Poodle mixes or Doodles are among the most popular crossbreeds around the world.
Their varying sizes make them a great option as house pets and their alertness and intelligence also make them reliable working dogs.
One of the more recent additions to the Doodle family is the Maltipoo. Let’s talk about this adorably fluffy crossbreed and why you should definitely consider getting your own.
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Basic information on the Maltipoo
Maltipoos are a mix of Maltese and either a Miniature Poodle or a Toy Poodle.
These designer dogs were first created in the United States, in an effort to produce a hybrid with the Maltese’s playful nature and the Poodle’s low-shedding coat.
As the offspring of two toy breeds, the Maltese-Poodle mix doesn’t grow to be big at all.
The Maltipoo has an average height of 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) and can weigh anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds (2 to 9 kg).
Most of these hybrids have the classic teddy bear look of Doodles, with round eyes, black or pink noses, and floppy ears. Their coats tend to be wavy or curly in texture and may come in apricot, black, brown, cream, and white.
Why should I get a Maltipoo?
Through years of purposely crossing purebreds, breeders are able to create the perfect match for every aspiring dog owner.
Taking the best traits of the Maltese and the Poodle, the Maltipoo will prove to be a loyal and affectionate dog who’s always up for playtime.
1. It’s friendly and playful – the perfect companion.
The Maltese-Poodle mix was bred to provide companionship. Hanging out with their humans and being around their family all the time might just be their favorite thing.
This designer dog loves being the center of his owner’s attention. As the offspring of two lap dogs, he’ll love to receive cuddles.
Both the Maltese and the Poodle share a common people-oriented disposition, and this is something Maltese-Poodle hybrids have inherited. They are always up for playtime, even with strangers, that is if they don’t sense these people as threats.
Just try resisting this adorable face:
Maltese-Poodle mixes are energetic and mild-mannered at the same time. They love to engage during play time, which makes them perfect for owners with active lifestyles.
These crossbreeds’ sensitive nature also makes it an excellent therapy dog. Their size makes it easier to bring them anywhere they’re needed, even on planes.
2. They make for great family pets.
Carrying their puppy-like behavior through adulthood, Maltipoos will fit in well in most households, especially in families with kids.
Maltese-Poodle crosses can easily match the energy of kids of all ages, but toddlers and preschool-age children must be under the supervision of adults when playing with this dog. This ensures that no one is accidentally hurt during playtime.
Seniors who prefer staying indoors and do not have as much energy for rigorous activities will also love the company of these little canines.
Singles with either active or sedentary lifestyles can be the perfect fur parent to this crossbreed, too. He will fit into an apartment or condominium just as well as in a house with a backyard.
(No matter where it lives, though, a Maltipoo can’t live outdoors due to its delicate body.)
Even other pets will come to love your Poodle and Maltese mix! If you do have a large dog with a high prey drive (like a Siberian Husky, Bull Terrier, or a Greyhound), make sure that proper socialization occurs as soon as you take your new puppy home.
As long as your pets are properly introduced to each other, aggression shouldn’t be a problem.
3. They are easy to train.
Maltipoos are intelligent little dogs, so teaching them proper behavior would not be too difficult. After all, this crossbreed came from the 2nd smartest dog in the world.
A little patience and effort go a long way with this designer dog. They’re at their most receptive while they’re still puppies, so you can start training your pup as soon as you take him home from the breeder.
They respond best to positive reinforcement, including treats, praise, or even playtime with a favorite toy. Harsh punishments such as yelling and hitting would never suit a Maltese-Poodle cross, or any other dog for that matter.
House-training should be an essential part of your Maltipoo’s training routine, since they are more inclined to stay indoors than live outside.
Try to be patient with your Maltese-Poodle mix; remember, small dogs mean small bladders, so they may find it difficult to control themselves while they’re learning.
What are the disadvantages of owning a Maltipoo?
Even with all those positive traits, Maltipoos also have some potential behavioral issues.
The good news is that these problems can be fixed with consistent training and regular visits to the vet.
1. They are pretty insistent barkers!
These hybrids are known for their propensity to be yappy and loud, especially at night.
The first step to resolving the Maltipoo’s barking issues is to make sure that nothing is causing it pain.
The possible culprits are toothaches from cavities, pain from hip dysplasia, leg pains, and back problems.
These symptoms which can normally only be felt by your dog during extended periods of lying down, like during bedtime.
If you have ruled out any these reasons through consultation with your vet, then it comes down to these two cases:
First, it could be that your dog’s bathroom needs are not being met properly. Dogs don’t like to relieve themselves where they sleep. They might be having problems with having the urge to expel their urine or poop in the middle of the night.
Take your dog outside to relieve themselves at least one hour before their bedtime. And remember to wait for at least 20 minutes to make sure that he is finished with his business.
Don’t want to get up in the middle of the night? Don’t feed your Maltese-Poodle mix near their bedtime hours and minimize their water intake around this time, too.
The second cause of nighttime barking among Maltipoos is that your dog might just be seeking your attention.
The solution for this may be tough to do at first but it is necessary – do not come rushing to them to quiet them each time they bark.
Once he realizes that he won’t get your attention by making noise, your Maltipoo will eventually stop barking at night.
2. You can’t leave Maltipoos alone for too long.
They are also prone to experiencing separation anxiety, which could lead to some destructive behaviors such as chewing carpets and couch cushions.
Some of them even pulling out their own coats in frustration.
When your dog is under this kind of stress, it is important to find ways to keep them occupied.
For instance, you can make sure he can access his favorite toys and treats if you have to leave the house.
Crating can also be helpful in keeping your dog calm while you’re not at home. With your precious little baby in his crate, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that he is in a safe place even if you’re away.
If you’re going to be spending long periods away from home, maybe you should reconsider getting this crossbreed.
3. Maltipoos can suffer from a variety of health issues.
Despite claims of hybrid vigor, these designer dogs are prone to the health problems of both Maltese and Poodles.
This hybrid’s parents are prone to these conditions:
White Shaker Syndrome
These are full-body tremors that commonly occur in small dog breeds. The cause behind this neurological disease is not yet known. When it comes to treatment, some dogs usually recover within a week, with the help of corticosteroids.
In the case of these Doodles and other crossbreeds, the cause of recurrent seizures are usually difficult to pinpoint. Make sure to take your dog to the vet if he experiences one or more seizures per month.
This is a knee problem that is common among Maltipoos and other small dogs. This condition affects the knee caps (patella) and can cause severe pain because of sliding and dislocating knee joints.
You may recognize some symptoms of this conditions in your dog, such as lethargy and difficulty in standing up.
Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)
This is a condition that is also known as liver shunt; what happens is an abnormal vein that connects blood supply from the intestines to the veins and brings blood back to the heart bypasses the dog’s liver.
As a result, the liver malfunctions and toxins and sugars are not filtered from the blood. Surgical procedures can be done to treat this condition.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
This is an inherited condition where your dog slowly loses eyesight due to the degeneration of retina.
Sadly, there is no found cure for this eye condition. No clinical symptoms can be seen in PRA carriers as well. The best way to find out if your dog is through testing.
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD)
This is a genetic condition where your dog’s hip joints come apart or disintegrates. This is caused by an autosomal recessive gene that may be inherited from both parents.
Barring these health conditions, the Maltipoo has an average lifespan of 13 years.
You can save yourself the heartache of dealing with an unhealthy dog by making sure your pup and its parents have been cleared of these conditions. Your breeder should be able to provide you with health certifications as proof.
Is the Maltipoo easy to take care of?
Maltese and Poodle mixes are relatively easy to take care of, especially since these hybrids don’t need a lot of food and eat only small amounts of food.
What you may have to pay special attention to, however, is the Maltipoo’s grooming. This is particularly true if your Maltese-Poodle cross has a long, curly coat.
Grooming guidelines for your Maltipoo
Brush your Maltipoo’s coat at least once a day.
Regular brushing helps properly distribute natural oils throughout your dog’s coat, giving it a healthy shine.
Don’t forget to trim their fur when it starts to get too long, especially around the eyes, genitals, and legs. Pee stains can set into fur, which can cause a bad smell.
To keep its coat in the best condition, bathe your dog only once every three weeks.
Frequent baths can dry out his skin and fur, which can lead to more shedding as the fur becomes brittle.
Even with infrequent baths, your Maltese-Poodle mix’s face needs to be cleaned with a damp washcloth daily. This helps reduce the development of tear stains around your Maltipoo’s eyes.
If you start to hear nails scraping and tapping against the floor, that’s a good sign that your dog’s nails need to be trimmed. You can take your dog to a professional groomer if you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself.
Your dog’s oral health must also be taken seriously, especially since his small mouth makes it prone to dental problems. Brushing your dog’s teeth twice or thrice a week helps reduce tartar buildup and cavities.
Are Maltipoos hypoallergenic?
Like most Doodles, these hybrids are often advertised as hypoallergenic. While a dog that doesn’t trigger any allergies at all doesn’t exist, there are certain breeds that have low-shedding coats.
Pet allergies are commonly caused by dander, which are dead skin cells attached to the fur shed by dogs. Since these crossbreeds don’t shed a lot, they don’t release as much dander into your home, which means fewer allergy triggers.
Regularly brushing your Maltipoo also ensures that you can get rid of the fur, dander, dust, and other allergenic debris in its coat. This way, you can cuddle your dog without suffering from an allergy attack.
If you suffer from severe pet allergies, it won’t hurt to consult your doctor before you get a Maltese-Poodle mix.
Exercise to keep Maltipoos fit and mentally healthy
Matipoos are highly energetic and active dogs. They may be small but they are quick and alert. They might also get the love for ball games from their Maltese parent.
These crossbreeds do not require brisk exercise, so a 30-minute walk daily will do for the Maltipoo. Games like fetch and treasure hunts will also help keep your dog occupied indoors.
Your Maltese-Poodle mix may also enjoy agility training, which will engage him physically and mentally. Check out your local dog park to see if it has an agility course that you and your dog can use.
If he doesn’t get enough exercise everyday, your Maltese-Poodle hybrid may get bored and direct their pent-up energy towards destructive habits like biting or chewing and yapping.
Giving your dog the regular exercise it needs not only keeps boredom and anxiety at bay but also promotes proper blood circulation, strengthens their muscles, and improves their appetites.
You should also keep in mind that this little crossbreed is prone to obesity, especially with their nature as indoor dogs. One of the best ways to avoid this and the health complications of unhealthy weight gain is to get your pet moving.
If your puppy hasn’t completed his vaccinations, though, avoid taking him out for walks and minimize the time he spends around other dogs. This will keep him away from possible sources of common canine viruses and illnesses.
Giving your Maltipoo the right diet
He should be feed high-quality dry dog food designed for small breeds.
This type of kibble will be able to meet your dog’s special nutritional needs and will come in a size that’s easier for him to chew.
The best dog food for your Maltese and Poodle hybrid contains glucosamine for stronger joints and cartilages and omega 3 fatty acids for a healthier coat.
Antioxidants – like those from blueberries and broccoli – will also help boost your dog’s immune system.
The kind of food your dog eats will also affect its oral hygiene. He may get cavities from wet or canned dog food, which tend to encourage bacterial buildup in the mouth due to their water content.
During your dog’s first three months with you, free feeding is advised. This means that you have to make sure that fresh food is always available for your puppy to munch on. You have to consistently refill its food bowl whenever needed.
Make sure your dog doesn’t eat stale food. Throw out kibble that’s been left in the bowl for 24 hours or more so your Maltese-Poodle mix won’t eat it and get an upset stomach.
Once your pet reach 3 months, you can switch his feeding schedule to 3 meals a day. Treats can also be given in between meals.
After a year, he will be ready to switch from 3 meals to just 2 meals daily. Keep an eye on your Maltipoo’s eating habits and cut down on the treats if needed, especially since this dog tends to easily put on weight.
How much should I feed my Maltipoo?
The right amount of food for the Maltese-Poodle mix often depends on its size and activity levels. To be safe, you can consult your vet on the proper serving size for your dog’s meals.
Here’s a guide that you can follow for your dog’s daily meals. These amounts are based on the dog’s weight:
- 2 to 4 lbs (0.91 to 1.8 kg) – ⅓ to ½ cups per day
- 5 to 8 lbs (2 to 3 kg) – ½ to ¾ cups per day
- 8 to 10 lb. (3.6 to 4.5 kg) adult Maltipoo – ½ to ¾ cups per day
- 11 to 12 lb. (4.9 to 5.4 kg) adult Maltipoo – ¾ to 1 cup per day
- 13 to 16 lb. (5.9 to 7.3 kg) adult Maltipoo – 1 to 1 ¼ cups per day
I want a Maltipoo! What’s next?
If your mind is already made up on getting this crossbreed for your family, you have two options to consider: breeders or adoption.
Want to take home a cute little Maltese-Poodle mix puppy? You’ll need to find a breeder that you can trust.
To give you an idea of the possible temperament of your new puppy, it is important to observe its parents first. Learn as much as you can about your pup by asking the breeder these questions:
- How is the puppy’s energy level?
- Does he respond well to the people around him? Has he shown any signs of aggression?
- How is he around other animals?
- Is the puppy housetrained?
- Are there any known health issues in this particular pup?
With regards to the last question, do not forget to ask for necessary health clearances for the pup’s parents as well.
Ask to see certification that the puppy is free from possible genetic conditions involving their eyes and joints. A reputable breeder should not have any problems providing you with the documentation you need.
The average price for a Maltipoo ranges from $400 to as high as $2,000. Rare coat colors or pedigreed parents will drive up a pup’s price.
Finding reliable Maltipoo breeders
To get you started on looking for the best breeders, you can consult local veterinarians and breed clubs for referrals.
Here are some reputable breeders of Maltese-Poodle mixes that you can contact:
- Angie’s Little Puppies (Georgia)
- Aria’s Friends (Minnesota)
- DFW Puppy (Oklahoma)
- Majestic Maltese (North Carolina)
- Top of the Ridge Kennels (Wisconsin)
Rescuing or adopting a Maltese-Poodle mix
Maltipoos are pretty popular because of their adorable appearance and friendly nature. However, the sad reality is that many of them end up in rescue and adoption centers because taking care of them can get a bit overwhelming.
If a Maltese-Poodle pup is a little too expensive for you, consider taking home an older dog. Aside from saving money, adoption also gives you the opportunity to give an abandoned dog a loving home.
Get in touch with these organizations to find a Maltese and Poodle mix available for adoption.
Other breeds like the Maltipoo
You might also be interested with other Poodle mixes that are just as intelligent and as charming as the Maltipoo!
Let us tell you more about Doodles that share some similarities with the Maltese-Poodle mix but also have their unique qualities.
Maltipoo vs. Cavapoo
By just looking at that photo, one can easily confuse a Cavapoo as a Maltipoo. These two Doodles are nearly the same size, and they both got their fluffy hair from their Poodle parent.
The difference between these two cross breeds lies in their personalities. Compared to Maltese-Poodle mixes that are energetic, Cavapoos tend to have a calm, gentle nature. The latter would be a perfect match for owners with laid-back lifestyles.
Maltipoo vs. Havapoo
Havapoos are energetic and fun-loving. The Havanese dog is one of the most obedient and trainable dogs out there, alongside the Poodle breed. So you can expect that a Havapoo would acquire this trait, too.
Havanese-Poodle mixes can be inseparable from their owners, but they don’t suffer from separation anxiety as much as Maltipoos do.
They can be left alone in the house for a few hours, so long as they have toys and entertainment available around them to keep to them mentally occupied.
Maltipoo vs. Poochon
The Poochon mix is a combination of the Poodle and the Bichon Frise, which is famous for its thick and puffy hair.
Just like the Poodle-Maltese hybrid, Poochons are one of the most popular teddy bear dogs that many people love.
Their physical features are quite distinct, but they popularly known for their round, black eyes and long, floppy ears.
Like Maltese-Poodle mixes, Poochons can suffer from separation anxiety. They may also be more aggressive or nervous around other dogs.
Get ready to begin a fun journey with your Maltipoo!
Owning this little crossbreed may sound like a demanding job – these dogs can be yappy and clingy and require some special care in terms of grooming.
However, the companionship and loyalty of this playful and cuddly crossbreed is going to be worth the effort.
These dogs make for great pets for most people, including first-time owners and even families with young kids. With this dog’s low to moderate energy levels, seniors and people with mobility issues will also love having a Maltipoo.
Have a Maltese-Poodle mix? We’d love to know more about your experiences with this crossbreed. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!