Maltese vs. Maltipoo: What’s the Difference?

Maltese and Maltipoos are both popular choices for pet owners because of their friendly and affectionate nature. Both breeds are small, with the Maltese usually slightly smaller than the Maltipoo. The Maltese is purebred while the Maltipoo is a crossbreed of a Maltese and a Poodle.

As for their coat, Maltese dogs have a long, silky coat with no undercoat. The Maltipoo’s coat can vary, ranging from wavy to curly due to the Poodle genes and requires a bit more grooming due to a higher tendency for matting and tangling. Both are considered hypoallergenic, with the Maltipoo shedding less.

When it comes to their temperament, both breeds are generally friendly, intelligent, and playful. However, Maltipoos may have a higher energy level, thanks to their Poodle parent. Either breed can make a great companion, your choice would be down to personal preference.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

*The Maltese is a small dog that’s full of personality. Because they share the same D.N.A., the Maltese and Maltipoo are very similar.

The Maltipoo’s temperament is slightly different. He is more active and livelier than the Maltese and requires more attention. However, he requires less attention when it comes to grooming.

Both breeds are small men who are full of character. Let’s take a closer look to see why they are such firm family favourites around the world.

Maltese vs. Maltipoo

Breed History

The Maltese is an old breed, dating back thousands of generations. However, the Maltipoo can be considered a relatively new designer breed.


The Maltese is an purebred puppy . Some believe he is from Malta. Others think he is from Italy or other colonies around Turkey and Syria. Wherever he hailed from, what cannot be questioned is that he was the most popular toy dog for Royalty and the upper classes in many societies since 3500 B.C.

The Egyptians were known to build grand tombs for their Maltese because it was believed that they had special healing powers. Many well-known figures, such as Aristotle and Queen Elizabeth I, succumbed to the Maltese’s charms, and as such, they are regularly found in famous artwork.

The breed was nearly destroyed in the 17th Century when breeders attempted to make him the size of a squirrel. Chinese fanciers saved him by breeding him with similar toy dogs. They restored the breed and brought him back to England, where he was bred with similar toy dogs. The Maltese is currently the 37th most popular dog in America, ranked by the American Kennel Club (AKC).


The Maltipoo is a mixed breed, the result of crossbreeding the Maltese and the Toy Poodle. Other names for him include the Maltidoodle and a Moodle. Although he was born in America, his official date of birth is not known.

He was bred to combine the cuteness of both parents, but the intelligence and more active personality of the Poodle. Although the AKC does not recognize the Maltipoo as a designer breed, he is still a popular pet worldwide.

His other parent, the Poodle, is a purebred dog, more commonly known as the flamboyant national dog of France for his pretty tufts and pompon haircuts. He comes in three sizes: the Standard measuring 15 inches or taller in height, the Miniature measuring under 15 inches, and the Toy measuring 10 inches and under. All dogs are the same, but each dog has a different size.

Unbeknownst to most dog lovers, the Poodle was originally a duck hunting from Germany. His incredible nose has also allowed him to hunt truffles throughout Europe. He is now more commonly known to sit on the laps of beautiful French Aristocrats and Royalty alike, and he is currently ranked as the 7th most popular dog in America by the AKC.


The Maltese is small in size, measuring between 8 and 10 inches in both the male and female and only weighs between 4 to 8 pounds. The Maltipoo varies in both his height and weight; he is often taller at up to 14 inches, but can be as small as 8 inches, and weighs anywhere between 5 and 20 pounds.

The many ,colors of the Maltipoo are also varied, while the Maltese is essentially white.

The Maltipoo can have a variety hairstyles, including curly, straight or wavy. His fur can be medium long or . long. The Maltipoo is a mixed breed and can look like either of its parents. However, the Maltese has a silky, straight coat which reaches to the ground.

These guys share the same eyes, button-shaped and dark brown (on rare occasions they can be blue for the lighter Maltipoos). They have small, black noses with black lips and a short mustache , that is accompanied by a playful smile.

Beware of breeders who offer a ‘teacup’ size dog of either breed as they are prone to genetic disorders and are often riddled with health issues. A ‘teacup dog’ is a Maltese that weighs less than five pounds. However, these dogs are often bred from the runts of litters to be as small as possible.


The Maltese is an charming canine that always wants his way. He will do anything to be able to lay on his master’s shoulder and take any attention and strokes that are offered. He is sweet ,, and he believes everyone should be his friend, human or animal.

The Maltipoo is similar in the Maltese’s temperament, however, he generally takes on his Poodle parent’s intelligence and curiosity in addition to the temperament of his Maltese parent. He will happily sit on his owner’s lap and enjoy some chill time. However, he must be allowed to have fun or take a walk in the garden before he can enjoy that time. He is smarter than the Maltese and more outgoing .

The Maltipoo hybrid can take on any parent’s temperament. View him as a puppy to see how he interacts and his siblings and parents. Maltipoo owners recommend that you choose a puppy at the middle of the temperament spectrum. This means that he is not a bully or shy away from his littermates.


The exercise requirements of the Maltese and Maltipoo are different. Because the Maltese is a small dog, he only needs to walk a few miles per day. He will spend most of his time indoors playing and running. They need to be able to get out and about, even if it’s just for a short walk. He’s content to be a lapdog all day, with the occasional stretch of his legs.

The Maltipoo is slightly more demanding, and he will need around 30 minutes of walking a day, with a few interactive play sessions throughout the day to keep him both physically and mentally stimulated. Because of his traditional working background, he has an affinity to water , so he will enjoy a regular trip to the local lakes.

It is advised for both the Maltese and the Maltipoo, that because both breeds are vulnerable to Collapsing Trachea, that his lead is attached to a harness and not a collar. This will preserve their necks and reduce the chance of them getting it.

Both breeds, being sociable, are not great fans of being left alone for long periods of time and are known to suffer from Separation Anxiety, particularly the Maltese. If you do have to leave them for more than a few hours, then be sure to leave them with a treat-filled puzzle toy. They are small in stature but can be destructive.


Both the Maltese and the Maltipoo are people pleasers and enjoy treats and praise from their master, and therefore they both enjoy training. Because of his Poodle parents, the Maltipoo is more intelligent than the Maltese and enjoys being worked on. He is less stubborn than their Maltese.

Both of these guys require early socialization to ensure that they are well behaved around other humans and other animals, and are comfortable in a variety of situations outside of the family home.

The Maltese is sometimes known as being slightly yappy and this is a recognized behavioral issue known as ‘little-man syndrome’. He either feels the need prove his worth due to his small stature or believes he is the leader of the pack because he has been overspoiled. This causes him to be aggressive or frequently barking ..

The Maltipoo is less well-known for this behavior. However, any breed of dog could adopt this undesirable behavior . if they are not socialized properly.


The Maltese and Maltipoo both generally health dog. As they are a mixture of their parents’ genes, the Maltipoo is considered slightly healthier than purebreds.

The Maltese is required to have a Cardiac and a Patella Evaluation as per his National Breed Club. The Maltese and Maltipoo both have Luxating patella , which is an abnormal development of the kneecap. Both are known to have Collapsed Trchea ,, which is when the rings of cartilage around the windpipe fall inward.

Regular dental cleansing is a must for all small breeds. This is due to several reasons. Their teeth are larger than those of a larger dog. As such tartar building takes place much faster. Secondly, because their roots are shallower periodontal diseases have more of a negative impact.


These guys eat different amounts of food each day. On average, a Maltese will eat between 1/2 and 1 cup of food a day, and the Maltipoo will eat slightly more at 1 to 1 1/2 cups of food a day. It all depends on how big your Maltipoo is. He may require slightly more food if he’s active and larger. Ask your vet for advice if you are not sure.

Both of these guys enjoy spoiling with treats ,, so it is important that you monitor their food intake. Due to them being smaller dogs, who don’t need to be exercised greatly, they are susceptible to obesity.


Neither breed have an undercoat, so they do not shed, making them hypoallergenic. This is great if you have a pet allergy or asthma, but as with any animal, hair loss will still occur so don’t expect a 100% hair-free zone.

The Maltese’s long hair will need to be brushed every day in order to keep it silky and tangle-free. The Maltipoo’s hair will only need to be brushed 2 or 3 times per week.

Because they don’t have an undercoat, they need to be bathed once every 3 weeks . Their skin is less protected and they will require a specialized shampoo conditioner to keep their hair in top condition.

The Maltese and Maltipoo both have tearstaining ,. This is an unsightly stain that forms below their eyes. The liquid gathers and often looks slimy and gritty. It may not be as obvious on a Maltipoo with a darker color, but it can be easily seen on white Maltipoos and Maltipoos. The stains can be reduced by wiping the area with tear prevention wipes HTML1.

If the Maltese is a showdog ,, then he will need to be groomed regularly to maintain his silky and long coat. While the Maltese doesn’t shed much, Maltese owners must invest a significant amount of time every day to ensure that there are no tangles and split ends do not occur.

Puppy Prices

The Maltese, being a purebred dog, costs on average $1,000 whereas the Maltipoo costs on average, $800. That might seem a lot of money for such a small dog, but the great thing is they eat far less than your average pooch, and everything is bought in miniature so you save more money compared to, say, an English Mastiff!

Final Thoughts

The Maltipoo is the pup from the Maltese. It is safe to say that the two breeds share many similarities in appearance, temperament, and other traits. The Maltese can be considered a purebred dog. However, the Maltipoo can be described as a mixed-breed breed and is not yet recognised as such.

If you’re looking for a lap dog who doesn’t require much exercise, the Maltese is the best choice. However, if you want a playful, energetic pup, the Maltipoo might be the right choice.

These adorable, pint-sized dogs are full of personality and cuteness.

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