Maltese vs. Cavapoo: Which Breed to Get?

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Maltese vs. CavapooThese two small dogs are incredibly cute and very popular, but how similar are they? Will both suit your home and routine, or is one perhaps more suited than another?

There is plenty that goes into making a decision to bring home a new dog, and it is important that you have all of the information before getting a new pet!

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Maltese and Cavapoo History

The Maltese and the Cavapoo have very different histories. Where the Maltese’s extensive, mysterious history is a wonder among experts, the Cavapoo’s is short and sweet – just like the dog!

The Maltese’s history is rather contested. Experts are not sure where the breed came from, or exactly when it emerged.  They know the breed is very old, and have even dubbed it the “ancient toy breed”, but the specifics are not known.

There are three leading theories; this bichon-type breed originated in Malta as a descendant of the Mediterannean spitz-type dogs, the breed is an Italian descendant of spitz-types, or even that the breed comes from East Asian spitz-type dogs.

What experts have been able to determine, however, is that the breed was very popular in the 16th to 18th centuries.

In the 16th century, there is evidence that the British royal family kept the breed as pets, and in the 18th century, the Maltese was popular amongst the French aristocracy.

Even when breeders took it too far and tried to shrink the breed, people stepped in and saved the Maltese from extinction – just showing how much the breed is well-loved.

The Cavapoo, alternatively, developed in Australia in the 1990s. Breeders were trying to get the calm nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the intelligence of a Poodle.

The Poodle was also used in the hopes of creating a breed more friendly to those with allergies since the breed sheds substantially less than other dogs.

Maltese vs. Cavapoo: What Are the Breeds Like?

Next, we’ll cover some common traits of both breeds.


The Maltese is a rather decadent-looking dog, with silky white long hair that covers the whole body.

The breed only stands between 8” and 10” tall, and weighs around 7 lbs, but with a rounded skull and dropped ears, as well as a perfectly black nose, it is a very memorable and distinctive dog breed.

The Cavapoo is much less regal but just as sweet. The breed measures between 9” and 14” tall and will usually weigh between 9 and 25 lbs.

Cavapoos have compact faces with dropped ears and expressive eyebrows. Their coat is curly and can come in cream, fawn, chocolate, gold, chestnut, and white.

Life Expectancy and Aging Profile

Since both the Maltese and the Cavapoo are smaller breeds, they have the benefit of a much slower metabolism than their larger counterparts.

This gives them reasonably long life expectancies, as they tend to develop fatal disorders and illnesses later in life and suffer from fewer structural injuries caused by fast growth.

As such, the Maltese and the Cavapoo have an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. As puppies, both breeds will grow pretty rapidly, reaching their full size by about 1 year old, but they will then slow down, maturing at a reduced pace.


The Maltese is a fun and affectionate dog that forms very close bonds with its family very quickly.

The breed loves cuddling, playing, and running around, and is a bundle of joy to have in a household. Sometimes the breed is a little spoiled, but this is usually just because owners find it hard to say no to the Maltese’s adorable little face.

The Cavapoo is a dog breed with an amazing temperament. The breed is a popular family dog and with good reason; it is outgoing, adventurous, affectionate, playful, and excited about most things. The breed loves people and is an absolute people-pleaser.


The Maltese is a smart dog breed that is more than capable of learning most tricks and skills that you want it to learn.

The breed likes to please, and with the right amount of positive reinforcement (especially in the form of treats) the breed will typically pay a good amount of attention to whatever you are trying to teach it.

It is important to start training and socializing early, though, to ensure that the breed is used to it.

The Cavapoo is also an intelligent breed, and it is one that craves validation. The breed wants to please above all else and is fairly simple to train.

This breed is also known for being quite adept at agility and other competitions, likely because of their Poodle genetics.

Maltese vs. Cavapoo: Which One Is Easier to Keep?

Next, we’ll discuss which of these breeds is easier to keep.

Required Living Space

As small dogs, both the Maltese and the Cavapoo are absolutely adaptable. This means that they are happy to live in most types of living space, whether it is a studio apartment, a condo, or a large family home.

So long as they are given sufficient mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis, and have enough space to play and lounge, they are capable of thriving in almost any situation.


Grooming is an important aspect that too often goes overlooked. You should always ensure you have the time and skills to groom your new dog, and if not, that you have the resources to get them groomed to save them from irritation, infection, and foul odors.

The Maltese is definitely the more high-maintenance of the two breeds. The coat will need wiping after each meal and throughout the day to prevent stains from forming.

The Maltese will also need brushing daily to fight off knots and will need bathing every couple of weeks. On top of that, the breed will need its ears and eyes cleaned on a regular basis, as well as its teeth.

The Cavapoo on the other hand will just need brushing once a week and washing when dirty. The breed will still require the basics like dental hygiene and its eyes and ears checked for smells or infection on a regular basis, but on the whole, the breed is much simpler to keep.

Walking and Exercise

Keeping your dog well exercised is essential to prevent them from getting overweight, developing low mood or anxiety, and to keep them from acting out.

For these two breeds, that is fairly easy. The Maltese only requires an hour of exercise each day, which can either be split across the day or done all at once. The Cavapoo on the other hand requires only 40 minutes each day.

This exercise can be provided as swimming, running, jogging, walking, playtime, and even agility training. So long as you get your dog moving around and burning off steam, you’re doing a great job.

Maltese vs. Cavapoo: How Much Do They Cost?

Cost is a huge factor when looking at dog breeds. It is always worth remembering that if cost is a barrier, there are shelters and rescue centers that may have the breed you want.

Another important thing to think about is that a dog costs more than just the upfront cost of purchase. There are regular payments like insurance, food, treats, and toys that need to be considered.

To buy a Maltese, owners can expect to pay between $600 and $2,000 depending on the breeder, location, and lineage. Likewise, a Cavapoo will cost anywhere between $1,200 and $2,000.

Maltese vs. Cavapoo: Which Should You Get as a Pet?

In addition to everything mentioned above, it is really important that owners consider their own lifestyle and routine before bringing a new dog home.

Anyone who works away from home during the day, for example, may need their dog to stay home alone for long periods. Unfortunately, neither the Maltese nor the Cavapoo is well equipped to handle that.

Both breeds tend to develop separation anxiety that can manifest as poor behavior, depression, and even health conditions.

Those with pets and children also need to make sure that the home is going to be a safe environment for everybody, new pets included.

That means making sure that the breed is happy around cats, dogs, or whatever other pet the household has, and making sure that the breed gets on well with children, too.

In this case, both the Maltese and the Cavapoo will get on just fine with most animals so long as they are socialized, and will love living with children.

Finally, anyone in the household with allergies should be considered. The Maltese, for example, has long hair and sheds a fair amount. This is likely to cause issues for anyone who suffers from dander allergies.

The Cavapoo, on the other hand, is relatively hypoallergenic due to its Poodle genetics. This means that it will shed substantially less than other breeds, making it much more enjoyable and livable for anyone who suffers from an allergy.


Both the Maltese and the Cavapoo are great family pets that are easily trainable and great to have around. They are not, however, the pets for anyone who intends to leave them home alone.

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