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Preferred Coat?

by Cyndi

First, permit me to share that I think this is a wonderful website with people who have valuable first-hand, if not professional, knowledge. I have appreciated what I've learned from everyone. Thank you. I have a 5 yr. old maltese baby and I have never had such a loving and sweet dog. This is my discussion question: I am wondering if there is a preference amoung owners and breeders toward the "cotton" or ."silk" coat. Are there show quality maltese with cotton coats? And also, do any of you know which coat is dominate genetically? I'd love my Newton even if he were bald, but am thinking about finding him a wife and he does have a cotton coat.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

I would like to know myself if you can tell what type of coat they will have at 6 months old. And how can you tell what type of coat they have? Mine is kinda fluffy at this point. Not shinny and straight if that is what silky is.

With a cotton coat while Newton is a wonderful dog I do belive that the coat is past to his offspring. Guess I'd really think long and hard about breeding him.
-Carol A

The coat you describe your male as having sounds like a cotton coat. There is an old adage that dog breeders have spouted for years--like begets like. What you see in the parents is what you'll get in the puppies.

The silk coat is the only correct coat for a Maltese. There are different textures to various silk coats, some are fine and delicate, others are satiny and heavy, but they should NEVER be curly or kinky and pouffy. (I had one of my girls at the Vet's the other day and saw another cut-down Maltese there--he had a curly, Poodle-type coat, and actually looked more Bichon than Maltese. When clipped, the cotton coat tends to curl.

I myself try to stay away from incorrect coat texture--although I haven't been breeding and showing Maltese for very long I understand from those more experienced than I that once you get incorrect coat texture into your lines, it takes several generations to breed it out (and like a little gremlin, it can keep popping up generations down the line).

If you are serious about breeding, I would try to locate a knowledgeable breeder/exhibitor in your area and have some serious discussions with that person to determine if the overall quality of your dog merits taking a chance on reproducing the cotton coat.
-Linda (Snow Angel)

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