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Can Maltipoos Swim? Keep Your Dog Safe!

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

Maltipoo wearing life jacket while on a kayak

Swimming is a fun way to stay active, especially during the warmer months. If you are considering bringing your Maltipoo on a swimming trip, we have good news; most Maltipoos can swim well!

However, most Maltipoos do not mean all. A Maltipoo’s ability to swim (and desire for it) will vary widely. Much of the difference will depend heavily on which parent breed they take after more: the Maltese or the Poodle.

If you plan to take your Maltipoo for a swim, you will also want to observe proper safety precautions. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Maltipoo’s swimming abilities and preferences and how to keep your pup safe while enjoying the water. And if swimming isn’t your dog’s thing, we have a list of other tasks that can keep your Maltipoo active, so stick around.

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Looking at the Maltese and the Poodle

The Maltipoo is a mix between the Maltese and the Toy Poodle. One dog dislikes swimming, while the other is an adept and enthusiastic swimmer.


Maltese dogs were bred to be companion dogs and have been lap-sitting since the beginning of the breed’s conception. These dogs are playful and energetic, although they rarely require extensive exercise. Daily walks are more than enough to satisfy this pup, so swimming is not often on their radar.

The tiny size of the Maltese combined with its thick, long coat does not make it an ideal swimmer. Plus, most Maltese dogs are not interested in swimming, anyway. They would much rather sit in their owner’s lap than go on a watery adventure.


Poodles, on the other hand, love the water. That may surprise you, but the Poodle was bred to be a duck hunter and designed to handle the water. Their webbed feet, sleek bodies, and thick coats all make the Poodle an excellent candidate for swimming. Poodles are incredibly active dogs that need a great deal of exercise, so swimming is a great activity.

Although the Toy Poodle was not bred for duck hunting, the physical characteristics remain. Also, the love of water remains strong in the Toy Poodle.

two red maltipoo dogs
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

Do Maltipoos Like Water? How Well Can They Swim?

Whether or not a Maltipoo will like swimming will depend on which parent they take after the most: the Maltese or the Poodle. Their swimming ability will be influenced by the physical qualities they inherit. For instance, their coat type, the length of their muzzle, and overall size could all play a role in how good a Maltipoo is at swimming.

Likewise, a Maltipoo’s personality may determine whether they even want to swim. If a Maltipoo is less energetic or confident, swimming may not interest them. However, if a Maltipoo is eager for activity and adventure, swimming may be right up its alley.

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Observing Water Safety

The combination of the Maltese and the Poodle can possibly be dangerous when it comes to water; a Maltipoo could inherit the Maltese’s poor swimming ability while inheriting the Poodle’s desire to be in the water. This possibility is why it is crucial to supervise your pet when swimming.

maltipoo swimming in the water
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Teach Your Maltipoo How to Swim

It isn’t safe to assume that your dog knows how to swim. If you are taking your Maltipoo swimming for the first time, you must teach your dog how to swim.

Teaching a dog to swim will require repeated practice sessions, so you will need to spend a lot of time training your dog before you can let them swim on their own. Regular access to a swimming area will make teaching your Maltipoo much easier, as short yet consistent lessons are best for training.

Start in shallow, calm water when taking your Maltipoo into the water for the first time. Don’t force your Maltipoo to venture into deeper water until they are comfortable. Depending on how your Maltipoo feels about water, they may be hesitant or fearful of the water.

One good way to encourage your dog to grow accustomed to the water is to offer treats while they are learning to swim. As your dog dares to venture further, provide lots of praise and treats. This will help your Maltipoo to be more willing to learn. Another way to encourage your dog and make swimming fun is to bring floating toys. Playing with the toys can help your dog gain confidence in the water and make them less fearful.

As your Maltipoo’s confidence grows, you can gradually take them into deeper water. Be sure to support your dog beneath its belly as the two of you venture into deeper water. However, if your Maltipoo is afraid or anxious, return to the shallow water to make them feel more comfortable.

Be Cautious and Conscientious

When bringing your Maltipoo around water, you must pay extra close attention to ensure your dog is safe. Even if your dog knows how to swim, the Maltipoo is still small. Purchasing a canine life jacket for your dog is a good idea, no matter how adept of a swimmer your dog is.

If you have water near your home, such as a pool or a pond, make sure that your Maltipoo does not have unlimited access to it. Fencing or other enclosures will keep your Maltipoo safe from falling into deep water when you are not around.

brown female Maltipoo dog walking on the beach
Image By: Heidi Bollich, Shutterstock

Other Activities to Keep Your Maltipoo Active

Not all dogs like swimming, and there is a chance that your Maltipoo doesn’t, either. If that is the case, you may wonder what other fun activities you can do to help your dog burn off some extra energy. If you need help brainstorming new ideas, we’ve compiled a list below for you.

  • Play fetch
  • Throw a frisbee
  • Go on a walk
  • Play tug-of-war
  • Provide some interactive puzzle toys
  • Visit a dog park
  • Play hide and seek

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When it comes to hybrid dogs like the Maltipoo, it can be hard to determine precisely which qualities an individual dog will inherit. Whether or not a dog will enjoy swimming can also depend on the dog’s unique personality and interests, so it is impossible to say that every Maltipoo will love swimming. However, as a general rule, many Maltipoos can swim and even enjoy it. But if your Maltipoo does not like to swim, there are plenty of other ways to provide exercise and fun.


Featured Image Credit: Major3e, Shutterstock

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