Thinking of bringing an adorable little Maltipoo into your home? These popular little guys make wonderful companions for everyone from a family circus to an empty nester. Intended to be small dogs, the Maltipoo is a “designer breed” or crossbreed between a Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle.
Some other names you may encounter while researching this breed are Maltedoodle, Malta Poo, Malti-Poodle, Maltepoo, Maltesepoo, Maltesedoodle, and Moodle. No matter the name, they are all individuals and mixed dogs can display a variety of traits, so be sure to research the parent dogs, the Poodle and Maltese.
With that said, let’s look at the pros and cons of the Maltipoo.
The Maltipoo’s size depends on whether the Maltese is bred with a Toy or Miniature Poodle. Generally, they stand between 8 and 14 inches tall and weigh 5 to 20 pounds. All of them are small enough to adapt to any home from larger houses to apartments, condos, and mobile homes.
Great with Kids
The Maltipoo is a little ball of energy that makes an excellent playmate for children. Gentle and loving, they tolerate babies and small children well. However, their small size makes them vulnerable to injury. While larger breeds may be able to withstand a child falling on them, this situation could be critical for smaller dogs. If you have children younger than age six, consider a Maltipoo with a Miniature Poodle parent rather than a Toy Poodle parent.
As with any breed, always teach children how to approach and handle them. Supervise interactions and prevent them from tail and ear-pulling or any rough handling.
Hypoallergenic, Low Shedding
Since the Maltese and the Poodle are low shedders, Maltipoos are often adopted into families looking for a dog with a hypoallergenic coat. But you should keep in mind that no dog is truly hypoallergenic. Dander (dead skin flakes) and saliva also carry allergens. However, they do shed much less than many other dog breeds and are a good choice for allergy sufferers as opposed to many other dog breeds.
The affectionate, fun-loving Maltipoo gets along well with everyone. They love cuddling as much as they love a lively play session. They may be a bit skittish at first around strangers, but warm up to people quickly as long as they have a warm and kind demeanor. Most greet visitors eagerly looking to be petted, but those with a nervous temperament may be standoffish or keep their distance at first.
As with all dogs, social Maltipoos early by exposing them to different people, sounds, and sights while they are puppies. Early socialization ensures a happy, well-rounded dog.
Easy to Train
A winning combination of the intelligent Poodle and Maltese, Maltipoos learn quickly and are easy to train. Mental challenges keep them out of trouble. Keep yours well behaved and mentally satisfied with obedience training classes.
Easy-to-train Maltipoos are a good choice for first-time owners. Smart, affectionate, and sensitive to human needs, they also can be trained as therapy dogs.
Variety of Colors
The most common color for the Maltipoo’s soft, wooly coat is cream, white, and silver. But since the Poodle parent comes in an array of colors such as apricot, gray, and sable, they can be many colors. Like all designer breeds, the coat colors are unpredictable. They may also be bi-colored, tri-colored, or have a marbled coat. The texture also varies from slightly wavy to curly.
Always ready for a cuddle session, the Maltipoo loves being around people. They should be kept indoors and not outside or in a kennel. They are likely to suffer from anxiety when left at home alone for long periods of time. Separation anxiety can lead to bad behaviors, and you’d be surprised just how much damage a small dog can incur.
Get your Maltipoo used to being alone for brief periods gradually for those times when he may have to be left alone. If you and other family members have to be away all day, invest in doggy daycare. Otherwise, this isn’t the best mixed breed for you.
Like companionship, the Maltipoo needs plenty of grooming. Brush him daily to keep his coat free of uncomfortable and unsightly mats. To stay tidy and cool, their coat needs to be clipped one or two times a year. To keep hair out of his eyes and ears, the head should be clipped once a month.
Keep your Maltipoo comfortable and clean with a bath at least once a month. Use a shampoo specially formulated for dogs. Other shampoos and soaps will cause dry skin and itching.
Don’t forget nail care and dental hygiene. Clip his nails once or twice a month or as needed. The nails are too long if you hear them clicking when he walks across the floor. Brush his teeth at least twice a week to remove bacteria and tartar buildup. The ears should also be wiped clean often to keep them free of dirt and debris.
Get your Maltipoo used to grooming when he is a puppy with rewards and positive reinforcement.
Expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $ $4,000 for a Maltipoo. The price will depend on whether you purchase your dog from a shelter or a reputable breeder. For the lowest price, check your local shelters. Designer breeds are not uncommon in shelters. People surrender dogs for varying reasons, and this doesn’t mean you’re getting a “bad dog.” Adopting from a shelter can be very rewarding. Stay away from questionable breeders and puppy mills.
You must also consider other costs such as micro-chipping, spaying or neutering, and continuing health care. Maltipoos are predisposed to several diseases and conditions that are expensive to treat. These include shaker syndrome, epilepsy, and progressive retinal atropy. Since most health problems don’t appear until maturity, look for a breeder that only breeds when dogs are at least two years old.
Maltipoos love to bark. It’s one of their favorite pastimes. They make great watchdogs and will alert you to everything going on. Barking can be annoying, so you will have to train them to discriminate between what they should and should not bark at.
If you live in close quarters with noise restrictions or someone in the family with hyperacusis (noise sensitivity,) the Maltipoo is not the best choice for you.