an inherited disease than a purebred dog.
Exercising needs and activity levels
Although Maltipoos are joyful little, energetic and playful dogs, they don’t require long and strenuous walks and exercise. You can keep your Maltipoo content by taking it on a couple of walks a day and spending some time outdoors playing fetch, or other activities for about 30 minutes per day. Maltipoos can be very good at sports and agility competitions, so you will want to spend more time training your pup or keeping it active if you plan on taking part in competitions.
Maltipoos are toy sized dogs who love their people, and you should never attempt to keep them outdoors or in a kennel. They want to be with their families and are small enough to fit in homes of all sizes.
As long as you train your Maltipoo to not be a nuisance barker, and if you take it to a walk twice a day, the cute fluffy Maltipoo is the perfect dog for any home.
Maltipoos have inherited the intelligence of their Poodle ancestors and are very easy to train. If you use positive reinforcement with play, praise, and treats as rewards you shouldn’t have a problem training your Maltipoo puppy.
You need to socialize your dog at a young age and pay special attention to its tendency to bark at anything which sounds or looks suspicious.
Remember that even though these designer dogs are indoor dogs, they do need their physical and mental exercise, so take the time to play with your pup and walk it on a daily basis – and both you and the Maltipoo will be content.
No matter what coat type your Maltipoo has, you need to regularly (if possible daily) brush it, so that you don’t end up with a matted and all tangled up pup.
You should bathe it once a month with a specialized dog shampoo in order to keep it clean and groomed and yet prevent the drying and damage of the hair of you Maltipoo.
The wavy coat of these fluffy pooches does require considerable grooming, because it is prone to knotting and matting
Even though you may leave the coat long, in actuality, it needs to be clipped at least twice a year, and its head every month, in order to keep it neat and make grooming easy. You need to trim the nails at the same period of time, if you want to avoid injuries and problems with overgrown nails.
Don’t forget to take care of your Maltipoos’ teeth. If you can’t wash them daily, make sure you brush them at least twice or three times a week to remove any plaque and bacteria. Of course, use a suitable dog toothbrush and toothpaste when cleaning your pup’s teeth!
The best way to get your Maltipoo used to tooth brushing, nail trimming, and hair clipping is to start getting it used to these procedures early on in life. Give the puppy awards during and after every grooming procedure, and you will eliminate the problems later on as it grows up.
The amount of food you give to your dog depends on its age, size, activity level and build. On average, a Maltipoo will stay healthy and well with about 5/8 to 1.5 cups of top quality dog food, divided into two feedings.
The higher the food quality – the less it needs. And the higher the activity level of your furball – the more food you should feed it.
If you have doubts about the quantity and type of food you should give your Maltipoo ask your vet.
Make sure you keep your dog from becoming overweight, by feeding it with the appropriate meals twice a day rather than leaving food out available all day long for it.
You can tell if your Maltipoo is getting too fat if you can no longer spot a waist, and if you can’t feel its ribs without having to press really hard.
The body shape
Maltipoos are proportionally shaped, without a long spine or short legs. They are athletic and muscular but are prone to weight gain.
Rescuing and adopting a Maltipoo
Unfortunately, due to the fact that they look like small fluffy cute teddy bears, Maltipoos do become victims of impulsive purchases by people who have no experience with dogs. This means, that you may find abandoned Maltipoos at your local shelter, so before you go looking for your new Maltipoo pet, why not visit the shelters first?
You can help find a forever home to an abandoned puppy rather than go on shopping for one.
You can check out your local rescue groups, and also ask for puppies up for adoption at the North American Maltipoo Club and Registry Rescue, the Maltipoo rescue and Poo-mix Rescue organizations.
Is the Maltipoo hypoallergenic?
One of the main goals of breeders and cross-breeding Poodles with other breeds is due to their hypoallergenic qualities. Poodles shed very little, which is considered a plus for people suffering from allergies.
The bad news is that many dog allergies are caused by the dander which each dog releases and not by the hairs themselves.
Poodles shed less hair and have less dander than other breeds, but if you have a dog allergy it is a good idea to spend some time with Maltipoos in order to see whether the dogs trigger your allergies before getting one.
In general, Maltipoos do shed less than many other dog breeds, so it is less likely that your pup will worsen your allergy.
Small and toy sized dogs live longer than larger breeds. Maltipoos have quite long lifespans. The average lifespan of a Maltese is about 12 years and for a miniature Poodle, it is 14 years, and 13 years for toy poodles.
So, you can expect that with proper care, you Maltipoo should live for about 12 to 15 years.
There are very few puppies which are as cute and cuddly as Maltipoo pups. They look like tiny teddy bears, and the best thing is – they will continue looking like adorable little pups as they age!
Make sure that if you are getting a Maltipoo puppy from a breeder – you choose a reputable one, who has their dogs tested for various genetic diseases on an annual basis.
Also, ask the breeder about the parents of your pup, so that you are sure that it is less prone to some of the genetic health problems which Maltese, Poodles, and Maltipoos are predisposed to.
Also, teach your children how to treat the Maltipoo puppy properly in order to avoid any incidents, as the puppies are small, fragile and very cute, and toddlers will have a hard time resisting the urge to hold them and play with them all the time.
It is a good idea to wait until your kids are about 6 years old before adding a Maltipoo pup to your family.
Maltipoos like the other designer dogs are not recognized by the American Kennel Club and other official canine organizations. Still, you can find some reputable Maltipoo breeders around the country.
It is always a good idea to pick a breeder that welcomes potential buyers in their home so that you can see for yourself how the puppy is living and how it is being raised.
Also, a good breeder will want to meet you before giving you a puppy, in order to ensure that it gets a good home with good owners.
Please, stay away from puppies sold in pet stores because very often they are victims of large-scale puppy mills which treat the dogs inhumanely and use them for breeding purposes only in terrible conditions. You wouldn’t want to help these puppy mills grow and flourish, right?
So, pick a local breeder, meet them and make sure you are taking your Maltipoo puppy from one loving home only to put it in another loving environment!
The cost of Maltipoo puppies can vary depending on the breeder. You can find a Maltipoo for $400 up to $2,000. On average, be prepared to pay about 700-800$ for a Maltipoo puppy from a reputable breeder.
Avoid online sales and puppies sold in stores. You want to see the environment they have been cared for before taking them home, and also eliminate the possibility that they come from puppy mills.
Of course, it is always best to adopt and not shop – so check your local rescue shelters for any abandoned Maltipoos first!
So, is a Maltipoo the right dog for you?
So, you love the teddy bear look of these fluffy dogs and you like that they are small and loveable, but how to decide whether the Maltipoo is the dog for you?
First of all, keep in mind that no matter how intelligent, loving and devoted Maltipoos are, they do need to be trained and socialized as young, and this can take time and patience.
You need to spend time teaching your Maltipoo to stop barking at just about anything at an early age so that you don’t end up with an obnoxiously loud dog in the future.
They do have a strong watchdog instinct, so if you live in a condo or a place where there are noise restrictions, you may want to think twice before adopting a Maltipoo, because they will bark.
They are susceptible to separation anxiety, so if you tend to travel a lot, or are gone for long hours every day or night, you may find it difficult to keep your Maltipoo happy and quiet.
Also, they may be apartment and lap dogs, but Maltipoos require daily exercise in order to stay physically and mentally challenged and healthy. Be prepared to take your dog out for a walk at least twice a day, and to spend at least 15 to 30 minute playing with it.
On the other hand, these puppy-like dogs are so loveable, devoted and gentle, that you can expect to be able to pet and cuddle your Maltipoo all day long too.
In any case, Maltipoos are tiny animals, and cannot thrive for long outdoors or in kennels, so if you are prepared to have an indoor dog – the Maltipoo is right for you.
They get along with all family members and pets well when they are socialized in a timely and proper manner. Be careful though if you have very small children or other dogs which like roughhousing and are larger because they can accidentally hurt your Maltipoo pup.
Maltipoos are suitable for elderly people who want lap dogs and companions, as well as of large and active families with children which are old enough to handle a small puppy with care. They are also great for therapy dogs.
They do not shed much and are considered hypoallergenic dogs, but keep in mind that they do need to be brushed on a daily basis and that their coats and nails need to be clipped, and their teeth brushed regularly too. So, they are not low-maintenance dogs.
Also, miniature Maltipoos can be very fragile, and normal sized ones are prone to some diseases which are typical for their ancestors – the Poodles and the Maltese, so you need to do your research and choose a breeder with healthy dogs that are checked up regularly for the most common genetic diseases.
Overall, if you decide on adding a Maltipoo to your family you will have an adorable, puppy-like dog which will love you endlessly and will want to spend all day on your lap, or outdoors playing. If you adopt one of these beautiful and intelligent little creatures your home will be filled with love, fun, happiness and a lot of cuddling every day.
So, get ready to welcome a new bundle of joy in your home and get yourself a new lovable, extremely fluffy, cute and smart little friend – a Maltipoo!