If you’re on the lookout for a really affectionate, fun-loving, charming, and a true darling-of-the-crowd kind of dog that can easily fit into the lifestyles of any family, then you’d definitely find the Maltipoo to be an exact fit to your requirements. Unfortunately, this dog is not a purebred at all. Instead, it’s a cross between a playful, sweet-tempered, gentle, and affectionate Maltese and an intelligent, highly-trainable, and faithful Poodle. If this is not an issue with you, then you’ve found the perfect companion and lap dog you’ll consider as your furry bundle of joy.
History of the Maltipoo
Crossing a 10-inch tall Maltese with a 23-inch tall standard Poodle is almost an impossibility due to the size difference; unless, of course, you’re going to go for artificial insemination with the female Poodle as the recipient of the male Maltese’s sperm cells. For a Maltipoo to be bred through natural mating, it’s a must that the Poodle be either a Toy or a Mini version of the breed.
No one knows exactly when the first Maltipoo was developed. What we do know is that it was developed primarily for allergy sufferers because both the Maltese and Poodle are known to shed less than other breeds. This means they have less pet dander that can be released into the air which would otherwise be detrimental to the health of individuals with allergies.
This ball of fluff has all the charm of its parents. It has the Maltese’s sweet temperament, being the darling of the crowd wherever it may be. It also draws on the intelligent and faithful nature of its Poodle parent, giving you a crossbreed that is now a favorite among celebrities. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most popular crossbreeds in the world that they now have the North American Maltipoo Club and Registry. You won’t find it in the AKC register or any other official organization of the FCI, though.
Who are the Parents?
Understanding the Maltipoo is all about taking a closer look at its parents.
Lively, active, intelligent, docile, and playful. These are just some of the terms that people love to describe the Maltese. But if there is one thing that can truly define a Maltese, this would be its sweet nature. In fact, one look at those round, shoe-button eyes of this fluffy dog framed by its glistening, silky white coat and your heart will instantly melt for the charmer. It’s cute, no doubt about that. But it has a bold personality that very few people actually know of.
The ancient Romans and Greeks called this dog Melitae and were very popular as a trading item. After all, who wouldn’t want to swap wine, olive oil, or even some fine fabric for these winsome, adorable creatures? As expected, the Maltese was a favorite lapdog of the members of the nobility, especially women who never grew tired of posing for a painter with these dogs on their laps. The Holy Roman Emperor presented a pair of these dogs to the Chinese Emperor and was given the royal treatment it deserved. Today, it is still a widely held belief that the Maltese is a Chinese Imperial mascot.
The Maltese may be small but it has the vigor and liveliness of a really rambunctious hound. It is the quintessential family dog as it loves nothing more than spending the whole day with its family. This makes it very easy to train since it is primarily bred to win the affection of its family. It loves performing tricks and showing off in front of the crowd, making it a great dog for obedience, agility, and rally. When trained well the Maltese can be a very effective tracker. If you’re looking for a therapy dog, the Maltese is the best.
So the Maltese is a pure bundle of joy, but this doesn’t automatically exempt it from diseases. It’s especially prone to luxating patellas, gum diseases, eye problems, and even liver defects. Regardless, it is highly adaptable and its affection level is simply off the charts. It also has one of the longest lifespans of all dog breeds at 18 years. It’s a little bundle of joy that is as resilient and sturdy as its royal forebears.
Number 2 in the world’s most intelligent dog breeds, there’s actually more to the Poodle than its curly coat. Two parts Einstein and one part Three Stooges, the Poodle has one of the most interesting personalities for a dog. However, both its intelligence and comic personality can be quite an entertaining mix, making this breed a wonder on any stage.
A German dog known as Pudel which is literally translated as ‘splash in the water’, the Poodle is famed for its retrieving abilities. In fact, not many individuals know that the Poodle is actually a trustworthy gun dog with remarkable tracking, hunting, and retrieving capabilities like other gun dogs. The Standard Poodle is considered as the oldest while both the Toy and the Miniature varieties were carefully bred for their smaller size. Miniature Poodles are perfect for sniffing truffles while Toy Poodles make performing dogs in world circuses. They are the favorite breed by many European royalties, but most especially King Louis XVI. As a matter of fact, it is because of its association with King Louis XVI that it was largely considered as the national dog of France.
Poodles love to please, whether it is humans or other dogs. They have a very clownish nature and an insatiable sense of humor. Nothing makes them happier than being the center of attention. Their intelligence and agility give them the ability to perform a variety of tricks as well as display behaviors that you won’t see in any other dog breed. If a Poodle could talk, it could even outwit its owner. This makes it quite intimidating for some pet parents who are not as smart as a Poodle.
Despite the fact that Poodles are prone to Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, blood clotting disorders, and eye problems, they have a relatively long lifespan usually maxing out at 18 years.
While both the Maltese and Poodle share many striking similarities, there are still no guarantees that the resulting Maltipoo will manifest all of such traits. Everything depends on the purity of the parent breeds. What are known for now are the following facts.
- A Maltipoo can weigh up to 20 pounds (if Miniature Poodle was used) or a minimum of 5 pounds (if a Toy poodle is used in the crossbreeding)
- On the average, Maltipoos can grow anywhere between 8 and 14 inches at the shoulders.
- Both parents of the Maltipoo are low-shedders, making the resulting crossbreed perfect for allergy sufferers
- It has a low-dander coat that can have a wool-like, soft, or fluffy texture plus medium-length to extra-long fur
- The coat can take on a variety of colors, although white, cream and silver are very common
- Despite the fact that Malteses and Poodles can live up to 18 years, long life is not a trait of the Maltipoo, averaging only at 13 years with some dogs reaching only 10 years
- They are very tenacious barkers and require plenty of exercise
Things You Should Know
Here are some of the essential things you should know about a Maltipoo to check if it is well-suited to your needs.
Maltipoos are very smart. They love nothing more than pleasing their human masters so that they’ll get all the attention they need. They’ll learn tricks and perform them in front of the family or in a larger crowd. That being said, you should make sure to train your Maltipoo while it is still a puppy. Otherwise, you may find that this fluffy performer can have its nasty habits, too. Always adhere to the principles of positive reinforcement when training your Maltipoo. This means using lots of praises, food rewards, and even extended play so it will feel its behavior and skills are appreciated.
Five-eighths to one-and-a-half cup of high-protein, high-quality dog food is often enough for a Maltipoo. This should be divided into 2 meals. However, you should always ask your veterinarian about the most appropriate amount of dog food relative to its size, age, metabolic rate, activity level, and even build. A really rambunctious Maltipoo requires more energy than one that is a lap dog the whole day long. It is important to adhere to the feeding recommendations given by your veterinarian, lest you risk turning your Maltipoo into the dog version of Garfield.
Just like any other dog, purebred or otherwise, a Maltipoo requires daily exercise of about 15 to 30 minutes each. You can go on a relatively short walk or even engage in vigorous play activities. You can also play a game of fetch which Maltipoos are especially fond of. You have to keep in mind that Maltipoos are very active pooches. If you want your Maltipoo to remain happy, healthy, and definitely out of trouble, it will be in your best interest to give it its exercise. Otherwise, prepare yourself for the destructive behavior of small, really bored dogs.
Since Maltipoos generally inherited their parents’ love of people, it is imperative that you socialize your pup as soon as you bring it home. This means exposing it to other dogs, other pets, and even other individuals aside from the ones already in the household.
While Maltipoos are low-shedders and ideal for allergy sufferers, their long coat requires daily brushing. Bathing can be done on a monthly basis, although once every two weeks is desirable. Trimming the coat can be done once yearly, although you can also do it twice yearly. The ears also need to be cleaned while the nails clipped on a regular basis. You should never forget to brush your Maltipoo’s teeth at least every other day. But, if you can commit to brushing it every day, then that would definitely be better.
Just like its parents, Maltipoos can also present with a variety of health problems. They can include epilepsy, luxating patella, White Shaker syndrome, progressive retinal atrophy, portosystemic shunt, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. It’s imperative that you check the health histories of the Maltipoo’s parents and ancestors.
The Maltipoo is definitely for individuals who are the following.
- Suffering from allergies and want to have a companion pet
- Needing an excellent therapy dog
- Have kids and / or other pets in the house
- Doesn’t mind giving their Maltipoo 30 minutes of exercise every day
- Doesn’t mind the barking tendencies of a Maltipoo
- Doesn’t mind daily brushing of the coat
- Understands the implications of early puppyhood training and socialization
Sadly, while Maltipoos have a lot of fine qualities, they are not suitable for the following individuals.
- Live in apartments or neighborhoods with strict noise restrictions
- Have to leave the house for prolonged periods of time during the day as Maltipoos are prone to separation anxiety
- Absolutely hate brushing the coat every day
- Cannot devote 30 minutes of exercise every day
- Cannot engage in training and socialization of the Maltipoo puppy
The Maltipoo is a fun-loving, affectionate, and intelligent little hound that can befriend almost anyone and any other pet that it meets. It is devoted and gentle and enjoys the company of its human master whether it is on his or her lap or when walking along with him or her. Maltipoos relish long cuddles as much as they enjoy a fun day at the park or the backyard playing games. They’re feisty and active, requiring lots of activities to help prevent this energy from turning into boredom and destructive behavior. Their barking tendencies are very remarkable for their size, though you can’t expect them to be protecting you and your family anytime soon. As alarm dogs, though, they’re one of the best.
Maltipoos are very popular for various reasons. Their low-shedding tendencies make them excellent for people with allergies while their outgoing personality is sure to be a crowd-pleaser wherever they may go.