50% Maltese, 50% poodle, and 100% adorable cuddle buddy, the maltese poodle, or Maltipoo, is a tiny toy dog for the masses. As playfully active as they are petite, these hybrid hounds will steal your heart and your last chicken nugget if you’re not paying attention.
Bred as the perfect house pet, Maltipoos combine the sweet and sensitive nature of the Maltese with the shed-free coat of the poodle. If you need a lap-warmer, a nap partner, or a cutie-patootie to strut around the neighborhood with, you’ve found your match in this hybrid breed.
Also Known As…
Maltepoo, multipoo, mal-t-poo, and any number of other spelling variations. “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta.” The goodest thing that comes in the smallest package.
What Is The History Of The Maltipoo?
Poodles have a contested history, but most experts believe they were first bred in Germany a few hundred years ago.1 These wooly wünderkinds were retriever-type dogs that excelled in wet ‘n’ wild situations. They are even one of the dogs that shed the least. Poodle love spread from Germany to France, then to the rest of Europe, and eventually to the US, where these pups remain wildly popular. During this cultural exchange, they were bred smaller and smaller. The result? Miniature and toy poodles.
The purebred Maltese is a small white dog named for the island of Malta, but there’s some debate as to whether they came from there or another nearby island.2 No matter where they originated, it’s clear that Maltese-like dogs have been around for thousands of years (often on the laps of royalty). However, the modern breed we know today was first recognized in America in 1888. They are also one of the dog breeds that live the longest.
It’s hard to say when maltipoo breeders started pairing poodles with Maltese pups, but it seems to be a relatively recent phenomenon.3 The general consensus is that this mixed breed, the maltipoo, probably appeared on the scene about 20 to 30 years ago.
How Big Do Maltipoos Get?
Height: 8–14 inches
Weight: 5–19 pounds
How Long Do Maltipoos (Generally) Live?
Small dogs usually take the crown for the longest lifespan, and this pint-sized dog breed lives among royalty in this regard. Take care of your maltipoo, and you’ll usually see them thrive for 10–15 years.
What Is A Maltipoo’s Temperament & Personality Like?
Maltipoos are loving and fun-loving doggos that will quickly grow attached to you and your family. They are even one of the most popular poodle mixes. In some cases, they can wind up a little too attached. The maltipoo is known as a sensitive snuggle bug and may develop mild separation anxiety if you can’t devote enough of your time. Give them plenty of affection and attention, though, and they’ll return it in spades.
Are Maltipoos Good With Kids? Cats? Dogs?
The average Maltipoo is kind-hearted by nature, so you can count on this: if a kid, cat, or dog is friendly to your Maltipoo, they’ll be affable right back. However, larger dogs may scare the collar off a toy Maltipoo at first, so it’s best to supervise initial meetings and puppy playdates.
Do Maltipoos Need A Lot Of Exercise?
Despite this companion dog breed’s diminutive size, these furry little balls of energy need a fair bit of exercise to keep from going stir-crazy. If you can slot two 15- or 20-minute walks into your daily schedule, you’ll be able to give your pup the physical activity they need.
Are Maltipoos Hard To Train?
Perhaps due to their poodle parentage, Maltipoos are usually trainable little tykes. These are fairly intelligent furballs, so any misunderstanding is probably intentional.
As with all dogs, the recipe for training success involves a pinch of patience, a pitcher of praise, and several heaping handfuls of treats. And remember, the sooner you start with obedience training, the better.
Do Maltipoos Have Health Issues?
Because Maltipoos are selectively bred from two distinct breeds, there’s a larger gene pool available. A bigger pool often means fewer hereditary health issues.
With that said, Maltipoos are still susceptible to certain conditions, including:4
- Collapsing trachea (a weak or pinched windpipe)
- Patellar luxation (kneecap issues that can cause arthritis)
- Retinal atrophy (which can lead to blindness)
- Colitis (inflamed colon)
- White shaker syndrome (tremors associated with their coat color)
Are Maltipoos Hypoallergenic?
You betcha, the Maltipoo is a hypoallergenic dog—and we love them for it! Because they’re half poodle, Maltipoos don’t shed.
Keep in mind that if you’re super allergic to dogs, any dog breed can set you a-sneezing and a-scratching; Maltipoos still have dandruff and saliva, after all.
How Much Does It Cost To Care For A Maltipoo?
If you’re planning to be one of the Maltipoo owners, not counting the cost to adopt your adorable little guy, you’re looking at about $1,200+ per year to care for your Maltipoo pup.
A tiny mouth means a tiny belly—and that means a tiny appetite. Maltipoos only need about a cup of food each day, so a monthly supply of high-quality dog food should run you ~$25.
Looking to feed your Maltipoo the best of the best? How about dog food made just for them, delivered to your door every month? With a BARK Eats subscription, you’ll receive a perfectly portioned bag of food every four weeks. Get 50% off your first month!
Routine Vet Care (Healthy Dog)
Vet visits aren’t just for sick animals. Healthy Maltipoos need regular checkups, too—at least twice a year, ideally. Your typical costs might look like this:
- Vet fees (~$50 per visit)
- Vaccines ($20–30 per dose)
- Heartworm testing (~$40 each time)
Preventative Medications for Maltipoos
One way to keep tomorrow’s vet costs down is to tackle potential issues today. Preventative medicine for Maltipoos usually means anti-flea medication ($100 per year).
Because of their poodle-y heritage, Maltipoo’s don’t shed. You’ll have to take them to the groomer for a trim and a wash every few months instead. Thankfully, these lil’ fluff balls don’t need much shampoo; expect to spend $40–50 per visit.
Toys, Treats, Beds, & Accessories
Treats and toys keep your Maltipoo happy and high-spirited. Here’s a sample budget to give you an idea of what you might spend on extras and essentials for this small dog breed:
- Plush toys ($45)
- Tasty treats ($40/year)
- A small dog bed ($30–50)
- A leash and collar ($30)
- Basic grooming supplies ($80)
Tired of the same old toys? Your Maltipoo might be, too. Treat your best friend to something special with BarkBox. For $23/month, you’ll find 2 toys, 2 treat bags, and a meaty chew at your front door every month. And if Fido has sharp teeth, spend $29/month for 2 durable toys, 2 full-sized bags of treats, and 2 tasty chews in every shipment. Plus, double your first box for free!
- VCA Animal Hospitals. Standard Poodle. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dog-breeds/standard-poodle
- The New York Times. How Old Is the Maltese, Really? https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/04/science/dogs-DNA-breeds-maltese.html
- ASPCA. All About Maltipoos. https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/resources/maltipoo/
- MetLife Pet Insurance. Breed Spotlight: Maltipoo. https://www.metlifepetinsurance.com/blog/breed-spotlights/breed-spotlight-maltipoo/