Shopping for a Maltese puppy is not akin to shopping for groceries; you can’t just throw them out if they don’t fit.
Some of a puppy’s problems may not be immediately evident and only becoming noticeable as your dog grows and matures.
This is why it becomes a very vital decision where you buy your Maltese from, as it is proven that the better the seller, the likelier you are to have a healthy pet.
There is a wide range of places you can get your Maltese pup, ranging from well-known organizations like the American Kennel Club and American Maltese Association to online market places like PuppySpot.com and Pupquest.org and finally to physical puppy sale businesses around you like pet shops and some reputable breeders. Each of the mentioned places has its associated level of risks, as you would see.
This article will guide you in your search for a place to get good quality Maltese puppies that will bring more fun and happiness to your home without undue stress.
And sites you may want to avoid or be more careful dealing with too. But first, let us examine the source of all dogs – dog breeders.
Understanding the Different Types of Maltese Breeders
Dog breeding is the business of mating male and female dogs to produce healthy offspring. Now, this process can be carried out between dogs of the same breed or between male and female dogs of different breeds in a controlled environment and under healthy conditions.
Most pet owners, however, go for purebred dog breeds like a purebred Maltese, as they are a more sure bet.
Dog breeders are perhaps the most crucial factor in the quality of pet produced. Every place that will be listed in this article as a possible source of Maltese puppies patronizes or is patronized by one or all of the types of breeders available.
There are many types of such breeders, but for this article, we shall divide them into three types as follows.
Responsible breeders are professional breeders, hobby breeders, or a combination of both that put significant care and effort into breeding the highest quality pets for their clientele.
These breeders have comprehensive knowledge and expertise about the breeds they specialize in and have usually been in the act of breeding dogs for over five years.
They indulge in extensive research on breed genetics, best feeding practices, and current and futuristic health practices to ensure that they are continually producing the best litters.
These types of breeders likely breed the highest quality of Maltese dogs that are sold anywhere.
Most responsible breeders have genuine care and affection for the dogs they breed. And this, coupled with the fact that they have the best dogs, making them the ideal participants in dog shows.
As a consequence of the amount of money, efforts, and time invested in the breeding of high-quality pets, a Maltese pup from a reputable breeder is generally the most expensive out there.
Backyard breeders are usually ordinary dog owners who happen to become breeders by accident or without adequate preliminary information about how dog breeding works.
Although these types of breeders are inexperienced and naïve to many dog breeding techniques, they usually put in their best to love and care for the litter of their pet(s).
Backyard breeders are often in the business of dog breeding for the wrong reasons. Some are in it because they want to experience firsthand what dog reproduction looks like.
Some believe all dogs have the right to breed, while others got into the situation by accident. In other cases, animals are deliberately bred just to be sold.
Dogs from backyard breeders come cheaper and are more likely to be sickly in their lifetime as proper attention to genetics, and standard breeding regulations aren’t met.
These are potentially the worst places to go looking if you want to buy a Maltese puppy. Puppy mills are simply commercial establishments that are set up for the aim of breeding dogs for money.
They usually have facilities that are not quite adequate, nor do they meet many of the dog breeding regulations.
Pups from puppy mills are more susceptible to health issues later in life as these breeders are usually careless about genetics and many other health factors.
In puppy mills, dogs are typically kept in cages and subjected to many other inhumane conditions that are well hidden from the public.
Despite the apparent disadvantages of these breed-houses, they still get patronized for one simple reason: they offer cheaper alternatives.
So while a more affordable puppy is not necessarily from a puppy mill, a meager price for a Maltese pup should raise your eyebrows.
Here are some red flags that identify a puppy mill:
- If a seller has multiple breeds or designer breeds, that is a red flag
- If the seller doesn’t mind selling puppies less than six weeks old, that may be another red flag.
- If the breeder tries to avoid showing where the puppies are kept or refuse to meet in person, that could very well be an indication that the puppy housing conditions are inhumane.
- If the breeder is so eager to sell the puppy that they fail to ask relevant information about how you intend to take care of the pup or fails to do proper background screening on you, then that could be a puppy mill.
- The seller/breeder does not commit to you or the puppy.
Indeed, the best choice for getting a Maltese dog is from responsible breeders, but other types of breeders also parade themselves as good breeders.
Only proper investigation and attention to the red flags can reduce your chance of being exploited by a questionable breeder. Now let us consider the places you can find Maltese puppies.
9 Places to Find Maltese Puppies for Sale: From Best to Worst
We took a survey of a range of places you can purchase a healthy Maltese pup from and decided to arrange them in order of their reliability.
Ranging from the best sources to the worst sources, the places to purchase Maltese puppies are:
#1 American Kennel Club (AKC)
The American Kennel Club is the most popular and influential purebred dog registry in America. Founded in 1884, the AKC is America’s oldest purebred dog registry, to which most other dog clubs across the country are registered.
The AKC runs a market place where tons of breeders register their purebred puppies for sale. Of course, these puppies are of varying qualities; some show quality, others pet quality.
The AKC prides itself as an organization that takes great care to vet the health records and breeding standards of the breeders they allow to register with them.
Before a puppy is registered with the AKC, there has to be extensive evidence that it is a purebred.
This evidence can be gathered either by checking to see that the pup’s parents and siblings are of the same breed and registered with the AKC, or by thorough research into the dog’s pedigree to confirm its breed integrity.
Furthermore, individual dog owners cannot be registered directly to the AKC, which cuts the risk of backyard breeders getting registered on the platform. Isolated dog breeders have to be registered to smaller clubs that are registered to the AKC, creating a trail of trust.
One of the biggest reasons for the AKC’s long-lasting popularity is its organization and promotion of purebred dog events like the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the AKC National Championship, and the National Dog Show.
The AKC is not without its faults, though; there have been controversies regarding its policies and accusations of weak regulations and regulatory proceedings that result in prevalent genetic and hereditary disorders.
Despite this problem, the AKC is still one of the most reliable registered Maltese purchase marketplaces.
#2 American Maltese Association (AMA)
The American Maltese Association is another top-notch source for finding healthy Maltese pups. Although AMA officially became a member of the AKC in June 1969, it had been in existence before then.
This association is a product of a meeting held in 1961 between the members of the Maltese Dog Fanciers of America and the Maltese Dog Club of America, who were the authorities on the breed.
On its official site, breeders that are verified members of the association can be found. These breeders list their Maltese pups for sale and can be reached from their information displayed on the site.
To become a member of AMA, breeders have to go through various inspections, education, and be subject to appropriate breeding regulations.
Being the “parent club” for the Maltese breed, the AMA charges itself with the duty of ratifying and maintaining the highest Maltese breeding standards.
So naturally, you can expect to get healthier Maltese puppies from breeders listed here. Whether you are after pet quality or show prospect puppies, the AMA site has got you covered.
Well, this site is not a place to buy a Maltese puppy but it can guide you on getting a happy, healthy Maltese puppy from a good source.
Pupquest comprises a team of dog professionals who are committed to inform and empower consumers with the relevant information they need to purchase and care for healthy pets.
They have long years of experience in the areas of veterinary medicine, shelter and rehoming work, and dog training.
They are driven by the need to provide a safe guide and contact to reputable breeders for the many uninformed potential dog owners out there.
Pupquest goes to great lengths to screen the pets and breeders before they recommend them. Their health screening recommendations go beyond the requirements of the AKC’s, which they insist is the minimum rather than the standard.
They point out common red flags like a breeder lacking health papers to show test results for common genetic diseases particular to the breed you need and also disclose uncommon red flags like a breeder possessing USDA certification.
USDA means the United States Department of Agriculture, which is a body that regulates livestock production. Pupquest.org insists this licensing is an indication of a puppy farm, otherwise known as a puppy mill, at work.
If getting a pet with an excellent pedigree and lower chances of genetic disorders and other illnesses is your priority, then you should check out pupquest.org before making a purchase.
PuppySpot is an online puppy market place that continually seeks to connect reputable breeders with families looking to get a new pet.
This organization prioritizes responsible breeders and breeding practices, although they mostly list individual puppies rather than the breeders themselves.
They perform extensive and continuous background checks on these breeders.
PuppySpot not only scrutinize the breeders before they are allowed to list on the website, but breeders that subsequently fail to meet the required ethical standards may be removed from the site.
They also carry out thorough health examinations on every puppy before they are sold. The puppies are also dewormed, flea treated and vaccinated to reduce the risk of illnesses.
Due to their dedication to ensuring you get a healthy pet, they also insist that you conduct a test with your own vet within two days of receiving your pet, to confirm their claims.
The puppies sold on this site have a traceable pedigree and the puppies purchased will arrive with the AKC registration pack, even though PuppySpot isn’t officially a part of the AKC.
PuppySpot has a strict “no puppy mills” promise, as stated on their official site. This further reinforces the efforts they put into screening the breeders allowed to list on their website.
#5 Dog Shelters/ Rehoming Centers
Good rehoming charities will give a puppy a full vet check and behavior assessment to ensure they are giving out puppies in their best medical state. They also do some background checks to provide the best home for the puppies.
They will offer continuous support for the life of your Maltese. If you have any problems and no longer able to take care of them, they will take your dog back and find them a new home.
Buying a Maltese puppy off of a dog shelter could be a win-win for both dog and buyer. You can adopt a Maltese at a much lower cost than buying one from a breeder. Try to visit an animal shelter near you, you may have a chance of finding a cute, adorable Maltese there.
However, a lot of the factors regarding the breeding or genetic makeup of the puppy are not within the control of the shelter. Hence, some problems may go under the radar, only to be discovered later as your dog matures.
#6 Next-day pets
Next-Day Pets is an online marketplace where breeders can list their puppies and dogs for sale, as well as other pets.
Registering on this site is free, so you can expect to find questionable breeders on this site, most especially backyard breeders.
Despite the information on this website claiming to take adequate care before a breeder is listed, questionable policies like a $5 concurrent charge every two weeks, reports of the poor medical status of some puppies, and also freezing of payment, put a huge question mark over this source.
When using PuppyFind, you have to be very careful with the breeder you choose. You can find puppies from backyard breeders or puppy mills here, so you have to carry out a thorough examination of the breeder’s credentials before purchase.
The biggest problem with this site is that it is free, so almost anyone can list their litters there.
Though there’s usually a section about the breeder, this information is generally provided by the breeder, without adequate background checks.
#8 Pet Stores
Pet stores usually offer pets of different breeds that could have been purchased anywhere. That is the most significant risk associated with patronizing a pet store; the dogs have very sketchy or no pedigree at all. Most of these pet stores offer little or no dog papers during the sale.
Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to all pet stores; some of the pet stores offer the contact information of the breeder. In this case, you can call the breeder and pay a visit to the breeding facility to alleviate your worries.
#9 Hoobly Classifieds
Hoobly Classifieds is a dangerous source for acquiring quality puppies as they also fail to carry out extensive background checks before they allow breeders to list their pups. They don’t carry out any inspections to fish out disreputable breeders and breeding practices.
As a consequence, it’s quite rare to find a reputable breeder registered on this site. Once again, if you choose this site, ensure you carry out your investigations.
Getting a Maltese puppy may not be as easy as it may seem at first thought. Nevertheless, take extra care to ensure you get a robust, healthy Maltese puppy from a reputable breeder.
This will save you a world of trouble (and trauma) as you raise and enjoy the company of your cute Maltese dog.