A Cuddly Designer Breed for Everyone: Maltipoo

Pet Type


May 8, 2020

It can generally go without saying that there are many, many reasons why people choose to breed dogs with each other. Long before the idea of designer breeds was even a concept, people bred dogs to try and get the most favorable working traits out of them.

This is what shaped some of the iconic dog shapes, especially noted in greyhounds and pit bulls. For dogs that were put to work as shepherd dogs, breeders often focused on making sure that the dog had the energy to stay outside for the majority of the day. This is what leads to the endless pool of energy that many shepherding dogs face. However, as dogs became more commonplace as pets within the family rather than working animals, the idea of breeding dogs for a more favorable appearance became more widespread. With that, the idea of designer breeds were eventually born.

Designer breeds, on their own, are not actually considered purebreds. This is because to create a designer dog, each parent is often a purebred dog of a different breed. Depending on the breeder, there’s no guarantee that the parent dogs were actually purebred. The two parent dogs are then bred together in the hopes of combining some of the most favorable aspects of each breed to create the perfect house dog. One of the best examples of what a designed breed creates is the Maltipoo: a blend between the favorable Maltese and the iconic Poodle.

Where Did the Maltipoo Originate From?

With designer breeds being a fairly recent type of breeding, relative to when people began breeding dogs strictly, it is hard to get a definitive history on most designer breeds. The maltipoo is a good example of this as well. It is not known where exactly they originated from, or what the exact intent was behind the first crossbreeding of a Maltese and a poodle. It is believed that it was to create a smaller companion dog that had a hypoallergenic coat, as most people falsely believe that designer breeds have hypoallergenic coats. However, there is no way to know this for certain.

For the most part, there is nothing exceptional about this breed’s origins. It is believed to have been first developed in the United States, sometime between 1970 and 1990, when crossbreeding dogs began to take off. The thought is that it was bred for a combination of its appearance and for its temperament in an attempt to create a friendly home companion that would be compatible with people of all ages. While much of the maltipoo’s history is a mystery, the fact remains that it did become a wonderful companion for all families.

What Does the Maltipoo Look Like?

The maltipoo shares much of its appearance with its parent Maltese dogs, taking only a few characteristics from its poodle parent. For one, the size of the dog will depend entirely on the size of the parents, though it usually takes after the poodle parent in this regard. These dogs are often classified as either Toy dogs or Miniature dogs. This gives them a height range of 8 to 14 inches in height, and a weight range of 5 to 20 pounds.

Much like the Maltese, its coat is a beautiful white or cream color, and its fur is often long and soft. There are some dogs that come in a silver variant, although these are rarer. They adopt some degree of curling from the poodle parent’s genetics as well. This leaves their fur with the potential to be straight like the Maltese, or it could end up being just as curled as the traditional poodle’s. The degree of curl in the maltipoo’s coat will determine just how much grooming it will need, with more curl meaning more effort in grooming the dog.

As for the shape, it is generally a short and stocky dog with floppy ears that reach the bottom of its head. It has a short snout and wide eyes. The snout is often dark in color. The legs of this dog are also short and compact. These dogs have short tails as well. They can be described as a somewhat rectangular shape, depending on their weight.

How Does the Maltipoo Behave?

Bred to be the perfect family dog, the maltipoo lives up to its expectations. It is generally a very affectionate dog as well as a very gentle dog. This makes the dog safe for children, although extremely young children should always be monitored around pets, as they often cannot grasp that pulling on a pet is not good.

These dogs are very active as well, enjoying play, walks, and time running around the yard. They can be thought of as an easy first-time dog, a therapy dog, and a dog suitable for both families and apartments because of this. The one issue that some people face is that the maltipoo is actually too affectionate.

Sometimes, the maltipoo can develop such a deep bond with its owners that it develops separation anxiety. This means that if you are away from home for long periods of time on a frequent basis, then this may not be the best dog for you. On the other hand, if you are home regularly, then these are almost always one of the best dog breeds that you can get for your family, both in terms of ease to train and its attitude.

How Do You Care for the Maltipoo?

Caring for the maltipoo can be tough at times, depending on the nature of your dog’s fur. Dogs that have curlier fur are going to need a different level of grooming care than the dogs with straight and flat fur. You should start out with weekly coat brushings to keep its long fur from getting matted or tangled. Both parent breeds also require this, so it is a good place to start. If your dog has curlier fur, you should switch to twice-weekly brushes, or potentially more if you notice that the fur is still getting tangled or matted.

It is important to acclimate your maltipoo puppy to bathing early on, as these breeds will also require regular baths to keep them clean. These should happen on a regular basis, maybe every month or so depending on how much of a mess your dog often gets into. Because of the nature of their fur, many people clip the fur around the dog’s face. Unless you have dog grooming experience, you should leave this to the professionals.

As with many dogs, the maltipoo will need to be exercised regularly. While it is still suitable for small homes and apartments, you should still try to take your dog out on a daily walk and out to relieve itself. As fairly active breeds, you should aim for 20 to 30 minutes a day for outdoor play. This time can be spent walking, jogging, or even just playing vigorously. Do keep in mind that small dogs tend to have fragile bones, so do not play too roughly.

How Is the Maltipoo’s Health?

The maltipoo’s health will depend entirely on the parent dogs. Do keep in mind that crossbreeds like the maltipoo are more prone to inheriting hereditary conditions from both of the breeds that it came from. You should always, always speak to your breeder about the parents’ health history so that you can gauge the risks your puppy will face.

Reliable breeders will be open and willing to talk about this with you, and you should always back away from breeders that won’t. Depending on the parent dogs’ health, your maltipoo can live between 10 and 15 years.