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Maltipoo-Chihuahua: Breed Info, Temperament & Traits (With Pictures)

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

Maltipoo and Chihuahua

Height: 8–14 inches
Weight: 6–12 pounds
Lifespan: 10–16 years
Colors: Any Poodle color, most commonly white, fawn, cream, or a combination of these
Suitable for: Families with older children, seniors, small-space living, experienced dog owners with time to commit to their pets
Temperament: Intelligent, energetic, charming, playful, protective, sometimes noisy, possibly territorial

Maltipoos are one of the oldest and most well-known of the “Doodle” designer dogs, while Chihuahuas are one of the oldest purebred dog breeds in the world. Combine these two, and you get the Maltipoo-Chihuahua, one of the newest hybrids to grow in popularity. Adding a dash of spicy Chihuahua personality to the more laidback Maltipoo creates a dog with a unique temperament and good looks. If you’re intrigued by this description, keep reading to learn more about the Maltipoo-Chihuahua, including what to expect when owning one of these pint-sized pups.

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Maltipoo-Chihuahua Puppies


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3 Little-Known Facts About the Maltipoo-Chihuahua

1. They Have More Than One Name

Although the “Maltipoo-Chihuahua” moniker accurately describes the breed, the name isn’t very catchy. Because of that, you’ll often see this hybrid listed as a “Malchipoo” instead.

2. You Never Know What Their Coats Will Look Like

Anytime you cross multiple breeds together, you may be surprised at the physical appearance of the resulting puppies. All three Malchipoo parent breeds have very different coats, so you never know what you’ll get in each litter. Maltipoos can have curly, wavy, or fine coats. Chihuahuas can have either long hair or short, and either will change the look of the hybrid pups.

3. They Aren’t Always Allergy Friendly

While no breed is completely hypoallergenic, some are known to cause less of an allergic reaction than others. Both Poodles and Maltese fall into this category, so Maltipoos are typically considered an allergy-friendly breed. On the other hand, Chihuahua coats aren’t always the kindest to allergic humans. Crossing them with a Maltipoo does introduce the risk that the resulting puppies won’t be as allergy friendly.

parent breeds of the Maltipoo-Chihuahua
Parents of Scottish Maltipoo-Chihuahua: Left – Maltipoo (OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock) | Right – Chihuahua (HG-Fotografie, Pixabay)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Maltipoo-Chihuahua

Just like their coat types, the personalities of the Maltipoo-Chihuahua’s parent breeds are also quite different. Because of this, you’ll find some variation in temperament between dogs. Poodles are among the smartest breeds, while Maltese and Chihuahuas are also known for their intelligence, so you can expect your Maltipoo-Chihuahua to possess this trait.

Chihuahuas tend to be feistier than the typically laidback Maltipoo, which can make this hybrid breed a bit more challenging to own. They’re generally a better fit for more experienced dog owners rather than first-time pup parents. These dogs are often protective, sometimes territorial, and noisy.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Small and toy breeds like the Maltipoo-Chihuahua aren’t the best choice for families with toddlers and young children. Because the dogs are so tiny, they can easily be injured by rambunctious kids who’re too young to understand how to behave properly around their pets. There’s also the risk that the dog may feel threatened by a young child’s fast, unpredictable movements and respond inappropriately.

Families with older children will find the Maltipoo-Chihuahua a loyal and entertaining pet. However, this breed doesn’t do well if not given enough attention by its owners. Busy families should consider whether they have the spare time to devote to a Maltipoo-Chihuahua before bringing one home.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Maltipoo-Chihuahuas can get along with other pets if properly socialized. However, because of their size, you’ll need to be cautious when allowing them to interact with larger pets unsupervised. Most cats will even outweigh this breed!

If your Malchipoo inherits the Chihuahua tendency to act like a big dog in a small body, they may be prone to starting trouble with larger animals and getting hurt as a result. Socialization and supervision can help prevent many of these issues.

Even these tiny dogs could be viewed as predators by exotic pets, leading to an unhealthy stress response. It’s best to keep small exotic pets separated from a Maltipoo-Chihuahua.

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Things to Know When Owning a Maltipoo-Chihuahua:

Are you feeling tempted to add a Malchipoo to your family? Here are some key factors to know when owning a Maltipoo-Chihuahua.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Healthy Maltipoo-Chihuahuas generally don’t have special diet requirements as long as their food is nutritionally-balanced. The simplest way to accomplish this is by feeding a commercially prepared diet. If you’d rather offer a homemade diet, ask your vet to help formulate meals containing all the necessary nutrients to keep your pup healthy.

Maltipoo-Chihuahuas are sometimes prone to obesity, so it’s crucial to control their calorie intake carefully. Your vet can help you calculate how many calories your dog needs to eat each day.

Exercise 🐕

Maltipoo-Chihuahuas are typically energetic dogs that need daily exercise. However, because of their size, fulfilling their exercise needs isn’t as time-consuming as it is for larger breeds. Walks and indoor games of fetch can tire your Malchipoo out nicely.

Aim for about 20-30 minutes of exercise per day. Maltipoo-Chihuahuas may enjoy participating in canine sports like agility, but their small size could put them at higher risk of injury. You should also avoid playing rough games like tug-of-war with your tiny dog.

Training 🎾

Maltipoo-Chihuahuas are typically intelligent dogs that learn quickly. Maltipoos are generally eager to please and, therefore, easy to train. Chihuahuas tend to be more headstrong and feistier, and Machipoos may inherit this attitude. If so, they may be harder to train.

Positive, reward-based training methods are most effective for Malchipoos. Patience and persistence are essential, especially when dealing with a potential Chihuahua attitude. Socialization is vital for the Malchipoo due to personality quirks they may inherit from all three parent breeds.

Poodles can sometimes be anxious in unfamiliar situations, while Maltese can be shy and reserved. Chihuahuas, in contrast, are prone to be territorial and reactive, sometimes even aggressive. Early exposure to different people, animals, and situations will help a Maltipoo-Chihuahua grow into a calm, confident pet.

Grooming ✂️

The Maltipoo-Chihuahua’s grooming needs will vary depending on their coat type. Generally, they are a low-maintenance breed that doesn’t need much beyond regular brushing and maybe a monthly bath to keep their coats healthy. However, Malchipoos with longer hair or with a curly, Poodle-type coat may also need to visit the groomer every couple of months for a trim.

Like many small dogs, Maltipoo-Chihuahuas can suffer from dental problems. Dental care should be part of your grooming routine, whether that’s with brushing, chews, or a special diet. Also, trimming the dog’s nails and cleaning its ears are necessary whether it spends most of the day indoors or outside.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Maltipoo-Chihuahuas can inherit any genetic health conditions found in their parent breeds. Sometimes, hybrid dogs avoid some of the more serious medical problems, but that’s not always the case. Healthy parents, regardless of breed, are essential to producing quality pups.

Serious Conditions:

Like many small breeds, Malchipoos are prone to contracting luxating patella, and Chihuahuas can inherit two brain conditions: epilepsy and hydrocephalus.

Maltese are prone to another neurological condition called Shaker Syndrome, as well as congenital liver shunts. Heart issues are also possible in this breed, including patent ductus arteriosus.

Minor Conditions:

Dental disease and obesity can be issues for the Malchipoo, but a healthy diet, regular vet visits, and maintaining the dog’s dental health can reduce the chances of the breed contracting the diseases. Several inherited eye conditions may impact the breed, and it’s recommended that a veterinary ophthalmologist screen breeding dogs.

Minor Conditions
  • Dental disease
  • Obesity
  • Eye conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Luxating patella
  • Epilepsy
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Shaker syndrome
  • Liver shunts
  • Patent ductus arteriosus

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Male vs Female

Male Maltipoo-Chihuahuas are larger than females, and neutered males tend to be more territorial and aggressive as well, including displaying behaviors like urine marking. Unspayed females usually go into heat twice a year and may undergo behavior changes during this time.

Aside from these differences, there’s not much to help you decide between owning a male or female Maltipoo-Chihuahua. Some people just prefer one gender over the other.


Final Thoughts

With their unique combination of looks and personality, it’s no wonder the Maltipoo-Chihuahua is one of the newest designer dogs to catch the attention of pet lovers. As you consider whether this breed is right for you, be aware of the time and training required to raise a well-mannered Malchipoo. These pups are adorable, but they sometimes have an edge that requires an experienced owner. Research your breeders carefully, as we mentioned earlier, to ensure you’re not getting a dog from a puppy mill.

Featured Image Credit: Left – Maltipoo (Master1305, Shutterstock) | Right – Chihuahua (McCann Michelle, Shutterstock)

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