Maltese miniature – does such a dog breed even exist?

Does the miniature Maltese even exist? Many people will say yes – after all, they have seen the ads on the Internet! Is it really so? Find out what real breeders and experienced cynologists think about it!
maltańczyk miniaturka

Maltese miniature is a breed often sought by inexperienced people who dream of a small dog. Preferably such, which will fit in a handbag and won’t take too much space in a small apartment. But do you know that excessive miniaturization is very dangerous for dogs? Check out why trying to buy a miniature Maltese is not a good idea!

Maltese dog – characteristics and description of the breed

Maltese is a breed of small, inconspicuous dogs resembling plush toys. However, their appearance can be deceptive – Maltese are very intelligent dogs, which are willing and quick to learn. They become very attached to their owner and love to spend time with him. Although this is very nice and wins hearts of many people, it also causes problems. Maltese are companion dogs that don’t require much exercise. They need a daily walk, but you don’t have to cover many kilometers with them. So they are suitable for families with children, as well as for seniors.

Breeding problems

Dogs don’t like to be left alone at home. So if you plan to buy a dog of this breed and you work, you will have to get the puppy used to this situation from the first days. The second problem worth mentioning is that dogs of this breed are quite barky. They tend to make noises near strangers, thus letting the guardian know of possible impending danger. However, strangers who exhibit gentle behavior can easily gain their affection!

Appearance and size

Dogs of this breed are small. Their weight is about 4 kg and their height at withers reaches 25 cm. Maltese are also only available in white color (ivory shade is acceptable). So if you find an ad for a black or brown coat, it must be from a pseudo breeding. FCI standard doesn’t allow other than white color!

These dogs have black eyes, a medium-sized head and a skull that is longer than the muzzle. These small white dogs come in 4 varieties:

  • american;
  • english;
  • german;
  • korean.

The latter, recognized by the Polish Kennel Club (ZKwP) and the FCI, are the only acceptable form of miniature Maltese. However, they must be of certified Korean origin (preferably by the Korea Kennel Federation, the equivalent of the Kennel Club). So the price of such dog can be very high – usually more than 10 000 zloty!

Maltese miniature does not exist! What you should know about pedigree Maltese

The idea of breeding a miniature Maltese is nothing new, and was not born in the 20th century. The first attempts to make the dog smaller were already made in the 17th and 18th century! At that time, however, there was no breed standard, so the breeders didn’t really know what size of dog they should aim for. Nowadays, especially on the Internet, you will find many advertisements, where supposed owners of kennels offer Maltese miniature puppies for free or for high amounts. You will find out from them, that an adult dog will weigh 2,5 kg or even 1,5 kg! But don’t count on getting to know the kennel or seeing the conditions in which the dogs live. And this is what should arouse your vigilance!

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Pseudo-breeding and miniaturization of the breed

To turn a Maltese dog into a miniature, pseudo-breeders usually use one of two popular methods. They either allow the smallest and weakest animals from the litter to breed, or they cross breed. As a result, small puppies are indeed born. However, they are extremely prone to heart disease (and its genetic defects) and back problems. A female Maltese Miniature may also give birth to puppies that, after only a few months, begin to suffer from conditions such as:

  • anemia (malnutrition);
  • portal/peripheral anastomosis;
  • recurrent colds;
  • neurological diseases.

It is also ethically controversial to allow bitches with weights below the standard to mate and then give birth. Often such an action involves unnaturally high stress on their bodies!

Therefore, if you were planning to buy a dog of this breed, reconsider your decision. Perhaps, instead of supporting pseudo-breeders, you will invest in a normal-sized dog from a legal breeding? After all, he will still be small, but in addition – healthy and energetic!

Diet of a Maltese

The Maltese is a small dog with a huge appetite! So make sure you give him the right portions of wholesome food and don’t allow him to snack! Otherwise, your pet will quickly become obese and its coat will lose its shine and beautiful appearance. What exactly should a Maltese eat? Foods which are labelled by manufacturers as being suitable for small dog breeds will work well. You can also prepare food for your pet according to the principles of the BARF diet. Just make sure you don’t give your dog too big bones or pieces of meat. Take into consideration that a miniature Maltese may suffer from digestive problems and numerous allergies.

How to care for Maltese dogs – grooming of this breed

Taking care of your pet’s appearance, you should be aware that Maltese is one of the oldest breeds in the world! Dogs were bred in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece. Maltese have always been companion dogs, they never worked. Therefore, great importance was attached to their appearance. To this day, representatives of this breed can boast of a unique, very soft and shiny coat. The basis of dog care is brushing its hair. It is best to do it every day, after a walk. To properly groom your pet, you will also need to bathe it regularly.

If you want to make it easier for yourself (e.g. after a walk in the countryside you should not have to brush leaves or pieces of grass out of your dog’s tangled hair), use the services of a groomer (dog groomer). A professional will trim your Maltese’s hair and it will be easier for you to keep it in perfect order.

Keep in mind that grooming a miniature Maltese can be very difficult. These dogs often have poor quality hair that is woolly and clumps together into tangles.

Miniature Maltese health

Normal-sized, natural Maltese (not miniature Maltese) are fairly healthy dogs. However, they may have some joint problems, such as patella prolapse. It is also very rare for Maltese todevelopshaker dog syndrome (WSDS). Its symptom is a slight tremor of the dog’s body, which can be consulted with a vet. Remember also that Maltese dogs do not have undercoat. As a result, their hair coat may not provide enough protection during cold winter temperatures. Maltese have a tendency to catch cold at such time, so it is advisable to provide them with additional protection and purchase appropriate clothing.

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Many more diseases affect so called miniature Maltese. In addition to those already mentioned should be added:

  • the presence of tartar;
  • obstruction of the tear ducts;
  • conjunctival problems.

Health prevention

The health of the Maltese should also be taken care of through prophylaxis, including the necessary periodic vaccinations. The first vaccinations are done when the puppies are a few weeks old. So if you want to buy an older dog, check its health booklet. You will find in it, among other things, all the information about the vaccinations to which the puppy has been subjected.

How to choose a new friend? Check the kennel well!

Are you going to buy a Maltese? First of all, be sure to choose a standard-sized dog, not a miniature Maltese! Then, choose the breeder well. A good one will definitely not sell miniature dogs. Consider the color of the puppies offered. Check if the breeder is willing to give you all the important information and does not put restrictions when you ask to visit the kennel. It is also important whether the activity of a given breeder has been registered in the Polish Kennel Club. How to check it? You can enter the name of the kennel in the search engine on the website of the Association. If you prefer, ask the breeder himself – if he has the appropriate documents, he should show them to you.

What to ask in a kennel?

When you find a good kennel, don’t be afraid to ask! Thanks to this you will clear many doubts. You will find out, what the puppy was fed and what to give him at home. You will learn about the typical behaviors of small Maltese, which will help you to quickly recognize any abnormalities. You can ask what the breeder thinks of the miniature Maltese – this will tell you a lot about his ethics.

Once the dog is in your home, do not hesitate to call and ask additional questions either. Also, if necessary, use the help of a veterinarian right away. All this will make your task easier, even if you are an inexperienced dog sitter. It will also help you regain your confidence when spending time with your little one.

Maltese are charming, energetic and lively dogs. They are perfect as companions for seniors or companions during children’s games. The standard weight of a Maltese is not high – they are small animals. The miniature Maltese, or dwarf version, usually falls ill. A respectable breeder does not allow such small dogs to be born in his kennel.

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