Everything you need to know to buy or adopt a Maltese puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Maltese!

dog health care book

Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

dog training book


Maltese dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Maltese

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is a Maltese the right breed for you?

Maltese: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Maltese Health Problems


Are YOU right for a Maltese?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No young children in the household
  • No large dogs in the household (safety issue)
  • Extra safety precautions – ongoing supervision and surveillance of what's going on around your Maltese, being careful where you step or sit, not allowing leaps from high furniture, keeping small objects off the floor so the dog can't choke, closing all gaps in fences and gates, etc.
  • Sufficient exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Maltese stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • Brushing – a lot (unless you keep the coat clipped short)
  • Trimming – every few months
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Maltese are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with housebreaking taking a long time
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Maltese to lots of people and other animals
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Maltese, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Maltese?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Maltese be?


Where can you buy or adopt a Maltese?

Maltese are very common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Maltese rank 33rd. It's very easy to find a Maltese.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Maltese (and Maltese crosses) are often available from Dog Rescue groups. Maltese may be turned over to Rescue because they need too much grooming, or due to housebreaking problems, or barking, or "separation anxiety" when left alone. Other Maltese are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Maltese do show up here, but shelter personnel may mislabel any smallish white dog as a Maltese or Maltese cross, even when it's not. Maltese rescue groups do keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country, and if a Maltese turns up at a shelter, the rescue group does try to move the dog into their rescue network.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Maltese from a show breeder, who breeds Maltese to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy a Maltese from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Maltese puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal knees

The VAST MAJORITY of Maltese sellers can't show you those certificates because their dogs haven't been tested. This is one reason why so many Maltese puppies grow up and go blind or are crippled from bad knee joints. Then you'll be looking at surgery that costs a thousand dollars – per knee.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Maltese are frequently found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Maltese Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Maltese puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Maltese puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.