First off, let me say that all Maltese
puppies are cute, darling fluffs of hair. So how do you find a
quality, reputably bred puppy in today’s modern age with the
internet at our fingertips? That’s a really hard question! With
the countless websites for Maltese, how can you be sure you are
going to end up with someone reputable? Just remember that
anyone can have a website built, and anyone can breed Maltese
and sell Maltese puppies.
Let me first give you "my" definition of some
terms that I will be using through out this article.
AKC – American Kennel Club
BYB – Backyard breeder…this is someone who
possibly has a couple of dogs who they breed for extra cash
once or twice a year. Chances are that they know nothing about
the background of the dogs other than they are cute and
perfect in their eyes. These people normally will advertise
their puppies in local newspapers but are now branching out to
the internet also.
Puppymill – What I include under this term
are breeders that have "numerous" breeds of dogs that they
continuously breed for the sale of puppies. They may or may
not take care of their "breeding stock" dogs in an acceptable
manner. Many use brokers, pet shops, and their own personal
websites to sell their puppies. Puppies are usually
Reputable Breeder – A breeder who will
normally breed only for the betterment of the breed. They know
the genetics behind the dogs they have chosen to breed, and
often show their dogs at AKC sanctioned Dog Shows. They will
stand behind the dogs they place and be there for you anytime
you have questions. A Reputable Breeder will usually
only have one or possibly two breeds that they raise.
Sometimes you may have to wait for a puppy to be available
from a reputable breeder.
how do you decide whether a breeder is reputable or not? Are
they adding cute little fad names to their dogs such as
"teacup’, micro-mini, toy, etc."? Do they accept most major
credit cards and possibly PayPal? Do they have numerous
different breeds or mixed breeds on their website? These are
huge red flags when looking for a reputable breeder and a nice
quality, healthy puppy.
In the United States, are they offering a
registered dog with some registry other than the AKC?
AKC has its
faults but it is the only registry that is recognized by
reputable breeders. Now there are still puppymills that register
their dogs through the AKC, so just because it is AKC
registered, does not make it a healthy, quality dog.
Remember the term "you get what you pay for"?
That is not always true in the case of puppy sales. Many of the
BYB’s and puppymills are charging as much as or more than many
of the reputable breeders. Since the cost of a Maltese puppy is
usually around $1000.00 or more with the average being between
$1500.00 and $3000.00, you should try to increase your chances
of getting a nice, healthy puppy by trying to get it from a
reputable breeder. By doing so, you greatly increase your
chances of getting what you want and what you are paying for.
In most cases, if you contact a reputable breeder and they do
not have a puppy available, they will give you references to
other breeders, whom they feel are reputable. I guarantee you I
am not going to personally refer anyone that I feel is unethical
in their breeding practices nor is any other reputable breeder,
since it is their reputation on the line!!
Reputable breeders will sell their "pet"
puppies with spay/neuter contracts and
limited registrations to "approved" homes only. A
reputable breeder will never ask one price for the puppy and
another price for the registration papers or for breeding rights. A
reputable breeder will also want to get to know where their
puppy is going and to know the people it is going to. In many
cases a lifetime relationship is formed between the buyer and
the seller due to these processes. A reputable breeder
will NEVER sell their puppies
through a broker or a pet shop!!!!!
It has become "Buyer Beware" on the internet.
The best chance you have of getting a nice, healthy, quality
is by going to a reputable breeder who breeds to the
Maltese Standard and for the betterment of the Maltese
One last thing…..if you have your heart set on a Maltese
(who wouldn’t) and you can’t afford or find a Maltese from a
reputable breeder, then please consider a rescue Maltese. There
are several organizations that can help you to find a rescue
American Maltese Association Rescue
East Tennessee Maltese and Small Dog Rescue
Hearts United for Animals
Metropolitan Maltese Rescue
Northcentral Maltese Rescue, Inc.
Ohio Maltese Rescue
Save Our Small Dogs
Southern Comfort Maltese Rescue
United Maltese Rescue