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A question for experienced owners:

I mentioned in another thread that we are (hopefully) getting a 2 year old girl from a breeder frequently mentioned here next week. (I say *hopefully* because I have learned the hard way to not count my chickens before they hatch!)

So, I'm curious what exactly to expect with a 2 year old. Per the breeder, she has been handled and should be fine with my children (2.5 and 5). I've also got that she was spayed, never bred, is used to sleeping in a crate alone at night and is house and potty trained (not sure the difference), but other than that, I don't know exactly what to expect.

I tried to get more info on her background- ie parents (was told her father but breeder couldn't recall or didn't say the mother), siblings (she couldn't specifically but said probably), why she wasn't shown, etc.

My husband wanted to take a look at the vet records (via fax or email), but we won't be able to see those until late next week because they are all at the vet and she won't be able to get them until next Friday (the dog has an appt that day).

I did see some pics (what a cutie!) but was told they are from a few months ago - and the breeder didn't answer my question as to whether that is still what her coat looks like or if she has been cut down. Cut down is fine - but I don't want to show the girls a picture of cute cuddly ball of fluff if that's not how she is going to come home to us.

In all fairness, the breeder did say she was busy this week, but I was just hoping to get a little more "support" as to the dog's personality, etc. She did say she was "playful but not hyperactive", but I really want this to be a smooth transition and was hoping to have more info to go on!

So.... any tips from the experienced folks out here how to best adjust this new little girl to our household???
 

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A question for experienced owners:

I mentioned in another thread that we are (hopefully) getting a 2 year old girl from a breeder frequently mentioned here next week. (I say *hopefully* because I have learned the hard way to not count my chickens before they hatch!)

So, I'm curious what exactly to expect with a 2 year old. Per the breeder, she has been handled and should be fine with my children (2.5 and 5). I've also got that she was spayed, never bred, is used to sleeping in a crate alone at night and is house and potty trained (not sure the difference), but other than that, I don't know exactly what to expect.

I tried to get more info on her background- ie parents (was told her father but breeder couldn't recall or didn't say the mother), siblings (she couldn't specifically but said probably), why she wasn't shown, etc.

My husband wanted to take a look at the vet records (via fax or email), but we won't be able to see those until late next week because they are all at the vet and she won't be able to get them until next Friday (the dog has an appt that day).

I did see some pics (what a cutie!) but was told they are from a few months ago - and the breeder didn't answer my question as to whether that is still what her coat looks like or if she has been cut down. Cut down is fine - but I don't want to show the girls a picture of cute cuddly ball of fluff if that's not how she is going to come home to us.

In all fairness, the breeder did say she was busy this week, but I was just hoping to get a little more "support" as to the dog's personality, etc. She did say she was "playful but not hyperactive", but I really want this to be a smooth transition and was hoping to have more info to go on!

So.... any tips from the experienced folks out here how to best adjust this new little girl to our household???
This all sounds very curious to me. I don't understand. Why does the breeder, whom you say has been mentioned here numerous times (makes me wonder who it is), have a 2 year old female who has never been bred? Why doesn't she have vet records on this dog? I'm not a breeder, and I have my dogs' records. Why can't she/he tell you more about the background? I'm not a breeder, and I can tell you the background on my dogs. I am sorry, but none of this makes sense to me. Maybe before you take this 2 year old, you might want to find out a bit more about her. Just my humble opinion...
 

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Being vague about a dog someone is going to adopt isn't a good idea. How do you know the dog will be a good fit if open communication is not kept?
If this person is a breeder and registers litters with AKC, they have to have all their records available in case an AKC inspector shows up at your door. Even if the girl has never been bred or has had puppies, a record of how she was acquired and what her parantage is must be readily available. I am not good at getting photo's to people in a timely manner so I can't say anything there, but it is nice to have an actual idea of what she will look like now. Just so your kids will know what she is going to look like when she comes to you.
When Carmen went home on Sunday, I had Sonia go over her whole body with me so she knew what was normal for Carmen. Example: her teeth, inside her ears, her feet and toe nails, eyes and how to treat her tearstaining. I have her contact information and she has mine. She was given information on how to get her microchip into her name. She was given her vaccine records and we went over when the next time vaccinations were needed, how to not get over whelmed by her vet and needing vaccinations. I gave her handouts on how to care for Carmen's coat. Handouts on how to retrain an older dog for housebreaking. And encouraged that at any time she felt she could not care for Carmen to let me know and I will come get her. So, far she is doing well with them.
Don't be afraid or intimindated into not asking questions. You don't know unless you ask. I know Carmen and what she is like. If Sonia has questions I encouraged her to call. Any time. I want Carmen happy.
I do have girls who have not been bred and I may place them. After watching them grow up and getting into their own personalities they may or may not be good moms. I am always evaluating them to decide which male would be best for them and other breeder questions I have about them.
I hope all goes well with your adoption.
 

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I'm not an expert like some of these ladies but the story rubs me wrong as well, I'd hate to have a breeder who was that vague with me about a 2 year old pup. I'd wait to bring her home until you get your very reasonable questions answered to your satisfaction.
 

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Not only should she be answering all your questions, she should also be asking you lots of questions to make sure your family is the right one for this Maltese. This is especially so since your children are so young. Most reputable Maltese breeders won't adopt to families with a two year old. If she has decided to make an exception in your case, I hope she did it after asking a lot of questions, checking vet references, etc.

We have had several instances here on SM where adopting an adult from a show breeder did not work out or was a less than ideal experience for our members. In every case, it was because the new owners felt that they were not given enough information about the current physical condition of the dog and weren't properly prepared for certain behaviors like a relapse in housetraining.

Your breeder may just be busy this week as she says. I would make sure your questions are answered and you get a current picture even if you have to postpone the dog's arrival. You don't want to take a chance that this may not be the right dog for your family and risk breaking your little girls' hearts.
 

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Perhaps the breeder is vague because he/she doesn't want to let the dog go to a home where there's a toddler. Sometimes they don't want to hurt a prospective buyer's feelings by refusing. If the dog is too small for breeding it is most likely too small to be around young children. Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks everyone! On Tuesday, I will try to get some better answers and if I can't get the answers we need, I think we'll respectfully decline.

I don't believe my children were the reason she was being vauge because I was upfront about the kids from the getgo. (Hi, I'm looking for a Maltese to add to our family. We have 2 girls who are 5 and 2.5). I've also asked more than one time if this dog would be a good fit with my family (and was told she'd be fine), which would have been a perfect opportunity for her to voice any concerns over the situation. I don't specifically remember what she asked me and what I just volunteered, but I'm sure I explained that my mom (who lives less than 3 miles away) has a 5-6 pound yorkie who the girls see almost daily and have grown up with. So, perhaps that allieviated any concerns that she had. I know I also told her that we may or may not be done having children - and asked how she felt the dog would adjust if down the road that were to occur. I completely respect a breeders choice to not adopt out to families with small children- their dogs, their choice, (I don't necessarily agree with blanket decisions like that, but I do believe it is their perrogative to choose) but I would hope that isn't the case here since we have set a pick-up day and all!

ETA: I don't believe whe wasn't bred because she was too small - she is between 5.5 and 6.5 pounds. I *think* she was kept because she was held for show, but I haven't been told yet what about her made her not a good candidate to show. (Asking twice I was just told, "you can't show them all", but now I'm thinking there had to have been a specific reason she wasn't chosen. For example, was it a minor cosmetic issue or a temperment issue). If it is a "cosmetic" flaw, we certainly don't care. We aren't perfect and we wouldn't expect our pet to be either. Temperment I'd be a bit more concerned about....
 

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Hopefully you'll get the answers you need this week. These dogs aren't cheap and we need to try to make sure we're making an informed decision. Current pictures should be atomatic....in my opinion. Like Brit said, maybe she was really busy this week. Good luck.
 

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I agree w/ the expert opinions here.

Are you a stay at home mom? I'm assuming yes. I was when I got Ollie and my girls were 4 & 7. The woman we got him from initially told us she did not give pups to families with kids under 9-ish. Anyway, you said that doesn't sound like a factor. Just from a mom w/ young kids perspective--you will be helluva busy on top of already being busy :) And if you're working, I'd highly discourage it.

If there's something in your gut that is not 100% confident about this--and there since you said so yourself, don't go forward until you're there. Good luck!
 

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I agree w/ the expert opinions here.

Are you a stay at home mom? I'm assuming yes. I was when I got Ollie and my girls were 4 & 7. The woman we got him from initially told us she did not give pups to families with kids under 9-ish. Anyway, you said that doesn't sound like a factor. Just from a mom w/ young kids perspective--you will be helluva busy on top of already being busy :) And if you're working, I'd highly discourage it.

If there's something in your gut that is not 100% confident about this--and there since you said so yourself, don't go forward until you're there. Good luck!
:thumbsup: A few of us expressed our concerns about the age of the OP's children in her other thread. We pointed out that she will not ever be able to leave children that age alone with a Maltese unsupervised.

I have grandchildren the OP's age and it is exhausting trying to keep almost eight pound Lady safe when they visit. My grandchildren have both cats and dogs at home and are very well behaved around pets. Children are unpredictable, though. I have to either keep Lady on my lap, in her playpen, put an xpen around her bed while she is sleeping, or even put her in her stroller to keep her from being stepped on, etc.

My vet told us when we were ready for our first dog when my kids were 3 and 6 that "the smaller the children, the bigger the dog". We adopted Petie, a Golden Retriever mix from the SPCA. We couldn't have asked for a better family dog. My kids loved playing with him and he adored them.

I am a big believer in choosing a pet that is right for your family based on children's ages, lifestyle, etc. rather than the looks of a certain breed.
 

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Perhaps the breeder is vague because he/she doesn't want to let the dog go to a home where there's a toddler. Sometimes they don't want to hurt a prospective buyer's feelings by refusing. If the dog is too small for breeding it is most likely too small to be around young children. Just my two cents.
I do not sell to people that have small children only because I have heard too many story's of pups being droped or fallen on and leg's breaking and such. it is not the child's fault, they want to play with the new pup. I always recommend a Sheltie to these people, as they are just the right size for children. I only breed twice a year so have a waiting list that make's it easyer to place pup's that I don't keep to show.
Char
 

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Although this sounds somewhat strange, I also want to caution that it might not be a reason to be alarmed.

Having been a breeder and worked with many other breeder friends, I must say that many are not the most organized when it comes to the fluffs. Especially if they've been breeding and showing for many years.

Many might not remember (off the top of their head) who the dam and sire of a 2 year old are. There are times when a potential pet buyer might call to inquire about availability, and after visiting with him/her, a particular dog that I was holding to show or for breeding might pop into my head as a perfect pet for this buyer. I might only make the decision on the phone call to place this particular dog with this particular buyer as a pet and to no longer keep her. In other words, not actively trying to sell this dog.

If the breeder is busy, she may not have had time to go through her paperwork to get the requested information. Also, when I was breeding and had a number of dogs, I did just let my Vet retain their health records. With the "Pets", now I keep a 3 ring binder with all of their records, but with the amount of records a breeder must have on file for each of their dogs (including dogs they have sold or placed), having the health records at the vets is sometimes easier.

Also, many breeders don't worry about providing pedigree details to pet buyers, as they usually have no meaning to the buyer. We think, "they are getting a quality dog from us" and don't think about providing much detail over the phone. We might share that the sire or dam was a champion and not much else.

Now when the buyer comes to pick up the dog, that's a totally different story. All of the paperwork (health records, contracts, pedigrees, pictures of dog's relatives, etc.) are in order and thoroughly addressed with the buyer.

Also, everything that Tina said in her post is done, where we go over the fluff thoroughly.

Many breeders keep their show dogs' coats in oil which doesn't look very good in a photo. I might not want to take the dog out of oil until I'm certain that the buyers are taking the dog, as taking them out of oil could damage a show coat. If, for example, I had not planned selling this dog, except that this great family came along, and I made a decision to let her go, but only to this buyer, I would want the coat to remain in show condition in case the buyer backed out of the deal. This would include keeping the coat in oil. I would clip the dog into a short cut before the buyers picked her up, but only after I was certain that the purchase was finalized. Or I might leave her in long coat and bath her out of oil only on the day the buyer was picking her up. If the buyer decides not to purchase the dog, I would want the dog in show coat.

And I would believe that this particular dog is show quality with a great temperment, but that the breeder just has other dogs in the ring who the breeder wants to finish, obtain championship title, prior to begin showing this dog.

Although as a pet buyer, I completely understand your concerns. Looking at it through a breeders eyes, I believe there's probably nothing to be concerned about.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Lacie's Mom - Thanks for the information - it's is helpful to hear from the perspective of the breeder. For now, I am going to assume it is just circumstantial and only be concerned if I can't get better info on Tuesday.

To those who have (more than once) expressed concern about my children. I realize you don't know me - but I can assure you (though, I probably shouldn't have to) that I *do* realize that there will be a signficant amount of work involved and would *not* take this on if I didn't think it was right for my family. Every family and every child is different. As a mom, I know my kids - I know my kids know and follow the rules with grandma's dog. I will not be "teaching" them new rules, just a continuation of the rules that they have had as long as they can remember. Could an accident happen - yes, of course. But an accident could happen to ANYONE's dog here. I guess I don't understand.... these dogs tend to live for 13-15+ years.

For most people, young children are going to come into their lives duing a 13-15 year period. If a young, professional couple gets a malt, chances are they will have children at some point during the dog's life (and further, the dog will be used to life with no children first).

If an empty-nester gets a malt, likely there will be grandchildren to contend with (and if they aren't lucky enough to live just a few mintues away - like my girls to my parents - occassional young visitors who aren't used to the rules are likely to be more dangerous to the pup than children who are trained/reinfornced regularly how to behave.)

Then there is the question of an elderly person adopting. When the sad inevitable happens and the owner passes on, what happens to the pup then? That can't be ideal circumstances either.

I understand that those who post these "warnings" are thinking in the best interests of the dog. However, the sense of hostility in some really isn't necessary. My family is most comfortable around small dogs, that's all they've ever known, plain and simple. We currently live in a townhouse and I have health problems that would preclude me from walking a larger dog regularly during the colder months.

I have come here for some support and guidance from experienced Maltese owners and really appreciate all the help and support I've got. I even appreciate the words of caution I have been given. However, ultimately, I will make the decison that is best for me and my family.

Again, I really, really appreciate the help and advise from everyone who has been supportive. It *is* a big decision and we *do* want to have everything go as smooth as possible. But, I really dont' appreciate (repeat) assumptions about what my family can and cannot handle from folks that have never met us.

ETA: I did want to mention that I stay home with the girls and I don't intend to sound hostile or agressive. I really do appreciate those who have shared their personal experiences with children and who have given me "things to think about", and even shared cautionary tales, just please trust that, though we may not all be experienced Malt owners, we are all good people who are ultimately capable of making the best decisions for our family. I'd love if (if this adoption works out) to be able to come here for guidance and support - but if all my questions are going to be answered by some with "People with young children shouldn't get Maltese", then unfortunately, I'll just have to find my help somewhere else. I really, really understand the need for people to caution once, but beyond that, it's a little insulting.
 

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I don't understand why you don't see our concerns about children and small dogs as help. Oh well.
Good luck to you and to the pup.
 

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I don't understand why you don't see our concerns about children and small dogs as help. Oh well.
Good luck to you and to the pup.
I agree. When you ask on a public forum what to expect when adopting a Maltese, you will get a a variety of answers. Not all will be "supportive", but I don't think the ones that cautioned were "hostile".

Since most breeders will not place a Maltese in a family with young children like yours, we would be negligent not to point this out. I think those of us who addressed this issue thought we were helping by explaining that one of the things you can "expect" is to have to supervise your children whenever they are with a Maltese.
 

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I have 6 grandkids oldest 18 youngest 8, I have had to be on top of things when they come to visit, they all know the rules here, but kids will be kids they still play to hard with Matilda, they still try and pick her up when I'm not looking, it only takes a moment to have something go wrong. I had 4 kids and they were raised with cockapoo's (weight 20lbs +) I never worried about the kids accidently hurting them.
I agree with you on elderly people getting dogs especially puppy's and not thinking about what might happen to the poor dog when they pass away, my B&B was one of those dogs. The daughter was suppose to care for her, but the daughter was just to busy:angry: B&B was given to a family who just couldn't deal with her because she snagged their drapes:angry: we were ask by our groomer if we would like another maltese, of course we took her, she was 10 years old many would have turned their back on her. We are blessed to have her and she is dearly loved and spoiled.
In your case I really wish you would maybe consider a bigger dog for your kids, when they are older then get a smaller dog. Don't be upset with us, I for one don't want to insult you, you ask for our advice.
 

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I agree with the those who have expressed concern about potential accidents, I agree with Lynn about why a breeder may not have the requested info at his/her fingertips, and I really really agree with the OP about every family being different.

I've been involved in Maltese rescue for years. In my experience, the two top reasons for a Maltese being surrendered are (1) failure to housetrain; and (2) nipping/biting a child. For the most part these issues are due to lack of supervision and training, not due to Maltese being untrainable and/or intolerant of young children. Because we don't ever know the truth about the dog's prior life, as a general rule we do not place our rescue dogs in homes with children under the age of 10 ... it's a liability issue as much as a safety issue.

Does that mean that as a breeder I would not place a puppy in a home with children under the age of 10? No ... and I am not alone. I'm not sure where the data comes from that the conclusion is drawn that most breeders will not place puppies in a home with children. The breeders who I know well do not have a hard and fast "age rule". As breeders we cannot control the lives of everyone we place dogs or puppies with ... only God can. There are many young men and women on this forum who have recently become new puppy owners. Some of them may someday have children. Should they not have been sold a puppy? There are many retirees on this forum who have gotten puppies. Should they not have been sold a puppy because they might be getting too old? There are many who have teenage children who have gotten a puppy. Should they not have been sold a puppy because it might bond to the kids who will be leaving for college in the next few years? There are many 40-something professionals who work outside of the home all day. Should they not have been sold a puppy because it might be without its owner's companionship for several hours a day? If we start making across the board rules then we are never going to find a suitable home for deserving puppies. I don't place puppies long distance because I want to meet and get to know the new owners and their living situation and, as importantly to me, I want to be close enough to lend support or be close enough to take a dog or puppy back if the need arises. For me, placing a puppy has to satisfy my individual comfort zone and I base my decision for each individual puppy on a number of factors with age of potential owner(s) being only one of several.
 
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