Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Are Maltipoos More Aggressive than Other Dogs? Reasons, Temperament & Suggestions

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

Are Maltipoos More Aggressive than Other Dogs? Reasons, Temperament & Suggestions

Any breed can be well-behaved with proper training and socialization, and Maltipoos are no exception. It helps that the breed is not known to be more aggressive than other dogs. Generally, Maltipoos are loving and playful. But of course, there can be exceptions to the rule.

If a Maltipoo is not given adequate training or opportunities to socialize, they may behave more aggressively than other dogs. Improper training is not the only cause for aggression in Maltipoos, however. This article will cover some of the possibilities, so keep reading to learn more.


Typical Maltipoo Temperament

Overall, Maltipoos are a gentle, loving breed. They love to give and receive affection equally. They can have big personalities due to their Poodle heritage but can be somewhat laid-back due to their Maltese background. They are easy to train and have a low prey drive, making their temperament ideal for first-time dog owners.

Maltipoos have abundant energy, but they are just as eager to sit on your lap as they are to play fetch. They are great with children and the elderly and are vigilant dogs that will bark at anything they find suspicious, but they will rarely show any signs of aggression.

maltipoo in the beach
Image Credit: Trevor Fairbank, Shutterstock

Most Common Displays of Aggression in Maltipoos

Aggression is considered uncharacteristic of Maltipoos as a whole. If your Maltipoo is exhibiting signs of aggression, there are many possible causes. But more on that later.

It is relatively easy to identify aggressive behavior in your Maltipoo. The most common displays are growling, nipping, and biting. Growling is not always a sign of aggressive behavior. Sometimes, it is your Maltipoo’s only way to communicate distress or fear. But if the growling is common, it is likely due to a behavioral problem.

Nipping and biting may sound like the same things, but they are not. Nipping is a quick, puncture-less snap of the mouth. Your Maltipoo’s teeth may or may not come in contact with your body. On the other hand, biting is an intentional locking of the jaw onto your body. The teeth may puncture the skin, and your Maltipoo may refuse to release you. This is significantly more dangerous (and more painful) than a nip.

Again, this behavior is not typical of Maltipoos. If your Maltipoo is behaving aggressively, there is likely a root cause that needs to be identified.


The 4 Main Reasons for Your Maltipoo’s Aggression

Several factors can cause aggression in dogs. It is essential to consider all possibilities when determining the cause of your dog’s behavior.

1. Hierarchy Issues

In most cases, Maltipoo aggression will result from a backward hierarchy. In other words, your Maltipoo sees himself as the boss.

This can result in displays of aggression when you are grooming him, walking him, feeding him, or otherwise providing him with care. It can also pop up when you try to take away his toys or do something else he disapproves of.

Often, aggression will be caused by hierarchy issues in combination with other factors on this list. So, while it is likely that your Maltipoo may be operating under a backward hierarchy, there is a good chance that something else is also causing his behavior.

maltipoo training with owner
Image Credit: Tadogami, Shutterstock

2. Teething

If your Maltipoo is still developing, he may be nipping due to teething pains. During the teething stages, he will feel discomfort in his mouth, prompting him to chew on things. Teething combined with a backward hierarchy can lead to some aggressive behaviors.

3. Playtime Mishap

If your Maltipoo gets too excited during playtime, he may nip or bite too hard. This is less about your Maltipoo being aggressive and more about him not realizing his strength.

maltipoo training fetch
Image Credit: marketlan, Shutterstock

4. Health Concern

It is imperative to consider all possibilities when investigating the root of your dog’s aggression because there is always a chance that a medical condition is the cause. This is especially true if aggression is uncharacteristic of your Maltipoo, and he suddenly appears hostile or withdrawn.

When dogs are sick or in pain, they often feel vulnerable. This can cause them to lash out more often, which can be interpreted as aggression. If you suspect your dog is unwell, reach out to your vet as soon as possible for an evaluation.


How to Manage Your Maltipoo’s Aggression

If your Maltipoo is behaving aggressively, ruling out a medical issue should be the first thing you do. Once you have determined that there are no health concerns causing your dog’s aggression, you can start working on his behavior.

Regular training and socialization will be vital to curbing some aggressive tendencies before they can take root. Thankfully, Maltipoos are intelligent and eager to please, so training them is generally not difficult. The sooner your Maltipoo learns that you are the boss, the better.

However, if your Maltipoo already believes that he is the boss, there are a few things that you can do to reclaim control of the household.

  • When taking your Maltipoo on a walk, exit and enter the home first. This will show him that you are the leader.
  • Remain at a higher level than your Maltipoo. Do not sit on the floor with him, and do not allow him to sit on the couch to be at your level. When he stops behaving aggressively, he can sit next to you.
  • Provide treats for good behavior. Maltipoos respond well to positive reinforcement, so when he behaves in a way you like, give him a treat.
  • Socialize your Maltipoo. Expose him to new people, dogs, and settings. The more he learns to adapt to new situations, the less aggressive he will be when his environment changes. Be sure to supervise him closely while socializing.

If you struggle with your Maltipoo’s behavior, consider enrolling in professional training courses. Training classes are most effective when the dog and the owner both attend.


Final Thoughts

Maltipoos are not known to be an aggressive breed. In fact, Maltipoos are considered gentle, loving dogs that are eager to please their owners. Although there may be instances in which a Maltipoo behaves aggressively, it is not standard for the breed. Proper training and socialization can snuff out this behavior before it can even take root.

Featured Image Credit: Irsan Ianushis, Shutterstock

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.