A Shih Tzu has a high maintenance look; however, grooming is not very difficult or time consuming if you choose to groom your dog yourself. Fortunately, Shih Tzu puppies do not require a lot of grooming. A daily brush is all that is needed. As they grow, the ungroomed dog can become a matted mess which is very unhealthy for the animal. Your well-groomed Shih Tzu should have long, flowing hair with a top knot or clipped hair and the optional long top knot.
The Shih Tzu’s hair is the biggest task in proper grooming apart from nails and teeth. A big element to take into consideration is understanding that over-bathing your Shih Tzu does not mean a nicer coat. A puppy for example only needs a bath once a week or fortnightly. Brush a puppy every third day, without cutting as the fur is still too short.
Adult Shih Tzu
A bath every three weeks for adult Shih Tzu is all that is needed depending on situations, which may dirty the animal’s coat. Brushing is only required once a week minimum although three to four times a week saves headaches in catching mats before they become troublesome.
The one-year old Shih Tzu should have its adult hair and is the perfect time for you to start proper fur grooming methods. Do not brush too rough as that may lead to hair breakage; in addition, you should not spray the dog with a mixture of dog conditioner and water prior to brushing. Pet supply stores will have Static Control Spray that is excellent in preventing breakage of hair.
Start brushing at the dog’s legs, working down to the feet with care in case of matted fur. When you find mats, use patience in working it out instead of reaching for clippers. The brush should reach through the complete coat, reaching the dog’s skin. For the face and ears, a comb is used and you will find special combs for your Shih Tzu online and at pet stores.
The comb is used gently through topknot hair, mustache, and face. For cleanliness and hygiene, use round tipped scissors around the animal’s anus if the hair does not fall naturally around the sides.
Grow a Long Coat
There certainly is a difference when it comes to grooming your Shih Tzu if your choice is to have that Show Dog appearance which includes long, flowing, and luxurious hair that reaches the floor. Breakage and split ends are something to avoid and more experienced dog owners often wrap the dog’s hair. The hair is protected by silk wrapping around 1-inch sections, folded to the dog’s base and held in place with non-stick rubber bands. This is a tedious process and done every second day for show dogs.
Simply wanting a longhaired beautiful coat requires simple grooming handled with care and patience. Use high quality shampoo and conditioner for the coat with gentle brushing to avoid breaking. When using the brush, use long flat strokes as curling at ends of strokes cause breakage.
How to Groom Your Shih Tzu around the Eyes
Clean the face and eye area of your Shih Tzu daily with a damp, soft cloth if you do not have professional cleansing wipes for dogs.
Foot Pads Hair Trimming
When you own a longhaired dog, you will notice hair grows between paw pads, which creates problem for you and your dog. Trim the hair that grows between the larger back pad and four smaller front paw pads. Use a comb and clippers and start this grooming from puppy age to avoid difficulty when dog is outgrown and unfamiliar with it.
To prevent infections it is important to trim the hair growing from puppies at an early stage and continue to do so when it grows. Starting at puppy stage doing a periodical cleaning with a cotton ball and an ear cleaner prevents adult dogs disliking the procedure.
Shih Tzu puppies nails grow fast and a weekly clipping may be needed with adult dogs requiring a clipping around three week intervals.
Dental care is more than just cosmetic as it prevents problems and promotes good health. Although your dog will only have its adult teeth around seven to eight months old, you will make life easier for yourself and your dog by providing dental care at a young age. You do not need to use a brush initially, just your finger massaging little teeth and gums with doggie toothpaste. As they grow older, they are accustomed to toothpaste regardless whether you use a brush, gauze or your finger. You will also be able to use dental spray made especially for dogs.