Is Proper Grooming of a Shih Tzu Difficult? Although this dog may have a "high maintenance" look, grooming is not overly time consuming or terribly difficult. Many Shih Tzu owners choose to have their dog professionally groomed to ensure the proper look and sleek, professional pizazz. If you choose to groom yourself, you will need a bit of time for you and your dog to become familiar with the process. Let's talk about how to groom a Shih Tzu.
A Shih Tzu pup does not need much grooming! A daily quick brushing will do. An ungroomed dog can become a mess and this is unhealthy for the dog. A well groomed Shih Tzu will have long, flowing hair and a top knot or clipped hairProper Grooming of the Shih Tzu
If you choose to groom your dog yourself as opposed to having him or her professionally groomed, the biggest task will be proper grooming of your Shih Tzu's fur. One must remember that grooming involves all aspects of taking care of a dog's appearance. This will include teeth and nails as well.
Your Shih Tzu puppy will only need a bath once every week or two. The pup will need a brushing every other day, but no detailed work will need to be done; the fur will be very short. Your adult dog will need a bath approximately every 3 weeks, but this can vary greatly depending on the situation and events that may dirty the fur. Brushing will need to be done at a minimum of once per week; grooming 3-4 times a week will save you a headache in the long run, as you will be able to catch mats before they become large.
Once your Shih Tzu reaches the 1 year mark, its adult longer coat should have grown in. Now is the time to groom in accordance with proper grooming methods for fur. Do not groom your Shih Tzu when its coat is dry. Because of static electricity and its power to break off hair, mist-spray your dog with a mixture of water and a bit of dog condition. You may also use Static Control Spray that can be found at pet supply sites.
Begin at your dog's legs and work your way down to its feet. Go gently in case there are any pieces of matted fur. If you do find a mats, try to be patience and work it out before you rush to clip it. Make sure you allow the brush to reach through the complete coat of hair, down to the skin. The face comb and a 2 level comb should be used on the face of the Shih Tzu and around the ears. Using the wider side of the 2 level comb, is recommended until you are very used to grooming your dog.
Use the face comb to gently comb through the fur on the face, the "mustache" and topknot hair. For reasons of hygiene and cleanliness, the fur around the anus should be clipped with round tipped scissors. Feces can and does easily become stuck to any long hair and this can lead to very unpleasant odors and compromise hygie
Growing a Long Coat "How to groom a Shih Tzu" will certainly be different if you wish to have the Show Dog look (the coat of the Shih Tzu will be long, soft, flowing and to the floor) This is achieved with patience as the coat grows and gentle grooming to prevent split ends and breakage. Some owners choose to wrap the fur of the Shih Tzu. This is a simple, yet time consuming method of protecting the fur. 1 inch (2.50 cm) sections are combed and held away from the dog. Silk wrapping paper is then wrapped around the end of the section. It is gently folded up to the base of the dog. It is held in place by thick, non-stick rubber bands. Once you become accustomed to wrapping your Shih Tzu, the process will move along faster. However, a Shih Tzu that has wraps must be un-wrapped every other day, groomed and then re-wrapped. It is vital to never leave the silk papers for more than 2 days and also for the dog to become wet while wrapped. Doing so may cause mildew to begin to grow underneath the silk. This presents the possibility of a discoloration to the Shih Tzu's fur.
Most owners will simply allow the coat to grow and take great care with grooming. Only top quality dog shampoo and conditioner should be used. Brushing should be gentle. An owner must take time to gently work out any matted hair. Brushing must be done with long, flat strokes. Curling the brush at the end of the stroke may cause breakage
Red Around the Eyes If your Shih Tzu has a red/orange color on the fur of the face, most often under and around the eyes, this may be caused by: 1. Eye discharge 2: A "Red Yeast" infection. Be sure to clean this area daily with a soft, damp cloth or use professional dog cleansing wipes. If the discoloration remains, bring your dog to the vet, a Red Yeast issue will need medication given to you by an experienced veterinarian The Details of Grooming This, of course, is an overview of grooming. Grooming is one of the most important elements of taking care of your Shih Tzu.
Learn How To Make a Topknot You can learn how to make a topknot in no time at all. You must first make a part in the hair. There is a small bump on the center of a Shih Tzu's head. Use this as your stopping point when making the part from front to back. You will want to think of a triangle. You will gather hair from the outer edge of each eye and part back to the bump. Now that the hair is gathered, Divide this long fur into 2 sections: front and back. Put a band around the front section, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the skinFrom the front section, hold some hairs from the center/back with one hand and push the band all the way down to the head of your Shih Tzu. Repeat the above steps for the back section you created on your dog's head; however you will use a few hairs from the center/front when pushing the band down. Place your chosen bow on the front section of your Shih Tzu's fur. Once the bow is in place, gather both front and back sections together and use a final band to connect them. The connection should be slightly above the bow.
Brushing: . Removes dirt and debris . Invigorates the skin. Spreads oils to moisturize skin and keep its coat shiny . Prevents mats and tangles which are irritating and painful and can harbour bacteria, fungus and other infection . Keeps your house clean, especially during shedding seasons . Bonding, massaging, loving interaction . Early detection of fleas, ticks, eczema, infection and smells
Tools: Pin brush or slicke grayhound comb (1/2 medium-toothed, ½ fine-toothed), spray conditioner Comb down to the skin daily to rid the coat of mats. Do not comb dry: use the spray conditioner.
Line brushing consists of holding hair up and out of the way and then brushing/detangling a small amount of hair (a line or row), at a time from underneath. Always work from the inside out on a coat and from the bottom to the top of the hair. Brace one hand against your pet's skin while working out tangles. Knots tend to gather behind the elbows and in the haunches of this dog. Comb the face daily to keep it free of food. Spot wash the face and around the eyes frequently to clear up staining. Condition the part to help keep it in place. The topknot is usually styled to stay out of the eyes. The method is up to you: braiding, elastics, barrettes, ribbons. There are specific showing topknots
Eyes: Check your dog's eyes daily. The Shi Tzu's large eyes are prone to injury. Debris is flushed to the corners of the eyes and daily wiping with a wet cloth or paper towel can prevent the build up of bacteria.
Teeth: Regularly. 80% of 3 year old dogs have periodontal disease due to lack of brushing. Cavities and gum disease are painful for your dog; they diminish its pleasure and ability to eat. Bacteria that develops can infect the heart, kidney, liver and brain. Really bad breath is usually a sign of gum disease. Tools: Toothbrush/finger cap/cloth, doggie toothpaste, tooth scraper. Never use human toothpaste. It is not edible. Starting this dog off with this practice takes patience. Reward it constantly. Start off by getting it used to its mouth being handled. Progress to touching the teeth with your finger. Get some meat-flavoured toothpaste and apply with your finger. Then introduce the brush. Clean a few teeth at a time and soon you will have a routine that takes just minutes. Brush in a circular motion and get under the gum line. If you don't want to brush everyday, use a tooth scraper once or twice a month to get rid of the build up of plaque. It accumulates mostly on the outside of the teeth and on the back molars. This won't be much fun for your or your dog though. Lots of bones and hard, crunchy foods can minimize plaque but not to a truly effective degree. If you don't want to brush everyday, use a tooth scraper once or twice a month to get rid of the build up of plaque. It accumulates mostly on the outside of the teeth and on the back molars. This won't be much fun for your or your dog though. Lots of bones and hard, crunchy foods can minimize plaque but not to a truly effective degree.
Nails: Frequently. Nails that aren't trimmed can splinter and infect the quick or grow and curl into the flesh. This can be painful for your dog to walk on, affect it's gait, posture, and eventually it's skeletal and ligament health. Nails should never touch the ground. When your dog is standing its nails should rest above the ground. If you hear clicking on the kitchen floor, clipping is overdue.
Tools: Doggie Nail Clippers (Scissors, pliers, guillotine), Dremel or file, Styptic or Kwikstop.
Scissors are usually adequate to clip a Shih Tzu's nails and the Dremel can accomplish the same task very quickly. Sit beside your dog so that you are clipping from underneath and at the right angle. Lift the paw and press on it to expose the claw.
If it has a clear nail you should be able to see the quick: a dark bundle of nerves and blood vessels. Clip from underneath close to the quick but do not cut into it. If you do, your dog will soon let you know. Use Styptic pencil or Kwikstop to staunch the bleeding. Buff the ragged edge with a file or Dremel. Some dogs can handle their nails being buffed by the Dremel regularly, rather than clipping. If it has a dark nail, clip just under the curve of the nail and then you will be able to look inside and see the quick if you look close enough. Clip using tiny snips at a time.
Don't forget to check for dewclaws: an extra claw dogs may have farther up on the leg that works like a thumb. It is better to clip your dog's nails frequently as this encourages the quick to recede farther away from the tip.
Paws: Check daily/Trim every two weeks. It is very important to Check between your dogs pads for foreign objects that may have wedged there and check the pads themselves for cuts, scrapes and infection. Tools: Small, blunt scissors, slicker brush or comb. The Shih Tzu grows hair around and between its foot pads which can mat and trap bacteria as well as becoming painful to walk on. Trim hair around the paws to keep them clean. Only do this when the dog is standing on the paw. Then, Push the feathers growing on top of the foot down through the toes and trim to pad level. Lift the paw and from the back, brush out the hair and trim to pad level. Push feathers back up through the toes and trim from the top.
Hygienic trimming: 2 to 4 weeks. Tools: Thinning shears, electric clippers Thinning, trimming and clipping at the ear opening, base of the tail, around the anus and privates keeps your dog feeling better as well as keeping it and your house cleaner. Some owners wipe the fur after toileting. Expressing Glands: Every 2 to 4 weeks This is a task normally done when you take your dog in for professional grooming. Your dog uses scent glands in the anus to mark its territory. These glands also excrete when your dog defecates. At times, they may get impacted. Signs of this include: increased doggie odour, excessive licking and chewing of the behind and worst of all, scooting (when your dog drags its bottom along the floor or carpet). There is no risk of overly expressing these glands so it's best to get accustomed to doing it regularly as it will lessen dog odor. Tools: Warm cloth Lift the dog's tail and hold the cloth against it's behind. Place your fingers at 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock and press inward and squeeze to expel.
Bathing: As needed Shi Tzu's tend to get bathed often because they fit into the sink so easily and their long hair can get dirty and tangled. Keep in mind that frequent bathing strips the dog of its natural oils and dries out its skin. Never wash a matted dog: the mats will tighten painfully. Brush first. Tools: Non-slip mat, sprayer hose, dog shampoo, conditioner, towel, slicker, blow-dryer. Never bathe your dog in standing water. A sprayer hose is a must, luckily this little dog can easily fit into the kitchen sink but always remember a rubber mat to prevent slipping. Wet your dog using your hand so as to massage and lift the hair to get to the undercoat. Never wash your Shih Tzu in a circular motion or you will create tangles. Avoid getting water into the eyes, nose and ears. Stuff cotton wool balls into the ear canals to deter water. Massage lather down to undercoat. Rinse thoroughly as leftover shampoo can severely dry out and irritate your pet's skin. Condition and rinse well. Leftover conditioner will dull the silky coat. Squeeze out excess water by running your hands along its body and pressing. Dry with a towel.Comb and blow-dry using the slicker against the direction of hair growth on low heat, checking frequently for overheating and drying of your dog's skin. Condition the part to set it.