The Maltese Poodle is the perfect companion animal for dog lovers of all ages and all walks of life. These pups are adorable and will put you under their spell as soon as you look into their great, big, puppy dog eyes.
What Is A Maltese Poodle/Maltipoo?
The Maltese Poodle mix, or Maltipoo, is one of the most popular mixed breeds of dogs you can find. With their adorable teddy bear face and beautiful coat, its easy to see why!
The Maltipoo is what is known as a mixed, or hybrid, breed of dog. You get one by breeding a Maltese with a Poodle, typically a miniature or toy sized Poodle.
The Poodle Mix, or Doodle, craze really started going in the 1980s. Since then, breeders have crossed many different breeds to try and capitalize on the positive features of both breeds.
For example, the Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Maltese are intelligent too but, also, very friendly and affectionate. Breeders have sought to amplify their intelligence and loving personalities into a single dog breed.
If you have ever met a Maltese Poodle you know, it is clear, they have succeeded in their goal.
What Do They Look Like?
The Maltipoo is a small, compact Poodle mix. They possess many of the physical characteristics of both the Maltese and the Poodle with which they were crossed.
Lets go into more detail.
The size of a Maltipoo can vary depending on the size of the Maltese used and whether or not the Poodle was a Toy or a Miniature. We’ve put together a comparison chart to see the range and differences in their sizes.
|Maltipoo||Toy Poodle||Miniature Poodle||Maltese|
|Height||8 – 14 inches||under 10 inches||10 – 15 inches||7 -9 inches|
|Weight||5 – 20 lbs||5 – 10 lbs||12 – 20 lbs||under 7 lbs|
As you can see, a standard Maltese will weigh, on average, under 7 lbs. But it is entirely possible that a Maltipoo can get all the way up to 20 lbs!
If you are looking for an extra small dog you will definitely want to see the parents of the puppy you are considering.
Coat & Color
Since Maltese Poodles are a mixed breed, they are not recognized by the AKC and, thus, have no standard of perfection set by that organization.
As you may have figured from the sizes above, coat and color can also vary greatly depending on the parent breeds. Coats will often be of medium to long length and carry one of three common textures; curly or wiry from the Poodle or soft and silky from the Maltese.
The coloring of your Maltipoo can be any one or combination of the colors below:
Temperament and Personality
Maltipoo pups are very loyal and affectionate. They are good with families but will generally pick out their “person”. There is not reluctance in them to show their person how much they love them.
These dogs make excellent companions. The Maltese influence in them is evident in how friendly they are. Like the Maltese, Maltipoos are also excellent companions for Seniors and are often spotted in retirement communities.
As we mentioned, Maltese Poodles are good family dogs and companions. They are not, however, the dog for busy individuals. This breed becomes very attached and, when left alone for long periods of time, can suffer from separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety can lead to unwanted behavior. This acting out can include incessant barking, chewing, and potty “Accidents”, to name a few. If they are going to be left alone for long periods of time, you may want to consider a different, more independent, breed of dog.
How are Maltipoos with kids?
Maltipoos are great family dogs. They love the attention and love to give affection back. They are friendly enough with kids. However, due to their small size, they can be easily injured by young children who may not be quite aware of how rough they are playing.
These dogs do best with families, couples, or older children.
How are Maltipoos with other pets?
Both Poodles and Maltese are very tolerant of other pets. It is best to start socializing them at a very early age. The more used to other animals they are, the more accepting they can be in the future.
How are Maltipoos on car rides?
Maltese Poodles make great travel companions. They don’t take up much space and love to spend time with you. Unfortunately, things like motion sickness is not breed specific so it is impossible to know if your dog will suffer from it or not.
How To Care For Your Maltipoo
If you are really considering adding one of these angels to your family, you will want to know how to best care for it.
Here are some tips to give them the best life possible!
How Long Do Maltese Poodles Live For?
The average lifespan for both a Poodle and a Maltese is about 12 to 15 years. So the average lifespan for a Maltipoo is about the same, 12 to 15 years old.
If that doesn’t seem long enough or you’re wondering how long they live in human years, it’s about 64 to 76 years old (courtesy of AKC.org).
Small dogs require a specifically formulated diet. That’s because they have incredibly high metabolisms. What that means is they burn through all of their energy really, really quickly.
Small breed puppies should be eating 4 meals a day. Small breed adults can get away with 2, so long as it’s a small breed formula. You will want to check the guidelines on your food and chat with your vet, but a Maltipoo adult will usually eat around 200 calories a day.
If you are following the bag instructions and your vet’s advice, your dog should be just fine. However, it is best to monitor their weight and body condition for a bit after adjusting the amount of food they eat.
You will want to make sure they are not gaining or losing too much weight. With their size, even small fluctuations can be significant. At 20 lbs losing just 2 lbs is technically 10% of their body weight.
Body condition is another important part of determining if your puppy is eating too little or too much. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has put together an easy to read body condition chart to help you.
Maltipoos have a lot of energy and need daily exercise. Fortunately, they don’t need a whole lot. Assuming they are on a healthy diet, they will be happy with 10 to 15 minutes of exercise a day. If you can do 30 minutes, even better.
These precious pups love to get their exercise on casual walks or even a short game of fetch, which you can do conveniently from the comfort of your couch, if you like.
Both Maltese and Poodles are highly intelligent creatures. The Maltese Poodle mix is just as smart AND has a desire to please.
They will pick up on commands and tricks quickly and easily. Being a small breed, they can become bored so try and keep training in short sessions. You will do best with lots of praise, treats, and positive reinforcement.
They are also very good at learning to be house trained. However, they are a small dog with small bladders so expect that training to take some time and patience.
As we mentioned above, they can have a few different types of coats:
- soft and silky
As a general rule, you will want to brush them at least 3-4 times a week. Depending on their coat texture and activity level, you may need to brush them daily.
If their coat is more like a Poodle, you will want to try out some of these brushes and maybe even a good set of clippers. If they are more on the Maltese soft and silky coat, these brushes are perfect!
They do not typically need to be bathed very often. Assuming they spend most of their time indoors and are not getting excessively dirty, they really only need a bath every 3 to 4 months.
Bathing them too frequently washes away their natural oils and can lead to skin irritation and dryness. You will also want to make sure you use an appropriate shampoo and conditioner.
Fortunately for dog lovers with allergies, this breed is a low shedder and considered hypoallergenic! Their coat type will play a factor into how hypoallergenic they are.
All dogs will produce some sort of dander. But with a lack of undercoat and low shedding, Maltipoos are very, very allergy friendly
There are some mild to severe health conditions that can come around with small dogs, Maltese, Poodles, and their hybrids. Don’t let this list scare you, however. Most of these conditions are treatable and a few of them are rare.
Let’s look at a few of them below.
This is a problem for nearly all small dogs. As we mentioned above, they burn energy really fast. Much faster than their body can store.
If you are not familiar with hypoglycemia, it is just another word for low blood sugar (like when you eat too many cookies on an empty stomach). That wonky feeling is caused by a spike in your blood sugar and then a sudden drop.
When a small dog is playing, they quickly burn through the carbohydrates their body has stored from their last feeding. When carbs are burned, they are converted to glucose.
Glucose is the true energy source and burns very quickly. Once all of their glucose has been depleted, their blood sugar level drops. This can lead to them feeling disoriented, fainting, and even, in some extreme cases, death.
I know it sounds scary, but it is completely manageable. A small dog specific food combined with frequent meals will keep their nutrition where it needs to be so they do not end up hypoglycemic.
Cardiomyopathy is when the heart muscle starts to degenerate and become thinner; usually the left ventricle. This causes the heart to become enlarged due to the pressure of the blood inside of the heart.
This issue is treatable once diagnosed.
The head of the femur bone starts to disintegrate due to a decrease in blood flow to that area. Over time, this can lead to arthritis, dislocation, inflammation, and hip joint pain.
Mitral Valve Disease (MVD)
The heart valves that control blood flow start to “wear out” and become leaky. This can cause blood flow to go in the wrong direction. This first clinical sign is typically a heart murmur. MVD can eventually lead to heart failure and death.
Unlike in humans, a dog’s heart valves cannot be replaced. There are, however, medications that can improve the heart’s ability to function.
Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis is an inflammatory disease of the brain. It causes brain swelling and can lead to neurological issues such as “seizures, amaurosis, and ataxia”.
Treatment for this disease is still relatively new and in the early stages of understanding. Unfortunately, treatment has not been able to significantly extend a pet’s life.
This disease has been observed in small dogs, including the Maltese. It is not clear whether or not the condition is passed on to the Maltipoo offspring.
Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)
Portosystemic Shunt is a condition where a liver shunt develops between the portal vein and the liver. The shunt causes blood flow to branch through another vein, bypassing the liver altogether.
Fortunately, there is treatment for this condition and it is very successful. Upon diagnosis, treatment often includes a change in diet and/or medication. Most dogs see immediate improvement once starting treatment with a third of them going on to live a “relatively long life.”
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Progressive Retinal Atrophy is when the photoreceptor cells within the eye start to deteriorate. PRA will eventually lead to complete blindness.
This is not a death sentence, though. Dogs often rely heavily on their other senses (smell, hearing, etc) in their everyday lives. Many dogs are able to adapt to blindness and live happy lives.
White Shaker Syndrome
White shaker syndrome is a condition that impacts small, white dogs. It causes “full body tremors” that can become more extreme when stressed. If allowed to progress, it can lead to trouble walking, seizures, and nystagmus (involuntary eye movement).
Currently, there is no known cause. It is just known that the condition starts suddenly when a dog is around a year or two old. The treatment includes corticosteroids and/or diazepam. Most dogs respond quickly to treatment but may require permanent medication.
A few of these potential problems can be:
- Allergies (respiratory and skin)
- Chronic Joint Pain
- Digestive issues
- Ear infections
- Patellar Luxation (slipping kneecap)
Raising A Puppy
The difference between having a dog and raising a puppy is night and day. Puppies, for all of their cuteness, are a handful and a half sometimes! They take a lot of work and even more patience.
But the payoff is when they follow you everywhere, give your face love attacks, and roll over for belly scritches.
Some quick tips on raising a puppy:
- start training early
- feed them at least 4 times a day
- socialize them as soon as they’re vaccinated and can be around other dogs
- positive reinforcement and praise is more effective than negative reinforcement and punishment
Frequently Asked Questions
While researching Maltipoos, we found a few questions that kept springing up. Here are some of the most common ones:
Q1. Is a Maltipoo a good family dog?
Maltese Poodles love people. To them, the more people the better. Just make sure they are not left alone with young children who may accidentally injure them while playing.
Q2. Do Maltese poodles bark a lot?/Are Maltipoos hyper?/At what age does a Maltipoo calm down?/Why do Maltipoos cry so much?
With proper training at an early age, you can have a Maltipoo that does not bark a lot. However, small dogs have earned their “yappy” reputation for a reason
Q3. Do Maltipoos have separation anxiety?/Can Maltipoos be left alone?
Maltipoos, like many small dogs, become very attached to their person. If they are left alone for too long they can suffer from seperation anxiety. These dogs work best for families with someone home often, retirees, and part time employees.
Q4. Why do Maltipoo stink?
A common source of smell on these dogs is if their tears have started to build up on their face. You can keep them clean by using a damp face cloth and gently wiping the tear stained area clean. Depending on how heavy a buildup your dog has you may need to do this a few times a week or month.
Other than that, these dogs do not shed and do not generally have an offensive odor.
Q5. Why are Maltipoos so expensive?/How much should you pay for a Maltipoo?
Maltipoos are usually expensive because they are considered a designer breed and in high demand. An ethical breeder will not breed their dogs more times or more often than is healthy for the animal. That means there is more demand than their are puppies available thus, driving up the price.
You will, on average, see prices in the high hundreds ($700-$800). However, depending on the breeder and pedigree, you can easily pay a couple thousand dollars.
Q6. Is a Maltipoo a lap dog?
Aside from 10 to 15 minutes of play and exercise a day, they are pretty relaxed. They make great lap dogs.
Q7. Are Maltipoos aggressive?
Only if you consider undying love and affection as aggressive. They are a very sweet breed of dog and not very aggressive at all.
Q8. Can you breed a Maltipoo with a poodle?/Can you breed a Maltese with a Maltipoo?
You should not have any problems breeding a purebred Maltese or Poodle with a hybrid Maltipoo. The puppies will likely end up with more of the dominant breed’s traits.
How To Find A Maltese Poodle
If you want to add a Maltese Poodle to your family, you have made it to the right place. I’m sure you’re super excited to bring your new best friend home.
Now you just have to find them!
You have a couple of options here. The ones we recommend are either finding a reputable breeder or adopting one from a shelter or rescue.
Find A Reputable Breeder
The primary advantage of going to a reputable breeder is that they will have the entire life history of the dog, the dog’s family, as well as, an potential behavioral or medical problems.
You are also, with some breeders, able to start bonding with your new pup right away. Many breeders will send pictures and videos as they puppy grows. Some will even let you visit, just make sure to ask and not just show up.
Are you wondering why we keep saying reputable breeder and not just breeder?
Unfortunately, especially with designer dog breeds, some breeders only see dollar signs. They will breed their animals more often and more times than is healthy for the dog.
They will often keep their dogs in cages and, overall, treat them like property and not like the precious puppies they are.
This is also why we do not recommend going to a pet store. Many pet stores source their supply, knowingly or not, from backyard breeders and puppy mills (sometimes disguised as home breeders).
To verify that a breeder is reputable, you will need to ask questions and assess them. Don’t worry about be annoying. A reputable breeder will be happy to answer your questions knowing their puppies are going to a good home.
You can ask things like:
- What is the condition of the area they keep their dogs?
- How many litters do they have a year?
- How many dogs do they keep for breeding purposes?
- Are their dogs pets or primarily for breeding?
- Do they live in the house with the owners or are they crated/kept in a kennel?
Remember, a reputable breeder is someone who puts the livelihood of their animals above profit.
You can also get testimonials from past customers. It is common to request a health guarantee and even if the parents have been health tested.
Find A Rescue Or Pet Adoption Agency
Adoption is one of the best ways to get your companion AND do a good deed at the same time.
Often times, designer dogs are purchased as gifts or because they are so cute. Then the new owner quickly finds out how much work a puppy really is. Sadly, this results in many puppies being surrendered to a shelter or rescue.
Sometimes, these abandoned dogs will suffer from a sever form of separation anxiety and become traumatized through their abandonment. It will take time, training, and patience but you can help them work through this.
Together, you will both build an incredibly strong bond.
What adoption options are available to you depend on where you live. You can do a web search for “maltipoo rescue near me” or some other form of that search. Common search terms are:
- Maltese rescue
- Maltese mix rescue
- Poodle rescue
- Poodle mix rescue
You may not be able to find a reputable Maltipoo breeder or rescue in your area. Not to worry, there are still a lot of options for finding a small, Malti-Mix puppy.
Here are a few of the most popular, and compact Maltese mix puppies available:
- Cortese (Maltese and Corgi mix)
- Caltese (Maltese and Cairn Terrier mix)
- Havamalt (Maltese and Havanese mix)
- Malchi (Maltese and Chihuahua mix)
- Malshi (Maltese and Shih-Tzu mix)
- Maltibeag (Maltese and Beagle mix)
- Maltichon (Maltese and Bichon Frise mix)
- Maltipom (Pomeranian and Maltese mix)
- Maltipug or Mug (Maltese and Pug mix)
- Mauzer (Maltese and Schnauzer mix)
- Morkie (Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier/Yorkie mix)
- Papitese (Maltese and Papillon mix)
- Perkitese (Maltese and Pekingese)
- Pomapoo or Pomadoodle (Pomeranian and Toy Poodle Mix)
- Waltese (Maltese and West Highland Terrier/Westie mix)
Maltese Poodles make great companions for folks of all ages. If you want a dog that is super cute, small, loves to play, and travels well, the Maltipoo may be just the right fit for you!
Now you have all the information you need to find one, care for it, train it, and start your puppy life together!