The most important job that any Maltese has is to be a good Maltese pet!

There are several qualities that a Maltese dog needs to have to be a good pet.  A Maltese puppy should be
healthy and well-socialized (to children, other people, and other animals). In addition, a Maltese puppy should
grow up to look and act like what you would expect of a Maltese because  you've chosen the Maltese breed
based on the characteristics that it should have (as described in the Maltese Standard set by the American
Kennel Club). A Maltese puppy should grow up to be under 7-pounds, that loves everyone.  A Maltese puppy
should not grow up to be a 12-pound dog that fights with other dogs, is afraid of people, cannot be
housebroken, and refuses to a lap dog.

If someone simply breeds two unevaluated Maltese dogs together, the offspring may not look or act like a true
Maltese should. If these Maltese offspring are bred to other unevaluated Maltese, pretty soon you will have
dogs that are Maltese in name only but look and act nothing like a well-bred Maltese should.

In addition, anyone who buys a Maltese puppy as a family pet wants to ensure that the Maltese puppy is
healthy. Responsible Maltese breeders will ensure this by doing the proper testing to ensure that the parents of
their Maltese puppies are healthy. Less reputable Maltese breeders are unlikely to know that such tests exist,
let alone do them.  Your best chance of getting a healthy Maltese puppy is to buy one from someone whose
motivation for breeding Maltese is to produce the finest possible  Maltese puppies. That means someone who
breeds only Maltese dogs that are themselves good quality Maltese and good representatives of what a
Maltese. It also means someone who tests their parent dogs to make sure that they are free from any genetic
defects before they are bred. It means someone who knows the background of their Maltese well enough to
know what they should produce.

In most cases, the people who are truly responsible Maltese breeders do show their dogs, in order to determine
that they do indeed resemble the Maltese breed that they are supposed to be. Show and performance events
are how responsible breeders make sure that their Maltese both look and act how their breeds are supposed to
look and act. And they keep their Maltese as house pets, so they know that their offspring will be good pets as

Maltese Breeders have to decide for themselves what they are going to consider a show quality Maltese puppy
and what will be considered Maltese pet quality. Some Maltese breeders will designate only the very best as
show quality Maltese and others will want every Maltese that is at all acceptable to be shown. Don't be afraid to
ask a Maltese breeder what a Maltese puppy's faults are and what makes it a Maltese pet or Maltese show
puppy. Maltese Pet quality in no way implies that the puppy is less healthy, intelligent or personable than the
show quality puppies. It just has one or more faults, major or minor, that would make trying to put a
championship on it very difficult and/or impossible. In most cases, only an experienced dog person would be
able to spot the faults. To anyone else it appears to be a beautiful Maltese.

The reality of dog shows is that given enough time and money, almost any Maltese that does not have a
disqualifying fault can at least collect a few points here and there if not finish a championship. And, there are
some wonderful Maltese snoozing on couches that could have easily been champions had someone wanted to
spend the time and money to do it. In the long run, what is important is that either kind of puppy (Maltese pet of
Maltese show dog) will make a wonderful companion and friend for its entire life and that is the first thing to
consider when looking at litters.
The Maltese Show Breeder Versus The Pet Breeder
Chrisman Maltese