A Maltipoo descends from a Maltese and a Poodle. Specifically, its ancestor was either a Toy Poodle or a Miniature Poodle, presumably because a Standard Poodle would have meant more complications than it would be worth. In any case, a Maltipoo exists for much the same reason as other designer dogs, which is to say, putting the best characteristics of both sides of its heritage into a single package. Still, it isn’t a perfect dog. As a result, if you like the general idea but aren’t wholly satisfied, you should check out dogs similar to the Maltipoo.
1. Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier is one of the most memorable-looking dogs in existence. To an extent, that is because of the rounded head without a stop, which is rare but not unique among dogs. However, the Bedlington Terrier is even more memorable-looking because its curly white coat makes it look like a lamb. One of its original names is Rothbury’s Lamb, referring to an English nobleman who favored it over the other hunting dogs of his time.
Bedlington Terriers aren’t particularly large animals. Dogtime says males have an average height of 16 inches at the shoulder, while females have an average height of 15 inches at the shoulder. Furthermore, they have an average weight of 17 to 23 pounds, meaning they are on the cusp between small-sized dogs and medium-sized dogs. As such, Bedlington Terriers specialized in hunting rats and other vermin. They did take on badgers, but they are at a clear physical disadvantage against badgers in one-on-one encounters. Supposedly, the more inexperienced dogs would rush in on their own rather than wait for human assistance, which speaks well for their spirit but not their sense.
Nowadays, Bedlington Terriers are much less in-demand for hunting vermin. They were clever enough and affectionate enough to successfully transition to being companion dogs anyway. If you are interested in Bedlington Terriers, you should know they get along well with humans but not necessarily with other animals. They don’t react well to other dogs’ attempts at dominating them. Furthermore, they are prone to chasing smaller animals because of their hunting instincts. Training and socialization can help out, but even those have their limitations.
Mesoamerican cultures didn’t have a lot of domesticated animals before the Columbian Exchange. They had dogs and turkeys. Furthermore, some of them maintained herds of peccaries, which might have led to domestication if it wasn’t for the interruption of the Columbian Exchange. As a result, Mesoamerican cultures got as much use out of their domesticated animals as they could. Mexico Lore says the Aztecs used their dogs as guards, watchers, and companions in much the same manner as other cultures, though they also raised their dogs for food.
Chihuahuas are true descendants of Aztec dogs. That is notable because there aren’t a lot of dog breeds with verified descent from the dogs of the Pre-Columbian Americas. Besides that, Chihuahuas are also notable for being iconic lap dogs. Sadly, that hasn’t always worked out in their favor. Chihuahuas are already small dogs at an average of 4 to 9 pounds. Even so, some unscrupulous individuals try to breed them smaller and smaller because Teacup Chihuahuas sell for more money. Animal So makes it clear that Teacup Chihuahuas have an increased chance for several health problems, which makes sense because dogs just aren’t meant to be that small.
Luckily, this shouldn’t be an issue because normal Chihuahuas are already great dogs. They might be small, but they have a lot of love and loyalty packed into them. If anything, they might have too much love and loyalty packed into them because of a couple of issues. One, Chihuahuas are one of the dog breeds that suffer from separation anxiety. Two, Chihuahuas are notorious for being possessive of their human owners. Still, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can mitigate the severity of these issues through training and socialization.
Dachshunds are another famous dog breed. Generally speaking, people imagine them with short-haired coats. Despite that, Dachshunds can have either short-haired, long-haired, or wire-haired coats. Whatever the coat, you should have no problem recognizing these dogs because of their sausage-shaped bodies.
Still, Dachshunds are much more formidable creatures than one would expect based on their appearance. They don’t look the way they do because dog breeders thought it would be funny. Instead, they look the way they do because dog breeders intended them to fight badgers in badger holes. Said animals have a well-earned reputation for ferocity when cornered, which says much about these dogs. Even though Dachshunds originated as anti-badger dogs, they aren’t limited to a single kind of prey. These dogs are perfectly capable of taking on hares and rabbits. What is more surprising would be the claims that these dogs can hunt everything from boars to wolverines when running around in packs.
Of course, hunting dogs often make for the best pets. Dachshunds are no exception to this rule. As a rule, they love their human family members, though they are much iffier when it comes to strangers. These dogs are also not the best at getting along with other animals. Some of them challenge other dogs, particularly since they aren’t impressed by size differences. Furthermore, it is also common to see them going after smaller animals.
4. Lagotto Romagnolo
The Lagotto Romagnolo originated as a gun dog meant to operate in wetlands. Alas, the Italians liked wetlands about as much as other cultures desirous of more farmland, which is to say, not very. Thanks to that, Canine Chronicle says they drained the wetlands in the Lagotto Romagnolo’s home region of Romagna in the late 19th century, which put the dog breed in a rather awkward position.
Conveniently, it turned out that the Lagotto Romagnolo was a good dog for truffle-hunting. Traditionally speaking, people used pigs for that purpose, but the practice is now illegal in Italy. That is because pigs damage the mycelia of truffles while digging up the fruiting bodies, which is detrimental to truffle production in the long run. In other respects, the substitution of dogs for pigs is something of a mixed bag. On the one hand, pigs have a natural talent for finding truffles; on the other hand, pigs have a natural talent for finding truffles because pigs like to eat them. Unsurprisingly, truffle hunters get much better truffle retention rates with dogs than with pigs.
Chances are good that you aren’t going for a trained truffle-hunter. Those dogs get very expensive very fast, which makes sense because they are important sources of income. If you just want a companion dog though, the Lagotto Romagnolo makes a decent choice by being a sweet-natured dog that learns fast.
If you want a lap dog, you should check out the Maltese at some point. Supposedly, these dogs were the stereotypical lap dogs in Roman times, meaning they claim a long, proud history of specializing in said role. That story may or may not be true. Whatever the truth, the Maltese is a popular companion for well-founded reasons. It is smart, trusting, and people-oriented. Even so, this dog breed still needs training and socialization. Without those things, it can become spoiled, which won’t be good for either the dog or the dog owner.
Some companion dogs transitioned into the role. In contrast, others started as companion dogs and have remained as companion dogs. Pekingese dogs are a great example of the latter because they are supposedly the descendants of companion dogs to ancient Chinese nobility. Certainly, their aloofness towards strangers reinforces that impression, though they are much warmer towards their families.
Be warned that Pekingese dogs need more care than most. Their thick coats make them more prone to heatstroke than most dog breeds. Even worse, they are one of the dog breeds with a flat face, which hinders their breathing by a considerable amount. Put together, that means Pekingese dogs are most vulnerable when they are moving about in the heat, but aren’t very good at exercising even under the best of conditions. The only good thing to be said about this is that these dogs aren’t very energetic, meaning they don’t have high exercise needs. If you decide to get a Pekingese dog, you would do well to memorize the signs of heatstroke in dogs as stated by the AKC and similar organizations.
Pomeranians received their name because of a historical region now split between Germany and Poland. They are related to German Spitzes, which in turn, means they are related to a wide range of spitzes from Central Europe and beyond. The exact nature of their relationship with German Spitzes varies from place to place. Some see Pomeranians as the smallest variety of German Spitzes in existence. Others see them as a separate dog breed.
Personality-wise, Pomeranians are often extroverted attention-seekers. Many people will see that as a good thing, particularly if they want a companion dog that will play with them. Please note that Pomeranians do have some potential issues to watch out for. One, they are territorial, which can turn into aggression when they are poorly trained and socialized. Two, they are stubborn but can become problematically so under the same set of circumstances.
The most popular dog breeds tend to be so for very good reasons. Poodles are just all-around great dogs, which explains why they work so well in such a wide range of roles. Of course, they do have their limitations. For instance, Poodles lack the willingness to attack to make natural guard dogs, though some of them manage to work out in that role anyway thanks to plenty of training. Conveniently, these dogs come in different sizes for different living spaces, thus making them even more attractive as an option.
Pugs are interesting dogs. They are very likable. By default, Pugs are easygoing dogs that are surprisingly good at reading their owners’ moods before reacting accordingly. On top of that, a lot of people find them either cute or ugly cute.
The problem is that the Pug’s widespread appeal has led it down a very unpleasant path. Essentially, the BBC reports that dog breeders have bred these dogs to emphasize their distinctive looks without much regard for other considerations. As a result, Pugs have a whole host of health problems. For instance, their skull is too small for their brain because their head shrank while their brain remained the same.
Likewise, their squashed face causes issues for their eyes, their breathing, and even their skin. The last one might sound strange, but it comes back to much the same issue as before because they have too much skin for their face size. Put together, you might want to look for something other than a purebred Pug if you are interested in the dog breed. One potential option would be checking out Pug-related designer dogs, which are quite common.
Designer dogs are somewhat hit-and-miss. On the one hand, you can get a better dog for you than otherwise possible. On the other hand, the process is very luck-dependent because there is no guarantee that a particular designer dog will inherit the exact combination of characteristics that you have in mind. Still, if you are interested in the Maltipoo, it makes sense for you to check out other designer dogs descended from either the Maltese or the Poodle.
To name an example, consider the Yorkipoo, a mix of the Yorkshire Terrier and the Poodle. These dogs tend to have the confidence of a terrier without being as overbearing as one. Better still, they are clever, cheerful companions, though they often have something of a protective streak. If you are serious about the Yorkipoo, you would do well to familiarize yourself with the specific dog in question before making a purchase. By doing so, you can give yourself the best chance of getting exactly what you want.