If you are considering getting a Maltipoo, then congratulations! You have just found the club of cuteness overload! There is rarely other dogs with this kind of heart melting physical appearance. From its size, to its coat, to its charm, the Maltipoo is definitely the living and breathing version of happiness.
What is a Maltipoo?
Before we get overly excited, let us start with the basics. A Maltipoo, is the resulting product of a cross breeding between a Maltese and a Poodle. He is roughly 10 to 12 inches high and has a wide range of weight; 5 to 20 pounds. Like his parents, the Maltipoo remains small in size throughout his life, and he maintains the baby face cuteness too!
How did the Maltipoo come to be?
The Maltipoo was initially bred in order to combine the favorable traits of its parents. The poodle is known to be hypoallergenic as compared to many other dog breeds. This means that it is less likely to flare up your allergies. It also sheds its coat at a lesser rate. Poodles are also very smart and easily trained.
The Maltese on the other hand is very affectionate, kind and playful, and usually makes a great companion dog. However it is not as hypoallergenic as its mate is and may therefore not be right for owners who have serious allergies.
In order to have all these combined into one little package, the Maltese and Poodle were cross bred. Although most Maltipoos indeed have very playful and affectionate characters, with less shedding and hypoallergenic coats, not all of them come as so.
In as much as breeders do their best to bring out the perfect Maltipoo, genetics doesn’t always work in one way, therefore many Maltipoos have been seen to take more of one parent than the other. He may be more Maltese than Poodle or the opposite. Another possible outcome, is that the Maltipoo may have the physical appearance of a Poodle but the traits of the Maltese, or vice versa.
You are therefore advised to be very comfortable with either of the two breeds before getting your Maltipoo, because there is really no telling for sure how he will be as he grows up.
As mentioned above, Maltipoos are small just like their parents. They do not grow past 14 inches in height and rarely do they weigh more than 20 pounds. Their coats vary in texture, color and length. Again, because of the variations that the gene pool may take, a Maltipoo may have curly, straight, or wavy fur. It may be dripping long, puffy, or just at the chin. He may be white, grey, brown or a mixture of any two of these. However commonly Maltipoos are white.
Characteristics and Traits
The Maltipoo is like a human baby. Literally. It is a very affectionate dog that always wants to be with his owner/parent. He likes to play and run around for hours. He has so much energy in him that provided you give him a toy to play with, and you stay where he can see you, he will play the day away. And when he finally gets tired, he will slowly find his way to your lap and fall into slumber. Resembles anyone you know?
Maltipoos enjoy being praised and cheered. Therefore when you are training them, you have to stay positive and happy. They are very sensitive to energy and so whenever they hear you shout harshly at them, or if they sense you are not happy with them, they will immediately shy away and may even fall into depression. This is very important to remember because once he loses trust in you, it may be very hard to restore it.
Maltipoos are also somehow codependent. They love being around their owners all day every day. If they are left alone after they have gotten used to staying with you, they may fall into anxiety. So if you have to go to work and you cannot take him, make sure to leave him with either a family member or a dog sitter.
Because of their absolute affection Maltipoos are very common as therapy and companion dogs. They easily make friends with other people, dogs, children and pets. So if you are both a dog and cat person, have no fear, your Maltipoo will get along just well with your cat.
A downside to the almost perfect Maltipoo, is that because of his energy levels, and perhaps love of attention, he may bark a little too much than your average dog. Other than that, he may just be the dog you are looking for.
Training Maltipoos is easy as they have inherited their intelligence from their Poodle parents. And since they like to be praised so much, once they see you impressed with their tricks, they will make sure to do this continuously just so as to make you happy. Did we mention they love treats and rewards?
A Maltipoo can live up to 14 years and within all this time, He will still remain you small cute cuddly teddy bear.
Maltipoos do not have any serious illnesses or diseases to worry about but there are two conditions that every Maltipoo owner should be aware of. Because of their small sizes, Maltipoos tend to have weak and brittle bones. This means that they need a lot of careful handling and any rough housing may lead to serious harm. This is why it is recommended to always have him indoors and if he is outside, he should be in your arms of in a leash. If you have children, you should make sure they are well behaved and will not do anything that may harm the dog.
Maltipoos may also have some vision impairment, making it hard to see. This is not the case for all Maltipoos, but to be safe, it is advised to clear them with the veterinary ophthalmologist, who will know whether or not the disease is there.
Other diseases that may be prevalent include:
- Portosystemic Shunt
- Sebaceous Adentis
- White Shaker Syndrome
It is important to have all necessary health certificates including rabies shots for your new dog.
The dog does not require a lot of exercise as compared to larger dogs. If he gets a nice evening walk and some play time every day, that will be enough to keep him fit.
Even though the Maltipoo may not shed as much as other dogs, he still needs to be brushed, groomed and washed frequently. You may brush his fur every week to remove any knots and avoid any tangling.
Maltipoos are great first time dogs for anyone. If you live in a small apartment, even better. You will enjoy the company of your Maltipoo and you will definitely learn a thing or two by having him around.
Before buying a new Maltipoo, make sure to visit the breeder first in order to see the kind of environment they have been brought up in. Make sure it is clean and the conditions are humane. A Maltipoo raised in a torturous place may have social anxiety and this may make him hard to train or even relate to. You can enroll him in a dog’s kindergarten where he will be taught general manners and tricks. Make sure to spend adequate time with him and always remember to reward him frequently.