Can a Purebred Maltese Puppy Have Curly Hair

Maltese puppy

Crazy curly hair can happen on all Maltese puppies if they go out partying all night.

Seriously though, while most pure bred Maltese have straight hair it is perfectly normal for a Maltese puppy to have curly hair. Some people in the dog show and breeding industry see this as a minor flaw and try and change it but why not embrace the curly hair on your Maltese puppy and make it part of what you love about the Maltese breed.

If you really want straight hair on your Maltese then I do have a few simple tips below on how to obtain and keep a Maltese’s hair straight and stylish.

How to make Maltese curly and wavy hair straight

A dogs coat is seen to be perfection when it is straight and stylish. People often think that straightening a Maltese’s hair requires a professional groomer but this isn’t always the case. You can do style your Maltese hair cheaply and easily at home with a blow dryer and a few grooming tools which are easy to pick up online for example at Amazon which has a wide range and great prices or at your local pet store. I have broken down how to straighten hair on a Maltese into some simple steps which will help you get started:

  1. The first step is to shampoo your Maltese. Give it a really good clean as dirt and grime will be obvious to the eye after you straighten the hair. When you are shampooing and bathing your dog, make sure you also use conditioner. Using conditioner is very important. The conditioner helps keep the hair healthy but it also helps to untangle. Curly hair tends to get tangled easily and applying the conditioner will make brushing your Maltese so much easier for both you and your pet. A good tip when washing your dog is to use a bath mat or rubber mat so that your dog does not slide on the porcelain in the bathtub. When choosing a shampoo and conditioner you should use one from a pet store or from online that stipulates that it is safe and made for dogs. Please do not use human shampoo and conditioner as it is not safe. Check out the dog shampoo recommendations at Amazon for a safe shampoo
  2. Once you have shampooed and conditioned your Maltese’s coat, the next step is to dry your dog so that it is not dripping anymore. Do not over dry it or brushing will be more difficult. A quick tip for this step is to make sure doors are closed to bedrooms and to the outside as your dog will go crazy and rub themselves on carpet or anything they can get to. If they run outside you will end up with them rubbing in grass or even worse, dirt, and they will then require another wash.
  3. Blow Dry your dogs hair. You should use extreme caution when using the blow dryer. It should be put on the coolest setting available and set to low. You want to be very careful not to make your dog uncomfortable. Most dogs hate blow dryers and setting it on the lowest setting can usually help them calm down. While you are blow drying the hair you should be brushing the dogs hair out straight. The best type of brush to use is a pin brush. Your aim is to remove all of the tangles and get the hair to straighten as you go.
  4. If you followed all of these steps then you should end up with a Maltese which has changed its curly hair into long silky smooth straight hair. In order to keep the hair straight you should brush it at least once a day and if possible even twice a day. Your Maltese will continue to remain stylish with straight luscious hair for about 7 to 10 days.

Maltese Puppies with Wavy Hair on the Head

The hair on the head is the most common place to find wavy hair on a purebred Maltese puppy. The hair behind the ears and sometimes on the top of the head can become very wavy rather than the fluffy coat they have elsewhere on their bodies. The wavy and curly hair behind the ears is sometimes seen as a flaw by pure breed breeders.

I find the wavy hair behind the ears is generally much softer then the other hair on a puppy. If you are going to be putting your Maltese into a dog show then you should seek a professional groomer in order to handle this problem. They have the best tools and the experience of how best to treat the curly hair and ensure that it remains straight for a longer period of time.

Maltese Puppies with Wavy Hair on the Feet

If you Maltese puppy tends to lick its feet, or get its feet wet frequently, then it can get wavy hair at the bottom of its legs. This is usually temporary while wet but can become permanent if it happens too often and the hair becomes tangled.

The best way you can tell if a Maltese is licking its feet too often is that the feet will start to turn a red or orange color on the fur. This red or orange color is due to the saliva in the Maltese’s mouth and it reacts with the fur. If you do notice your puppies feet turning this color then you should see if there is a reason they are licking their feet such as boredom or injury. There are many treatments (Amazon has a selection of options)which can alleviate the licking and if you are worried ask your vet the next time you are in for any vaccines or a check up.

Maltese Puppies with Wavy Hair on the coat

Generally, Maltese will not get wavy fur on its coat providing you let the coat grow out longer and keep it well maintained.

When the coat is shorter there can sometimes be waves in the hair as it grows back but if you let the hair grow out into a fluffy bunch then it will return to a less curly style. Short hair tends to also tangle easier most likely because it is not groomed as often. Whether the coat stays curly will be highly dependent on how you groom the coat as it gets longer. The thicker you let the hair grow on your Maltese the more likely it will be less wavy.

Grooming is especially important if you have a certain type of hair you want to style your Maltese with and consulting a professional groomer in your area will bring out the best results. If you don’t want to use a groomer try the tips as suggested earlier in this article and let us know how it goes on your Maltese in the comments.

Grooming and Wavy Hair on a Maltese Dog

The type of hair your dog has whether it be curly, wavy or straight, may be somewhat determined by genetics but it can also be due to the way you are grooming your Maltese puppy.

If you cut the hair too short and leave it too thin it is more likely to be wavy. It will also tangle as it grows back into its full length. Shaving the hair off of a Maltese puppy will likely lead to it being significantly more wavy while it grows back. Allowing the hair to grow out to an acceptable length and allowing it to be full and thick will likely eliminate the curls.

Certain grooming techniques can be used to alter the way hair grows on your Maltese as well. These techniques are heavily reliant on the way you cut your Maltese’s fur so it is best to seek out a professional groomer to get it right.

Why you should Regularly Groom Curly Hair on your Maltese

Curly haired Maltese do not have to have their hair straightened. It can stay curly but it will need to be groomed and maintained.

One of the drawbacks of curly and wavy hair on a Maltese and other small breeds is that small amounts of hair will loosen and tangle into the curls on their coats. If you do not keep a grooming schedule then the small hairs can turn into knots and mats on your Maltese. Mats and tangles are breeding areas for bacteria and fungus which can cause skin irritation and rashes.

The main problem with short curly haired dogs, which are not groomed on a regular basis, is that their fur can become untidy and scruffy looking. Some of the areas when grooming your Maltese which you are going to want to pay close attention to include

  • ears,
  • feet,
  • mouth; and
  • eyes

These areas tend to be have a discharge or are close to the ground and pick up dirt. If not groomed these areas on your Maltese can become dirty and in severe cases can lead to skin infections due to bacteria breeding in the matted hair.

One of the more sensitive areas where hair can become smelly and a problem is in the rear. This area on your Maltese needs to be kept clear and clean in order to stop feces getting caught in the hair.

How to Groom Curly Hair on your Maltese Dog

Keep in mind that Maltese will get some small knots and mats in their hair if they are not groomed regularly. If this has happened to your little Maltese you will need to be very careful when grooming. Knots cause the combs to pull the hair and pulling hair hurts. If you turn grooming into a time of pain and your dog associates grooming with pain then they will hate grooming and will become aggressive and fear it being done. This is definitely not something you want to happen.

Your Maltese should learn to love grooming as it should be seen as pampering and a great time for bonding. This is where learning about grooming for your Maltese can be very beneficial especially when your Maltese has short curly and wavy hair. A few tips to help grooming go smoothly:

  • Start at your dogs neck and groom from the front of your puppy towards the back.
  • You want to part the hair and brush carefully from the skin to the ends of the hair. Be on the lookout for matted hair and knots.
  • Different brushes and different combs will help to find tangles and knots. For example “deshedding combs” are good for removing thick hair with knots. Do not pull knots with a comb as it will be very painful. The best way is to use your fingers to untangle the hair, and if this does not work then try the specialty brushes.
  • Scissors may be necessary but be very careful. Cutting hair needs to be minimal and the last resort.
  • Once the body is done move to the key areas of the eyes, mouth, ears and feet. Be very careful trimming the hair in these areas as your Maltese may not like the scissors. The safest way to use scissors near a dog is to never point them at the dog. You should always hold them parallel to the dog and be very careful when cutting. The reason you hold them parallel is to ensure any sudden movements from the dog do not cause it to be stabbed with the end of the scissors.
  • Ensure the key area of the behind is kept trim and clear of excessive hair. Some hair will need to be cut or trimmed on your Maltese in this sensitive area.
  • Shaving a short haired curly Maltese is an option if the coat has become unmanageable.
  • Bathing of your Maltese should be done about once a month. You do not want to bath your dog more than once a month as it removes essential oils in their fur and on their skin. This can lead to unhealthy hair and skin infections.
  • Knots are prone in the areas of the feet, underbelly, rear and behind the ears on Maltese.
  • Any skin irritations should be shown to your vet for expert advice.

Hopefully this page has answered your question on whether Maltese puppies can have curly hair and also provided a vast amount of additional information on how to care for you curly hair best friend.

Do you have any extra tips for grooming a Maltese that you have used? Please share them in our comments section for everyone to benefit from them.


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