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Grooming clippers and dizzies to use on a Maltese

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I have a Maltese and want to start grooming her myself at home.  As a beginner, I’m not sure if the size clippers I need and how to use all the necessary materials.   I want to keep her at least 1 - 1 1/2 “ long.   Help! 

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I got wahl KM 2s to groom my westie and cocker. A groomer friend recommended the book Theory of Five. It's excellent and easy to follow with super instructions.


Clippers generally come with a #10 blade and you can use combs over this to cut longer. You can get other length blades too. The lower the number, the longer the cut. So a 10 will cut shorter than a 4. I have:

7F - cockers shoulders, forearms, chest, westie nose

10 - westie ears

15 - cocker head, throat, tops of ears

30 - to trim out paw pads

The cocker will get a #2 or #3 comb over a #10 blade over her back to get the longer curly hairs. I use a mars coat king on both to remove undercoat and get the coats nice and short and tight. But the cocker was clipped short by prior owners for three years, so her coat isn't as it should be. It's improved but still needs help.

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I would recommend Andis clippers they are the quietest and lightest which makes them easier to use if you have no or little experience.

For a Maltese you need a 10# blade for belly and armpits and a 40# blade to put under your plastic combs, I use prefer Oster blades.

For the length you want look at Big K blade combs/guards.


Before starting to clip make sure your dog has been bathed and blow dried (do not leave any damp spots they must be bone dry) and has no knots, always clip the direction the coat grows not against it.

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We use #30 for clip on combs but they can be used on a #10.

My first question would be how well trained is your dog to groom .

Where do you plan to clip it .

As already mentioned coat needs to be knot free and clean ,fluffed up for better results with the clip on combs otherwise you can buy # 4/5 blade .


You will still need to buy other blades potentially for the face and belly depending on the quality and thickness of the coat and good scissors ,nail clippers .

Clip the dog no more than 4 weeks that will make your job easier and allow you to learn to use the tools better 

Edited by Dogsfevr
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I have a Shihtzu and clip him myself. I am definitely a novice, so plenty of dodgy home haircuts :rofl:


I bought KM2 clippers with a #10 blade, and metal comb covers. (I can't offer any comparison as they are my first ever professional clippers)

I find this the easiest as I can just slip a different comb cover on as I'm going. (The blades switch on and off easily too)

I've bought a few different length blades, and to be honest, it was money wasted as I much prefer the #10 blade with metal comb covers.


My Shihtzu is a sensitive little pumpkin, so he doesn't like super short hair, and no clippers anywhere near his privates :rofl:


I didn't buy a grooming table, but I did buy a grooming arm that I join on a table. To ensure my dog doesn't leap off etc. Keeps your arms free.


I don't have a professional dryer (geez I would love one!), I use good old trusty hair dryer on lowest warm setting. Takes ages!


The other thing that groomers do, that you may not be aware of is:


*Check ears/ear hair, apply drops/powders if needed.

*Clip toenails (you'll need nail clippers), its easier to clip a tiny 1mm often, that trim long overgrown nails. So keep an eye on them and trim them regularly.

*Trim hairs in between paw pads (you'll need some very sharp hair cutting scissors).

*Anal glands..  while I wouldn't rush in and empty them unless needed, this is often a problem with these little dogs, so if you're not already well versed, perhaps some reading on the subject.


Roughly every 4 weeks is my preferred clipping routine. More often than not, needing a bath at 2 weeks. I find any longer than 4 weeks and it takes far far longer to clip/bath,  and also he is started to get matted, so it's less comfortable overall.


Also be super careful around elbows and arm pits. And ears! There are folds of skin, that aren't obvious if hair gets long, and you can easily accidentally nick the skin.


Good luck!!!!


Edit for typos :banghead:

Edited by crazydoglady99

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