How to Groom & Cut a Shih Tzu Puppy

Written by bibiana da silva
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How to Groom & Cut a Shih Tzu Puppy
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

The Shih Tzu puppy is known for its long, flowing hair, which requires grooming at least every two days to prevent matting. Matted hair is uncomfortable for the puppy and invites parasites and skin diseases. While an owner may opt to use a professional groomer, the need for frequent grooming makes it reasonable to groom and cut a Shih Tzu puppy's hair at home. To do this, you must make the puppy comfortable with the grooming and cutting process.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Table (optional)
  • Puppy treats
  • Napkin
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Puppy brush
  • Non-skid mat
  • Puppy tub
  • Warm water
  • Puppy shampoo
  • Puppy conditioner
  • Towel
  • Puppy comb
  • Scissors
  • Blow dryer

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  1. 1

    Let the puppy outside to relieve herself. This will decrease distractions during grooming.

  2. 2

    Place her on the grooming table or other flat surface where you intend to groom her. Give her a treat while you gently wipe her rear clean with the napkin. The treat teaches the puppy that allowing you to groom her is good.

  3. 3

    Spray the puppy's hair wet. Brush her hair gently to remove tangles.

  4. 4

    Place the non-skid mat on the floor of the puppy tub. Partially fill the tub with warm water and place the puppy inside.


  1. 1

    Wet her hair. Do not splash water, especially around her face, to avoid getting it in her ears or eyes.

  2. 2

    Apply shampoo to the puppy's skin and hair. Move your fingers in small, gentle circles to lather and clean her hair.

  3. 3

    Pour water over the puppy to rinse the shampoo from her hair. Run your fingers through her hair as you do this and continue rinsing until no suds remain.

  4. 4

    Apply the conditioner and rinse it out as you did the shampoo. Rinse an additional time to remove any remaining product.

  5. 5

    Hold the towel open in your hands and pick the puppy up out of the tub. Place her on the table. Pat and squeeze her hair gently with the towel to dry it.

    Grooming and Cut

  1. 1

    Brush the puppy's hair gently, moving the brush downward. Avoid getting the brush or her hair in her eyes. Cut off any matted hair that does not loosen with the brush, sparing as much hair as possible.

  2. 2

    Cut the puppy's hair, if desired, by holding a lock of it gently by the root between your index and middle fingers. Slide your fingers down the hair to the desired length. Cut off the hair that hangs past your fingers. Continue until you've trimmed the puppy's hair evenly, including hair from the previous lock in each lock you are about to cut. This shows you what length the newly cut hair should be.

  3. 3

    Turn the blow dryer on to the lowest possible setting. Hold the blow dryer at least 6 inches away from the puppy's body to avoid putting excessive heat on her. Brush her hair as you blow it dry, doing both in the direction you want the hair to lie.

Tips and warnings

  • Calm and encourage your Shih Tzu puppy by petting her and telling her she's a good dog throughout the process.
  • Avoid bringing the blow dryer toward the puppy too quickly, as it may alarm her.

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