How to Trim a Long Haired Maltese

With the long, flowing white coat, it is no surprise the Maltese was bred for and owned by royalty around the world. Today the breed acts as a companion dog for adults everywhere. To keep your friend's coat mat free and shiny, trim it often in addition to daily grooming.

Brush your pup's coat with a pin brush. Watch for mats or tangles. Spray the coat with a detangler spray and work out mats with your fingers by gently pulling the hairs apart. For a stubborn mat use a medium comb; hold the hair out from the skin and work it out from the end of the hair.

Wash your Maltese with a shampoo made specifically for white dogs. This helps remove any stains from the long white coat. Since Maltese are prone to eye stains, wash his eye area with a warm cloth and an over-the-counter tear stain remover available at your local pet store. Rinse his coat completely.

Blot the water from the pup's coat with a clean towel. Do not rub, this may cause tangles to form in the long hair. Completely dry his coat with a hair dryer on low setting. Keep the dryer about 12 inches from his skin to avoid burning him.

Part the hair in the middle down your pup's back and comb it straight down. While your pup is standing, hold the long hair straight down between your first two fingers and trim only the ends. Work from the front of his coat toward the back only trimming about 1/4 inch.

Trim the hair around his paws. Pick up each paw and trim the long hairs around his pads.

Hold his tail straight out and trim the hairs evenly. Brush or comb his facial hair and only trim the ends around his nose and beard. Hold the hair straight out from his chest and trim the ends vertically with a downward swoop of the shears, keeping the hair uniform.

Pull the ears straight out and trim the ends of each ear. Leave the bangs and topknot long by simply trimming the ends.

Items you will need

  • Pin brush
  • Medium comb
  • Detangler spray
  • Whitening dog shampoo
  • Wash cloth
  • Tear stain remover
  • Towel
  • Blow dryer
  • Shears


  • Keep your pup's eye clean to avoid infections. To keep her hair out of her eyes, use a hair band and put her topknot on top of her head. Bathe your Maltese weekly.


  • Since a Maltese is prone to sunburn where the hair parts on the back, apply sunscreen if he is going to be outside. Check and clean his ears once a week. Only clean 1/2-inch deep into the ears to avoid injuring your Maltese. If any odor or discharge is present, call your vet immediately.

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About the Author

Amanda Maddox began writing professionally in 2007. Her work appears on various websites focusing on topics about medical billing, coding, real estate, insurance, accounting and business. Maddox has her insurance and real estate licenses and holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting and business administration from Wallace State Community College.