Pros and cons of the Maltese and the Maltipoo

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A Maltese is a small, fluffy longhair dog, a favourite of the royal and the pampered. Historically known as "Ye ancient dogge of Malta," after its country of origin, the Maltese has been around for at least 2,800 years. A Maltipoo is a hybrid, or a "designer dog" -- the product of a cross between a Maltese and a poodle.

Compact size

Both the Maltese and the Maltipoo are small, portable dogs that can live comfortably in an apartment setting. Both male and female Maltese reach a maximum weight of 3.2 kg (7 pounds), with the males reaching a height of 25 cm (10 inches) and females 22.5 cm (9 inches). Multipoos are in approximately the same range of height and weight, although the teacup Maltipoo is at the teenier end of the spectrum, weighing less than 1.8 kg (4 pounds) even when full grown. This can be a disadvantage in homes with small children, as these smaller types of Maltipoos must be handled carefully to avoid injury.

Hypoallergenic coat

One of the reasons for breeding dogs that are crossed with poodles is that poodles have a hypoallergenic coat, which is beneficial to owners with dander sensitivities. A pure Maltese is also hypoallergenic, so either choice is a good option for owners who wish to minimise allergic reactions.

Small dog syndrome

When a small dog misbehaves, the resulting problem, like the size of the dog, tends to be smaller. For example, if a Labrador retriever has an issue with jumping on strangers, it can be intimidating, so the owner is more likely to correct the behaviour. When a smaller breed like a Maltese or Maltipoo misbehaves in a similar way, the owner is more likely to think it's "cute." For this reason, ironically, smaller dogs can be more at risk for "alpha" behaviours, which can lead them to growl, snap or bark excessively.

Personality plus

On the whole, both the Maltese and the Multipoo are known for their loyal and playful disposition, in addition to their cute, fluffy appearance. They love to be with people. These dogs are great companions for apartment dwellers and are definitely indoor dogs; they should never be left outside for long periods of time.

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