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by Dorothy
grooming I have a 4 1/2 month old maltese. Her hair on her head is so hard to handle and keep out of her eyes. She fights me when I try to put it into a pony tail. Any one have any tips as to how to better manage it. Also will her coat thicken when she gets older?


Hello! My Ellii isn't too keen on me fooling with her hair either. She is 11 months now and getting better about it. I use plastic barretts that you would buy for children. They are small, about 1.25 inches, are all plastic, and just fold in half. I think Vidal Sasson (sp) was the brand name. Anyway, she does so much better with the barretts than with ponytail that I rarely put the ponytail in anymore. Lots less time for her to have to sit still. And they don't break the hair like the rubber bands did. Good Luck and God Bless.

I had the same challenge with Skylar until a professional groomer told me the secret. I had been grooming Skylar in my lap, and he always felt he could "get away". The groomer told me to groom him on a table (high enough to keep him from jumping from it). This works great. Skylar knows he can't get away, so he stands still while I groom him. Hope this helps!
If you want to keep her hair up, patience and persistence is the key. Try giving a treat after grooming and praise her. Eventually, she will associate the grooming with good things and become easier to manage. She is still very young. If you don't want to fool with a top knot, cut her hair. My Maltese has the hair on his muzzle cut very short to just under the eyes with the hair standing up on his head with bangs and the rest of his hair cut to about two inches long all over. This is a darling cut for either sex. The large dark eyes, and black lips and nose are emphasized giving a rather adorable but sophisticated look that is easy to keep. I once saw a Maltese cut this way on a t.v. commercial. (Kind of like an Afghan Hound) I learned to cut my Maltese myself because I don't think there are many groomers that know how to cut them. They either cut them like poodles or schnauzers. As far as her coat is concerned, coat thickness and texture is genetic.
April B.
It does take patience and persistence. I do five month old Phoebe's hair each morning after I finish my shower, last week I was so terribly sick with this flu that I just couldn't do it and she gave me strange looks all day! It has truly become her routine. I recall the first week was very "interesting" and I tried all plastic barrettes - they lasted about thirty minues, then I tried the ones with the metal clasp & they lasted an hour, then I tried a single pony tail like I had done on my Yorkie & it worked fairly well, but the twin topknots have given the best results. It does take longer and I have arthritis so it really is a tedious task, but it has gotten easier and easier to do. Although she still has "bangs" because all the hair is not quite long enough to go up. After I do her topknots I do the eye cleaning - all of this is done on the bathroom counter and it only took a couple of days for her to learn to "sit" and let me do what has to be done. Regular brushing is also best done in a location not associated with play, even if it's on the coffee table in the living room, as long as it's not the living room floor where she romps. She has learned so many things so very fast that I could just go on and on! Just keep at it and it'll come together!
Leslie R
I am considering getting a Maltese do they have the same dog odor as other dogs.. I know that poodles don't shed and they don't have dog odor and I am wondering if this breed is the same.
Lorrie: Just to let you know...none of us here are anything but biased re: Maltese dogs as pets! But...in the attempt to be objective....I have not had a problem with "doggy odor" with either Muffin (mix Maltese) or with Nicky (pure Maltese) unless they have gotten into something or it has been 4-6 weeks since their last bath. At that point, it's not like the odor you will find on some of the short-haired breeds (labs, etc..). I would attribute this to the Maltese's lack of heavy oil glands because they have hair rather than fur. The only time my dogs "shed" is when I brush them: but that is the only time my hair sheds. I have been sold on the breed now after owning many others, including poodles. I must confess; I do not see myself owning (or being owned) any other breed again. Good luck on your decision!

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