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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021


The Malti-Poo is a mixed breed and is a cross between the Poodle (the toy or miniature) and the Maltese. He is known by other versions of the name such as Maltipoo and Malt-A-Poo. He should live between 10 to 13 years and is a great little dog for families, seniors, singles or couples whether living in a house or apartment. He is a charming but feisty dog an is quite a popular designer dog.
Here is the Malti-Poo at a Glance
Average height 8 to 14 inches
Average weight 5 to 20 pounds
Coat type Wavy to curly, fluffy, medium, soft, wooly
Hypoallergenic? Can be
Grooming Needs Moderate to high
Shedding Low
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Somewhat sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low – can suffer from separation anxiety
Barking Frequent
Tolerance to Heat Good
Tolerance to Cold Low to moderate
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Low to moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good to excellent
Trainability Easy to train
Exercise Needs Moderately active
Tendency to get Fat Low
Major Health Concerns Epilepsy, patellar luxation, PSS, PRA, Legg-Perthes
Other Health Concerns White Shaker Syndrome,
Life Span 10 to 13 years
Average new Puppy Price $450 to $3000
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $550
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $650 to $750

Where does the Malti-Poo come from?

The Malti-Poo is a designer dog purposely bred to create a mixed breed and part of a large number of different designer dogs that have soared into popularity in the last couple of decades. While some refer to designer dogs as mutts that is not strictly accurate. Mutts are accidental breedings where as these dogs are bred together deliberately with specific results hoped for. In the case of the Malti-Poo breeders are getting the non-shedding qualities of both dogs and are hoping for the best personality traits from each one. However as with any designer dog the results cannot be guaranteed. He was originally bred in America but his popularity is worldwide.

This particular designer dog is quite popular among regular people as well as celebrities. A lot of poor or ignorant breeders are seeing this trend and using it to make money by breeding any two purebreds together without any thought about it. Therefore it is important you research who you are buying from. With no history as such about the Malti-Poo yet known we can look briefly at the parents to get an idea of what a combination of their traits might turn out like.

The Maltese

An old breed still around today is the Maltese – he can be found in records dating back at least 2000 years! The Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians all have evidence of him but his actual origins are not specifically known. Some think it was in the Mediterranean on the Isle of Malta, some think it was Italy and some think it might even have been Asia. The French loved him when he came there in the 1400s The 1500s saw him become a favorite in England. But in the 1600s and 1700s he dropped in popularity. Attempts were made to breed him to the size of a squirrel. This failed and nearly ended the breed. Breeders had to use other breeds to save him which led to some new breeds being developed. The Maltese came to the US in the late 1800s.

Now he is an entertainer with a very outgoing and lively personality. He loves being with people and responds very well to positive reinforcement so he is easy to train. He is sweet and tries to make friends with everyone. He is good at getting his own way but can be hard to house train. Some have digestive problems and can be picky eaters.

The Poodle

Another very old breed is the Poodle. You can find pictures of Poodle like dogs on old Roman and Egyptian artifacts and in tombs from as far back as the 1st century. Despite most regular people thinking the Poodle is a French dog, in fact he comes from Germany and was used for hunting ducks and other waterfowl. But he became a more distinct breed when he made it to France. There have been three sizes of Poodles for centuries, the Standard, the Miniature and the Toy. French aristocracy adopted the toy Poodles as companions to carry around with them. When the Poodle was adopted into traveling circuses to perform they clipped them into interesting shapes and the aristocracy copied. He was registered in the Kennel Club in England in 1874, and the American Kennel Club in 1886.

Today he is known for being super intelligent, eager to please and easy to train. He is very devoted and loving and while energetic, can be calmed with training, socialization and enough exercise. He may seem to be aloof but in fact when you talk to Poodle owners you discover he has a great sense of humor and loves to clown around and play.


The Malti-Poo is an affectionate and charming dog who can be playful, gentle and yet adorably feisty.

He loves to cuddle too and is a fairly sensitive dog sensing your modd changes. This means he is also not responsive to harsh tones or scoldings and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too long. Some owners get a companion dog for him! He is happiest when with a family member as he loves to be close to you. He is smart and gets on well with people in general. A good day for this guy is to play and entertain and burn off some energy then snuggle up for a good cuddle session. Malti-Poos also tend to mature more slowly than other dogs and can stay puppy like for a lot longer. There are some poorly bred Malti-Poos that are not so great though. Some can be snappy, noisy, stubborn, impossible to house train and come with many health issues. It really does make sense to buy from a trusted source.

What does the Malti-Poo look like

He is a small dog weighing 5 to 20 pounds and standing 8 to 14 inches tall. He can sometimes look more like the Maltese and sometimes more like a Poodle. Even puppies from the same litter can vary in appearance as well as personality. His coat can be wavy or curly, fluffy, medium to long in length, soft or wooly. A wiry coat is not desirable and can be a sign of poor breeding. Common colors are White, cream, silver or more varied including apricot and different browns.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Malti-Poo need to be?

He is small so you are not going to need to spend an hour or two a day walking him, but he is slightly active and has some energy so nor can you expect him to be a lapdog all day. He will play around the house or apartment, he will enjoy having a short walk each day, the occasional treat to visit a dog park and so on. Access to a yard to play and explore in is a bonus. When taking him for a walk try to spend 10 to 15 minutes, making sure the temperature is at a level he can deal with.

Does he train quickly?

A well bred Malti-Poo is easy to train as he is eager to please, smart and happy to spend the time with you training. He responds well to treats and rewards, praise and positive encouragement. You need to be firm but fair and always be consistent. Stay calm and avoid getting impatient or using a harsh tone, he is sensitive and things will not go well if you loose your temper or get frustrated with him. Early socialization and training are a key part of helping your dog become the best he can be.

Living with a Malti-Poo

How much grooming is needed?

He is a low shedding dog and is considered to be hypoallergenic though if allergies are an issue you should always visit a dog before buying. He will need clipping once or twice a year at a professional groomers and will need brushing daily to keep the tangles out and stop it being matted. His head of hair may need more regular trimming. He will need a bath perhaps every 6 weeks to keep the coat clean and soft, but take care not to bathe too often as it affects the natural oils in his skin. Use a proper dog shampoo. He will also need his nails clipping if they get too long, something you could let the groomer do since he has nerves in them that make trimming something you have to take care over. Check his ears once a week for infection and debris and give them a wipe clean. Also brush his teeth at least twice a week.

What is he like with children and other animals?

He is best as a companion for seniors or in homes with older children just because his size makes him more at risk of injury from smaller children who do not know how to be careful. He gets on well with children though, he is affectionate and playful with them. He is also good with other pets and dogs too especially when early socialization and training have been given.

General information

He does tend to bark a fair bit so if noise is an issue where you live he may not be the best choice, unless you are willing to put in the hard work of training him to know when to bark and when not to. He will bark to alert you of an intruder. He will need ¾ to 1 1/2 cups of good quality dry dog food a day split into two meals. He is better in slightly warmer climates than very cold ones.

Health Concerns

Before you buy a Malti-Poo you should make sure you are buying from a good breeder who can show you health clearances. This is the best way you can improve the odds on getting a healthy dog. There are certain health problems he may be more at risk of that the parents have passed on to him such as Epilepsy, patellar luxation, PSS, PRA, Legg-Perthes and White Shaker Syndrome.

Costs involved in owning a Malti-Poo

A puppy can cost anywhere between $450 to $3000. This is a popular and ‘trendy’ dog to have so the prices are high and what you get with that varies greatly. Some breeders include things like chipping, blood tests, deworming, shots and neutering. If yours does not you will have to pay for these for about $260 to $300. Some basic supplies will be needed like a crate, food bowls, collar, leash and carrier bag. These will cost between $100 to $130. Yearly costs for food, treats, toys, license, grooming and training will fall between $650 to $750. Yearly costs for medical reasons other than emergencies or existing conditions, for example check ups, flea prevention, vaccinations and insurance will come to $435 to $550.


Looking for a Malti-Poo Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

The Malti-Poo is an adaptable dog who can live in pretty much any kind of home as long as he gets a little exercise, some play and lots of attention! He does bark a lot so be prepared to either live with it or train him out of it. He is best with a home without young children and where he will not be left alone for long periods.

Featured image credit: Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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