Do maltese dogs shed

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Do maltese dogs shed their undercoat a year earlier than other breeds?


Yes. The only other breed I know of that sheds this early (and that is not generally acknowledged in this list) is Chinese Crested. I know it doesn't happen in every litter and some litters never see a true undercoat in spite of the fact that the puppies go through their "undercoat stage" as late as 9-12 weeks old. It is usually more obvious in litters where some of the puppies are born with a full coat (such as the Chinese Cresteds) and some are born with a short coat.

Why do Chinese Cresteds shed so early? I don't know the answer, but I do know there are a lot of breeders out there who will not breed Chinese Cresteds until the "undercoat stage" is gone. It is really quite cute if you look at the litters that show the difference between those who shed so early, and those that don't.

On another note, there is a big difference in appearance between Chinese Crested and Maltese puppies as they mature, as Chinese Cresteds tend to be much shorter in height when they mature. It is often said that the Maltese breed was created as a companion dog for people, whereas the Chinese Crested was created as a coat guard for people in the palace. I don't know if this has anything to do with why the breeds do shed their coats so early.

It is also fairly rare to find a Maltese puppy who hasn't yet shed its undercoat (or does not shed it as early) in the "undercoat stage." I know of breeders who breed for that characteristic.

What about Maltese dogs that don't shed their undercoat? Well, of the dogs I know of that don't shed their undercoat, all of them had had major health problems that the breeder sought to correct by breeding the breed of dog she thought would be healthy and not shed its undercoat. These dogs were also not allowed to get pregnant and were raised in a clean environment with the exception of being exposed to the outside and in that case were given a dog house/kennel. Some of the dogs lived in the "undercoat stage" long enough to get their undercoat fully covered up so that they didn't look like they had shed their undercoat at all.

In the end, as with any kind of dog there are some breeders out there who breed for healthy, happy pets that don't shed their undercoats. But this is certainly not the case with Chinese Cresteds.

I also have a question about hair on top of the dogs and would love to know the answer.


In short:

- Chinese Cresteds shed.

- It is a lot faster to shed your undercoat as the guard hairs on top are relatively short and easily fall off.

- They can shed up to two-three months before the onset of spring and start growing the new guard hair on top.

- The amount of shedding and how fast will vary heavily between dogs.

The Chinese Crested's tail is an exception in this respect. This dog will shed all the time and a large amount of the hair will fall off. As a result, the long fur on the tail will keep falling off. In cold weather the tail will just look like it's wearing fur booties. In warm weather the fur on the tail will grow back and the tail may look fuller and thicker than it was before the shedding.

To stop the shedding, one has to trim the fur off the tail every week.

On top of the dogs, they usually have just one coat of fur. They will grow new coat of hair each time they get a new coat of fur. That fur on top is called guard hair. Guard hair is thicker, shorter and much less curly than the coat of fur under the guard hair. That coat of fur underneath is called undercoat.

A Chinese Crested will shed a lot when it goes through a growth spurt. This is more evident in spring and summer. As a result, it's recommended to trim them a couple of times per year. It also depends on the dog.

As a reference, you may want to take a look at Dog Breeds.


They grow their coat of hair off their chest, and their tail doesn't really shed. It just wears down. It is one of their coat functions (much like shedding in rabbits).

They grow new coat hair between each of these coat cycles, which results in a fur like that in the pictures.

See also:


They don't have long tails, they're just there. It's another method of scent and heat marking.

Long tails are for communication. In dogs with long tails (as compared to short tails), they typically have three distinct zones. The first is a larger area of tail tissue that is generally flat and does not contain fur. The second is a fur-covered section that is usually flat, but may contain ridges. The third area is the most commonly seen area and is covered in fur, and appears curled or folded. This area is often referred to as the "nap."

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