Maltipoo Breed Highlights

A Maltipoo puppy sitting outside in the grass

  • What’s in a name? Maltipoos also go by Moodle, Malt-A-Poo, Maltoodle, or Maltipoodle!

  • There are two types of Maltipoos. First-generation Maltipoo puppies are a cross between a purebred Maltese and a purebred Poodle (either Toy or Miniature size). Second-generation Maltipoos are born to two Maltipoo parents.

  • The Maltese breed, half of the Maltipoo’s lineage, is an ancient breed believed to have been used in the development of a few different small dog breeds, like the Havanese, Bichon Frise, Yorkshire Terrier, and Coton de Tulear.

  • The Maltipoo has become a popular designer dog breed, as the breed mix results in a dog that looks and acts like a puppy well into their older years.

  • Rihanna’s Maltipoo, Oliver, was named one of the Top 10 Celebrity Pets of 2012.

Unique Personality

Maltipoo dog breed illustration - personality

The Maltipoo is a sweet and loving companion with a playful twist. By combining the intelligent Poodle with the perky Maltese, the result is a spunky and quick-witted dog that acts like a puppy well into their older years. Affectionate and gentle, but still energetic, these dogs do well as therapy dogs and thrive with constant human companionship.

Preferred Lifestyle

Energy Level

dog energy level - medium (mall walker)

With Kids

Icon - outline of a little boy and girl

Maltipoos with children in the home can be challenging due to their small size. Proper puppy socialization, and teaching children how to gently handle this dog, will do wonders.

With Other Pets

Icon - cat and dog outline

They can do well with other pets in the home, but definitely need proactive exposure from puppyhood to ensure success.

Environment

Icon - outline of a house

Thanks to their small size, a Maltipoo is an excellent choice for apartment living and their exercise needs are easily met with daily walks and indoor play.

Average Lifespan
(Range)

10 to 15 years

Average Size
(Range)

Size is determined by the parents
5 - 15 pounds
5 - 15 inches tall

Breed Group

No official breed group.

Similar Breeds

History of the Maltipoo

A white Maltipoo dog running and playing

The Maltipoo first appeared in the United States at the end of the 20th century. Not much more is known about this breed’s origins except that they became popular with the rise of “designer dog breeds”.

The Maltipoo is one of the smaller options of the Doodle craze. The Poodle has proven to be an excellent choice to cross with other breeds due to its low-shedding coat, great temperament, and variety of sizes. For this reason, there’s been an explosion of doodles in the designer dog breed world, such as the Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, and Bernadoodle. And the Maltese, an ancient, social and loving dog from the island of Malta, was an obvious choice to crossbreed with the Poodle. The result is a fun, loyal, puppy-like breed that makes an excellent companion dog.

Maltipoo Behavior and Training

Maltipoo dog breed illustration - behavior

Maltipoos inherit a combination of the Maltese and Poodle behavior tendencies, but there is no way to predict how much of each breed’s typical training idiosyncrasies a Maltipoo will have. Behavior is also affected by environment, learning, and a dog’s individual personality. However, both parent breeds are intelligent, eager to please, and loyal dog breeds that are a joy to train and live with. Your Maltipoo might have a tendency to chase a squirrel or two (as the Maltese breed was historically used for rodent control), but with consistent and positive training, a Maltipoo will thrive and be an excellent companion.

Plays Well with Others?

  • The Maltese parent breed is typically quite social, while the Poodle tends to be a bit more reserved when meeting new people and other animals. Like all dog breeds, the Maltipoo needs proper proactive exposure to new sights, sounds, people, dogs, and other animals as a young puppy to help prevent any future fear from developing. By having lots of positive exposure as a puppy, they’ll learn that new people, places, and other animals aren’t anything to be worried about.

TRAINER TIP

Pair meeting new people or animals with high-value training treats or a favorite toy, and keep introductions short and sweet so it doesn’t get overwhelming.

  • Their smaller size can make living with young children challenging, as they can easily be injured with rough handling or get worried about loud noises and excessive movement. However, they will do well with children if they are socialized from a young age, and the children are respectful in their handling of the dog. Young children and dogs should always be supervised, and it’s helpful for a dog to have their own “safe space” where they can go when they need some quiet time.

  • A Maltipoo can do well with other animals when properly introduced and socialized from puppyhood. Since they don’t understand how small they really are, it’s important to supervise any play with other dogs to make sure they don’t inadvertently get hurt or overreact if they get overwhelmed.
Graphic - bouncing red ball image

Exercise Requirements

Maltipoos have lots of energy and spunk for their size. Fortunately, their smaller size makes it easy to provide them with adequate exercise, simply by walking around the home or out and about town. Malttipoos adore play, so playing with their people is often enough to satisfy their exercise needs and build the human-canine bond. Grab a tug toy, flirt pole, or a ball for a game of fetch, and your Maltipoo will be happy as a clam.

Their petite size means they shouldn’t be jumping from heights such as furniture or out of the car, as it’s easy for them to injure themselves. Maltipoos can even be seriously injured in jumps or a fall from their owner’s arms. They’ll appreciate easier access to their favorite couch nesting spots with a ramp or dog stairs, and should be lifted in and out of cars and on and off furniture.

VETERINARIAN TIP

A few extra kibbles, treats, or shared “people food” can quickly add up to obesity-inducing calories, which causes discomfort, health issues, and a shorter lifespan. Keeping the Maltipoo at a healthy weight helps them live a long and happy life!

Mental Enrichment Needs

Maltipoos love to be entertained (and take pleasure in entertaining their people), so providing mental enrichment and brain games will prevent unwanted puppy behaviors from developing. Keep their brain sharp by teaching new tricks, attending obedience classes, joining a dog sport, and providing dog puzzles and interactive toys. Change out the toys and puzzles periodically to provide much-needed variety for these intelligent dogs.

Common Behavioral Issues

Maltipoos can be a bit on the chatty side, thanks to their Maltese genes — and they can bark a lot. For this reason, they do well working as alert dogs for hearing-impaired owners. To avoid potential problems, they simply need to be taught what to do instead of barking (being quiet, or a nice sit-stay) when someone, for example, comes to the door. Their sharp intellect makes this type of training fairly easy.

Though some owners don’t initially see the need for training a small dog, all dogs benefit from training programs and practices to help build good habits and establish bonds with their humans. Positive reinforcement training is important for a well-adjusted and happy Maltipoo and makes for a strong and trusting relationship between dog and owner.

TRAINER TIP

Inappropriate and aggressive behaviors such as nipping, biting, or resource guarding by Maltipoos are often seen as “cute” because they don’t cause serious injury as a larger dog would. However, a dog displaying aggressive behaviors is usually doing so out of fear or insecurity. For the overall well-being of a Maltipoo (and everyone’s safety!), it's important that they aren’t forced to display these behaviors in an effort to be “cute” or “go viral” on social media. Responsible Maltipoo owners will help their dogs feel safe and teach them appropriate behaviors, using proper management and positive reinforcement methods.

Due to their love of companionship and their sociability, Maltipoos need positive exposure to alone time from puppyhood on to help prevent or minimize any separation anxiety from developing. It’s much easier to prevent than to treat once it’s started. Make alone time a positive and relaxing experience for your Maltipoo. Trainer Tip: Any time you leave your dog alone, pull out a frozen stuffed Kong or another yummy treat toy. When you return (even if only after thirty seconds), put it away until next time. This will help your Maltipoo learn that when you’re gone, awesome stuff happens, and they’ll make a positive association with your absence.

TRAINER TIP

Any time you leave your dog alone, pull out a frozen stuffed Kong or another yummy treat toy. When you return (even if only after thirty seconds), put it away until next time. This will help your Maltipoo learn that when you’re gone, awesome stuff happens, and they’ll make a positive association with your absence.

Fun Activities the Maltipoo Enjoys

Maltipoo dog breed illustration - fun

Maltipoos do very well in a variety of size-appropriate activities and sports:

  • Small Dog Agility

  • Trick Training

  • Canine Freestyle

  • Rally Obedience

  • Conformation

  • Flyball

Maltipoo Coat Type

The Maltipoo can inherit a variation of the long and wavy Maltese coat or the more wiry and curly Poodle coat. Maltipoos are classified into three different coat types: soft and silky, thick and curly, or wiry and wavy. Since both originating breeds have a single-layer coat, the Maltipoo does as well. It’s low-shedding and will keep growing instead of shedding like double-coated breeds. Maltipoos can have any color or pattern that is seen in the Poodle breed, such as parti-color (a color pattern on top of white), chocolate, apricot, blue, and black, but many are all-white or mostly white because of the Maltese’s white coat.

Shedding Level

dog shedding level - 1 of 5 piles of fur

1 out of 5 piles of fur

Grooming Requirements

  • Daily Maintenance
  • Professional Grooming Required

The combination of two higher-maintenance coats from the Maltese and Poodle means a Maltipoo requires consistent grooming to keep it in tip-top shape. If a Maltipoo coat is allowed to grow long, it requires thorough daily combing (down to the skin) to prevent matting and tangles. Many Maltipoo owners opt to have their dog groomed in the popular “puppy cut” (a short length all over the body). Professional grooming should be done every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the owner’s preference for coat length. Start practicing positive and calm grooming with your Maltipoo puppy to make lifelong grooming easy and stress-free.

The breed is also prone to brown discoloration of tear staining, which is common in the Maltese and Poodle parent breeds. Tear staining happens when there is either an overproduction of tears from the eyes and/or a problem with the drainage of tears from the eyes. Both of these problems can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions, like allergies or abnormal hairs around the eyes. The resulting chronic wetness on the skin below the eyes creates the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to overgrow. This can cause an infection, which further contributes to the brown discoloration of “tear staining.”

Best Brush for a Maltipoo: Slicker Brush, Pin Comb

Famous Owners of the Maltipoo

  • Lucy Hale (Actress)

  • Michele Kwan (Figure Skater)

  • Ellen Degeneres (Entertainer)

  • Rihanna (Singer)

  • Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds (Actors)

  • Vanessa Hudgens (Actress)

  • Ashley Tisdale (Actress)

  • Brooke Burns (Model)

  • Jessica Simpson (Singer)

  • Ant McPartlin (TV Host)

Non-Endorsement Statement: The social media posts displayed here do not imply any endorsement of these people or products, nor does it imply they endorse Trupanion or our product.

Common Health Conditions for the Maltipoo Breed

Use the chart of Trupanion claims data below to find out what health conditions happen most frequently for the Maltipoo breed. Every Maltipoo is unique, but understanding what health conditions are likelier to occur can help you be a more prepared pet owner.

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Here's what our
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Trupanion member Kelly

Kelly

Groton, CT

Condition: Sarcoma

The Trupanion policy paid: $18,522.39

"My golden Kelly was young when I found a softball-sized lump on Kelly’s left hind leg. Four weeks straight of radiation, six rounds of chemo and checkups every three months, including x-rays and full blood panel were needed. Because of Trupanion, I didn’t have to address the biggest deciding factor that most people face—can I afford this? I can honestly say Kelly is alive today because of the financial support Trupanion provided."

- Lori

Trupanion member Axl

Axl

Ontario, Canada

Condition: Pneumonia, Hip Dysplasia, Lameness

The Trupanion policy paid: $2,084.01

"At two, our German shepherd Axl was diagnosed with pneumonia. Trupanion took care of all our financial concerns. At four, his hip issues led to pain medications, rehabilitation and rest, which all resulted in improved pain-free movement. I’m so grateful that we chose a plan that not only covers the cost of his treatment but also any physical therapy or rehabilitation he may need."

- Nanette K.

Trupanion member Bella

Bella

Ellijay, GA

Condition: Cushing’s disease, tumor, cruciate rupture

The Trupanion policy paid: $15,283.83

"Bella was treated for Cushing’s disease and a pituitary tumor with radiation therapy. Had we not had insurance for her, the decision for her medical care would have been more difficult, as each treatment was expensive. However, because we have Trupanion, these decisions were easier. Rather, we could focus our attention on her treatment and recovery instead of the financial impact these procedures would have on our family."

- Jason P.

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