The only thing cuter than a regular-sized Maltese is a Teacup Maltese, a tiny canine companion that reaches sizes of about six or eight inches tall.
This almost-handheld dog could win over any heart with its charm.
But how much do they shed?
Teacup Maltese dogs, like their full-sized Maltese brethren, are incredibly low-shedding. The teacup variety might shed even less than the standard Maltese since it’s smaller. Grooming a Teacup Maltese will still be a challenge, though.
In this guide, I’ll tell you how much shedding to expect out of this teeny-tiny and companionable dog, what grooming this dog is like, and other facets of the pup’s care.
Teacup Maltese Shedding
The regular-sized Maltese is already hailed as being one of the lowest-shedding dogs in existence, right up there with the Poodle and the Bichon Frise.
That bodes quite well for the Teacup Maltese, which is indeed about as low-shedding of a dog as you can imagine.
Why do they shed so little?
For starters, the Teacup Maltese, like its full-sized Maltese counterpart, is only single-coated.
This means the Teacup Maltese lacks an insulating undercoat, which typically shed a lot in the summer and winter for weeks on end.
Additionally, the Teacup Maltese grows long, crimped hair akin to the regular-sized Maltese. And the length of a dog’s hair matters when it comes to how much that breed will shed.
Dogs undergo hair growth across a four-stage cycle. The hair growth begins with anagen and reaches its full length during catagen.
The telogen phase is when the hair is at rest before reaching the exogen phase. That’s when the dog finally releases its hair, and the process begins anew.
A longer-coated breed such as the Teacup Maltese takes comparatively longer to get through all four hair growth stages than a shorter-coated dog such as the Boston Terrier.
There’s yet a third reason why the Teacup Maltese sheds so little, and that’s the dog’s size.
The less surface area a dog has, the less hair. With only so much hair to shed, a Teacup Maltese will shed less than a regular-sized Maltese.
That said, it’s best not to assume the Teacup Maltese is 100 percent non-shedding. No dog with hair is, as all dog grows and releases fur as part of the aforementioned regular dog hair growth cycle.
If your Teacup Maltese is shedding more than Maltese breed standards would suggest, it could be due to food allergies, nutrient deficiencies, fleas or ticks, or an undiagnosed medical condition. So if you have any concerns at all, I’d suggest seeing your vet.
Is the Teacup Maltese Hypoallergenic?
The Maltese is listed as hypoallergenic on the American Kennel Club (AKC) website, and since the Teacup Maltese is even smaller, it too would be considered hypoallergenic.
But the thing is, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic.
Some dogs, like the Teacup Maltese, are more tolerable among allergy sufferers, but all dogs can cause a reaction, even hairless dogs!
Why? Because the main cause of pet-related allergies is often the dander (dead skin flakes), not the hair itself. Low-shedding dogs are often more “hypoallergenic” than heavy shedding dogs because dander, saliva, sweat, and urine (aka dog allergens) stick to fur, and more fur being shed means more allergens spreading around the home, but no dog is truly hypoallergenic.
That said, if you’re looking for one of the lowest shedding, most hypoallergenic dogs possible, the Teacup Maltese fits that description.
Grooming Your Teacup Maltese
The Teacup Maltese does not grow hair in any different fashion than the standard-sized Maltese. That means that all the struggles you can face when grooming a Maltese would be present in the teacup version of the dog as well.
The color, length, and texture of the Teacup Maltese dog’s coat is a triple threat, after all!
Brushing a dog daily is a great way to combat shedding. Despite that the Teacup Maltese hardly sheds, I’d still suggest brushing the dog every day to detangle its coat and prevent the accumulation of debris.
Unfortunately, longer-haired dogs like the Maltese are susceptible to tangles and knots that can become quite painful if not addressed right away. Daily brushing is the best way to prevent such discomfort for your tiny pup.
What type of brush do I recommend for a Teacup Maltese?
The same type of brush you can use for a standard-sized Maltese, a pin brush.
Before you begin brushing, it’s a good idea to run your hands over the Teacup Maltese dog’s coat and feel for mats. With some detangling spray and your fingers, you can deftly dislodge mats and knots in their early stages.
Then you can use the pin brush to pull out any loose fur lingering in your Teacup Maltese dog’s coat.
Brushing your dog will also bring out the natural shine in their fur and moisturize their skin as you spread skin oils.
After using the pin brush, it’s not a bad idea to follow up with a bristle brush, which will further lend that aforementioned shine to your Maltese dog’s coat.
If your Teacup Maltese dog’s hair is getting a little long, you can always trim the dog, but I’d caution you against shaving your pet.
Your Maltese lacks an undercoat as it is, so having a very thin layer of fur could leave them shivering and shaking a lot.
To keep your Teacup Maltese white, you may need to bathe the dog every couple of weeks and no more infrequently than about monthly.
Use dog-friendly shampoo. You’ll have to clean the Teacup Maltese in a sink or shallow basin rather than a bathtub, but there are some great smaller grooming tubs that work well, and these come with features that can make bathing easier.
In any case, bathe your dog with lukewarm water, and ideally, avoid towel-drying the Teacup Maltese when bath time is over, as you could create knots and tangles by doing this. Instead, use a dog hair blow dryer, as these are purpose-built to dry your dog safely and effectively. Or you could use a regular hair dryer on a low heat setting.
The Teacup Maltese, just like the full-sized Maltese, can develop tear stains, too. And if you want to know how to remove those, we’ve put together a list of our recommended tear stain removers that shows you how to remove tear stains from white-coated dogs like the Maltese and what products we recommend for the job.
Lastly, if you want to know more about grooming your Teacup Maltese (in general), I found the YouTube video below to be helpful:
About the Teacup Maltese
The Teacup Maltese is a miniaturized version of the regular Maltese, which is already a small dog, to begin with. The average size of a Maltese is eight to 10 inches tall and about 8.8 pounds. A Teacup Maltese is six to eight inches tall and weighs 4.5 pounds.
The Teacup Maltese mostly exists just for being sweet and companionable.
That explains the dog’s demeanor, as the Teacup Maltese is snuggly, kind-hearted, gentle, and surprisingly brave. This dog is happiest in a beloved someone’s lap.
If you rent an apartment and you’re thinking of adopting the Teacup Maltese, I’d say go for it! This dog is tiny enough that even a studio apartment is a palace in your dog’s eyes.
They’ll have lots of room to run and play indoors and outdoors.
The Teacup Maltese is also well-suited for life in a standard home.
The earlier that a Teacup Maltese is socialized, the easier it will be for this tiny dog to get along with other canines. The teacup pup can be a little bossy, which is something to keep in mind.
Even if your Teacup Maltese is socialized, I wouldn’t recommend pairing the dog with larger canines. This miniaturized Maltese is simply too small for that relationship to be harmonious.
The Teacup Maltese can get along with cats and other animals besides dogs through early socialization, though.
And as a natural companion to people, the Teacup Maltese will love your kids.
That said, I would caution you against putting a Teacup Maltese with very young and rambunctious kids. They might not understand how fragile this delicate dog is, which could result in injuries.
The full-sized Maltese is a strong barker, so it’s no different from the Teacup Maltese in that respect. The dog can begin barking uncontrollably at times, so training your pup to be quieter is best if you have to watch the noise levels.
The Teacup Maltese is a miniaturized version of the regular-sized Maltese and sheds even less since it’s smaller. It’s also considered to be more tolerable to allergy sufferers, too.
That said, as little time as you’ll have to spend on pet hair cleanup, be ready to funnel that time into grooming your Teacup Maltese. The dog’s long coat needs a lot of care, and you’ll have to ward off tear stains often, as these are common with the Maltese.
With its sweet demeanor and love for cuddling with its people, all the hard work you put into the Teacup Maltese will pay off. You’ll have a tiny lap buddy for life!