The Maltipoo is a small breed dog that grows between 8 and 14 inches tall and weighs between 5 and 20lbs. Multiple factors determine the final size of a Maltipoo, including the type of Poodle used in breeding, the genes a puppy inherited, diet, medical conditions, and the overall care a puppy receives.
What is a Maltipoo?
The Maltipoo is a hybrid designer breed dog that comes from crossbreeding the Maltese and the Poodle. When breeding Maltipoos, some breeders will breed a Maltese with a Toy Poodle, where others will breed a Maltese with a Miniature Poodle.
Regardless of whether a Maltipoo comes from a toy or miniature Poodle, the main qualities of the breed remain the same – only the predicted size of the puppies changes.
How Big Do Maltipoos Get?
A Maltipoo’s size depends on whether a breeder breeds a toy Poodle or a Miniature Poodle with the Maltese.
When a toy Poodle breeds with a Maltese, puppies will grow to approximately six to eleven inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between five and ten pounds.
When a Miniature Poodle breeds with the Maltese, puppies will grow to approximately twelve to fifteen inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between twelve and fifteen inches tall.
By twelve months old, the Maltipoo has usually reached its full adult size.
The Teacup Maltipoo
In addition to the miniature and the toy Maltipoo, some breeders advertise teacup Maltipoos. There is some controversy when it comes to the teacup Maltipoo, though.
The teacup Maltipoo is a Maltipoo that stands at around six inches tall and weighs just four pounds in adulthood.
To produce a Maltipoo, breeders take the smallest dog in a litter (the runt) of toy Maltipoos and breed them to another runt toy Maltipoo from another litter once both have reached sexual maturity. The breeder carries on this trend and breeds smaller and smaller runts-of-the-litter to get a smaller teacup Maltipoo.
The problem with breeding teacup Maltipoos is that the runt of a litter often suffers from health conditions that cause lifelong medical conditions. Breeding two runts increase the chance of passing a health condition on to their offspring. The more breeding of runts that a breeder does, the unhealthier puppies become. So, it is not unusual for teacup Maltipoos to have significant health concerns.
So, why do breeders continue to breed teacup Maltipoos if they are not genetically healthy puppies? It all comes down to the money. Buyers see the uniqueness in such a tiny puppy and want to buy one so that they stand out from the crowd. Buying the teacup Maltipoo puts money in the breeder’s pocket and encourages them to continue producing unhealthy puppies.
Teacup breeding is detrimental to individual dogs and the breed as a whole as it creates dogs with inherent frailties. If these dogs breed to produce future litters, those frailties become part of the breed and make for unhealthy dogs.
This pattern of reckless breeding is very much like the history of breeding brachycephalic dogs. For so long breeders bred dogs like the Old English Bulldog to have a flatter face until eventually, the airway became compromised, and the whole breed now suffers.
The Maltipoo can have a curly coat or a rough coat that may be cream or white (although other coat colors exist.) Since coat textures vary, so too do grooming requirements. Most Maltipoos do well with daily brushing, and curly-coated dogs also benefit from a professional coat trim every month to six weeks.
- Other prominent features of the Maltipoo include:
- Small pendant-shaped ears that come down level with the jaw.
- A short muzzle.
- A rounded head like the Maltese.
- Smaller facial features.
The Maltipoo is a friendly and social dog that responds well to obedience training and can be particularly independent at times. Despite being small, this little dog is pretty feisty with plenty of energy but still even-tempered.
The Maltipoo is an intelligent dog, and training is not too challenging if you limit training sessions to shorter periods. Socialization is equally as crucial for this little dog, and you must desensitize them to as much as you can while they are still young to prevent fear-based or socialization problems in adulthood.
The Maltipoo is prone to a few different health concerns including –
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Dental disease
- White Shaker Syndrome
- Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)
- Tiny Mouth Syndrome
- Patellar Luxation
Buying your Maltipoo puppy from a reputable breeder who knows the pedigree of their dogs can help to avoid some of the health conditions above. Knowing the pedigree of the breeding pair of dogs helps to eliminate any known genetic disease that can get passed on to puppies.
When discussing Maltipoo health, you must also revisit the topic of teacup Maltipoos.
As the littlest puppies in the litter, runts often experience:
- A failure to thrive
- Congenital heart problems
- Umbilical hernias
- Cleft palate
- Low birth weight
- Compromised immune system due to colostrum deficiency
- Fading Puppy Syndrome
Bitches often reject the runt of the litter, which leaves the breeder hand-raising the puppy. Hand raising for any newborn animal is not ideal as the puppy will lack many of the “normal” characteristics and instincts that a puppy should learn from its mother. This lack of motherly guidance can also lead to problems with socialization.
Since teacup Maltipoos require breeders to breed two litter runts, the chances of genetic abnormalities increase drastically. Even without any congenital conditions, the long-term effects of colostrum deficiency, low birth weight, and malnutrition can impact a puppy for a lifetime.
Conclusion / Summary
There are three Maltipoo sizes – the teacup Maltipoo, the toy Maltipoo, and the miniature Maltipoo. The teacup Maltipoo is the smallest of the three, but it also tends to suffer from health problems due to poor breeding practices. With this fact in mind, dog lovers are encouraged to choose from just two varieties of Maltipoo – the toy Maltipoo and the miniature Maltipoo.