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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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seperis
One of the first rules I learned on the internetz is that if there is not a price on an item for sale, there's a pretty good chance I can't afford it. This seems triply true for dogs.

...considering what they are listing the price as, that is. I--I understand, on some level, that the AKC etc dogs are an expensive enterprise. That does not change the fact that pet-quality starting in the three thousands is disturbing. Show quality was call only--dear God.

Anyway.

My mother has wanted a Maltese forever. And I do mean that. And for the last three years, I have determined, yes, I will get her a Maltese. This is especially powerful during Mother's Day and her birthday. And I have yet to find one that does not require a mortgage or a blood oath or I'm not vaguely worried about health by the misspellings in the ads.

(Also, breeders cannot design websites. I mean, wow. Law of averages says I should find one that can. I have yet to hit a private breeder who did not believe more is better and that was painfully true for colors and fonts. I keep fighting the urge to email with a "If you will sell me a puppy for less than a kidney, I will redo this for you so it will not offend my eyes, my ears, and your text will be readable. And also help you with that background color problem. As it is hideous. And I will update it for you regularly, because you hurt my aesthetics. A lot.

...seriously. Gah. *stares at websites*
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Speaking as a Canadian - dogs registered with the AKC aren't worth the paper their pedigree is printed on (the last I heard, even *puppy mills* can get their dogs registered with them ). You may want to try a Rescue Society (not sure if one exists for Maltese) or even the pound, in a pinch. If you really want a dog with papers, I would suggest a Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) registered pup.

I would also suggest looking up the Dogs in Canada Annual (not sure if a similar one exists for the US). It contains a listing of all registered breeders in Canada, and they may be able to help you locate a Maltese breeder of repute in/around your area.

No, it's not the papers I care about, and I have the rescue organizations bookmarked that I check pretty much weekly for updates. It's just hard to find a healthy Maltese (or Maltese-cross). Honestly, I'd avoid going the breeder/purebred route if I could go through the shelter or rescue (that's how we got my dad's dog), but they tend to generally get dogs with health issues or behavior issues (ie, no kids, no other dogs), and my mom's in her fifties. I really want to get her a small dog that's (relatively) guaranteed of health. The other I was looking at was maltipoos, but same thing. Gah.

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That is so true about the web design. The page of the breeder I got my currents rats from made me twitch as well.

Also I boogle at how much of a luxury item that kind of dog is. I mean I knew purebred dogs were expensive, something like several hundred euro at least, but this much? wow. I think I stick with non-exotic rodents...

God, I had no idea. I've never had a purebred dog, so i keep getting jolted by the prices for their *pet class*. The breed and show class just freak me out. I can't imagine that.

Breeder pages are... atrocious. They make my eyes BLEED. Also, the above advice is really sound, and the more a breeder makes you feel like they're about to ask for fingerprints and your first born, the more likely they are to be a very good, responsible breeder.

My Mom fell in love with the Bichon Frise and oh my gods, the prices on such LITTLE dogs constantly makes me headdesk.

Have you tried craigslist? I ask because the other day one of my classmates and her family used craigslist to give away three pure bred great dane puppies when they had to move immediately and couldn't take the pups with them. I took a gander and saw a lot of pets being given away for such reasons, or sold fairly cheap. My guess is that most of the time the ones being sold cheap aren't perfect purebred show quality or something, so I'd be careful of those, since often that means a disease (purebred dogs are so prone to hip problems and all, yanno).

Honestly, if I could be guaranteed health, I really just want a plain pet quality with a decent temperament (since babies and children abound here, along with a friendly, but large, German Shepherd).

It's still high $$$$ but Petland up in Georgetown has 2 Maltese right now. I'd normally never buy from a petshop but the internet frightens me for buying a dog. The web pages (the musical web pages!!!) and they all look like puppy mills. Petland has a no mill policy and health certs I think for congenital stuff. I haven't bought a dog from them yet I've seen their holiday pictures from the UK in 1988.

They have one very sad looking girl right now and one much more bouncy boy. Each 2000 - and the price drops as they get older if the don't sell

I don't know if I should believe them about where they get the dogs from but they talk a good talk

A year ago I got my Lola (Bull Terrier) via puppyfind.com. You don't have to pay and you get access to nearly all doggies for sale (some are only if you are a member big whup)

I havne't looked at the pet shops yet; all those exposes on puppy mills totally freaked me out! Hmm.

Puppy mills are just frightening things but I can't tell the puppy mills on the net either.

I don't know. When I bought my two cats from breeders the first I spent hours with her before buying, the second I found her breeder several months before and spent a lot of time with her before buying. Even my last 2 who were rescue I spent a lot of time with

Just buying off the net and having one shipped freaks me out too. I want to meet the puppy spend a lot of time with it. Especially a dog as I am a cat person.

Good luck in the search!

Grin - the comment is only useful if I am remembering right that we both live in austin :)

Also, breeders cannot design websites.

People with such a ::profound:: lack of design sense should be prohibited from accessing those files. It would be an act of mercy, really. (I am reminded of this anytime I'm within shouting distance of MySpace.)

I cna't even look at MySpace. Insta!Headache, and the organization is just--gah. Terrifyng.

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I believe it with that level of specialization. It's kind of amazing to just think of what it takes to get a dog with that kind of skill set.

Also, and this came up a year ago and I always meant to ask about it--my ex supervisor raises miniature horses and was telling me about a program training them in assistance to the blind. I was *really* surprised, even seeing the size of the animals they accepted (for a horse, disturbingly small). I was also surprised at what I think she said were the requirements to be accepted, though I suppose I shouldn't be. I still need to read up on that more, since I think she was planning to breed or sell animals into the program.

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A diaper????

Oh wow. And yes, you would be the center of attention with a miniature horse with any child in a ten mile radius. *blinks slowly*

Diaper.

My younger black lab was about half that. She's worth every penny, but man it was a shock to the system.

Good breeders are worth their weight in gold, but yeah, most of them can't design a website to save their lives (Peyton's breeder is an exception, but a lab is certainly not a Maltese).

Have you considered working with the Maltese rescue people? The dogs are fixed/spayed, and often quite lovely animals. Also, much less expensive than buying a puppy from a breeder, and you get a dog who really needs a home.

Woops, didn't read the earlier comments. Guess it depends on the breed: the more common breeds will have a lot more and wider variety of rescue dogs in the program than a boutique breed like Maltese.

I have the two rescues that specialize bookmark and I check pretty much weekly. I'd far prefer a rescued, but the ones that tend to come in seem to have either health or disposition issues, and this house has kids and babies around constantly, plus a very friendly and happy German Shepherd. What I'd *really* love is an adult, but same problem comes up. I keep hoping I'll get lucky with the rescues, especialy considering--seriously. The prices!

I think you should try it. What's the worst they can say?

I echo the comments about breed rescue, although some breed rescue won't place small dogs in households with kids below a certain age and/or households with large dogs.

Three additional suggestions.

First, try the AKC website for rescue organizations, and you'll have to telephone, as many rescue orgs do not do web pages.

Second, look for local breeders on the AKC web page, and cross reference against show catalogs to help check credentials. Many, many reputedly breeders in the AKC are strongly against web advertising, so you may actually be missing out on options if you only look for web pages.

Third, the UKC may also be an alternative source (United Kennel Club, has been around since the late 19th century and is just a little younger than the AKC).

As for getting an adult, it may actually be easier than getting a puppy. Many show breeders keep dogs they have bred into young adulthood, to see if they will work out as show dogs. When they don't, the breeders need to find good homes for them. Same with retiring show dogs, which will be from 3 to 8 years old on average I would expect. And these dogs will have better info available on health and temperment.

I went through this process ten years ago when finding my first scottish deerhound. Took awhile, but it was worth it. If I can help out at all, let me know.


I would second the idea about seeing if there are any reputable breeders in the area that may be adopting out their retired breeding dogs. Good breeders will often retire dogs at a reasonably young age, especially if there's a puppy in one of the litters that they decide to keep for their breeding program. Then you'll have the advantage of older, well-behaved, and healthy (with a longer set of vet records to confirm that). Maltese can live a long time (oldest I met was 19) and that way your mom won't have to be getting up every few hours in the middle of the night, like she would with a puppy that needs lots of bathroom breaks.

I'm not sure where you are in Texas but I didn't actually see a ton of listed Maltese dogs on Petfinder, which I guess is a good thing (yay for people caring for their own pets), but can be frustrating in finding a rescue. Unfortunately those that are marked as unsuitable for small children are probably something you'll see a lot, simply because small breed dogs aren't usually good with kids. There are exceptions of course, and kids can be taught to behave properly around smaller dogs (depending on their age), but it is an issue to consider.

A couple other things that you probably have seen, but Maltese do require frequent baths and grooming (by a pro as well as daily at home). Their teeth need to be monitored and they're not good in extreme temps. But they are also beautiful and hilarious company to have around. They can be a lot of work, but your mom will be lucky to have one.

Oh, and even if those breed rescues don't have anything for you at the moment, they can be a good source to ask about breeders in the area, the good and bad. Then you'd at least have some names to research. Good luck!

I know what you mean about breeders being unable to design pages. I've falling in love with Russian Blue cats and I wanted to buy one, but OMG the prices and my eyes, going through those webpages blinded me. It's horrible! I haven't find one that qualifies as sort-of readable and some times they come with *music* and you can't turn it off.

Anyway, I decided to wait a few years and a few salary increases before I'd go for a purebred cat, because yeah, I still shudder at the prices.

one piece of advice I didn't see that helped us find our new puppy was: ask your vet if s/he knows any good breeders. They will at least know if the breeder takes care with the health of her breeding stock. I went through the same thing you're going through: lots of trouble trying to get an adult dog from rescue that didn't have health or temperament issues, then looking at breeder websites, trying to see if any breeders had adult dogs, and I finally caught a clue and asked my vet for recommendations--and found a wonderful breeder really close to home. We actually went and visited the mom and littermates and got to see our pup's uncles and aunts and grandma, and got to talk to the breeder over the phone and in person for hours. And she had us come for several visits before the puppy went home with us so that he wouldn't be going away with strangers.

I hate to tell you this, but a reputable breeder? won't let you buy a puppy to give as a gift (to your mom or to anyone). A reputable breeder will want to talk to the eventual owner of the dog. I went through a bunch of breeders whose first words included a pricetag (and, yeah, it's expensive). We didn't trust them.

The one we eventually went with *grilled* us about our house, yard, how long we were at home, where the dog would sleep, what it would eat, what other animals and people lived with us or visited frequently, etc. She wanted *references* (AND she checked them). (we listed our vet, for one) We, in turn, grilled her, especially about health concerns for the breed, and what she'd done to screen for them. And yes, she wanted a lot of $, but in light of all the health screening she'd done, she's probably just breaking even. And, she let us put a downpayment down for the puppy when we got him, and make a payment plan for the rest. We're in a relationship now; she'll be coming to visit every once in a while to pick up her check and see how the puppy is doing... and I very much get the feeling that she'll be snatching her baby back and refunding our money if she feels we're not treating him well...

There's also the option of broadening your geographical search. There are several Malteses or crosses in the Northeast right now, along with a number of Maltese rescue groups, and www.dogster.com supplies links to "The Underground Dog Railroad", also known simply as The Dogster Railroad, which can help transport the dog to you.

I drove for eight hours to get my rescued Malinois, and she is worth every minute of that time.

Godd luck!

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