Once the Shih Tzu's coat is ruined or let go almost beyond repair, the Shih Tzu's coat take endless time and energy to restore to its original beauty. Therefore, it is wise to take a little time each day to keep your Shih Tzu's hair in top condition. This, of course, is especially true if a Shih Tzu is to be presented in the show ring.
Daily grooming is absolutely essential to the well-being of the Shih Tzu as well. Regardless of whether your Shih Tzu is a show dog or a house pet, the Shih Tzu's coat requires regular, careful attention.
To make the Shih Tzu grooming routine a bit more simple, first establish grooming as a common practice in the daily routine and decide upon a particular spot for grooming your Shih Tzu each day. Over time, you will find the Shih Tzu grooming routine to be a very special bonding time for you and your pet companion.
Lighting is important. You will make the Shih Tzu grooming process easier for yourself if you choose a spot with good lighting.
Place your grooming table in a spot where you will have the least distractions. Keep toys, dog biscuits, other dogs or family pets out of sight.
Let the Shih Tzu know there is work to be done and you intend to do it. Be firm, yet gentle. Many Shih Tzu tend to resist first attempts at grooming. However, if introduced and maintained properly, the grooming routine will become a time the Shih Tzu looks forward to as "special time" spent with you. And always remember, "Surface grooming" is never enough. You must decide to groom your Shih Tzu from the skin to the end of the hair if your efforts are to be effective.
Shih Tzu are nervous about their footing, therefore, the grooming table should be steady. Ribbed rubber matting on the Shih Tzu grooming table is best for the surface and is easy to clean. I have found just a plain vinyl top card table is steady enough to perform all my Shih Tzu grooming chores. The vinyl top is easily cleaned and disinfected after use.
Do not overlook the tiny nails of a very young Shih Tzu puppy. I often dread clipping the nails of tiny, young Shih Tzu puppies. However, the task must be performed at least once weekly. The best way to trim the nails of a very young Shih Tzu puppy is to hold the puppy in your lap on its back. Keep a bottle of Styptic powder or a similar coagulant (powder to stop bleeding) handy in the event that one nail is cut too short and there is bleeding. Invariably, even as often as I have clipped nails, I will still end up with some bleeding at times. So don't feel bad if it happens to you. Just keep your powder handy, dab it on with a q-tip, hold it tight with pressure for a minute or so and the bleeding will stop quickly.
There is no specific set amount of time recommended for grooming to produce the desired effect. You will get better over time. Shih Tzu with very heavy coats will naturally require more time. Again, remember to allow enough time each day for going over the entire Shih Tzu from the skin out. What you skip over one time will be twice as hard to remedy by the next Shih Tzu grooming session. You also risk pulling out twice as much hair when a spot is allowed to get twice as much tangled. If your desire is the beautiful coat so characteristic to a Shih Tzu, you must never let the coat tangle and twist into knots that result in hair breakage and hair loss.
The correct brush for the Shih Tzu should have pin bristles and the coat should be brushed in layers from the skin out to the very ends of the hair. If your brush gathers hair on one side only, you are not holding the brush properly. The Shih Tzu coat should be brushed in the direction in which the coat is to fall.
There is one exception to brushing the Shih Tzu's coat in the direction in which the coat is to fall. The one exception is for Shih Tzu puppies. The method for brushing the coat of a Shih Tzu puppy is "every which way." The "every which way" coat brushing of a Shih Tzu puppy actually stimulates the skin and hair cells to encourage growth of the permanent coat. The legs can be fluffed up as a last minute finishing touch as well.
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Article Added on Thursday, June 21, 2007
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