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JMM wrote on another post: If the dog is underweight and not eating, you need to see a vet.
My question is, how do you know if your pup is underweight, or overweight for that matter. I know we've done a lot of post recently regarding defending the larger maltese but what is the ideal weight? What should they weigh since it seems so many of us have differing ideals? How will we know if they are underweight?
 

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The standard is the weight should be "under 7 pounds, with from 4 to 6 pounds preferred. Overall quality is to be favored over size." I take that to mean that dogs can be over 7 pounds if their overall quality is excellent. Maybe JMM can clarify this for us.
 

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Originally posted by 20202@Mar 26 2005, 01:10 PM
JMM wrote on another post:  If the dog is underweight and not eating, you need to see a vet.
My question is, how do you know if your pup is underweight, or overweight for that matter.  I know we've done a lot of post recently regarding defending the larger maltese but what is the ideal weight?  What should they weigh since it seems so many of us have differing ideals?  How will we know if they are underweight?
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You should ideally ask your vet but I think you can run your fingers down the ribs to see how much of ribs you can feel. If you can't feel the ribs, then the dog is overweight. There are very helpful charts in most vet's offices that you can examine and they show progression from underweight to overweight. I think maltese can vary in their frames so the ideal weight for each dog will vary. The ideal weight for our maltese is around 6.5 lbs but that's based on his frame and recommendations of our vet.
 

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I think it all depends on the dog.

To clarify - if you have a maltese thats like 2 feet tall, you can't possibly expect it to weigh within standard, can you?

Similarly, you cant expect a .. 6 inch tall (thats small right?) to weigh within standard.

I personally believe you should evaluate your dogs size, eating habits, exercise, structure, etc and consult with your vet and breeder to correctly decide the proper weight of your dog.
 

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As far as the standard, the dog would need to be pretty close to 7 lbs or it would look huge compared to the other dogs in the ring. Showing is also for breeding stock and you want a dog within the standard to breed. 7.5 lbs would probably be overlooked, but not 9 or 10 lbs. That's not a breeding quality dog. It is out of the standard. By overall quality, that means if the dog is smaller than others or on the larger side of the standard, the size difference is to be ignored in favor of structure, coat, movement, etc.

The ideal weight depends on the size and bone structure of the dog. A heavy-boned 8 inch dog is going to weight more than one with fine bone structure. You should be able to feel the ribs easily and when the dog is wet it should have a waist. If you are unsure, ask your vet.
 
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