Grooming The Shih Tzu Pet Or Show Dog
By Connie Limon
The Shih Tzu with its long coat of hair requires regular, careful grooming. It is better to take a little time each day to keep the coat of your Shih Tzu in top shape than to allow it to go almost beyond repair. If you donâ€™t set aside each day to properly groom your Shih Tzu, the coat will take a lot more time and energy to restore to its original luster and length. This is especially true if you are grooming for the show ring.
The first step is to choose a particular spot for grooming your Shih Tzu each time. Choose a spot where the light is good and where your Shih Tzu will have fewest distractions. Keep toys, treats and other distractions away from your Shih Tzu grooming area. Let your Shih Tzu know this is work that is absolutely necessary. Be firm but gentle.
You must groom a Shih Tzu from the skin out to be effective. Your Shih Tzu grooming table should be sturdy and steady to keep your Shih Tzu from becoming nervous on a wabbling table. A ribbed rubber matting is nice on the Shih Tzu grooming table and is easy to keep clean.
Time to groom your Shih Tzu will depend upon how much hair he has, the thickness of the coat and texture. Shih Tzu more heavily coated will of course require more time in grooming.
The correct brush for a Shih Tzu should have pin bristles. Brush your Shih Tzuâ€™s coat in layers from the skin out to the very ends of the hair. Notice how your brush gathers hair. If the brush is gathering hair only on one side as you brush your Shih Tzu you are holding the brush in the wrong position. A Shih Tzuâ€™s coat should be brushed in the direction in which hair is to fall. However, Shih Tzu puppies can benefit from brushing the coat in ever which way to stimulate the skin and hair cells to encourage growth of the permanent coat. Fluff the leg hair on a Shih Tzu puppy for a finishing touch.
Pay special attention to your Shih Tzuâ€™s feet. The feet of a Shih Tzu are usually the first to get dirty and the hardest to get clean. They tend to tangle and mat easier. The hocks and elbows of your Shih Tzu should receive special attention.
If you find a find a bad tangle or mat in your Shih Tzuâ€™s coat, brush away the surrounding hair and take the mat in your hand. Take a little of the mat at a time and shred it gently with your fingers, working it apart. Take your comb and carefully work it out from the ends of the hair first until you get to the skin of your Shih Tzu. Start at the bottom and work toward the body. When the mat has all been separated, brush the broken hairs out until all the remaining hairs are free.
Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at: http://www.stainglassshihtzus.com
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