Breed Spotlight: Maltipoo

4 min read
Aug 02, 2022

What Are Some Facts About Maltipoos?


10-13 years


4-20 lbs.


8-14 inches




affectionate, kid-friendly, intelligent, easy to train

Health problems:

shaker syndrome, epilepsy, patellar luxation, portosystemic shunt

Maltipoo: How Do I Look?

The small Maltipoo puppy has a wooly coat and keen, intelligent eyes. They don’t shed very much, which makes them great for allergic pet owners.

Coat type and colors

Maltipoos have a light, fluffy coat similar to wool. It grows to a medium length and is often cream, white, or silver-colored.

Shedding and grooming

Although Maltipoos rarely shed and have low dander levels, they still require daily brushing to avoid their hair from matting. Bathe your Maltipoo once a month, and trim their head monthly to keep their hair from blocking their eyes and ears. A professional grooming session is recommended once or twice per year.


Maltipoos have floppy, medium-length ears set high on their head. Lighter-colored Maltipoos will sometimes have darker ear coloration.

Drooling level

A tidy pup, Maltipoos rarely drool.

White Maltipoo happily running by the side of a road.

Maltipoo Adult: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

I’m a family dog through and through. Affectionate and playful, I’ve always got energy to spare. At my size, just about any space is big enoughfor zoomies. I’m told I can be a bit of a chatterbox, but, if you’re patient, I’m smart enough to know what’s worth barking about.


A veritable bundle of joy, Maltipoos will steal the heart of any dog lover. They’re perfect for empty-nesters. Once adopted into a family, they’ll never run out of love to give. A Maltipoo will happily spend all day lounging in a lap. The downside is that many Maltipoos can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.3


Maltipoos are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them fast learners. They’re also curious and chatty, which means they might talk back or wander off if something catches their attention. Mental stimulation is key to keeping their attention.

Exercise Needs

Daily walks are recommended, but most Maltipoos require more complex play. A Maltipoo might love running obstacle courses, and they’re small enough to get their exercise inside as well as out.

Good With Kids?

Maltipoos love their families, and that extends to children. Their playfulness makes them the perfect companion for kids. However, as a smaller breed Maltipoos can easily be injured by accident. It’s best to wait until the kids are 6-years-old and older before bringing a Maltipoo home.

Good With Other Pets?

As long as they’re socialized early, a Maltipoo will get along with just about any animal. Given their feisty attitude, the other pet might get fed up first.


Barking Level

Maltipoos love the sound of their own voice. They’ll bark at the drop of a hat to make sure you know what’s going on. This makes them great guard dogs, although they can’t do much to actually defend their home. It might take some work to teach them what they should and shouldn’t bark at.

Maltipoos: A History

In the grand history of dog breeds, Maltipoos are among the youngest. This “designer dog” was first bred in the 1990s as ac ompanion specifically for allergic pet owners.4 However, it’s up for debate whether or not they’re actually hypoallergenic. Nevertheless, Maltipoos are the definition of a doggy success story. They’re loved throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Because they’re technically a mixed breed (Maltese and poodle), most kennel clubs don’t recognize the Maltipoo.

4 Maltipoo Health Problems

Maltipoos may experience a variety of health issues, including:

  • Patellar luxation: Occurs when the patella (femur, kneecap, and tibia) become unaligned. Can lead to lameness or abnormal gait.
  • Shaker syndrome: Tremors that occur in the head and body. Shaker syndrome commonly occurs among small white dogs.5
  • Epilepsy: Recurrent seizures caused by an unknown brain disorder.6
  • Portosystemic shunt: A congenital condition that causes blood to bypass the liver, often causing stunted growth and seizures.7

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Maltipoos

Shaker Syndrome

Maltipoos, like all small white dogs, are prone to shaker syndrome (also known as “little white shaker” syndrome). The cause is currentlyunknown.5 If you begin to notice muscle tremors in your Maltipoo, take them to a veterinarian. Your vet will attempt to rule out other causesfirst. Diagnosis may require a cerebrospinal fluid tap (CSF tap) and MRI performed by a neurologist.

If diagnosed, the vet will likely prescribe prednisone to help suppress the tremors.5 Although shaker syndrome is nonfatal and usually clearsup within two weeks of treatment, the diagnostics and prescriptions can quickly add up. A dog insurance policy can help cover the cost of both.2 Note that it’s a good idea to take out the policy while your Maltipoo is young and before shaker syndrome becomes a preexisting condition.

Portosystemic shunt

A portosystemic shunt occurs when the large portal vein does not connect directly to the liver as intended. This causes the toxins normallyfiltered by the liver to instead proliferate throughout the body, which can lead to numerous neurological issues.

Typical signs include poor muscle development, stunted growth, disorientation, circling, head pressing, staring into space, and seizures.7 In order to be diagnosed as a portosystemic shunt, vets will perform a battery of blood tests, urine analysis, bile acid tests, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, and even exploratory surgery.

Treatment combines prescription food and drugs to help remove the toxins usually filtered by the liver. Although most dogs recover quickly,about a third of them are unable to recover from uncontrollable neurological complications. Surgically closing the shunt offers the best chance of survival, with a 95% success rate.7

Unfortunately, many pet parents are unable to afford the necessary tests and treatments out of pocket. Pet insurance can help by reimbursing most, if not all, of the cost.2,8 Because portosystemic shunts are usually present at birth, investing in a pet insurance policy early is the smartest way to make sure your Maltipoo is covered.

To learn more about MetLife Pet Insurance1 and how it can help your Maltipoo, check out our guide on “How Pet Insurance Works.” Remember, signing up for dog insurance while your Maltipoo is young is the best way to ensure your dog has coverage.

Protect Your Maltipoo with Pet Insurance

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Maltipoo Hybrid Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts,” Dog Time

4 ”Maltipoo Dog Breed Information, Facts, Pictures & Price,” All Things Dogs

5 ”Shaker Syndrome in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital

6 ”Epilepsy in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital

7 ”Portosystemic Shunt in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital

8 Reimbursement options include: 70%, 80%, 90% and 100%. In addition, there is also a 50% option for MetGen underwritten policies only and a 65% for IAIC underwritten policies only.

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