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Appearance (What is a Maltipoo)

What is a Maltipoo

Maltipoo dog
Daisy, 3 years old
Photo courtesy of Faith Daniels 

A Maltipoo is a cross between a toy or miniature Poodle and a Maltese. A 2nd generation Maltipoo may also be the result of paring two Maltipoo dogs. This type of dog is often referred to as a hybrid dog and less commonly as a designer dog. While not yet recognized as its own breed, with a size between 5 and 12 lbs., he is in the toy size class. 

The coat may take on the curl of the Poodle, the soft silky texture of the Maltese or fall somewhere in the middle. The coat is of hair, not fur, and this makes the Maltipoo a low shedding dog. Hairs will renew, but there is not a heavy shed.

The Maltipoo is fast becoming a popular crossbreed and is know for his intelligence, playful personality and excellent canine family member.

He can be found in a multitude of different colors, since the Poodle genes bring in over 11 different hues. 

Unlike dogs of unknown origin or 'mutts', Maltipoos are dogs that are purposely bred, with one parent being a Maltese and the other parent being a toy Poodle. When this dog first became popular either the toy or miniature Poodle was used; but now it is just the toy sized Poodle that is used in just about every pairing.
Both dam and sire are AKC recognized dog breeds, and the resulting litter are not AKC recognized, but do have their own standards of appearance, color, weight size, etc. 'True' cross-bred Maltipoos will be 1st generation, which are off-spring of a Poodle and a Maltese. If two Maltipoos are paired to produce a litter, this results in a litter of 2nd generation dogs, their parents were not the toy Poodle and the Maltese. If two second generation Maltipoos mate, they produce 3rd generation dogs.  
Appearance of the Maltipoo

At this stage in the development of this hybrid dog, the appearance of the Maltipoo varies quite a bit. As time goes by, with proper breeding practices followed and most (if not all) breeders striving toward the same goal, the Maltipoo will someday have a much stricter standard. With this said, there here are the stats for the Maltipoo:

Weight: 5-12 lbs (2.27-5.44 kg). You may notice that this range is a bit larger than a lot of other breeds. This is because the Maltipoo is a relatively new hybrid dog....As time goes by , range will most likely not vary so much. 

Height: 14 inches average (35.56 cm)....this is the average and can vary from 12 to 16 inches in most cases.

Life Expectancy: 15 years - Again an average....some small dogs live up to 18 years and in rare cases even longer.

Average Litter Size: 4-6 puppies - It is not unusual to have 1 pup...however the maximum is almost always 6

Color:This is where it gets quite interesting. The Maltipoo can be found in a metaphorical rainbow of colors. While one parent (the Maltese) is a pure white dog (in rare cases and without excellent breeding, a cream color)....The other parent (the toy Poodle) comes in a huge range of colors.

Therefore, the Maltipoo will be a toned down coat color of the following: Apricot, black, blue (appears black but skin pigmentation -nose, eye rims, lips and paw pads- have a dark blue tint), brown, cream, gray, tan, orange, red, silver. The majority of Maltipoo dogs are multi colored (also referred to as parti-colored) which means that the coat holds more than one color. Some Maltipoos are one solid color. The most popular color is white and the rarest is black....this is because black is dominant and almost always overpowers the white genes.

The coat will either be soft and silky or long and wavy....Those that are not bred well will have a wiry coat.   
Maltipoo looks like a Poodle dog
A Maltipoo may have the curly coat of the Poodle
Photo courtesy of Cathy Zakrzewski  
Maltipoo with more Maltese
Or he may have the soft, silky coat of the Maltese
Sweet Pea, 4 years old
Photo courtesy of Dottie Smith
Maltipoo Maltese
Or a Maltipoo may have a coat of hairs that falls somewhere in the middle
Lexi, 4 months old
Photo courtesy of Myra Alicea
Why Many People are "Pro" Maltipoo 

While some people do not advocate the mixing of different breeds, it is a good time to mention that all of the breeds we know and love today are the result of the same type of breeding as the Maltipoo is. And some well known breeds are the result of even more aggressive mixed breeding. An example is the Pomeranian. The Pom is a tiny toy sized dog. His ancestors were large, white Spitz type sled dogs. Only through many generations of breeding the large sled dogs with a variety of small dogs of various color do we now have the Pom: a small dog that can be found in over 20 different coat colors. 

At certain points in history, the purposeful mixing of different breeds with the goal of producing a certain dog (size, color, appearance, temperament) is what has given us the hundreds of purebred dogs that we now love so much. When care and consideration is taken and the goal to produce healthy, quality puppies is met, pairing a toy Poodle and a Maltese to produce Maltipoo puppies may someday be looked upon as a great endeavor that brought about yet another purebred. 

In addition, hybrid vigor results when two healthy purebreds are mated. An intensive study involving over 90,000 dogs proved that at least 9 serious health conditions are greatly reduced with this sort of paring. Included in this is the heart condition of Aortic stenosis, skin issues related to allergies, cataracts and liver shunt problems. 

There is a increasing acceptance of hybrid dogs. While these practices were once labeled "backyard breeder" type methods, a growing population is now understanding that the careful pairing of certain breeds can be a well-meaning endeavor, meant to give the world a new breed. While groups strive to end puppy mill establishments (and they should be well applauded for doing so) and the AKC works diligently to maintain strong bloodlines with the breeds that are now currently recognized, there are groups of hard working people who work tirelessly to bring about a goal that may not even be met in their lifetime: For the Maltipoo to be recognized as its own breed. 

The Maltipoo is very popular in the United States, Canada and the UK. Out of all of the different hybrid dogs, the Maltipoo ranks in the top 5 of these 3 countries.
You may also like:

Maltese VS Maltipoo - Side-by-side stats, comparison photos, differences and similarities.
Toy Poodle VS Maltipoo - Another fun and interesting look at comparisons, including stats and photos.
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