Shih Tzus often look as though they have just walked out of a grooming salon. With their long double coat flowing gracefully to the floor and their hair pulled up into a top knot, it's no wonder Shih Tzus command so much attention. Maintaining the classic Shih Tzu manicured look takes daily care to check for hair tangles and make new top knots. With a few basic grooming tools your Shih Tzu will be ready for the salon treatment at home.
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A pin brush and slicker brush are helpful for basic Shih Tzu coat maintenance. A pin brush removes tangles and loose hair all the way through the dog's fur, down to the skin. Look for a pin brush with a rubber head and long, flexible metal pins. A slicker brush is helpful with picking apart mats that form in the coat. Choose a triangular or rectangular slicker brush with thin, bent wires and a rubber head.
A metal comb with both wide and narrow teeth is good for checking for additional mats after brushing is complete. Look for metal combs with teeth about 3 to 4 inches long that will comb through the entire coat. Use a fine face comb to groom around the eyes, beard and whiskers. Use a rattail comb or small face comb to part the hair for top knots.
Scissors and Nail Clippers
Round-tip metal scissors are ideal for trimming stray hairs around the eyes that could irritate the Shih Tzu's eyes causing excessive tearing. Round-tip scissors are also useful for trimming hair around the anus, between the paw pads and snipping top knot bands for easy removal. Use a hemostat to remove small amounts of hair from inside the ears. Clip your Shih Tzu's toenails once a week with a pair of dog nail clippers.
Top Knots Bands and Bows
Keep your Shih Tzu's hair out of the eyes through the use of a top knot. Tie hair up using latex or other elastic bands. Yellow bands are a popular colour choice that blends with the Shih Tzu's fur colour. Decorative bows may be added to top knots based on personal preference.
Keep a spray bottle on hand to dampen your Shih Tzu's hair before brushing to prevent hair breakage. A good supply of cotton balls will aid in eye and ear care. Gently wet cotton balls to remove dried matter from around the eyes. Dip cotton balls in ear wash to clean out dirt and wax from inside the ears. A knitting needle is helpful in parting small sections of hair down your Shih Tzu's back to make a straight part.
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