Grooming the Maltese coat is a particular concern of every prospective owner. The Maltese coat is not difficult to care for if you do a daily once-over with a pin brush or steel-tooth comb to remove any matts that may be forming. If you neglect the coat for any length of time and allow matts to build up, a grooming session to remove them will be a miserable experience for you as well as your Maltese. If the dog becomes so matted you need to take it to a groomer, the groomer may have no choice but to cut the coat down very short.
For daily brushing, dilute some coat conditioner with water and lightly spray the coat as you brush to keep from breaking the hair and cut down static. Keep hair out of the eyes by either putting the hair in a single or double topknot, or keeping it trimmed over the eyes. The coat should be thoroughly brushed, with all matts removed, before bathing. For bathing, use a good quality shampoo designed for white dogs and a conditioner for long-haired breeds. After bathing, wrap the dog in a towel to remove excess water; then proceed to blow dry the coat, brushing the hair as it dries. Be sure your dryer is not too hot! Don't let your Maltese "air dry" - his coat will not look its best. Your Maltese can, of course, be taken to a professional groomer.
There are several excellent books that have been written on Maltese and all give more detailed information on coat care and grooming.
All Maltese would look best in their long, flowing coat of white hair, but as a pet owner, you may not be willing or have the time to spend keeping the hair clean, brushed and matt free. You do have other options such as a short cut which can be done periodically by a groomer.
The American Maltese Association appreciates your interest in the loveable Maltese and hopes that this information will help you make an informed decision as you choose a dog for your family. Maltese owners become loyal fanciers! We welcome you to the wonderful world of Maltese.