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Maltese Haircuts
This is one of our favorite topics to talk about!  There are two basic Maltese haircuts, although each can be adjusted to make them as distinctive as your dog is.  However, there are so many variations on these Maltese haircuts...the bob is one of our favorites...And if you are not planning on showing your dog in an AKC conformation event,  there is so much that you can do with this coat!
Between the graceful long Show Dog cut and the adorable, easy-to-care-for Puppy Cut, there are many styles in-between.   
The Two Most Popular Styles

Maltese haircutsMany owners love the Maltese haircut that is graceful and elegant...With long, soft, straight hairs this is one breed that can most definitely look regal with the Show Dog cut.

Parted down the middle of the back, hairs fall to each side and just touch the floor. Paws do not show when the dog is standing…topknots are put in to keep the eyes clear and the beard is long for both males and females.

This Maltese haircut option is for those owners who have the time to grooming quite often, with tangles being the biggest concern. This is also more for dogs who do not venture outside very often, as the long coat will most certainly pick up dirty very easily.

The other option is to go for the puppy cut, which despite the name is done on a Maltese of any age.  It is an all-over-body haircut. The length will be up to the owner, anywhere from ¼ of an inch to 1 inch.  It is clipped to the same length in all areas.  It gives a soft appearance to the dog and one of the biggest benefits is having less tangles; the shorter the cut the less tangles will be able to form. 

Despite what you may have read elsewhere, this Maltese hair style does NOT damage the coat...NOR will it affect future hair growth.  The ONLY time that a short clip will do any sort of damage is if it is inadvertently shaved or clipped to close to the skin...If that were to unfortunately be done, the skin (which is very sensitive) would be affected... hairs that would normally grow in that area may then not have the vigor to grow as they normally would have.  If this happened to your dog, you may wish to read our "Grooming Gone Bad" section.

With this cut, an owner can rest a bit more easy... topknots will not be needed (unless you choose to do a variation on this and leave longer hairs on top (read about "the Bob" below)....tangles are greatly reduced and the dog is able to run and exercise outside without an owner having to worry about mud, dirty and other debris getting tangled into the long hairs.

Maltese haircut stylesWhen a Maltese is healthy, particularly during the puppy years and young adult years, the coat will grow quickly and for this reason upkeep will mean regular clippings. One may wish to do this at home (after a few times, your dog will become used to the touching and the noise of the clippers)….Or have a professional dog groomer do this.

For those who do not have plans to show their dog in conformation events, this Maltese haircut style is perfect.   The dog remains clean for longer periods of time; and this is important since too many baths can lead to dry skin…And that can lead to itching and scratching…Which in turn can lead to open sores and lastly infection can set it.

When the hairs are clipped around the anus, this can be a great help in keeping the dog free from feces that can become stuck on the coat during bowel movements.

It will also ensure that hairs are not touching food and water during meal time. This is important because food hidden in hairs can cause odors…and when the face stays moist it can cause staining.

Growing a Longer Coat

Tangles will prevent growth.  For any long grooming style, one should go over the coat at least every other day, first with a brush and then with a comb. All areas must be done… the belly, the paws, behind each leg….all areas.  

If a matt is found, one should lather their hands with a canine leave-in conditioner and gently work the knot out.  persistence is a must.  Only as a last resort should it be clipped off, this should be avoided as much as possible; however it must be clipped if the tangle cannot be untangled…Never leave a mat in the coat for fear of having to clip… If one does that it will grow and grow until it is 1 huge clump. 

With the show dog haircut, the goal is to have the coat parted exactly in the middle of the dog’s back, with each side falling gracefully to the floor.  Trims will be necessary if it grows longer than floor length, as you will not want your Maltese to be walking on it….And it would also quickly become dirty and matted.

Long hairs on top of the head will fall into the eyes, therefore a topknot will be needed to be put into place.  This should be done fundamentally at all times, not only for the dog to see clearly, but also to keep those strands from touching food and water.   If they touch food, slowly over time, they may become stained.

The Bob, the Tail Flair and Other Delightful Maltese Hair Styles

We pride ourselves on being the top Maltese all areas of grooming, care, healthy, feeding and more. For this reason, we have created the PetMaltese Book.  It is a wonderful collaboration of effort to bring you hundred of pages regarding all Maltese information.  A chapter that we are proud of is the "Hair Styles" chapter...There, we discuss interesting variations that can be done on this breed... .Unique and cute looks that this dog carries well.  If you would like to learn more about the book that we offer, you may learn more here.

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