The Maltipoo Hybrid Dog Breed – What’s It Like?

Maltipoo Dog

The Maltipoo hybrid dog breed is small, intelligent and bright.

This is a hybrid dog breed resulting from crossing a Maltese with a Poodle, usually a Miniature Poodle. Like most mixed breeds, they can vary in size, build and color, but their temperament is usually predictable and reliable.

The Maltipoo has become very popular, largely due to its soft nature and convenient size. They look adorable, and are touted as being hypo-allergenic.

Maltipoo dog lying down
Maltipoo puppy

Maltipoo – Temperament

This breed tends to form a very strong attachment to its owner, and will trot around behind you from room to room. Due to its small size you have to pay attention to exactly where the dog is, to avoid treading on it or tripping over it!

However this strong bond can have a downside, in the form of separation anxiety. When left alone for more than a short time, Maltipoos may become bored and depressed. However, they are not usually destructive of items around the home; instead they will chew their own fur and gnaw at their paws.

Because of this potential anxiety problem, Maltipoos usually do best in a home where there is always a human around for company. This makes them ideal for retired folks, or people who work from home. If you are out of the house for long periods of time every day, this will not be the breed for you.

They are energetic little balls of fun, and will enjoy chasing a ball around the yard or apartment, or playing with children. Again, because of their small size, they will tend to do better with older children who understand that the dog must be treated with respect. Young children may unintentionally injure the dog with rough play.

The Maltipoo is not a difficult breed to care for, and they are suited to first-time dog owners, and almost any size of home, even small apartments. They get on well with other pets, especially other dogs.

Maltipoo dog sitting on stairs
Endearing Maltipoo puppy

Maltipoo – Breed History

The Maltipoo was developed as a ‘designer dog’; this means that responsible breeders used pure-bred Maltese and Poodle dogs to create the hybrid. The main aim was to develop a dog that would be an excellent companion, with a low-shedding coat and also be hypo-allergenic.

Some breeders also cross a Maltipoo with another Maltipoo to create a ‘2nd generation’ dog, but the result of this type of breeding is less predictable than ‘1st generation’ dogs.

The origins of the Maltipoo are unclear, but most authorities agree that purpose-bred designer-type dogs appeared first in the US around the year 2000. Before that time, Maltipoos existed only as accidental crossings of non-purebred Maltese and Poodle, and were mostly regarded as mutts or mongrels. It was the deliberate crossing of purebred Maltese and Poodle dogs that resulted in the Maltipoo we know today.

This breed is not recognized by any Kennel Club, as it is still regarded as a cross between 2 other established breeds. Normally it takes several generations of Maltipoo breeding with Maltipoo until the dog breeds ‘true’, resulting in consistent and predictable puppies in terms of appearance, size and temperament, in order to be considered for independent breed status.

Small Maltipoo dog sitting in the sun
A small Maltipoo

Vital Statistics;

Height; 8 inches to 14 inches

Weight; 5lbs to 20lbs

Life Span; 12 years to 14 years


Variable from Off-White through Gray to Fawn and Russet. Some may be quite dark, even black, depending on the color of the Poodle parent.

Ease of Training

With a Poodle background, this is an intelligent breed, and they are usually not difficult to train. They are bright and keen to please their owners, and are quick to pick up basic commands, especially if training is approached as a game.

We recommend that initial basic training should begin soon after you bring the dog home for the first time. Once vaccinations are complete, socialization and puppy training classes are important.


The Maltipoo is vigilant and alert, and is keenly aware of what’s going on in the area. If he thinks something is amiss, it will start to bark repeatedly to alert you. As such, it makes a very good watchdog.

But as a guard dog it is not so good, due to its small size. It does not have any intimidation factor, and is not able to tackle any unwanted intruders. If you are looking for protection with a dog, you should look for a bigger breed.


Grooming this hybrid dog breed is relatively straightforward. They do not shed much, and so do not leave a trail of hairs all over your furniture. Nevertheless, they have a fine, dense coat which needs to be brushed several times a week to prevent tangling and matting.

Many owners will choose to have their Maltipoo trimmed by a professional dog groomer to keep the coat short and neat, especially in warmer summer months. This makes home grooming a breeze!

These dogs are very clean, drooling very little and generally leaving little trace of their presence around the home. The one thing they DO have is dander, which is the dry, dead skin flakes that may cause allergies in some people. So they are not totally hypo-allergenic. Because this is a hybrid dog, the degree of hypo-allergenicity varies from individual dog to dog.

Health Considerations

A reputable breeder should be honest about potential problems with this breed, and be able to show you certificates to prove the parents have been screened for common conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, and eye health. There are several other possible health conditions which can include the following;

  •  Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  •  Gum disease
  •  Luxating patella
  •  Glaucoma
  •  Progressive retinal atrophy
  •  Liver problems (Portosystemic shunt).

Famous Maltipoo Dogs

Several famous personalities have owned Maltipoo dogs over the years, including Rihanna and Ellen DeGeneres.

Resources and Further Reading

We highly recommend researching before you choose your breed (or crossbreed!) Of dog – the books below are great reading for the Maltipoo lover / owner! Click on the images for more information.

Good luck with your hunt for the dog for you and we hope you find the perfect Maltipoo if you have fallen in love with this breed.

Maltipoo complete owners manual cover - photo of white maltipoo
Maltipoo complete guide book cover

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *