My Maltese puppy, Lizzie (Hollywood’s Bella Dolce Thrill of Sun Isles) was in New Mexico
recently and won her first show point! Not only did she win WB, but went on to the puppy group and took home a Group 1 placement!
Lizzie is a gorgeous little girl, with a cobby body and silk coat. She is the product of my friend Victoria Yanez (Hollywood Maltese) and myself pairing 2 lovely Sun Isles dogs with the blessings of the late Liz Flewellen. Lizzie has a loving personality with a stubborn streak not unlike her namesake. Although, this little Maltese gives me a run for my money, I know she will make us all proud in the ring!
Look for Lizzie in upcoming shows this year and throughout 2014.
I wish to thank Victoria and her lovely neice, Isabella for their expert care and handling of Lizzie on this big day!
This is an excellent article on July 13, 2010.
This is one of the most pervasive sentiments that puppy buyers, especially families, express when they’re looking for a dog. What they really mean, of course, is that they don’t want a show BREEDER – don’t want to pay the high price they think show breeders charge, don’t want to go through the often-invasive interview process, and think that they’re getting a better deal or a real bargain because they can get a Lab for $300 or a Shepherd for $150.
I want you to change your mind. I want you to not only realize the benefits of buying a show-bred dog, I want you to INSIST on a show-bred dog. And I want you to realize that the cheap dog is really the one that’s the rip-off. And then I want you to go be obnoxious and, when your workmate says she’s getting a puppy because her neighbor, who raises them, will give her one for free, or when your brother-in-law announces that they’re buying a goldendoodle for the kids, I want you to launch yourself into their solar plexus and steal their wallets and their car keys.
If I ask you why you want a Maltese, or a Lab, or a Leonberger, or a Cardigan, I would bet you’re not going to talk about how much you like their color. You’re going to tell me things about personality, ability (to perform a specific task), relationships with other animals or humans, size, coat, temperament, and so on. You’ll describe playing ball, or how affectionate you’ve heard that they are, or how well they get along with kids.
The things you will be looking for aren’t the things that describe just “dog”; they’ll be the things that make this particular breed unique and unlike other breeds.
That’s where people have made the right initial decision – they’ve taken the time and made the effort to understand that there are differences between breeds and that they should get one that at least comes close to matching their picture of what they want a dog to be.
Their next step, tragically, is that they go out and find a dog of that breed for as little money and with as much ease as possible.
You need to realize that when you do this, you’re going to the used car dealership, WATCHING them pry the “Audi” plate off a new car, observing them as they use Bondo to stick it on a ’98 Corolla, and then writing them a check and feeling smug that you got an Audi for so little.
It is no bargain.
Those things that distinguish the breed you want from the generic world of “dog” are only there because somebody worked really hard to get them there. And as soon as that work ceases, the dog, no matter how purebred, begins to revert to the generic. That doesn’t mean you won’t get a good dog – the magic and the blessing of dogs is that they are so hard to mess up, in their good souls and minds, that even the most hideously bred one can still be a great dog – but it will not be a good Shepherd, or good Puli, or a good Cardigan. You will not get the specialized abilities, tendencies, or talents of the breed.
If you don’t NEED those special abilities or the predictability of a particular breed, you should not be buying a dog at all. You should go rescue one. That way you’re saving a life and not putting money in pockets where it does not belong.
If you want a purebred and you know that a rescue is not going to fit the bill, the absolute WORST thing you can do is assume that a name equals anything. They really are nothing more than name plates on cars. What matters is whether the engineering and design and service department back up the name plate, so you have some expectation that you’re walking away with more than a label.
Keeping a group of dogs looking and acting like their breed is hard, HARD work. If you do not get the impression that the breeder you’re considering is working that hard, is that dedicated to the breed, is struggling to produce dogs that are more than a breed name, you are getting no bargain; you are only getting ripped off.
Last summer, I drove to the airport to pick up a 6 month old female Maltese puppy. I was very excited because it had been a few years since I had shown a dog that I owned myself. I had taken several years “off” from raising and showing dogs to focus on my family, because, at the time, my four young children were active and keeping me busy!
When I finally met, “Gem”, after her long flight, she wasn’t scared, she was actually quite calm. When I took her home to bathe her, I was amazed at how she tolerated my bathing, brushing, poking and prodding. She was the kind of Maltese personality that was quite
happy to please me as she lay her head on a satin grooming pillow and allowed me to wrap up her face. Although, at first It was rough learning my schedule and rules of the house. There were many accidents on the floor, barking at innapropriate times or chewing off her wraps as I prepared her coat for show. We went to several dog conformation handling classes in Phoenix, which, sadly had mostly large breeds with owners that didnt think it was a problem to let their large dog charge after my 4 lb puppy. Even though there were big dogs that scared my little Maltese, times that she chewed right through her wraps, ate a chunk of her coat on her ‘show side’, or grew mats overnight, we worked though the issues and kept a loving & happy attitude.
I started showing Gem in AKC conformation shows a few months after she arrived and
she immediately picked up points! By 10 months of age, she was put up over a special, earning her a 3 point major! In fact, most of the time that Gem went into the ring, she won the points! I seriously could not believe how easy it was earning points towards her championship title.
At this time, Gem has earned all of her points to be awarded her new title of Champion Maltese! Not only am I proud of my little Gem, but I am tickled that I handled her myself throughout her show career! A Maltese can be difficult and challenging to keep in coat and my little girl was far from easy! Dedication and perseverance along with proper grooming technique and the strong shoulder of a good friend & fellow exhibitor are what helped me through this tedious process. With this pleasant experience under my belt, I now feel confident that my upcoming Maltese show puppy will be even easier and more fun!
But for now, I tip my hat to my new Champion Maltese…
Champion Cherub’s All That Gllitters…..affectionately know as “Gem”.
Today, I set out to trim the slippers on Gem’s paws. I like to do this about 2 weeks before a show. An hour later, I was finished….
An hour to trim four little paws? Even as a retired hairstylist and being a self taught groomer, it still takes me that long! I want her paws perfect for shows and every day! One sloppy snip and her paws will look choppy and uneven! Sadly, I have done several sloppy snips in my time! A wiggly dog,….holding the scissors at the wrong angle,….misjudging the amount needing to be taken off,….all of these things can make trimming paws challenging!
I always encourage pet owners to self groom in between taking their pet to their regular groomer. A quick brushing every day, a bath in the kitchen sink every week or so, and a visit with your groomer every 2 to 3 months will keep your Maltese looking its best!
Lately, I have been using a facial cleanser on my Maltese that I really like. It is a nice product for Maltese that are having trouble battling tear stains. The product is called “SPA by Tropiclean”- Lavish Tear Stain Remover Facial Cleanser. It is soap free and tear free. Its gentle foaming action safely washes away tearing and helps to combat the tear staining. This shampoo is great for use on wiggly puppies that may be staining due to teething. It is a gentle product that is safely used around the face and eyes of your Maltese dog or puppy. You can wash just the face of your Maltese several times a week to keep this area clean.
On days that I don’t lather the face, I use a tear stain remover product such as Diamond Eye, Pretty Eyes or Crystal Eyes.This is a clear liquid easily found on the internet or at most pet supply retail stores. I mix in 2 teaspoons of Boric Acid powder into the tear stain remover solution. With a baby toothbrush soaked with the solution, I wipe or brush away any tear stain residue or eye goop being careful not to get this into the delicate eye area. I do this on a daily basis to fight tear staining around the eyes and muzzle.
Other products that I have tried and like are #1 All Systems Shazam Super Whitening Gel. This product states that it should only be applied 3 times between bathing before needing to be washed off completely. It is easy to apply with your fingertip or toothbrush. Also, #1 All Systems Pure White Lightening Shampoo is also a nice lightening product that can be left on the coat for a few minutes to assist in whitening. Although I like these products, you do have to be careful around the eyes as with frequent use, you do risk breakage.
I always condition the coat of my Maltese, whether they are in full show coat or a short puppy cut. I have tried many dog and human conditioners and find that I like the human conditioners best! Most of them penetrate the hair shaft better and are less expensive. For the puppy cut, I use Pantene conditioner. For the show coats, I use Sebastian Penetrait conditioner. This works for my dogs coats nicely.
Whatever products that you find that you like to use on your Maltese dog or puppy, always take into consideration that their skin is sensitive and their eye area is delicate. Never leave products resting on the Maltese skin and always keep products away from the eyes.
Best of luck to you with grooming your Maltese puppy at home!
Puppy kisses to you!