Buying a maltese


Hello, I want to buy a Maltese puppy. I am hesitating for these reasons: I am not purchasing from a breeder, just a woman who has bred her own four year old Maltese twice; I cannot see neither the mother or father of the puppy; the puppy is not registered/does not have papers. All I want in this 8 week old puppy is GREAT HEALTH. Can somebody please tell me if I would be making a good choice? I have asked this woman to be truthful with me concerning improper inbreeding, health conditions of the parents, etc. What else can I do to make sure this puppy is healthy? I would be grateful for some advice. Thank you.


You only mention that your main concern is a healthy dog. The American Kennel Club is the final authority on what constitutes a breed, and if a dog isn't purebred and registered as such, the animal is a mixed breed, even if the two strains the dog comes from are purebred. In buying a "crossbreed" dog, you know a little more about what kind of dog the puppy will become than you would if you bought a mongrel, but these dogs don't constitute a new breed. Make sure you ask a lot of questions such as: 1) what sizewill the puppy be when he's fully grown, 2) has he had any vaccinations, 3) how has he been eating, 4) what does his temperament seem to be like? Take the pup out and see how he approaches you. If you have children, bring them along and make sure they get to handle the pup too. A pup from a private home will be less likely to have personality problems because of his early contact with people and the good care he's been given. There are things YOU can check for signs of good or bad health. First, check her eyes and nose to make sure they're free of discharges or redness; these are the early signs of an upper respiratory infection or even distemper. The ears should be clean and have no strong, unpleasant odor about them; waxy discharge in the ear and a bad smell are the signs of an ear infection. Pick up a pinch of skin on the puppy's back, and then release it; the flesh should return quickly to its original shape. If it doesn't, the dog could be dehydrated, a symptom of any number of illnesses and a sign that the puppy hasn't been eating or taking water properly for three or four days. Dandruff and dryness of the coat are further indications of long-standing illness; if the animal is healthy her coat should be full and shiny. A pot-bellied stomach will tell you that the dog probably has worms; and pale, cold gums are a sign of some problem involving a loss of blood. Of course, in addition to these specific physical indicators, the puppy should be active and alert. If you are set on getting this dog, you may want to have it checked by a vet. Maybe you could work out something with the owner to split the costs with you. Ask the owner to see its proof of vacination papers. Even if the dog was taken to clinic for shots, usually a registered vet gives the dog a quick exam. Hope this helps. I've had my Maltese for almost a month. She will be 3 mos. old on the 28th--she is a very loving--and responds well to training. I love to reward her and give her affection and receive affection in return.

carol armstrong

It is not a good idea to buy a puppy if the breeder is not willing or can not show you the parents. We bought a puppy from a person who advertised in the newspaper. She lived in a really nice house in a neighborhood that houses start at $200,000. Her house was clean, the puppies were clean, and appeared in good health. She had a good reason not to show the parents. I took the puppy to the vet the next day. He advised me to return the puppy bacause he was small, skinny and had an open fontanel. We were already in love with him and the breeder convinced me he would be ok. Six weeks later he died. We found out he came from a puppy mill. This woman buys the litter whole sale and resales them. She did replace him with another puppy. If I could do it over again I would take my time and buy a puppy from a true breeder. Someone who I do not just have to take their word that everything is as it seems. Good luck in what ever you decide. You could not have made a better choise than to buy a Maltese. They are wonderful dogs. Our Sassie is more a member of the family than a pet.

I am not a professional breeder however my female Harlee Dee has had 2 litters(4 each time)and I also own the "proud father". I was extremely fortunate to personally know all of the new owners and I never denied any of them access to the pups mom and dad!! Gosh, if I were in your shoes, knowing me,I would not be able to walk away from these puppies and wonder, but that's me, I'm too much of a softy.

Many thanks to all of you who replied, your responses give me a lot to think about. Vicki, thank you for your information concerning canine health. I will keep this (valuable)info. in my "repository" as a reference.

We recently lost our 15yr+ Muffin dog. I can still get tearied eyed. She looked like a Maltese but was closer to the size of a Lhasso Apso. The vet would never speculate. But this brings me to the happy news. We are expecting the pitter patter of little Maltese nails on the floor soon. I have contacted a breeder to whom I took an instant liking. However, my only concern the more I read the postings at this location (this is a really terrific sight!), is that she gives me only 48 hrs to have our vet check out the pup. How usual is an outright health guarantee? It would seem that that should be the AKC standard.

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