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The Maltipoo is one of the smaller designer crossbreeds, and while still not common in the UK, it is growing in popularity. The breeds that make up the Maltipoo are the Maltese and the Poodle (Toy or sometimes Miniature).

Maltipoos can vary in size, shape, coat types and temperaments, depending on how they have been bred, but in all cases this is a small companion dog. The Maltipoo can be a first cross (with one Maltese and one Poodle parent, they can be bred back to one of the original breeds or be two Maltipoos bred together.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Little toy dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Don't mind
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • Great with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Height: The usual height of a Maltipoo depends on the size of the parents used. They can vary widely from 24cm to 36cms, but are usually on the smaller end of that range. Maltese - not exceeding 25cm; Poodle - Toy under 28cm; Miniature between 28-38cm
Colours: The usual colours of a Maltipoo vary as well and can be any of these solid colours with or without white markings
Maltese: Pure white but slight lemon markings are permissible
Poodle: All solid colours
UK Kennel Club Groups: Toy (Maltese) and Utility (Shih Tzu)


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 2/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 1/5


Like most crossbreeds, the personality of a Maltipoo depends on the parents and how they have been bred and reared, but both parents are affectionate companion dogs who bond closely to their owners.

The Maltese

Despite their small size the Maltese is a comparatively robust little dog who as long as they are well-bred and socialised, are active, friendly, trusting and alert. They bond very closely to their owners and will want to go everywhere with them.

The Poodle

The Poodle is a lively, sociable, outgoing and affectionate dog who is both intelligent and amusing, and makes a wonderful and fun companion. They love to be included in all family pursuits and can be good watch dogs, announcing visitors loudly!

Both the Toy and the Miniature Poodles are very clever, trainable dogs and enjoy learning new skills, games and tricks.

It is clear however from looking at the two breeds that make up the Maltipoo that this is a small companion dog who will enjoy training and games - but will mostly enjoy being with their owner.

The personality of a Maltipoo seems to be more consistent when they are first crosses (F1). As a line is successively bred, they can be either bred back to one of the original breeds (and so strengthen either the Maltese or the Poodle personalities) or else be bred to another Maltipoo - in which case there is less predictability in temperament (and in-breeding becomes more of a potential issue).

Responsible breeders should be prioritising behaviour as highly as health and so it is important to find a good breeder. A well-bred Maltipoo should be outgoing and confident, not nervous, shy or fearful.

History & Origins

Like many of the designer crossbreeds, the Maltipoo originated in the United States in a quest to find a small companion dog that didn’t shed and that would fit into any family’s lifestyle no matter how small their home and garden.

The two breeds that go into the formation of the Maltipoo are the Maltese and the Poodle.

The Maltese

Country of Origin: Malta

This is one of the earliest of the small companion dog breeds. They may well have existed in Malta for hundreds of years, although the earliest records are from the early 1800s where they became known as lapdogs of the nobility and were frequently seen in paintings of the time. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries they became increasingly popular both in Malta and wider afield, and thanks to both their appearance and their temperament, they quickly found fans around the world, first appearing as a show dog in England in 1859.

The Poodle

Country of origin: Germany

The original Poodle is the Standard Poodle who was a water retrieving dog. Their unusual haircuts were not about fashion, but are the result of owners wanting to make sure their dogs didn’t get waterlogged and so too heavy to swim easily in lakes. They shaved off as much hair as possible while keeping the vital organs and joints protected. The Miniature and Toy Poodles were created purely as smaller versions of the original Poodle for owners who didn’t want such a large dog but were enchanted by their personalities and enthusiasm for all kinds of work. These smaller Poodles quickly became popular and many found work in circuses thanks to their trainability, their joy of learning new tricks and their bright, happy temperaments.

The Maltipoo can have any combination of the two breeds in their appearance, behaviour and temperament.

Ideal Owner

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Maltipoos

Training Maltipoos

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