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Shih Tzu Club (Singapore)
Grooming Essentials


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Recommended Grooming Tools

  • 1 Small Stainless Steel Pin Brush (The Swedog/#1 All Systems Brush is ideal)
  • 1 Six-inch Stainless Steel Comb (Medium/Fine with rounded teeth)
  • 1 Fine Plastic Tail Comb (for combing around eyes)
  • 1 Small Slicker Brush (Soft Type)
  • Doggie Nail clipper/ Toenail Clipper
  • Spray Bottle for water/conditioner mixture
  • Pair Small Scissors with rounded tips
  • Pack of small orthodontic elastic bands for topknots
  • Shampoo Spray attachment for taps in laundry trough
  • Hair Dryer, preferably professional type with stand
  • Rubber Bath Mat to prevent slipping in bath
  • Bottle Tearless Baby Shampoo
  • Bottle Hair Conditioner

There is a great selection of shampoo, conditioners and grooming equipment available to the dog owner. A small bath towel placed in bottom of sink prevents water from accumulating and gives the dog secure footing. Holding the dog securely under its chest with one hand, soak its body with lukewarm running water, shampoo the body and rinse well. Leave the head for last. Carefully wet the head with a wet sponge and clean the hair with a no-tear baby shampoo.

Still holding the dog securely, rinse thoroughly, being careful not to get water in its nose. A few minutes of cuddling in a towel reassures the dog and soaks up excess water.

Use a small hand dryer, low heat is normally all that is necessary. if your dog shivers,it is usually due to nerves rather than from being cold. Avoid blowing the warm air directly into the dog's face. Use a toothbrush to clean the whiskers and ears---ears on drop-ears need special attention. Ears should be cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in mineral oil or panolog. To aviod accidental injury to the eardrums, fluff the cotton out from around the end of the swab with fingertips. Wipe the ear clean and dry with another swab, being careful not to probe too deeply into the ear.

To prevent any unmanageable matting from forming, you should give your Shih Tzu a light brushing daily and a thorough brushing once a week.

 When you begin grooming, start with the underside, chest and inner legs. Place the dog on it's back, lightly spray the exposed coat with a little conditioner mixed with water and brush lightly with your pin brush. The slicker brush can be used on the leg hair. Next turn your dog onto its side and brush the hair in layers downwards from the skin to the tips, lightly spraying as you go.

When both sides have been groomed, stand the dog up and part the hair from the base of the skull to the tail and brush the hair downwards. Then spray and brush out the tail.

Finally, very carefully comb out the face whiskers using the plastic fine toothed tail comb.

As part of your normal routine, you should also trim off any excess hair from between the toes.

If during your grooming you come upon any severe matting, try gently easing the mat apart with your fingers. Once loosened up, it can be brushed out. Avoid cutting out mats if possible - you will ruin the look of the coat with chunks missing here and there.

The hair on the head can be banded up using the dental bands, making sure the hair isn't pulled too tight which can prevent the dog closing its eyes properly.

Be sure to inspect the eyes daily for accumulation of sleep in the corners. They can be gently wiped clean with a cotton wool ball dipped in Optrex Eye Lotion. Ears should be examined regularly to ensure that they are clean and sweet-smelling. Contact your veterinarian if there is any sign of reddness, discharge, crusting, unpleasant odour or excessive head-shaking.

At the conclusion of your grooming session, reward the dog with a treat of some kind and some enthusiastic praise.


A Shih-Tzu's eyes are large and vulnerable and prone to ulceration. Special attention should be given to them daily. Living close to the is easy for dust or dirt or a stray hair to get into the eye and cause irritation. Use human eye wash daily, such as collyrium. This is a gentle eye wash, remove any matter from eye corners. A flea comb may be used to remove any dried food in the beard or moustache.

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