Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Maltipoo
Average Cost to keep/care for a Maltipoo
The Maltipoo is a small and very popular cross breed that's relatively new to the dog scene with their parent breeds being the pedigree Poodle and the pedigree Maltese. Over the years, these charming little dogs have found their way into the hearts and homes of people throughout the world, thanks to their adorable looks and the fact they have inherited many of their parent breeds traits which includes their intelligence and playfulness. Although the Maltipoo is not Kennel Club registered as a breed in its own right, many clubs have been established not only in the UK, but in other parts of the world with an end goal being to breed healthy first, second, third and fourth generation dogs.
The Maltipoo is among the more recent deliberate crossbreeds to have appeared on the scene over recent years. They were first bred in the States to be companions and family pets that boasted having low and non-shedding coats which meant that people who usually suffered from pet-related allergies would be able to share their homes with a small sized canine companion. However, the jury is still out as to whether Maltipoos are as hypoallergenic as they were first thought to be.
Over time, these charming little dogs found their way into the hearts and homes with many people all over the world whether they suffered from allergies or not because Maltipoos are so adorable both in looks and natures. They have also proved to be a firm favourite with many celebrities too. As yet, the Maltipoo is not recognised as a breed in its own right by The Kennel Club or other international breeds clubs. However, a North American Club & Registry has been founded with an end goal being to continue to breed healthy first, second, third and fourth generation Maltipoos.
Height at the withers: Males 20.32 - 35.56 cm, Females 20.32 - 35.56 cm
Average weight: Males 2.26 - 9.07 kg, Females 2.26 - 9.07 kg
Maltipoos are delightful looking little dogs with some being much smaller than others because it depends on which of the parent breeds they throw to. Puppies from the same litter can look quite different to each other for this very reason with some boasting tight, curly coats that shed little much like the Poodle, whereas another puppy might have more of the Maltese type coat. However, over the years multi-generational Maltipoos have become available which in turn has created a more standardised looking dogs.
Their heads are nicely in proportion with the rest of their bodies. They have dark, round eyes and short muzzles nicely finished off with dark noses and dark coloured, tight lips. Their ears are set high and wide apart on a dog's head, falling forwards when alert or excited, but hanging down to the side when they are relaxed. The Maltipoo has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones.
They have quite broad chests for such small dogs and straight, short but strong front legs. Shoulders are nicely laid back with Maltipoos having level backs and rounded loins. Their bellies are slightly tucked up adding to their athletic appearance and back legs are well muscled and strong. Feet are small and very cat-like with strong nails and paw pads.
When it comes to their coat, the Maltipoo can have a very tight, curly coat or a much looser wavy coat depending on which of the parent breeds they have thrown to. The most commonly seen colours are as follows:
Maltipoos have inherited the intelligence of both parent breeds, but they have also inherited the friendly and loving natures of the Poodle and the Maltese too. They are extremely people-oriented, loving nothing more than to be with their owners all of the time which although endearing can become a bit of a problem when they are left on their own for longer periods of time. Maltipoos can develop separation anxiety which can result in them becoming stressed out and destructive around the home as a way of relieving their stress when they find themselves on their own.
They are a good choice for first time owners as long as the people have the time needed to be with their pets. As such Maltipoos thrive in households where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out of the house. They are not the best choice for families with very young children because they can be a bit "snappy" when things get too noisy and boisterous. However, they fit in well to households where the children are older and who therefore know how to behave around dogs.
Maltipoos like the sound of their own voices which is a behaviour that needs to be gently nipped in the bud when a dog is still young to prevent it becoming a real problem when they are mature, older dogs. It's really important that both parent dogs are kind and friendly by nature so that puppies inherit their affectionate natures which is why it's essential to meet both parent dogs before getting a Maltipoo puppy.
A puppy's socialisation has to start early as does their training, starting with the basics as soon as they arrive in their new home. Once they have been fully vaccinated it's important to introduce them to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and pets so they grow up to be calmer, well-rounded mature dogs. Their training can also start in earnest once they have had all their shots and a good way of getting things off to the right start is to enrol dogs into puppy classes. This is a great way of continuing their socialisation while at the same time training them in a safe and controlled environment surrounded by other dogs and people.
It's all too easy to let a Maltipoo get away with things that larger dogs would never be allowed to do which can result in these cute, little dogs developing a condition known as "small dog syndrome". It can make dogs very hard to live with because they become wilful and unruly. However, in the right hands and environment, Maltipoos being so intelligent are easy to train and love the one-to-one attention they are given during their training sessions and love nothing more than to show off to the crowd.
Being so intelligent, Maltipoos are quick learners, but the downside to this is they are just as quick to pick up bad behaviours and habits too which is why their training has to be consistent from the word go and throughout their lives. They are sensitive little dogs by nature and as such, they do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction or heavier handed training methods. They do respond extremely well to positive reinforcement especially when it involves receiving a high value treat. Because Maltipoos are prone to putting on too much weight, it's important to keep food rewards to a minimum and to offer fewer high value ones rather than lots of lower value ones.
Maltipoos are best suited to families where the children are slightly older because they can be a little snappy around toddlers and younger children especially if the kids start playing a little too roughly with them. With this in mind, any interaction between young children and a dog should always be supervised by an adult to make sure things don't get too boisterous which could end up with a Maltipoo getting a bit “snappy”.
If well socialised from a young enough age, Maltipoos generally get on with other dogs they meet and if they grow up with a family cat in the home, they usually get on well together. However, they would not think twice about chasing off any other cats they come across. Care has to be taken when they are around smaller animals and pets just to be on the safe side.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Maltipoo is between 10 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Maltipoo could be prone to certain hereditary and congenital health issues that affect parent breeds. These could include the following:
As with any other breed, Maltipoos need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Maltipoos can have curlier coats or some can have straighter ones depending on which of their parent breeds they have thrown to, but they all benefit from being given a brush every day which helps prevent any knots or tangles from forming. However, dogs with very curly coats should ideally be professionally groomed on a regular basis which should be every 4 to 6 weeks or so to keep their coats and skin in good condition. It also makes it easier to keep their coats looking good that much easier in between visits to a grooming parlour.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Maltipoo is an active, intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They need anything from 20 to 30 minutes exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Maltipoo would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving the stress they are feeling.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these active, little dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Maltipoo puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Maltipoo puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be fed a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Maltipoo, you would need to pay anything from £450 to over £1000 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Maltipoo in northern England would be £22.01 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £43.83 a month (quote as of July 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £20 - £30 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Maltipoo and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £800 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Maltipoo would be between £50 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.
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