Malti-poos are small, patient dogs that require frequent grooming to stay clean and mat-free. A malti-poo is a cross between a Maltese and a poodle, combining the long, flowing coat of the former with the soft, curly fur of the latter. This combination is disastrous if not properly groomed, but grooming your malti-poo is not a daunting task. A good brush, sharp set of clippers and a little patience will keep your malti-poo from becoming a matted mess.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Slicker brush
- Body clippers
- Small scissors
- Toenail clippers
- Dog shampoo and conditioner
Brush the dog from head to toe with a small slicker brush. Hold the dog gently on a counter or grooming table, and, starting at the head, run the brush down the dog’s neck toward the tail. Work in small sections, cleaning the brush often. Brush under the dog’s belly, down the hindquarters and under the tail to remove small mats and dead hair.
Fit a set of body clippers with a 1-inch clipper guard and shave the dog’s entire coat. Hold the clippers at the base of the ears and run them gently along the contours of the back toward the tail. Shave from the top of the shoulders down toward the toes, and from the top of the hips down to the back toes. Lift the tail and shave excess hair on the hindquarters. Clipping your malti-poo’s hair reduces curliness and cuts back on painful mats.
Trim the hair on the face, ears and tail with a pair of small scissors. Brush the hair on top of the dog’s head back toward the neck, trimming off any hair that extends beyond the base of the ears. Comb the hair on the dog’s muzzle straight down, and trim hair just below chin level. Comb ear hair down toward the ground, snipping off any that hangs below the chin. Hold the tail straight away from the body and trim tail hair to a length of 2 inches. Trimming the hair short around the head and tail prevents the fine, wispy hairs from gathering food and fecal matter.
Cut the toenails with a small pair of toenail clippers. Hold the left front foot in your hand, and clip the toenails just above the quick, which is the dark pink or red mark running through the toenail. If your malti-poo has black toenails, snip off a very small amount at a time until you see the pink edge of the quick emerge. Repeat with the remaining three feet.
Bathe your malti-poo in a sink of warm water. Malti-poos are small dogs, and bathing in a bathtub may overwhelm and frighten them. Fill the sink with 4 inches of warm water and set the dog inside. Wet the dog, and squeeze a bead of dog shampoo down the back. Rub the shampoo into the coat, taking care to wash the face, under the belly and between the legs. Rinse with clean water, and add conditioner. Leave the conditioner on for five minutes to penetrate to the skin, rinsing thoroughly. Towel-dry, and brush to remove any residual tangles.
Tips and warnings
- Contact a professional groomer if you are not comfortable body-clipping your malti-poo.
- Clipping should be done every three or four months, or when the hair begins to curl.
- Don’t use human-grade shampoo to bathe your dog. Human shampoos are too harsh and may dry out your dog’s skin.
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