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Old 12-19-2012, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi all-

I am here looking for some information to pass on to my grandmother who recently lost her one of her girls to heart failure. She almost bought a puppy from a broker site (purebred pups...gag!) but I think I have made great headway in stopping that decision and pointing her towards a good breeder.

I have a few questions for those who are knowledgeable in this breed.

I spoke with a breeder that I found on the AMA breeder list yesterday who seemed great. I really liked her and everything that she had to say. She advised me that a female pet puppy runs from $2500 to $3000 and the males were less. I have to admit I was a little shocked. I show a very competitive breed that requires a lot of health testing and puppy care, and that is the same price range that I paid for my show prospect puppies, and we donít have a significant difference in price between the sexes.

I'm not opposed to spending a good chunk of money on a puppy, but with the minimal health testing recommended for this breed (per the AMA website), I guess I was expecting more in the $1500 to $2000 range.

Secondly, what do breeders as a whole typically check for- health wise? I will of course ask the individual breeder about the specifics, but I want to have a good understanding of what is normal. What I understand is that their fontanels should be checked to see if they are open, patellas palpated, heart auscultated for murmers and the parents should have bile acids done. Am I missing anything, or am I expecting too much?

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That is a typical price for a female Maltese from a show breeder, and yes less for a male. At least this is what I encountered when looking for my Maltese.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the response. Good to know that checks out.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I paid $3,000 for my female and I would have paid more, ha ha....I just love her soooo much and found my breeder of the AMA site, Bonnie palmer (in florida) and would recommend her with flying colors....my baby Molly is my fur child and is priceless You have all your bases covered as far as medical questions for a breeder, let me know (PM me) if you have any further questions! Good luck to you, the Maltese is a very special breed
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome! Those price quotes seem accurate on average- some breeders are a little less, some a bit more. I am not sure why maltese cost more than some other breeds in general though- maybe supply and demand? I know that maltese females are often in less supply as pets because they are usually kept for breeding and showing since their litters are relatively few in number. Whereas, only a few males are needed for breeding. I have a male and I just adore him I don't think you can go wrong with either gender for maltese- it mostly depends on the individual dog.

I agree with your point-- I wish that there was MORE health testing for maltese. The tests you mentioned are the exact ones that I have seen. It is generally recommended that the puppies be tested for Bile Acid levels but not all AMA breeders do this routinely. I would have it done either way even if it's out of my own pocket. Maltese are generally a healthy breed compared to some others though but I think it be wonderful if even more health screening could be performed (but that's a whole other topic!).
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hoaloha View Post
I agree with your point-- I wish that there was MORE health testing for maltese. The tests you mentioned are the exact ones that I have seen. It is generally recommended that the puppies be tested for Bile Acid levels but not all AMA breeders do this routinely. I would have it done either way even if it's out of my own pocket. Maltese are generally a healthy breed compared to some others though but I think it be wonderful if even more health screening could be performed (but that's a whole other topic!).
Thank you for the welcome!

It was my understanding that bile acids are only tested after the 6 month mark, and I feel fairly comfortable making a purchase if the parents were tested and ok and there is a relatively small incidence of liver issues behind the puppy.

I told Grandma that she has a better chance of a healthy long lived dog if she purchases her/him from a good breeder, but that they are still living beings, and you just never know what will happen.

Last edited by EventerMal; 12-19-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome to SM! Is your grandmother set on a puppy or is she open to an adult dog? I just know that you can also get a retired breeder for much less than a puppy! And of course, you can always rescue a purebred Malt! Just my little plug, both mine are rescues. Ozzie is purebred (retired breeder) that I adopted from a yorkie rescue, we adopted him a year ago and he was about 2 yrs old, 3 now.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorkieYorkie View Post
Welcome to SM! Is your grandmother set on a puppy or is she open to an adult dog? I just know that you can also get a retired breeder for much less than a puppy! And of course, you can always rescue a purebred Malt! Just my little plug, both mine are rescues. Ozzie is purebred (retired breeder) that I adopted from a yorkie rescue, we adopted him a year ago and he was about 2 yrs old, 3 now.
Not sure how old your grandmother is, but a brand new puppy is a LOT of work. If she rescued a dog that is currently being fostered, not only will she be helping a dog that needs a home, but she will be getting a dog who is already trained. JUst a thought (and a double down on the plug for rescues).
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The first thing I tried was the rescue option and then the older breeder rehome.

She is set on a puppy, and is in great shape with the energy to care for and train a puppy. Her dogs are her life, and I have no doubts that any puppy that lands in her home will be extremely well taken care of and spoiled.


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Old 12-19-2012, 08:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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In this economy, $2500-$3000 can definitely be in the higher range for a puppy. Matching the right temperament with your grandmother is something that a price tag really cannot be put on though, so I would make sure that your grandmother communicates what she wants.

What breed do you show? Maltese pet puppies are priced higher than larger breeds because of the small litters maltese have. You're lucky if you get more than two pups in a litter so a lot is supply and demand.

I have my puppies bile acid tested at 16 weeks, which is the newest recommendation. Other than that, there really isn't a whole lot of screening tests that can be done.

Your grandmother is very lucky she has you to guide her in the right direction!! Sure glad you were able to keep her from the puppy mill option. Feel free to pm me if you have any questions
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