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Hello Maltese folks. I need some groomer guidance.

We have our third little guy - His hair looks like the one in your header photo - second from the right but at the moment not that fine. We normally get him groomed every 3-4 weeks. His hair is - I'm not sure how to describe it. Cottony I guess. It tends to get matted and knotty even though I brush him every day and pull out the knots with my fingers and the brush. On Tuesday, due to the fact my town is basically on lockdown (Boulder, CO) and I'm in the high risk zone, I cancelled with our groomer. She was coughing throughout our short conversation and actually she said it was best if I didn't come in. I realize my brushing isn't enough - I need to clip him to resemble maybe more like the dog on your far left image. I've ordered some scissors on Amazon and I keep watching YouTube videos to see if I can understand how to use clippers. So far, I don't quite get it. But here's a very specific question. It seems to me that groomers speak in terms of a #1, or #2 and so forth when describing their clippers. But what does this refer to? Is it a setting on the clipper or is it a particular blade? I don't see this as an option when I look at the purchasing choices. Is there any general guidance beyond that you can give me?
I think I'm afraid of hurting him - he's very trusting. He'll sit in my lap for hours if I let him, and I brush away and he doesn't mind and I suspect if I added the buzzzzz of the clipper he'd not squirm.

Any answers on the #1/#2 etc. question? And any specific videos you can point me to?

I send everyone best wishes for getting through this very difficult and frightening time. I'm sure like us, you all stocked up on treats, toys and dog food before your own food.

Thanks,
Mallory Kates
Boulder
 

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I’m a super newby and claim to know absolutely nothing about grooming our pups and so that explains why I’m trying to read up in home grooming but I was a licensed cosmetologist and so I can say from that experience that when it comes to clippers the numbers you are asking about generally applies to the guards sizes you use over the blade.
 

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Well, I’ve since learned that I knew less than I thought. Turns out some of the grooming clippers have exchangeable blades and those are the sizes. Looks like the bigger the number (20, 30, 40), the shorter the cut, the smaller the number (1, 2, 3) the longer the hair will be which is the same with guards in people world.
 

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I have home groomed my poodles and maltese for years. Confidence and practice help you but conditioning helps the dog. Massage, combing, handling feet, legs, ears, teeth are all necessary daily for maintaining our dogs. DO watch videos etc. know you will get better with practice but handling a sentient dog requires constant trust building. So daily ear and eye checks, Nightly cuddling and brushing, massage which includes nails, legs, feet are important. This daily handling insures a trust bond so you can groom safely and routinely.
i do nails, ear cleaning and toe hair while cuddling in the evening. Bath is blow dry, comb out and grooming. Major amount is done with clippers using guides, colored plastic shields that prevent scalping. Anyone can do this. Scissors to even tails And ears. stop there. Relax.
detailed parts can be done leisurely at intervals. As many mentioned I use blunt end manicure scissors for eye area. Most of my dogs came to trust and relax in grooming. you get better and faster, it takes practice for you and conditioning for your dog. Relax and enjoy this as a bonding experience. However be the boss. Grooming is necessary for health.
 

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Hello Maltese folks. I need some groomer guidance.

We have our third little guy - His hair looks like the one in your header photo - second from the right but at the moment not that fine. We normally get him groomed every 3-4 weeks. His hair is - I'm not sure how to describe it. Cottony I guess. It tends to get matted and knotty even though I brush him every day and pull out the knots with my fingers and the brush. On Tuesday, due to the fact my town is basically on lockdown (Boulder, CO) and I'm in the high risk zone, I cancelled with our groomer. She was coughing throughout our short conversation and actually she said it was best if I didn't come in. I realize my brushing isn't enough - I need to clip him to resemble maybe more like the dog on your far left image. I've ordered some scissors on Amazon and I keep watching YouTube videos to see if I can understand how to use clippers. So far, I don't quite get it. But here's a very specific question. It seems to me that groomers speak in terms of a #1, or #2 and so forth when describing their clippers. But what does this refer to? Is it a setting on the clipper or is it a particular blade? I don't see this as an option when I look at the purchasing choices. Is there any general guidance beyond that you can give me?
I think I'm afraid of hurting him - he's very trusting. He'll sit in my lap for hours if I let him, and I brush away and he doesn't mind and I suspect if I added the buzzzzz of the clipper he'd not squirm.

Any answers on the #1/#2 etc. question? And any specific videos you can point me to?

I send everyone best wishes for getting through this very difficult and frightening time. I'm sure like us, you all stocked up on treats, toys and dog food before your own food.

Thanks,
Mallory Kates
Boulder
My old Maltese Had really fine hair. I tried cutting it with clippers? They wouldn’t even go through his hair? It was pulling on his hair. So I would just cut his hair scissor over comb Method I learned as a cosmetologist. Which was ok . But it takes a very long time to do. He was such a kind dog. He would let me work on him for hours. I miss him a lot. It’s been about three months now since I had to put him down.
 
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