Maltipoo 101: Do They Make Good Family Pets?

You may have seen them at your local dog park and wondered: what kind of dog were they? These adorable cotton balls look like a cross between a Poodle and a Maltese, but they are their own, distinct breed called Maltipoo. As one of the most popular designer dogs, it’s no surprise that more and more families consider them potential pets. This article will explore all things Maltipoo to help you decide if this is the right breed for your family.maltipoo white in the grass

Common Questions About Maltipoos

Deciding to bring a new pet into the family can raise a whole lot of questions and it is important to seek out as many answers as possible. Below is a list of answers to the most common questions about Maltipoos.

What Are Maltipoos?

Maltipoos are a cross between a Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. They were first bred in the early 2000s in the United States. The exact origin of the breed is unknown, but the breeding aimed to create a dog with the best qualities of both breeds: the hypoallergenic coat of the Maltese and the intelligence and trainability of the Toy Poodle. These adorable dogs always have roundish heads and puppy features even when they become adults. Along with their joyful personalities, the Maltipoos are forever puppies.

How Big Are Maltipoos?

As a hybrid, the breed ranges anywhere between 2 to 25 pounds. While there are no official guidelines, there are three main size groups: mini, toy, and teacup. The mini size ranges from 15 to 25 pounds and 11 to 14 inches in height. The toy size ranges between 5 to 15 pounds and 6 to 11 inches tall. The teacup size ranges between 2 to 4 pounds and 4 to 6 inches in height when fully grown.

What Colors Do Maltipoos Come In?

Maltipoos can come in a wide variety of colors because they inherit coat color genes from both the Maltese and the Poodle. The most common coat colors for Maltipoos are white, black, brown, cream, apricot, and red. However, you may also see Maltipoos with multi-colored coats or rare merle-spotting markings.

Are Maltipoo Hypoallergenic?

Yes, Maltipoos are hypoallergenic! They inherit this non-shedding quality from their Poodle parent. While it is important to note that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, Maltipoos come pretty close. If you’re looking for a family pet, but someone in your household has allergies, a Maltipoo may be a good option.

Are Maltipoos Intelligent?

Yes, Maltipoos are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds. As the offspring from proper cross-breeding of a purebred Maltese with a purebred Toy Poodle, they inherit the best qualities of both breeds. They are quick learners, excelling in both obedience and trick training. You can expect to spend a lot of time playing fetch and teaching new tricks with your Maltipoo. Because they are people-pleasers, they will happily learn with a wagging tail.

The Many Personalities of Maltipoos

Although Maltipoos are generally known for their friendly personalities and loving nature, many people don’t realize that Maltipoos can have very different personalities depending on their temperament and upbringing. Here are some of the most common personality types you’ll find in Maltipoos:

The Cuddler

If you’re looking for a lapdog who will cuddle with you for hours on end, then a Maltipoo with a cuddly personality is the right fit. These pups are typically very affectionate and love nothing more than spending time with their favorite human.

The Protector

Some Maltipoos take their job as guardians of the home very seriously. If you’re looking for a furry alarm system, then one of these pups may be right for you. Just be prepared to provide plenty of chew toys to keep them occupied (and out of trouble).

The Goofball

Everyone knows at least one person in their life who is always making them laugh with their silly antics. If you’re looking for a four-legged friend who will bring joy to your life, look no further than the goofball Maltipoo. From funny faces to comical hijinks, these pups are sure to keep you entertained. Just be prepared to have your patience tested from time to time as they learn boundaries. 

The Perfect Playmate

With the proper upbringing, Maltipoos grow up to be gentle and affectionate dogs that are great with children. They are also known to be extra patient with young children, which makes them the perfect playmate for kids of all ages.

The Ultimate Velcro Dog

Maltipoos are known for their loyalty and affection toward their owners. If you’re looking for a pup that will be your shadow, then a Maltipoo with a Velcro personality is the right fit for you. Just be prepared to give them plenty of attention and love as they thrive on human interaction. Leaving these cotton balls for too long by themselves can result in separation anxiety.maltipoo upclose

Behavioral Problems With Maltipoo

Although Maltipoo dogs are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds, they are not without their fair share of behavioral problems. Like any dog, they are prone to chewing and digging. Like any small dog breed that wants to get your attention, they may develop constant jumping and excessive barking habits. 

Maltipoos are also known to be escape artists. They are very curious by nature and love to explore their surroundings. If your yard lacks proper fencing, then their passion for digging can lead to them getting lost or into trouble. And because they are small dogs, they are more vulnerable to injury if they’re not appropriately supervised. Consider investing in a GPS dog collar to avoid losing your Maltipoo.

Maltipoo Grooming Needs

Maltipoos are considered to be a low-shedding breed, meaning they shed very little hair. While they don’t shed as much as other breeds, they will still lose some hair throughout the year. Maltipoo puppies generally have a soft, cotton-like coat until they reach around six months of age. At this point, their coat will start to become more like an adult Maltipoo’s coat, which is more coarse and curly like a Poodle’s. To prevent their coat from knotting and becoming matted, you must brush them thoroughly at least once every other day.

Groomers recommend a visit every six to eight weeks to keep their coats manageable. However, that is the minimal maintenance required for their coat. If you want your Maltipoo to have a show-quality coat, you will need to take them in for more frequent grooming sessions. The grooming expense can become expensive quickly, so be sure to factor that into your budget if you’re considering adopting one of these pups.

Tear Stain Cleaning

Tear stain is a common problem for white and cream color dogs. The staining is caused by your dog’s tears overflowing and leaving a residue on their fur. The severity of the staining may be a result of food allergies or excess minerals in their water. While not harmful to your dog, it can be unsightly. To clean up their tear stains, all you need is a little patience and the right product.

Calming Dog Ad

There are many commercial tear stain cleaners available on the market. However, you can also make your own natural solution by mixing one part water with one part hydrogen peroxide. Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to the stained areas and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth. Repeat this process once or twice a day until the staining has faded.

Dental Hygiene

Like humans, dogs must have their teeth brushed regularly to prevent cavities and gum disease. But because Maltipoos have tiny teeth, their cavities can quickly destroy their teeth. Dental chews and bones can also help keep your Maltipoo’s teeth clean and healthy. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for recommendations on the best dental products for your pup.

Nail Care

Maltipoos’ nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent overgrowth. If you’re not comfortable trimming your dog’s nails, take them to a professional groomer or veterinarian. They can quickly and safely take care of the task for you. Maltipoos that take regular outdoor walks require less frequent trims as the pavement will help keep their nails filed down.

Ear Care

Maltipoos are prone to ear infections due to the shape of their floppy ears. Be sure to inspect and clean their ears regularly to prevent any wax or debris buildup. If you notice your dog shaking their head frequently or scratching at their ears, take them to the veterinarian, as this could be a sign of an ear infection.

Cleaning your Maltipoo’s ears at least once a week is necessary to prevent ear infections. More frequent cleaning may be required if you live in a hot and humid environment. Be sure to use a gentle cleanser and cotton balls or pads (never Q-tips!) to avoid damaging the delicate skin inside the ear running

Common Health Problems of Maltipoo

The Maltipoo is a relatively healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10-15 years. However, like all breeds, they are susceptible to specific health conditions.

White Dog Shaker Syndrome

Also known as idiopathic head tremors, White Dog Shaker Syndrome (or Shaker Syndrome) is a condition that causes a dog’s head to tremble uncontrollably. While the exact cause is unknown, it is thought to be related to an imbalance in the dog’s nervous system. Symptoms usually appear when a dog is between six months and three years old. The most common signs include head shaking, drooling, and difficulty eating and drinking. There is no cure for Shaker Syndrome, but there are treatment options that can help minimize the tremors and alleviate the pain associated with the condition.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is a condition that affects the blood supply to the hip joint. This disease can lead to the death of bone cells in the hip joint, which can eventually result in arthritis. Symptoms include limping, pain, and muscle loss in the affected leg. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is treatable with medication in mild cases. Surgery is advised in severe cases to remove the dead bone tissue and replace it with artificial hip joints. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an eye condition that leads to the gradual deterioration of the retina. This deterioration happens slowly, but it eventually leads to blindness. There is no treatment for PRA, but affected dogs can often adapt well to their vision loss if they receive early diagnosis and treatment. 

Luxating Patella

Luxating Patella (or dislocated kneecap) is a condition that occurs when the kneecap moves out of place. This health problem can happen due to trauma, anatomic abnormalities, or muscle weakness. Symptoms include lameness, pain, and clicking/popping noises from the affected knee joint. Luxating Patella is treated surgically by realigning the kneecap and tightening the muscles around it. 

Collapsed Trachea

A collapsed trachea occurs when the tubes that carry air from the lungs to the rest of the body collapse or flatten. This condition can happen due to anatomic abnormalities or excess pressure on the trachea, such as excessive choking from a collar or leash. This condition is common in toy and miniature dog breeds. Symptoms include coughing, gagging, and difficulty breathing. Treatment depends on the severity of the collapse; minor cases may only require weight loss and avoiding pressure on the trachea, while severe cases may require surgery to repair or replace the trachea. 


Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes recurrent seizures. Seizures can vary in severity from mild twitching to loss of consciousness and convulsions. Epilepsy can be caused by genetic factors, brain damage, or infection; however, the exact cause is unknown in many cases. There is no cure for epilepsy, but it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers and providing a safe environment for your pooch during a seizure. dog chewing on toy

Inbreeding Problems with Maltipoos

Inbreeding is often used to create new hybrid breeds, but it can also lead to health problems if not done carefully. The unregulated method can cause genetic defects resulting in health and behavioral issues. For Maltipoo, inbreeding can cause deafness, blindness, epilepsy, and cognitive impairment. With the inbreeding problem running rampant in the designer dog industry, even the inventor of the poodle-hybrid breeds, Wally Conron, regrets his creation and claims that he “…find(s) that the biggest majority are either crazy or have a hereditary problem.”

Common Behavioral Problems in Inbred Maltipoo

Inbred Maltipoos can exhibit various behavioral problems, including depression, aggression, fearfulness, and high anxiety levels.

Inbreeding Depression

Inbreeding depression is a condition that can occur when closely related dogs are bred together. This condition usually leads to a decrease in the overall health and vigor of the offspring. Puppies and young Maltipoos that exhibit this symptom tend to also suffer from a weak immune system and are more prone to allergies, gastrointestinal illnesses, and respiratory infections. As a result, they usually have a much shorter lifespan than their non-inbred counterparts.


One of the most common behavioral problems associated with inbreeding is aggression. Inbred dogs are more likely to be aggressive toward both people and other animals. These Maltipoos often show a lack of affection towards their owners and family members.


Fearfulness is another common problem associated with inbreeding. Inbred dogs are more likely to be fearful without provocation. Scientists believe that inbreeding can cause a decrease in the levels of serotonin in the brain, which has been linked to fearfulness.

High Levels of Anxiety

Another common problem associated with inbreeding is high levels of anxiety. They can exhibit anxious behaviors, such as nonstop barking and repetitive pacing around their living environment, and impulsive behaviors, such as chasing after cars and running out into oncoming traffic.maltipoo upclose

Bottom Line

Overall, Maltipoo makes a good family pet. They are generally healthy dogs with few health problems. However, they can be prone to behavioral problems if they are inbred. Inbreeding can cause aggression, fearfulness, and high levels of anxiety. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a breeder carefully if you are considering getting a Maltipoo. If you select a Maltipoo as your pet, make sure to provide plenty of socialization and training to help them overcome any potential behavioral issues. With plenty of interaction and care, your Maltipoo will become the perfect addition to your family.

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