Teddy Bear Maltese: Everything You Need to Know

Cute puppy of Teddy Bear Maltese dog
Height:7 – 11 inches
Weight:4 – 16 pounds
Lifespan:10 – 18 years
Coat Colors:White, black, silver, blue, liver, gold, brown, lemon
Temperament:Lively, affectionate, gentle
Suitable for:Families with children; first-time dog owners; singles, apartment dwellers

White, fluffy, playful, and with a dash of extra cuteness, the teddy bear Maltese retains all the lovable features of the standard Maltese dog while standing out among the rest.

Aside from being highly sought after for their appearance, they are also lovely family companions. They’ll light up your household with their crazy antics and intelligence.

Curious about this adorable toy-like breed? Then you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to learn more about the teddy bear Maltese, its health, temperament, appearance, and much more!

What Is a Teddy Bear Maltese? 

Cute Teddy Bear Maltese running outdoors

A teddy bear Maltese is a mixed breed produced by crossbreeding a Maltese with another smaller dog, usually a Shih Tzu or a Toy Poodle. These dogs get their name from their teddy bear-like appearance — a feature often sought after by dog owners and fanciers alike.

Although the exact origin of the teddy bear Maltese is unknown, they have become more popular among people who experiment with designer breeds. As a designer dog, this canine will have some variable characteristics.

While the Maltese and Shih Tzu are very similar in size, the Poodle has three different sizes. Frequently, Toy Poodles are used in this mix to achieve a smaller puppy and reduce the possibility of dystocia or difficulty in birth.

For clarity, a Shih Tzu crossed with a Maltese is called a Malshi, whereas a Poodle crossed with a Maltese is called a Maltipoo — both belong to the teddy bear Maltese group.

Teddy Bear Maltese Appearance 

Adorable Teddy Bear Maltese

As mentioned before, the teddy bear Maltese will have some variation due to the differences in the parent breeds. However, discussed below are some of the general characteristics of this mixed breed.

Teddy bear Maltese dogs have a very round skull with a well-defined stop that extends into a muzzle. Puppies with Shih Tzu parents will have short snouts, whereas Poodle parents will produce puppies with medium-length snouts.

Their ears are typically erect an inch from the base and then drop down to the side of their head. In teddy bear Maltese with Poodle parents, the ears may be quite long compared to those with Shih Tzu parents.

In general, teddy bear Maltese dogs have short legs and tails, but these will be proportional to their short bodies. While they may be small, teddy bear Maltese have no trouble with the occasional playtime.

Depending on the parent breeds, teddy bear Maltese puppies will have either curly and silky hairs or double-coated and silky hairs. Regardless, their coat will be very long, a key feature of this hybrid.

While you’re at it, check out this video of a teddy bear Maltese in action!

Teddy Bear Maltese Size and Weight

Although most breeds have significant differences in size between sexes, male and female teddy bear Maltese dogs are quite similar in size. Typically, a full-grown teddy bear Maltese weighs a mere 4 to 16 pounds.

On the other hand, they only grow up to a height of 7 to 11 inches. Although they are small, teddy bear Maltese dogs grow quite fast, similar to one of their parent breeds. At around 12 to 15 months, they reach their maximum size.

People often refer to teddy bear Maltese as toy dogs because of their little stature, like other dog breeds. However, what they lack in size, they make up for with their irresistible looks.

Teddy Bear Maltese Temperament and Personality

Teddy Bear Maltese in studio

Just by looking at their appearance, you can immediately get an idea of the personality of the adorable teddy bear Maltese. Unlike some toy breeds, the teddy bear Maltese’s character matches its innocent look.

In general, Maltese dogs are gentle, affectionate, loyal, and playful toward their families. Fortunately, this is also the case with the teddy bear Maltese. In fact, when it comes to strangers, the teddy bear Maltese is considered quite friendly.

Additionally, this canine is also known for its intelligence — basic training like obedience training and potty training will be a breeze with the teddy bear Maltese. This is special thanks to the trainability of its Maltese parent.

These canines are known to have a good tolerance for children, but it is best to keep a close eye on them with younger children who might hurt them. Do take note that any dog has the tendency to bite when it is harmed.

Not only is the teddy bear Maltese great with humans, but also with other dogs. It’s no surprise that this pooch will go great with other pets, thanks to their natural curiosity and outgoingness.

Teddy Bear Maltese Lifespan and Health Issues

Considering that a teddy bear Maltese is properly taken care of, it can live an average of 10 to 18 years. Although this breed is considered quite healthy, it may sometimes develop health issues.

Here are some of the health conditions that affect teddy bear Maltese dogs:

  • Patellar Luxation: The inability to walk can result from a dislocated patella or kneecap. While hip dysplasia is common in larger dog breeds, patellar luxation is more common in toy dogs. Moreover, patellar luxation is a common but not necessarily painful condition that necessitates surgical correction.
  • Tracheal Collapse: With age, teddy bear Maltese dogs, like other small breeds, may have tracheal collapse. The narrowing of the trachea, the tube that carries air from the lungs to the rest of the body’s organs, causes breathing difficulties and oxygen deprivation. Symptoms include distinct coughing noises, fatigue, and pale gums.
  • White Dog Shaker Syndrome: When a teddy bear Maltese is overexcited, this condition can lead to trembling, tremors, and a loss of coordination. The name comes from the fact that white dog breeds are more susceptible to this genetic disease. While the symptoms look alarming, this condition is easily treated.

While these health conditions are terrifying for any dog owner, there are ways to prevent these. However, some diseases are beyond our control, which is why it is always recommended to get your dog insurance.

How to Groom a Maltese: Teddy Bear Cut on Maltese

Grooming a Maltese with teddy bear haircut

To do a teddy bear cut on any long-haired brachycephalic dog like the Maltese mix, the equipment you will need are thinning scissors, curved scissors, straight scissors, a comb, and an electric razor with varying guards. 

Start first with the forehead of the dog by trimming the hairs to about half of an inch using an electric razor. Take note that you will have to also include the hairs above the eyes since the goal of the haircut is to make the eyes stand out.

Afterward, begin trimming around the rest of the head, starting from below the eyes up to the chin. Ideally, you should end up with a clean round shape of the head.

Next, shape the “mustache” into a horizontal oval or a circle. It would help if you would fluff the hair first since this part of the teddy bear Maltese’s face is usually wet or matted.

Now that you have the rough shapes needed for the teddy bear cut, begin cleaning the edges using the thinning scissors. Take note that the edges should not be too clean-cut; otherwise, it would look unnatural.

How Much Does a Teddy Bear Maltese Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses

From reputable breeders, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,600 for a teddy bear Maltese puppy. Factors such as the price of the Maltese parent, sex, colors, and pedigree may also affect the final price.

On top of that, you will also have to consider the other expenses of raising a teddy bear Maltese, such as food, healthcare, and toys.

Here are some of the initial expenses when bringing your teddy bear Maltese home:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$50 – $80
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $25
Bed$30 – $150
Crate$30 – $200
Leashes and Collars$15 – $50
Toys$20 – $30
Grooming Essentials$30 – $150
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$50 – $200
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $300
Initial Vaccine Shots$75 – $200
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Dog License$10 – $20
Microchip$40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies$15 – $30
Total Initial Cost$525 – $1,995

Despite the initial costs stated above, you may wind up spending more or less than these estimations. 

The cost of caring for a teddy bear Maltese will be affected by factors such as where you live, the quality of the item, and your willingness to spend.

Places to Find Teddy Bear Maltese Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Teddy Bear Maltese puppies for sale and adoption

Contrary to common belief, it’s quite easy to find places that sell teddy bear Maltese puppies or offer adoptions thanks to their popularity and loveable appearance.

Here are the places where you can find a teddy bear Maltese puppy for sale:

  • Maltipoo FurBabies – Only teddy bear Maltese puppies are bred by this Chicago-based breeder who has roughly four to five litters every year. It’s possible to find teddy bear Maltese in a variety of shapes and sizes at Maltipoo FurBabies, including teacups, miniature toys, and toy-sized bears.
  • Pocketpoos – This breeder claims that all their teddy bear Maltese are hypoallergenic. Pocketpoos take pride in that all their puppies are sweet-natured and gentle, making them a sought-after breeder.
  • Country Acres Puppies – Located in Illinois, this breeder specializes in breeding both purebred and designer small-breed dogs. While they have strict rules for adopting teddy bear Maltese puppies, this can assure you that they give the best care for their dogs.

Also, you can check our top picks for Maltipoo breeders. However, you won’t see a teddy bear Maltese with Shih Tzu parents here.

If you really want a teddy bear Maltese but couldn’t afford the whopping cost of a puppy, you can always opt to adopt one. While some of these rescues are exclusive to the Maltese breed, they occasionally cater to mixed breeds.

Here are the places where you can find a teddy bear Maltese for adoption:

  • Doodle Rock Rescue – Doodle Rock Rescue was founded in 2017 to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome Poodle mixes that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Before finding the right forever home for their dogs, they place them in foster homes where they receive all the medical attention and behavioral training they require.
  • Lil’ Paws Maltese Rescue and other Petite Paws – Servicing the Austin area in Texas, this is one rescue that is entirely run by volunteers. Additionally, all their rescues are taken into foster homes — you can expect that your teddy bear Maltese from them is given the extra love they deserve.
  • Rescue Me! – Using the site’s user-friendly layout, you can quickly find a teddy bear Maltese for adoption from a range of breeders. Each state’s rescues are also conveniently accessible!

Definitely, our ultimate adoption guide will help you get a smoother adoption process when you come across a teddy bear Maltese for adoption.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Teddy Bear Maltese

Honestly, there isn’t an ideal dog breed out there. While the teddy bear Maltese may have certain endearing characteristics, there are also some drawbacks to owning one.

To start off, let’s discuss the advantages of owning a teddy bear Maltese:

  • Teddy bear Maltese live long. The longevity of teddy bear Maltese is substantially longer than those of huge breeds like the Mastiff or Pitbull-type dogs. Teddy bear Maltese are known for their longevity, with an average lifespan of 10 to 18 years.
  • Their size is a huge money-saver. Taking care of, grooming, and walking little dogs, such as teddy bear Maltese, is much easier. Compared to larger dogs, they also eat a lot less food. In addition, because of their small stature, they make excellent traveling companions.
  • They are highly intelligent. Compared to huge breeds, their intelligence is superior. If you want to teach your teddy bear Maltese some commands and tricks, it’s a simple process! Because they’re so good at detecting danger, they make superb watchdogs.

Now, here are the downsides of owning a teddy bear Maltese:

  • Teddy bear Maltese are not allowed in most competitions. If you aspire to enter your teddy bear Maltese in dog shows, a disadvantage in owning one is their pedigree. As discussed before, teddy bear Maltese are not purebreds which limits which shows they can enter.
  • They are predisposed to health issues. Specific medical disorders affect them more than other dog breeds. Some of these health issues will cost owners a significant amount of money to treat. While all dog breeds are susceptible to a variety of diseases, you’d expect the usual diseases of teddy bear Maltese to eventually affect your own.
  • Major kennel clubs haven’t recognized them yet. The recognition of this mixed breed is a concern because there wouldn’t be much support from the breed community. Moreover, shady breeders might take advantage of this.

Knowing the pros and cons of buying a Maltese teddy bear might help you decide. Moreover, always take into account the dog’s physical and behavioral compatibility with your home.

Final Thoughts

While it is safe to say that the teddy bear Maltese is a dog for any type of dog owner, the capability of the dog owner should always be taken into consideration.

As a small dog with a long coat, you can expect that the teddy bear Maltese will require a lot of maintenance, particularly in grooming. Moreover, it might be difficult for some owners to maintain this pooch’s teddy bear look.

If you have completed this article and are prepared to take all responsibilities with the teddy bear Maltese, then you might just be a step closer to owning a teddy bear Maltese.

What do you think about this adorable pooch? Let us know your thoughts about the teddy bear Maltese in the comments below!

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