Archived Message
Male With Bows

by Jane

Hi again, I am sorry for asking so many questions. The Maltese Only site is so helpful and important to me.(My husband and I are first time dog owners) Anyways, my question is that I have a male maltese and I love to tie 2 bows on him when I go out. My maltese is so cute, he just knows that when it is time for him to go out and allows me to tie bows on him. He gets lots of attention when we are out. However, most people mistaken him for her. when I told them that he is a boy, they are usually startled and says "Oh." Several people think I should not be tying bows on male dogs. Some people I have met didn't like the idea that a boy dog should have bows on. One lady today even suggested that I trim the hair around my maltese face. The idea that "boy dog should not have bow" really offends me. I only use black or blue bows on him to distinguish from a her. I was just wondering does anyone else also have the problem with boy maltese wearing bows? I am anticipating for your answers! Thank you. =] <---smiling face.


Dear Jane: You may not be aware of the history that surrounds why maltese wear bows. Many years ago, maltese were shown without the bows. This was most unfortunate, first and foremost as the dogs could not see well thru all that hair and also the judges had to" hunt" to examine their heads. Eventually, it became the custom to bring the hair up from the face and secure it with a small piece of wool or ribbon. People then began using rubber bands and the bows were put on after to hide the unsightly bands.

Over their lifetime, the topknot hair on a maltese will grow very long. If it is left in their face, not only will it impair their vision but it will also get in their food and water and generally will become an unsightly mess. There is nothing wrong and ,indeed, everything right with putting bows on your little guy. My boys have always worn bows and they are not restricted to black and blue, either. Red and purple are other colors that look very nice on any maltese. The only color I don't use for "the guys" is pink.

As for people thinking that he is a girl; the same thing has happened with my human son, all of his life. From the time he was a baby, people have always thought that he was a girl. I have kept his hair very short to deter them but they still call him "Princess". Christopher has been blessed with a beautiful face and long eyelashes. It no longer bothers me, as I realize that he is just such a beautiful child ,that people assume "he" is a "she". It is the same with a maltese - they are just so beautiful that people assume that they have to be girls. Dear Abby says that if people ask you a question that upsets you or makes you uncomfortable, you should answer with your own "uncomfortable " question. If they press you as to why your boy is wearing bows, you might sweetly respond "Does the fact that he is wearing bows bother you ?!"
-Andrea NoŽl SnoŽl Maltese

Well, Jane, I think those people are being silly and you should tell them to get their own dog and do as they like! Shoot. It's your dog and if you are lucky enough to get him to keep the bows in, you should have bows. If you look at the Champs and the Maltese in the dog books you will see males with bows. Are folks afraid he will suffer an identity crisis and not know he's a boy. You keep those bows on that boy if you like 'em. Enjoy.
-cathy brown

I would be so grateful if my darling Herald would just keep his bows on!!! At 6 months his hair is about 2 and a half inches long on top and he just rips whatever I put in there out in two minutes. I refuse to cut it. He is just going to have to fight me about it forever. I have two young sons who asked me about the bows but I just showed them a picture in the Maltese book and that seemed to satisfy their curiosity. As for strangers, sometimes I say "he" to their she but mostly I jsut let them pet him. They will never know the difference anyway!!! I am just glad they enjoyed him.

Ruth, I agree with you. I would love it if my boys would wear bows, but like yours, they pull them out. I now have their top knots trimmed, but if I had my choice, it would be bows.
-Marsha A.

Jane, I have seen pictures of male malteses with bows and I think that they look darling. Just what a sweet little maltese should look like. I would love to do this to my maltese but where did you buy the bows? I know some owners makes them but do you know where I can purchase the bows?

My groomer knows that I'd rather she didn't put bows in Harlee Dee's(female) and Travis(male) hair,due to the fact they DON'T last long before they pull them out, so what she was doing was putting the cutest bandanas on them, until last time !!! My groomer likes bows in Maltese hair so she took it upon herself to put pink bows on Harlee and blue bows on Travis....and Travis absolutely LOVED it. I always strut them around the neighborhood after they get groomed and if you could've only seen Travis walking SO proud, with his head held high like he was King of the World. Harlee Dee also didn't mind the bows. They lasted about a week, due to playing, the bows became loose so I removed them. And everyone we came across,during our walk, commented on how beautiful the both are. Hey, my logic is, with humans today(NO offense to anyone), some woman have short hair and some men have long hair,and it is often difficult to tell if they're a male or female from a back view, so enough said......Travis looks wonderful with blue bows !!!
-Karen Kalamaras

Hi, Jane, Touquet is a boy and he wears a bow every day of life. I get the neatest ribbons at specialty card and gift-wrapping stores e.g. black ribbon with multi-coloured metallic stripes through it, etc. People always refer to my dog as "she", and I just don't bother to correct them. If they ask, I tell them that he is a boy, and point out that the bow keeps the hair out of his eyes. By the way, the bow looks adorable, and I wouldn't do it any other way. Don't worry what other people think -- this is a Maltese birthright!!!

Thanks to everyone for their enthusiastic responses and sharing your unique experiences. And Jenny, if you email me with your email address I can furnish you with the maltese bow supplier because I don't have the address with me right now. Thanks again to everyone and it made me feel much better that I am not the only one who decorates my male maltese.

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