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Owning a Maltese : Breeder Recommendations

If you are looking for a small, energetic dog that will be a great home companion and fun to be around, you may want to consider a Maltese. This breed, considered a toy dog by the American Kennel Club and others, is not only cute but also beautiful. Additionally, a Maltese makes a wonderful pet that is very loyal to family members.

You may be attracted to the Maltese because of its long, silky white coat that hangs from a center part to the floor. However, this little dog is also a lot of fun to be around, proving to be a great pet, eager to please, and seemingly always in motion.


Things to Know Before Getting a Maltese

The key first step to buying any purebred dog is to visit at least three reputable breeders to look closely at the living conditions and the litter from which the pet will come. Be prepared to ask questions about the Maltese in general and about care and feeding.

It is always better to have too much information rather than not enough when it comes to a decision as important as getting a family pet. Just be careful not to pick the “cutest” puppy from a litter or the first one that seems to “choose” you.

Instead, try to remember that sometimes the best pets are those that might not be so forward when you first see them. They may later prove to be an ideal companion and just independent enough to fit into your life. You could buy your puppy from a retail store or someone who is a Maltese owner that decides to sell puppies, but if you do this, you may not get all the information you need about the breed, its background and the care and feeding the puppy requires.


Owning a Maltese


Take your time when visiting breeders and ask to see both parents of the puppy you are considering. Look closely at how the puppies are fed and housed, to get an idea of the health and overall treatment of the dogs.

Remember that a key to getting a good pet is to start with a breeder that takes the time to socialize his young dogs, spending time with them to get them comfortable with people and other dogs. In addition, you should feel free to ask your breeder questions about feeding the Maltese and ask about any health problems that may be natural to the breed.

Maltese are prone to retinal atrophy, a degenerative eye disease that may lead to loss of vision. Then, the breed sometimes has a tendency toward knee dislocation, something that is more common among small dogs. We also recommend you ask the breeder about these conditions to determine if the parents have had problems, or if any special tests have been performed on the puppies.

When buying any new pet, it is always best to make sure that you understand what will happen if the puppy becomes seriously ill soon after you take him home, for instance, would you be able to get a replacement dog if the animal were to die or become ill?

A reputable breeder should ask you more questions than you ask, wanting to make sure the puppy is going to a good, loving home.

After all, the breeder has put tremendous time and effort into breeding and raising the puppies so they too have reason to check you out.


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