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  • Maltese hair

    What is everyone's best solutions for making the front legs of a Maltese look less than choppy?

    I did a one year old Maltese today that has never been groomed and did a 3F and I couldn't get the front legs to look nice to save my life very stick outy crazy wispy everywhere and the dog wouldn't stand up or stop crunching up and pulling on the legs to save her life. I was going to just scissor them but they wanted them way shorter like the body and it was too much for this dog..

    The body and back legs came out nicely but the front reminded me of either a really wispy haired schnauzer or the feathers on the back of a springer spaniels legs that just wants to stick straight out. I tried blenders, thinners and my new oster chunkers that are supposed to help with this type of hair but nothing was helping.

    I told them we would try to get the front legs nicer the next time and they said oh you dont like em that way they look cute. The dog had enough for today.

    they were pleased but it drove me nuts. since it was a housecall I didn't have any haunch type holder for my grooming arm. I might have to try and hook something up for that purpose

  • #2
    Brushing the hair down and using thinners always helps for me. remember, maltese hair will fall flat (usually) - so u will want to keep combing it down to see how it will look when it falls flat. Were u using any sprays on the dog? (ie. The Stuff).
    I'm really just a little dog in a big dog's body (I really should cut down on those milk bones).

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    • #3
      Yes I used some quicker slicker to get some matts out of the elbows and that gave it a slightly greasy feel in that area. Didn't think I used that much but it did make a differnce there.

      I did brush it down but never like the look of any blade longer than a five. I love the #1 and 0 combs, but they wanted shorter than those snap ons gave.

      I love the 3F on the body but it doesn't seem to do wonders for the legs.

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      • #4
        I'm right there with ya Dog!

        I only do a few malty's that are good, they rest play hide and seek with their front legs or they want to FLY (all four legs slay out like wings on a plane, lol). It's the ones that are not that easy to do that I can't ever get the front legs to look worth a darn. MY solution is to take them shorter! Granted, I prefer them longer, but can't stand the look when I TRY to leave a little more. UGH!

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        • #5
          Some hair is just weird

          When the hair is weird, it's weird.

          Taking the hair shorter usually works for neatness, although not the look you were aiming for. Since the dog was wild about front legs, you just have to scissor what you can - forget clipping, forget thinning.

          The other thing is - just step back 2-3 feet and the legs will look much better!! haha

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Debbiedogs View Post
            When the hair is weird, it's weird.

            ...
            The other thing is - just step back 2-3 feet and the legs will look much better!! haha
            Maybe that's why the owner and her sisters liked it they were sitting 2-3 feet away (LOL)

            Maybe well see if the want to try a 4f or 5f next time but the dog has such long boney little legs I didn't think that would be too attractive either.

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            • #7
              Even on my kennel dogs, I always scissor finish everything. If something is sticking out, use the 3 (or 4, or 5, or whatever) to set the length, and scissor off the wispies and edges.
              There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

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              • #8
                Another thing I do lately is go down the front and inside of the legs with a shorter blade. the 'feather' part still looks like it belongs with the body but the overall finish is smoother, just use the thinners on the cowlicks. I don't like using the stuff or anything like that on maltese, I find it makes the hair look choppier because it's not as fluffy.

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                • #9
                  I have a little Maltese that I use to have the hardest time getting to look nice. You know skinny little dog with **** hair. Well I started using my laube speedfeed with the comb attachments and it just seems to do a nicer job on this type of hair. I comb up his legs to scissor then comb them down to see how it will lay and ever since then he looks ten times better. Mommy even noticed.
                  "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt,
                  and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck
                  www.wagmoresalon.com

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                  • #10
                    I just adopted a maltese mix who has the same sort of hair: thin, whispy, just plain icky for grooming.
                    I took her back down with a 5 which looks good but her legs look like **** so it looks to be a whole new world of learning how to groom these kind of dogs for me and perfecting it. I KNEW there was a reason I needed to adopt this dog.
                    ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
                    Apparently common sense isn't all that common
                    *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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                    • #11
                      Let me know when you figure it out Shawn or if I figure it out first I'll let you know (LOL) I hope they call me back I got the feeling they might have been wanting to see how to do it and that's why there were a few people watching. We shall see I'm gonna give a follow up call tomorrow as she was licking at her vulva a little I wanna make sure she doesn't rash. Then I plan to send a reminder card and call in 6 weeks. I have a feeling they might want it even shorter for the summer

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dog Daze View Post
                        Let me know when you figure it out Shawn or if I figure it out first I'll let you know (LOL)
                        Will do
                        ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
                        Apparently common sense isn't all that common
                        *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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                        • #13
                          What seems to work for me is using the blade on everything but the back of the leg. I scissor in the back of the leg. Usually leaving it a little longer than the body and other sides of the leg. The owners don't notice and it lays very nice (for the most part).....I tend to have more trouble with Yorkies. They are my nemesis....ugh! Good luck and next time I groom a Maltese I will post pics of what I do.
                          Mandy, Birdie, Evie, Willie and The Woo
                          Check out my Blog at doggydivasdish.com

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                          • #14
                            I agree that the best way is to comb upwards, scissor the strays, and then comb downwards. I also find that using my thinning shears helps to soften the chop.

                            Also.. let the dog walk on the ground on a lead to deliver to owner... they always look better than when carrying the dog!

                            Hehe.

                            Jessie.

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                            • #15
                              I normally use one blade length shorter on the legs and you cant tell the difference. If its a 4 body, use a 5 on legs, then backbrush the legs upwards and scissor off any uneven hairs while holding shears perpendicular to the table- they usually come out smooth as silk this way for me.

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