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Finding a Responsible Breeder

1823 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Boobookit
This is a wonderful article with tons of links to other great articles. A must-read for anyone searching for a puppy.
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Originally posted by Laceys mom@Aug 24 2005, 06:35 PM
Wish everyone who was getting a dog read about the type of dog they want to get.  I see so many people complain about how there dog acts...full of energy, too big,  or something.
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You bring up such a good point, Lacey's Mom. People fall in love with Maltese, but say they just want to get a pet so they get one from a pet store or BYB. What they don't realize is that if the breeder isn't breeding to the breed standard, not only can you end up with Maltese thatis phsically very different than the standard, but you may not get the typical Maltese personality either. How often do we see posting on these forums from frustrated owners who have hyper or aggressive Maltese when they expected a laid back little lap dog. In each and every case I have read, the puppy came from either a BYB or pet shop. I have never heard a complaint about disposition from anyone who got their puppy from a reputable breeder.

What I've learned from my experience with Lady is that it is much cheaper in the long run to save a bit longer and get a puppy from a reputable breeder than to get a "bargain" puppy who may need expensive surgeries or have big vet bills its entire life due to a genetic illness or need expensive training to correct inbred behavior or dispostion problems.
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For many of us, the first one is the learning experience and no matter how much we love them, it teaches us how important buying form a reputable breeder is the second time around.

When I adopted Lady, I knew she was originally from a pet store and really thought I was pretty educated about pet shop puppies. Since Lady was 4&1/2 already and had been healthy all her life, I had no idea that she would "fall apart" physically so late in life. In the first two years I had her, this "healthy" dog was dx first with epilepsy, then diabetes, then allergies, and severe inflamatory arthritis (so bad I had to walk her in a sling - she was unable to walk).

Thanks to many, many medications and fantastic vets, she is doing amazingly well at nearly 11. She has surprised everyone. But with what I have spent on her, I could have easily bought a show puppy from one of the top breeders!

I sure did luck out on her personality, though. She has a perfect, laid back mellow disposition. My sister who manages a vet office always tells me about the "funny looking" Maltese they see with the nasty dispositions. She keeps saying it's hard to believe that they are even the same breed as Lady. They had one a lady brought in to be put to sleep. He had been through 3 owners, bit everyone and was so hyper he'd even attack the television! One of the vet techs adopted him and has done very, very well with him, but he's still more like a terrier than a Maltese my sister says.
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Originally posted by LucyLou@Aug 26 2005, 01:12 PM
I'm told that the puppymillers use a Westie or a Bichon to breed with a Maltese to get larger litters.  This could account for some of this disposition.
I, too, have a Westie who is a pet.  I dare anyone to say I'm mixing here though.  She has earned her championship, and, if I decide I want more show pups, I'll breed her to the male I co-own.  Otherwise, will just remain my pet.  She doesn't get around my male Maltese.
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I think Jennie Siliski was suspected of breeding her Maltese with Westies. A neighbor of mine bought a Maltese puppy awhile back that was supposed to be 5 pounds at most full grown. Well, this not-so-little guy was that at 4 months! I also noticed that when he was neutered and had his elizabethan collar on, with all his hair pulled back, he had a decidedly Westie look!

And I firmly believe that the "giant" Maltese (in the teens weight-wise) have Bichon in their background. You can even see it in their curlier coat. Not that Bichons and Westies aren't great dogs, but if you want a Maltese, you want the things that made you choose that breed.
I think a lot of breeders "play God". A dear friend of mine up in New York breeds Goldens on a very limited basis. They make people fill out a questionaire that makes a mortgage application look small, screen people like they were applying to join the FBI, then THEY chose the right puppy for that particular family based on it's personality (they do respect a gender request, though).

I think you are right to steer away from anyone hung up on the size. Someone here called that wanting "arm candy" recently and I thought that was such a good way to put it.
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