Your Maltese's pristine white coat looks pretty but can be a little boring. Maybe you're ready to give your pooch a change or are sick of the intensive upkeep her long tresses require. Fear not, for the Maltese's coat provides a versatile canvas to try different hairstyles and cuts.
Long and Luxurious
For the truly pampered pet who can't help it she's beautiful, the show cut covers your pooch in a blanket of hair. Her coat is left to grow long and parted down the middle of her back. The tips of the long hair just brush the floor, hiding her legs and feet when she stands. This style requires the most grooming dedication, as the Maltese's hair tangles easily and mats quickly if neglected. Longer hair means regular baths and brushing at least every other day. The more active the dog, the more grooming she needs, as running and jumping and playing will leave her prone to hair tangles and mat formation.
Short and Sweet
If you have a hard time justifying spending more time on your dog's hair than your own, the puppy cut may appeal. As the name suggests, your Maltese's hair is trimmed short, usually between a quarter inch and an inch in length, so she looks like a puppy who hasn't grown her full coat in. This cut works well for pets who never see the show ring and enjoy an active life. Brushing duties drop to just once or twice a week, and a trim once every few months or so should keep her looking neat.
Split the Difference
Your pooch's hairstyle isn't an all-or-nothing type of choice, and you can experiment with different combinations until you find a style that works for you both. Some owners like to trim the body hair short but leave longer sections on the pup's legs or feet to give the appearance of booties. Head hair is often trimmed into a short bob type of hairstyle or sections are left longer for styling. Ask your groomer for suggestions.
Bows, Top Knots and Pigtails
You can have the fun of styling your pup's hair without the hassle of long hair all over. Leave the hair a little longer on her head and you've got the right stuff for fun with hair accessories. Pull some hair up into a single topknot, or split it into two for pigtails and fasten them with adorable little bows or ribbon. Add one or two braids for a playful look or simply clip her hair out of her face with some doggie-safe barrettes.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.