MINIATURE, TOY & TEACUP MALTESE
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As the demand for these tiny creatures has accelerated and there is practically no information relating to Miniature Maltese on the local web for non-English speakers, some of the points mentioned below may be useful.

The terms Miniature Maltese, Toy Maltese and Teacup Maltese refer to a dog that is smaller than the Maltese breed standard. In reality there is only ONE Maltese BREED STANDARD. NO MINUATURE, TOY or TEACUP Maltese dog breed and NO BLACK MALTESE breed exists. (All čMKU breed standards are easily accessible on their web site).

Many people believe, that the Miniature or Teacup Maltese is a separate breed and some breeders use this term for marketing purposes but actually only sell healthy and normal Maltese puppies of the correct weight for their age.

Teacup Maltese can occur naturally when breeding two standard Maltese. These true teacup Maltese will be much healthier and live longer lives and this is fine.

No reputable breeder would intentionally breed, least of all or market teacup dogs.  Sadly however,unethical, irresponsible dog breeders go to great lengths to breed dogs that are that are unaturally tiny. If these dogs even live past the first few years of their lives, they will face many health problems. Due to the fallacy that "the smaller, the cuter" some breeders actually go out of their way and breed dogs to be unnaturally tiny.

All these methods exercised are extremely life threatening to either the female, puppies or both. Pregnant females are forced into giving birth to premature puppies or puppies are given just enough food to keep them alive (undernourished, ill puppy's growth is thus stunted further). Breeding runt dogs together is another method and forging their documents by filling in fictitious birth dates is another.

Respectful breeders will normally not let a puppy leave its mother until around 8 weeks of age. Puppies that are undernourished have signs of weakness, dull eyes, shallow breathing and a watery discharge. Severe poor health issues with Teacup Maltese dogs are:

a) Crowded teeth, (their mouths are too small to grow strong healthy teeth)
b) Fragile bones or very weak bone density
c) Weak internal organs (lung problems, heart problems, organ failure)
d) Low blood sugar
e) Problems with the digestive system
f) Weak bladder
g)  Water on the brain
h)  Prone to dehydration
i) Prone to epileptic fits
j)  Sensative to weather conditions, specially to cold weather
and, last but not least
 k) A short lifespan in most cases.
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