Archived Message

by Claudia

I have had Doodles for 4 years now and she has been very healthy; however, she weighs 11.2 lbs. but the doctor says she perfectly healthy. My aunt's dog Wiggles is fully grown and only 4.7 lbs. Why is this? On all the sheets it says that both of them are pure-breeds and the doctor agrees. If anyone has and answer for such a big differnce please reply.


I too have a large (9.9 lbs) Female Maltese. She is from a Pet Store and the Breeders of these dogs are continuing to Breed the larger of the dogs together so they can yield more Pups per Litter. Sometimes she gets down to 9.4 lbs once she was 10.4 lbs. She is only 22 months. I watch her weight very carefully. Laterly she has been sneaking and eating Shayna's puppy food. That will stop because soon Shayna's going on Maintenance food because she is 6.1 at 7 Months. Hope I have answered your question. Also KoKo is 12" tall and curly. Lot's of people think she is Poodle, but if you look at her face, ears and tail she's all Maltese and she's "The Best Dog in the World".

Dear Claudia: I'm sure that you have heard the expression, "It's all in the genes" , well, that's the answer. The reason that your dog is so large is probably because her sire and dam were large as well. The standard describes size as being , UNDER 7 Lbs (4-6 preferred). There is not ,however, a disqualification for size so, technically, even a very large dog could be shown, although it's unlikely that it would win. Believe it or not, many breeders are not familiar with the standard and others simply don't care. So, just like in a lot of other breeds, you will see a great variety with regards to size and type. The most important breed characteristic is the wonderful maltese personality. That sweet disposition is seen in maltese of all sizes!

Dear Claudia,They both are pure-breds. The American Standard (copy is on Jay's left bar to scroll down) says that "Over all quality is to be favored over size." Give Doodles a kiss from the m & m & m girls. :O)
-Bel and the m & m girls

Claudia, Lucy is about 8 pounds at the last check. As someone else mentioned, it's all in the genes. I gather that folks who are not breeding for advancing the genetic pool of Maltese are breeding larger pups because the small females have so many problems with birthing. Just enjoy. Who cares about size when you have a bundle of fluff to love you so much!
-cathy brown

The mother of my puppy weighs 7lbs. and the father weighs in a 5lbs. I purposely chose the largest puppy. Generally speaking, the larger ones have fewer health problems. Unless you are breeding and showing, size is not important.
-April Blackmon

My dog, Hudson, also weighs 11 lbs. I do not expect him to gain any more weight as he is 18 months old ans has been this weight for at least six months. his mom was 8 lbs. and his dad 5 lbs - maybe it was a recessive gene! I also chose the largest dog in the litter - his breeder was afraid no one would take him because of his size. an easy spot chek for the dog's weight is to span your hand across the back of the dog. as long as you can still feel the dog's ribs beneath his fur he is an appropriate weight. (note you want to feel them - if your dog appears bony he may be underweight.)

Usually, you will find that the Maltese puppies that are sold in pet shops will be larger than the ones sold by show breeders. This is because, Maltese that weigh the perfered size (4-6 pounds) have much smaller litters, often have to have their puppies by c-section, have small puppies at birth so it'e easy to lose them. The puppies that are in pet shops come from breeders that are breeding for the money, so they breed from large dogs, the bigger the better. This way they get big litters, no whelphing problems, (which means no big vet bills) and larger puppies at birth, so they lose less of them. These people get paid so much a pup, the quality of the puppy has no bearing on how much they will be paid, so they are breeding for quanity, not quality. This usually means their puppies will be larger than the desired size. I have seen Maltese as large as 22 pounds that were bought in pet shops. Yes, a large dog does make a good pet, but if you wanted a small dog and belived that because the perfered size was small on a Maltese, that you would get a small dog, that can be a big disapointment. After all, this is one reason people want a purebred dog, so they know what the dog will look like when it grows up, what temperment it will have, what size it will be. If a person didn't care about any of this, why not save a puppy from the pound?

As far as the statement in the standard, over-all quality is to be favored over size, I belive this means that if a dog is not the perfered 4-6 pounds but is under 7 pounds, if it is a better quality dog it should win, if the 4-6 pound dog and a dog that is under 7 pounds is equal, the 4-6 pound dog should win. Others may disagree with me on this one, but this is how I read it.
-Carole - Fantasyland

I have six. All are under 6 pounds, save one. He is 9 lbs. I disagree about the larger dogs being of better health, as he had to be neutered because of severe asthma and his size. I have one female puppy that appears will go over the 6 pound weight. If I choose to breed her, I will keep her puppies to the 15 week mark, or older, so that I can better tell the expected weight as an adult. If they are going to be larger than the standard, I will give them away as pets, with no papers. I really think that Breeders should read and breed to the standard of all dogs. I read so many posts, and talk to so many people about the larger maltese, and even though they love their dogs, there is always a concern that their dogs are larger. I may be wrong in this way of thinking, many people do not agree with me about the size being important, but it is the way I have chosen to breed.
-Marsha A.

Marsha,I bought a Maltese because I wanted a small dog. And truth to tell, I would love it if she weighed on the "top" 6 pounds because that's sort of what I had my heart set on. So I am glad that many breeders are doing the best they can to keep the size small. But I do have to say that even though Lucy is close to 8 pounds, she is still "small enough" for me and I love her so damned much that if she had turned out to weigh 50 pounds I'd be okay. Guess what I'm trying to say is that even though "buyers" are obviously buying the breed because they want a small dog, the temperament and intelligence and sweetness of Maltese is THE most important aspect of the breed for those who are not going to show. Maybe it would take years and years--eons even--of poor breeding to breed out this loving disposition, but I would hope that breeders would consider that more important than the difference between 6 lb and 10.
-cathy brown

I agree about the temperament of the Maltese. I am amazed when I read about a mean Maltese. Mine are all sweet loving little dogs. If they have a fault in this area, I would have to say they are too good natured. My year old granddaughter is not allowed to play with the dogs, but she will go to the dog gate and call them. They all jump up to give her a kiss. If I don't grab her quick she will have a handfull of hair. They do not seem to mind, as they continue to run to her and give her kisses.
-Marsha A.

I can appreciate the standards for show dogs, and size being an issue. I have been searching for a Maltese puppy (female) to have and love for a family pet for many years. (Yes, Jay, I have a 6 year old daughter.) Jay was nice enough to spend about an hour on the phone with me this past April and explained to me his concern for these small dogs being around small children. I agree with him 100%, as a general rule. I was 6 years old when my parents bought me my first dog--a chihuahua--female, runt of the litter. I was NEVER allowed to hold Chi-Chi as a new puppy without sitting on the couch--much like the treatment of a younger child holding a newborn baby. My only point . . . I will ensure that nothing detrimental happen to our new family member, our new Maltese puppy. She was born on May 24, and we will wait 8 weeks for her. She was bred by a woman locally where I live who has the male and the female. Although these are not show dogs, they have papers. I am still paying a "pretty penny" for our dog.

Message to "Marsha" . . . you say that you "give away" the large ones for family pets????? Where are you located???? I would have gladly paid you for a Maltese (a larger one would have been fine) had I known any breeders that would do this.

I have made a commitment to this woman and feel as though our little "Keisha" was ours the moment she called us to tell us she was born. We are so excited--have taken many provisions for her arrival.

I've purchased books on Maltese--read this bulletin board and talk to other Maltese pet owners. She has her own indoor pen in our rec room, new igloo bed, etc.

We are having a ball!!!!!!!!! Here's to the MALTESE---- small or LARGE!!!!!!!! Joanne

Joanne, I am in Lumberton, Texas. 90 miles east of Houston, and 60 miles southwest of Lake Charles, La.
-Marsha A.

Copyright 1996, 1997© Maltese Only All rights reserved