Since the hair on your Shih Tzu grows continually, regular grooming is required. As the pet owner, you must brush and comb your dog on a daily basis to avoid mats and snarls. When the hair starts getting too long, a hair cut will be necessary. With practice you can feel comfortable using electric clippers to cut your Shih Tzu's hair.
Begin grooming by washing your dog and rinsing well. Towel dry and blow dry your pet. If you can get a comb through your dog's hair after the bath and drying, you are ready for the hair cut.
Shave the private areas of your dog with a #10 blade. This includes shaving a small area around the rectum for good hygiene.
Change the blade to a #30 blade. Lift each paw and shave the excess fur under your dog's pads carefully. Use your electric clippers under the eyes to the top of the nose with the same blade. Be careful not to get close to the eyes.
Choose the blade of your choice to begin the hair cut. The most common blades are #7 or #5 blades. Stand behind your dog and begin shaving down the back from the neck to the base of the tail. Use gentle pressure and clip the hair in the direction of the hair growth.
Use a sweeping movement downward on each side of your dog. Lift your dog up and carefully shave the chest and belly area. In between each shaving motion, use your brush to brush the dog's hair backwards and shave again. Repeat the process until you get the desired effect all over the dog's body. The hair should all look even with no hair sticking out.
Follow the hair growth and shape of the leg to shave the hair on each leg of your Shih Tzu. Back brush and continue to use your electric shaver to cut the hair on the legs until no unruly hairs are visible. To back brush the hair simply means to brush backwards against the growth of the hair.
Add a snap-on comb #2 on top of the #30 blade to trim the hair on top of the head. Use it in the direction of the hair growth, and backwards as well. This forms the length and shape of the top knot on your dog's head. Also trim upwards all around the neck to the face.
Scissor around each foot on your dog to make a neat-looking, spherical foot.
Trim around each side of the face in the shape of a half moon. Begin to cut from behind the ear and towards the neck area. Use a comb to back comb the fur while trimming to get an even line on both sides of the face and blended into the chin.
Comb each ear out and cut with scissors to the length that you wish without cutting the ear itself.
The final step to your dog's hair cut is to grab the tail at its tip and twist the fur. Hold that fur in your fingers and cut a straight line at that tip without cutting the tail itself. Hold the tip of the tail again while letting the fur hang down and trim an even line on both sides.
Check your blade often to be sure it does not get hot. If it starts to get warm, spray it well with clipper cool. The number on a blade denotes the length of the hair. The higher the number of the blade, the shorter the hair. For example, a #7 blade will give your dog a slightly shorter cut than the #5. Your dog should be restrained through the grooming process for its protection and yours.