is an ancient breed, thought to originate in the Mediterranean area and its name stems from the Mediterranean island of Malta where small white dogs were revered. These dogs were eventually transported into Egypt and Europe. It is believed that over centuries, the dog was bred down in size and we do know that in the 1600's and 1700's, selective breeding was done to make the Maltese smaller.
Maltipoo lovers that understand about crossbreeding should find it interesting that in the early 1800's, there were very few Maltese dogs and at that time these dogs were crossbred with Poodles and miniature Spaniels to help keep the breed from going extinct. This created at least 9 different types of Maltese dogs; some of which had color.
In the early 1900's both parti-color (two colors) and fully solid colored Maltese dogs were accepted in UK show rings. It is only relatively recently that Maltese have been expected to be pure white (with tan or lemon markings on the ears being acceptable with some kennel clubs). The Maltese was accepted by the AKC in 1888 and by the FCI in 1955 (with Italian patronage).
is a hybrid dog, being either a cross of a toy or mini Poodle and a Maltese or is produced by pairing two Maltipoos. As noted above in looking at Maltese history, crossbreeding is not unique to just' hybrid' dogs, as every purebred was crossbred at some point. Some crossings are unknown due to poor record keeping and others are well documented. This sort of selective breeding
has been happening since dogs were domesticated, yet only starting in the late 1900's did the terms of 'hybrid' and 'designer' dogs gain popularity.
Some hybrid dogs did not catch on and others did. The Maltipoo is one of the most popular hybrid dogs and if ethical breeders keep working towards a standard appearance, it is possible that someday Maltipoos will be an accepted breed. The AKC, FCI and other large kennel clubs accept new breeds every few years that were once 'hybrid' dogs.
For example, in 2011 the Boerboels dog was accepted in the Miscellaneous class (most dogs enter here and after 2 to 3 years, move to being an accepted purebred) and this dog was crossbred with Bullmastiffs in the early 1900's.