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The Maltipoo: Breed Information & Characteristics

Dog Breeds

maltipoo licking his lips

It isn't just a fun word to say - the Maltipoo is also the name for a designer breed that is among the most affectionate, cute, and lively dogs around. The Maltipoo is the result of crossbreeding a Maltese with a toy Poodle, both very popular breeds in their own right. But this mix of the two has resulted in a beloved dog breed that is known for not just for being a great companion but also serving as a vigilant watchdog. The Maltipoo is also a common therapy animal and helps individuals through a wide range of personal issues with their caring and warmhearted nature. This has also gained them a reputation as a good choice for families with young children. 

The History Of The Maltipoo

The breed is still relatively new, with the first Maltipoo dating back to the late 1990's. Hailing from the United States, this breed was created for the express purpose of designing a small companion animal for people who couldn't have dogs due to allergies. This is why you wouldn't refer to a Maltipoo as a mixed breed dog but a hybrid or crossbreed. They were designed specifically this way instead of by happenstance. The result of this mix is a supposedly hypoallergenic pooch, though all dogs will leave some amount of dander around. 

Today you can find the Maltipoo most commonly in the U.S, Canada, and the United Kingdom. These small dogs are popular in all three countries although they can adapt to just about any region of the world. 

maltipoo puppy

Overview

Size

The Maltipoo is a small dog breed, reaching about 7-14 inches in height and only 5-20 pounds in weight. While these dogs do well as a member of a family, they may not be the ideal pet for households with very young children as these small dogs could get hurt by mistake. 

Life Expectancy

The Maltipoo can live for about 10 to 13 years, though some have lived even longer. 

Shedding and Hypoallergenic

As we mentioned above, the Maltipoo was created as a hypoallergenic canine companion for allergy sufferers. Neither the Maltese nor the toy Poodle shed all that much, however, all dogs to do leave behind some hair and dander. The saliva in dogs can also cause allergic reactions in those who are susceptible. While the Maltipoo is considered hypoallergenic, your reactions to the dog may vary. The possibility exists for someone to have no reaction to the dog at first, only to become allergic later on. If you’re considering a Malipoo for its hypoallergenic qualities, try to spend some time around them first before you bring one home.

Trainability

The Maltipoo is rather easy to train because they are a very intelligent breed. But keep in mind these are also small and somewhat emotionally sensitive dogs, so it's best to take things slowly and refrain from any aggressive or harsh training methods. You don't want to yell or scream at the dog if he or she is not learning your commands or disobeying them altogether. It's never a good idea to take this approach when training any animal, dog or otherwise. Taking a hard-line attitude with sharp, angry words will only damage the relationship with your pet and trust will be lost. 

If you are unsure about how to go about training your Maltipoo properly or you don't have the time to do so, you may want to hire a professional dog trainer to do it for you. Maltipoos can be trained for a whole variety of things, including therapeutic purposes. 

maltipoo in a bumblebee costume

Characteristics

Adaptability

One of the many reasons why people love the Maltipoo is because it's a dog that adapts well to just about any type of environment. Since they are smart and easy to train, the Maltipoo can feel at home in an apartment or a standalone home with a big backyard. These pups are very active and they love to frolic and play. As such, they need the stimuli of a good long walk or doing zoomies around the room. 

Friendliness

The Maltipoo is one of the friendliest breeds you can own. Remember, these are a popular choice for therapy animals so you can expect the dog to be attentive. That, and their ability to learn very fast and train easily makes them the ideal introduction to pet ownership. We've mentioned that the Maltipoo is an excellent family pet because they love to cuddle and play with their owners. Basically, they just love having people around them. Kids will have a great time caring for a Maltipoo and the dog will respond in kind, with a big friendly personality. The elderly will also benefit from the love and companionship of the Maltipoo. 

With that in mind, one thing you do not want to do is leave your pup alone for an extended length of time. Maltipoos can get very lonely in an empty home and they need interaction with others to stay both mentally and physically healthy and happy.

Personality and Temperment

The Maltipoo is intelligent and easily adaptable, and these both play a role in how we define their personality and temperament. They are not aggressive or rough pets, and are very gentle and loyal. Some Maltipoos are lap dogs, some are not. But they do enjoy being near their beloved humans at all times. 

Without proper socialization from an early age, the Maltipoo will not be properly well-adjusted. That means it’s vital to allow the dog to explore the sights, sounds, and smells all around him or her. The Maltipoo thrives on learning everything about the world, the people in it, and of course, the other dogs that exist. Don't be shy about letting your Maltipoo conduct this exploration, even though the pup is small. Just be careful to monitor all of your dog's behavior in any situation. Protecting your pet is always a concern, no matter how big or small. 

The Maltipoo is also protective of his or her home and humans. Since they are so devoted to their owners, these pups are always on high alert should they feel a threat is imminent. They have no problem with barking loudly in the event something is wrong. But due to their diminutive stature, all they can really do is sound the alarm. You probably shouldn't expect much from them in a protective manner beyond barking and growling. These dogs are typically too small to do much in the way of fending off an attack. 

woman hugging maltipoo

Care

General Care

The Maltipoo needs a lot of activity. That shouldn't preclude someone who lives in a small apartment from choosing a dog of this breed. As long as you take your pup for a walk on a routine basis, or even clock some time at the local dog park, your pup will get the exercise he or she needs. Even for owners with busy lifestyles and not a lot of time for taking their pup for a walk, rolling a ball across the room and letting your pup chase it down is good for staying active. You just want to avoid having your Maltipoo get bored and complacent. A small dog is capable of big destruction when they have nothing meaningful to help bide their time. 

Common Health Issues

The Maltipoo, much like any dog, is prone to certain health issues that are inherent to the breed. But there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of your pup developing some of the most common health conditions. It starts with researching the parents of the dog you plan to bring into your home and heart. Both of them need to get a clean bill of health from leading authorities that regulate some of the most pressing health issues that plague these poor animals.

The biggest concerns are related to the knees, the thyroid, and the eyes. If you want to be an informed dog-parent, contact the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals to ascertain the health of the parents' knees and the thyroid and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation to confirm the eyes are unaffected by progressive retinal atrophy. This would require a DNA test of the parents.

Another thing to consider is when you adopt your Maltipoo is the breeder you’re purchasing from. You want to buy from a breeder who doesn't breed the animals until after two years of age at a minimum. This is because the most common health concerns in Maltipoos don't typically develop until these dogs have reached complete maturity. 

Grooming

Maltipoos don't need a lot of work in terms of grooming. You should brush your pup on a daily basis, but if you do it every other day, your dog will still look and feel great. As for baths, those should be administered about once a month to keep the fur clean and, more important, free of knots and tangles. You can also maintain the coat by clipping it every so often.

Similar Breeds

Taking into account the two dog breeds that make up the Maltipoo, most of the breeds that are similar to this dog are also Maltese and Poodle mixes of which there are many. From Yorkipoos and Doxiepoos to Poochons and Cavapoos to Morkies, Maltichons, Maltipoms, and Maltipugs, there are a number of breeds closely related to the Maltipoo!

 



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