Have you just bought a Shih Tzu home and are wondering how to maintain his coat? Maybe you have agreed to adopt and older dog and need the beginners guide to Shih Tzu grooming?
Well you are in the right place because we are keen to explain everything you need to know about the coat of your Shih Tzu on a complete beginner’s basis.
Shih Tzu Grooming – Coat Type
The Shih Tzu has a long and flowing coat. It is soft, silky and will not stop growing if left alone. This coat type needs daily grooming as it can easily become knotted up and eventually matted into a big, cotton wool type, mess if not combed regularly.
Another reason for regular grooming of the Shih Tzu is to ensure sufficient air flow to the skin. If a dog’s hair becomes too thick and matted the skin will soon become infected because bacteria can easily build up on the moist skin beneath.
The reason for the long and flowing Shih Tzu coat is his original status as a companion dog to royalty. It is said that the dog was presented as a gift in many palaces and his role was an exquisite lady’s companion.
Shih Tzu Grooming – Allergy Facts
Many people believe that the Shih Tzu coat is hypo allergenic because it doesn’t shed like short haired dogs.
This is true to an extent as the breed sheds much less than many others so there is less hair and dander to prompt an allergic reaction, yet this little dog will lose some hair, just as we do.
Human allergy to dog hair depends on many things inclusive of grease in the coat and the loose skin shed from beneath the coat. It’s certainly true that a Shih Tzu will cause less allergy in humans than a shedding dog but it is important not to assume that allergy to a Shih Tzu is impossible.
Shih Tzu Grooming – Going for the Chop
Many pet Shih Tzu dogs are clipped into an easy to manage style in order to minimize the need for regular grooming.
The style varies between thinning the entire coat out and clipping it close to the skin to keep the dog cool. A well clipped Shih Tzu will usually look like a teddy bear with a longer hair on the head, cut into a spherical shape and the legs to make them look chunky.
A professional groomer calls the Shih Tzu coat a “drop coat” because the hair drops directly towards the ground. Styling the drop coat is usually carried out regularly in the grooming salon.
Shih Tzu grooming that involves clipping is a good idea for the pet dog because it helps to prevent the dog overheating. With his short muzzle the Shih Tzu can overheat quickly particularly if he is wearing a long and full coat.
Shih Tzu grooming is an easy skill to learn, particularly when you have decided how you would like your dog to look. Even a complete beginner can master the art in no time at all.