A teacup Maltipoo is a smaller version of the popular and charming Maltipoo crossbreed. This is a sized-down mixture of the Poodle and the Maltese breeds.
Mini Maltipoo dogs usually weigh between 5 to 10 pounds. But they can be even smaller depending on how they’re bred.
Breeders of the teacup Maltipoo hope to produce puppies with the Poodle’s non-shedding coat but the Maltese’s amazing temperament.
But unfortunately, their tiny size brings some additional health problems.
Teacup Maltipoo Quick Links
- What is a teacup Maltipoo?
- Where do they come from?
- Mini Maltipoo appearance
- How big are teacup Maltipoos?
- Teacup Maltipoo temperament
- The appeal of miniaturization
- Drawbacks of miniaturization
- Mini Maltipoo health
- Teacup Maltipoo puppies
- Finding a reputable breeder
- Teacup Maltipoo rescue
- Are they good pets?
- Similar breeds
Use the links above to jump straight to specific information. Or keep scrolling for the complete rundown.
What is a Teacup Maltipoo?
As we briefly looked at earlier, the teacup Maltipoo is simply a smaller version of the Maltipoo mix.
Mixed breeds like this can be quite unpredictable. They can inherit any blend of genetics from their two parent breeds, so some may be more Poodle, whilst others are more Maltese!
It also means they can be prone to any of the health problems of their parent breeds. So choosing reputable breeders is important.
Maltipoos are popular designer dogs. And they’re often already quite small. But breeders of the teacup Maltipoo aim to make the dog even smaller.
Where Do Teacup Maltipoos Come From?
There are three ways to make a miniature dog, all of which have a degree of controversy and notable drawbacks.
Breeders can add other smaller dogs into the mix, introduce dwarfism genes, or breed from the smallest puppies, or runts of the litter.
We’re going to explore these options in a little more detail.
Mixing with Smaller Breeds
One of the methods of breeding a teacup Maltipoo is by breeding the standard Maltipoo with a different, smaller breed.
The advantage of this is that it can reduce the risk of puppies developing predisposed health issues by increasing genetic variety.
However, there aren’t many dogs smaller than the Maltipoo to choose from! Plus, crossing two breeds is a game of chance.
There is no guarantee a teacup Maltipoo bred this way will look like a Maltipoo. It may instead look more like its other parent breed.
Here are some crossbreeds commonly advertised as teacup Maltipoos by breeders.
Maltipoo Maltese Mix
One way to make a smaller Maltipoo which still matches its name perfectly is by breeding with a particularly small individual from the parent breed.
The smallest Maltese can weigh as little as 5 pounds, whereas a Maltipoo born from an average sized Maltese and Toy Poodle could easily weigh more than 10 pounds.
Mating a Maltipoo to a very tiny Maltese will create a teacup Maltipoo more likely to resemble a Maltese, as they’ll be three quarters Maltese.
This makes them more likely to have the Maltese’s playful and pleasant temperament. But it also increases their chances of inheriting certain predisposed health issues.
These include heart abnormalities, liver issues, and luxating patella (loose kneecaps).
Maltipoo Toy Poodle Mix
The Poodle is the other parent breed of the standard Maltipoo. So it makes sense that breeders often crossbreed with the smallest Poodle to create the teacup dog.
Toy Poodles are the most popular choice. They’re under 10 inches tall and weigh as little as 4 pounds. So, they are perfect for breeding the teacup Maltipoo.
As with the other mix, a teacup Maltipoo bred this way is more likely to resemble a Poodle.
Toy Poodles are intelligent and loving. But they are also at risk of passing down predisposed health issues such as hip dysplasia and eye conditions.
Maltipoo Chihuahua Mix
Chihuahuas are the smallest recognised dog breed, making them a viable choice for breeding the teacup Maltipoo.
Standing at only 5–8 inches tall, their offspring is likely to have the teacup size.
Chihuahuas have charming temperaments but can be a bit stubborn, a trait which the Maltipoo mix can inherit.
They’re genetically predisposed to heart issues, eye diseases, and luxating patella also. There is a chance a Maltipoo Chihuahua mix will inherit these problems.
Bear in mind that a teacup Maltipoo bred using this method may resemble a Chihuahua more than a Maltipoo.
Now, let’s move onto a second method of creating a mini Maltipoo.
Introducing Dwarfism Gene
Another way to get teacup Maltipoos is by introducing the dwarfism gene. Dwarfism is a condition that restricts growth, resulting in a dog with a small body and legs.
Normally dwarfism occurs due to mutations. But breeders may purposely breed dogs to have it to give them the teacup size.
This method is widely considered unethical due to the health implications it has on dogs. These include swollen joints, breathing difficulties, and dental problems.
So, a teacup Maltipoo bred this way is more likely to be unhealthy and have a poor quality of life.
There are tests that can be carried out for the dwarfism gene. So it’s worth doing this to reduce the risk of getting an unhealthy dog.
Make sure to find out exactly how your mini Maltipoo puppies are being bred to avoid these issues.
Breeding From Runts
Finally, the last method for breeding teacup Maltipoos is by breeding two runts together. A runt is the smallest and least developed member of a litter.
Runts are often sickly and more vulnerable than the rest of their littermates.
By breeding them together, breeders achieve the teacup-sized dog, especially over a couple of generations.
Teacup Maltipoos bred this way have an increased likelihood of developing immune system problems and heart conditions later on in life.
Teacup Maltipoo Appearance
The appearance of a teacup Maltipoo will depend on the way their small size is created.
If a mini Maltipoo is made by mixing a Maltipoo with a smaller breed, they could look more like either parent.
Teacup Maltipoos with dwarfism will have shorter legs and larger heads.
And those made by breeding runts are most likely to look like smaller versions of the two parent dogs.
Mini Maltipoos will be small dogs. Both the Poodle and Maltese parents are known for having beautiful fur, so expect this in your mini version!
How Big Are Teacup Maltipoos?
Just like everything else in your mini Maltipoo’s appearance, size will depend on how the breed has been created.
Generally, these tiny dogs will grow to be under 10 pounds as adults.
The name teacup comes from the tiny size of these pups. So, most mini Maltipoos will be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
Teacup Maltipoo Temperament
Your mini pup’s temperament and personality will depend on how he was bred just as much as his appearance will.
The best place to look for a prediction of what your Maltipoo will be like is the parent breeds.
This dog is a miniature version of an already mixed breed. So, even standard Maltipoos may be more like a Poodle or a Maltese.
In general, these little dogs will be friendly, intelligent, and loyal.
Importance of Training and Socialization
These are small dogs, so you might not think that it’s a problem if they aren’t well trained.
But, it’s still really important to make sure that your teacup puppy is trained and socialized properly from a young age.
Their tiny size means they can be vulnerable to a lot. And, lots of people will want to hold and cuddle them.
Even tiny dogs can have a fierce bite. So, they must be socialized well to people, animals, and situations.
The Appeal of Miniature Dogs
The main appeal of miniature dogs is their undeniable cuteness, and this is no exception for the teacup Maltipoo.
Teddy bear dogs have been a huge trend in recent years. And the mini Maltipoo fits that bill with its large dark eyes and wonderful soft fur.
For some people, the practical aspects of having a tiny dog are also an appeal.
Smaller size typically means less exercise is required. So, they might be a good choice for someone who can’t provide lots of walks.
They also take up less space, which might suit someone with a small apartment.
Drawbacks of Miniaturization
But, unfortunately, these tiny dogs don’t come without a cost. Miniature breeds are prone to a number of serious health issues, that we will cover in a moment.
So, a teacup Maltipoo can be more costly to own due to vet bills.
They are also extremely vulnerable dogs. Their tiny size means they can really hurt themselves if they fall off anything high.
They can also be easily hurt by children, other animals, and even adults who don’t take appropriate care.
Teacup Maltipoo Health
The teacup Maltipoo will be prone to the same health issues as a regular Maltipoo. But, there are some other problems linked specifically to the size of this dog.
We have touched on this briefly. But, miniature dogs like this will have fragile bones and bodies in general.
This means they are vulnerable to broken bones, and other serious injuries if they are handled incorrectly.
Teacup dogs like the mini Maltipoo are prone to problems with their brain. One of which is called Hydrocephalus, which involves a buildup of fluid on your dog’s brain.
This problem puts pressure on the brain, causing symptoms such as seizures, blindness, or altered gaits. Surgery or lifelong medication is often the only solution.
On top of this, tiny dogs can be more prone to increased stress and poor mental health. These dogs need calm environments to lead the happiest lives possible.
Heart and Bladder Defects
Their tiny size means that teacup dogs like the mini Maltipoo are also prone to heart disease. Common problems include enlarged heart and dilated cardiomyopathy.
Having such tiny organs means that miniature dogs like this can also struggle with incontinence. Their bladders are simply too small to hold on for long periods of time.
You should also be aware of and watch out for liver shunts and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Problems Linked to the Breed
On top of all these issues, a teacup Maltipoo is also prone to the same health problems as its parent breeds.
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis
- Eye problems
Because of their many potential health issues, a teacup Maltipoo needs a family that can provide plenty of care.
They will need a good quality dog food, possible one designed for small breeds. They need regular exercise, but also a calming environment at home to minimise stress.
Mini Maltipoos will need regular grooming to keep their fur looking its best.
Teacup Maltipoo Puppies
Mini Maltipoo puppies will be tiny dogs. So, they need plenty of care and really delicate handling.
As small teddy bear dogs are so popular, you might have to pay quite a bit in order to get a puppy.
But, don’t resort to puppy mills for a cheaper option. Dogs from puppy mills are more likely to have serious health problems in the future.
Finding a Reputable Breeder
As the teacup Maltipoo is not a recognised breed, finding one might be a struggle.
The best way to minimize getting a teacup Maltipoo with health problems is by going to a responsible breeder.
A responsible breeder will be transparent about their dogs’ genetic histories and will be happy to show you their facilities.
Teacup Maltipoo Rescue
Teacup Maltipoos aren’t a very healthy breed. So, if you’re considering bringing one home, you might want to think about choosing a rescue dog.
Rescue dogs are also often a lot cheaper than buying a puppy.
If you think this is the right step for you, reach out to local shelters. There may not be any breed specific shelters for a teacup Maltipoo.
Are Teacup Maltipoos Good Family Pets?
The teacup Maltipoo may be the dog for you if you live in a small apartment or can’t provide long walks.
If you have a lot of stairs, you also may want to reconsider, as this will be hard for them with their little legs.
They’re also more at risk of becoming injured if mishandled, which may not suit families with young children.
Due to their tiny size and the methods used to breed them, it’s hard to find a healthy teacup Maltipoo.
Teacup Maltipoo Summary
So, whilst the mini Maltipoo looks like a great dog on paper, there are some serious health issues to be aware of before committing to this breed.
Have you got a teacup Maltipoo at home? If so, tell us what they’re like in the comments! We would love to hear about them.
References and Resources
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- Williams, C. ‘Common Health Issues in Teacup Dogs’, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance (2018)