One of the most eye-catching features of a Shih Tzu or Shih Tzu mix is their glorious, flowing and soft coat. In show Shih Tzus, this coat covers the eyes and reaches to the ground. In ancient China, where the breed originated, a long thick coat was necessary for survival in the drafty royal palaces. But that coat is a bear to deal with every single day.
Only show Shih Tzus should be kept in a full coat. Otherwise, the average Shih Tzu owner will go insane. Shih Tzu grooming of a full coat takes just as long as grooming the full coat of an Afghan hound (a much bigger dog). And your local climate is probably a lot more temperate than Northern China. If you live hot climates, a full coat will kill your dog. All breeding and pet Shih Tzus’ coats should be kept in a Shih Tzu puppy clip.
You need to make Shih Tzu grooming a rewarding experience for your dog. They should be praised and brushing should be like another expression of affection and no hitting the dog is allowed. Get your dog used to being bathed, brushed, combed, ears wiped, eyes wiped and nails clipped as soon as you can. Get them used to the sound of clippers days or even weeks before using them yourself. They should stand still before you attempt clipping them.
Your electric clippers will come with a dizzying array of detachable blade lengths, designated by numbers. Some professional dog groomers recommend a number four blade for the Shih Tzu puppy cut. A number ten will get rid of stubborn tangles, but will make a shorter cut. Number forty is what vets use before they operate – try not to get that mixed up with a four! Keep your clippers clean and stored well and this most expensive of Shih Tzu grooming supplies will last many years.
A Shih Tzu puppy cut is great for easy grooming but other grooming supplies will be necessary and can be found wherever pet products are sold. You need at least a nail clipper, a soft brush, a small slicker (or pin) brush (which have a square base) and a flea comb. All other brushes, combs and wipes are optional. Keep in mind that any white areas around the Shih Tzu’s eyes, nose and mouth will often be discolored, but shouldn’t be smelly. Introduce your Shih Tzu to the daily Shih Tzu brushing routine as soon as possible.
Shih Tzu grooming should be a time your dog looks forward to, or else your life will quickly become miserable. Use positive reinforcement and lots of verbal praise and treats during any Shih Tzu grooming session. Shih Tzus love to be the center of attention and quickly learn to stay put for it. Get out any tangles with a soft brush first, then with a slicker. A flea comb helps check for parasites and for very small, tough tangles. Clip the nails only when necessary. A Shih Tzu puppy cut makes this routine a lot easier.
Source by Rebecca Simpson