Robin Burkett, Animal Photography / Vetstreet
The Maltipoo is a crossbreed. Opening your heart and home to a crossbreed is like opening a beautifully wrapped package on your birthday: you never know what’s going to be inside. It’s often assumed that a crossbreed will combine the best of two or more breeds, but genetics doesn’t always work that way. The way genes combine and express themselves is not necessarily within a breeder’s control, even less so when two breeds are crossed. That’s something to keep in mind before you lay down lots of money for a dog that you have been assured will be hypoallergenic or healthier than a purebred.
If ever there were a living, breathing, barking incarnation of cuteness, it is the Maltipoo. A mix of two of the more popular of small dog breeds, the Maltese and the Poodle, the dogs are small, clever, playful and affectionate. They’re also forever young, staying puppy-like well into their senior years. Those qualities have made the Maltipoo one of the more popular deliberate mixes.
A well-bred, well-raised Maltipoo should be friendly, people oriented, and easy to train — and just a little bit of a mischief-maker. Be warned, however, that a Maltipoo from an irresponsible or inexperienced breeder can be a mess of the combined genetic problems of his ancestors, without the benefit of the kind of health and temperament testing done by good breeders. That can mean a snappy, noisy tyrant of a dog, nearly impossible to housetrain and with a wide variety of costly health problems.
Crossbred puppies like the Maltipoo — even within the same litter — can look very different from one another, and can look the same as or different from either of their parents. The Maltipoo is usually extremely small, but his size, color, coat type, temperament, activity level, and health risks will vary depending on what that individual puppy has inherited from his parents.
A Maltipoo is likely to be a bit of a barker, making him a good watchdog. Nip nuisance barking in the bud with gentle correction. And though he’ll probably like children and other dogs, you’ll need to protect him from excessive roughness from either.
Generally, Maltipoos weigh about 10 pounds and have a slightly scruffy coat, although it can also be curly like the Poodle’s coat. They can come in a variety of colors, but are often white or cream.
Other Quick Facts
- Maltipoos are first and foremost companion dogs who should live in the home. They are too small and delicate to live outdoors.
- With their sweet, gentle temperament, Maltipoos can make great therapy dogs.
- Because of their small size, Maltipoos are best suited to homes with older children who will handle them carefully.
Learn More About the Maltipoo on Vetstreet.com: