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19 Maltese Haircuts & Grooming Styles In 2024 (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove


The Maltese is a small breed with a stunning white coat. They make popular companions because they are affectionate, playful, and lively. It is also an accepting breed that is generally happy to let its owners groom and cut its coat in myriad styles. The flexibility of the coat and the beauty of the little breed means that it is also one of the most popular dog breeds for shows and exhibitions.

Whether you are showing your dog or you are simply looking for a new cut ready for summer, below are 19 Maltese haircuts and grooming styles that you can give your Maltese.

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The 19 Maltese Haircuts & Grooming Styles

1. The Show Cut

The traditional show coat for a Maltese is long, almost touching the floor. When it reaches this length, the weight of the hair means that the coat is very straight. The head hair will also usually be long and may be left at the sides of the face or put up in a single or double knot. This cut will require regular grooming, otherwise, your Maltese will likely suffer matted and knotted fur that is uncomfortable.

2. The Puppy Cut

The puppy cut offers easier ongoing maintenance and greater comfort for the dog. The puppy cut is named because, when applied to adult dogs, it mimics the look of the young Maltese puppy. When young, the Maltese coat has not had a chance to grow, so it is short, although not as short as a shaved coat. An adult Maltese with a puppy cut can have a top knot or other style for the head hair.

3. The Teddy Bear Cut

The teddy bear cut is similar to the puppy cut, in that the body and back of the coat are cut short. However, where a puppy cut typically leaves the hair of the head longer, a teddy bear cut requires the facial and head hair to be cut short so that it resembles the fluff of a teddy bear. This is another cut that, thanks to its shorter length, necessitates less frequent and vigorous brushing and grooming.

4. The Bob Cut

Officially known as the Maltese bob, the bob cut looks very similar to the bob cut for humans. The body fur is cut short but the hair on the tail and ears is left to grow a little longer. The coat will need to be cut quite regularly, and the ears and tail will need regular brushing, but it is much easier to maintain than a long or show cut.

5. The Short Cut

The short cut sounds simple. It means cutting all of the coat, in all areas, short. But, to get the best look, the coat needs to be cut to different lengths in different areas. For example, the back and sides of the coat are left longer than the stomach and chest areas. It is possible to achieve this look at home, but it may be better to leave the short cut to a professional groomer. It will take fairly regular cuts to maintain the look because the Maltese coat grows quite quickly.

6. The Korean Cut

The Korean Cut is another that combines shorter hair in some areas compared to others. You will end up with a short coat on the legs, tail, and face with slightly more length on the body. The shorter length means that there is less daily maintenance required but more frequent cutting.

7. The Lion Cut

The Maltese Lion Dog combines a very short back and sides, typically shaved, with a trimmed head, chest, and legs. The overall effect is that of a lion’s mane, hence the name, and this really plays to the breed’s alternative name the “Maltese Lion Dog.”

8. The Scissor Cut

The scissor cut is more a method of grooming than a particular style. Rather than using clippers and shearing trimmers, you only need a pair of scissors. Using the scissors, you can trim and cut the coat down to various lengths in different areas of the body. This is a good maintenance style of cut, enabling you to get rid of tufts and areas that grow unevenly, and it doesn’t require any special equipment or accessories.

9. The German Cut

The German cut is one style that can be achieved using just a pair of scissors. It has sharp lines that give the cut a modern look, but this does mean that you will have to cut and trim regularly to maintain the appearance. The cut gets rid of the longer hair around the ears and tail, so it is a comfortable cut for your dog.

10. The Modern Cut

White Maltese dog getting a haircut in a grooming salon
Image Credit: Ana Vorkapic Marosevic,Shutterstock

The modern cut is a short cut, but it does combine different lengths with the aim of being a very modern-looking groom. Shave the hind legs, keep the hair on the front legs straight, and retain the fluffy ears and tail. You will also need to trim around the paws and head. It can be difficult to achieve this look at home, and this is one style that tends to look better when completed by a professional groomer.

11. The Cupcake Cut

The cupcake cut uses the natural contours of the dog’s head, and some creative grooming, to achieve the shape and appearance of a cupcake. This means cutting the hair on the ears into a more rounded shape and then following the line around the head and face. This cut does require regular trimming and is best achieved by a professional groomer, rather than at home.

12. The Mullet

The mullet is a much-maligned haircut in humans, but it looks cute on Maltese dogs. Keep it short in the front and long at the back, and you can pretty much cut the face and the rest of the body however you want, although a shorter body coat will really make the mullet stand out.

13. The Shaved Look

The Maltese has a single-layer coat which means, unlike a lot of breeds, it is okay to shave the breed’s coat without it affecting future growth. Shaving a coat is easy, although your dog may not appreciate you getting rid of their whole coat in the run-up to winter and this is a cut best reserved for the beginning of summer.

14. The Top Knot

The top knot is a hairstyle and one that is popular with Maltese owners. The head hair of a Maltese can get very long and may eventually obstruct the dog’s view. Putting it up in a top knot means that your dog can still see what it’s doing without obstructed vision.

15. The Bow

Another way to keep your Maltese’s hair out of its face is with a bow. The hair is put behind the bow and the bow is used to prevent the hair from flopping forward and in the way. It can take a dog some time to get used to wearing a bow or even having its hair put up in a top knot, but it will surely appreciate having an unfettered view of the outside world.

16. The Gandalf

The Gandalf is similar to the show cut, in that it is a very long hairstyle. The coat must be long enough that it loses its natural curl and rather than cutting the coat so it is just above ground level, you should leave it. If you wish, you can cut or even shave the body, back, and legs, but leave the face and head hair.

17. Long Braids

When the head hair does get very long, a fun way to manage it and keep it in check is with braids. You will need a very patient pup that will sit there and let you finish the braids, and you will need steady hands to get the braid looking as tight as possible.

18. Flared Feet

Flaring the hair around the dog’s feet gives it the appearance of having flared trousers. It requires cutting the hair around the feet and on the legs, so it appears shorter at the top and flared outwards around the feet. It can take practice to get it right, and you will likely need to keep making adjustments until the finish is spot on.

19. The Summer Cut

The summer cut is a short cut that is designed to keep your pup cool during the hot summer months. It can be tempting to shave all the coat off, but this can lead to sunburn, whereas the summer cut is a little longer, so it still provides some protection for the skin.

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How Often Should a Maltese Get a Haircut?

It really depends on the style and severity of the cut and whether you want to maintain the look. Some cuts may need trimming and maintenance every month or so, while others are designed more as an annual or 6-monthly cut.

Dogs are well equipped to regulate their own body temperatures, so it isn’t usually necessary to cut a dog’s coat for summer. However, if you do live in a particularly hot area, it may provide some relief.

Are Maltese Dogs Easy to Groom?

Maltese coats do take some maintenance. The hair can grow very long and if allowed to do so, this means that it can get matted and cause discomfort. Long hair will need daily brushing, and it will need trimming at least when it reaches the floor, in most cases. Alternatively, you can cut the coat and keep the hair short so it requires less frequent brushing, but it will need cutting every few months to remain easier to maintain.

maltese dog being groomed
Image Credit: Sushitsky Sergey, Shutterstock

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The Maltese breed is a very popular companion pet and is also popular for showing and exhibiting. Its beautiful coat can be cut and styled virtually however you like. Some cuts will require regular trims to keep them in good shape, and you will have to get your Maltese used to being groomed in this way if you want the process to go smoothly.

Featured Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

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