Shih Tzu


 Grooming Demand Rating


 Full Grooming Interval

4 Weeks

 Maintenance Interval

Twice Weekly Minimum


Slicker and pin brushes, metal combs, matt rake or splitter and scissors.
Very matted strip #7F or #5F
Long trim #30 with #1 Comb
Short trim #4F
Stomach #10
Pads #15



Daily grooming is very helpful with a full-coated Shih Tzu. The coat is rich, dense, long and flowing with perhaps a slight wave. The substantial coat can easily become matted especially when exposed to moisture. Some pet owners not concerned about maintaining a show quality coat and appearance will have the hair coat clipped shorter for easier maintenance. No one wants to remove the coat of a Shih Tzu but when it gets severely matted it is not fair on the animal to undergo excessive de-matting.

New groomers should be prepared for Shih Tzu owners that depart from owning a long-coated, breed specific groomed pet. To save time from demanding coat maintenance duties they often choose trims similar to variations of "Teddy Bear styles" more similar to styling on Poodle mixes and a bit similar to the look of a Bichon Frise. Of course, the Shih Tzu coat is different and that means we are talking "similar" and not the "same" look. Professional training is highly encouraged to meet this common demand, especially from owners of Shih Tzu mixes.

For show the dog is never trimmed. It is common for owners of Shih Tzu mixes to request mixed breed styling creating more of a "Poodle look" or other variations. The main intent of these owners key is to reduce the hair coat in order to reduce their maintenance demand, or to make the pet more comfortable in hot weather regions.


Don't use too much cream rinse conditioner on this coat. A protein rich shampoo should be fine. If you do use a conditioning rinse, rinse well or the coat could lose its loftiness.

Learning to bow and bun hair is essential on the Shih Tzu, and expected of any professional groomer. Have an adequate supply of various styles and colors for your clients to choose from so they can have just the special look they desire.

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Books Dedicated to Shih Tzu

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Multi-Breed Books

These books contain little or no breed specific grooming information. They do provide very good to excellent general breed information. Of course, having pictures of the breed is a great help when grooming the breed compared to having nothing else.

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Breed Standard Information

American Kennel Club - Breed Information

American Shih Tzu Club

The Shih Tzu Reporter

Continental Kennel Club

Grooming Information

Shih-Tzu Grooming

Tarahaus Shih Tzu Grooming Tips

Shih Tzu Puppies Grooming

Continental Kennel Club - Shih Tzu

Please Recommend One, Thank You! Bookstore
in association with

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The All Breed Dog Grooming Guide

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All-Breed Dog Grooming - All 160 Breed Dog Grooming by Isabelle Francis and Richard Davis