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Topknots & Bows

Shih Tzu Bows & Topknots- How To

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Topknot & Accessorizing with Dog Bows
By Wendy Wu, Founder of

Aside from clothing, a great way to accessorize your Shih Tzu is to make topknot and finish it off with Shih Tzu bows. This is a quick and inexpensive way to give your pooch some much needed style, especially during the summer months, when clothes aren't an immediate option. Unbeknown to many dog owners, dog bows can come in many different styles, shapes and materials. 

There are single loop bows, double loop with flag back bows and bows that display Swarovski crystals, gem stones, mini roses, rhinestones or even diamonds! Dog bows also come in many different sizes. For larger dogs, double loop dog bows look the best. For toys like the Shih Tzu, single loop bows are ideal.

There are many places where you can get your hands on some dog bows. Pet boutiques usually carry a limited number of them, while groomers might even provide you with bows for free after an appointment. There are many online shops selling custom hand-crafted dog bows, specifically for long haired Tzu’s. offers of a wide range of designs to choose from, including casual to glamorous and everything else in between.

We are going to show you how to tie a topknot bow on a Shih Tzu...While it may seem daunting at first, you will soon see that it is not that difficult...And with just a little bit of practice, you can have your Tzu looking put-together, neat, tidy and beautiful. Owners should remember that topknots and bows are not just for female Tzu... 

Males with long coats or males with shorter coats but with long top hairs certainly need the help of a tie to hold the hairs back. Since they can be found in just about every color and style you can think of, you will be able to find "boy" colors such as blue, black, purple, etc.

Holding back the hair on a Shih Tzu with a topknot and a bow will do more than just complete your Tzu look.... When eating and especially when drinking, the longer hairs on the face and surrounding the face can easily become wet with water, damp from food and even pick up tiny food particles. When the hairs remain damp (you may not even notice) bacteria can grow.

It is then that staining can begin. So, both both appearance and hygiene, it is highly recommended to use Shih Tzu bows and to learn how to tie one properly. 
bows for Shih Tzu
Step-by-Step Instructions with Photos

Let's talk about making top knots with a nice bow! Once you have your bows, it's now time to put it on your Shih Tzu! Keep in mind though there is a correct way of placing the bow on your Tzu without making it uncomfortable for her.

1. Start by gathering the hair right above the temple of your dog’s eyes toward the middle of the scalp, be careful not to pull too hard as your Tzu’s eyes will be stretched.
how to put bow on Shih Tzu
2. Tie the hair with a snag-free elastic band so it won’t hurt your Tzu when it’s time to take off the band. You can purchase these bands at beauty supply stores. 
step two putting bow on Shih Tzu
3. You can now create either a puffy or puff ball look. If your Shih Tzu prefers a puffy look, use the snag-free band to tie her hair and pass the band through as many times as it takes until it stays in place. If your Tzu prefers a puff ball look, tie the hair and pass the band through as many times just up until the last pass. At this point leave the band mid-way to create a puff ball look. Adjust the ball as needed.
Final step putting bow on Shih Tzu
4. Now that the topknot is made, it’s time to choose the bow you would like your Shih Tzu to wear.
collection of Shih Tzu bows
5. When you have chosen the dog bow of the day, slip your index finger and thumb inside the latex-free bands of the bow and gently place over the tied fur. 
bows in place on Shih Tzu
Tips for Putting Bows on Puppies

One strategy to get your pups to LOVE dog bows is to put it on right before you take them for a walk. They will be more interested in seeing and sniffing the earth than to pay attention to the new object on their head. Using classical conditioning is a great way to teach puppies. They will associate a bow on their head with fun in the sun!
Final Word About Bow Safety

While there are many dog bows to choose from on the market today, we have to be careful to choose bows that are made of high quality material, are latex-free and do not contain wire-framed ribbons. It is also important to be cautious when buying bows with barrettes. While they may seem convenient, barrettes can be a choking hazard if your Tzu enjoys chewing on things. 
You May Also Like:

White Shih Tzu - Though a solid white is very rare, it can exist and many Shih Tzu can be mostly white with just a bit of a secondary color; this most often falls on the head and/or across the back. 
Brindle Shih Tzu - This is a super beautiful color, and while this is not seen that often, it is an accepted AKC color. See explanations and photos. 
Different Shih Tzu Hair Styles - From shaved to short, moderate to long, examples of very cute hair style options. 
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