Maltese Poodle: Dog Breed Guide

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The Maltese poodle, often nicknamed a ‘Maltipoo,’ is a small dog breed known for its adaptable, friendly, and affectionate temperament. Many individuals love these dogs for their perfect apartment-friendly size, the fun and playful spirit they bring to families, and their relatively easy-to-train nature. However, some people may be wondering if the Maltese poodle is the perfect dog for them, which is why we’re here to help.

Our article will give you a complete rundown of the Maltese poodle dog breed, including information about their care needs, temperament, and items that can be seen as drawbacks in certain situations. We’ll also discuss health issues and the suitability of this dog for different family lifestyles. Read on to learn more about this wonderful small dog breed!

A Quick Look at Maltese Poodles

The quick facts below about Maltese poodles can introduce you to this breed and help you to understand some basics about their appearance, temperament, and care needs.

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Weight/Height 5 to 20lbs/8 to 14 inches
Coat Type Medium to long, wavy or fluffy
Grooming Needs four out of five bones
Shedding two out of five bones
Temperament  Loyal, affectionate, sociable, playful
Good With Kids four out of five bones
Good With Other Animals four out of five bones
Intelligence four out of five bones
Easy to Train five out of five bones
Energy Level three out of five bones
Barking Habits four out of five bones
Lifespan Between 10 and 13 years


What Is the History of the Maltese Poodle?

Maltese poodle puppy laying on back on carpet

Bred from two breeds with a long history, the Maltese poodle, commonly called a ‘Maltipoo,’ is a crossbreed between the Maltese and the toy poodle. The Maltese poodle originated in the United States around 1990, with the breeders intending to create a more low-maintenance lap dog for companionship. The intelligence, affectionate nature, and easy trainability of the  Maltese are combined with the low shedding and more hypoallergenic nature of the poodle to create this designer dog. Because it is a crossbreed, the Maltese poodle may not have a seamless blend of their parent’s traits, and every Maltese poodle puppy may turn out more like a Maltese or a poodle, depending on genetics.

Maltese poodles are small and bred to be fun playful lap dogs. They are often classified as a ‘toy’ breed, though some Maltese poodles can reach up to 20 pounds and 14 inches in height. While Maltese poodles are not recognized by the American Kennel Club or other purebred dog kennel clubs, there are several organizations hoping to help Maltese poodles obtain recognition with the American Kennel Club by adhering to certain breeding and appearance requirements. However, this is still a work in progress as reputable breeding organizations work toward creating a crossbreed with desirable traits and a consistent appearance.

In today’s world, Maltese poodles are highly sought after due to their big personality, cute appearance, and small size. They are affectionate, fitting well into families, and they are a perfect apartment-sized dog, which makes them a perfect addition to the home for people in more urban areas. Plus, Maltese poodles come in a range of colors and coat patterns due to their crossbreed heritage, making each dog as unique as their loveable nature.

What Do Maltese Poodles Look Like?

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Since Maltese poodles are a cross between the Maltese and toy poodle dog breeds, they have a similar small stature. They stand between 8 and 14 inches tall and weigh between 5 and 20 pounds, depending on lineage. Most Maltese poodles will have medium to long hair that is very soft, fluffy, and may contain a wavy pattern.

Maltese poodles are available in a number of different patterns such as bicolor, tricolor, tuxedo, sable, and merle, and the colorations of Maltese poodles range from black, brown, and grey to red, blue, cream, white, gold, and fawn.

It is important to note that your dog may look more like a Maltese or like a toy poodle depending on the lineage and their parents’ genetics. Most of the time, it is an even mix, but when it comes to face shape, hair length, and coloration, you should look to the parents of the dog for the best estimate of your puppy’s appearance.

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What Size Is a Maltese Poodle?

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Maltese poodles are considered a ‘toy’ breed and are fairly small dogs. They grow between 8 and 14 inches tall, though occasionally, you will find one as small as 5 inches tall and weigh between 5 and 20 pounds.

What Is a Maltese Poodle’s Coat Type?

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The Maltese poodle’s coat is a mix of the soft, wiry hair of the toy poodle and the fluffy, longer hair of the Maltese. Your Maltese poodle’s coat will be either medium or long in length and will either be straight, fluffy, and soft, or wirier and wavier. This breed has a single-layer coat that will continually grow, hence the increased grooming needs of this pup, but is less likely to shed as much as a double-layer coat would.

What Is a Maltese Poodle’s Temperament?

The Maltese poodle is known for being a sociable, friendly, affectionate, and loyal pup. They are fairly easy-going and happy pups, and they enjoy snuggling up on their family’s laps as much as they enjoy a spirited game of fetch or running around a park. For the most part, Maltese poodles are gentle and love to receive attention from their family as much as they love to give attention.

Maltese poodles are quite alert, a trait that comes from the toy poodle in their genetics. This can make them suspicious from time to time, and they have a tendency to bark at things they don’t trust. However, they are not prone to aggression or a high prey drive. Your Maltese poodle may bark more when they are bored or anxious, but these behavioral issues can be fixed with proper care and training.

Are Maltese Poodles Affectionate?

Maltese poodles are highly affectionate pups. They love to sit with their humans and spend time lounging around in addition to spending time playing outside, taking walks, or visiting dog parks and dog-friendly areas. Maltese poodles have a need to receive lots of affection from their families, and they will certainly give just as much affection back.

You should remember that because the Maltese poodle is such a people-loving and affectionate pup, they can be prone to separation anxiety and may not handle long periods of separation from their families well.

Are Maltese Poodles Good With Kids?

Maltese poodles are good with kids, thanks to their relatively gentle and calm nature. They can be playful and affectionate and easily get along with children who want to play or spend time properly petting them. It is important to note that children who play rough with your Maltese poodle may hurt the dog due to their small and more fragile size, so older children and children who know how to treat animals properly are likely a better match for this pup.

Are Maltese Poodles Good With Other Animals?

Maltese poodles are generally good with all other animals that they may meet or live with. They are outgoing and sociable and unlikely to become aggressive, though they may bark at first if they see the other animal as suspicious. Larger dogs may not be the best choice for a companion for Maltese poodles, as this dog breed can be easily injured by rough play or accident.

Are Maltese Poodles Aggressive?

Maltese poodles are not an aggressive dog breed and don’t have a very high prey drive. They may bark at things that frighten them or find suspicious, but they are unlikely to bite, growl, or nip unless they are being directly threatened or accosted.

Do Maltese Poodles Bark a Lot?

Maltese poodle puppy running outside on deck

Maltese poodles can be quite the barker in certain situations. This breed tends to bark at things they find frightening or suspicious, but they will stop after they see what the item is clearly or the unfamiliar person is proven to be friendly. Maltese poodles can develop anxiety and behavioral issues when left alone for long periods of time, which can result in excessive barking; proper training and care can reduce the amount of barking and make this pup happier.

Are Maltese Poodles Intelligent?

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Maltese poodles are reasonably intelligent dogs due to the genetics of the toy poodle. Toy poodles are known for their above-average intelligence and the ease at which they pick up basic obedience training or more advanced skills. They are more emotionally intelligent when it comes to training, as this pup has a knack for reading their family’s emotional cues.

Are Maltese Poodles Easy to Train?

Maltese poodles are fairly easy to train thanks to their average to above-average intelligence. They pick up basic obedience commands quickly and may even be suited for more advanced skills and commands. They also love to show off to their owners and spend time with their families, which makes training them a good time for all.

Are Maltese Poodles Energetic?

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Maltese poodles are quite an energetic dog, but their exercise needs are moderate. They love a quick 15-minute playtime with their toys inside or outside the home, and they require a 15 to 20-minute walk at least twice daily to stay happy and healthy. You should also take your Maltese poodle to dog parks regularly in order to get them to socialize with other dogs in a safe, contained manner.

Are Maltese Poodles Good Apartment Dogs?

Maltese poodles are one of the best breeds for apartment living. They are small, easily adaptable when it comes to apartment spaces, and don’t require a lot of exercise or space to move around in. They may bark from time to time when hearing noises from other apartments or seeing things outside, but with proper training and care, your Maltese poodle should not cause too much noise or disruption in an apartment.

Are Maltese Poodles Good Watchdogs?

Maltese poodle sitting still with white background

Maltese poodles are pretty good watchdogs; they are alert, bark at anything suspicious they see, and are fiercely loyal to their family. You can expect your Maltese poodle to bark at unfamiliar strangers or things they perceive as threats which can be helpful when you want a small dog that can alert you to potential trouble around your home.

Are Maltese Poodles Good Service Dogs?

Maltese poodles may be good service dogs in certain situations. This dog is quite small, so they are not suited for mobility or guiding-related service tasks, but due to their trainable nature and constant want to help out their families, they can make good medical alert or emotional support dogs. The Maltese poodle is pretty emotionally perceptive, something that helps them relieve conditions such as anxiety and depression, and they can pick up medical alert commands easily, in addition to learning more advanced skills such as fetching medications, phones, and water.

How to Care for a Maltese Poodle

Caring for your Maltese poodle requires spending time with your pup exercising them, loving on them, and providing them with the nutrition they need. You should take your dog out on walks at least twice a day and spend time playing with them and their toys whenever possible. Regular visits to dog parks and walking in public can help socialize your dog, and you should always remember to stay up to date with veterinary care.

Your Maltese poodle will likely need regular bathing and grooming services to keep their hair clean and free of mats. You will also need to feed your Maltese poodle two meals a day, supplemented by treats and other highly nutritional additions.

Around your home, your Maltese poodle will need a space of their own to sleep in, their own toys to play with when you’re not around, and they may benefit from stairs to climb up to couches and beds, so they don’t hurt themselves falling. You should remember not to leave your Maltese poodle home alone for long periods, as this can cause behavioral issues and upset your dog.

Do You Need to Groom a Maltese Poodle?

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Maltese poodles do need to be groomed. Their hair grows constantly, and since it is on the longer side, it can become matted and dirty easily. Brush your Maltese poodle several times a week, bathe them approximately once every month or so, and take them to a groomer on a regular basis to get their hair brushed out and trimmed so that it stays clear of their eyes and out of the way.

Do Maltese Poodles Shed?

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Maltese poodles shed a small amount, but they are considered a low-shedding and more hypoallergenic dog breed. This lack of shedding is attributed to their single-layer coat that continually grows instead of shedding small hairs all over the place like a double-layered coat often does.

What Should a Maltese Poodle Eat?

Your Maltese poodle should eat high-quality dog food divided into two to three meals daily. Smaller pieces of dry kibble are preferred to help with easy chewing, and you should be feeding between a quarter cup and one and a quarter cups of food per day depending on your dog’s weight; a veterinarian can help you calculate this. Supplement your dog’s meal times with nutritional treats and snacks once or twice a day, but be careful not to overfeed or provide too many rich and high-calorie treats.

What Health Problems Do Maltese Poodles Have?

Like many crossbreeds, the Maltese poodle may present health issues inherited from its parents and health issues resulting from being bred into a small-sized dog. Maltese poodles are prone to health problems such as mitral valve disease, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, luxating patella, bloat, and allergies.

Proper care of your Maltese poodle and regular veterinary visits can help ensure your pup stays in top shape and may help you to catch a developing health problem before it turns into something more serious or life-threatening.

How Long Do Maltese Poodles Live?

Maltese poodles have a life span that ranges between 10 and 13 years. In order to give your pup the longest, happiest life possible, you should be taking proper care of your dog, ensuring that regular vet visits are maintained, and keeping an eye on your Maltese poodle for potential emerging health issues.

Are Maltese Poodles Expensive?

Maltese poodles are considered a designer breed and can be more expensive to purchase as a result. For the most part, you will need to purchase a Maltese poodle directly from the breeder, which can cost you between $600 and $4,000 depending on the breeder, your location, and the lineage of the parents.

How to Find a Maltese Poodle Breeder?

To find a Maltese poodle breeder, you can perform internet searches for both local and national reputable breeders. Most of the time, you will be put on a waiting list for a puppy, and the breeder will keep you updated on when your puppy can come home. Keep in mind that you should attempt to gather as much information about the breeder, their licenses, and the conditions in which the dogs are being bred to ensure that you purchase from a breeder that properly cares for their animals.

Can You Adopt a Maltese Poodle?

While you can adopt a Maltese poodle from a shelter, this breed may not often turn up at local and national organizations. This is because Maltese poodles are considered designer dogs and are typically purchased directly from breeders; owners who spend money on a dog like this are unlikely to rehome them. That being said, there may be several rescue organizations dedicated to rehoming this breed when they have been given up due to unfortunate circumstances; keep an eye out on the websites of local and national organizations to see if any have Maltese poodles available for adoption.

Are Maltese Poodles Purebred?

Maltese poodles are not purebred dogs. They are a crossbreed, created from a mix of the Maltese dog breed and the toy poodle dog breed. Because the parents of this dog are generally purebred and the Maltese poodle has been expertly bred for specific companionship traits, the Maltese poodle is often called a ‘designer’ dog breed.

Can You Show Maltese Poodles?

Woman holding two golden Maltese poodle puppies

You cannot show Maltese poodles as they are not official purebred dogs and are not recognized by the American Kennel Club. They may be recognized by specific mixed and designer breed kennel clubs; you will need to search for these organizations and see if show opportunities are available.

Are Maltese Poodles Good for New Dog Owners?

Maltese poodles are usually a pretty good choice for new dog owners. This breed is gentle, friendly, and affectionate and is relatively low-maintenance when it comes to exercise. They love spending time with their families and are quite playful, in addition to fitting well into apartment-style living.

The only things new dog owners may be overwhelmed by are the higher grooming needs of this pup and the fact that they are companion dogs, meaning they cannot be left alone for long periods.

Is a Maltese Poodle the Right Dog for Me?

Deciding whether or not the Maltese poodle is the right dog for you can be a difficult choice. Below, we make a list of points about when this dog may or may not fit into your lifestyle; review these items carefully to determine whether or not the Maltese poodle is the best dog breed for you.

The Maltese poodle might be the right dog for you if:

  • You want a friendly, loving, and sociable dog that loves to spend time with you and give affection as much as they receive it.
  • You have no problem keeping your dog by your side as much as possible, even when traveling, and won’t leave your dog at home for long periods of time.
  • You want a dog that is easily trained for basic tasks and has a playful, more energetic outlook on life.
  • You want a dog that fits in well to apartment-style living.

The Maltese poodle is not the dog for you if:

  • You plan on leaving your dog home alone for long periods of time; Maltese poodles need social interaction and plenty of time spent with their families to stay happy and healthy.
  • You want a dog that will mix well with any larger breed dogs in your home; Maltese poodles are generally too small to play well with larger dog breeds, though it is possible.
  • You want a dog that can spend plenty of time outdoors with you hiking, hunting, or generally being active; Maltese poodles are playful and energetic, but they are too small for labor-intensive outdoor activities.

Once you review these items and our complete dog breed guide, the decision of whether or not to add a Maltese poodle to your family should be clear. And, no matter which dog you decide to adopt, as long as you take proper care of it and provide it with ample love, you and your pup are sure to live happily together for as long as possible.