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I have purchased 2 dogs from 2 different show breeders 2 years ago.

They are both mentioned many times in this forum and I will not mention their names, but people keep talking about show breeders being better etc. I have paid significant amount of money to save myself from heartache of having my loved dog sick and also to keep myself from having to pay ridiculous vet bills, but now I am stuck with both.

1 of my dog I have purchased from a very recognized show breeder, she has a severe case of luxating patella. When I received her, ofcourse she came with a health guarentee and also an examination from the breeder's vet stating she is healthy. I didn't bother taking her for an examination when I received her because I trusted that their vet would be honest. After about a year, when I took her for some other issues, I have found that she had a severe case of luxating patella, when I called to ask for the breeder to pay for the cost of surgery, they told me to ship the dog back for a full refund instead. Ridiculousness. Her knees are so bad that I am so doubtful of her not having that as a puppy.

My boy dog whom I have also purchased from a very recognized breeder and is apparently came out of a dad who won 1st or 2nd prize in the United States, I have just recently spent 4000 dollars trying to find his issue, now the vet is asking me to pay another 2500 dollars to check on some hereditary brain issue he may have.

I am sick of seeing these show breeders preaching about how we need to purchase dogs from them and how responsible they are and they are striving to improve the quality of their dogs when really they are out there to breed and make money off of the dogs just like the puppy mill breeders.

Only thing I see different is that they charge a lot more for the dogs so they are able to care slightly better than the puppy mill people.
 

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I have purchased 2 dogs from 2 different show breeders 2 years ago.

They are both mentioned many times in this forum and I will not mention their names, but people keep talking about show breeders being better etc. I have paid significant amount of money to save myself from heartache of having my loved dog sick and also to keep myself from having to pay ridiculous vet bills, but now I am stuck with both.

1 of my dog I have purchased from a very recognized show breeder, she has a severe case of luxating patella. When I received her, ofcourse she came with a health guarentee and also an examination from the breeder's vet stating she is healthy. I didn't bother taking her for an examination when I received her because I trusted that their vet would be honest. After about a year, when I took her for some other issues, I have found that she had a severe case of luxating patella, when I called to ask for the breeder to pay for the cost of surgery, they told me to ship the dog back for a full refund instead. Ridiculousness. Her knees are so bad that I am so doubtful of her not having that as a puppy.

My boy dog whom I have also purchased from a very recognized breeder and is apparently came out of a dad who won 1st or 2nd prize in the United States, I have just recently spent 4000 dollars trying to find his issue, now the vet is asking me to pay another 2500 dollars to check on some hereditary brain issue he may have.

I am sick of seeing these show breeders preaching about how we need to purchase dogs from them and how responsible they are and they are striving to improve the quality of their dogs when really they are out there to breed and make money off of the dogs just like the puppy mill breeders.

Only thing I see different is that they charge a lot more for the dogs so they are able to care slightly better than the puppy mill people.

Wow! I can certainly feel your frustration. I am so sorry for the issues you are dealing with. It does sound like your little ones are facing some serious difficulties. Will say some prayers for these precious babies. :prayer:

I think there is a lot of generalization going on in your post though. You seem to have been generalizing when you bought your dogs that show dogs = ethical/responsible breeders and show breeders = healthy dogs. Now that you see those things are not true, you seem to be going to the other extreme and generalizing to say that all show breeders are = only slightly better than puppy mills. :blink:

The fact is that all of this is far too black and white. Some show breeders are extremely ethical and honest and the fact is that showing is ONE sign of dedication to breeding responsibly.

I do not know if there was any way for your breeder to know of the problem with your dogs knees if you acquired the dog as a puppy. Luxating pattellas are so common in the breed that I doubt any Maltese breeder who has been around for very long can claim to have not encountered them. Fortunately, in most cases they do not require surgery. Clearly, your dog has a level of severity that is a-typical. I do not know how old your dog with the LP was when you got her, but most cases of LP are not diagnosed in young puppies. I will say though that most breeders include in their health guarantee a window for you to have an evaluation done at your own vet. EVERYONE should take advantage of that, wether you trust the breeder or not. Ethical breeders want to know they have placed healthy puppies and if something was missed by their own vet, they want you and your vet to find it as soon as possible.

As for your boy's condition, it sounds as though it has not yet been determined what is wrong with him. He MAY have a genetic brain condition. But from what you describe your vet has not been able to figure out what that condition is yet, assuming that your breeder did not see a similar condition in the parents or the lines they breed, there is no way a breeder could see what your veterinarians have not been able to yet determine.

What matters in an ethical and responsible breeder is that they take responsibility for their dogs. They should be interested in learning as much as they can from you about what health issues you are encountering in your dogs. If genetic problems arise they take action to prevent other dogs from facing those consequences. They also should stand by their contract.

But responsible and ethical buyers should also read and understand that contract and understand what it can and does cover. They should take their puppy to be evaluated by a vet as soon as they come home. They should ask questions about the health history of the dogs in their pedigrees. They should report back to the breeder any health issues that arise to help ensure that the breeder is given the chance to take action.
 

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I am very sorry to hear of your dog's issues. My heart breaks for you. I hope that you get some clear answers on your little boys problems and that you make his breeder aware of it. Please keep us posted and let us know how everything works out for you.
 

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I am so sorry for your heartache and can understand your heavy heart and confusion. Bless your babies.

Here's the thing, at least to me, yes, I defenitely would want a pup from an ethical show breeder (or rescue), but we are talking about show breeders. As I wish my pup to be bred to the standard. Now for me, and just my personal advice to all, just becuase a name is so popular, or 85 people got a pup from this breeder or that breeder, is not enough to know or be comfortable, in feeling you are going in the right direction.

I am not influenced in any which way, by where someone got their babies from, I love them all.

But please, don't let you heartache, and I am sure shock, be a blanket that all show breeders have to wear. In my opinion, there are INCREDIBLE ethical show breeders out there, but homework has to be done. I completely understand how you would think you were going the right way, bless you, honestly, I am NOT faulting you at all.
Honest.

Just like in any group, there are those, who may hurt the groups reputation, but it shouldn't be worn, by all in that group. I hope that makes sense.

Believe me, my heart is with you, and you have shared a valuable experience. VALUABLE and one for all to take notice.

In my heart, I just know there are ethical, very ethical show breeders, but that is just based, on what I read from them, their words, not from those who may have a pup from them. Of course, meeting the breeders would be the next step.

I am so saddened by your experience, I understand, but please know, the whole group, should not have to wear that exeprience.

But I do understand and once again, a valuable lesson for all.

But if I didn't get another from a rescue, yup, I would want a pup or retiree, from a ethical show breeder, and they are out there. They shouldn't have to carry the "sins" of others. But my heart does understand where you are coming from.

Bless you and so sorry for your experience.

In any group, you will have differences.

I just wanted to add one more thought, when I say breed to standard, that also means health.

And love you to dear Allie :)
 

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I am so sorry for your heartache and can understand your heavy heart and confusion. Bless your babies.

Here's the thing, at least to me, yes, I defenitely would want a pup from an ethical show breeder (or rescue), but we are talking about show breeders. As I wish my pup to be bred to the standard. Now for me, and just my personal advice to all, just becuase a name is so popular, or 85 people got a pup from this breeder or that breeder, is not enough to know or be comfortable, in feeling you are going in the right direction.

I am not influenced in any which way, by where someone got their babies from, I love them all.

But please, don't let you heartache, and I am sure shock, be a blanket that all show breeders have to wear. In my opinion, there are INCREDIBLE ethical show breeders out there, but homework has to be done. I completely understand how you would think you were going the right way, bless you, honestly, I am NOT faulting you at all.
Honest.

Just like in any group, there are those, who may hurt the groups reputation, but it shouldn't be worn, by all in that group. I hope that makes sense.

Believe me, my heart is with you, and you have shared a valuable experience. VALUABLE and one for all to take notice.

In my heart, I just know there are ethical, very ethical show breeders, but that is just based, on what I read from them, their words, not from those who may have a pup from them. Of course, meeting the breeders would be the next step.

I am so saddened by your experience, I understand, but please know, the whole group, should not have to wear that exeprience.

But I do understand and once again, a valuable lesson for all.

But if I didn't get another from a rescue, yup, I would want a pup or retiree, from a ethical show breeder, and they are out there. They shouldn't have to carry the "sins" of others. But my heart does understand where you are coming from.

Bless you and so sorry for your experience.

In any group, you will have differences.
Now, that's an amazing person - a true animal lover. A kind soul. G-d bless you Christine!

If only the world could have more people like you - "oh what a world it would be . . ."

To the OP - I am sorry, so very sorry - to hear of your problems.
 

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I am so sorry to hear of all your problems. :( I hope the issues get sorted and your breeder helps you with this. I think buying from a show breeder is a bit like an insurance, because with genetic issues they will take the dog back.........but then again who would send a dog they love back? Quite the conundrum. Hopefully the breeder will help with the costs associated. I think a good breeder would.
 

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Carina the problem is that in this forum some people make prospective dog buyers believe that they can only get a healthy dog from a show breeder. That they may pay more for it but save later on on vet bills. No wonder if this does not happen that people are mad. I would be upset too. All we hear here is that show breeders are the only reputable ones because they breed to standard. Most people who ONLY want a pet don't care about the standard, what they want is a healthy dog. Show breeders breed for the look and the more we hear don't care about health. It should be stressed that there is no garanty of the health of a dog even from a show breeder. Of course then, people will start thinking and ask themselves why they should pay a show dog price for a pet. I can understand those high prices for a show dog that you will use to show but not for a pet.
 

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Show breeders breed for the look and the more we hear don't care about health.

OUCH! Health first, structure next, then look. My heads could use some improving but I've got mostly good liver values and great knees. And a couple of champions. How's that for honesty? :thumbsup:

And I've got 2 rescues, 12 and 13 yrs. old. Andy is as healthy as a horse (and about the size, too, but not overweight). Grace is blind now, she has glaucoma, but she bumps into stuff way less than I do.

I understand your point, Janine, but let's not paint with that really broad brush.
 

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I really don't think show breeders intended to create a genetic mess with their years of inbreeding and closed breed registries, but that's exactly what has been done. We now know that show dogs are at a very high risk of genetic diseases/disorders because of population bottlenecks due to inbreeding, linebreeding, overuse of popular sires, etc.

It is not fair to say you're going to get a healthier dog from a show breeder, so it really bothers me also when members of this forum give the impression these puppies are going to be healthier. We all know that puppymill puppies aren't a good option, so let's not go there.

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Read "A New Direction for Kennel Club Regulations and Breed Standards" in the Canadian Veterinary Journal. This report starts out like this:

More than 500 genetic defects exist in today’s purebred dogs (1). Inherited diseases such as hip dysplasia, brachycephalic airway syndrome, cardiomyopathies, endocrine dysfunctions, blood disorders, and hundreds more, affect the quality of life and longevity of these dogs. Over 400 breeds currently exist, but they are artificial constructs of human fancy, instead of the evolutionary outcome of natural selection (2,3). The wide array of genetic diseases found in purebred dogs reflects their unnatural development, by kennel club associations and breeders who are largely responsible for this welfare predicament (2,46).


A new direction for kennel club regulations and breed standards


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Read Bateson's "Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding". This is a report which was done after "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" aired in the UK. You don't have to get past page three to find info. such as the following:


The genetics of inbreeding are reviewed. Animals that are inbred are less likely than optimally outbred animals to survive and less likely to reproduce. Inbreeding can result in reduced fertility both in litter size and sperm viability, developmental disruption, lower birth rate, higher infant mortality, shorter life span, reduction of immune system function, and increased frequency of genetic disorders.



http://breedinginquiry.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/final-dog-inquiry-120110.pdf


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Read "The Downside of Inbreeding - It's Time for a New Approach" which includes the following two paragraphs:

In recent years, purebred dogs have experienced increasing problems with hereditary diseases and defects. The causes are complex, including genetic load, the presence of lethal equivalents in all individuals, genetic bottlenecks, closed gene pools, gene pool fragmentation, and genetic drift, but all are attributable to inbreeding.

Thanks to closed registries, breeds form exclusive gene pools. All gene pools, no matter how large or diverse, will have a genetic load - the difference between the fittest possible genotype and the average fitness of the population. "Fitness" is the individual's over-all health, vigor and ability. It may or may not directly relate to traits breeders select for. (The English Bulldog, for instance, has an "ideal" physical form which virtually precludes females from being able to naturally whelp their young.) The greater the genetic load, the more genetic difficulties members of a breed are likely to suffer. In a closed gene pool, the situation may remain stable or deteriorate. It cannot get better.

Downside to Inbreeding - World Wide Swedish Vallhund Alliance


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Watch "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" online.

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I've printed a stack of research papers on canine genetics that's two inches thick. They all say basically the same thing.

It is my understanding that even some dog insurance companies are now saying that mixed breeds live longer than purebreds.
 

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I am sorry for your troubles.

I bought a my Malt from an ethical show breeder because I wanted to be sure that I had a purebred Maltese. Not for snob appeal, but because I studied the breed and wanted one that fit the breed standard and general temperament. I also wanted a puppy that would be properly socialized before it came to me.

Yes, I also wanted a puppy that was healthy, but honestly, after being on this forum for a while before I got Nikki, and studying health problems in dogs on my own, I realized that there was no way to predict perfect health.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that when you bring a dog into your home - no matter where you get it from, or how much you pay for it, that it will be free of health problems. That is a sad fact. I do believe that your chances are better with an ethical show breeder who is very careful, but still, the simple fact is that there are no guarantees.
 

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A guarantee isn't for the purpose of stating no problems but rather if there are the breeder will help or take back the dog. Because breeders (show) feel they are breeding as healthy a dog as they can they can do this.
Sometimes there are problems that manifest, but hopefully this isn't the norm for a breeder.
Luxating patellas is so prevalent in toy dogs now that no breeder that I know of covers that. One of the problems is it usually cannot be diagnosed in young pups. By the time it shows up the pup is ingrained in the family and the owner(s) do not want to part with him/her. The only way around it is to buy an older dog or retiree.
 

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Not all show breeders are ethical breeders. I know plenty of Yorkie show breeders that I would NEVER buy a dog from. Showing/breeding for show is ONE requirement for a breeder I buy from...it's a starting point for me in my search. I want a breeder who attempts to breed excellent examples of the breed in conformation, temperment AND health.

Unfortunately, there is no DNA test right now that will reveal whether or not a dog will pass on things like liver shunt, heart issues, etc. Breeders have to rely on the tests they do have and the health history of the dogs in their lines. A good breeder does all they can to make sure they produce healthy puppies. However, breeders aren't God and even the best breeders can have a health issue arise. What proves to me if they are ethical or not is how they handle it...and I'm sure we each have our own opinions on how these situations should be handled. If they continue to knowingly breed health issues, then they are not an ethical breeder in my opinion... Yes, there are show breeders that will continue to breed unhealthy dogs but just because they show doesn't automatically make them ethical.

I personally do not agree with health guarantees making you return the dog for a replacement. That is a huge loophole because the breeder knows that almost no one is going to return a dog they've fallen in love with and therefor the breeder won't have to take any responsibility. This kind of guarantee just isn't much of a guarantee in my opinion. However, there are breeders that have guarantees written this way but will let the owner keep their dog and make amends.

The Yorkie breeder I plan to buy from in the future has a 5 year health guarantee and does NOT have this loophole written in her guarantee. In the event of a life threatening hereditary issue, the breeder will give a replacement puppy (and the owner keeps the original dog) or the breeder will refund the price of the sick dog. Of course the breeder is always willing to take back the dog, but the owner has the option of keeping it. She is confident in the health of her dogs...however, if a health issue did happen, I know she'd do what she could to make it right. That's an ethical breeder
 

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I am sorry for your troubles.

I bought a my Malt from an ethical show breeder because I wanted to be sure that I had a purebred Maltese. Not for snob appeal, but because I studied the breed and wanted one that fit the breed standard and general temperament. I also wanted a puppy that would be properly socialized before it came to me.

Yes, I also wanted a puppy that was healthy, but honestly, after being on this forum for a while before I got Nikki, and studying health problems in dogs on my own, I realized that there was no way to predict perfect health.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that when you bring a dog into your home - no matter where you get it from, or how much you pay for it, that it will be free of health problems. That is a sad fact. I do believe that your chances are better with an ethical show breeder who is very careful, but still, the simple fact is that there are no guarantees.
:goodpost:
 

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Carina the problem is that in this forum some people make prospective dog buyers believe that they can only get a healthy dog from a show breeder. That they may pay more for it but save later on on vet bills. No wonder if this does not happen that people are mad. I would be upset too. All we hear here is that show breeders are the only reputable ones because they breed to standard. Most people who ONLY want a pet don't care about the standard, what they want is a healthy dog. Show breeders breed for the look and the more we hear don't care about health. It should be stressed that there is no garanty of the health of a dog even from a show breeder. Of course then, people will start thinking and ask themselves why they should pay a show dog price for a pet. I can understand those high prices for a show dog that you will use to show but not for a pet.
Janine,

I agree with a lot of what you have to say here. This forum tends to oversimplify the issue sometimes. In a quest to help people understand the problems in buying from puppymills and BYBs, it has been overstated that show breeders = ethical breeders = healthy dogs. It is way too frequently overstated that money spent now will save you money later. I have myself tried to temper this many times. I have specifically argued that the money/health point tends to make people unreasonably afraid of rescue dogs. I have asked people to look beyond the basics, beyond the cute photos of puppies and beyond the "reputation" of any breeder to look closer at the ethics. So on all of this we can agree.

However, on some other points I have to disagree. Like I said to the OP, it is overgeneralizing in the extreme to suggest that show breeders only care about the looks and not the health. That MAY be true of some, but it is FAR too broad a statement.

Most of the show breeders I know place health and temperament as high priorities. They want to produce healthy, sound and loving Maltese. Besides the fact that most of these show breeders got involved in this "hobby" because they LOVE their dogs and this breed just like we do here on this forum, the dogs they sell reflect on them for years to come, which is very much unlike the puppy mill breeders who do not worry about the dogs after they go off to the stores or the brokers.

I would also disagree that most people do not care about the standard. It is true that most people do not read or understand the standard. But in fact when they call up and ask for a dog and when they buy a Maltese, they do usually hope it looks like a Maltese. They want it to be the size of a Maltese. They want it to have the silk coat of a Maltese. They want it to have the black pigment of a Maltese. It is my hope that they have their priorities in order and put health and temperament above a perfect bite, or a perfect tailset. Not all puppy buyers actually do. Most breeders will be more concerned about health and temperament than they are about the perfect bite or perfect tailset as well. But breeders are just like us. A few are just like those puppy buyers who do not always have their priorities in order.

It frustrates me when people try to save money by going to breeders who do not show. It is a false economy because show breeders do have an investment in their lines and their dogs. It is not a guarantee of good health, but it is a price based on the investment they have put into their dogs.

To me it comes down to the goals of a breeder. Mills and BYBs almost always see the dogs in terms of dollar signs or a chance to have "fun" with puppies. The ethical show breeders get involved in the sport because they love the breed and they care about the continuity and health for generations to come.


Not all show breeders are ethical breeders. I know plenty of Yorkie show breeders that I would NEVER buy a dog from. Showing/breeding for show is ONE requirement for a breeder I buy from...it's a starting point for me in my search. I want a breeder who attempts to breed excellent examples of the breed in conformation, temperment AND health.

Unfortunately, there is no DNA test right now that will reveal whether or not a dog will pass on things like liver shunt, heart issues, etc. Breeders have to rely on the tests they do have and the health history of the dogs in their lines. A good breeder does all they can to make sure they produce healthy puppies. However, breeders aren't God and even the best breeders can have a health issue arise. What proves to me if they are ethical or not is how they handle it...and I'm sure we each have our own opinions on how these situations should be handled. If they continue to knowingly breed health issues, then they are not an ethical breeder in my opinion... Yes, there are show breeders that will continue to breed unhealthy dogs but just because they show doesn't automatically make them ethical.

I personally do not agree with health guarantees making you return the dog for a replacement. That is a huge loophole because the breeder knows that almost no one is going to return a dog they've fallen in love with and therefor the breeder won't have to take any responsibility. This kind of guarantee just isn't much of a guarantee in my opinion. However, there are breeders that have guarantees written this way but will let the owner keep their dog and make amends.

The Yorkie breeder I plan to buy from in the future has a 5 year health guarantee and does NOT have this loophole written in her guarantee. In the event of a life threatening hereditary issue, the breeder will give a replacement puppy (and the owner keeps the original dog) or the breeder will refund the price of the sick dog. Of course the breeder is always willing to take back the dog, but the owner has the option of keeping it. She is confident in the health of her dogs...however, if a health issue did happen, I know she'd do what she could to make it right. That's an ethical breeder
:goodpost:
 

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Ok- let me first say i understand your anger and frustration with the medical problems you are having with your dogs, BUT I looked back at your earlier posts and you mention where you got your male dog from. You were ecstatic with your breeder at that point and couldn't have praised her more. You said how she had prepared him, how good his temperment was,how it was obvious she loved her dogs, etc. Now you have turned on her because your dog MAY have an obscure brain disease. I don't think that is very fair to her. I doubt very much she could have known about this. According to the weights you posted- he is also a very tiny boy- weighing under 4 pounds. Some very tiny dogs are prone to more health issues. And your female dog's luxatting patellas are another issue. As others have mentioned they are so prevalent in this and many other toy breeds that breeders do not offer guarantees against this. Also, the dog's knees can be injured and it can occur NOT as a genetic defect. OK- so it looks like I am defending the breeders here, but there is also another side.

One of my other dogs is a havanese. What a difference in maltese show breeders and havanese show breeders!!! (No offense to the show breeders on this site) It was a shock to me when buying my maltese that the breeders I talked with did little to no health testing. The good Havanese breeders have the breeding adults tested for eyes, baer hearing, cardiac, hips, liver values, etc BEFORE they breed their dogs (this means the dog must be at least 2 years old before some of these tests can be performed. The dogs continue to have some of these tests yearly. Some breeders require the puppy buyer to also have some of these tests done- not because they are going to show the dog, but so they know if their are any genetic issues popping up in the line. Now THAT is ethical breeding!! The Havanese breeders are trying very hard to breed genetic problems out of the lines!! Unless some maltese breeders start making this the norm- the breed will continue to have the same genetic defects. Oh, and even with all these expensive tests- havanese show dogs are still less expensive than maltese pups!!
 

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Ok- let me first say i understand your anger and frustration with the medical problems you are having with your dogs, BUT I looked back at your earlier posts and you mention where you got your male dog from. You were ecstatic with your breeder at that point and couldn't have praised her more. You said how she had prepared him, how good his temperment was,how it was obvious she loved her dogs, etc. Now you have turned on her because your dog MAY have an obscure brain disease. I don't think that is very fair to her. I doubt very much she could have known about this. According to the weights you posted- he is also a very tiny boy- weighing under 4 pounds. Some very tiny dogs are prone to more health issues. And your female dog's luxatting patellas are another issue. As others have mentioned they are so prevalent in this and many other toy breeds that breeders do not offer guarantees against this. Also, the dog's knees can be injured and it can occur NOT as a genetic defect. OK- so it looks like I am defending the breeders here, but there is also another side.

One of my other dogs is a havanese. What a difference in maltese show breeders and havanese show breeders!!! (No offense to the show breeders on this site) It was a shock to me when buying my maltese that the breeders I talked with did little to no health testing. The good Havanese breeders have the breeding adults tested for eyes, baer hearing, cardiac, hips, liver values, etc BEFORE they breed their dogs (this means the dog must be at least 2 years old before some of these tests can be performed. The dogs continue to have some of these tests yearly. Some breeders require the puppy buyer to also have some of these tests done- not because they are going to show the dog, but so they know if their are any genetic issues popping up in the line. Now THAT is ethical breeding!! The Havanese breeders are trying very hard to breed genetic problems out of the lines!! Unless some maltese breeders start making this the norm- the breed will continue to have the same genetic defects. Oh, and even with all these expensive tests- havanese show dogs are still less expensive than maltese pups!!
Is that because havanese are more prone to those issues?

I know a breeder who breeds maltese and another breed - she gets the other breed tested for problems but not the maltese - because the other breed are way more prone to health problems.
 

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Wow! I can certainly feel your frustration. I am so sorry for the issues you are dealing with. It does sound like your little ones are facing some serious difficulties. Will say some prayers for these precious babies. :prayer:

I think there is a lot of generalization going on in your post though. You seem to have been generalizing when you bought your dogs that show dogs = ethical/responsible breeders and show breeders = healthy dogs. Now that you see those things are not true, you seem to be going to the other extreme and generalizing to say that all show breeders are = only slightly better than puppy mills. :blink:

The fact is that all of this is far too black and white. Some show breeders are extremely ethical and honest and the fact is that showing is ONE sign of dedication to breeding responsibly.

I do not know if there was any way for your breeder to know of the problem with your dogs knees if you acquired the dog as a puppy. Luxating pattellas are so common in the breed that I doubt any Maltese breeder who has been around for very long can claim to have not encountered them. Fortunately, in most cases they do not require surgery. Clearly, your dog has a level of severity that is a-typical. I do not know how old your dog with the LP was when you got her, but most cases of LP are not diagnosed in young puppies. I will say though that most breeders include in their health guarantee a window for you to have an evaluation done at your own vet. EVERYONE should take advantage of that, wether you trust the breeder or not. Ethical breeders want to know they have placed healthy puppies and if something was missed by their own vet, they want you and your vet to find it as soon as possible.

As for your boy's condition, it sounds as though it has not yet been determined what is wrong with him. He MAY have a genetic brain condition. But from what you describe your vet has not been able to figure out what that condition is yet, assuming that your breeder did not see a similar condition in the parents or the lines they breed, there is no way a breeder could see what your veterinarians have not been able to yet determine.

What matters in an ethical and responsible breeder is that they take responsibility for their dogs. They should be interested in learning as much as they can from you about what health issues you are encountering in your dogs. If genetic problems arise they take action to prevent other dogs from facing those consequences. They also should stand by their contract.

But responsible and ethical buyers should also read and understand that contract and understand what it can and does cover. They should take their puppy to be evaluated by a vet as soon as they come home. They should ask questions about the health history of the dogs in their pedigrees. They should report back to the breeder any health issues that arise to help ensure that the breeder is given the chance to take action.
:goodpost: My breeder would not honor her contract unless the buyer took the dog for a vet exam within the time specified. A good contract protects the dog, the buyer, and the breeder.
 

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I am sorry for your troubles.

I bought a my Malt from an ethical show breeder because I wanted to be sure that I had a purebred Maltese. Not for snob appeal, but because I studied the breed and wanted one that fit the breed standard and general temperament. I also wanted a puppy that would be properly socialized before it came to me.

Yes, I also wanted a puppy that was healthy, but honestly, after being on this forum for a while before I got Nikki, and studying health problems in dogs on my own, I realized that there was no way to predict perfect health.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that when you bring a dog into your home - no matter where you get it from, or how much you pay for it, that it will be free of health problems. That is a sad fact. I do believe that your chances are better with an ethical show breeder who is very careful, but still, the simple fact is that there are no guarantees.
:goodpost: You are right, Suzan. There are no guarantees. I will say that because an ethical show breeder is working hard to improve the breed, this includes working to produce healthy animals, so I feel that getting a pup from someone like this increases the likelihood of a healthy animal but things can still go wrong.
 

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Is that because havanese are more prone to those issues?

I know a breeder who breeds maltese and another breed - she gets the other breed tested for problems but not the maltese - because the other breed are way more prone to health problems.
No- I have heard of much less medical issues with Havanese than maltese and most other toy breeds. But with Havanese becoming more popular- they are trying to keep it that way!!
 
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