The Maltipoo dog is a cross between the gentle, affectionate Maltese and the clever, athletic Toy or Miniature Poodle. Also known as the Miniature Maltese Poodle, Maltipoos are small, charming, companion dogs. The full grown Maltipoo weighs less than 20 pounds, and is well suited to apartment living. Coat colors vary but are often white or cream, and low shedding.
We’ll be looking at the temperament of the Maltese Poodle, and at the trainability and personality traits of this popular hybrid dog. And we’ll be sharing tips on choosing Maltipoo puppies, rescue and adoption, and on raising your healthy Maltese Poodle mix.
- History of the Maltese Poodle cross
- Fun facts about Maltipoos
- Training and exercising your Maltipoo
- Maltese and Poodle mix health
- Rescuing a Poodle Maltese mix
- Finding a Maltipoo puppy
The Maltipoo generally gets along well with children, seniors and family pets too. They are happy to swap your lap for walks and games in the park. The Maltipoo’s tousled coat need regular grooming and clipping but in return, these playful little dogs are intelligent, loving, and easy to train.
Quick Stats: Full Grown Maltese Poodle
|Temperament:||Affectionate, intelligent and loving. Find out more…|
|Coat:||Medium to long with a soft, fluffy texture and some wave.|
Common Maltipoo Dog Breed Questions:
Follow the links to find out more!
|Are Maltipoos good family dogs?||Yes – but take care around small children.|
|How Much Is a Maltipoo Puppy?||From $400 to $2,000. Do your research first, to reduce the chance of big vet bills later.|
|Are Maltipoos hypoallergenic?||They are usually low shedding. But no dog is 100% hypoallergenic.|
|Do Maltipoos Bark?||They are prone to separation anxiety, and may bark when left alone.|
|How Long Does A Maltipoo Live?||12-13 years on average|
Pros And Cons of Getting A Maltese Poodle hybrid
|Affectionate and loving||Prone to joint problems|
|Suited to smaller homes||Prone to separation anxiety|
|Fairly long lived||Prone to barking|
|Low shedding||Not truly hypoallergenic|
History and Original Purpose of the Maltese and Poodle mix
The Maltese Poodle mix has only become popular in the last few decades. But both parents are from ancient breeds with a long history. The Maltese originates in Europe (although whether it is actually from Malta is disputed). It has been a pampered lap dog for many centuries.
The Poodle was first bred in Germany, as a water dog. These dogs helped hunt and retrieve in and around water. Some standard Poodles are still used for this purpose today.
Like other retrieving breeds, Poodles are known for their intelligence. Over time smaller versions of the Poodle have been bred as companion dogs. Giving rise to today’s Toy and Miniature Poodles. By crossing the clever poodle with the friendly Maltese, breeder hope to create a charming, affectionate, and bright little dog.
Fun Facts About The Maltese and Poodle hybrid
Over the last few years, Maltese Poodle dogs have become really popular! This could be partly because their appearance makes them look like adorable little teddy bears! In fact, you’ll see plenty of celebrities showing off these little pooches! Rihanna has an adorable Maltese Poodle dog called Oliver.
Some other famous owners (with their pup’s names in brackets) include: Ashley Tisdale (Blondie and Maui), Miley Cyrus (Sophie), Blake Lively (Penny) and Michele Kwan (Ginseng). The Ziegler family from the popular show “Dance Moms” even have a Maltipoo called Maliboo! You may have seen her in some of the earlier episodes!
Full Grown Maltipoo Appearance
The appearance of a cross breed dog is never entirely predictable. Your pup may look like a poodle, or a maltese, or any combination of the two. Looking at the parents can help us to estimate what your Maltese Poodle mix could look like. You won’t be able to predict your Maltese Poodle dog’s adult size. But you can guess that it will be somewhere between the maximum and minimum heights of their parents.
|Size||Miniature/Toy||Toy||Toy (or a little larger)|
|Height||10-15 inches||8-10 inches||8-14 inches|
|Weight||4-6 lbs (toy)|
10-20 lbs (mini)
|6-8 lbs||5-20 lbs|
Is the Maltipoo Hypoallergenic?
The Maltipoo’s coat is medium to long in length, with a soft, fluffy texture and some degree of wave or curl, depending on what it inherits. One of the main goals of crossing Poodles with other breeds is to create a dog that’s good for people with allergies. Is this true for the Maltese Poodle hybrid? First the bad news…there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog. Most pet allergies are due to dander—dead skin flakes—not any particular kind of fur.
Low Shedding Breeds
Certain breeds like Poodles have less dander and shed less than other breeds. This can be good for people with allergies. The Maltese Poodle cross, like the Poodle, also does not shed much. It is frequently listed as one of the more hypoallergenic dog breeds. So this is all good news for Maltese Poodle mix lovers!
Your pup will not shed fur and dander as much as other dog breeds, and could be a good choice if you have allergies. But this is by no means a certainty. Be sure to spend time with Maltipoos in their home environments to see how you react before bringing one of these puppies into your home.
Grooming & General Care
This little breed needs regular grooming, to keep any knots out of their fur. Make sure to check their ears regularly for any excess wax. And keep on top of their nails with nail clippers or grinders if needed. Choose a high quality food. But ensure you don’t overfeed your pup, as this could lead to obesity.
Poodles and Maltese are both low-shedding breeds, which is good for allergies as we’ve seen. However, minimal shedding doesn’t necessarily mean that their coats are low maintenance. Although the Poodle has curly fur and the Maltese has straighter fur, both Poodles and Maltese have long coats. They require weekly grooming. As well as regular baths and trimmings. Many owners also clip their dog’s fur, especially on the face.
Maltese and Poodle cross Temperament
The Maltese and Poodle mix, is well known as a sweet and loving companion animal. Both Poodles and Maltese dogs are known for their engaging and charming personalities. With the Poodle getting high marks for smarts and the Maltese for affection. Being a mix, your puppy could grow up to be more like her Poodle ancestors. Or more like her Maltese ones.
As with any cross breed the outcome is not predictable. So you need to be certain that you love both Poodle and Maltese temperaments before you choose this puppy. Make sure to meet both the Poodle and Maltese parents. And make sure they both have temperaments you would be happy to share your life with.
Like many small dogs, Maltipoos have a tendency to bark. There is much you can do to reduce barking and avoid it becoming a problem.
Try to ignore your Maltipoo puppy when they bark for attention or because they want you to give them something. It’s very cute when they are small, but it can become an annoying habit.
Instead, reward your puppy for desirable behaviors such as sitting quietly, or just standing quietly with all four paws on the floor. Put a treat by your Maltipoo’s nose when they are laying in their basket, or sitting on your lap. You can use up most or even all of your puppy’s daily food ration simply reinforcing the behaviors you want to encourage.
Training and Exercising your Poodle Maltese mix
New owners should be aware that Maltese Poodle hybrids can bark more than other dogs. So if you’re looking for a quiet breed, a Maltese and Poodle cross might not be for you. On top of this, the breed’s devotion to their humans can lead to separation anxiety. So really they need to be in a home where they won’t be left alone for long periods of time. Or introduced very gradually and gently to staying alone. This is not a quick process, so do plan to be around for the first months your pup is with you!
Like all dogs, this breed needs good training and socialization from puppyhood on. A Maltipoo’s puppyhood lasts until he is one year old. Start housetraining your puppy right away. Other forms of socialization and training can start early too. The most common behavioral problems you will want to focus on are barking, separation anxiety, and jumping. Socialization will help to avoid any unwanted aggression towards other dogs and people.
To stay happy and healthy, the Maltese and Poodle cross will need regular exercise. Their small size can mean they seem suitable for smaller homes, but even a dog this small needs the opportunity to stretch its legs. Make sure your pup gets outside for a walk, run, or some busy training games, on a daily basis. They might also enjoy swimming! Do be aware that, extra small toy breeds can have issues with fragile bones, which can affect their safety when exercising. You can read more about this in the health section below.
Poodle Maltese hybrid Health and Care
There is a wide belief that cross bred dogs are automatically more healthy than pure bred dogs. But nature isn’t quite so simple. Regular mixing of genes will definitely make our dogs healthier as a group, in the long run. But a first generation cross like a Maltipoo may be at risk of inheriting health problems from both its parents.
Maltese Poodle Cross Health Risks:
|Heart:||Mitral valve disease|
|Brain:||Epilepsy, necrotizing meningoencephalitis|
|Eyes:||Progressive retinal atrophy|
Mitral Valve Disease
Mitral valve disease is a condition where the valves in the heart become leaky, and allow blood to flow backwards through them. This causes a heart murmur, initially without other symptoms. Over time it leads to heart failure and death. Hear failure can be slowed down using modern medicines. But unlike in humans, valves can rarely be operated on or replaced in dogs. Small dogs are more prone to mitral valve disease than larger ones. And miniature poodles are particularly at risk. This risk will be passed on to maltipoos with a mini poodle parent, to some degree.
A serious brain disease that causes swelling and inflammation of the brain, and death of the tissues that make up parts of the brain. Necrotising meningoencephalitis has mainly been reported in Maltese and Pugs. It appears to be caused by infection. But why these breeds are prone to it is not yet fully understood. And it is not clear whether that risk can be passed on to Maltese mixes like the Maltese and Poodle hybrid. More common issues in miniature Poodles are orthopedic and eye problems, as well as epilepsy.
Epilepsy is abnormal brain activity that causes seizures. Where there is no specific cause for this (such as head injury or poisons), we call this condition ‘idiopathic’ epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy is likely to be inherited. Miniature poodles are prone to epilepsy, and may pass this on to their maltipoo offspring.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA, is the name given to a group of inherited diseases of the eye that cause permanent blindness. PRA is a recessive disease. A dog with one copy of the gene for the disease can pass it on but does not suffer from it. A dog with two copies will develop PRA.
PRA is more common in poodles. But it does occur in Maltese too. So a Poodle Maltese mix pup will have a risk between the two. WHich is to say, lower than a Poodle’s risk, but higher than average for dogs in general. Parent dogs can be tested for PRA, and it’s advisable to make sure this test has been done and ask to see the results before buying a Poodle or Poodle-mix puppy.
Luxating Patella In The Poodle Maltese cross
It’s common for small breed dogs to suffer from joint problems. Luxating patella is a condition where the kneecap dislocates easily. It’s very common in Maltese and also common in Mini and Toy Poodles. Mild cases can be managed with restricted exercise. Serious cases may require surgery.
Your breeder should have their Maltese’s patellas (kneecaps) examined by a vet before breeding from them. Always ask for evidence of this check before buying a Maltese or Maltese mix puppy. Two dogs with luxating patellas should not be bred together. To give your Poodle Maltese hybrid the best chance of having normal knees, both their parents should have tight patellas, as confirmed by a vet.
General Health of Cross Breeds
A Maltese Poodle mix has the potential to inherit health problems from both or either parent. Some of these problems may reduced by mixing genetics with another breed – but this isn’t guaranteed. Make sure the parents have had all the usual health tests recommended for their breed, before purchasing a pup.
What is the Maltipoo Life Expectancy?
Of course, all dogs are individuals, but in general the founding breeds of this cross have relatively long lifespans. The average life expectancy of a Poodle and Maltese mix is 12 years. For miniature Poodles, the average lifespan is 14 years and for toy Poodles it’s 13 years. Poodle Maltese mixes are generally given a range of between 10 and 15 years, with 12-13 years often listed as the average lifespan of a Maltipoo.
Do Maltipoos Make Good Family Pets
Would a Poodle Maltese cross fit in well with your family? These chasmatic, intelligent little dogs will thrive in an environment where someone is around for much of the day. With owners who are committed to training, socialization and regular exercise. As well as a whole lots of love.
You will need to make sure you find a good breeder, that health tests there stock. And would be advised to go for a Miniature rather than Toy mix, as they are less likely to be so small and fragile. Maltipoo personality can be as gorgeous as their appearance, and these lovely little dogs can make wonderful pets.
Rescuing a Poodle and Maltese hybrid
Maltipoo rescue is a great option for fans of the breed who would rather adopt, than shop. Because Poodle Maltese hybrids are so cute and popular, many puppy purchases can be impulse buys by inexperienced owners. This means that sadly some of these Maltipoos will end up at animal shelters or rescue organizations.
Finding a Rescue Center
There are established rescue organizations devoted to Poodle Maltese crosses, other Poodle mixes, and small dogs in general. Many Maltese breed rescue groups will also have available Maltipoos. You can search these specific breed-type rescue organizations for adoptable dogs. And most animal shelters and nationwide rescue clearing houses will allow you to specify “Maltipoo” as a breed in your search criteria.
Maltipoo Breed Rescues
Check out some of the links below if you’re looking to rescue a Poodle and Maltese mix pup. If you know any other great Maltipoo rescues, be sure to leave them in the comments.
|USA||Poo Mix Rescue|
American Maltese Association Rescue
Carolina Poodle Rescue
Last Chance Animal Rescue
|Canada||Loved at Last Rescue|
Happy Tails Rescue
Tiny Paws Dog Rescue
|Australia||Seniors and Silkies Rescue|
Finding a Maltipoo Puppy
Like other designer cross breed dogs, Poodle and Maltese hybrid puppies are not recognized by the American Kennel Club or other similar organizations. But you can still find reputable breeders if you’re looking for a Poodle and Maltese mix puppy. It is always a good idea to search for breeders in your area that welcome a home visit from potential buyers. That way you can check out the home environment where your puppy is raised. A good breeder will also like to meet you to make sure their puppy is going to a good home.
Where to Avoid
Cute, small dogs like Maltipoos are always popular. You will see online ads for Poodle and Maltese cross puppies, and it is common to find these puppies for sale in pet stores. It is possible that these puppies come from large-scale puppy mill breeding operations.
To avoid buying from a puppy mill, make sure you choose a small-scale local breeder who raises the puppies in a loving home environment. Visiting a breeder in person and talking to other customers is a good way to make sure you are getting a quality dog.
How much will you pay for a Maltipoo puppy? The cost of a puppy purchased from a breeder can vary. Maltipoo prices range from around $400 to as much as $2,000. Expect to pay around $700-$800 for a dog from a good breeder.
Remember that Maltipoo puppies for sale online and in pet stores can come from puppy mills. Very low prices could be a red flag, and you may find that you will be spending the money you save on vet bills instead. A quality puppy from a good breeder is worth the extra cost.
Raising a Poodle and Maltese Hybrid Puppy
Puppies should not be collected until they are 8 weeks old. It’s a good idea to have your puppy next to your bed for the first four or five nights. Maltipoo puppies will need four or five meals a day for the first four weeks. And then three meals a day until they are six months old.
All puppies get under your feet, but tiny puppies are particularly vulnerable. If you have children the main risk to your puppy in the first few weeks will be accidents. Create a puppy zone in your house for the first few weeks rather than giving the puppy access to the whole house. Have some ground rules for children about moving slowly in the puppy’s zone, and sitting down to cuddle the puppy.
Potty training a tiny dog can take a bit longer than with larger dogs, so you will need to be patient, especially if your Maltipoo puppy’s mother or father was a toy poodle. That’s simply because tiny puppies have tiny bladders that don’t hold much urine.
Take your puppy to their puppy pad, or outside, very frequently for the first few weeks. Clean up any accidents quickly and whenever there has been an accident, take your puppy outside more frequently for a few days afterwards.
Maltipoo Products and Accessories
Are you struggling to prepare for a Poodle and Maltese cross puppy? We’ve got some helpful guides to find the best products for your pooch, whether he takes more after his Poodle parent, or his Maltese one!
If you’re not sure that the Maltese Poodle is the perfect breed for you, you might like to take a look at some of these similar breeds.
- Miniature Poodle
- Toy Poodle
- Lap Dogs
- Teddy Bear Dogs
- Mini Labradoodle
Maltipoo vs Other Mixes
The Poodle and Maltese cross isn’t the only designer dog with a growing profile. See how they compare to other popular mixed breed dogs in these articles:
The Maltipoo: Summary
The Maltese Poodle dog is a small, characterful and loving cross between a Maltese and a mini or toy Poodle. With careful training and socialisation they make great companions. Maltipoos are best suited to homes without small children, and where someone will be home for company most of time. They are prone to some health problems inherited from both parents, so do your research and make sure to ask for right health tests, before bringing one home. Do you have a Maltipoo in your life? Why not tell us about them in the comments below!
References And Resources
|Gough A, Thomas A, O’Neill D.||Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats. 2018. Wiley Blackwell|
|O’Neill et al. 2013.||Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs In England. The Veterinary Journal|
|Duffy D et al.||Breed differences in canine aggression. Applied Animal Behavior Science 2008|
|Farrell, L.L., et al.||“The Challenges of Pedigree Dog Health: Approaches to Combating Inherited Disease.” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2015.|
|Adams VJ, et al.||Results of a Survey of UK Purebred Dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2010|
|Oberbauer, A.M., et al.||“Ten Inherited Disorders in Purebred Dogs by Functional Breed Groupings.” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2015.|
|Suh, S.I., Choi, R., Hyun, C.||“Familial Mitral Valve Prolapse in a Maltese Dog Family.” Journal of Biomedical Research, 2015.|
|Schrauwen, I., et al.||“Identification of Novel Genetic Risk Loci in Maltese Dogs with Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis and Evidence of a Shared Genetic Risk across Toy Dog Breeds.” PLoS ONE, 2014.|
|Pedersen, N.C., et al.||“The Effect of Genetic Bottlenecks and Inbreeding on the Incidence of Two Major Autoimmune Diseases in Standard Poodles, Sebaceous Adenitis and Addison’s Disease.” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2015.|
|Hunter and Ward.||“Luxating Patella in Dogs” VCA Hospitals.|