Shih Tzu Grooming Tips & Styles

shih tzu grooming

With luscious locks and puppy-dog eyes, Shih Tzus are undoubtedly adorable dogs. However, if Shih Tzus are not properly groomed, they may end up looking more like a matted mop. From daily grooming to less frequent treatments, there are a few habits you should adopt to keep your Shih Tzu looking and feeling his best.

In addition to Shih Tzu grooming, their long hair allows for various styles, making your dog the most stylish pup in the park. Whether you opt for a long coat or a simple style, ensuring that your Shih Tzu is adequately groomed is key to keeping him clean and comfortable.

Shih Tzu Grooming Essentialsgrooming a shih tzu

There are a few essential areas to keep in mind when grooming a Shih Tzu. These include the face, coat, nails, and teeth. Each of these spaces requires a different grooming technique as well as varying frequencies.

The area that requires the most attention is the face. One reason the face requires grooming is because Shih Tzus are prone to tear stains.

This is when it looks like your pooch is constantly crying. These marks can stain your dog’s coat and can produce an unpleasant odor.

The best way to eliminate this problem is to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat cut short around the face.

However, in terms of daily maintenance, take a cotton ball dipped in warm water and gently wipe the tears away. Afterward, dry the wet area with a towel. In addition to the eyes, Shih Tzus can accumulate dirt and food around their beards.

Once again, the best prevention method is to keep the facial hair short, but for day-to-day upkeep, use a warm, wet washcloth to wipe away residue and then dry with a separate towel. In addition to the eyes and facial hair, make a habit of checking your pooch’s ears.

Although they will not require daily cleaning, the floppy nature of their ears makes them more susceptible to ear infections. Be on the lookout for an excess of wax and an abnormal odor.

Shih Tzu Coat Maintenence

In addition to daily facial grooming, you can brush your Shih Tzu’s coat every few days. The frequency of brushing may vary based on the length of your pup’s coat, but every three days is typical. At a minimum, you should brush your Shih Tzu once a week.

There are a variety of benefits that come from brushing your Shih Tzu. The first is that you help eliminate dirt, debris and any parasites that may have landed in your dog’s hair. Habitually combing these items out will benefit your dog’s coat and skin.

There are a variety of benefits that come from brushing your Shih Tzu. The first is that you help eliminate dirt, debris and any parasites that may have landed in your dog’s hair. Habitually combing these items out will benefit your dog’s coat and skin.

Due to their long hair, Shih Tzus are particularly susceptible to knots and matting. Therefore, if you prefer to keep your pup’s hair long, frequent brushing is key. To do this, use a brush with flexible pins and slicker that can be found at any pet store. Since their hair is long, start at the bottom and work your way up in order to get any tangles out. Make sure to pay special attention to the areas that are more prone to matting.

shih tzu hairstyles

Since their hair is long, start at the bottom and work your way up in order to get any tangles out. Make sure to pay special attention to the areas that are more prone to matting.

These problem spaces include behind the ears, under the fold where the legs and body meet, around the rear and behind the legs.

By keeping up with routine brushing, you will not only keep your Shih Tzu’s coat clean, but you will also help avoid tricky tangles and matted fur.

One mistake people make is over bathing their furry friends. Dog’s have very sensitive skin, and excessive bathing can lead to dry skin.

By brushing regularly, you will be able to remove dirt and evenly distribute oils throughout the coat. If your Shih Tzu gets particularly dirty, it is okay to wash him, but it is important not to make a habit of it.

Since Shih Tzu’s coats require cuts and trims, only bathe your pup when he is getting a haircut. If you are doing this at home, opt for a natural, moisturizing shampoo that will not irritate your pooch’s skin.

Shih Tzu Nail & Teeth Care

The final two areas of focus are often the trickiest to do yourself— the teeth and nails. Many people prefer having the groomer take care of these; however, they are both doable at home. Although brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth can be a difficult task, as your dog becomes accustomed to the routine, it will become easier.

The first step is getting a soft toothbrush from the pet store made especially for dogs. In addition to the toothbrush, get a designated doggy toothpaste that your dog will find delicious. Let your dog lick some of the toothpaste before gently lifting the lip and brushing his teeth.

Although some sources recommend brushing every few days, once a week should suffice. In regards to trimming your pup’s nails, the key is not to cut them too short and injure your dog, but also not to allow them to become overgrown where they can snag or begin curling into your dog’s skin.

If you are not comfortable trimming your Shih Tzu’s nails on your own, make sure that the groomer does when you take your pooch in for a haircut.

how to groom a shih tzuShih Tzu Hairstyles

Now that you know how to groom a Shih Tzu, you can select from various hairstyles. Due to their long hair, Shih Tzu grooming styles range from low to high maintenance. 

The lowest maintenance cut is the puppy cut or summer cut. This style is when the hair is cut short throughout the entire body.

The puppy cut is wonderful for warm weather and to minimize maintenance. Variations of the puppy cut keep the hair on the ears and chest longer. Another low maintenance cut is the teddy bear cut.

This style keeps your Shih Tzu’s hair short, but creates a fluffy look. With this style, the hair is cut in a round shape around the face, creating the teddy bear appearance.

Another low maintenance cut is the teddy bear cut. This style keeps your Shih Tzu’s hair short, but creates a fluffy look. With this style, the hair is cut in a round shape around the face, creating the teddy bear appearance.

The longer, high maintenance hairstyles are the topknots. The practical topknot is when the hair is left long, but not so long that it drags on the ground. Then the hair on the head is gathered into a topknot, which is held up by a hair tie or clip. The style that requires the most grooming is the topknot show-cut, which is the traditional Shih Tzu hairstyle for show dogs.

This style keeps the hair as long as possible with the topknot on the head. This style is not practical for day-to-day wear because it requires an abundance of daily maintenance. Regardless of the haircut you select, regular trims and routine grooming will help you keep your Shih Tzu’s coat healthy.

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