Maltese dogs may be little, but they tend to have sparkling personalities and plenty of luscious locks to go with them. Malteses are the whole package. They’re affectionate, clever and adorable—mostly thanks to their long, straight, silky coats.
Maltese hair is unique in that it’s more like human hair than dog fur, and can grow super-long without shedding too much. It can be styled in a variety of ways (from super short to long and flowing) but requires quite a bit of maintenance, so be prepared to wash and brush this mane to prevent tangles.
Not exactly sure how to style your Maltese? We’ve gathered together a few of our favorite options below—choose the one that best suits your dog’s unique personality and get clipping!
Top Maltese Hairstyles
1. Show Cut / Standard Cut
- Via Flickr/Renzo Stanley
If you’re ready to dive right into a high-maintenance cut, then this fancy-schmancy style just might be perfect for your dog. Traditionally for this style, your Maltese’s coat should almost touch the floor, with long fur on the face as well (though some owners pull their pup’s hair up into a single or double top knot).
As cute as this look is, it requires a lot of work, so get ready for grooming galore—lots of bathing and brushing…and more brushing…to ensure that the coat doesn’t fall victim to tangles and debris.
2. Puppy Clip
- Via Pixabay
This clip is cute on a wide variety of breeds, and Maltese are no exception. For this style, the fur is clipped the same length across the body, face, ears, and tail (around 1/4 inch to 1 inch).
This is much easier to keep up than the long hairstyle, and dogs still look adorable with these easy-to-maintain locks. You can also make this style your own by varying the length of the cut and making it as fluffy as you’d like—you can even add a top knot!
3. Teddy Bear Cut
- Via Flickr/Toshihiro Gamo
This hairstyle couldn’t be cuter, especially because everyone loves a teddy bear! To create this style, use dog clippers to trim your dog’s side and back hair to around 1/4 inch long, but leave the fur everywhere else longer—generally around 1/2 inch or so.
Then comes the most important step—trim around your pup’s face to make it round and full like a teddy bear (but feel free to leave a little extra fur for a top knot). Now it’s time to cuddle!
4. Bob Cut
- Via Pixabay
This style is called The Maltese Bob because it resembles the human bob haircut. For this style, most of the fur on the dog’s body is clipped short, but the hair on the ears and the tail are left longer.
Super easy to maintain (woo hoo!), this clip does still require some regular brushing to keep them looking chic.
5. Short Cut
- Via Flickr/Frances Ellen
This cut may sound basic, but it actually involves quite a bit of know-how to pull it off, which is why it may be best left to a professional groomer. For this style, the dog’s fur is trimmed short across their torso, with the back and sides around 1/4 inch. The neck, stomach, chest, and bottom are trimmed even shorter—around 1/16 inch.
The fur on the legs is about 1 1/2 inches, and the top of the head is somewhat rounded with bob-ish ears! Oh—and you’re going to want to leave about a 2 inch fringe on the tail.
Perfect for warmer weather, this cut is really comfortable for your dog, while still adding a dash of elegance to their appearance.
Regardless of the cut you choose for your Maltese, we know that that incredible coif is part of what makes this breed so much fun. It’s up to you to decide what style best suits their personality, and what’s the best match for your lifestyle, family, and wallet.
Does your dog dislike being brushed?
Many dogs love to be brushed, but not all do. And unless they got a lot of practice with it as puppies, they may be suspicious when you first introduce them to the brush. Approaching brushing slowly, with positive, non-threatening interactions, is more likely to result in a smoother grooming routine. Here’s how to get your dog to accept—and perhaps even enjoy—brushing:
- Before you even set brush to fur, let your pup make friends with the tool. Start by placing the brush on the ground and throwing high-value treats around and on top of it, encouraging your dog to investigate the funny new object at their speed.
- The simple act of reaching for your dog with the brush can be scary for some dogs. Next, work on reaching out with the brush to very lightly touch your dog’s body with the edge of the bristles. Each time you reach out with the brush, immediately follow it with a high-value treat. Be sure to take extra care (and time, if needed) when brushing around the ears, legs, and genitals.
- When your dog is comfortable with step 2, move on to brushing the fur. Start lightly, alternating each stroke with a reward. Over time, work your way up to pressing more firmly and brushing for several strokes in a row.
- K9 of Mine
- Pet Maltese
- Hairstyle Camp
- Teacup Dog Daily