Tiny Maltipoos may look like puppies forever, but they have special needs as puppies that, if met, will set them up for a lifetime of good health and fun family time. A mix between a Maltese and a toy or mini poodle, Maltipoos inherit outstanding genes from both parents. It's a mystery which traits any Maltipoo will have, but they are sure to be some of the cutest pups around.
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Maltipoo physical characteristics
Maltipoos can be either miniature or toy size, depending on the size of their poodle parents. They typically stand between 8 and 14 inches tall from paws to withers and weigh between 5 and 20 pounds. Of course, Maltipoo puppies will be even tinier at birth, growing to their adult height by 12 months old or earlier. With few health issues, Maltipoos live an average of 10 to 15 years.
Maltipoo puppies will inherit physical traits from both parents, so they can be white with tan or yellowish markings like the Maltese, or inherit just about any color from their poodle parent. With one parent known for their curls and the other for their straight, floor-length veil, Maltipoo puppies' coats can be super curly, wavy, straight, or somewhere in between.
One of the questions potential owners always ask is, "Do Maltipoos shed?" Maltipoos shed very little, just like their parents. No dog is truly hypoallergenic, though, since dog allergies typically stem not from their hair, but from the dander that all dogs have on their skin.
Maltipoo puppy nutrition
For toy and miniature dogs, every morsel must provide the nutrition puppies need for health and growth. Your vet can guide you as to the best puppy food for Maltipoos. If you want to add human food to their diet, avoid foods that can make dogs ill, and be sure to count the calories of all Maltipoo food and treats as part of their daily diet. Small dogs can become overweight easily, which can lead to many health problems.
Maltipoo training & temperament
While breed is not a reliable indicator of personality, as every dog is unique, Maltipoos are known for being happy, playful dogs that fit into any size family and home. They are good with children, but watch them carefully around small children who might squeeze or step on them. Maltipoos are also fairly easy to train if you begin soon after puppies come home so they establish desirable habits early. While some people complain of excessive barking, this can be addressed through training.
Use only positive reinforcement like treats, loving pats, or playtime with a favorite toy as rewards. Negative techniques like hitting or yelling make dogs fearful and wary of training. Avoid using training collars and leashes, too, because they can crush a tiny dog's windpipe. If you want to enroll your Maltipoo in a puppy training class, the optimum time is between 8 and 12 weeks old, when they are most receptive to learning new things.
Although Maltipoos don't shed much, they do still need a monthly bath and quick, daily brushing to keep fur from matting, and a longer brushing session every week or so. Trim their nails monthly, too, or when you hear them clicking on the floor. Clipping their fur can be done once or twice a year, but you will need to trim the hair on their faces monthly, especially around the eyes so they can see.
Maltipoo exercise & health
Maltipoos generally experience few health problems. According to 2019 claims data from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, the biggest problems Maltipoos encounter are, in order: digestive issues, ear infections, allergies, skin irritation, and diarrhea. Even little dogs need daily exercise like a short walk, dog park visit, or indoor playtime. Maltipoos are happiest they are when with their owners, so be sure to give them the attention they crave, whether for exercise or lap time.
Maltipoo history & heritage
No one knows for sure who was the first breeder to cross a poodle with a Maltese and come up with Maltipoos, or when, but their parents have long and storied histories. The island of Malta was occupied by many conquerors through the years, but the Phoenicians are believed to have brought the small, white dog with the straight, floor-length coat to the island sometime near the end of the 13th century BCE.
The Maltese was a hit from the start; even Aristotle was said to have commented on the "perfectly proportioned" dog. During the Roman empire, Maltese dogs were seen peeking out of nearly every aristocratic lady's clothing. Maltese first appeared in the Westminster dog show in New York in 1877.
Meanwhile, despite their reputation as France's national dog, poodles actually got their start as hunting dogs in Germany retrieving ducks from water. Soon, other European countries took an interest in the poodles' looks, athleticism, and intelligence, and they became popular among the nobles. The miniature poodle was bred in Europe, and the toy poodle was bred in the U.S. in the early 1900s to be apartment-dwelling, city dogs.