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Grooming- Tools

Grooming Tools for the Shih Tzu

Preparing to Groom the Coat

If getting ready to groom your Shih Tzu's coat seems a bit overwhelming, do not worry. Take it step by step. Once you have the correct tools and you fall into a routine, grooming will become easy. You will need to begin by:
  • Having the correct grooming tools for the Shih Tzu
  • Training your dog to remain still while having the coat groomed
Grooming tools for the Shih Tzu
The Supplies

It is important to have the correct dog grooming supplies. 

Face Comb: This is a fine tooth steel comb. It is used for several reasons. This grooming tool is to comb the face hair of the Shih Tzu, the long whiskers and beard that this dog is famous for.

2 Level Comb: This comb will have a fine tooth side and a medium tooth side. This is used to check the coat for any mats after a thorough brushing.

Finishing Comb: This is very similar to the 2 Level Comb, some use this to go over the Shih Tzu one last time. You can touch up any areas with this to create a perfect finished look.

Pin Brush: This type of dog brush is made specifically for dog breeds with long hair. You will be using this brush quite a bit.

Hemostat: Only once you have trained your Shih Tzu to remain very still during grooming, this tool will be used to snip any unwanted and extra hair from the ears of your dog.

Round Tip Scissors: This tool will be used for carefully snipping away extra hairs around the anus of the Shih Tzu for the purpose of cleanliness and hygiene.

If you are having any trouble finding these tools, you can see the exact ones that we use in the Shih Tzu Specialty Shoppe.
beautiful Shih Tzu
Shadow, 1 year old
Photo courtesy of owners: Terri & Bill
Preparing Your Shih Tzu

Grooming can not begin until your dog is trained to remain relatively still so that you may do all of the necessary combing and brushing. It can help to start by making the environment one of peace and calmness. Your dog will pick up clues from you; if you are stressed about the prospect of grooming the coat, your dog may become anxious as well. 

It will help to choose a quiet area of the home. A table top is best, as this places you Shih Tzu at a good height; you may stand or sit and your dog will be comfortable. No one should be running through the room while you groom your dog and you should praise him or her with happy, relaxing words as you go through the steps to keep him or her relaxed.

Training to be groomed should begin when your Shih Tzu is a pup. When your dog is young, there will not be a lot of grooming to do, as the coat will be much shorter than their adult coat. Therefore, it is a perfect time to teach your Shih Tzu where the table is, to lay nice and still and the feelings of the tools.
One must learn a good balance..... Too much grooming can cause dry skin... too little will leave the coat a mess~
You will extend more energy training your pup to lay still than you do actually grooming; however this will lead to easy grooming later. You will want your dog to lay on its side. You may have to gently move him or her to that position, repeating a command word. If they remain in the position for any amount of time, reward them with praise. As they begin to learn what to do, you can take the pin brush and gently brush over their coat to get them used to the feeling.

When your pup is between 8 and 10 months, the adult coat of hair will be growing in. At the one year mark, you'll need to decide if you will allow the coat to grow long or trim it into a puppy cut.

How often?

You will want to groom your Shih Tzu's coat anywhere from 1 time per week to 1 per each day. This will depend on your particular dog; each Shih Tzu will have a different texture of coat and a different length. Softer hair & longer hair will need grooming more often. Factored in will also be to what degree your dog gets his or her coat dirty.
adorable Shih Tzu
Cindy Lou Who, 6 months old
Photo courtesy of owner: Willetta Lee
You'll want to take note of the time interval that tangles begin to form and then brush through the coat before any matting starts. 
The Details of Grooming

This, of course, is an overview of grooming. Grooming is one of the most important elements of taking care of your Tzu. An owner must have the full & complete details of:
  • Brushing and combing
  • How to deal with disasters
  • Nails & dewclaw details
  • The exact step-by-step instructions for each part of the Tzu's body
  • The difference in grooming a short cut VS a long coat
  • What ruins a Shih Tzu's coat...and Much More! To learn how you can have all of these details, learn about the AllShihTzu Book. Now in both print & eBook.
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