Grooming a Maltese

When grooming a maltese you will need to decide if you’re keeping your dog in a show trim, a variation of a show trim or a pet trim. In the long run a shorthaired trim will be less work for you and your dog. Whatever your decision you will need certain dog grooming equipment and to follow certain dog grooming processes.

What dog grooming equipment will you need for your short Maltese haircut?

Grooming A Maltese
Dog Grooming Equipment

  • Nail Trimmers
  • Ear Cleaning Equipment
  • Slicker Brush
  • Greyhound Comb
  • Dog Grooming Scissors (straight, curved and thinning)
  • Dog Grooming Clippers
  • Dog Grooming Clipper Blades (#10 and #30). If the look you are going for is a summer cut then you will want to have the appropriate blade size for the length you want to achieve. You will only want to use full cut blades. They will always be numbered with an F following the number of the blade. This holds true on blades that are a number 7 or lower. Do not use a skip tooth blade.
  • Clipper Blade Combs (size depends on length of hair desired) Usually these combs are used to achieve a puppy cut, the legs on a lamb trim and sometimes used to help shape the head.

Now that you’ve gathered your dog grooming equipment, how do you start grooming a Maltese?

No matter what trim you’ve chosen the basics are still the same:

  • First trim your dog’s nails.
  • With a #30 blade clean the hair out from under the feet and from between the large pads of the feet.
  • Switch over to the #10 blade and do your sanitary trim, trimming around the private areas to help keep your dog clean.
  • Next and this is where you’ll be glad you kept up on your brushing, you’ll want to brush your dog out well using the greyhound comb to comb check. Making sure you’ve gotten all the snarls and tangles out. If your dog is matted then you need to consider just taking the coat off with which ever blade goes easily underneath the mats. If the matting is severe then you should have a professional do it for you and then start with your regular maintenance dog grooming.
  • Next do the ear cleaning. I do the ear cleaning after the brush out so I know the coat is dry for the brushing. Sometimes the coat can become wet from the ear cleaning.
  • Now you have your Maltese ready for the bath and the blow dry. A whitening shampoo may be in order just to give your Maltese that sparkle. Use whatever method suits you for drying your dog.


Grooming a Maltese does not have to be a difficult process. You already have in mind the dog haircut you’re wanting.

That may be a puppy cut with a Teddy Bear head or maybe a head like in the picture above.

An old client of mine was a sound man in Hollywood. He wanted this style of head because it reminded him of the silent film star, Veronica Lake. Hence I have deemed this style of head the Veronica Lake head.

I’m sure it probably has many names so please note that that’s what I call it. A summer cut also works well for Maltese grooming. Or you may want to do a variation on one of these trims to make them your own.

Grooming a Maltese with a long coat will require daily maintenance in the way of brushing. Keeping any long coated dog brushed out is a must.

Once you’ve finished your prep work and your dog is bathed, dried and brushed out again there’s not a lot left for you to do. You will want to trim up the hair around the feet and put up the topknot should you want one and you’re done.

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