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Maltese Show Dog Versus Maltese Pet dog.....What is the difference?

"I don't want a show dog, I only want a pet."  I hear this particular statement time and time again.  Honestly, when buying from a reputable breeder there can be very little difference between the two.  Reputable breeders should always have one goal...the betterment of the breed.  This does not mean that every puppy in a litter is show quality but that is what a reputable breeder strives for.  The puppies that do not go into the show ring are what reputable breeders place as pets.  This does not mean the puppy is sub-standard or of poor quality....it just means that there is something about the puppy the the breeder does not want to keep in the breeding / show dog program.  It could be something as simple as a too laid back personality or it may just be the wrong sex.  Maybe the pigment is not as dark as the breeder had hoped or possibly the bite of the puppy is not what the breeder wants to keep in their breeding program.  There are many reasons why a puppy born into a show dog breeder's home may be let go to a pet home. 

"Why do I want to buy a puppy from a show breeder.......I only want a pet."  If you are wanting a pet Maltese, you already have an idea as to what a Maltese is supposed to look like.  The AKC Maltese Standard is the reputable breeder's guide to a perfect dog.  The reason that breeders show their dogs is easy.  The original reason that AKC started having shows was so that breeders could compare their breeding stock to other breeder's breeding stock.  There is no better way to learn if their dogs fit within the standard than to show them and have them compared to other representatives of the breed shown by other breeders.  They also get a better understanding of the required structure and make-up of that particular breed, in this case the Maltese.  When breeders do not show their dogs, how do they know that their dogs even fit within the standard?  If a breeder does not show how can that breeder know that they have show quality puppies?

Vanity the show dog - Maltese Show Dog Versus Maltese Pet dog.....What is the difference?I may be totally off the wall here, but in my opinion, there should be very little difference between a show dog and a pet when buying from a reputable breeder.  It should still be a nice representative of the breed that it is supposed to represent.  The show picture on the left is of Vanity, the day she became a champion.
Vanity the pet dog - Maltese Show Dog Versus Maltese Pet dog.....What is the difference?
The picture on the right is of Vanity as a "pet" after her show career was over.  She loved being a show dog and she loves being a pet, especially since she is Queen Bee here at the house.   

"It doesn't have to be perfect, I just want a pet."  This statement is usually followed by, I want good dark pigment, a silky straight ice white coat, good bite, short muzzle, level top line, and 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 pounds with an outgoing personality.  The person, in fact, is describing the perfect dog that we as show breeders are all striving to produce.  

When buying from reputable breeders there can be very little difference between show quality and pet quality!  The key word here being reputable.  Please remember that not every Maltese Breeder out there is breeding Maltese within the standard which is 7 pounds and under with 4 to 6 pounds preferred.  Nor do some of these breeders care that they are not breeding within the standard because they just want to sell "pets".  This would be fine if a big majority of these dogs at least looked like the breed they are supposed to be representing.  Sadly, some of these so called pets can weigh up to 15 pounds and more, plus they have been known to have longer muzzles with curlier or cottony hair and just barely resemble a Maltese.

So if you truly have your heart set on a Maltese that looks like a Maltese, your best chance of getting the dog of your dreams is from a reputable Maltese breeder.  These reputable Maltese breeders are usually very active in showing their dogs in some fashion.....please note here that you still need to do your homework because, as in every aspect of life, there can be a bad apple in the bunch. 

Good luck in your search for your next Maltese puppy........
May the puppy be happy, healthy, and exactly
what you were hoping and looking for!!!!

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