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Maltese Haircuts


One of the wonderful elements about the Maltese is his single layer coat of hair. Unlike fur, hair is able to grow long. And this allows for a wide range of different hair styles. This ranges from close shaved coats to long show coats, and every length in between.

Most owners opt for a relatively short coat, since long coats take a lot of work to maintain. When hairs are grown to floor length (or just above it), the coat can develop many more tangles, and much more easily pick up debris. 

Another great aspect of a Maltese's coat is that you can leave the body rather short, but experiment with various styles in regard to the head and tail. 

Here, we will take a look at some really cute hair styles; many from readers who submitted photos to us. 

Long Show Coat

It's always impressive to see a Maltese with a long show coat. It is very graceful and elegant. Once the coat gains some length, the weight of it straightens the hair, and the waves virtually disappear. 

In the show ring, hair should almost touch the floor. While many Maltese with long coats will have head-hair long as well, this is not a must; it may be placed in a single or double top knot, or left to hang to the sides of the face. 

This Maltese haircut option is for those owners who have the time to groom quite often, with tangles and debris on the coat being the biggest concerns. Owners of Maltese with long coat hair styles often consider maintenance a hobby of sorts, since it requires quite a lot of devotion. 

The Puppy Cut Hair Style

The puppy cut is the most popular hair cut for pet Maltese, for both puppies and adults. It has this name due to the fact that young pups naturally have this style, since their coat has not had time to grow. 

Length can vary from 1/3 inch (slightly above a shaved coat) to several inches, which is a more moderate fluffed look. 

Though very young pups will not have hair long enough for a top knot, once a Maltese is an adult, he can have a puppy cut but a top knot may be left. This said, when the forehead is rounded off to match the coat length, this give a very cute 'teddy bear' appearance, and is a nice option as well. 
photo courtesy of Tony Muller
Louie at 2 1/2 years old
Photo courtesy of Pat & Joe Albertini

Moderate/Medium Length

If you want something that is in between the long show coat and the short puppy cut, you can opt for a coat of moderate length as seen below. With the slight wave that the hair has, just another inch can create a very full, fluffed look. 

This little princess has a long top knot, painted toe nails, and some adorable clothing that really shows off her style.
Sadie Grace, at 2 years old, photo courtesy of Shayla

Variations on the Puppy Cut Hair Style

If you want to keep the coat short, which is what the vast majority of Maltese owners do, you can choose to keep hairs long on the tail and/or head. With this little cute, both the tail and ears are left long, which creates a nice balance on a coat that is easy to maintain. 
Milo, photo courtesy of Urvi Sedani

Shaping the Face

No matter the exact length that you keep the coat, if you allow the face to grow out a bit, there are endless variations that you can do. Hairs can be layered and/or angled, to create round or squared (boxed) variations. 

Here, we'll take a look at the more popular hairstyles in which hairs on the head and/or face are cut. 
Bangs - With this, hair stops right above the eyes. It can be left down in a thick bang, or gathered up for a short top knot. To keep this length of bangs, you'll need to trim every 2 weeks or do, or they will grow down over the eyes. 
Blossom Sweet Honey, at 8 months old
Photo courtesy of Kim Morris
Squared - This is a popular trim and for good reason; it looks adorable. The beard is squared off, with hairs cut straight along the chin. You can experiment with different lengths on the sides. They can angle up a bit, as with this Maltese, or hang low to meet the length on the chin.
Little Buddy, photo courtesy of Stephanie Agostino
Rounded - You can have the face rounded, as seen here. It follows the natural jaw and creates a nice, neat style. You'll need to keep ear and forehead hair short (or keep forehead hairs in a top knot as with this little girl), so that the shaping can be seen. 
Albi, at 2 years old, photo courtesy of Margaret Mohamed

Shaved Coats

The most dramatic option for a hair style is a shave. Not all breeds can have their coats shaved off; however, the Maltese is indeed one of them that can. Shaving the coat down will not affect future hair growth. 

Shaving the coat does not mean that there still can't be style. Hairs can be left longer on any body part at all. Some owners opt for just ears to hold some hairs. But, a flared look, with thicker coat portions on the lower legs, can be an elegant look. 

Do keep in mind that this tiny toy breed that commonly gets chilled very easily may have even more trouble with regulating body temperature once the coat is essentially removed. 

The pros for this sort of coat style is that brushing and tangle issues are virtually nonexistent. 

If you opt to shave your Maltese at home and have a clipper set, you'll notice that you will have lots of blade options. The lower the number, the longer the hair. For example, a #4 blade will leave a good amount of hair, and a #30 would be exceptionally close. While each dog is unique most Maltese do well with a #7 blade. 
Fully shaved except for the ear hairs.
Body shave with lower legs, tail, and face hairs remaining; face is shaped with angled cuts.
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