Written By Carrie
Maltese Breeder of Majesty Maltese

EMAIL : Carrie

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Buying a Maltese Puppy
or Maltese Adult Retiree

When you set out to buy a maltese puppy or maltese adult that has been retired there are questions that you should ask yourself or a maltese breeder will ask you.  Following are some suggestions to follow in your search for a Maltese.

To the maltese puppy buyer, the first thing to know is who in the home wants to buy the Maltese puppy?  Is the whole family in agreement in wanting the maltese puppy?  Please go to this site to take a test to determine if the maltese may be right for you. Buying a puppy is a huge emotional and financial decision no matter what your circumstances become.  Make sure that all involved do indeed feel comfortable with the commitment and all desire the Maltese breed for a pet.  Having a puppy is constant upkeep and they require a great deal of time to potty train. Also there is obedience and teaching the puppy the routine to fit into your lifestyle and rules of your household.  Please study about training of obedience and potty training before you buy your Maltese puppy. Often dogs end up in shelters due to the fact of behavior of the dog or the circumstances that the owners could not take on the responsibility of the dog any longer.  Maltese require a lot of attention and love.  They are a companion breed and they are happiest to be very close to you and your daily task and relaxing with you as you watch television, Maltese feel the closer they are to you the better.


·        How long does a Maltese live?

A maltese dog will live an average lifespan of 13 years.


·        How much space does a Maltese require?

The Maltese is an AKC toy breed that does not require all that much space. An average size apartment or house would be just fine for the Maltese dog to content.  A secure fenced yard is nice for them to play and get fresh air and sunshine but a maltese should not be left alone due to the dangers of them eating dangerous plants, having wild animals attack them, and sometimes maltese get stolen by an envious onlooker.


·        How big do Maltese grow to be?

Maltese come in many different sizes due to the fact there are many “types” of Maltese being bred out there.  The AKC Maltese standard states “4-6 pounds”. Some Maltese breeders do not breed to AKC standard, so the Maltese may be quite a bit larger and often they are bred to be even smaller than the 4-6 pounds due to the popularity of the marketed “teacup maltese”.  The “teacup Maltese” is not part of the AKC Maltese standard as the Poodle that has three AKC sizes.  There is only one AKC standard for the AKC Maltese dog breed. As a rule of thumb, the puppy can be weighed at 12 weeks old the weight can be doubled and add a half a pound added to estimate an adult size. Please keep in mind there are many factors that can effect the growth.  The parents and grandparents etc., of the puppy have the biggest role in the adult weight of the puppy.  Ask the breeder about the heritage.  The health, nutrition also affects the size of the puppy so make sure they have been given a clean bill of health from the breeders veterinarian. 


·        Do Maltese shed?

Maltese do have hair so yes they shed, within reason.  They are a single coated breed, they do not have an “undercoat” as most dogs do that is commonly seen after the dog shed their coat with the season and hair gets everywhere. The Maltese has hair similar in texture to that of a human.  They lose some hair when they are brushed and groomed.  The Maltese also does well for allergy sufferers doe to the fact that they do not have dander.  If the Maltese is brushed daily and groomed regularly they do not have the small that many dogs breeds have.


·        Do Maltese do well with other dogs?

Maltese are known for their brave little attitudes and dispositions.  A Maltese does not realize how little they really are.  That being said, maltese are very outgoing with other animals including dogs. The problem comes in when Maltese is allowed to be with other dogs and the other dog is too rough or too large.  The question is has that other dog been around other small toy breed dogs?  Even if it is another maltese has that other maltese shown any signs of jealousy around other dogs?  If you decide the maltese should be fine with your current dog, please be sure to let the maltese breeder know you have another dog before you have purchased the new maltese puppy.  The breeder will know the correct puppy available that will be fine with another dogs based on size, and temperament.  Always be sure to introduce the puppy slowly to the current dog of the household so they both can adjust smoothly.


·        What age is a Maltese ready for their new home?

A Maltese breeder should not let a Maltese puppy got o their new home until 12 weeks old at the youngest.  Maltese puppies are very tiny and mature slower on some things then larger breeds.  Maltese baby teeth take longer to erupt which makes it harder to a puppy to eat and also is a risk of hypoglycemia if the puppy is not eating enough.  Maltese puppies also eat in very small amounts and need to eat more often to also keep that blood sugar high enough to prevent an onset of hypoglycemia.  At 12 weeks old if the puppy is at least 2 pounds and has been given a clean bill of health by a veterinarian the puppies should be fine going to their new homes.


·        What is the average cost of a Maltese?

Maltese are not a cheap breed when they have been bred correctly and also raised correctly by the Maltese breeder.  The quality and cost of a Maltese very greatly.  There are puppy mills, pet stores, that have puppies that come from puppy brokers, and also there are back yard breeders that love their dogs but do not know or care to uphold the AKC Maltese standard.  They put their Muffy and Buffy together to “have just one litter”.  They often know nothing of where the puppy came from because they bought it from a pet store or out of the newspaper. So they have bred two Maltese that they know very little about the health or heritage of the puppies’ parents and now they are selling those puppies, it can be a total disaster.  Then there are show breeders.  Show breeders invest years into buying, showing, studying the Maltese breed and spend a great deal of their life to better the Maltese breed through very carefully planned decisions for their lines and their show career.  The main thing that separates one type of breeder from another is the breeder’s ethics.  Not all dogs bred and their puppies that are sold are equal that is why the buyer has to do their research.  If a breeder owns 100 maltese dogs or more they breed on a massive scale and can sell puppies for maybe an average of $500.00.  If a breeder is just putting their two pets together and has a litter with no complications and sells them in the local newspaper they also maybe able to sell for an average of $500.00.  The maltese breeder like myself that shows maltese in AKC confirmation, top notch medical care by top veterinarians, health care screening, and also grooming and the very best nutrition have a much higher price on the puppies that are for sale.


·        What is the difference between a Maltese show dog and a Maltese pet?

When breeding is done the breeder can see things on paper and do their research, but simply put on a first time breeding between two adults the breeder cannot tell what those two dogs may produce when put together for future show dogs.  After the puppies are born the puppies have stages of growth and development that the breeder watches for.  They watch for black pigmentation, coat texture, structure of the bones for optimum movement, the bite must be edge to edge or a scissor bite as the AKC Maltese standard calls for.  The other thing they watch for is temperament.  To be a show dog the puppy must have an outgoing confident personality for the competitive show ring.  This is only a few of the things the breeder will be watching for.  The maltese breeder will let the puppies go for one of these things listed or another small thing that a pet owner would most likely not even notice or be bothered by and it will make a wonderful lifelong darling maltese pet no matter what little “flaws” it has.



·        How often do Maltese need grooming?
Maltese love to play and they do get dirty especially if they play outside.  If they do play outside they will need a weekly or bi-weekly bath.  They will need to be brushed daily or every other day to stay matt free and free of the leaves and dirt they pick up in their coat. If the pet owner decides to keep the puppy in a “puppy cut” a short casual cut then the puppy will need to be groomed approximately every 6-8 weeks.


·        What causes tear staining and how to get rid of it?
I often get emails inquiring on to get rid of the ugly tear staining that maltese can get on their face and mouth.  Tear staining is seen in white dogs and white cats.  The PH balance in the tears of these white coated animals effects the coats and facial hair of these getting discolored.  We first see tear staining when the puppy starts to grow facial hair that happened to get fluffy and pokes the puppies in the eyes, then following that when they get their baby puppy teeth in, the pressure of the erupting teeth puts pressure on the muzzle and cause them to tear more.  If the puppy is a pet or going to a pet home I will trim the hair from the corner of the eyes which is sometimes called “scooping the eyes” by groomers.  I also sometimes use a think conditioner to tame down the hairs that are poking the eyes.  There is a products called “Kolostral” sold at Sally Beauty Supply that can be used for this. Just a small dab will do wonders.  If I have a maltese that is going to be shown I do not trim the hair but again I keep the face very clean washing daily and when the hair gets long enough I band the hair with a top knot rubber band and keep the hair out of the eyes.

Do maltese have any cream on them or are they solid white?

Maltese should be primarily white however the coat can have some lemon in it one the ears or on the body, it usually lightens with age. Here is what the AKC standard reads:
"....The coat is single, that is, without undercoat. It hangs long, flat, and silky over the sides of the body almost, if not quite, to the ground. The long head-hair may be tied up in a topknot or it may be left hanging. Any suggestion of kinkiness, curliness, or woolly texture is objectionable. Color, pure white. Light tan or lemon on the ears is permissible, but not desirable."

Here are a couple of excellent articles to read more about tear staining.

Maltese tear, eye & face stain - Frequently Asked Questions about tear stain

Tear staining Cause and Cures-
Can be printed for personal use.

Recommended Reading:

The Maltese :
Diminutive Aristocrat

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