Return to the Pets Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
My maltese won't let me groom him

Posted by marie26 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 16, 06 at 20:11

I have a One-year-old maltese who is very smart and a wonderful companion. He loves to sit on my or DH's lap or curl up behind our necks on top of the couch. He also sleeps close to us.

He is as gentle as can be except when it's time to be groomed. My mistake wasn't getting him used to this when he was a puppy. The groomer told me that she won't groom him anymore if I bring him in matted (which he is again). It's very cold where I live and I'd rather keep his coat just to the edge of his body. I really don't want to give him a puppy coat.

I purchased a matting brush and gently tried to use it on him yesterday and I was shocked when he turned around and tried to bite me. He's never done this to me before. The groomer, however, says he's a tyrant when she grooms him.

Should I purchase a muzzle to get him used to grooming? Or is there a better method?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

I have problems with my 10 yr old border collie and have found that even just having her halter on her whilst grooming helps as that way i can control her head and if she behaves she gets a treat the same as you would train a puppy. I've only had her a few months this is her second home and her fur was one big matt underneath to start with as she wouldnt let her previoius owner grom her. it does take time and patience but it will help


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

This is probably going to take you a long time to fix. Get a grooming table or some high counter. And practice just having the dog there and treating just for standing there still. Just give a few strokes of the comb to start out and then work your way up. You will need massive amounts of treats. Assign a word to the grooming like "time to get pretty" and after a while the dog will be excited for this time because it means you get treats. I have a long-haired double coated breed (bearded collie) that I groom daily. The reason I do it daily is if I don't do it daily it will take even longer all at once and be very frustrating. So I would suggest that you start practicing a few times a day just being up onthe table and chilling out, not doing much. Then gradually work your way up to a complete session. I'm sure your won't need to spend as long as I do especially if your just combing out so the groomer will take over.

The mats are very painful for the dog. This is an excellent reason for your dog to not want to stand still. You may have to do a shave down if it's gotten to the point where a groomer wont touch it. Have somebody show you how to properly comb them out and what kind of brush or comb to use. There is also a product called Cowboy Magic that they sell at equine supply stores used for getting mats out of horse tails and supposedly it works very well although I haven't used it myself.

Just like anything else, be consistent and treat generously for standing/laying still on the table. Don't let the dog jump down from the table, that's your job. And most important of all set aside time regularly, if not every day to brush out your dog. That is the responsibility that comes with having a dog with long hair if you don't want to shave them down then you need to get with the program. No offense.

Do a search to see if there is a website forum or mailing list for just maltese owners. See if any in your area are up for a get together where they can show you how to do the grooming. You may also find breed-specific grooming instructions online too but having someone show you is priceless.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

If the dog snaps at you and you stop grooming him, then he has learned that snapping will make you stop. So you are reinforcing the behavior.

If the mats are really really bad, they may be so painful that the dog might need to be mildly sedated before he is groomed. Not sure how bad it is.

otherwise follow quirkey's take it slow - practice standing still and then add a few comb strokes and then work up to a complete groom. Try to make it positive but always remember the dog cannot win, as you are in control.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Hi. There is a website for Maltese owners. Malteseonly.com Please be warned, they can be pretty snooty at times.
My Maltese isn't fond of being groomed either but will go along with the program when I insist. He tried to snap at me once and got a scolding from it and straightened out. I would never swat him, it's not necessary.
I use a slicker brush and a metal comb when he gets matted, The worst places are around his ears and his tail. His tail is curled and easily matts.
If I can be of any help to you, let me know. I'm not an expert but have had my dog almost 4 years now and have been his sole groomer outside of taking him for haircuts.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Cowboy Magic is great. I like a product called Ice on Ice too. You are probably going to need to use some sort of tangle remover to make things easier. I know you said that you don't want him short right now because of the weather but take a long honest look at him and how badly he is matted. It may be better to take the coat off and let it start over so that it is matt free and not painful to him to be brushed. And it is painful to them to be de-matted. Also when you are working on the coat be sure to comb the dog. A lot of people "brush" then don't understand why the dog has to be shaved because it's matted. If you are not getting to the skin then matts form even tho the surface of the coat looks good. Be very careful also around ears if they are matted. Maltese seem to have very thin delicate skin and it's very easy to tear an ear while getting matts out.

Lisa


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

I bpought a grooming glove,it has soft plastic spikes. I put it on and stroke my dog Molly. She thinks she's getting a nice massage, but it keeps matts from forming. I used to take her to groomers. It cost $95 one time because she was badly matted. I like her hair long in winter. I just have to remember to do this at least once a day. Otherwise knots and matts start to form.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Marie: I have owned Maltese breed for 18yrs and can say that most dont like grooming. As Joey says...if he snaps and you retreat for cover he will continue to snap. I found the metal comb does work the best; one reason as it doesnt create static thus less knots. Grooming/Combing a maltese should be daily ritual. I keep my now 12yr old in a puppy cut to keep the grooming to a minimum as they get older from my experience they hate the grooming even more. You can try holding him on your lap while you watch tv and grab the comb and non-chalantly take a bit of hair and comb it...if there is a knot hold above the knot and "pick" if you will, at the knot a bit at a time. Just dont grab and pick at the knot without holding it as it will pull it and really hurt them. If it is too bad than I might suggest cutting it off. I hope this helps. GL


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

I took your advice and decided to let him know I'm boss. So, for the past 2 nights, I've put him on my lap and held his collar on the back of his neck with one hand and brushed him with the mat brush with the other hand. He just let me do it. The first night he lasted about 15 minutes and then cried so I stopped. Last night, he just lied there so still that I thought I might be choking him (I wasn't) and I did it for about 20 minutes. Each night, I'll continue to do it until all the matting is out.

I haven't bathed him during this process. Should I get all the matting out before I bathe him? Or should he be bathed first?


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

I don't have an answer for you on the bath vs. mat answer. I've never owned a dog that had that type of coat.

But I am glad you posted to share that he is improving on letting you groom him. I like to hear positive stuff on this forum. And pictures are good too.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

This is going to take time and patience. You CAN PREVAIL. first off you need to gets some tiny treats out. Natural balance makes a meat stick which can be cut into cubes for using as rewards. If you use a good amount, dont feed your dog as much during dinner if you are worried about weight problems. First make sure your dog has been walked for 15 minutes first and is now in a calm and relaxed state. Show your dog the brush and give it a tiny treat. The treat should not take more than a couple of chomps to eat. Put the brush on your dog, give a treat. lightly groom, give a treat. ALWAYS END ON A GOOD UPBEAT NOTE. If your dog shows teeth or growls, say NO. Brush again only lighter. Remember a matted dog is in discomfort, the matts pull the hair so tight it pulls at the skin. Brushing these out can be very painful. My recommendation is to have your dog shaved, get a dog sweater and start brushing your dog without the added issue of having matts. This way your dog will start associating brushing with a non painful time. These dogs should be brushed at least once if not twice a day, especially where matts are common, good luck


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Bathe after he is de-matted. If you do it before without the right equipment you'll make the matts worse. Don't forget to double check your work with a fairly narrow tooth comb. If a comb won't go thru the coat all the way to the skin then it's still matted. Also after you get it out and you bathe him be sure to follow up with a conditioner. The very act of de-matting a coat damages it and makes it more prone to matt in the future.

Lisa


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

If the matting is severe then like we said you'll need to have a professional groomer take the helm. Especially if it is hurting him to work out the mats. The reason I say this is because you want your grooming sessions to be without bad things happening. This is how the dog will learn that sitting still is what he's supposed to do. And of course you reward handsomely with lots of treats ever 20 or 30 seconds or so to start out just for standing there. If it's going to take days to get the mats out, this is going to be a problem I think. Brush before bathing.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

if I have a really bad mat that I need to work out and it is not too close to the skin I hold the hair below the mat with two fingers to keep it from pulling the skin and making it sore (if I can't do that I normally just cut them out, being very careful not to get near his skin)
we have battled mats the whole time I have had him, his hair is actually very fine for a Shih Tzu, maybe this is why he mats so bad, I have groomed him since he was a small thing so he is very used too it, but if I pull a little too hard on accident he will turn around and bite the brush, then he feels bad and will rush up and put his nose on my nose, his way of apologizing.
I also blow dry him after his bath (which he loves) and I brush him at the same time, and it seems to help keep the mats at bay somewhat, just have to make sure the blow dryer is plenty away from their skin.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Our maltese is now mat free except for his face. Around his eyes, the hair is black and must be bothering him. We have electric clippers but I'm not sure how to keep him still to use them. Any suggestions? I still haven't bathed him. Should I bathe him before I tackle his face? Also, we tried those pads to use near the eyes but they didn't help at all.

The groomer didn't do a great job around his eyes the last time he was there. Should I let the groomer take care of this when we have him groomed in a couple of weeks and explain what I want done around the eyes?


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Others may not agree but I bought VO5 Detangle for Cody's tail and ears. Those are the worst spots for mats and it works so good. Better than anything else I've tried. It's a leave in detangler. I also located his groomer who left Petco and started her own business so I'll be taking him to her. We keep him in a shorter cut because he's not a smooth hair Maltese.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

I am not sure, does maltese have a beard of hair like the shih tzu does? I hold on to that while I am clipping his face, works great, but he holds perfectly still while I have a hold of it. don't know if yours would hold still, sure don't want to do that if he struggles.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

My daughter used a scissors and clipped around the eyes. He even cuddled with her afterwards. I suppose he likes her better than me (lol). I feel as though I did all the work for the groomer except that I'd never be able to trim the hair around the face the way she does. She has the touch that makes him extra cute.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

IMHO, the simplest solutions are usually the best. USE THE MUZZLE. Two things will result. You will not get bit and the dog will think you are somehow immune to bites. (He won't understand the effects of the muzzle and when he snaps and you react with a calm but firm NO he will think you are a woman of steel.) Always make grooming a pleasant experience for him. Reward him, scratch his back and chest between bouts with the comb. Be gentle and don't pull his fur. LESS STRESS for him and you. In time this will resolve itself.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Marie- I am a groomer (hence my handle).
Never bathe a dog with matting, it will make it worse.
Use a comb and a slicker brush daily(make sure you get his "armpits").
I like a product made by top performance called GLO COAT. You can spray it and it helps get matting out, unless it is severe (to the skin, called felted, and requires a shave down)
When you brush him be firm and show him you are in control.
Take him to a groomer regularly-pick one and stick with them.
I have had to decline clients because their "angel" turned out to be hell on wheels. She may not have done a good job around the eyes, but if he was a "tyrant" how could she?
As far as the muzzle, yes you can get bit. I have scars to prove it, some of those kids can slide one off in a heartbeat. No they don't think you're immune to being bit either. Some dogs will wear a muzzle reluctantly, some will slide them off, and some will freak out. Muzzles don't always work.
I also will not do any dematting for my clients, it is a shavedown or go somewhere else. I have heard every story under the sun, it all boils down to brushing your dog regularly with the proper tools. It is painful dematting and makes their skin sore and of course they don't want grooming after treatment like that. Out of kindness to the pets, if you cant keep them brushed find a haircut that is easier to maintain and buy a sweater.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Hi Marie. I can't tell you how many times I've been bitten by a muzzled dog. It's not a full mouth bite but hurts just the same. And one pooch in particular is very good at getting you thru the muzzle and she's coming in tomorrow. Joy Joy.

Lisa


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

I will demat to a certain extent, but if I think the dog is going to be hurt then they get shaved. I had one guy tell me that it was my job to demat his badly matted dog. I told him I was not in the business of torturing animals and that it was his job to take care of the daily combing and brushing of his dog, which obviously hadn't been done for many months. He ended up letting me shave the dog, but he still didn't get it because the dog came back months later all matted up again.

I also crack up when people ask me if I ever get bit. Haha.

I've heard every excuse in the book. My favorite is from the owner of a dog that comes in every six to eight months. Each time she explains away the skin-tight mats and filth by telling me that her dog just got loose last week and ran through woods. Whatever.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

oddity- right on!
I despise the clients that act like i'm in the wrong for not doing dematting. If there is a matted area or two I will work them out, but all over, no. It is a cruel process.

My favorite is when I get bit and tell the owner. "Oh fluffy would never bite, you must be mistaken." I have a 3 bite rule and they can't come back.

Client gave me an excuse last week, malti-poo was felted. She claimed she put a sweater on the dog for an hour and it made the dog matted. Yeah right, I could barely get a 15 under it. Do people think we are that gullible?


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Each night, I'm still working on the spots I had missed. Yesterday, I dematted his face and he let me with no problems. He didn't want to come and sit on my lap but once I placed him there, he realized that he had no choice. Slowly, he is learning that this will be done whether or not he wants it.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

"Won't let you"

??!!!

methinks the order of priorities is somewhat askance...

!
I know how much it sucks to have a dog that needs grooming (owned a Springer and a Llaso Apso). When the helpmeet brought the Llasa home I had NO idea what sort of dog it was... the groomer shaved her down and was then able to identify her.

Speak with a groomer. Explain your circumstances. ANY dog can be groomed. But YOU have to be willing to submit the little s--t to the "ordeal".

The sooner the better!

(dropping the little SOB off will be the hardest part!)


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Marie-
You don't need explain your circumstances with a groomer, we've heard it all. It all boils down to daily brushing and a regular groom. You are doing your best now and that is all that matters. Keep up the good work and before long he will enjoy being "beautified"

Chelone- I'm sorry you think it "sucks" to own pets that need to be groomed. Why did you get something that needs regular grooming?

I have to disagree not ANY dog can be groomed. I have had some turn so aggressive it was a danger to both of us. Some dogs get too stressed out and can cause harm to themselves. I have even worked on sedated dogs that will try to bite or fight me while they are sedated. So no not ANY dog can be groomed.
I have to disagree as well with "But YOU have to be willing to submit the little s--t to the "ordeal". It should never be an "ordeal" and with regular grooming he will hopefully enjoy going. Also it seems as if Marie is willing to take him and she is correcting the problem at home as well. Lastly, calling her dog a little s--t is just rude. He is still a baby and grooming can be scary.
Why should "dropping the little SOB off" be so hard? When owners make a big deal about dropping off, they are the ones that make it hard on the pets. Also, calling him an SOB isn't very nice either. Marie asked for help not name calling.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Chelone, I used the wrong term by saying "he let me". I meant that he had no choice in the matter as I thought my post explained. Also, my dog is not a little s**t. He is an adoring wonderful pet and part of this family.

I had regretfully not taken care of brushing him daily before now so it is I who caused all of this. And because I don't want him to have a puppy cut, I am doing what the groomers requested of me. I am more than happy to demat and brush his hair in order to have the groomer happily accept him for grooming. And, as I thought I explained, he is slowly coming around and sitting quietly while I comb his hair.

Groomingal, if I am combing him almost every day and bathing him once every couple of weeks, how often should I be taking him to the groomers for a trim?


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Marie- if you do that I would take him every 4 to 6 weeks for a tidy. A tidy is where you shave the pads of the feet, the genitals, around the rectum, and trim around the eyes and I shave the inside corner where they tend to drain. I also trim around the feet so they don't have grinch feet. I include their bath, pluck ear hair, express anal glands, and trim nails with this.
I highly recommend getting some Glo Coat from Top Performance (you can go to PetEdge.com) You can spritz a little on him daily to help the comb slide through. It will make it easier on both of you and it has a light scent that keeps them smelling fresh between baths.
I noticed you said something about the dark stains at this eyes, I would shave that and keep it clean. If you aren't already, put him on bottled water and only let him drink and eat out of stainless steel bowls. Make sure he is on a quality food too. This will almost eliminate the staining, keep those areas dry too when they start getting runny.

Good Luck Marie and to your furbaby!
Keep me posted and if you have any questions I'll be more than happy to try and help!


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Thank you for your advice. He has one stainless water bowl and one plastic one, each in different parts of the house. Why is only stainless recommended?


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

You're welcome. Plastic bowls can scratch and harbor bacteria. It can cause skin problems (much like acne) on the muzzle. Even with the stainless, keep them washed daily and supply fresh water at each feeding.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

I agree that not every dog can be groomed. We have had to turn away a little dog because it was just too stressful for her, even tranqued she would bite and growl throughout the ENTIRE grooming. Her parents couldn't get anywhere near her with a comb. We suggested that she be shaved down completely, nose to tail, by a vet twice a year while completely knocked out. We had been working with her for some time and she was always a shavedown but we could never take the muzzle off to do her face and she only got worse...to the point that we couldn't even get the muzzle on her anymore.

I applaud marie for taking responsibility for her furbaby and for trying to learn the proper way to take care of him. I wish all owners were as willing as she is.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

Hi Marie. Thought about you today when I gave Cody his bath. How are you coming with the grooming problem? It gets easier as they get used to it. And they smell so sweet after a bath. That's one thing I noticed about Maltese, they don't smell like a wet dog after a bath.


 o
RE: My maltese won't let me groom him

The Llasa was picked up by the side of the road where someone dumped her off. No tags, obviously neglected, unspayed (puppy mill breeder?!).

Springer was basically "dumped", too. Her daddy died of AIDS and no one else was remotely interested in her. She began "hanging out" with our dog and we took her in.

One of our very dear friends is a groomer. She maintains that any dog can be groomed; the trouble is, more often than not, that they have never been trained in the basics of obedience work and THAT'S what creates the "issue". Whenever she has a "new one" she puts it in the crate, speaks with the owners and waits until the owners leave and then she takes care of business. She's great. If the dog is too obnoxious she simply refuses to work on them again. I don't blame her. She says the worst behaviour problems are nearly always the little dogs.

Manners at the vet. or at the groomer are what define a good pet. Obedient and gentle. My opinion. Owner of large dog who "wouldn't" let me do anything to him when he was adopted. I now clip his nails, brush him, and am able to handle every part of his body with nary a flinch. Meghan told me what she needed to be able to do to him in an exam. I'm happy you've come so far with your pet. It's hard work. Good for you!

Would we select something requiring professional grooming. Uh... nooo... (too lazy and too cheap).


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Pets Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here