Looking for tips on how to groom your Shih Tzu?

If so, you've come to the right place. This website will give you
step-by-step basic instructions on how to groom a Shih Tzu.
It will outline the tools needed, as well as the steps that need to be taken in order to groom your furbaby.

This website includes guides on:
The basic steps to keeping your Shih Tzu clean
How to bathe your Shih Tzu
How to get your Shih Tzu used to grooming

Once you have finished grooming your Shih Tzu, the perfect thing to finish them off with is a dog bow. Since Shih Tzus can grow to be various sizes, you can choose from a 3/8" dog bow, a 5/8" dog bow, or a 7/8" dog bow for a Shih Tzu's topknot, depending on your dog's size. Two 3/8" dog bows or two
5/8" dog bows
would also look adorable as a pair of ear bows!

Basic Steps

It is important to groom your Shih Tzu regularly, as the Shih Tzu's dense undercoat and long silky outercoat have a tendency to become very matted (which can be painful to remove). There are a few basic steps that are involved in grooming your Shih Tzu and maintaining its coat.

Comb and brush your Shih Tzu at least every other day
     - Use a detangling spray or a mix of water & conditioner to moisten the coat prior to brushing
     - Use a metal comb, a slicker brush, and a pin brush (without balled ends)
     - To effectively brush your Shih Tzu's hair, lift up the top layer and brush the hair closest to the skin
       first, then brush and comb the outer layer
     - First, use a slicker brush to brush out your Shih Tzu
     - Then, use a wide-toothed comb to get rid of any hair that was left behind

Cut and file your dog's nails after giving them a bath (the warm water will make the nails softer and      easier to trim). Also, by trimming the nails regularly, only the tips will require cutting and filing.

Brush your dog's teeth once a week to reduce tartar buildup (use a pet toothbrush & pet toothpaste).
     Simply put a bit of toothpaste on the toothbrush and rub it against the front of the teeth. It's not
     necessary to brush the backs of the teeth. If you prefer, you can buy a finger brush, which is a small
     rubber toothbrush that fits over your finger. These brushes are often easier to manoeuver.

Clean your Shih Tzu's ears with a cotton swab and ear cleaning solution after baths

Trim the hair in the ears to reduce the risk of infection. You can also use blunt tweezers to pluck out
     excess hair that has grown too far inside the ears.

Use a stain remover to remove tear stains around eyes.

Trim and wash the area around the anus daily to prevent mats of feces (if the area becomes matted,
     it can become infected and sore, resulting in serious health problems)

Make sure your Shih Tzu gets regular hair cuts

Using scissors, trim the hair on your Shih Tzu's feet and around their pads every two weeks

Use dog bows or dog barrettes to keep the hair out of your Shih Tzu's eyes. Since Shih Tzus can
     grow to be various sizes, you can choose from a 3/8" dog bow, a 5/8" dog bow, or a 7/8" dog bow
     for a Shih Tzu's topknot, depending on your dog's size. Two 3/8" dog bows or two 5/8" dog bows
     would also look adorable as a pair of ear bows!

Bathe your Shih Tzu every 4-6 weeks (because Shih Tzus are mostly indoor dogs, more frequent
     baths are not necessary).

Bathing Your Shih Tzu

Below you will find a step-by-step guide to bathing your Shih Tzu. You can bathe your Shih Tzu in a kitchen sink, a laundry tub or a bathtub. Put a non-skid mat down before you start to make sure your dog doesn't slip.

Remove any collars, dog bows, dog barrettes or clothing your Shih Tzu is wearing.

Gently brush the fur to remove any knots or tangles using a dog comb or brush.

Wet your dog thoroughly. Try not to get too much water in your Shih Tzu's eyes or ears.

Squirt shampoo in a thin line down the center of your dog's back (don't apply the shampoo in a swirl
     or zig-zag pattern). Apply as much shampoo as you need at this point, rather than reapplying
     halfway through the procedure.

Work the shampoo down through the hair with your fingers.

Pour water down the middle of your dog's back to rinse it.

You can either use a plastic cup to pour water onto your dog, or you can use a spray nozzle if you
     have one. If you're using the spray nozzle, make sure it's aimed downwards to minimize tangles.

Work the water through your Shih Tzu's hair until all shampoo is gone.

Apply conditioner to your dog's hair and work it in through the hair with your fingers.

Rinse your Shih Tzu as you did with the shampoo. Again, make sure there are no traces of
     conditioner left, as it can irritate the skin.

Gently dry your dog with a clean towel. Don't completely dry the coat - leave it damp for brushing
     (this prevents hair from breaking while it's being brushed).

If you like, you can use a blow dryer instead of a towel to dry your dog. Again, make sure the hair is
     not completely dry, because it still needs to be brushed.

Gently brush the fur to remove knots.

Finish off the look with a beautiful dog bow. Since Shih Tzus can grow to be various sizes, you can
     choose from a 3/8" dog bow, a 5/8" dog bow, or a 7/8" dog bow for a Shih Tzu's topknot, depending      on your dog's size. Two 3/8" dog bows or two 5/8" dog bows would also look adorable as a pair of
     ear bows!

Things to Remember

If your Shih Tzu has a soft, cottony coat (instead of a silky one), have the coat trimmed in a puppy
     cut for easier maintenance.

When buying a pin brush, don't buy one with balls on the end of the pins (it will break the coat).

When bathing your Shih Tzu, never leave them unattended in the tub or sink. They could try to jump
     out (and injure themselves), or they could slip and fall.

Use lukewarm water when bathing your Shih Tzu. If the water is too hot, it could hurt your dog or
     make them uncomfortable.

Don't brush your Shih Tzu's coat when it is completely dry. Instead, use a detangling spray or a mix
     of water & conditioner prior to brushing.

Don't use natural bristle brushes.

Remember to only use pet toothpaste (no human toothpaste) when brushing your Shih Tzu's teeth.

When cutting the hair of your Shih Tzu, the topknot should be longer than the rest of the body
     (that way, it can be pulled back and secured with a dog bow).

How to Get Your Shih Tzu Used to Grooming

Don't force your Shih Tzu into being groomed if they don't like it. Ease into it - start with smaller time increments. If your Shih Tzu doesn't like to be touched or groomed in a certain spot (ie. feet, ears, or muzzle), start with simply touching the spot for a second or two. Make sure you reward your Shih Tzu after every time you have touched the spot and they have been okay with it.

ake a regular grooming routine so your Shih Tzu can get used to it.
Keep the sessions short and to the point. Don't let them drag on, or your Shih Tzu will get antsy.
Give your Shih Tzu treats and reward them for keeping still and letting their feet, ears, and muzzle
     be touched.

Believe it or not, grooming can actually be enjoyable for your Shih Tzu. If you get them used to it early on, they can grow to like it and end up looking forward to being groomed.

Top it off with a great bow!

BowBiz Dog Bows offers a variety of top quality, handmade bows for all sizes of Shih Tzus - from puppy to adult. Many assorted, unique styles for all occasions. Top rated and highly recommended.

Fun Shih Tzu Facts
Around AD 624, it is believed that Fu
    Lin of the Byzantine Empire gave the
    Chinese royal court a pair of dogs.
    The temple dogs were believed to
    have been Shih Tzus. The Shih Tzu
    along with the Lhasa Apso and the
    Pekingese dogs were regarded as
    temple dogs and were treated as holy.

Throughout the Tang and Ming
    Dynasties, Shih Tzus were kept in the
    forbidden city. They were bred only for
    companionship to be kept in the house
    and around people. This explains why
    the Shih Tzu temperament is
    extremely gentle in well trained dogs.

The Shih Tzu did not arrive in England
    until the 1800s, and it did not arrive in
    the United States until after World War
    II. American soldiers stationed in
    Europe brought this dog home after
    falling in love with its unique look.

Famous Shih Tzu Owners

Mariah Carey (Bing & Bong)
Brooke Shields
Elizabeth Taylor
Betty White (Panda)
Kim Bassinger (7 Shih Tzus!)
Phyllis Diller (Fang)
Dalai Lama
Bill Gates
Geri Halliwell (Ginger)
Joy Behar
Frank Sinatra
Maurice Gibb (Brownie)
Vanessa Williams (Sebastian)
David Hasselhoff (Rusty)
Nicole Richie (Honey Child)
Anna Nicole Smith (Puppy)
Beyonce (Munch-Munch)
Queen Elizabeth of England
    (Choo Choo)

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See other sites in this series: HowToPutInADogBow.com , HowToGroomAMaltese.com , HowToGroomAYorkie.com