July 21, 2017

What Exactly is a Maltipoo?

The Maltipoo is a hybrid breed resulting from the cross of a purebred Maltese with a purebred Poodle.

Because the Poodle comes in various sizes there are a number of different crossings which can result in a Maltipoo litter. The fact that there are different sizes of Poodle also means that Maltipoos can come in a number of different sizes.

In most cases, however, the Maltipoo is bred from a Toy or Miniature Poodle rather than a Standard Poodle. It is possible to use a male or female from either breed, though Miniature Poodles are favored to be female since they are a little bit larger than the Maltese.

Some breeders market the Maltipoo as a “designer dog” in order to fetch higher prices. In reality, however, the Maltipoo is a mixed breed, also known as a mutt. Still, there are a number of endearing qualities that make the Maltipoo a great pet.

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Characteristics of a Poodle

The most important thing you need to know about the Poodle is that it isn’t actually one breed but three – three sizes, to be more specific. The Standard Poodle is the largest of the three, standing a minimum of 15 inches tall and weighing between 40 and 50 pounds. The second smallest is the Miniature Poodle which stands 10 to 15 inches tall and weighs between 12 and 15 pounds. The smallest is the Toy Poodle, standing under 10 inches tall and weighing 5 to 10 pounds. Aside from size, all three Poodle varieties are very similar. The Poodle is a very social breed that gets along well with other dogs. Poodles may be a little reserved around strangers but they are quick to make friends and they generally do very well around children, though this may be truer of the Standard Poodle than the smaller varieties.

Poodles come in all colors and patterns including black, white, brown, silver, gray, apricot, cream, red, sable, and even some patterns like brindle and parti-color. The Poodle is known for its long, curly coat which is surprisingly dense despite the fact that it is a single coat, not a double coat. Many Poodle owners trim their Poodle’s coat into a pet clip or a puppy clip to make it more manageable, though show Poodles usually have their coats corded or kept long. Because the Poodle’s coat is so long, regular brushing is required and professional grooming is recommended every 4 to 6 weeks. The Poodle does shed – all dogs do – but most of the shed fur gets caught in the curly coat instead of falling to the ground. This is why the Poodle is sometimes called a hypoallergenic breed which makes it a good choice for allergy sufferers.

The Standard Poodle is an active breed so it requires a good deal of daily exercise, though the Toy and Miniature Poodles are less active. The low exercise needs of the smaller Poodles makes them a popular choice for apartment and urban dwellers. Because the Poodle is so smart, it requires a lot of mental stimulation in addition to physical exercise. Poodles generally respond very well to training since they are so smart but they become bored easily if they aren’t being challenged. The smaller versions of the breed may be a little more challenging to  housetrain (this is true of many small-breed dogs) but if you are firm and consistent about issuing praise and reward for motivation you shouldn’t have much trouble. With plenty of positive reinforcement Poodles can learn all kinds of tricks.

In addition to being very friendly, the Poodle is a fairly healthy breed. The Standard Poodle has a median lifespan around 12 years while Miniature and Toy Poodles tend to live a little longer. The Standard Poodle is prone to health problems like Addison’s disease, gastric dilation volvulus, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia. The smaller versions of the breed are more likely to develop dental problems, ear infections, Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, vonWillebrand’s disease, diabetes, and patent ductus arteriosis. Many of the health problems affecting the Toy Poodle and the Miniature Poodle can be attributed to the small size of these breeds.

Characteristics of a Maltese

The Maltese is a small-breed dog known for its long, solid-white coat. This breed belongs to the Toy Group for the AKC and it is one of the smallest breeds out there, standing 8 to 10 inches tall and weighing between 4 and 7 pounds. The Maltese is an ancient dog breed that has been known by a number of different names over the centuries. Though the exact origins of the breed are unknown, it is thought to be descended from a Spitz-type breed that was selectively bred for its small size. Some researchers believe that the Maltese actually originated in Asia and that it may have been developed from the Tibetan Terrier. The main period of development for this breed occurred during the 17th and 18th centuries – this is when the breed was improved by making it smaller and it is also when the pure white coat started to become standard.

The most iconic characteristic of this breed is its long, flowing coat. The Maltese has a single layer coat with a silky, smooth texture – a curly coat is considered a fault by the AKC. The ideal coloration for this breed is pure while, though some ivory coloration may be permitted on the ears. This breed sheds minimally which makes it an excellent choice for allergy sufferers, though frequent brushing and grooming is still required to keep the coat in good condition. Show-quality Maltese dogs are generally kept with their coats long but many Maltese owners keep their pet dog’s coat trimmed to reduce the amount of maintenance required.

The Maltese breed was developed as a companion pet and that is the role it continues to serve today. These little dogs are lively and playful, often retaining their puppy-like tendencies well into adulthood. Maltese dogs are generally very friendly and people-oriented, though they do not always get along with smaller children. This breed requires a great deal of attention from its owner and it forms very strong bonds with family. In addition to being people-oriented, the Maltese is also very smart and trainable. With plenty of praise and reward, you can teach a Maltese to do just about anything. Maltese dogs have even been known to make good tracking dogs and therapy dogs.

For the most part, the Maltese is a healthy breed that has a long lifespan of up to 18 years. Like all dogs, however, the Maltese is prone to developing certain health problems. Many of the health problems affecting this breed can be attributed to his small size – things like dental problems, eye problems, and musculoskeletal issues. Some of the health problems most likely to affect this breed include hypoglycemia, periodontal disease, patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, portosystemic shunt, and shaker dog syndrome.

Maltipoo Characteristics and Temperament

The Maltipoo is often described as being the best of both the Maltese and Poodle breeds. It is important to realize, however, that it is impossible to predict what the Maltipoo will be like because genetics are so variable. The Maltipoo receives its genetics from two unique breeds so it could potentially exhibit any combination of physical and personality traits from the two parent breeds. The only thing you can really expect from your Maltipoo is that it will remain fairly small as long as a Toy or Miniature Poodle (not a Standard Poodle) is used in the crossing. For the most part, Maltipoos stand less than 15 inches tall and the weigh anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds on average.

Though you cannot predict exactly what a Maltipoo will look like, you can expect him to receive a combination of physical traits from both parent breeds. Maltese dogs have very long, smooth coats of pure while hair while Poodles have long, curly coats that come in virtually every color and pattern. This leaves a lot of room for variation in the Maltipoo breed. You can expect your Maltipoo to have a fairly long coat, though it could be straight, curly, or somewhere in between. In terms of coloration, most Maltipoos have some degree of white in their coats which is inherited from the Maltese, but the rest of the coat color and pattern is unpredictable. Both Poodles and Maltese dogs have single coats that shed minimally which means that the Maltipoo will also have a single coat that sheds to a lesser degree than other breeds – this makes the Maltipoo a good choice for allergy sufferers. Your dog’s coat will still require plenty of brushing, grooming, and trimming however.

In addition to inheriting its physical traits from the parent breeds, the Maltipoo will also exhibit a combination of personality traits from the Maltese and the Poodle. Both parent breeds are friendly and people-oriented, though the Poodle may be a little more social than the Maltese. In general, Maltipoo dogs are friendly and well-mannered, though they can sometimes be snappy around other dogs and they may not be tolerant of young children. The Maltipoo often makes a good watch dog due to its tendency to bark and it may be wary around strangers. Maltipoos can be very affectionate with family and they require a great deal of attention, though their needs for exercise are fairly low.

The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds so you can expect your Maltipoo to be fairly smart as well. In most cases, Maltipoos respond well to training – just be sure to offer plenty of praise and reward as motivation. In terms of health, Maltipoos are likely to experience certain health problems related to their small size – these may include dental problems, eye conditions, and musculoskeletal issues. Some of the other conditions to which the Maltpoo may be prone include periodontal disease, hypothyroidism, collapsed trachea, patellar luxation, and shaker dog syndrome.

How Much Do Maltipoos Cost?

When you start looking around for a Maltipoo puppy you are likely to come across a number of breeders who are selling “designer dogs”. These breeders prey on unsuspecting dog owner, charging high prices for puppies that are technically mutts. Mixed breed dogs certainly have their advantages but they should not be sold at prices higher than the average cost for a purebred of either parent breed. In order to determine the average acceptable cost for a Maltipoo puppy, you need to consider the average cost for a purebred Maltese and a purebred Poodle.

The Maltese is a very popular breed for show so it can fetch some very high prices depending on the quality. A show-quality Maltese from an AKC-registered breeder might cost you anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000 while a pet-quality Maltese might cost $800 to $1,200. For Toy Poodles, the average cost is $600 to $1,000 and the cost for a Miniature Poodle is similar. Because the Maltese is a mixed breed you should expect to pay between $400 and $800 for a responsibly bred puppy. Depending on the quality of the parent breeds your price might be a little higher, but you certainly should not pay more than $1,000 for a Maltipoo.

What is a Maltipoo’s Lifespan?

Because the Maltipoo is a cross between two different breeds, its life expectancy may vary greatly depending on its genetics. Additional factors like diet, health, and activity level will also play a role in determining your Maltipoo’s lifespan. It is impossible to say for sure what the Maltipoo’s average lifespan is, but it can be expected to fall somewhere in the middle between the average lifespan for the Maltese and the Poodle. The Maltese has an average lifespan between 15 and 18 years while the Toy Poodle and the Miniature Poodle live 14 to 18 years. Given this information, you can expect your Maltipoo to live for an average of 14 to 18 years.

How Big is a Full-Grown Maltipoo?

It is very difficult to predict the size of a full-grown Maltipoo because there are many factors to consider. For one thing, the Maltipoo is a mixed-breed dog so its genetics come from two different breeds with two different size ranges. The main factor that will affect the size of your Maltipoo, however, is the type of Poodle used in the crossing. Poodles come in three different sizes and the size of the Poodle will determine the size of the Maltipoo. In most cases, breeders use Toy Poodles to breed with their Maltese dogs, though Miniature Poodles can be used as well.

Crossings with Toy Poodles are generally smaller than crossings with Miniature Poodles, though it is impossible to know the full size of the Maltipoo until it is full grown. The average size for the Toy Poodle is about 5 to 10 pounds and under 10 inches tall – Miniature Poodles weigh between 12 and 15 pounds and stand between 10 and 15 inches tall. The Maltese breed usually weighs 4 to 7 pounds and stands up to 10 inches tall. Given these ranges, you can expect your Maltipoo to weigh between 4 and 15 pounds and it could measure up to 15 inches tall at maturity.

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Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a freelance writer and a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine, Dog News. She is the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com award-winner for 2013. Additionally, Carlotta is the author of Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Health and Happy, as well as other books about pets. She is a guest writer for numerous website and blogs and a frequent pet food reviewer.

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