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aggresive after grooming

by Darlene Matthews

I have a 3 month old Maltese baby that has only been in our home for 3 weeks. When I got her I took her to the vet and they suggested I have her clipped real short as her hair was matted. Since I had her groomed she becomes very aggressive when I try to brush her or when she doesn't want to be bothered. She trys to bite my hands, face, cloths or anything she can get ahold of. I don't know if grooming caused this or if this is normal for her. How do I break her of this bad habit. Thank you.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Darlene, Based on your description, your little one may have had a very unpleasant experience at the groomer. Be very careful in selecting a groomer. Interview the groomer on their techniques and methodologies on handling dogs. Ask for references. In regard to your brushing at home...try to get your little one (name?) to relax. Let him sit on your lap for a bit while you sroke him and talk to him before using the brush. Be gentle with the brush and don't pull at any mats. They need to be worked out properly. Did you adopt your puppy from a breeder? If so, could that person show you how to groom and get mats out? Brushing your little one at least once a day (if not more) is the best way to get them used to it and prevent mats from happening. Hopefully, the times when you brush him will be a relaxing time the two of you spend together each day. Good luck.

It is possible that your puppy had a bad experience at the groomer, but I doubt it. Most human children hate their first haircuts and at some point in their developments, even hate having their faces washed Both of our babies were like yours when we first started grooming them. They would lightly nip at us and try and bite the brush. We told them no and then worked on making grooming time a special time for them. We talk softly and lovingly to them as we brush their hair. We tell them how beautiful they are. (I believe maltese can pick up the loving vibes) We never try to brush a mat out of their hair without holding the hair between the mat and their skin. (When you do that, it keeps from pulling on the skin. Finally, when grooming time is done, the best of all!... Treat Time!!! They LOVE that! Our babies actually look forward to grooming time.
-Chuck Norman

While at the vets office last week a lady brought in her dog. She said that every since she had picked her dog up at the groomer that morning, she had hidden under the bed, and she trembled when someone tried to touch her. The vet checked her over and found some clipper burns on her face, and then when he began parting her hair and looking at her, you could see little whelps on her skin. Evidently she had given the groomer a hard time and had gotten spanked with something that left a loop design on her skin. He sent the lady home with some tranqulizers for her dog and suggested that she might consider another groomer. Might want to have her looked over by the vet to see if they can find a problem.
-Marsha A.

Our Bogey, 2 1/2 yr. old pedigree male, LOVES to be brushed. Then gets treat and love. He's pretty good for bath-time but then, after blow-drying and brushing for a long time, wants to play, bite towels, be chased, etc. I think it's their "thing."
-Bob S.

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