Maltese vs. Maltipoo


How does a Maltipoo Compare to a Maltese?

Let’s start with the obvious. The Maltese is a purebred dog and the Maltipoo is a hybrid dog. In order for a dog to be considered 'purebred' he must be a descendant of known purebreds of the same breed. Most purebred dogs are registered with a kennel club, but it is not required. The clubs were created to keep a guideline that dictates the expected size of the dog, coloring, ear set, tail set etc.. This helps keep a consistent appearance within the breed.

The Maltese has been around for about 2,800 years and has had the same appearance for most of that time. We know this from the Ancient Greek ceramic artwork.

The Maltipoo is a crossbreed and has no history and no consistency of size, coat, color or temperament. This should not prevent you from falling in love with the Maltipoo. They are generally very smart, friendly dogs that love to cuddle.

Face Shape Comparison

You will find that most Maltipoos have a muzzle similar to the Maltese and not the Poodle.

  • Poodles have long, narrow snouts.

  • Maltese have moderate snouts. The skull is 'slightly rounded' and ears are drop ears (they hang by the side of the face) and set low (the base is on the side of the head, not on top).

Since many Maltipoo dogs have these same facial structures, it's easy to see the Maltese influence.

Differences in Coat

Maltipoos can inherit their coat type from either their Maltese parent or their Poodle parent. You might get a silky coat like the Maltese, a tightly curled and frizzled poodle coat or a coat that combines these traits.

Maltese are a single coated breed and how the hair lies depends on its length. If you let it grow long, the weight will create a flowing coat of straight hair. If a Maltese has a short trim, the hair will be wavy. Either way, it is usually soft and silky.

The Poodle also has a single layer of hair; however it is dense, curly and somewhat water resistant.

Maltipoos, on the other hand, have both Maltese and Poodle genes affecting the coat. Many Maltipoo dogs have slight to moderately wavy hair; this is a result of more Maltese genes influencing the coat. The more curls, the more Poodle there is.

In addition, the Maltipoo can come in a huge variety of colors and markings. This coat variety makes them different from the Maltese, which has one type of coat - a long, silky coat without an undercoat and generally one color - white.

Differences in Color

Another huge difference between these two types of dogs is their coloring. Many people think that Maltese are only found in pure, solid white, but they can actually have a little bit of color too. Light tan or lemon may appear on the ears.
The Maltipoo can be found in a wide range of colors. Any color that is found with Poodles can appear on a Maltipoo. However, in most cases the white of the Maltese will water down or lighten the coloring.

Size Differences

Both Maltese and Maltipoo dogs are considered to be toy size. The Maltese is officially a toy sized dog with a weight of 4 -7 lbs. The size of a Maltipoo depends on the size of the Poodle parent. It can either come from a Toy size Poodle (4 to 10 lbs.) or a mini (15 to 17 lbs.)
The majority of Maltipoo will be slightly larger than Maltese dogs because it can come from either a toy or mini size poodle.
In regard to height, which is measured from the top of the shoulder blades to the floor, both Maltese and Maltipoo have a starting range of 8 inches. Maltese can be as tall as 10 inches and Maltipoos may sometimes be as tall as 14 inches.
So, on average, a Maltipoo may be slightly larger than a Maltese in both weight and height. However it is still considered to be a small lap dog.


Each dog has his or her own unique personality. How a dog is raised plays a huge role in his behavior and general disposition.

The Maltese is charming, gentle and playful. With the Maltipoo, we must look at the other gene influence: the Poodle. The poodle is a smart and very proud dog. Poodles are considered one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. It places 2nd in the Intelligence of Dogs, a book published in 1994 and still serving as the main reference for the intelligence of canines. The Maltese places 59 out of 79.

Most Maltipoos are very friendly, outgoing and personable dogs with high loyalty to owners and a good record of being obedient. Puppies of both breeds are outgoing and energetic, often calming down as they reach the 12 to 18 month old range. Adult Maltese dogs tend to be rather mellow and calm and some Maltipoos can be a bit more active and outgoing.

Both typically get along very well with children and other dogs, yet may be a bit wary of strangers. Due to their strong bonding capabilities, both Maltese and Maltipoo dogs can have some separation anxiety issues when left home alone.


The Maltese and Maltipoo are very similar in most ways. Although, the Maltipoo definitely gets some things, like its energy and zest for life, from its Poodle parent.