A Maltipoo is not a recognized purebreed dog, but a hybrid cross between a Maltese and a Poodle. Other names include Maltapo and Maltepoo. The various kennel clubs and breeders associations generally recognize the spelling Maltapoo as being correct. These terms are used interchangeably in this article.
The Maltipoo Hybrid
The Maltapoo is a deliberate breeding between the two breeds of dog. The parents are carefully considered, and the pairing is calculated to produce puppies with the look and temperament that the breeder desires.
Maltipoo puppies generally have the following characteristics:
- Eager to please their owners
- Easily trained - with the exception of house training
- Good with children
- Socialize easily
The Temperament of a Maltapoo
Maltapoo puppies are not always the product of a breeding between a purebred Maltese and a purebred Poodle. Many breeders will breed generations of mixed breed dogs. In order to determine the temperament of the Maltipoo, you have to look at the temperaments of both of the breeds that make up this hybrid.
The Maltese is an energetic breed of Toy dog with a white coat. These dogs are very loving and make good companion animals. They can become very possessive of "their" human when not socialized properly. Although these dogs are highly intelligent, they can be difficult to housebreak, and this takes consistency and dedication.
Poodles are one of the most easily trained dog breeds in existence. They are affectionate and like to spend time with their owners. These dogs come in a variety of sizes and are excellent pets. They don't shed much because of the texture of their coat.
A Word About Health
It is often said that crossbreeds have hybrid vigor. This means that the combination of the two breeds results in a dog that is generally healthier than either of the pure breeds. Keeping a breed pure results in a very small genetic pool to choose from, and this can lead to a higher rate of certain health issues in particular breeds. Some breeders believe that by cross-breeding and introducing a new set of genetics, the resulting puppies are healthier with fewer tendencies toward genetically based disease. This subject is debatable because other breeders argue that crossbreeding brings in genetic faults from both breeds.
Some of the genetic problems that can be food in Poodles are:
- Dysplasia - A malformation of the ball and socket joints of the hips and elbows
- Juvenile Renal Dysplasia - A degenerative kidney disorder
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy, aka PRA Blindness - A disease of the optic nerve
- Sebaceous adenitis - A chronic skin disease
While the Maltese is generally a healthy breed, some of the genetic problems that can occur include:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy - The same degenerative eye disease that affects Poodles
- Respiratory problems - Usually worse if the animal is living in damp conditions
Color and Size
Maltipoos come in a variety of colors. Most of the dogs have a light-colored coat that is soft and has a slight curliness or wave to it. There is no undercoat. The Maltipoo has low dander and may be better for some people with allergies. Coat colors most often seen are:
A Maltapoo's size largely depends on the size of the parents. Breeders have three sizes that they breed for:
- Tiny Toy
Most of these dogs weigh from four to ten pounds when they are fully grown. The definitions of each size may vary from breeder to breeder, so be sure to explain to the breeder exactly what you are looking for. It is also possible to get a rough estimate of adult size by looking at the bone structure of the dog and the size of the parents.
When choosing any dog, make sure you understand the dog's temperament and needs so you know better what to expect. A Maltipoo can make a wonderful companion when paired with the right person.