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How much does a Maltese cost? is the first thing all future Maltese owners think. Okay, that’s not true. The first thing they think of when seeing a Maltese is how gorgeous these pups are! Then, they start to think about the numbers.

Maltese dogs are quite expensive pooches, and they can cost anywhere from $600 to $10,000! Numerous factors affect this puppy’s price. It’s not that unusual to see a Maltese cost more than $10,000, especially if it’s a top-notch show Maltese.

Pet quality Maltese dogs cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000.

When you buy your Maltese puppy, you can expect the costs to start building up. Buying them isn’t the only cost you’ll have. You can expect to pay anything from $1,500 to $3,000 during the first year of owning a Maltese and $1,000 to $2,000 for every subsequent year. These expenses cover medical costs, vaccinations, grooming, dog food, toys, etc.

As you can see, Maltese dogs are expensive pets. There’s no surprise there; the Maltese is one of the oldest dog breeds with a rich history of being lap dogs for nobles, first in Malta, then in the rest of Europe. The Maltese breed is just like any small Bichon breed: small, adorable, and friendly. If you’re a fan of many small dogs like Poodles, Shih Tzu, Yorkies, etc., then you’ll love our puppy of the day – the Maltese.

Factors That Determine How Much A Maltese Puppy Costs

The Reputation of the Breeder

Young maltese dog in a meadow

Dog breeders greatly affect the price of certain dog breeds, as well as dog quality. They’re in charge of producing dogs for numerous purposes, i.e., show dogs, sporting dogs, or simply companion dogs.

Good dog breeders are ethical ones who take on the responsibility of producing top-quality puppies, thus gaining an excellent reputation. Reliable Maltese breeders always produce robust, healthy, and strong puppies that will grow up to be mighty companions at heart.

Of course, such puppies are more expensive than others because of the apparent gap in quality and desirability. If you ever find a Maltese puppy over $10,000, you can be certain it’s from an excellent breeder and worth every penny.

Experienced quality breeders produce show and pet quality Maltese. They have a starting price of around $2,000, depending on how big their current litter is.

Types of Breeders

A dog breeder can be either an individual or a group of people whose task is to mate male and female dogs to produce puppies for sale. However, not all breeders are the same. There are levels in the quality of dog breeders. Factors that determine how good a dog breeder is are often the quality and quantity of the litter, how ethical the breeding process was, and the puppies’ upbringing until the sale.

Puppy Mills

white maltese dog in a meadow

Puppy mills are basically factories for puppies that produce large puppy litters. Their dogs live in tight cages while mating and producing lots of litters yearly. Breeders that run puppy mills pay little to no care to their dogs.

Their only objective is to produce more puppies so that they can earn more profit. Breeding is only a profitable venture. They invest in the dogs’ wellbeing at all.

The methods puppy mills use are very questionable and unethical. The puppies they produce have a higher chance of being born with severe health issues.

These health issues, e.g., patella luxation, may be noticed later when the puppy’s already been purchased. Their health problems are major because of the unethical breeding and conditions inherited from their parents.

How do you recognize such puppies?

They have the lowest price on the market. No wonder why!

Backyard Breeders

Backyard breeders are another cheap way to produce puppies. They are similar to puppy mills in the sense that they don’t meet the appropriate breeding standards and may have questionable practices.

However, their biggest difference is that such breeders produce puppies that are generally loved and cared for.

Backyard breeding produces fewer litters a year than puppy mills. They’re regular people with dogs that give birth to more puppies than they can or wish to care for. So, they use the situation to make money on the side. Usually, we’re talking about first-time breeders.

Even though they don’t mean any harm, unlike puppy mills, these breeders aren’t the best choice, especially if you want your puppy to enroll in dog show competitions.

Backyard breeders are inexperienced, and they don’t know what it takes to produce high-quality puppies. They know almost nothing about dog health or genetics.

Since the parent dogs of the puppies that are produced are usually family pets, beloved animals, the puppies do get lots of love and care. Sometimes, these breeders become attached to the puppies, so they become reluctant to sell them. Thus, a higher price is set for certain puppies.

Hobby Dog Breeders

Cute Maltese laying down on black leather sofa

Hobby breeders are slightly better than backyard breeders because money is not their only focus. They care about the dogs and show an interest in the breeding process. A hobby breeder will do their research and find out ways to increase the quality of the dog’s life.

Hobby breeders sometimes even offer puppies for adoption for free!

But, don’t think puppies that come from such breeders will have visible health issues. Many hobbyists care enough to do tests on their breeding stock to check the dog’s temperament, health, and conformity before breeding. It’s their way to ensure puppies will be of the highest quality.

Most of them participate in dog shows, i.e., obedience and agility. Puppies that come from show parents always have the highest price.

There are similarities between hobby breeders and professional breeders in the way that they both have great knowledge on breeding, and they keep up to date with the latest procedures and ethical standards.

The biggest difference between these breeders is that they don’t’ breed as much as professionals and don’t consider dog breeding as a business.

Professional Breeders

Professional Maltese breeders have legitimate dog breeding businesses, registered and taxed too.

Sure, they don’t carry a variety of dog breeds like puppy mills, but they provide adequate care, training, and attention, which is far more important.

These are reputable breeders with lots of experience and knowledge in dog care and genetics.

Professional breeders offer after-sales services, i.e., giving the best dog advice and practices to ensure your Maltese gets the best care possible. These services may also consist of accepting the dog back if you’re no longer able to take care of it.

Puppies from these breeders always come with official American Kennel Club (AKC) registration and test results for health screenings.

Professional breeders are the most expensive source for Maltese puppies, but the price is completely justified. You pay for the experience, time, effort, and cost invested in the whole breeding process.

You don’t have to worry about these dogs being loved at all. These breeders pay great attention to both parents and the puppies.

Most of the dogs that come from professional breeders participate in ring competitions, which is why it’s so important for the puppy to have a good lineage.

If you want a vigorous puppy to be your companion, your best (and safest) choice will be to buy them from a professional breeder. It will cost you more money, but it’s a penny-wise move.

Specialist Maltese Breeders & How Much Does A Purebred Maltese Cost?

cute maltese dog sitting in grass

Specialist breeders breed Maltese puppies only. They have extensive knowledge of the breed and keep detailed records of their Malteses’ genealogy.

These breeders are often a combination of professional and hobby breeders. What’s most important, they have the same spark for keeping the breeding practice ethical.

Specialist Maltese breeders usually have very long waiting lists for their high-quality puppies. It gives them leverage to choose only the best buyers for their litters.

If you plan on buying from specialist Maltese breeders, you can expect to be asked some questions, for example, how you plan to take care of the puppy. It’s the breeder’s way to ensure the puppy will end up in a good home.

What makes these breeders so special is that they are very interested in conformation training and breed champion bloodlines that perform well in dog shows. They’re an excellent source for show quality Maltese puppies.

Quality Of The Maltese Puppies

cute little Maltese puppy outdoors

Photo from:@laurie.nnm

Naturally, there are different quality Maltese puppies out there. Yes, it is connected to how much they’re sold for. Dogs classified as pet quality and show quality are the majority. However, there are some terrible breeders that produce puppies that aren’t qualified to be either.

Pet Quality Maltese

Pet quality Maltese puppies usually lack a few traits or have an undesirable trait that prevents them from becoming show dogs.

These faults can be aesthetic or superficial. What you should know is that they have no effect on how good the puppy will be as a pet. Pet quality Maltese puppies are cheaper and more available than show dogs.

Also, pet quality dogs are sold with limited registration, meaning they can’t perform in show events or conformation rings. Any future offspring of these puppies are not eligible for registration as pet quality dogs aren’t for breeding purposes.

Show Quality Maltese



Show quality Maltese puppies are worthy of being chosen for confirmation rings. These are the puppies you should buy if you’re interested in entering any competitions. Show quality Maltese cost up to $5,000!

However, be careful because some disqualifying flaws cannot be seen since the puppy may only carry the gene for it. It would be best to examine the puppy’s parents first.

This is very important if you want to breed Maltese yourself since flaws may skip a generation or two and show up in some future pups.

Many show-quality prospects aren’t easily sold since breeders want to keep them for themselves to increase the chance of getting only the best possible stock.

These breeders will want to know how you’ll care for the puppies before they sell them to you. Show-quality puppies are breeding-quality dogs that come with complete registration. Therefore, all their future offspring will be eligible for registration too.

All these traits only contribute to the higher price.

How Much Does A Maltese Dog Cost: Male Vs. Female

Cute white maltese dog lying at home on a sofa

Even though many dog breeds show no price difference between genders, Maltese female and male puppies have different prices.

The main reason for this disparity lies in the general perception amongst prospective dog owners. They believe female Maltese are more adorable and can be dressed up to look even cuter.

Many potential owners also think that female dogs will be friendlier and more affectionate. This perception is inaccurate, but the higher demand for female puppies still persists.

This price difference can be as much as $1,000!

In some cases, the breeder will end up with mostly male puppies, so it will be more difficult to part with only a few females in the litter.

The other reason why females are more desirable is that many dog owners avoid pets (male Maltese) that exhibit secondary sexual behavior at an early age. Unneutered Maltese males may exhibit marking and humping, which is not that great. There is a whole science behind what to expect from a female dog after mating, and not many people are ready to deal with it.

Still, females have some faults, too, since unspayed girls also show secondary sexual behavior and tend to be more aggressive and territorial.

Location As A Price Factor

maltese dog lying outdoors

Location is also one of the biggest factors why some Malteses have a higher price than other dogs. An area with many dog breeders may offer lower prices to attract future customers and make people buy their puppies.

Also, living standards aren’t the same in all parts of the States. It’s natural to pay more for a puppy that comes from Los Angeles, than for one from a small town in the Midwest.

Genealogy As A Price Factor

A dog’s genealogy plays a vital role in determining the puppy’s price. If the dog has a lineage of high performers, it will cost more than any regular Fido.

Some puppies have records that prove they come from families with numerous titles earned in conformation rings.

These kinds of puppies are very sought after, and they’re always purebred dogs.

However, puppies without a famous lineage aren’t necessarily poor quality. A breeder may not be interested in breeding show dogs, but instead, they may be more focused on breeding companion pets.

Puppy Age As A Price Factor

Cute Maltese laying down on black leather sofa

Most people want a small puppy so they can take care of them for most of their lives. Also, puppies are always more in demand than adult dogs, thus making them more expensive.

While most breeders and pet shops will sell only Maltese puppies, adult Maltese dogs will also be available from time to time. They’re usually dogs that have been returned by owners who cannot take care of them anymore for various justified reasons.

Adult dogs for sale are usually cheaper. It’s a terrific way to enrich your life with a loyal pet for a small amount of money. Think of it as a sort of adoption.

Point of Purchase As A Price Factor

Where you purchase your puppies also affects the price of the dog. The most popular way is to get your Maltese from a local breeder, but pet shops and shelters also carry them, along with various benefits and corresponding prices.

Malteses from dog breeders are more expensive because they come with breeding papers. The second most expensive option is purchasing from a pet store.

However, pet store Malteses aren’t show or breeding quality, meaning they don’t have registration papers. Their biggest point in life is to serve as companion dogs.

If you adopt from a shelter or dog pound, you’ll see it won’t cost much. However, you will need to wait until a Maltese shows up in any of the shelters.

If you’re seeking a companion that will stick by your side in the worst of times and in the best of times, then adopting from an animal shelter is your best option.

Additional Costs For Owning A Maltese

white puppy of maltese dog

The initial costs of owning a Maltese puppy are high, but taking care of them is also a bit pricey. These initial prices include the costs for registration and some other purchasing fees such as medical examinations.

Owning a Maltese puppy is an expensive responsibility and is not for everyone. There are numerous costs you will need to go through on a monthly basis. It wouldn’t hurt to check them out.

Medical Fees

If you want to care for your dog the right way, then your vet should be your second best friend. You will need to arrange all sorts of vet check ups to ensure your Maltese is always in top shape.

A checkup can cost anywhere from $70 to $200, depending on the type of medical emergency and your location. Vet costs aren’t the same in every part of the States.

Besides regular checkups, you need to be prepared to pay for various treatments such as flea treatments. It costs around $150 and will save you from pest infestations throughout the year.

In the same basket of expenses are the many vaccinations your puppy must get as well as dental care. Add in some unplanned expenses for situations when your dog is, for example, vomiting, and you’ll see how vet costs can skyrocket.

One way to handle these health costs is to get pet insurance. It’s an option you should check out if you don’t want to be surprised by the cost of potential future illness, injuries, or if your dog accidentally eats something unusual. Good pet insurance can cost up to $1,000, but it proves its worth.

Food Expenses

Maltese dog waiting for eat with a empty bowl lying down

Food is also one of the biggest expenses. You can expect to pay around $15 to $25 a week for Maltese puppy food. This includes dog food and different treats.

Young puppies need to eat twice a day. They need food rich in proteins, fat, and other nutrients to build strong bones and muscle mass.

Dog Bed

There are different types of dog beds to choose from, so your Maltese puppy may sleep well.

You can go with a standard dog bed or choose something more orthopedic and luxurious. Whichever mattress you choose, it’s recommended that you replace it every year.

The average cost of your dog’s bed can be from $10 to $90, depending on the brand and the quality. Luckily, you can easily find anything you need on Amazon.

Spaying/Neutering

Spaying and neutering are necessary procedures if you don’t plan on breeding your dog and want to remove secondary sexual behavior like marking or humping.

The cost of these procedures varies from vet to vet, but it can be anywhere from $150 to $600. Good thing these are once-in-a-lifetime procedures!

Grooming Expenses

cute Maltese dog grooming

The Maltese dog is a special hypoallergenic breed of dog that requires lots of grooming. Their white coat can grow so much it blocks their vision. In other words, where are those clippers?

Having a pure white dog is a bit of a nightmare. Keeping it clean from dirt and tear stains is quite exhausting. But, with proper grooming products, it’s all tolerable.

Good grooming products may cost you between $40 and $50 a year.

But, if you believe you’re not that good at dog grooming, then you should hire a professional groomer. They go for around $100 a month.

Training Expenses

Maltese dogs are small pups, but they still need proper training. Since they’re so prone to separation anxiety, one of the first things you need to teach them is that it’s okay to be left alone. They are intelligent and will quickly understand what’s going on.

Moving on, going through potty training will be challenging, but it’s something that has to be done.

Training expenses for various lessons, including potty training, depends on who is training the dog: you or a professional trainer.

In some cases, it would be better to use professional help to speed things up and make it more efficient.

A good dog trainer will cost you around $1,000 a year.

Average Annual Expenses Of Owning A Maltese Puppy

maltese dog lying on the bench

You can expect to pay around $1,500 to $3,000 to care for your Maltese properly. This is the expense for your first year of owning a Maltese. Many of the things you pay for in the first year will be one-time payments. I mean, how often do dogs change their beds?

You should set a budget for all future subsequent years. It will usually cost you between $1,000 and $2,000 yearly for your pet. This should be sufficient for any unexpected medical emergencies too.

How Much Does A Teacup Maltese Cost?

Teacup Malteses are a favorite of backyard breeders because of their compact size and cuteness.

Since their size is considered a fault and the result of unethical breeding, you can expect to pay less for such puppies.

On average, a teacup Maltese will cost you around $1,000.

Final Thoughts

Small cute puppy of maltese dog sitting in the grass

The average cost of a Maltese puppy will be anywhere between $600 to $4,000. Premium quality Maltese puppies cost $10,000 and up!

This is the initial cost, but all subsequent years come with new expenses. You should expect to spend $1,500 to $3,000 for the first year and $1,000 to $2,000 for each subsequent year.

These expenses include everything your dog will need, from medical costs to dog food, treats, toys, etc.

Sure, owning a Maltese, paying for the puppy, and taking care of it isn’t a walk in the dog park. These puppies cost money. And if you want a special, show-quality Maltese, then they cost even more!

All Maltese owners should be ready to pay a good price to own a member of this adorable toy breed. This puppy may have a small size, but their heart is so big, it will become a beloved family member just like that!

The Maltese price is something to think about prior to buying one. Are you okay with the numbers? Will you be able to take care of the dog and provide proper socialization?

If yes, then welcome to the community of Maltese lovers!

How Much Does A Maltese Cost Crunching Some Big Numbers

How Much Does A Maltese Cost Crunching Some Big Numbers

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