If you've ever watched dog shows, such as the Westminster Kennel Competition, you've probably seen the dog that looks like a walking mop. That's our Maltese! Their hair will grow down to the floor, and can be up to 12" inches in length. The hair is very soft and silky, and can get mats and tangled if not cared for properly. For the Maltese puppy that is purchased as a family pet, and not for show in the ring, owners can opt to keep their coats trimmed in a "puppy cut" style (which resembles their coat length as puppies), thus grooming is kept to a minimum.

The coat is a single coat (no undergrowth), and the hair is hypo-allergenic, so a Maltese puppy is a great pet for people with allergies or asthma. They are very clean dogs, and are generally known to be "odor-free." The Maltese experience little to no shedding if their coats are maintained properly. Train them when they are puppies to get used to being brushed and groomed.

I start bathing and grooming my Maltese puppies at 7 weeks of age, after their eyes are open. I do this so they are not afraid because they can see what I am doing. I pet and stroke the puppies from the day they are born to get them used to hands being on their bodies. I build trust and security in being handled in each of my babies, and this also shows them they are loved. When you receive the Maltese puppy, they are calm and more relaxed because they have been handled and given personal love from the day they are born.

Bath time is a good time to clean ears, brush the teeth, and clip the nails, all before you bathe the puppy. Additional information on how to care for the ears, teeth, and nails is listed separately. I always give my babies treats between each stage of grooming if I do it all at once, or after any grooming I do. Treats, kisses and lots of "good baby," "good puppy" talk helps reassure the puppy and keep them calm.

Linda McDonald (623) 572-9335

(623) 572-9335 (Office) / (623) 221-0480 (Cell) Copyright © 2007 China Doll Maltese. All rights Reserved. Last Updated on 4/2/2007