So how do you find a quality, reputably bred puppy in today’s modern age with the internet at our fingertips? That’s a really hard question! With the countless websites for Maltese, how can you be sure you are going to end up with someone reputable? Just remember that anyone can have a website built, and anyone can breed Maltese and sell Maltese puppies.

Let me first give you "my" definition of some terms that I will be using through out this article.

· AKC – American Kennel Club  


· BYB – Backyard breeder…this is someone who possibly has a couple of dogs who they breed for extra cash once or twice a year. Chances are that they know nothing about the background of the dogs other than they are cute and perfect in their eyes. These people normally will advertise their puppies in local newspapers but are now branching out to the internet also.  


· Puppy mill – What I include under this term are breeders that have "numerous" breeds of dogs that they continuously breed for the sale of puppies. They may or may not take care of their "breeding stock" dogs in an acceptable manner. Many use brokers, pet shops, and their own personal websites to sell their puppies.  Puppies are usually readily available.  


· Reputable Breeder – A breeder who will normally breed only for the betterment of the breed. They know the genetics behind the dogs they have chosen to breed, and often show their dogs at AKC sanctioned Dog Shows. They will stand behind the dogs they place and be there for you anytime you have questions.  A Reputable Breeder will usually only have one or possibly two breeds that they raise.  Sometimes you may have to wait for a puppy to be available from a reputable breeder.

Now, how do you decide whether a breeder is reputable or not? Are they adding cute little fad names to their dogs such as "teacup’, micro-mini, toy, etc."? Do they accept most major credit cards and possibly  PayPal? Do they have numerous different breeds or mixed breeds on their website? These are huge red flags when looking for a reputable breeder and a nice quality, healthy puppy.

In the United States, are they offering a registered dog with some registry other than the AKC?   AKC has its faults but it is the only registry that is recognized by reputable breeders. Now there are still puppy mills that register their dogs through the AKC, so just because it is AKC registered, does not make it a healthy, quality dog.

Remember the term "you get what you pay for"? That is not always true in the case of puppy sales. Many of the BYB’s and puppy mills are charging as much as or more than many of the reputable breeders. Since the cost of a Maltese puppy is usually around $1000.00 or more with the average being between $1500.00 and $2500.00, you should try to increase your chances of getting a nice, healthy puppy by trying to get it from a reputable breeder. By doing so, you greatly increase your chances of getting what you want and what you are paying for.  In most cases, if you contact a reputable breeder and they do not have a puppy available, they will give you references to other breeders, whom they feel are reputable. I guarantee you I am not going to personally refer anyone that I feel is unethical in their breeding practices nor is any other reputable breeder, since it is their reputation on the line!!

Reputable breeders will sell their "pet" puppies with spay/neuter contracts and limited registrations to "approved" homes only.  A reputable breeder will never ask one price for the puppy and another price for the registration papers or for breeding rights.   A reputable breeder will also want to get to know where their puppy is going and to know the people it is going to. In many cases a lifetime relationship is formed between the buyer and the seller due to these processes.  A reputable breeder will NEVER sell their puppies through a broker or a pet shop!!!!!

It has become "Buyer Beware" on the internet.  The best chance you have of getting a nice, healthy, quality puppy/dog is by going to a reputable breeder who breeds to the Maltese Standard and for the betterment of the Maltese breed. 

One last thing…..if you have your heart set on a Maltese (who wouldn’t) and you can’t afford or find a Maltese from a reputable breeder, then please consider a rescue Maltese. There are several organizations that can help you to find a rescue Maltese.

?? How to Find a Reputable Breeder ??