Maltipoo vs Toy Poodle – Which is Right for You?

In the cute stakes, you would be hard-pressed to come down on a decisive winner between a Maltipoo and a Toy Poodle. Who could fail to fall in love with a dog who stays as little as a puppy forever?  So, if these two, pint-sized pooches have made it onto your prospective pet list let us set out some key similarities and differences to help you make up your mind.

At a Glance Comparison

 MaltipooToy Poodle
Weight7lbs – 12lbs5lbs – 8lbs
Height8” – 14”Less than 10”
Life expectancy12 – 15 years14 – 18 years

History of The Toy Poodle

The Toy Poodle is an example of a purebred dog that has been selectively bred with the intention of achieving smaller and smaller sizes. Unlike hybrids, where a smaller dog may be introduced to decrease the overall size, in Poodles the smaller size was achieved by continually selecting the naturally smallest of the litter and selecting another smaller Poodle to pair with. The result is progressively smaller offspring.

Stemming from the much larger Standard Poodle which has roots as a working water dog, the Toy Poodle was the perfect compact combination of intelligence and loyalty. This made them extremely popular with royalty and the wealthy across Europe in the early 1900s. Easily trainable they were often taught all manner of tricks and would regularly provide entertainment in traveling circus shows.

Of course, the Poodle comes in other sizes. To find out more about them and the history of the Poodle in general, be sure to check out our other article Teacup, Toy, Miniature and Standard Poodles: Differences Explored

History of The Maltipoo

The Maltipoo is the adorable offshoot of mixing the Maltese with a Toy Poodle. It is sometimes referred to as “the world’s cutest dog” owing to its big eyes, short stature, and fluffy coat.

The Maltese is a popular breed in its own right and has a long history as a pampered companion dog for the elite.  Maltipoo’s increased in popularity with the rise of the Doodle crossbreeds from the early 1990s onwards.

Often Poodles are introduced in the hope of reducing shedding in hybrid offspring but in this instance, the Maltese are already relatively low shedding. The Maltese coat however is extremely high maintenance and prone to tangling and matting.

As a true purebred Maltese will be entirely white, they also become easily dirty and can have tear staining around the eyes. The Maltipoo offers up an easier-to-manage coat and greater color options while retaining many of the desirable personality traits of the Maltese.  If you want to find out more about the breed origins, be sure to check out our other article, Are Maltipoos Good With Other Dogs.

Toy Poodle Coat Colors, Type, and Maintenance

It can feel like there is an infinite list of Toy Poodle colors which is one of the reasons the breed is so appealing. In terms of solid colors they come in apricot, blue, brown, café au lait, black, silver beige, red, silver, white, gray, and cream.

They are most commonly single-colored however can be a mix of two or even three colors with various marking patterns. Black is one of the most common coat colors while red is one of the rarer.

The Toy Poodle coat itself is low shedding and comprises of curled, human-like hair rather than fur. This means that hair that naturally breaks of can easily get caught in the tight curls and is the reason your Toy Poodle will need daily brushing to remove any tangles or debris.

Maltipoo Coat Colors Type, and Maintenance

As previously mentioned, the Maltese is a pure white dog, meaning it is the introduction of the Toy Poodle to the breeding line that brings the wide array of colors that a Maltipoo can come in.

In theory, they can present with any one of the Toy Poodle colorings listed above however for the most part the white coat of the Maltese tends to dilute Maltipoo shades with lighter hues of apricot, creams, white, café au lait, browns, fawns, silver, and silver beige being more common. On occasion, you can still see darker shade Maltipoos including black, dark brown, or even red however these are very rare. The little Maltipoo can be a solid color or particolored.

The Maltipoo coat type is nearly always low dander and low shedding as neither parent breed is prone to shedding. The appeal of the Maltipoo is that the introduction of Poodle genetics helps to add a wavy, curly pattern rather than the poker straight coat seen in a purebred Maltese. Not only does this give the Maltipoo an adorably shaggy quality it is also generally easier to brush out.

Don’t be fooled though, just because brushing is easier it doesn’t mean you can get away without it. As many Maltipoo owners prefer to keep their coats a bit longer, they can easily catch on the ground and pick up debris given their short stature. Regular brushing and washing are likely going to be an ongoing requirement unless you choose to keep them shorter.

Toy Poodle Size

It could be argued that the Toy Poodle is the original “handbag dog”. Coming in at less than 10 inches and weighing in the region of 5 to 8 pounds, they have often been associated with rich and famous owners who have been known to carry them in designer carriers akin to the latest fashion handbag.

A consideration to bear in mind is that at such a small size and weight, the Toy Poodle is not as robust as other larger or heavier breeds. Care must be taken to teach any young children how to interact gently with a Toy Poodle to prevent them from accidentally injuring their pup with overzealous play. Toy Poodle’s often notoriously are unaware of their own diminutive stature and may seek out much bigger dogs to play with which can lead to some accidental trampling.

Maltipoo Size

Still considered a very small dog, the Maltipoo can actually appear much stockier when placed alongside a Toy Poodle. Not only does their fluffier coat give them an impression of being a bit chunkier they can grow a bit bigger overall. They can average between 8 and 14 inches in height and weigh in the region of 7 to 12 pounds.

Toy Poodle Temperament

Despite being a tiny little dog, the Toy Poodle has intelligence in spades. Arguably one of the most intelligent breeds out there, the Toy Poodle loves to learn. The internet is full of videos of pint-sized Poodles performing amazing tricks and they easily can turn their paw to agility.

While all Poodles enjoy their human’s company the Toy Poodle takes that to another level. Many owners remark that they will actively sulk if they perceive to have been left out of a family activity. This sassy undercurrent can result in some spirited “yapping” and your Toy Poodle will need to be encouraged from early on to use their bark selectively rather than for all occasions (especially if you live in an apartment block). A lonely Toy Poodle will become an anxious dog though and they need to be around others to live their best life.

The Toy Poodle is often described as being a bit more comical and affectionate than their larger Poodle counterparts and when socialized early show a great affinity for children and other small animals such as cats and even rabbits.

Maltipoo Temperament

Unlikely to win any awards as a ferocious guard dog the Maltipoo is only likely to defend their castle if they can successfully lick the intruder to death. Friendliness is often innately built into these little guys however as they love to bark, they can sometimes come across as a bit intense to the uninitiated.

It is relatively common for a Maltipoo to greet both their owners and any potential friends with a chorus of excitable yips. As a hybrid of two companion dogs, the Maltipoo is never happier than when in the lap of their human.

Generally confident little dogs they will follow their person into almost any environment quite happily meaning they can come on family visits and doggy-friendly outings with the minimal of fuss.

The Maltipoo will not do well left to their own devices for hours and will likely exhibit significant separation anxiety.

Toy Poodle Exercise Needs

As the Toy Poodle is generally a bit smaller and lighter than the Maltipoo they have slightly lesser daily exercise needs.  They will be more than fine with 15 to 20 minutes of outdoor exercise a day where they will likely cover somewhere between 0.5 and 1 mile.

As with any smaller breed care must be taken not to exercise your Toy Poodle in temperature extremes of too hot or cold and on these days, they will be more than happy to stay indoors apart from a brief jaunt outside for a toilet break.

Maltipoo Exercise Needs

The Maltipoo is incredibly playful, especially in their younger years, and can give the impression that they never, ever sit still. They will love toys and indoor fetch and often their naturally inquisitive nature will see them spend hours just exploring their home environment.

They do however have very little legs and zooming around an apartment is quite different from pounding the streets. In reality, most Maltipoos will be more than happy with a daily walk of between 15 and 20 minutes.

Feeding Requirements

Both the Toy Poodle and Maltipoo will do best on two meals a day in adulthood.  As a rough guide, a 6-pound dog will require half a cup of good quality dry food per day, a 10-pound dog will require approximately 3/4 of a cup.

This is only a rough guide though and guidance from your breeder or vet should be sought if you are concerned about feeding. It is worth remembering that little dogs do need a relatively small number of calories a day so if you are too enthusiastic with the treats it is very easy to turn your little dog into a chunky monkey.


Both the Toy Poodle and the Maltipoo benefit from their tiny stature, with smaller breeds on the whole often living considerably longer than their large breed counterparts.  Toy Poodles from reputable breeders can often be extremely healthy dogs and commonly live well into the upper end of their life expectancies.

Both breeds do have some conditions they are more susceptible to. For the Toy Poodle, more common ailments include neurological conditions, cancer, and injury through accidental trauma (e.g trampling) due to their very small size.  The Maltipoo has a slightly higher incidence of musculoskeletal issues, cancer, and heart issues.


Costs can fluctuate frequently and at the time of writing many small breeds are particularly in demand leading to inflated prices.  While the Toy Poodle has been consistently popular for years, presently the Maltipoo is going through a real boom, spurred on by a whole plethora of social media accounts dedicated to these little scamps.

This has seen the price and demand for them rocket and they can often cost up to 50% more than a Toy Poodle. A much higher premium is attracted for solid dark-colored Maltipoos due to their rarity.

Toy Poodles while generally cheaper can still attract almost staggering costs if they can be shown to come from a particular pedigree line as they remain extremely popular in the competitive dog show world. Again, color and local availability can play a significant part in Toy Poodle pricing.

It is always worth checking out local shelters, while it is very rare to see a Maltipoo up for re-homing, Toy Poodle can and do unfortunately sometimes end up in shelters. This is often in part due to their long lifespan with some families underestimating the length of commitment needed. But remember senior dogs can make some of the best pets!