Puppies are as often difficult to groom as they are inquisitive, excited and typically unaware of what you expect of them. Add an especially poorly behaved puppy to the mix, and you’ve got an even more frustrating and difficult situation. Though Maltese puppies are generally easy-going, you always have a chance of encountering one that is especially wiggly or even aggressive. Fortunately, Maltese puppies do not require much grooming—typically, just baths and trimming of a few areas. However, you can employ a few specific methods to restrain and successfully groom a badly behaved Maltese puppy.
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Enlist a helper. Grooming and holding a Maltese puppy that is jumping around or trying to get away will prove extremely difficult all on your own. However, if you have a helper who can attempt to keep the puppy still while you groom, you'll make the process much easier, and safer, for both you and the puppy. Keeping the Maltese puppy still may prevent it from falling off of the table or jumping out of the tub and becoming injured. Ask the helper to hang on to the puppy’s head to prevent it from biting and to hold it in the bath or the tub while you groom it. In addition, just the presence of another person may be enough to calm the puppy, as it may understand that the odds are two against one in your favour.
Muzzle your Maltese puppy if it attempts to bite you. As they are rather tiny, Maltese puppies generally require small or extra-small muzzles, depending upon their ages and sizes. The muzzle alone often serves as a distraction and will keep the Maltese puppy calm. Use the muzzle when you bathe the puppy, as well as when you trim it. However, depending on how aggressive the Maltese is, you may not be able to trim its face. You cannot trim the hair around the Maltese’s mouth with a muzzle on, but do not attempt to trim the hair either if it is snapping. Both the scissors and clippers can cut the dog’s tongue or mouth if it makes contact with them.
Allow the Maltese puppy to sniff the grooming objects you will use. A Maltese puppy will often react badly when scared; however, if you help familiarise it with the grooming process and the tools involved, you may help it become more comfortable and better behaved. Before you use the clippers to groom the groin areas, let the puppy smell them while they are off, then turn the clippers on away from the Maltese and slowly bring them to the dog. Try placing the handle of the clippers against the puppy so that it becomes accustomed to the vibrating sensation. Similarly, allow the Maltese puppy to sniff the scissors before you trim its ears, feet and tail, along with the nail clippers.
Trim the hair that hangs off of the feet, as well as any stragglers along the legs. Hold the tail straight out, and use the scissors to cut the hair that hangs down; cut as much or as little as you would like. Trim the hair that hangs down from the ears and face with the scissors, and carefully use the clippers to scoop out the hair underneath its eyes. Cut the ear and face hair to whatever length you desire. Maltese puppies generally do not need their body hair trimmed.
Tips and warnings
- Using treats and a calm, soothing voice can also work wonders to calm the Maltese puppy down. Give treats as often as you can during the grooming process, and reassuringly talk to the puppy the entire time.
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