Updated 03 November 2023
Read time: 5 mins
article author
Written by Elle Padgham

Some will call this breed a ‘Pomanese’. Many appreciate this Maltipom’s loving personality and playful nature. They are a popular option for those who live in apartments and small homes. As they don’t need a huge amount of exercise, they are a popular choice for older or less active owners. 

Breed history

A ‘designer dog’ the Maltipom is a small toy-type breed that has been around for several decades. They are a mix of the confident Pomeranian and the friendly Maltese. As with other hybrid dogs, they were developed due to a high demand for smaller dogs who would make good family pets.

General appearance

Utterly adorable, these mini teddy bears are pint-sized with large, brown eyes. Their fur is curly and soft and comes in a range of colours including white, cream and red. Their ears may stand erect or flop down, depending on which parent they take after more.

Weighing between 2kg and 4kg, the Maltipom is one of the smallest cross-breeds on the market. They only reach heights of about 20cm, making them far smaller than the average dog.


The Maltipom has a wonderful personality, likely due to the fact that both parent breeds have been kept as pets for many years. While most are tolerant of young children it is sensible to monitor them when in their presence. This is mainly because the Maltipom is so small and delicate that they could get easily stepped on.

As this breed is alert, they generally make great watch dogs. They will loudly yap as soon as someone new arrives to their property. This is a useful feature that many appreciate. Of course, given their diminutive size, they make useless guard dogs!

Health considerations 

A benefit of hybrid dogs is that we can try to breed them to prevent genetic issues. ‘Out-breeding’ dogs can reduce the amount of disease within the population. Possible issues within this breed include:

Mitral Valve Disease: The mitral valve separates the left atrium and ventricle in the heart. It prevents blood from flowing the wrong direction and ensures blood is pumped efficiently. When this valve does not function as it should, blood flow becomes turbulent. This results in a heart murmur that we can hear with a stethoscope. Signs of mitral valve disease include a cough and a decreased desire to exercise. We can confirm the condition with a chest x-ray and echocardiogram (heart scan). Daily medicine can help reduce symptoms though this is a progressive condition that cannot be cured.

Patellar Luxation: Many small dogs suffer with knee caps that click in and out of place. As the dog ages, they may develop arthritis in this joint. This condition is graded from a one (mild) to a four (most severe). For those who are suffering, a surgery may be the best route to take. All affected dogs would benefit from a joint supplement and owners may wish to consider a product such as Pooch & Mutt’s Salmon Oil. This liquid can be put on your dog’s food each day and most love the fishy flavour.

Liver Shunt: This is usually a congenital disease in the Maltipom, meaning it is present from birth. Affected pups will be smaller than their littermates and may also have signs such as tremors and seizures. It can be diagnosed with a scan of the liver and surgery is the best treatment option. This is a specialised surgery so your vet may need to refer your dog externally for the procedure.

Ear Infections (Otitis Externa): If your Maltipom has floppy ears, they will be more prone to ear infections. This is because the canal becomes a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria. These ‘bugs’ thrive in warm and humid conditions. To prevent infections, ensure you clean your Maltipom’s ears regularly. If they are prone to infections, your vet may also discuss the option of having their inner ear fur regularly plucked. Dogs who are not prone to ear infections should not have their ears plucked as this can cause irritation and inflammation.


Though the Maltipom was bred for companionship, they can still be trained to do a number of things. Most are eager to please their owner and enjoy following basic commands. They respond best when there are yummy treats on offer such as Pooch & Mutt’s Calm & Relaxed Mini Bones.

Some owners report that their Maltipom took longer than expected to housetrain. This is likely due to the small size of their bladder. As long as we are consistent and patient, they will soon be fully house-trained.


Most will cut their Maltipom short as their coat is much easier to maintain when clipped. We should brush them regularly. Those with pendulous ears will need their ears checked regularly and we should use an ear cleaner a few times a month.

As small dogs are more predisposed to dental disease, be sure to brush their teeth every day or two.


The Maltipom is a good choice for owners who are not especially active. They can get lots of exercise while running about inside the house and in their own back garden. We can keep them interested by playing with interactive toys and making small agility courses. Most also enjoy going for a ‘scenting session’ outside and will happily tag along on 20 to 30 minutes walks.

Feeding considerations

Maltipoms are teeny tiny dogs who do not need a lot of calories. Try not to over-feed treats and chews as they may not eat their dinner. Remember, no more than 10% of their diet should be composed of treats.

The best diet will depend on your dog’s specific needs. Those who suffer with orthopaedic issues such as patellar luxation and arthritis would benefit from a joint supportive diet such as Pooch & Mutt Joint Care. This food is enriched with Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulphate and green lipped mussel.

You'll find a handy feeding calculator on every product page here at Pooch & Mutt to help you identify how much of our health led recipes are right for the age, size and weight of your dog.

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