Maltese and Maltipoo dog breeds look similar at first glance. Their coats are a similar texture but the one thing that sets them apart is the color. The Maltese dog breed only has a white solid coat while the Maltipoo can have a variety of colors in their coat such as white, red, brown, black, white, and cream color. This is due to the fact the Poodle comes in 10 different standard coat colors.
When deciding between a Maltese vs Maltipoo there are a few things you should know before making your decision. We have a quick summary below and you can continue reading to learn more about both breeds and which one is the right one for you!
A quick summary of the Maltipoo vs Maltese:
- The Maltipoo comes in a variety of coat colors and can oftentimes be multi-color. Meanwhile, the Maltese typically conforms to the purebred standard and comes in white.
- Since Maltese are purebred dogs, they typically have a more standardized weight and size. On the other hand, the Maltipoo can be bred with many different Poodle sizes. However, they are typically bred with a toy or miniature Poodle.
- In general, the Maltipoo does tend to be much smarter than the Maltese. The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world and passes its intelligence onto the Maltipoo.
- Maltipoos are almost always bigger than Maltese. Since Maltipoos do not follow a purebred standard, they are typically larger and weigh more than a Maltese.
- The Maltese and Maltipoo both need to be groomed since they don’t shed and are typically hypoallergenic. This means regular haircuts and brushings to prevent tangles and mats.
What is a Maltese?
The Maltese dog breed has been around since before Biblical times. They are known as the ancient dog of Malta and bred to be the ultimate lap and companion dog. In addition, the Maltese have a beautiful silky floor-length coat and a charming playful personality. They easily adapt to a variety of situations and prefer to be indoors with their owner and family.
Unlike the Maltipoo, the Maltese conforms to a purebred standard as defined by several organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC). Thus, the Maltese has very specific markings, features, colors, and characteristics that define the dog breed.
What is a Maltipoo?
The Maltipoo is a crossbreed of a Maltese with a miniature or toy Poodle. They inherit a scruffy curly coat from their Poodle parent and are known to maintain a puppy-like personality throughout their entire lifetime. They are affectionate, playful, and highly intelligent.
The Maltipoo isn’t a purebred dog and doesn’t conform to any standards. Thus, you can technically find Maltipoo’s in several shapes, sizes, colors, and features. Depending on the generation of the dog, they can also inherit more Poodle genetics or more Maltese genetics.
Which breed is bigger?
A full breed adult Maltese stands 8 to 10 inches and weighs between 6 to 9 pounds. An adult Maltipoo grows to be the height of 14 inches and weigh between 5 to 15 pounds. These facts prove the Maltipoo is larger than the Maltese when fully grown.
Temperament: How do they behave?
The Maltese dog breed is playful, lively, and spirited. They are known for their trusting, loving, gentle, and devoted behavior towards their owner and family. In addition, this dog breed is considered intelligent and enjoys learning tricks and being the center of attention. The Maltese are quick to notice suspicious sounds and brave enough to bark consistently to scare a possible intruder away.
The lovable and graceful Maltese breed gets along well with other dogs and animals. They love to play outdoors and especially enjoy splashing around in water such as puddles. Moreover, sometimes Maltese become picky eaters if they are not fed a consistent diet. This means if you feed them table scraps or other yummy treats they will refuse to eat their real meal.
Sometimes the Maltese will have typical small dog behavior such as believing they are in charge of the household and the alpha of the pack. They enjoy being around their owners and are at high risk of developing separation anxiety. If you work long hours you might want to consider another dog breed.
Pet owners who are interested in welcoming a Maltese into their household need to be the alpha of the pack otherwise, this adorable dog will rule the house and everyone inside.
The Maltipoo temperament is not always due to inheritance but is partly affected by the environment they live in and the people in the family. Maltipoos absorb and learn the behavior of others around them including different types of temperaments. While most of their temperament is inherited from their mother, their socialization once they are adopted by a human family also has a hand in their temperament.
The Maltipoo is an outgoing and friendly breed that is also gentle, cuddly, and loving towards their owner and family. When they are socialized from a young age they will feel comfortable around strangers and show the same type of affection to people who visit the home frequently.
Maltipoos love to play and go for walks. They enjoy being outdoors and playing games such as fetch. Maltipoos can begin training in obedience and socialization as early as eight weeks. Heavy socialization training is always recommended from a young age to ensure you raise a well-behaved Maltipoo.
These adorable and loving dog breeds are a favorite companion and family dog of many owners.
Lifespan: What is their life expectancy?
The Maltese dog breeds has a life expectancy of up to 15 years. Some owners have reported their dog living up to 18 years old. Maltipoos have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. This is due to the fact that Maltipoos are typically larger dogs. It’s a known fact that larger dogs tend to live less than smaller dogs.
Health: Are they prone to health conditions?
Maltese are susceptible to a variety of health conditions such as the ones mentioned below:
- Dental disease – This chronic problem affects about 80% of all dogs by the time they turn 2 years old. Dental disease begins with tartar buildup on the teeth that gradually infect the gums and roots of the teeth. If left untreated dental disease will cause a Maltese to lose their teeth and possibly cause other health problems such as kidney, heart, and liver damage.
- Infections – This dog breed is susceptible to experiencing viral and bacterial infections. Common diseases include distemper, rabies, and parvo. The good news is all of these infections have vaccinations to prevent the disease.
- Obesity – Maltese love to eat and snack on yummy food which leads to weight gain. Many Maltese quickly become obese which can lead to metabolic and digestive disorders, joint problems, heart disease, and back pain. Pet parents are encouraged to find alternate ways to praise their Maltese such as brushing them, playing toys, and taking them for walks in place of treats.
- Parasites – This breed is at risk of bugs and worms invading their little body. These bugs and parasites can affect the inside and outside of the body. Common issues include fleas, ticks, heartworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms. The way these parasites invade the system is through walking on contaminated soil, getting bitten by a mosquito infected with the parasites, and drinking unclean water. If these health issues go untreated they can lead to discomfort, pain, and death.
Maltipoo health conditions include:
- White Shaker Syndrome – This syndrome causes a Maltipoo to experience tremors throughout their entire body. It is most often found in dogs between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. Another common sign of the syndrome is the lack of coordination.
- Epilepsy – This inherited disease results in seizures that are difficult for parents to see. However, it is easily managed with prescription medication from a veterinarian.
- Patellar Luxation – This health condition is commonly found in small dog breeds such as Maltipoos. Patellar Luxation is caused by the tibia, patella, and femur not aligning properly.
- Portosystemic Shunt – Symptoms of this disease include urinary tract problems, stunted growth, incoordination, lack of an appetite, and poor balance. It’s caused by an abnormal flow between the liver and the dog’s body.
- Legg Calve Perthes Disease – This common disease is usually found in small dog breeds. It’s the degeneration of the femur bone that causes joint and bone to inflame. Dogs that experience this disease are often uncomfortable and experience pain. Veterinarian attention is recommended to manage this disease.
Appearance: What do they look like?
Both The Maltese and Maltipoo have a cute fluffy curly coat. However, when the Maltese get their hair groomed and straightened by a professional or at home their hair becomes a silky texture and often reaches floor-length.
They both inherit facial features that are expressive with soulful eyes that my parents fall in love with immediately.
Grooming: How much do they require?
Grooming for both dog breeds includes weekly brushing sessions and weekly or monthly bathing depending on the dog’s lifestyle. Maltese and Maltipoos are both attracted to water and often will run straight towards a muddy puddle to splash around and have fun.
Their beautiful white coats or light-colored coats become stained with mud which can be difficult to remove. Frequent bathing is recommended if your specific dog enjoys rambunctious outdoor behavior that exposes them to dirt, grime, and mud.
Other grooming essentials include wiping and cleaning the exterior and surrounding area of the eyes and face plus trimming the nails on a regular basis. These picky little leaders also need their teeth brushed on a regular basis to prevent dental disease.
Training: Can they be easily trained?
Maltese and Maltipoos are highly intelligent and can be trained as early as eight weeks due to inheriting their clever mind from their Poodle parent. They are excellent at absorbing, retaining, and responding to obedience training commands from a young age.
Both of these breeds have a personality trait that can cause them to be a bit stubborn which makes some dogs a little difficult when it comes to maintaining control in the household. For this reason, pet parents need to establish themselves as the leader of the pack or alpha in the household. It’s essential to maintain this position so training is easy and quick.
If any difficulty during training sessions becomes unbearable it’s wise to hire a professional trainer to help train your dog successfully.
Costs: Are they expensive to look after?
A variety of expenses are involved in raising a healthy and happy Maltese or Maltipoo. The first thing to consider cost-wise is your dog’s daily necessities and basic needs such as food, water, and treats. Food and treats can be purchased in bulk to help reduce the cost. However, you need to decide whether you are going to give your Maltipoo or Maltese tap water or bottled water. If you choose bottled water you need to include the extra costs into your household budget.
Your dog will also need other necessities such as a soft comfortable bed, toys, and a crate or kennel. These items are essential to keep them comfortable, calm and their mind stimulated.
Veterinarian care is a must for all dogs and especially Maltese and Maltipoos. Veterinarian care includes regular office visits, vaccinations, and checkups throughout their lifetime. You also should consider emergency situations such as unforeseen injuries and health conditions.
Veterinarian care can become incredibly expensive depending on the situation. Thus, pet health insurance is recommended. The pet industry offers a variety of insurance policies that can be customized to suit your dog’s needs throughout their lifetime. Thus, health insurance works similarly to human policies and offers low monthly payments.
Maltese and Maltipoos are extremely playful happy dogs. If they are cooped up inside the house all day while their owners are at work, there’s a chance they will become bored or experience separation anxiety which will result in unwanted behavior such as the destruction of furniture and other household items.
An excellent way to solve separation anxiety and boredom in dogs is to take them to daycare. Doggie Daycares are a safe place to bring your pet during the day that allows them to socialize with other dogs instead of being locked inside the house alone. The cost of Doggy Daycare ranges depending on the type of services offered. Inquire further with your local doggie daycares and then incorporate the price into your budget.
Conclusion for Maltese vs Maltipoo
Choosing between an adorable Maltese and super friendly Maltipoo isn’t easy but the information above should help guide you in the direction of the right breed for you! You can’t go wrong with either breed since they are both the ultimate companion. The main difference is that the Maltese conforms to purebred guidelines while the Maltipoo does not. Make your choice today!
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Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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