AKC Maltese puppies for sale AKC Champion Maltese

Storybook Maltese

We get so many inquiries about Teacup Maltese puppies, we would like to take a  the opportunity to inform our visitors about ‘teacup’ puppies.

Just read any Toy Breeder group or forum and you will notice that the ‘teacup’ puppy is an ongoing discussion. Many professional breeders adamantly claim that “There is no such thing as a teacup Maltese puppy!”.

Why do people specifically ask for a teacup puppy? Is it really a 2-4 lb Maltese they want? Maybe. If so, it is because they don’t know any better and just need a bit of education, rather than a scornful shaming. We’ve found that more often than not, they just don’t understand that what they are looking for is not really called a teacup Maltese puppy.

Long ago, when I went searching for my first Maltese puppy, being uneducated that there was any difference between a ‘Toy’ Maltese and a Teacup Maltese puppiesTeacup’ Maltese; I searched for Teacup Maltese puppies for sale. Not because I wanted a ‘tiny’ Maltese puppy that would most likely come with health issues, but because I didn’t understand that a Maltese is not like a Poodle, having a ‘Standard’ version, which is a larger dog, and a ‘Toy’ version, which is a small dog.  

I didn’t want a huge 20 lb Maltese and I had seen many.

I wanted a small dog that could easily be carried around with me at all times without throwing my back out. It was my intention to take my dog with me wherever I went.  I knew I wanted a constant companion, and the Maltese breed is specifically suited for this, both in size and temperament.  

Often the reasons someone may search for teacup Maltese puppies is simply because they do not understand that there is any difference between  ‘Teacup’ Maltese puppies and ‘Toy’ Maltese puppies.  Far too many Professional Maltese Breeders would rather club someone over the head with “There is no such thing as a teacup Maltese puppy!”, than take the time to gently educate them.

Teacup Maltese puppyThe Maltese is a member of the ‘Toy’ group of dogs.  There is no officially recognized ‘Teacup’ group. Show breeders do not use terms that are not specifically recognized by the AKC standard for their breed, however, people that don’t show or breed dogs and haven’t studied the breed standard don’t realize this and there is often an unfortunate ‘disconnect’ between good breeders and the people that are searching for a well-bred puppy, and that’s how unsuspecting people end up with sickly, puppy mill dogs when all they wanted was to find a wonderful and healthy companion that looks and acts like a Maltese puppy is supposed to.  

According to the AKC Maltese breed standard, the correct adult Maltese dog is between 4 and 7 lbs with 4-6 lbs being preferred.

Do Maltese dogs come in smaller sizes or less than 4 lb? Yes, they do. Either intentionally or unintentionally, there are Maltese smaller than breed standard, just as there are Maltese that are larger than breed standard.  In fact, prior to the AKC Breed standard change on March 10, 1964, The AKC Maltese Standard read, “3 pounds or under” as the standard size for this breed. Today and for the past 40+ years it is the AKC belief that "Overall Quality is to be favored over size".

Do ethical breeders intentionally breed to produce a Maltese dog less than 4 lbs? Absolutely NOT!  Professional breeders breed for the health. Health should always be the first priority in any breeding program!

Just mentioning the word ‘teacup’ to a professional Show breeder will often be met with a contemptible hiss. There is understandably a lot of sensitivity on the ‘teacup’ subject in the world of Maltese Breeders and rightly so.

If you’ve ever seen a very tiny Maltese that has health issues and suffers miserably, or if you’ve ever witnessed the tears of someone who has lost their beloved companion to health issues common to the ‘teacup’ Maltese you also will be outraged that there are breeder’s that will intentionally breed for ‘tiny’ rather than ‘healthy’. These breeders are clearly puppy mills more interested in the cash than the love of the Maltese Breed.

These breeders are also the ones that don’t care who they sell a puppy to. You will find no ‘New Owner Questionnaire’ is required and you will not be asked any questions, because they do not care where their puppies end up.  As long as you have the cash, they will sell you a puppy. What becomes of that puppy once you hand over your cash is of little concern to them.

At Storybook Maltese, every one of the dogs we breed is within breed standard and bred for health and specifically good temperament since many of our puppies are placed as service dogs.

Occasionally, we may have a very small puppy in the litter, but this is never our intention when producing a litter. When a very tiny puppy is produced, we take extra measures to insure that puppy goes to a home equipped to accommodate a very tiny dog and the puppy must first pass an extensive health exam.

A Maltese dog weighing 4-7 lbs already is a very small dog.  Please put your emphasis on health and not on size.

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