One of the biggest parts of Shih Tzu grooming care is taking care of their long coat. You will need plenty of grooming supplies, even if you decide to cut your Shih Tzu’s coat short. The following is a list of supplies you will require:
- Pin Brush (Don’t get a brush that has little balls on the tips as they will break off in your dog’s coat)
- Metal Comb
- Rat Tail comb
- Slicker brush
- Finishing spray or conditioning spray to help detangle the coat
The trick to successful grooming Shih Tzu care is to introduce your dog to the process when he’s still a pup. Although he will likely never enjoy getting groomed, he will tolerate the experience making life a little easier on the both of you.
The following is a step-by-step process you can follow when it comes to Shih Tzu care in regards to grooming:
Step 1 – Lay your dog down on his side on a comfortable carpeted area on the floor, on a couch, or a proper grooming table.
Step 2 – Lightly spray the dog’s coat with the detangling conditioner.
Step 3 – Take the brush and begin to brush his coat gently, with long smooth strokes. Begin on his underside and work your way up his side to his back in layers. Pay attention to each layer of the dog’s coat and be sure to work out all knots with your fingers. This particular part of Shih Tzu care can be quite tedious, but you must be patient; do not rip through knots. Once you have completed one side of your dog, start the other.
Step 4 – After you have brushed through each side, place your dog on his back and start brushing his tummy. Pay close attention to his armpits where knots and mats are more likely to form. If the knots are too difficult to remove with your fingers or the comb, you will either need to clip them out, or have your groomer do it.
Step 5 – For the next part of Shih Tzu care, have your dog stand, and go through his entire coat with a metal comb. At this time, you will want to make sure all knots have been taken out and there are none remaining. First go through the coat with the metal comb, and then use the slicker brush.
Step 6 – Now for the fun part. You’ll need to keep your Shih Tzu’s long hair out of his eyes by creating a top knot on his head. You’ll need the plastic rat tail comb for this task. Begin by parting the hair with the comb from the eye corner back across the ears, and then across his head to the opposite side. Once you have collected the hair, tie it in place with a small, soft elastic band. Make sure you don’t make the knot too tight, or pull the hair too sharply as you don’t want to make your dog’s eyes look bugged out, or make him feel discomfort.
Step 7 – Once the top knot is in place it’s time to move on to the last part of grooming Shih Tzu care which involves combing the face. This must be done with great care, because you don’t want to injure your dog’s eyes. Therefore, always brush away from the eyes by only combing his mustache and beard.
Step 8 – For a finishing touch, run the rat tail comb along the middle of your dog’s back to create a split, which is the desired look of the breed. You may also want to spray him with a nice doggie perfume scent.
Step 9 – Always reward your dog a treat after you have finished with Shih Tzu care. Furthermore, make sure you are talking to him gently throughout the grooming process.