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Coat Type?
by Jeannie
Coat Type? Hello! I know this is going to sound silly because there has been so much discussion on the subject but I have a question about coat types and when they change. I have heard and read many different things about it, and I know that every dog will be different, but there must be some "rule of thumb" out there that I am missing. I have heard: They will throw their puppy coats. (when? or at what age?) They will throw their coats after a heat. (every heat?) How much of their coat will they "throw"? I have read that there should be no curls or kink. Do they mean "ever"? Are puppy coats supposed to be straight right from the beginning? My Ellii is 10 months now and half of her coat, the front half, is fairly straight, and the back half looks like someone took a crimping iron to it. Is this a puppy coat that is turning into an adult coat or will she always have the half and half "look"? I called the local groomer here and she said that a lot of dogs are that way, and that you have to brush the hair straight when you are drying it. I live in a rainy area, so that would be a pain in the neck if I had to do that every time I pottied her. Also, I have read that the hair should lay flat against the body. Is that as an adult only or should puppies be the same? Does it depend on the length of the hair? The groomer here also said that if you cut the hair down even once that it can affect the coat "forever"! I thought about cutting it down because the crimpy hair matts so easily, but if she is going through a "coat throwing process" and there is a chance that the hair will straighten out, I don't want to mess it up. As you can see, I am VERY confused. I would truly appreciate ANY feedback you could give me. Thanks so much!


No curly hair and to lay flat on the body is only important if you go to shows. Maltese are not supposed to shed, so they should not be loosing hair after some heat. I would appreciate some feedback also. I am going to the groomer monday and will ask her some of those questions.

A Maltese should have straight, silky hair with a pearly appearance. A healty Maltese is non-shedding so it cannot "throw" or lose its coat. There are a couple of exceptions.A Maltese that has just had puppies can lose her coat meaning that it will get very thin. This is simply because of the tremendous hormonal changes that go on during pregnancy. I remember my hair falling out after I had my children. Some will recover and some will not. Also, illness or skin problems will cause a thinning or loss of the coat. Cutting the hair of a healthy Maltese will in no way affect it. Some Maltese dogs will have a cotton-like coat and some will have a curly coat. The coat texture is genetically determined. The curly coats are more than likely the result of a Maltese and Bichon cross as some unscrupulous breeders will pass these off as Maltese; and as puppies, the Maltese and Bichons are very close in appearance. At around a year of age, Maltese will go through a coat change where they may matt a little more but they never just lose their coats. I'm sure there are some good professional groomers out there but there aren't any in my area that know much about Maltese, especially how to cut their hair which is why I learned to do it myself. I hope this information helps you.
April B.
Jeannie - The many different types of coats on Maltese can drive you crazy! Most puppies go through a coat change at about 10 to 14 months old. The best way I can tell you to judge a coats texture is to close your eyes and use your sense of feel. If the coat feels cool to the touch you are very lucky. The silkiest of coats feel cool. If is feels more like cotton than silk you will probably have a life long battle with matting. Some females tend to loose coat after they are in season. You will notice the coat loss alot more with the cotton coat. You may not even notice it with a true silky coat. If your puppy has a kinky coat it will probably have a kinky coat as an adult. Another check is if your dog is in full coat and you lift the ends even with the spine, the correct coat will fall back into place while the incorrect coat will not fall flat. Hope this helps.

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