When we look at the Maltipoo temperament, we must look to the source: The traits of the Maltipoo's parents...The traits of both the Poodle and the Maltese that have been inbreed for hundreds of years.
While some dogs may have behavioral issues and each dog, of course, has their own personality, there is most certainly temperament, personality and traits that are the Maltipoo's alone. This amazing hybrid dog is known for being very intelligent, playful, affectionate and expressive. One reason why this breed is so popular is because he often has the wonderful traits and qualities of his parent breeds, but not so much the negative ones. He is alert without being yappy, loyal without being clingy and active without being stubborn or overly independent.
While a Maltipoo is officially an adult at the age of 1 year old, most will retain their puppy-like tendencies such as being playful and curious to the 2 or even 3 year mark. Since they pick up training well (both for housebreaking and commands) this gives you an adult dog that is well-trained but also super amusing and entertaining. He really makes for a fantastic canine family member.
Sophie, 6 months old
Photo courtesy of Melanie Smith
Genetic Temperament the Passed from the Parent Breeds
The Maltipoo is a result of a direct breeding between a purebred toy Poodle and a purebred Maltese. Therefore, let's look at the temperament of those 2 dog breeds and see how this applies to the Maltipoo...
Both the Poodle and the Maltese are toy breed dogs. They are lap dogs and companion dogs. Neither is known for any sort of aggression. While they are loyal to their human family members, neither is well known as a "watch dog", and this is mostly due to their size.
The Maltipoo, in turn is also a toy breed dog, although not yet recognized by the AKC, its size, height and structure would put them into this category. Therefore, this dog is both a lap dog and a companion dog.
Let's talk for a moment about what these terms actually mean. Does a lap dog imply that this breed will want to sit in your lap all of the time? No. This actually means that its size affords the owner the ability to easily lift, carry and have the dog sit on them. These dogs are easy to transport and to bring to locations where larger dogs may not be able to go. Being a companion dog technically means that the dog is not categorized as a hunting dog, a retriever, etc. The main purpose for breeding companion dogs are to give owners pleasure in having a wonderful canine family member that is perfect for any sized home.
There is 1 myth in particular regarding small dogs, and that is the barking issue. Some people falsely believe that small dogs are "yappers". This is generally not true. However, some breeds, such as the small Beagle do have a tendency to howl. Other small breed dogs such as the Pug often snort and snore....This is due to the shape of their heads, which allow for an extremely short snout and can cause breathing issues. The Maltipoo will not bark any more than any other breed.
With this being said, one must keep in mind that the environment that the dog is put into will influence many behaviors, including barking. For example, if put into a crate all day or left alone all day without a proper setup, the Maltipoo may bark from the moment the owner leaves the home until the second they return. Can you blame them? But, with proper care, training and some planning ahead of time, this breed will not have barking issues.
Lady and Tramp
Photo courtesy of Sabrina Summerville-Ebron
Other Maltipoo temperament elements include:
-Staying close to their owner, being able to form a close bond
- Having the capacity to quickly learn training....from commands to house training, when properly taught
Amusing and Entertaining Personality
- Most Maltipoo puppies and dogs can keep their owner smiling all day long, they are known for their cute antics....sliding on floors, bouncing around, encouraging their owner to "chase" and soaking in new toys as if they were a 5 year old child on their birthday.
Jovie, 4 years old
Photo courtesy of Kellie Kaser
There are a few behavioral problems
that may pop up with this breed, however most can be resolved by making a few adjustments or adding training.
Adults are often calmer than the rather hyper puppy, once a routine has been established they will normally be very happy to sun near a window or lay down on the carpet to watch TV. Adults may have a propensity to slowly walk the perimeter of the house, "Just to check things out" and make sure that all is well.
The good-natured Maltipoo
is also a great dog if one wishes to have a multi dog household. Most get along very well with other dogs. In most cases, it seems to work out best if the other dogs are of the same type: toy or small breed dogs....But in some instances a Maltipoo can get along very well with a larger dog.
- Up until the senior years, this dog is moderately to very active....They are often happy to go for walks and play either indoors or outside. While their size makes them a great choice for apartment living, they do need daily exercise to release pent up energy...Even if this is a 30 minute walk through the neighborhood. Owners will learn that this is important, as a dog who does not have a release of energy will often turn to negative behavior such as chewing, barking, whining or destructive play.