The coat of a Maltese is of good length, straight, silky, never woolly or crimped, and without an undercoat. It is always pure white, but slight lemon markings are permissible. The tail is well feathered This breed needs a lot of grooming to keep the long, silky coat in perfect order. The hair is parted along the middle from the skull to the tail and needs constant grooming. The topknot is tied back in one or two bows.
Sometimes these dogs come into the grooming parlor matted from top to bottom where the owners have frequently bathed them and left them to dry without brushing and combing out the tangles. In such cases, the only option is a short-back-and-sides clip all over.
Many pet owners have this breed clipped down to about 1 inch (2.5 cm) all over; use an Oster No. 5 to trim the hair before the bath. Condition, blow-dry and neaten any stray hairs with scissors. If clipped, this dog should look sweet and pretty – but still needs grooming.
Equipment needed: A pin brush, a bristle brush, a wide-toothed comb and an eye comb.
Breed tip: Use a light spray of water or grooming spray on the coat to aid daily brushing and to prevent breaking the hair.
- Brush through the entire coat using a pin brush
- Spray in a little conditioning spray to aid grooming.
- Comb with a medium- or wide-toothed comb (depending on the thickness of the coat), and an eye comb. Always remember to do this before you bathe the dog, or matting will occur.
- Bathe the Maltese in a protein, pH-balanced or natural shampoo, ensuring that you rinse thoroughly.
- Apply conditioner and work through the coat. Again, rinse well.
- Next, blow-dry the coat, brushing the hair with a pin brush away from the skin ( do not put the blower on the skin).
- Check the dog’s nails, ears and teeth.
- Finish with a light spray of grooming conditioner, and groom in with a bristle brush.
Learn more about grooming a Maltese