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Here's a good article from Bhe Jei Maltese about tear staining:

I'm not so sure there is such a thing as a the pure white doggie you describe! The degree of staining depends a lot on genetics (another reason to get your puppy from a good breeder), but even with great genes, preventing (or at least keeping it under control) tear staining requires daily work.

The staining around the mouth can even be from minerals in the water. I have a wonderful ceramic "water hole" bowl that keeps the beard dry that I use in the winter when I let Lady's coat get a bit longer.

As you get to know those of here at SM, you will see pictures of our Maltese and realize that most of them don't have perfectly white faces. You will also read many, many posts about tips for staining, daily care, etc. It is just part of having a Maltese!
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