White, small, and cute as a button, Maltese are a popular breed, and it’s no wonder why!
There are a few different types of haircuts that are often bestowed upon Maltese. We’ll cover some of the most common cuts, along with other ideas for prettying up your pooch!
Show Cut aka Standard Cut
Long coat, often used in dog shows. Elegant, silky fur. It may seem surprising that a Maltese’s curly locks could ever straighten out, but after the fur gets longer, the weight can often straighten the fur and stabilize waves.
Traditionally, a Maltese’s show coat should nearly tough the floor. It’s common for long coat Maltese to have their head hair long as well, but it’s also fine to put your Maltese’s face fur in a single or double top knot. Alternatively the fur can also be left to hand on the side of the dog’s face.
This cut can be quite a bit of work to maintain, and should only be worn by dogs who have owners with plenty of time to spare grooming.
This cut is named the “Puppy Cut” because it’s commonly found on puppies, whose fur is still growing and hasn’t reached a full length. However, this cut is great for adult Maltese as well, especially because it’s easier to maintain than a traditional standard cut, and is pretty darn cute!
For this cut, the Maltese’s fur is clipped the same length across their body, face, ears, tail, etc. Most owners opt for between 1/4 inch – 1 inch. It’s simple as that!
For most owners, the big choices will be between the puppy cut or the show cut. One is cute, easy-to-maintain, and short. The other involves long fur, looks elegant, but is lots of work to keep up with!
While these are the two main cuts most owners will find themselves deciding between, there are other options as well, including:
Teddy Bear Cut
The teddy bear cut is pretty adorable, as its name implies. This cut is really considered a cross between a standard Cocker Spaniel cut and a Maltese puppy cut.
For this cut, it is recommended that you use dog hair clippers to trim your pup’s side and back hair to 1/4 inch, but fur everywhere else is left longer (it’s up to the owner how long they’d like to keep the rest of the fur, although 1/2 inch is most common).
Next, trim around the dog’s face until it looks round and full like a teddy bear! Make sure to keep the fur rounded off at the forehead to match the coat length
Lastly, leave enough head hair to put the fur into a top knot (if you’d like).
This video shows a nice demo of how to cut a teddy bear head:
Maltese Bob Cut
The Maltese bob cut is actually not so different from a human bob cut. The dog’s head hair is parted down in the middle and allowed to grow longer (along with the ear fur), while the rest of the body hair is kept in a short cut.
This is a pretty cute and easy style, making it a popular one for owners!
Maltese Short Cut
The short cut is actually a style that is more commonly seen on Bichon Frise or Poodles, but it can be done on Maltese as well!
In a traditional Maltese short cut, the dog’s fur is trimmed short across their torso – the back and sides are generally 1/4 inch. The front of the neck, the stomach, the chest, and the dog’s butt are trimmed close, around 1/16 inch.
However, on the legs, the fur is left longer (around 1 1/2 inches) and feathery. The top of the head is rounded, while the ears are trimmed bob style. The tail is also left with a 2 inch fringe.
Working With What’s Best For Owners
Ultimately, the best hairstyle for a Maltese will be a hairstyle that the owner can maintain. If you’re not sure where to start, this home DIY tutorial is a nice place to start:
Other Things to Do With Your Maltese’s Hair
Don’t feel like you need to stick with conventions – Maltese are adorable dogs, and often lend themselves to fun and cute hair styles that may not work on other dogs! Here are a few fan favorite Maltese hair styles.
You can do all kinds of fun things with your Maltese’s ears, but make sure to be gentle and careful since the ears are very delicate, thin, and easy to damage.
Here are a few ideas for ear-based styles:
A top knot can be done with basically any Maltese haircut, so long as the head hair is left long enough.
Add a Bow Tie!
Bow ties are a great way to add some flash to your dog’s fur.
Put a Bow in The Hair
Bow ties for the boys, hair bows for the ladies.
Korean face is another unique style of Maltese grooming that is popular with some owners. You can see a video tutorial here:
Go Ultra Long & Fancy
Long and Beautiful Braids
Flair Those Fluffy Feet
Want an intro on how to master this fluffy feet style? Check out this video tutorial:
Snip It Super Short For Summer!
This hairstyle is ultra short. Short fur can be great for keeping cool in the summer. However, try not to trim too short, as if the fur isn’t long enough, you could put your pup at risk for sun burns.
If you can see your dog’s skin beneath the fur, you may need to invest in dog sunscreen to keep your canine safe.
What’s your favorite Maltese hairstyle? Share your top picks in the comments!
If you’re a proud owner of a majestic Maltese, consider also checking out our articles on: