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Do Maltese Have Hair or Fur? (Quick Answers)

Maltese are wonderful little balls of fur that bring us joy, energy, and happiness. They are often identified by their cute as a button face combined with their beautiful creamy white coat, be it cut long or short. Speaking of their coat,

Do Maltese have hair or fur?

Maltese are small fluffy white dogs with no undercoat. The lack of an undercoat means this white fluffy coat is full of hair, not fur. Unlike average dogs, Maltese have hair that is fine and silky in a single coat. This texture of hair provides minimal shedding and can be deemed hypoallergenic.

Maltese dogs are easily recognizable for their doll-like qualities and pearly white hair. We call it hair because of the lack of undercoat, and it is naturally soft and silky. As a puppy, the hair might be short and look like fur, but as an adult, the coat grows out to floor length.

However, their type of hair also provides minimal shedding. While it is impossible for dogs to never shed, Maltese is the breed the shed the least because the hair growth is very unnoticeable.

It should also be noted that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic for the effect comes from dog saliva, dander, and pollen. Saliva is inevitable whether you have a Chow-Chow or a Maltese so 100% allergy-free is simply not possible.

This type of dog hair also gives the owner the bonus of trying out an array of hairstyles. Maltese is a breed known to rock the floor-length show cut, the puppy cut, and even the teddy cut- each showcasing a side and visual of their personalities.

What type of hair does a Maltese have?

Unlike average dogs with fur, the type of hair Maltese have is different. The first difference is the lack of an undercoat. The other difference is that the hair type is super fine and so can tangle easily. Unless trimmed, the hair coat can grow indeterminately.

This hair type also warrants almost monthly grooming.

Do Maltese dogs have human hair?

While there are technically no differences between hair and fur, and it is a rather common saying that Maltese’s hair is most similar to their human counterparts. However, in the end, these are not human hair, but very alike to ours.

This almost human-like hair has no underlayer that holds on to dander, which is why this breed is considered to be good for people with dog allergies.

How can you tell if your dog has hair or fur?

As mentioned previously, there is no chemical or biological difference between dog hair and fur, they will look the same under a microscope. That being said, you can still figure out what kind your furry friend has.

In dog terms, a single-layered coat is called a hair coat whereas a double coat is known as fur. For double coats, the outer layer is thicker and the inner is thinner and more lightweight.

Single coat hair can be long or short, wavy or bouncy, can be even silky or rough. But they will feel the same all over the dog. You can feel the difference in double coats.

For grooming, hair and fur differences matter because the texture dictates how much grooming they need.

To know how you can tell them apart, hair has a longer growth circle so they have less shedding too. Hair will also feel smoother and finer than fur.

Fur is shorter and denser and they will shed a lot more too.

So, if you notice your dog’s shedding pattern and can compare their coat and how they feel to differentiate and tell.

Do Maltese shed hair?

Maltese dogs are well known for their lack of shedding. This does not mean they do not shed at all, however. It simply means they have the least noticeable shedding.

As mentioned earlier, their lack of undercoat means they don’t shed as much. This lack of shedding makes it easier for allergy sufferers to be near and own a dog.

So, if you think your Maltese is shedding a lot, it is usually a sign of stress or disease for a healthy Maltese cannot throw or lose its coat. One of the regular times they can shed is during or after pregnancy due to hormonal changes.

How fast does Maltese hair grow?

Typically, it takes about 3 to 6 months for them to grow 3 to 4 inches of hair. Since Maltese are a single coat hair breed, their hair cycle is longer than usual furry dogs.

Coat growth depends on bloodline, genetics, and heredity as well as grooming. Keeping that in mind, coat growth to the point of it touching the ground should take around 10 to 18 months. The average time is about 12-14 months.

At what age can you cut Maltese hair?

Before you cut your dog’s hair, make sure they are done with all their shots and have waited a week or two to fully recover. That being said,

After they have had their adult coat, you should cut the hair around every 6 weeks. If their puppy coat feels too shaggy or too much, you can always give them a light trim yourself or by groomers.

When does Maltese puppy hair change?

Did you know? Pomeranian dogs need about 2 years to fully grow into their adult coat.

Compared to that, the average time for a Maltese puppy coat to lose itself or “change” between 6 to 8 months of age. However, it can also start around 12 weeks or even be later when they are a year old.

Around 8 to 10 months old is when you should be able to feel a change in their coats and know the transformation is coming.

Do Maltese need haircuts?

Yes, Maltese need haircuts. This is because their hair can grow super long, especially compared to their body height.

Unless regularly groomed, they can gather dirt and become stained. They are prone to matting as well. You should also consider giving your pup a haircut if you live in a warmer area.

Summer means hotter weather so to keep them cool, it is advised to give them a haircut. On the flip side, maybe let them grow it out during the winter so they can stay warm.

Maltese are also a breed that allows the owner to give them different haircuts so why not take advantage of it? Since the hair grows up rather fast you can always try out different styles.

Even show dogs that grow out their hair need trimming and cuts near the face and ear so it is advised to give them a haircut.

Maltese are energetic, friendly dogs with a pretty, shiny hair coat that are an immediate attention grabber. Proper maintenance and grooming are needed to keep this coat healthy and happy, but to see your beloved canine companion preppy and pretty is always worth it. 

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