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Discussion Starter #1
I may just being too sensitive but...

I finally got up the courage to e-mail some breeders and tell them exactly what I'm looking for. I want a 3lb male with a baby doll head, short snout, and big eyes. :blush:

I expected some of the breeders to say, "Well, sometimes there's a runt in the litter. I'll let you know if one comes up that fits your description." but I keep getting emails telling me all about the AKC standard, which I'm well aware, that the maltese should be around 4-7 lbs. That's all they're telling me. :( and it comes across a bit snippy...

I know 3lb maltese exist... and so do 10lb maltese. :blink: The standard isn't ALWAYS met...

so am I doing something wrong in asking if they have small puppies? I feel as if they're responding as if I offended them by even asking.. :unsure: Is it offensive to tell them exactly what I'm looking for?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Technically a 'baby doll' face and a 3lber doesn't fit the standard so I'm sure they're pointing this out to you as they probably breed to the standard (depending on who you contacted). I would think a reputable breeder would try hard to adhere to the standard and not meet requests for super small, baby doll faces (they might see this as a 'trend' or 'fad'). Although I really have no idea, this is just my guess.

3 lbs is super tiny and fragile. Just wondering why you want one so small?
 

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Well, you are asking for a dog that is not to standard and a reputable breeder is trying to breed dogs that meet the standard. Certainly they will have dogs that do not, but that is not their purpose. They likely get many e-mails with similar requests.
I suggest picking a few breeders you are serious about. E-mail them and ask them when a good time to call is. Talking to them on the phone can make your intentions much more clear.
 

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I may just being too sensitive but...

I finally got up the courage to e-mail some breeders and tell them exactly what I'm looking for. I want a 3lb male with a baby doll head, short snout, and big eyes. :blush:

I expected some of the breeders to say, "Well, sometimes there's a runt in the litter. I'll let you know if one comes up that fits your description." but I keep getting emails telling me all about the AKC standard, which I'm well aware, that the maltese should be around 4-7 lbs. That's all they're telling me. :( and it comes across a bit snippy...

I know 3lb maltese exist... and so do 10lb maltese. :blink: The standard isn't ALWAYS met...

so am I doing something wrong in asking if they have small puppies? I feel as if they're responding as if I offended them by even asking.. :unsure: Is it offensive to tell them exactly what I'm looking for?

Thanks in advance!
Honestly, if I got that message it would bother me.

Is there a reason you are asking first about things that do not relate to the health, welfare and temperament of the dogs?

It comes off to me as superficial. Maybe that is not your intention. But I believe the breeders who care about their puppies want to see that the buyers are as concerned with the welfare of the dogs as they are the cosmetics.

Also, they probably get tons of emails asking for dogs under the standard. Yet, if they are breeding to the standard they do not have many that are under and it has to get under their skin to have so many people ask for something they try hard "not" to breed.

I personally think that you may find the first person that responds positively to such requests is not someone who has the best interests of the puppies in mind.

Now, perhaps there is a good reason you want a dog that is really really tiny. I know someone once who had arthritis and really felt that picking up a 3 pound dog was going to be easier on her. That was a compelling reason that she shared with the breeder. The breeder at first thought she was another one of "those" people, but after hearing that reason, she was more willing to keep a close look out for that special tiny one.

I hope I haven't offended you with my honesty here. It is not my intention to. I had a three pound Maltese. She was very lovely, but I have had a 9 pounder, too. He was so special. I do often find myself bothered by the way people get so hung up on size.
 

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On a side note, if size is so important I would suggest an adolescent or adult.
I soooo agree with this. There is no way to garantee a puppies' future adult size. I'd ask for one on the smaller end of the standard, that sounds better, and just hope it won't grow to be 10 lbs! But do you know the risk of owning a tinier malt?

And it is VERY, VERY hard to tell if a malt will have a tinier face when they are puppies. ALL puppies look the same until at least 5.5 months. Judging from my personal experience.
 

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If you are contacting reputable breeders, which I hope you are, no wonder they come across as a bit snippy. As they told you, the standard calls for Maltese to be between 4-7 pounds. Good breeders strive to produce puppies that fit that standard.

Tiny Maltese and other toy breeds are the current fad. That's why you see so many ads for "teacups" (there is no such thing). People want little pocket puppies like they see the celebrities carry around. Reputable breeders carefully screen prospective buyers and probably have a stock email they send to people they think fall into that group.

Reputable breeders sometimes produce puppies who will be less than 4 pounds despite their best efforts. Because they are so fragile, these puppies are placed in very carefully selected homes.
 

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Honestly, if I got that message it would bother me.

Is there a reason you are asking first about things that do not relate to the health, welfare and temperament of the dogs?

It comes off to me as superficial. Maybe that is not your intention. But I believe the breeders who care about their puppies want to see that the buyers are as concerned with the welfare of the dogs as they are the cosmetics.

Also, they probably get tons of emails asking for dogs under the standard. Yet, if they are breeding to the standard they do not have many that are under and it has to get under their skin to have so many people ask for something they try hard "not" to breed.

I personally think that you may find the first person that responds positively to such requests is not someone who has the best interests of the puppies in mind.

Now, perhaps there is a good reason you want a dog that is really really tiny. I know someone once who had arthritis and really felt that picking up a 3 pound dog was going to be easier on her. That was a compelling reason that she shared with the breeder. The breeder at first thought she was another one of "those" people, but after hearing that reason, she was more willing to keep a close look out for that special tiny one.

I hope I haven't offended you with my honesty here. It is not my intention to. I had a three pound Maltese. She was very lovely, but I have had a 9 pounder, too. He was so special. I do often find myself bothered by the way people get so hung up on size.
Have to completely agree here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you guys so much for the help and honesty.

I do have the dogs health in mind, that's why I'm going through lists of reputable breeders so that I don't have to worry about buying a sick puppy. I was going to buy from a breeder I found off of google, but there were always at least ten puppies listed that were predicted to be, at most, 3lbs. Before I bought a puppy, I found this forum and was able to not support that horrible breeder. I guess I need to ask them if their dogs have a history of any medical problems first?

I've always wanted a small dog, I grew up with 5lb chihuahuas so they're normal sized dogs to me. I'm also a very small person. I'm only 4'10" and haven't grown a centimeter in years and am also very fragile.
 

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I would probably include that you know that the standard for maltese is 4-7lbs but that you also know that sometimes they'll get puppies that stay smaller than they want to keep in their show/breeding program. Let them know why you are hoping for a Maltese on the smaller side. Also, are you actually saying you want a "3lb maltese"? That just sounds so specific I guess...maybe if you just said that you are hoping to have one that stays under 4lbs full grown so that they don't think you are overly picky about size if that makes sense. Honestly, it always concerns me to see people want really tiny dogs too so the particular breeders you contacted may not like people to ask for tiny dogs....but it is true that many breeders will end up with dogs that stay a little too small or get a little too big for the show ring so it is possible to get what you want from a great breeder.
 

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Please, please be very careful of those ads that promise that the dog will be 3 pounds full grown! They are brokers, backyard breeders, and puppy mills who use that as a marketing ploy.

Those are the puppies that often end up being 10 pounds!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thankfully, due to this forum, I know that now! Those BYBs aren't going to trick me. :D I've been emailing, regretably, breeders from the AMA list and the breeders that were deemed as reputable in this forum.

Now that I know how I came across, I can try to patch things up with the breeders.
 

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Thankfully, due to this forum, I know that now! Those BYBs aren't going to trick me. :D I've been emailing, regretably, breeders from the AMA list and the breeders that were deemed as reputable in this forum.

Now that I know how I came across, I can try to patch things up with the breeders.
A face to face meeting is often much better than an email. I'd suggest going to some local shows and seeing if you can meet some of the breeders after they've finished. You'll learn a lot about Maltese and meet some of the smaller breeders who may not be on the AMA list.

Here's a schedule of dog shows by state:

InfoDog AKC Dog Show Information - Search by State
 

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I was contacted last year by someone looking for a female puppy who would be under 5 lbs. full grown. She came to this forum first and posted about what she was looking for and then found me. I, of course, had the advantage of already knowing what she was looking for and knowing what advice she had been given via this forum. She emailed me telling me what she was looking for and I emailed her back telling her what the standard calls for and what I strive to produce in my breedings. I basically told her what you've been told by the breeders who you have communicated with. Then this woman called me and told me her reasons for wanting what she wanted. That phone call made all the difference in the world. I invited her and her husband to come visit and told her that I had a young male puppy who I thought would be between 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 lbs. full grown and I had an older female puppy who I knew would never be more than 4 lbs. if that and I felt belonged in a home as someone's beloved pet rather than in the show ring. Again, that phone call made all the difference. I met this couple, they met the dogs, we both hit the jackpot, and they are now the very happy slaves to their little girl Maltese.

What you are looking for is a dog who does not meet the standard. If you want a girl that's understandable. If you want a very small dog because of your own physical limitations that, too, is very understandable and you should not hesitate to share that with the breeders you contact. But, honestly, a baby doll head with a short snout and big eyes have nothing to do with your gender preference or physical limitations or the dog being the runt of the litter. That comes across to me as you wanting a breeder to custom make a dog for you and I'm sure that is not all the impression you were intending to give.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the list Ladysmomma, and the idea! I've never thought about going to the shows and talking to everyone and their babies.

and I am so greatful I have you guys. I apologized to the breeder that got upset and told her all about me reading Dr. Pitcairns book and why I wanted a smaller dog, and she said I sounded like I'm make a wonderful owner and referred me to a friend of hers that has a smaller male available. :D
 

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Thanks for the list Ladysmomma, and the idea! I've never thought about going to the shows and talking to everyone and their babies.

and I am so greatful I have you guys. I apologized to the breeder that got upset and told her all about me reading Dr. Pitcairns book and why I wanted a smaller dog, and she said I sounded like I'm make a wonderful owner and referred me to a friend of hers that has a smaller male available. :D
That sounds promising!

It's so hard to make a good impression in an email without the benefit of face to face contact. Unfortunately, I think throwing out a three pound weight preference initially triggered lots of red flags for the breeders you contacted.

Be glad you are getting scrutinized so carefully. It means you are dealing with reputable breeders who care about who adopts their puppies.
 

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I soooo agree with this. There is no way to garantee a puppies' future adult size. I'd ask for one on the smaller end of the standard, that sounds better, and just hope it won't grow to be 10 lbs! But do you know the risk of owning a tinier malt?

And it is VERY, VERY hard to tell if a malt will have a tinier face when they are puppies. ALL puppies look the same until at least 5.5 months. Judging from my personal experience.

I have to disagree with this statement, all puppies do not look the same. Maybe when they are newly born and a few weeks old, it's harder to tell but as they get older, they get their own distinct faces. it's easy for me to look on puppyfind and spot the puppies that will probably grow up with longer muzzles and not what the standard calls for, but at the same time, all puppies are cute.

Briana I cant' remember, what exactly is your experience? You've shown, right?

To the OP, I think by stating in your initial email that you are aware of the standard, etc etc and explain what you're looking for and why, you'll get a much favorable response. I have had emails like the one you described sending and it does make me go hmmm... If you wrote and asked if I would have a puppy close to the standard, my answer would be 'i hope so' since that is my ultimate goal, but if you wrote and asked for a puppy not to the standard, i would have to say 'i hope not!'

I am sorry though that you are getting bad responses! Hopefully you can find your perfect breeder and your perfect baby :wub:
 

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Thanks for the list Ladysmomma, and the idea! I've never thought about going to the shows and talking to everyone and their babies.

and I am so greatful I have you guys. I apologized to the breeder that got upset and told her all about me reading Dr. Pitcairns book and why I wanted a smaller dog, and she said I sounded like I'm make a wonderful owner and referred me to a friend of hers that has a smaller male available. :D
Why exactly do you want a 3lb dog vs a 4lb+ Maltese? There is often no distinguishable difference between a 3lb Malt and a 4lb Malt. I have also seen some lower-weight Maltese who are taller and/or longer than a heavier Maltese. It's all in the structure.
 

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I have to disagree with this statement, all puppies do not look the same. Maybe when they are newly born and a few weeks old, it's harder to tell but as they get older, they get their own distinct faces. it's easy for me to look on puppyfind and spot the puppies that will probably grow up with longer muzzles and not what the standard calls for, but at the same time, all puppies are cute.

Briana I cant' remember, what exactly is your experience? You've shown, right?
I know, I meant based on the average(not proffessional breeder or exhibitor) puppy buying person's experience, like mine. :p Unless I raised them from a newborn and up(which I haven't) then they all look the same to me! I remeber those days looking for puppies. LOL That's why I said 5.5 months old, because that when I got Gigi, and that' when I noticed I could tell. Still it is very, very hard to explain the difference in a puppy's snout size to a new puppy buyer(literally, every peron who is on this forum and wanted a "babydoll" faced puppy has asked me this before). Even after about two years, I can spot it now sorta, but there is no way possible for me to explain that to them, that's why they usually jut send me pictures. LOL Average was my key word. :thumbsup:
 

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There is a show breeder in Springfield, MO who has smaller maltese. If you want to see another breeder. He is a nice guy and very nice to work with. He also breeds chi's too. And they are tiny. He doesn't have a computer so he doesn't have a web site or e-mail. He is getting ready to retire.
Explaining why you want a smaller Maltese is very important when you talk to breeders. I had someone e-mail wanting a smaller maltese. She had breast cancer and her arms were not very strong to hold a bigger maltese. I had an 8 month old girl who I was holding for show for me, but this person really needed her more than I did. Being up front is a good idea.
 
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