Cockapoo vs Maltipoo [Breed Comparison with Photos]

Reviewed and Fact-Checked by Veterinarian Charlotte Stiles (DVM)


Poodle cross-breeds are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Among the most popular crosses are the Maltipoo and the Cockapoo. The two breeds are often confused, and it’s not hard to see why — both are affectionate and friendly dogs with curly coats and a smaller-than-average size. 

However, there are a few distinct differences between the breeds. Here is everything you need to know about Cockapoos, Maltipoos, and how to choose the right dog for your home.

cockapoo vs maltipoo
Comparing the Cockapoo vs Maltipoo (size differences, temperament and appearance)

What Is a Maltipoo? 

A Maltipoo is a small dog breed resulting from breeding between a Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. It is a popular dog breed thanks to its small size and gentle, affectionate nature. 

The breed is among the smallest “designer” dog breeds. Its unique coat is usually white but may also be a cream or apricot color. In rare instances, you will find a Maltipoo that has a darker coat ranging from gray to brown or black. They shed little enough to be regarded as ‘non-shedding’ making them a great choice for people with pet allergies. 

maltipoo puppy smiling
A super happy Maltipoo puppy

What Is a Cockapoo? 

The Cockapoo is related to the Maltipoo through its shared ancestor, the Toy or Miniature Poodle. It is a crossbreed between the Poodle variant and a Cocker Spaniel. Therefore, you may also hear it called the Cockapoodle or Cockerpoo. 

This breed has much more variation in color and even size. Because it carries strong traits from both parents, you’ll find a lot of variation even in a single litter. While Cockapoos are also fairly small, they are larger than Maltipoos.

Cockapoos may have coat color that are cream-colored, red, apricot or a mix of colors. 

Cockapoo and a ball
The Cockapoo wants to play ball with his owner. (Image: Instagram/@cuteteddythecockapoo)

What Exactly Is The Difference between a Cockapoo and Maltipoo? 

Those two sound similar on first reading but there can be a few subtle differences. Although the Cockapoo and Maltipoo share one of several poodle variants as an ancestor, they have several differences. These may affect your choice when deciding what dog you want to join your family. 

Here are the most significant differences between Maltipoos and Cockapoos. 

Size Difference of Maltipoo and Cockapoos

Both breeds are tiny in size and are considered some of the smallest designer cross-breeds. However, the Cockapoo is larger and sturdier than the Maltipoo.

cockapoo vs maltipoo breed comparison
A Cockapoo vs Maltipoo puppy comparison

An adult Cockapoo ranges from 12-24 lbs and stands between 9 and 18 inches tall. Conversely, an adult Maltipoo can be between 5 and 20 lbs and 8 to 14 inches tall. 

Because of the size difference, a Maltipoo is a much more fragile breed. They might be less well suited to families, especially those with young children. Maltipoos, like all dogs can be seriously injured if they are accidentally kicked or stepped on.

Coat Difference of Cockapoo vs Maltipoo

Because of the differences in the Maltese and Cocker Spaniel parentage, the two breeds’ coats can vary widely in color and texture. Maltipoos are almost always white or cream, while Cockapoos may be a range of colors — or even multiple shades. 

Intelligence – Which is Smarter?

Both dog breeds are intelligent. However, the Cockapoo has a reputation for higher intelligence as a breed. While this might not make a significant difference for many people, it is worth noting if you want to train your dog. You may have more success with a Cockapoo, although that does depend on other factors too. 

tongue out  Cockapoo jumping
A Cockapoo jumping for a treat! (Image: Instagram/@tillythetoycockapoo)

Socialization Needs

Because a Maltipoo is much smaller, it may be more nervous in a world that seems giant in comparison. Because of this, it is important to make sure your Maltipoo is highly socialized from a young age. This, of course, is important for any kind of dog — but it’s especially important for small breeds that tend to get nervous or agitated.

Life Expectancy Differences

Like many small dog breeds, both the Cockapoo and the Maltipoo live much longer than other dogs. However, their expected lifespans do vary in length. 

cockapoo vs maltipoo puppy size
A Cockapoo and Maltipoo differ in size

The Cockapoo lives, on average, 14 to 20 years but may live to be even older. On the other hand, the Maltipoo doesn’t tend to live quite as long, averaging 12 to 15 years.

Health Problems of Cockapoos and Maltipoos

Both Cockapoos and Maltipoos have fewer health problems than most purebred dogs. This is because, as cross-breeds, they have a wider gene pool, which tends to lead to better health. 

sleeping Cockapoo in a pillow
A Cockapoo sleeps after he feels dizzy. (Image: Instagram/@captain_the_cockapoo)

However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a higher incidence of certain health problems. These are different for each breed. The best way to avoid health issues in your dog is to get them from a responsible breeder who takes care of their breeding dogs. 

Cockapoos tend to be more likely to develop issues such as: 

  • Eye diseases
  • Kidney disease
  • Von Willebrands disease
  • Phosphofructokinase deficiency

Maltipoos, on the other hand, are prone to issues like:

  • Eye diseases
  • Joint problems
  • Liver disease
  • Tracheal collapse 
  • Legge-Calve-Perthes disease 

Both breeds are prone to developing blood sugar problems, which is a common risk with many types of small dogs.  

What Do They Have In Common? 

At the end of the day, Cockapoos and Maltipoos have much more in common than not. Some of the biggest similarities between the two breeds include temperament and grooming needs.


Both the Cockapoo and the Maltipoo are gentle, friendly dogs that form strong family bonds. They are highly affectionate and may be playful, or they could also be your stereotypical small lapdog. Maltipoos tend to be slightly more energetic, while Cockapoos are often happy to laze beside their favorite person.  (Though some Cockapoos are hyper)

Because they get so attached to their human family, however, Cockapoos and Maltipoos shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. They tend to get agitated and nervous and may respond by acting out, including toileting around the house or chewing furniture. 

Both breeds usually get along well with other dogs and even cats. Maltipoos may be slightly nervous and tend to be on high alert, barking at any perceived threats. 

wavy coat maltipoo vs cockapoo
Both Cockapoos and Maltipoos can have wavy or curly non-shedding coats

Space Needs

Because both the Cockapoo and Maltipoo are small breeds, they do well in apartments, small homes, and even RVs. They don’t have the energy or exercise needs that larger breeds do so that they can live very comfortably in a more confined space. 

However, Cockapoos are significantly larger, and their exercise needs reflect that. Therefore, they may need a bit more outdoor time to work their energy out, especially if they live in a small home.

Shedding and Grooming Needs

Despite their fluffy appearance, neither Cockapoos nor Maltipoos are big shedders. This makes both breeds an excellent choice for those who have pet allergies. Cockapoos are generally not shedding, and Maltipoos are generally non shedding.

However, because their coats are thick and long, they do have extensive grooming needs. You should brush them regularly and make sure they get their fur trimmed about once every six weeks. This ensures that they stay comfortable and don’t get weighed down by too much hair. 

How Do You Choose The Right Breed For Your Family?

Both the Cockapoo and the Maltipoo are lovely additions to a home. They are even-tempered, gentle, and friendly dogs that form strong attachments to their owners. But although they are both wonderful breeds does not mean that they are both right for your family. 

So, what should you consider before adding a Cockapoo or Maltipoo to your home? 


Your budget is worth mentioning. Both Cockapoos and Maltipoos are pretty expensive dogs. Unfortunately, there is no way around this. To ensure you get a dog that was bred healthily and humanely, you will need to go through a reputable breeder. 

In general, you can probably expect to pay between $400 and $2,000 on a Maltipoo puppy. This varies based on their qualities, such as health, parentage, and others. It will also depend on your breeder, but don’t trust them if the cost is much higher or much lower than this range.

Meanwhile, Cockapoo puppies pricing usually go for between $600 and $2,000. So, while the starting price is generally higher, you can expect to pay about the same for either breed on the upper end of the price window.

There are some breeds of both dogs that will cost much more. The same is true of the expensive Goldendoodle and higher priced non-shedding Labradoodles.

You can rescue a Maltipoo or rescue a Cockapoo from reputable Poodle mix rescues all across the US and Canada. In other countries check the local shelters and Facebook for adoption options.

It’s also very important to consider the lifetime costs of caring for your dog’s needs, for example, their food, medical treatment, insurance, toys, and any equipment you may need. It’s worth putting together a budget estimate before you get your pet, to ensure you can afford to care for them for their whole life.

maltipoo puppy
Golden haired Maltipoo puppy living his best life


As we mentioned before, the two breeds don’t have significant needs regarding the size of your home. They fit comfortably in most homes and don’t have high exercise needs. 

However, if your home is extremely small, a Maltipoo might be a better choice. Though the breeds’ needs are similar, they’re not identical. Cockapoos are slightly larger and need a bit more room to stretch their legs. Additionally, they have a bit more energy, which means they’re less likely to be on your lap and more likely to be underfoot. 

Family Makeup

While both breeds are loving dogs, Maltipoos don’t always do well with children. They are too small to endure rough handling and can get overwhelmed by lots of noise or crowding. For this reason, they tend to do better with adults and older children who can control themselves a bit better. 


Maltipoos and Cockapoos have many similarities, and they are both wonderful breeds. But, no matter which breed you select, you are bound to have a loving companion for many years. The choice comes down to making sure you provide the right environment for your dog’s needs so that they can stay happy and healthy.