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Why Are Maltese So Expensive? (Find Out Now!)

Why Are Maltese So Expensive? (Find Out Now!)

Maltese dogs are so cute with their long fur, little build, and their cute faces. They’re known for their hypoallergenic status.

Something else they’re known for is their price. But why are Maltese so expensive!?

The Maltese breed is expensive due to its specialty breeding and its genealogy or bloodline. You pay for the breeder’s reputation and sometimes the ancestry of your pup.

This breed can cost between $600 and upwards of $10,000. However, most people will pay between $2,000 and $4,000 for each dog.

The price of a Maltese may surprise some people, which is why we believe it’s essential to address the cost of these dogs. This will help you to understand better exactly what you’re paying for and why.

How Much Do Maltese Puppies Cost?


Type Of Breeder Cost
Puppy Mill $400 – $600
Backyard Breeder $1,500 – $3,000
Professional Breeder $5,000 – 7,000
Specialized Breeder $10,000+

The price you pay for a Maltese puppy depends on where you get it from. Of course, if you buy a Maltese from a puppy mill, it’s going to cost between $400 and $600.

However, this means you’ll keep an inhumane animal operation in business, and your dog will most likely have physical and mental health issues.

Adopting a Maltese from a backyard breeder will run you between $1,500 and $3,000. Professional breeders typically charge $5,000 to $7,000, while specialized breeders charge in excess of $10,000. 

What you pay really depends on the location, type of breeder, the quality and gender of the dogs, and many other factors. The price will differ in many cases.

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Why Is The Maltese Breed So Expensive?

Many different factors influence the price of a Maltese, such as the breeder’s reputation, genealogy, age, and where the dog comes from. Let’s look at these a bit closer.

Reputation Of The Breeder

maltese breedingBreeding dogs consists of more than just ensuring the dog is pregnant and selling the puppies. They have to consider the quality of the dogs, the breed of the dog, and the prices.

This all boils down to the breeder’s reputation. The reputable breeders will strive for the highest quality litter each time which gives them a good reputation.

Even though these breeders will charge more, you’re essentially guaranteeing that you have a healthy and strong Maltese puppy.

Specialty Breeder vs. Experienced Breeder

If you’re stuck choosing between a specialty breeder and an experienced breeder, there’s no wrong choice.

The puppies that are $10,000 and above are the ones you would purchase from a specialty breeder. These are more for show dogs and such.

The experienced breeders typically sell their stock for around $2,000 per dog, depending on their reputation and the size of the litter.


The genealogy of your puppy is going to determine how much you’re going to pay for your cute little furball too.

For instance, if your dog is bred from a lineage that contains high performers, then you can expect to pay a hefty price. Also, any puppies from a family with titles will be pricey since this indicates that the puppy is likely purebred.

However, just because your puppy doesn’t have an impressive lineage doesn’t mean that they’re not a good quality dog.

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Price By Location

maltese-dogWhen you’re looking at prices for the Maltese breed, another huge factor is the location. If your area has a lot of breeders, then you’ll most likely find the lower prices.

However, if the breeders are few and far between, this will drive the price up. Not to mention, you still have to keep the breeders’ reputation in mind.

A very reputable Maltese breeder in an isolated area is going to cost a lot more than a reputable breeder in an area with more breeders.


female-malteseFemale Maltese puppies naturally cost more than male puppies. This is because females have a reputation for being more adorable with the ability to dress up more than male puppies.

Not to mention, people believe that female dogs are more affectionate and more friendly than male pups. However, this belief is wrong. Regardless, female Maltese is in high demand, which drives up the price.

The price difference can be as much as $1,000 between females and males. However, this highly depends on the breeder from which you get your puppy.

If you’re looking for Maltese, please remember that males are just as cute, sweet, and affectionate as females.

Puppy Age

Unfortunately, more people seek puppies than adults, which means that puppies are in higher demand. But if you don’t care about the age, you could always adopt an older dog which would cost less than getting them straight from a breeder.

The older puppies are usually male since they aren’t as sought after as the females. Check with your local reputable breeder and ask whether they have any older puppies for a discounted price.

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What Are The Types Of Breeders?

maltese-pet-dogSome dog owners aren’t familiar with the different types of breeders out there, but the type of breeder you get your Maltese from, or any puppy for that matter, makes all the difference in the quality and health of the puppy.

Puppy Mills

You can hardly call a puppy mill a ‘breeder.’ These places should be shut down. These are facilities whose goal is to mass produce as many puppies as possible for the money. They aren’t concerned about the welfare of the parents or puppies.

In puppy mills, there is no special treatment for the dogs, and the runners typically invest little to nothing in the care and health of the dogs.

They’re usually left in inhumane conditions and suffer from health issues due to neglect and maltreatment in the facility. Sadly, puppy mills are still in business because people still purchase dogs from them.

If you suspect a puppy mill and you have witnessed maltreatment, you could call animal control, as it’s always hard to turn your back on puppies that may be in need.

Backyard Breeders

If you’re looking for a cheaper way to acquire a Maltese puppy, you could always check into a backyard breeder. They don’t meet the proper breeding standards.

However, the puppies are usually well cared for and provided with adequate food, water, and love. Not to mention, they’re not like puppy mills, as the breeding scale is much smaller than a mill.

Backyard breeders are people like you and me who happen to have female dog that has babies.

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Since they have the babies, they decide to sell them to make a few extra bucks.

So, if you’re looking for higher-end, exceptionally bred Maltese puppies, a backyard breeder is not going to have what you want. However, if you’re looking for a family dog and happen to love the Maltese breed, then this route may be an option for you.

Professional Breeders

maltese-breeding-pet-dogWhen it comes to professional breeders. These are the breeders who run an actual business that pays taxes and must register.

However, whether they have the Maltese you’re looking for—we can’t say. Some of them have a large variety of breeds, and others only breed specific types of dogs.

But rest assured that any dog under the care of a professional breeder is cared for and provided with training, attention, love, and health care. Some experienced breeders specialize in certain breeds and the genetics of that breeds.

In addition, professional breeders do take the time to care for the parent dogs adequately and the litter together.

While the price of a Maltese can typically run between $5,000 and $7,000 from a professional breeder, you won’t be paying that amount in vet bills the same you will if you bought one from a puppy mill.

Specialized Breeders

Specialized breeders are the topline breeders. Think of them as like the Tiffany and Co. of home décor or the Gucci of clothing.

While Maltese puppies typically run $10,000 and more from these breeders, you will have the healthiest and highest quality puppies.

Specialized breeders take the time to learn the science of breeding, genetics, and dog-based genealogy practices, which determine the price and target audience for these dogs.

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For instance, if you want a Maltese to own as a show dog, you’re going to want dogs within its lineage to have earned titles, and you’ll also want it to be 100% purebred.

The way to guarantee both is to get your Maltese from a reputable specialized breeder.

Adopt A Maltese From Your Local Shelter

maltese-dog-breedingIf you’re looking to add one of these cute guys to your family as a family dog, why not check out your local shelter? You’ll get a Maltese for a fraction of the price while giving a sweet dog the home it deserves.

Related Questions

How healthy are Maltese dogs?

Maltese dogs are typically healthy. Even though they’re small, they still require exercise and stimulation, just as larger dog breeds do. Their average lifespan runs between 14 and 15 years old.

Does a Maltese shed?

Since the Maltese breed doesn’t have the usual undercoat, they tend not to shed nearly as much. However, because they don’t shed much, their fur tends to get dirty quickly and mat.

It’s important that you take the time to thoroughly brush your furry friend at least once a day, if not twice a day. This helps keep their fur untangled. You can also purchase a detangler to use.

What is the difference between a teacup Maltese and a toy Maltese?

The difference between a toy and a teacup Maltese is the weight. To compare, it’s important that you know the average Maltese will weigh under seven pounds.

So, a toy Maltese will weigh between four and six pounds, while a teacup Maltese will weigh between two and four pounds.

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