What to look for when buying a Maltese Puppy

Am I Ready For A Maltese Puppy ?

A puppy is a serious responsibility. Make sure you have asked all the right questions to yourself:

  • Why do I want a dog?
  • Have I worked out all the costs involved?
  • Does my job mean that you will be leaving your dog on its own for long periods of time?
  • Do I have the correct environment for a dog? How do I feel about going for walks ?
  • Am I ready for a possible 15+ year commitment to a dog?

Life without pets means doing anything you want, from going on holiday at short notice, or even staying out later than planned. Once you have a dog to look after, all this changes.                                                                                                                                                                      A puppy is for life – your life. Take a look at your lifestyle and the environment you live in. Do you have children and what are their ages?  Do you plan to have children?

Some dogs relish family life.  Have you any pets already?  If so take into account their age, size, breed, sex and temperament. Other pets such as rabbits and cats may rule out some dogs, unless you have adequate time and experience to socialize them properly.

What are your work commitments?

Is your house left empty from morning to evening and do you often have to stay late unexpectedly or work weekends?

Maltese bond very strongly with their owners. A stressed and unhappy dog can easily develop anxiety problems. Finally, how would you sum up your household? Quiet and calm, lively and busy or very variable?

A Maltese is a companion dog, and would be miserable left for long periods on a daily basis.

Still interested in making a Maltese part of your life ?

Buying a dog is an exhilarating time. But you need to make sure that you are in the know when it comes to required codes of conduct and practices. Many people get caught up with the notion of buying a dog that they fail to observe the standard protocol that buying a dog entails.

Of course, this is not meant to put a dampener on your enthusiasm. Being in the know about what to look for when buying a dog can guarantee that the experience is a pleasant one. So, you are stood looking at your prospective puppy. There are some clear positive signs that you can look out for when you are embarking on this process:

If the owner or breeder is happy for you to view the dog in their natural surroundings, in their home, this is a fantastic sign. After all it shows that they are responsible dog breeders and that they are happy to allow you to see how they raise their litters.

In this case the breeder may enable you to see the Dam. This is another positive sign. As such, this means that there is ‘nothing to hide’ and that they are who they say they are. More importantly, you are aware of the dog’s background. When it comes to viewing the parents this is important. By doing this you will see how the dogs behave and how ultimately your puppy will behave. What’s more you will be able to see the overall health of the parents. Healthy parents equal healthy pup. It’s that simple.

Another positive sign to look for is that the dog breeder is not pestering you for cash up front. If they want to know more about you, your home and your family, they are ultimately selling to you because they know you are going to give a good home for their beloved puppy.

All of these things are good signs and signals that your dog is being bred properly and that the breeders are responsible, most of all care about a safe & happy life for their home bred puppies. Consider the Warning Signs

Finding the right dog means that you will spend time looking around different breeders. If you get a ‘bad feeling’ about a breeder or something doesn’t feel quite right you may have due cause to believe that.

There are some definite warning signs that you should always look out for.

If a breeder is not keen on allowing you into the puppy’s natural environment, this could be a sign that the puppy has been bred on the farm.

The likelihood is that they won’t know who the parents are and as such they will stop you from meeting them.

Unlike reputable and responsible breeders, a “bad breeder” will not ask you questions about your personal life and home life. They won’t care about these things, but they may ask you to pay for the dog, in full, the moment that you see them. This is not a good sign and should be avoided. One Final Thought…

When it comes to buying a dog it’s an exciting time all-round.

But make sure that you are viewing a puppy with its mother before you decide to visit or pay any money.

After all seeing how the dog is socialized is imperative. Never pay a deposit without seeing the puppy in their natural environment. The good breeder will have a contract for conditions of sale. This should include all their contact details as well as the purchasers, dated and signed by both parties.

Many reputable breeders invite potential new puppy owners to visit – when they have a litter, buyers can come and see the puppies at 6 weeks old. If you like what you see, and the breeder feels that you could give the puppy a safe and happy life, the breeder may then take a deposit for the puppy. The final payment is then made upon the collection of the puppy. They may give you a suggested shopping list and this gives you time to prepare for your new arrival.


The puppy should be:

Kennel Club registered.

Kennel Club pedigree.

Micro Chipped Vet checked & 1st Inoculation & Wormed.

What should be included is a comprehensive folder containing : Contract of Sale. Diet sheet. Grooming sheets. Photos of Dam and Sire with their litter. Puppy pack including a bag of Food and a piece of Vet Bed.

Before any agreements are made, the buyer needs to know the full conditions of sale. You need to know what you’re getting as stated in the contract to avoid any nasty surprises or hidden fees.

Here’s some helpful guidance and advice on compulsory microchipping

Advice for breeders :-  If you are a breeder , you must ensure that all puppies are microchipped and recorded on a government compliant database by the time they are eight weeks old and before they go to the new owner. It’s essential that you, rather than the puppy buyer, are the first recorded keeper on the database.

Advice for buyers :- Puppy buyers should not buy a dog from a breeder unless it has been microchipped and recorded on a database.When buying a puppy, you will be provided with microchipping documents which will allow you to transfer keepership on the database (though your breeder may do this for you). If you do not receive microchipping documents then you should not buy the puppy.

What is microchipping? :- Microchipping is a simple, safe and quick procedure which makes reuniting dogs with their owners much more likely. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and the procedure, which is carried out by a vet or trained microchip implanter, takes only a few minutes and lasts a lifetime. Mini microchips are available for small breeds. There are mini microchips available (the same standard and performance of the existing chip) with a smaller needle for implantation.

Puberty and neutering


Puppies normally reach puberty any time from six months old and their elevated hormone levels can adversely affect their behavior, so seek help if you are having any problems. This behavior will not ‘automatically’ be resolved by neutering despite advice you may receive to the contrary. Try not to worry – it soon passes!

Bitches are normally ‘in season’ for three weeks (and are fertile during this time) so they should not be taken outside (other than the garden) or allowed to mix with male dogs. You can tell your bitch is in season when her vulva swells and she exudes a discharge which may be blood tinged. This should happen about every six months, throughout her life.

As male dogs reach puberty they start cocking their legs, and you may observe an increased interest in other dogs, independence, mounting behavior and ‘macho’ behavior with dogs and/or people.


Unless you are going to breed from your dog, you will no doubt consider neutering it. This has some health and behavior benefits and some downsides too.

PROS of spaying bitches:

  • reduces the incidence of mammary tumors, if carried out at an early age
  • ensures no phantom pregnancies
  • ensures no womb infections (pyometra)
  • ensures no ovarian tumors
  • ensures no unwanted pregnancies

CONS of spaying bitches

  • can increase the risk of urinary incontinence in older bitches
  • does affect growth rate
  • does affect maturation
  • increases the likelihood that your dog will get fat later in life (unless you control its diet strictly and exercise it regularly)
  • could affect the growth and texture of your dog’s coat

PROS of castrating male dogs

  • removes the risk of prostate problems
  • removes risk of testicular cancer
  • can reduce aggressiveness
  • can reduce hypersexual behavior

CONS of castrating male dogs

  • may not reliably reduce aggression
  • may not reduce dominant behavior
  • does affect growth rate
  • does affect maturation
  • increases the likelihood that your dog will get fat later in life (unless you control its diet strictly and exercise it regularly)
  • could affect the growth and texture of your dog’s coat

Your vet will be able to discuss the best course of action for you and the best time to neuter. Your dog’s breeder is well placed to advise you of how neutering may affect your dog’s future weight and coat quality.

Each dog is an individual and you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of neutering your dog carefully.



As we all know, Maltese breeders with the kennel affixes established and well known in the breed do not breed frequently. Usually they will breed on average once every year or two so prospective owners have to be patient.

From the show and visiting the kennel in person friendships can develop between breeders and prospective owners.

When these prospective owners become owners, the friendship develops further and the relationship between a breeder and their puppy owners should only become stronger, with each keeping in touch throughout the lifetime of their Maltese.