The Maltese Poodle: Important Facts To Know
Also known as the Maltipoo, Moodle, or Malt-A-Poo, the Maltese Poodle hybrid is not a purebred dog itself, but rather a “designer dog” cross between a Maltese and a Toy Poodle. It has gained in popularity based on its high intelligence and the fact that it sheds very little, and can be registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club as a Malt-A-Poo. Additionally, crosses between two purebred dogs tend to have better health and vitality than the purebred dogs themselves because of the high incidence of inbreeding in the purebred lines. Maltese Poodle crosses have an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
A small dog, the Maltese Poodle cross stands approximately 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder when they are fully grown, and they weigh anywhere from 2 to 12 pounds, depending on their type. Teacup Maltipoos weigh under 4 pounds in adulthood, mid-sized Maltipoos range between 4 and 6 pounds, and Toy Maltipoos weigh from 6 to 12 pounds when they are fully grown. They come in a wide variety of colors, including:
Their hair is curly or wavy and fine in texture; curlier than that of the Maltese, and straighter than that of the Poodle. Its hair is medium to long in length.
Maltipoos are spunky, active dogs who love people. They are highly intelligent, and can learn quickly. They are also loyal, affectionate dogs that are playful and energetic. In general, Maltipoos are good with children and the elderly due to their friendly nature. They are often used as therapy dogs to take into nursing homes or hospitals to interact with the patients because of their good nature. Maltipoos also tend to be good with dogs and other pets (provided that they have been socialized with these other animals). However, they should not be left alone for extended periods of time frequently, as they do not like this, and it could lead to destructive behavior.
Furthermore, Maltipoos require early, consistent training. They can become spoiled and demanding dogs if training is not provided. Insufficient training at an early age will teach Maltipoos bad habits, which will be difficult if not impossible to break later in life.
Because their hair is long and wavy, Maltipoos require regular brushing to avoid matted hair. They should be groomed approximately once per month. Many people choose to get their hair clipped, and yearly clipping is recommended. They shed very little, and as such, are often considered to be “hypoallergenic” dogs. This label does come with a disclaimer, though: No dog is truly “hypoallergenic”. All dogs release dander, which is the allergen many people are actually allergic to, not the hair itself. If you have allergies to pet dander and are considering a Maltipoo, you should spend some time around one prior to purchasing one. Being sure that the Maltipoo does not aggravate your allergies before you take him home could save a lot of heartbreak down the road.
As mentioned above, many designer dog breeds have been bred to increase the health and vitality of the offspring, and the Maltese Poodle is no exception. Because they are hybrids, Maltipoos do not exhibit the inherited syndromes common in the purebred dogs. However, these genetic conditions can crop back up in second generation crosses of hybrid dogs, so this should be avoided. It is best for the health of the offspring to breed a purebred Maltese to a purebred Poodle to produce the Maltipoo, rather than breeding two Maltipoos together or breeding a Maltipoo to a purebred Maltese or purebred Poodle.
If you are looking for a small, friendly, energetic, and intelligent dog, a Maltipoo would make a great choice. Look for reputable breeders, and as with all puppies, be sure that the puppies are well-socialized and trained appropriately. You will have a best friend for years to come!