Maltipoo - Should We Get One? Have You Had One?

Updated on May 18, 2009
N.P. asks from Eden Prairie, MN
12 answers

We have 4 children, our daughter has wanted a dog for years, when our twins were born we said when they were 5 we could get a dog. WOW - how quickly time goes by....our boys will be 5 next week! EEK! SO - the entire family is on a 'can we get a dog' kick. I would LOVE to hear from you other moms.....I'm pretty realistic about the fact that I will be doing a huge portion of the work. We have a friend who just got a multipoo....does anyone have any experience with these dogs? Are they yippy? Right now - the puppy is little - 10 wks old, and they don't bark much at all. I'm wondering - if they will start barking more as they get older? We want a smaller dog, and one that doesn't shed. Any input you can give - is VERY much appreciated! Thanks!

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L.H.

answers from Milwaukee on

Multipoo's will need to be kept clipped short. The breed can be yippers. Also smaller dogs are not always the best with children.

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S.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

N.,

We don't have a dog, but I have talked to lots of friends who do. Here are some of the things they said they wished they had thought about before they made the commitment:

- How much is your family home? During the day, are you mostly home or are you running errands? Will the dog get bored while the kids are in school? After school and in the evenings, are you home or are you doing lessons, activities and sports? On the weekends, are you home or are you out doing things as a family? Will the dog get lonely?

- How much do you travel? Do you like to take family vacations or weekend getaways? Who will watch the dog when you are gone?

- Is a dog in the budget? Have you priced food, vet visits, shots, toys, flea meds, shampoos, toys, pet beds, kennels, etc. and calculated how much it will cost your family over a year and over the dog's life?

- How cold does it get in winter where you live? Will the dog be indoors a lot? Do you want to walk the dog and take him outside to pee / poo in below zero temps with snow on the ground every day?

- How picky are you about the cleanliness of your home? Will it bother you if the dog pees / poos in the house, chews on things, scratches or tears up the carpet, sheds, etc.?

- Do any of your children's friends have allergies severe enough to prevent them from coming over to visit?

Not to say that families shouldn't have dogs, just that there is a lot to consider before getting one.

Good luck,
S.

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S.V.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi N.! My suggestion in finding the perfect pooch for your family, would be to visit www.dogbreedinfo.com, click on Find the Perfect Dog, & take the Breed Selector Quiz. This will list the dogs that would be perfect for your family based on your quiz answers. You can also view different dogs history as far as description, temperament, height/weight, health problems, excercise, life expectancy & grooming. It really helped us when determining the best dog for our family!

Good luck~
S.

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A.W.

answers from Milwaukee on

I work at an emergency vet hospital (an animal ER) and all I can say is that small dogs and small kids do NOT mix well. There are too many accidents that can happen when a small child is around a small dog. We've seen them dropped by accident (since little dogs are so squirmy) and a leg is broken. They have been thrown by a misbehaved child and the dog gets injured. They can even get caught up in a recliner and seriously injured that way. I'm not saying that they are bad dogs, but just be very very careful with a small dog in a household with small children. Even adults have accidentally stepped on small dogs (since they are always under your feet - they love to follow you and are very loving, but always under-foot) and seriosly injured them. It's so unfortunate, but it is a reality that these things can happen! Whatever you decide is right for your family, I would suggest getting pet insurance, which helps reimburse you for expenses for emergencies, etc. (I have V.P.I. Pet Insurance for my dog. And you can get free quotes on line.)

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C.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

Growing up we had a toy poodle (5 lbs) and mini schnauzer (10-15 lbs). Both were "good" dogs and I don't remember much shedding with either one. Of course, both needed to be brushed and groomed, but I don't remember hair all over the place.

The poodle *could* get yappy, and he didn't like other animals very much, but he was very loyal and cuddly. The schnauzer was a little bigger and also very loyal--not yappy at all.

Whatever breed you decide on, PLEASE do your research on that breed. Yes, every dog has its own personality, but for example a Jack Russell Terrier has about 10x the energy as a Toy Poodle and will need more exercise and stimulation. I used to volunteer in animal rescue and so many families choose a dog on appearance alone. Since you have posted this question, it's obvious you're not going to do that, so I want to applaud your family's effort!

Lastly, the one piece of advice I can give you that will save you hundreds of dollars and time and energy is to get a housebroken, neutered/spayed adult dog from a shelter or rescue group. Many people are lured in to "free" or cheap puppies, but then it can cost $300-$400 to have them sterilized, not to mention the emotional and financial costs of housetraining. ;-) There are lots of adult dogs for sale for $100-$200, they are sterilized, housebroken, and up-to-date on shots. Two really great shelters in the Twin Cities is Animal Ark in Hastings and the MN Valley Humane Society in Burnsville. There are countless rescue groups in this area, too. Go petfinder.org. Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from Appleton on

Hi

I am a veterinarian and would have to say the 2 Main things to do is your research on the breeder and puppy training classes. I have a Maltese and she is very good with my daughter, but will growl a little when she does too much. I don't think she'd bite but I let my daughter know that she can't be "messed with" too much and to leave her alone. She barks a little but I am qucik to correct excessive barking...The dog needs to know who is in charge. (and not physically either-proper training)
Mixed breeds like that come from alot of sources...be sure NOT to visit a home puppy mill.....these places have more than 1 or 2 breeds on site. Ask to see the parents, ask about personalities....bad breeding leads to biting, barking etc. However when you do get the pup...get straight to the vet have them checked out (they need vaccines at 8-12 and 16 weeks) Don't fall for "theve had all their shots" at 10 weeks-NOT TRUE. Take in a stool sample or deworm anyway (especially with kids) ANd a malti-poo will need grooming! High maitanence hair coat.....I do my own but start with a professional and get them in early to get used to nail trims and grooming. I thin Petco does "puppy trims" Like around the face etc.
I hope this helps...they can be good dogs, but just like any other...they need training and proper care....any other questions please contact me : [email protected]____.com
Good luck!

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L.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi N.,
I also have four kids (ages 8, 3, 3, and 3) and we just got a puppy 6 weeks ago. My kids all love dogs and I am NOT a dog person (did not grow up with any pets and was actually scared of dogs until a few years ago), but I thought it would be good for the kids to grow up with a pet...for the companionship and responsibility. I am really glad we got one! We got a Boston Terrier. This breed is really good with kids, stays small, rarely barks (and is not yippy), and does not shed much at all. She's also very smart...it's been pretty easy housebreaking her and she already knows how to "sit" and "lay down" on command. The first three nights were rough as she whined in her kennel most of the night, but that is normal and it didn't last any longer than that. Good luck with your decision!
L.

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K.B.

answers from Duluth on

We don't have a multipoo, but we have a pekingese/poodle mix (about 10 lbs). she is 4 years old. we have one son that just turned 2, and for the most part she is great with him. she has gotten a little bit nippy as she has gotten older - particularly if you try to take something away from her (and i think she probably could have been trained better to not do this, so: our fault). however, she ONLY does this with my husband and i, and never our son. it's like she knows to be more gentle with him. and i think with your youngest being 5, you'd be in a better position than we were - like i said, we got our dog before our son was born, and so she had to get used to him - and being 2, he's very much in the stage of trying to pull her tail, grab things from her, etc., and she really does handle it very well. she does bark - but not excessively (never barked until she was 2 years old), and she doesn't shed. it sounds like you are really busy and so you are on the right track with getting a small dog. they get a lot of exercise just running around the house, don't need to be walked for long periods of time like bigger dogs, are easy to take along when you go somewhere, etc, so to me: less work for you. i would recommend spending as much time as you can on training though - especially things like touching the dog's mouth, paws, etc, when it is little so it gets used to that... teaching it to stay and to drop something it has in it's mouth... and teaching it a definite 'no' command (we use 'ah-ah!' and our dog freezes as soon as we say it - we don't use 'no' as we are saying that a lot around the house). it's fun to teach them tricks, but these simple things are the most important when you have children around, for both their safety and the dog's. good luck! we love our little dog. :)

edited to add: also meant to say that i think the biggest mistake people make with small dogs is spoiling them or letting them get away with things because they are small. this is why a lot of people don't like small dogs - or why they get bad reputations - because they don't behave well. if you wouldn't let a lab or golden retriever do it, then you shouldn't let your maltipoo do it either. :)

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E.H.

answers from Madison on

If you like dogs that get poo stuck in their fur, are hard to train, and get that icky brown stuff around there eyes... go ahead, otherwise I suggest to get a Puggle, they are AWESOME!!!! They are the most lovable, cuddley, playful dogs ever!!! they range from about 20-35 lbs, ours is 19lbs and she will be 3 in September. The only down fall is that she sheds (not molting like some dogs, just normal shed), but atleast you dont have to take them to a groomer to be shaved/trimmed. Plus another awesome quality about a puggle is that they look like a big dog but are small! They are Great with kids, love to run and play... but I am pretty sure they love cudding even more.

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/puggle.htm

http://www.puggle.org/breedinfo.asp

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C.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have had dogs most of my life. I currently have two that are 14 and 16. I have not had a malti-poo, but I have had two Maltese. Although Maltese are not known to be really yippy, our second one certainly let us know when someone was at the door. As a small dog she had a very high pitched bark. Poodles can be a little yippier so yes, there is a possibility a malti-poo could be yippy. Another thing to consider is the rambunctiousness of your children. How much do your 5 year old twins chase each other or rough house? How would they handle a very small dog? Maltese are generally good with children, but because of their small size they are not recommended for very young children. Our second Maltese was 4 1/2 pounds full grown. Active kids can accidentally hurt them by tripping over them or dropping them. If your kids are really active you might want a sturdier dog. My current dogs are Jack Russell Terriers (not recommended for first time dog owners) and although small relatively sturdy at about 15 pounds. Even then my youngest son tripped over one of the dogs a few years ago when he was running around and fell on the dog and hurt his back. The dog had to go on steroids for awhile and was tender for quite some time. What do your kids want to do with a dog? Cuddle? Rough house? Take long walks? A Maltese is more of a lap dog. Our Maltese were intelligent, loyal pets, but you might want to think about whether a dog that small is appropriate for your family. Although you mention you want a small dog there might be other breeds or mixed breeds that aren't quite as small as the Maltese. Or look for a Maltese that's mixed with a larger poodle, not a toy poodle. I have some friends with two boys who are having good luck with two Cockapoos. Best wishes.

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M.K.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hello,
I recommend a lab. We have a yellow lab and she is smaller, 21" high (shoulder) and 60lbs. Soooo great with my boys! Labs are great dogs, easy to train, listen well, short hair, need moderate exercise (walks). Again great with kids, I think that should be the first on any list. I have had many cousin bitten by their dogs, like German short hairs and smaller dogs too. just a suggestion!
Good luck!
M.
P.s. we were trying to breed our dog but it isn't working so far, she just isn't getting pregnant but there are smaller labs out there. (Check the size of the parents)

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K.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

I second Shellie's advice - regardless of breed, consider all the questions she asked. The way I prepared myself was to ask, "Am I ready for another 'baby' in the house?" Dogs are much like babies, then grow into pepetual toddlers. You need to be aware of their eating. sleeping, toileting, and playing schedules - just like a baby. And just like babies - they are very lovable! Good luck!

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