What do you get when you cross a Toy or Miniature Poodle with the instantly recognizable Maltese? A petite, intelligent, loving, often vocal, bundle of gorgeousness better known as the Maltipoo! Many people often wait months to hear that a litter has safely arrived only to be faced with the age-old dilemma. Boy or girl?
Much of the information about the Maltipoo, or any breed for that matter, tends to focus on general characteristics but speak to dog owners and they will often have ardent views on which is the preferred sex of pup to have. It is worth remembering that many dog owners (myself proudly included) have the common bias that the dog they own is “the best dog in the world” which may slant their views slightly.
In this article, we are going to compare the male and female Maltipoo. Read on to find out what similarities and differences there are between the genders. We will cover physical aspects from size, health issues, and appearance to expect in terms of temperament and behavior.
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Whilst larger Doodle cousins such as the Goldendoodle or Bernedoodle have females that can be in the region of 10% smaller than the male, the already diminutive Maltipoo does not result in such marked differences.
Maltipoo owners may remark that their females can be slightly smaller however with good breeding the differences should be minimal. The single biggest influence on the Maltipoo’s fully grown size and weight is whether a Miniature or Toy Poodle was used in parentage.
|Toy Maltipoo||6” – 10”||4lb – 10lbs|
|Miniature Maltipoo||12”-15”||10lbs – 25lbs|
When comparing male and female Maltipoos aesthetically there is little to no discernible difference. The Maltese parent has historically been bred specifically for its small stature and petite features. Both the boy and girl can look just as adorable.
Overall Maltipoos are prized for their gentle and devoted nature. They are companion dogs through and through who love to spend time cuddled up with their humans and as a result do not do well if left alone for long periods.
While some Maltipoo owners can highlight subtle differences between the genders a bigger impact often arises from a dog’s individual personality. These personalities are shaped by their environment and the experiences they are exposed to.
That being said, outlined below are some of the reported differences between little Miss and little Mister Maltipoo.
The female Maltipoo can present as more independent than their male counterpart. While this certainly does not mean she will not love and enjoy time with her human it does mean she may seek affection on her terms and move away when she has had enough.
She may have a greater need for control which can present as stubbornness and need to define and protect her territory. Overall, the female can appear slightly more reserved. While she may develop intense bonds with her owners, she may be less inclined to take to strangers.
The male Maltipoo by comparison can generally be thought of as having a more even temperament. Owners often report the male to crave interaction and attention from their “person” or “people” more frequently which can continue far beyond the puppy stage and for their entire life. They show a greater desire to please and as a result, are generally more outgoing.
The temperament changes we have already outlined are only an indication of some characteristics your little Maltipoo might display and the extent of this can vary greatly. Being aware of the differences may prove beneficial when training your new pup.
The female Maltipoo can display greater stubbornness in training because of her desire for independence. Ensuring training is varied, mentally challenging, and allows for plenty of time for her to make her own choices is key to success. Being aware of the tendency for females to fixate on their perceived “territory” means focussing on the need to share both spaces and items such as food or toys is a good idea.
While your female Maltipoo may not have the same innate desire to please, she is a smart little thing who is unlikely to pick an all-out dominance battle with you, but she can be cunning. She can be smart enough to spot behavior patterns that get her what she wants and being spoiled would suit her down to ground.
They say the route to a man’s heart is through his stomach and the same applies to your little lad Maltipoo. The males are generally more food orientated and their desire to please means that training can be effective with positive reinforcement and treats. That being said, the lust for life shown by the male Maltipoo means he can be easily distracted and show poor decision-making when excited or overwhelmed.
Territory Marking – What to Expect
When people think of a dog marking their territory most people have a vision of a male dog cocking a leg over every door frame, fence post, and table leg to “claim it” as his own.
While that may be the extreme, territory marking where a dog sprays or “mists” a small amount of urine over surfaces, can be a behavior in both male and female Maltipoos. In fact, contrary to popular belief females can be more problematic as they can display greater territorial behaviors than the male.
It is important to always rule out any underlying health issues that would lead your dog to urinate in the house however once that is ruled out training can normally effectively manage the issue. For the pup who is a persistent territory marker despite training, neutering or spaying is the most effective option. Neutered or spayed Maltipoos hardly ever exhibit marking behaviors.
Hormones, Hormones, Hormones
As we are focussing on the nitty-gritty of the differences between the sexes, the little Maltipoo is no different than any other animal out there in that they have a projected timeline line of sexual maturity and all the hormones to go with it.
The Maltipoo reaches sexual maturity around 8 months. If you choose not to neuter or spay there will be an increase in sexual hormones for both the male and female around this time.
The female Maltipoo can present with mood fluctuations in response to hormonal cycles meaning your affectionate cuddly little pet may show a marked change to appearing grumpy or snappy and back again dependent on hormone levels.
An un-neutered male may also show greater aggressive or territory marking behaviors in response to increased male sex hormones after puberty.
Considerations for Breeding the Next Generation
One of the biggest deciders when choosing between a male and female Maltipoo may be whether you intend to breed a further litter in the future. While you can of course seek to put your male Maltipoo out to stud, most people planning a litter will choose a female and seek a sire when the time comes.
While your first-generation Maltipoo will have a Poodle and a Maltese parent, it is more than possible to breed two Maltipoos together. Consideration must be given that generally, the hybrid associated health benefits of crossing two distinct breeds such as the Poodle and the Maltese decreases with each subsequent generation.
Effect of Gender on Health Issues
Overall Maltipoos have shown themselves to be a generally healthy crossbreed. However, like all dogs, they can be susceptible to certain health issues common in their parents. Ensuring good health testing of the parents can be key to ensuring a healthy litter.
Given the diminutive size of the Maltipoo as a breed, the female can be more prone to dystocia (difficult or obstructed labor) when delivering pups due to the small birth canal. In the most severe instances, this can require surgical intervention for safe delivery.
Spaying your female Maltipoo can also decrease the incidence of breast cancer or uterine infections. Similarly neutering your male Maltipoo will prevent testicular cancer.
Ultimately whether you choose boy or girl, the Maltipoo, is an intelligent, affectionate, and petite member of the popular Doodle family. Their small stature makes them ideal for those with smaller living spaces. Their lifespan exceeds their larger counterparts meaning you can expect to have your little Maltipoo sidekick for in the region of 10 to 15 years in which time they will bestow a healthy dose of fun and equal measures of sofa snuggling.