I recently purchased a Maltese from a local breeder that was referred to me by a person who worked at a vet's office. His hair was very thin and his ears were erect, but the breeder said it was because he was the "runt" of a litter of 5 and that it would change as he gets older. I've now had him for 5 weeks and he is the sweetest puppy, but I have serious doubts about him being a pure Maltese. At 14 weeks, his ears are going partially down and he has a beige stripe on his back and the hair on his tail and legs is like that of a chihuahua (straight). I had some reservations when I went to pick him up, but I totally allowed my emotions get in the way. The registry papers say Maltese, but they are not AKC. I love my Jas regardless, but I now know to look for a more reputable breeder. Is there any way to tell if he is really a Maltese that was breed poorly? Just curious.