Maltipoos are a mix between a Maltese dog and a Miniature or Toy Poodle. They’re considered to be friendly, sociable dogs that can be highly adaptable.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
Maltipoos are a popular designer dog known for being great family dogs. They’re generally easy to train and do well with apartment living. This breed requires daily grooming but doesn’t shed a lot.
They are not purebred dogs. Rather, they are a mix of two breeds: the Maltese and the Miniature or Toy Poodle. Mixing two breeds to create designer dogs has been gaining in popularity since the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Over the past 10 to 20 years, the demand for designer dog breeds has been on the rise. Crossbreeds have become popular amongst people searching for a small dog but not wanting a traditional Poodle or Yorkie.
Maltipoos are bred for their puppy-like looks and sweet disposition. They’re generally not overly territorial and are known for being adaptable, cat-friendly, and social. They’re considered to be friendly with guests and also good watchdogs.
Maltipoos need to be supervised when with other dogs. Because they are very social, it’s important to not leave them alone for long periods. They may develop behaviors associated with separation anxiety, which may need to be addressed with a trainer or veterinarian. They can also be high maintenance when it comes to grooming.
Here are the physical characteristics of an average Maltipoo:
Size: A Maltipoo can weigh between 5–15 pounds depending on what type of Poodle has been used to breed them. Their height can be between 8–14 inches at the top of their shoulder blades.
Coat: Their coats are curly with medium to long lengths. They can come in a large variety of colors and patterns. Both Poodles and Maltese dogs are known for having hypoallergenic coats because they’re low-shedding and Maltipoos often inherit this trait.
Tail and ears: Maltipoos have floppy ears that can be prone to infection. It is important to have their ears checked to determine if a routine cleaning plan needs to be implemented Signs of an ear infection include redness, unpleasant odor, swelling, itching at the ears, and frequent head-shaking.
Maltipoos usually have tails that curl up and are fluffy. Some breeders choose to dock the tail at five days of age. However, tail docking doesn’t benefit the dog in any way.
Pet parents should always provide their dog with a “balanced and complete” diet. The Association of American Feed Control Official (AAFCO) is an organization that sets standards for optimum pet nutrition. The first thing to look for when buying dog food is something showing it’s AAFCO-approved. A manufacturer cannot put “balanced and complete” on the packaging unless it’s AAFCO-approved.
Maltipoos should be fed a high-quality diet. Fresh water should be offered each day in a clean bowl. Maltipoos also need carbohydrates and some healthy fats to meet their energy needs.
A high-quality diet will also contain essential vitamins and minerals. Pup parents should consult with a veterinarian or canine nutritionist to make sure they’re providing the best diet for their Maltipoo.
Grooming and shedding
A Maltipoo’s coat can require a lot of grooming. They should be brushed daily with a brush specific to their coat’s needs. Professional grooming should be done every six weeks and include a coat and claw trim. Their coats can get matted very quickly, and matted coats can cause skin infections if not dealt with quickly.
Maltipoos are also prone to periodontal disease. Their teeth should be brushed regularly to slow tartar and plaque build-up. Advanced dental care with a veterinarian is likely to be recommended in mid-age or older Maltipoos.
Playtime and training
Maltipoos often enjoy playtime with their family. They tend to respond to a variety of rewards including food, physical attention, and praise. Try these kinds of activities with your Maltipoo:
- Playing with balls and other toys
- Positive reinforcement training
When using treats for rewards, the treat should be broken up into multiple pieces to prevent overfeeding. Using part of the dog’s normal diet is also a good way to reward them.
Health and aging
A Maltipoo’s average lifespan is about 10–15 years. An Embark Dog DNA Test looks at the following health conditions in Maltipoos:
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