How to Put Bows in Maltese Hair

Follow the natural part when separating your Maltese's hair.

Follow the natural part when separating your Maltese's hair.

Your Maltese's hair is so lustrous and bouncy! It's no wonder the white-coated breed looks adorable with two matching bows in his flowing locks. Decorating your dog's hair with bows is simple, but it will take some patience from you as well as from the pooch.

Brush, bathe and condition your Maltese's hair before adding decorative hair ribbons. Dirty, snarled hair will tangle easily around any type of hairband.

Sit with your dog between your legs for optimal control and access. Comb the hair on top of your pup's head with a fine-tooth comb. Set the comb lengthwise between his ears and create a part that runs from the back of his head to just above his eyebrows.

Gather the hair on the left side of his part and secure it in a small ponytail using a latex hair elastic. Unlike rubber, latex won't pull or pinch your pooch's delicate white hair. Leave at least a half-inch of hair between your dog's scalp and where you secure the elastic, otherwise his scalp will feel pinched.

Comb and gather the hair on the right side of his part so it's even with that on the left side. Secure the hair elastic on the right side once both sections of hair are equidistant from each other and from the central part. As you did for the first ponytail, leave a half-inch of hair between the elastic and the scalp.

Tie a ribbon in a bow around each of your pup's ponytails. Use wider ribbon for a fuller bow, or bundle three narrow ribbons together to make the bow particularly bold and festive. Ribbon made of velvet or grosgrain works well because it's less likely to slip undone compared with satin or silk material.

Items you will need

  • Fine-tooth comb
  • Latex hair bands
  • Hair ribbon


  • Give your pooch a treat before you begin, give him treats as you put the bows in place, and treat him again when you're done. Getting treats at each step of the process will help him develop a positive association with the experience.
  • If your Maltese has never experienced this level of primping, start out with a single bow. Remember, hairstyling isn't a natural activity for your dog, so it may take a few sessions before he calmly cooperates.


  • Don't wrestle your Maltese into wearing bows if he snaps or growls. Ignoring these warning signs could cause him to bite you as well as anyone else who tries grooming him in the future.

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About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.

Photo Credits

  • bichon maltese puppy image by Lombok from Fotolia.com