Maltipoo vs. Cavapoo: What’s the Difference? (With Pictures)


If you’re searching for a dog to adopt that’s small, friendly, fun, easy to care for, and has a low probability of setting off your allergies, both the Cavapoo and the Maltipoo would be a great fit. These beautiful hybrid dog breeds have Toy or Miniature Poodles in their blood. The Cavapoo, however, is a Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix, while the Maltipoo is a Poodle and Maltese mix.

While both breeds have their differences, they have more similarities. If you’re unsure which one would suit your family, the information below can help you decide.

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Visual Differences

Maltipoo_side_ Cavapoo
Image Credit: Left – Maltipoo (350543, Pixabay) | Right – Cavapoo (Matthew Ashmore, Shutterstock)

At a Glance

Maltipoo

  • Average height (adult): 8–14 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 5–20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–15 years
  • Exercise: 1 hour a day
  • Grooming needs: Low to moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes!
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Highly intelligent and very easy to train

Cavapoo

  • Average height (adult): 9–14 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 9–25 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12–15 years
  • Exercise: 1 to 2 hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes!
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: People pleasers and easy to train

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Maltipoo Overview

Small brown fluffy dog maltipoo lies between two pillows on the sofa
Image Credit: Alex Boc, Shutterstock

Personality / Character

The Maltipoo has the luxury of inheriting many positive traits from the two breeds with whom they share genes, the Maltese and Poodle. For example, like both breeds, Maltipoos are highly intelligent and will surprise you with everything they can do.

They are gentle and affectionate and enjoy being in the company of their adopted family all the time, doing all they can to please them. They’re also quite playful, although they don’t have a huge energy reserve and tire quickly. That makes them an excellent choice for singles, first-time pet owners, and seniors.

Training

Thanks to their intelligence, Maltipoos are pretty easy to train and learn new tricks and skills quickly. One minor concern, however, is that you need to potty train them early and repetitively so that you don’t have potty problems in the future. Once a Maltipoo gets to a certain age, potty training becomes much more difficult.

One other difficulty you might have with your Maltipoo is training them to refrain from barking excessively, which they unfortunately do. You should note that, even with training, your Maltipoo will bark a lot, which could cause stress or other problems depending on your living situation.

maltipoo training fetch
Image Credit: marketlan, Shutterstock

Grooming

One area where Maltipoos excel as a pet is their minimal grooming needs. Maltipoos shed very little because they have hair, not fur. Because of this, they’re almost 100% hypoallergenic and are a great choice for people who suffer from allergies. Plus, you won’t have to brush your Maltipoo every day, and a grooming session once every two months will suffice.

Adaptability

Regarding adaptability, Maltipoos have several advantages and one or two disadvantages. The benefits are that Maltipoos adapt well to living in an apartment. That makes them an excellent choice for first-time dog owners and seniors who don’t get around easily.

However, Maltipoos tend to suffer from separation anxiety and don’t tolerate cold weather very well because of their size and single coat of hair. For that matter, they don’t handle hot weather very well either.

cute little maltipoo outdoors
Image Credit: OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock

Friendliness

There are few dog breeds as affectionate and friendly as Maltipoos. Once they’ve become accustomed to your family, they will be more affectionate and want to spend every moment with you.

They are child-friendly and can handle a small amount of rough play, although you should note that they are tiny and relatively fragile dogs. Maltipoos are also very friendly with other dogs and strangers and don’t have the overprotective issues many small dog breeds suffer from.

Maltipoo
Image Credit: Elena Bennett, Shutterstock

Health Issues

As noted earlier, Maltipoos live between 12 and 15 years, which is relatively long for a dog. Although they suffer from several health issues, most aren’t life-threatening and can be treated with veterinary care.

Those include patellar luxation when the kneecap, femur, and tibia become misaligned in one or both legs. They also have what’s known as “shaker syndrome,” which causes their little body and head to shake excessively. Maltipoos can also suffer from epilepsy which can cause recurrent seizures.

Suitable for:

Maltipoos are suited for families, young couples, and seniors, although families with children under 6 years old should teach their children how to handle their new puppy dog so that it doesn’t get injured. Maltipoos would also be perfect for apartment living and are appropriate for adoption by pet parents who suffer from allergies.

  • Nearly hypoallergenic
  • Shed very little
  • Have hair instead of fur
  • Great for apartments
  • Friendly and outgoing
  • Need low levels of activity (great for seniors)
  • Have a long lifespan
  • Suffer from separation anxiety
  • Maltipoos are expensive dogs
  • They bark, sometimes excessively
  • Potty training can be difficult if not done early
  • Prone to obesity
owner holding his cute little maltipoo
Image Credit: OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock

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Cavapoo Overview

golden Cavapoo puppy in the garden
Image Credit: Danny Shiers, Shutterstock

Personality / Character

Like the Maltipoo, the Cavapoo is an adorable, charming, friendly, and outgoing dog breed and makes a wonderful pet for various family situations. Cavapoos are social dogs who thrive in homes where there are multiple people in the family.

They also get along well with other pets and have no problem with family members, neighbors, and strangers popping in to say “hello.”  Cavapoos tolerate small children well, although one concern is that they‘re small dogs and cannot take rough handling.

Training

Although not as easy to train as a Maltipoo, a Cavapoo is very close and, if you have trained dogs in the past, should be a breeze to train. These are highly intelligent dogs who will learn new skills quickly and easily, although they do have the potential to be a bit stubborn and mouthy. They also have a moderately high prey drive and tend to run off after small animals if given the opportunity.

cavapoo on the grass
Image Credit: Piqsels

Grooming

If you’re looking for a breed that doesn’t require much grooming, the Cavapoo is a great choice. They shed minimally, drool very little, and are relatively easy to groom. They don’t need a lot of brushing and will be okay with bi-monthly trips to the groomer of your choice.

Cavapoo experts recommend keeping your Cavapoo’s hair cut short, which will make grooming even easier and reduce the “dog smell” sometimes associated with the breed.

Adaptability

If you live in an apartment or small home and worry that your new dog will not be able to adapt, you can put those worries aside with a Cavapoo. They make excellent apartment dogs and have a moderate to low sensitivity level. They also can tolerate being alone quite well, although some Cavapoos might suffer from separation anxiety. As for cold weather, Cavapoos tend to handle it well, but they suffer a bit more in hot weather.

Cavapoo eating Ice Cube
Image Credit: Scot Col, Shutterstock

Friendliness

Like the Maltipoo, the Cavapoo is one of the most affectionate dog breeds you’ll find and gets along with just about everyone. Unlike some breeds, Cavapoos don’t tend to pick one person but love everyone equally, including other pets, strangers, neighbors, and children.

One caveat is that if you have small children or they come over to visit, you need to keep an eye on them when interacting with your pup because Cavapoos are small dogs that can be easily hurt by rough play.

cavapoo laying on the floor
Image Credit: Reed Warburton, Pexels

Health Issues

Because they’re a hybrid, Cavapoos tend to suffer from several health issues. However, the majority are treatable and not life-threatening. Like the Maltipoo, Cavapoos suffer from luxating patella, which can affect their ability to walk.

The same can be said for hip dysplasia, and they also suffer from a condition that affects their heart called mitral valve disease. Cavapoos also suffer from epilepsy and tend to have eye issues, including progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Suitable for:

If you have a young family with children over the age of 6 years old, adopting a Cavapoo is an excellent choice. They make wonderful family pets and get along well with everyone.

Senior citizens will also find Cavapoos nearly perfect as they have relatively low grooming needs, don’t need excessive activity to stay healthy, and are very affectionate. If you’re single or a young couple living in an apartment, a Cavapoo would also be a good choice since it’s a  smaller dog that can handle apartment living with no problem.

  • Very affectionate dogs
  • Shed very little
  • Excellent choice for first-time dog owners
  • Sociable and outgoing
  • Intelligent and a breeze to train
  • Have a very stable temperament
  • Have very few health issues
  • May cause allergic reactions due to their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel heritage.
  • Cavapoos suffer from separation anxiety.
  • Grooming can be problematic if not performed regularly
  • Tend to bark a lot
  • They are not great as watchdogs because they’re so friendly.
Cavapoo
Image Credit: Steven B Gold, Shutterstock

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The Main Differences Between Cavapoos & Maltipoos

The similarities between Cavapoos and Maltipoos are easy to see. Both are tiny dogs with a single coat of curly hair, outgoing personalities, and a friendly, affectionate nature. However, several differences between the breeds are noticeable, as you’ll see below.

One Is More Hypoallergenic Than the Other

This difference between Cavapoos and Maltipoos is the most important if you suffer from allergies. Maltipoos are almost 100% hypoallergenic because they’re the progeny of two hypoallergenic dogs, the Maltese and the Poodle. Cavapoos, on the other hand, result from the breeding between a poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This mix can be slightly more problematic because Cavalier King Charles Spaniels cause allergy problems due to their medium-length, wavy fur coats. In other words, the chance of adopting a Cavapoo with a fur coat that causes allergic reactions is much higher than with a Maltipoo.

8 weeks old maltipoo puppy
Image Credit: Xuan Nguyen, Unsplash

The Size of Their Litter

Dog breeders will tell you that it’s easier to find a Cavapoo puppy than a Maltipoo because Cavapoos have larger litters, sometimes up to 10 puppies at a time! Maltipoos, on the other hand, typically have between four and six puppies.

Overall Appearance

Although it might not be noticeable at a glance, some physical differences between Cavapoos and Maltipoos are visible upon closer inspection. For example, Cavapoos tend to have shorter, rounder snouts, while Maltipoo snouts are usually slender and longer. Also, because of their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel heritage, Cavapoos typically have longer, wider ears than Maltipoos.

Cavapoo dog on the grass
Image Credit: Matthew Ashmore, Shutterstock

Barking Tendencies

This final difference, while not severe, is worth noting if you live where barking might cause problems or stress between you and your neighbors. Maltipoos bark a lot more than Cavapoos and bark at almost anything, although their barking level depends on the individual dog.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

Choosing between a Maltipoo and a Cavapoo will be challenging because both are adorable, affectionate, fun, and intelligent dogs that make excellent pets and companions. The most significant difference that could affect your time with your new dog is that Cavapoos tend to cause more allergy problems, while Maltipoos, thanks to their Poodle and Maltese heritage, cause very few. Ultimately, the Cavapoo and Maltipoo will make fabulous pets, friends, and doting lapdogs.


Featured Image Credit: (U) Oscar Scannell, Unsplash | (D) Steven B Gold, Shutterstock



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