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How to Groom a Shih Tzu at Home with Tools & Grooming Kit

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that pay me a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Full disclaimer here.

Learning the art of grooming Shih Tzu is one task that all owners of this cute breed have to manage. So let’s find out if learning how to groom a Shih Tzu at home is the answer.

A small dog, with appealing large dark eyes and a soft, long, double coat, the Shih Tzu pup can win anyone’s heart. Who can resist bringing home a fluffy ball of fur with an adorable face?

This Chinese breed was first introduced in America.

Its name translates to lion dog as it resembles the lion in oriental art.

This small dog breed is very cute, many standing no more than 11 inches and weighing about 7 kg, although I have seen healthy Shih Tzus weighing in at around 10 kg.

The Shih Tzu is known to have a distinctive style of walking which comes across to onlookers as a show of arrogance.

Another noticeable feature of this dog is the under bite which, like its arrogant carriage, is a feature that is quite typical of the breed.

Why Learn How to Groom Shih Tzu

These dogs have a lovely coat of fur that does not shed which is an added advantage. The silky long hair which often touches the floor needs to be regularly groomed to avoid it from getting tangled.

Regular visits to a professional groomer may burn a hole in your pocket, while grooming at home can be a difficult task.

Being the proud owner of a Shih Tzu myself, I know how often this breed needs to be clipped, particularly in the warm weather. However, the downside to this is the need for regular appointments at the pet salon and for shelling out huge sums every time.

With the help of a really good dog grooming guide, you can learn how to groom a Shih Tzu yourself at home and reduce the frequencies of visiting a salon.

A Shih Tzu Grooming Kit

Purchasing a top quality grooming kit can also help. Dog grooming kits usually come with a variety of tools such as hair clippers, a comb, nail clippers, extra clipper blades, scissors and clipper oil. Some even include a de-shedding brush.

Professional Dog Grooming Kits (affiliate link)

How to Groom a Shih Tzu at Home

Here are a few tips on brushing, clipping, bathing & dental care that are sure to help you with your Shih Tzu grooming.

Brushing a Shih Tzu

One of the most appealing features in a little Shih Tzu is her coat, and keeping it well groomed makes her look more adorable.

Use a detangling spray for dogs, available at most pet stores before brushing.

Brush her coat every other day using a wire brush.

Brushing your dog’s hair removes knots as well as any debris that may have collected. Pay attention to problem areas like under the ears, front legs and thighs that tend to mat easily. Brush the coat in downward strokes starting from the bottom working up to the face. Lift up the top layer and brush the hair closest to the skin and then the top layers.

Having the right brush can make all the difference. I know how sensitive my little Maltese Shih Tzu cross was to any kind of pulling when trying to brush out tangles and mats. I actually think that when it comes to finding the suitable grooming brush for Shih Tzu some of the products featured in this post are hard to beat.

So what is the best dog brush for Shih Tzu? Let’s have a look at some choices. (Please note that I stand to gain a commission from affiliate links on this page.)

There are a number of top quality brushes that you can choose from:

Soft Pet Brush by Hertzko

Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush, Groom Like a Professional, Fluff Detangle Style, Saves Time Energy, Coral, Large

Slicker Dog Brush for Shedding Short Hair & Long Hair – Cat Brush & Dog Grooming Supplies, Deshedding for Single or Double Coated Dogs & Cats – Undercoat Rake for Your Pet

Shih Tzu Clipping

Make sure your pup gets regular haircuts. If Shih Tzu short hair is your preference, you could trim the coat more often at home using a good set of grooming shears.

Wahl Professional Animal Deluxe U-Clip Pet, Dog, & Cat Clipper & Grooming Kit (#9484-300), Red and Chrome

And of course, if you are happy to do the clipping yourself, then your will definitely need the best dog clippers for Shih Tzu that you can find for your budget. In addition, you will want to research the different grooming styles that are traditional for this breed, such as the Summer Cut Shih Tzu style.

Trim the hair around the anus to prevent matting and possible infections.

Also trim the hair on your pup’s feet and around the paws to avoid possible skin irritations.

Some people use bows to keep their dog’s hair out of the eyes but I prefer a more natural short-cut look; it’s entirely up to you.

Andis 23280 ProClip Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper, Professional Animal/Dog Grooming, Burgundy, AGC2

Shih Tzu Nails

A pedicure for your pup is as essential as one for yourself.

Clip and file your dog’s nails regularly to maintain hygiene. Use a dog nail clipper and clip just a small portion of the nails avoiding the sensitive skin below his nails.

Learning early on how to clip dog nails will prove to be a very useful skill. Trimming nails soon after a warm bath makes the exercise easier.

Bathing a Shih Tzu

One relatively simple task is learning how to give a dog a bath.

Bathe your Shih Tzu once every 6 to 8 weeks.  If you don’t have an appropriate bathing area, you can purchase a dog tub for the job.

If she is an indoor pet, you will find that she won’t get as dirty as an outdoor dogs. The oils present in their coats tend to keep Shih Tzus relatively clean. Bathing them too often can wash out these oils and make their hair dry.

Shih Tzu Teeth Care

Brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth once a week using a small finger rubber tooth brush. This helps in reducing tartar build up and maintains oral hygiene.

Shih Tzu Ears

Clean your Shih Tzu’s ears after a bath using a cotton bud and some ear cleaning solution.

As part of learning how to groom a Shih Tzu face, you will need to tackle the frequent problem of dark stains under the eyes. Use a tear stain remover carefully to clean any stains around the eyes. Be careful not to let any of the solution enter your dog’s eyes.

How to Trim Around the Eyes of a Shih Tzu

For trimming around the eyes, you need to find a technique you are comfortable with. Plus you need to have the right equipment, no pointy tipped scissors here.

We are dealing with a very sensitive area when it comes to eyes. Any unexpected jerking from your puppy can lead to injury. So, holding your Shih Tzu correctly is just as important as having the right equipment. A harness (affiliate link) can really help here along with the right grip under your Shih Tzu’s chin.

The following video demonstrates how one Shih Tzu owner goes about it. I think you will agree the result is pretty neat and the dog looks very calm and relaxed.

How I keep my Shih Tzu’s face trimmed between groomer visits

Watch a Video on Shih Tzu Grooming

Mastering Shih Tzu haircut styles is a lot easier if you can watch an experienced groomer at work.

Here are 15 Shih Tzu hair styles for you to explore. I love watching this video; each Shih Tzu is so cute (aren’t they all) and there are good text explanations as well. Learn how to groom a Shih Tzu yourself via videos.

Top 15 Beautiful Shih tzu Hair Styles 🐩 Shih tzu Haircut

With the help of the guidelines above, you can start to learn how to groom a Shih Tzu at home, how to master Shih Tzu cuts and thus avoid frequenting the professional groomers while still keeping your little dog looking stylish. You can use the same tips  for Maltese Shih Tzu hairstyles as well.

For additional tips, I suggest the American Shih Tzu Club site.


2 thoughts on “How to Groom a Shih Tzu at Home with Tools & Grooming Kit”

  1. Thank you so much for showing us how to trim a Shih Tzu face. I have one but its so hard to keep her groom. The cost is kinda high and I have tried to cut her hair myself but I will tell you, it is hard.

  2. You’re welcome Anita. I think that the trick is in using the right grooming clippers. Otherwise it is very hard work indeed. You can see some of the grooming clippers that we discuss here.

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