How to Give a Maltese a Puppy Cut

By Michaele Curtis

The puppy cut is a Maltese breed owner’s best friend. As much as you may love the look of the Maltese breed, you often don’t have the time to care for a long haired coat if your dog is not a show dog. Easy maintenance is the reason that most owners choose the puppy cut, but it also helps your dog stay cooler in warm temperatures. Unlike the latest human hair styles, a puppy cut is fairly easy to do at home.

Place your dog in the standing or lying position and start removing the coat from his back. He will be most comfortable in this position, so it’s best to start there. Trim the coat until it is about a half inch long and use that as the guide for the rest of your puppy cut. Move around to the hindquarters, but leave the tail as it is. A puppy cut doesn’t include the tail plume on a Maltese breed.

Start on the legs of your dog while he is in a standing position. The cut line on each leg should be straight and not show the narrowing of your dog’s legs. Trim the paws into rounded shapes and avoid cutting so short that the nails show.

Don’t forget the underside of your dog. If your dog is willing to lie on his back while you trim his stomach and chest, this will be easy for you. However, most Maltese do not want to expose themselves this way while you are grooming them. Instead, have him in the standing position and work carefully around his stomach and genitals. The underside is exposed to all sorts of dirt, so you might want to cut a little more closely here than in other places. An added benefit is that a near bare belly will keep a long-haired dog like the Maltese breed cooler in warm weather.

Finish the puppy cut with the head and ears. (If you have been using clippers on your dog, now is the time to switch to scissors for better handling.) Even though the puppy cut is supposed to be short, many Maltese owners leave the head a little long. Just be sure to trim away the errant hairs around the eyes and nose. If you don’t trim the beard and ears all the way back to the skin, they should at least be even and polished.