Choosing a puppy from a litter can be a difficult task when they are all so cute. When you bring a puppy into your home, you are making a commitment to that animal for its lifetime and for small dogs, that can mean up to 15 years. It's important to choose a puppy that will be compatible with your lifestyle and can grow into being part of the family. Read on to learn how to choose a Maltese puppy.
Look for the temperament you want. Puppies that rush forward and smother you with love and affection are the pushier, more alpha of the group. The quieter and more mellow Maltese puppies will hang back. Evaluate each puppy individually. Do you want a quieter, more mellow pet or a more energetic one?
Avoid overly shy or distrustful Maltese litters. If none of the puppies are coming to greet you and play, turn around and walk away. At least some of the puppies should be outgoing and playful. It's OK if it takes the others a little while to get used to you, but not if they bark nervously or run away.
Choose a middle of the road puppy. You probably don't want the boss of the group, who pushes everyone around and steals all the toys, but neither do you want the picked on, submissive puppy. Pick an outgoing puppy who plays with the group but isn't at either end of the spectrum.
Look for curious, alert puppies. Making some noise should get a few of the puppies attention. Watch which ones come over to investigate. You want a curious, alert puppy who doesn't startle at every noise.
Spend time alone with each puppy. When taken away from his litter mates, how does the Maltese puppy act? Does he look at you when you speak to him? Is his tail wagging? Without the support of the litter, shy puppies might become more outgoing and outgoing puppies more relaxed.
Only purchase puppies from a reputable breeder. Never from a pet store. Consider adopting from a breed rescue instead of buying a puppy. Have your Maltese puppy fixed by six months.
Robin Noelle is a professional writer living and working in Northern California. She has a degree in Journalism and a background in high tech public relations. She is the author of travel guides and end-user computer books.