Home Dogs How to Shave a Shih Tzu for a Flawless Coat: A Complete Guide

How to Shave a Shih Tzu for a Flawless Coat: A Complete Guide

by Pawsome Tips
How to Shave a Shih Tzu for a Flawless Coat

Are you a proud Shih Tzu owner looking to keep your pup’s coat looking flawless? How to Shave a Shih Tzu for a Flawless Coat? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Grooming your Shih Tzu is not only important for their appearance but also for their overall health and comfort. One crucial aspect of grooming is knowing how to shave their coat effectively. This article will guide you through grooming and teach you how to shave a Shih Tzu for a flawless coat.

Shaving a Shih Tzu can be intimidating, but you can achieve excellent results with the proper technique and tools. We’ll show you step-by-step instructions on preparing your pup, choosing the right clippers, and safely shaving their coat without causing any harm. We’ll also provide tips on maintaining their skin after shaving to keep it looking and feeling its best.

Whether you’re a seasoned groomer or a beginner, this article will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to groom your Shih Tzu like a pro. So, let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to a flawless Shih Tzu coat!

The Importance of Grooming for Shih Tzus

Regular grooming helps maintain appearance and prevents matting, skin infections, and other potential health issues. Shih Tzus has a long, luxurious coat that requires special attention to keep pristine. Properly grooming your Shih Tzu ensures their skin remains healthy and free from tangles and mats.

Regular grooming sessions also allow you to bond with your furry friend. It helps create a positive experience for your Shih Tzu, making them more comfortable with the grooming process. Additionally, grooming allows you to inspect your dog’s skin for any abnormalities, such as rashes or irritations, which can be addressed promptly.

Proper grooming also helps to distribute your Shih Tzu’s natural oils throughout its coat, promoting a healthy and shiny appearance. You can also minimize shedding and clean your home by removing loose hair and debris.

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Understanding the Shih Tzu Coat

Before diving into the art of shaving a Shih Tzu’s coat, it’s essential to understand the unique characteristics of their fur. Shih Tzus has a double coat consisting of a soft, dense undercoat and a long, silky topcoat. Like human hair, their skin grows continuously and requires regular maintenance to prevent matting and tangling.

The long topcoat of a Shih Tzu is prone to matting, especially in areas with friction, such as behind the ears, under the armpits, and around the tail. Matting can be painful for your pup and lead to skin infections if not addressed promptly. Regular brushing and combing are essential to prevent matting and keep the coat in good condition.

The color and texture of a Shih Tzu’s coat can vary greatly. They come in various colors, including gold, black, white, and various combinations. Some Shih Tzus have a straighter coat, while others have a wavier or more curly coat. Understanding your Shih Tzu’s unique coat characteristics will help you determine the best grooming techniques and products.

Tools and Supplies Needed for Grooming a Shih Tzu

You will need a few essential tools and supplies to groom a Shih Tzu effectively.

Grooming Clippers

Invest in high-quality clippers explicitly designed for pet grooming. Look for clippers with adjustable blades and a quiet motor to minimize noise and vibrations, which can be stressful for your Shih Tzu.

Clipper Blades

Different clipper blades have varying lengths, so choose blades that suit the desired size for your Shih Tzu coat. Use shorter blades for a closer shave and longer blades for a more even trim.


Grooming scissors with rounded tips are essential for trimming the delicate areas around your Shih Tzu’s face, paws, and tail. Ensure the scissors are sharp to ensure clean cuts and reduce the risk of accidentally injuring your pup.

Comb and Brush

Select a comb with wide-spaced teeth to remove tangles and a slicker brush with soft bristles to smooth the coat and remove loose hair. Regular brushing and combing help prevent matting and keep the skin healthy.

Grooming Table

While not essential, a grooming table can make the process more accessible and comfortable for you and your Shih Tzu. It provides a secure surface for your pup to stand on and allows you to access their coat from all angles without straining your back.

Grooming Spray

A grooming spray or detangler can help loosen tangles and make the coat easier to comb. Look for a spray specifically formulated for dogs, preferably gentle and free from harsh chemicals.

Treats and Rewards

Positive reinforcement is crucial during grooming sessions, especially for dogs that are anxious or unaccustomed to the process. Have some treats or rewards handy to reward your Shih Tzu for good behavior and make the experience more enjoyable for them.

You can embark on your Shih Tzu grooming journey with these tools and supplies!

Preparing Your Shih Tzu for Grooming

Before you start shaving your Shih Tzu, it’s essential to prepare them properly to ensure a smooth and stress-free grooming session. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Create a Calm Environment

Find a quiet and comfortable space to groom your Shih Tzu without distractions. Turn off any loud noises, such as TVs or radios, to create a calm atmosphere. You can also play soft, soothing music to help relax your pup.

2. Brush and Comb

Begin by thoroughly brushing and combing your Shih Tzu coat to remove tangles or mats. Start from the back of the head and work down to the tail, using gentle strokes and ensuring the comb reaches the skin. Be patient and take your time; this step prevents discomfort during shaving.

3. Trim the Nails

Check your Shih Tzu’s nails and trim them if necessary. Long nails can be uncomfortable for your pup and may cause them to be unsteady during the grooming process. Use a pair of dog nail clippers and carefully trim the nails, being cautious not to cut into them quickly, which can cause bleeding.

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4. Clean the Ears

Shih Tzus are prone to ear infections, so keeping their ears clean is essential. Gently wipe the inner ear with a damp cloth or use a dog-specific ear-cleaning solution to remove dirt or wax buildup. Avoid inserting anything deep into the ear canal, which can cause injury or discomfort.

5. Bathe Your Shih Tzu

Bathing your Shih Tzu before shaving can help remove dirt, oils, or loose hair from their coat, making the shaving process more accessible. Use a gentle dog shampoo and warm water to lather their coat, ensuring you rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo. Towel dry your Shih Tzu or use a blow dryer on a low heat setting to dry their coat completely.

These preparation steps will ensure your Shih Tzu is clean, relaxed, and ready for their grooming session.

Step-by-Step Guide to Shaving a Shih Tzu’s Coat

Shaving a Shih Tzu’s coat requires a gentle and patient approach. Follow these step-by-step instructions to achieve a flawless shave:

1. Choose the Right Clipper Blade Length

Select the appropriate clipper blade length based on the desired length of your Shih Tzu’s coat. For a closer shave, use a shorter blade, while a longer blade will leave more hair on the skin. Start with a longer edge if unsure, and gradually work your way faster if needed.

2. Start with the Body

Begin shaving your Shih Tzu’s body by holding the clippers parallel to the skin and moving against the direction of hair growth. Start from the neck and work your way down the body, using smooth and even strokes. Be careful around sensitive areas, such as the belly and genitals, and adjust your pressure accordingly.

3. Move to the Legs

Shave your Shih Tzu’s legs like the body, moving against the hair growth. Lift each leg and hold it gently to ensure stability while shaving. Take extra care around the paw pads, as they are sensitive and can be easily nicked by the clippers.

MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

4. Trim the Face

Switch to grooming scissors or a shorter clipper blade to trim your Shih Tzu’s face. Start by trimming around the eyes, using small and careful snips. Be cautious not to get too close to the eyes to avoid injury. Trim the hair on the muzzle, cheeks, and chin, shaping it to your desired length. Take your time and make minor adjustments as needed.

5. Focus on the Tail

Trim the hair on your Shih Tzu’s tail, shaping it to your preference. Be mindful of the sensitive area around the anus, and use gentle strokes to avoid causing discomfort. If your Shih Tzu has a long, flowing tail, you can choose to leave it untrimmed or give it a slight trim for neatness.

O_Lypa / Shutterstock

6. Touch-Up and Final Checks

After completing the main areas, go over your Shih Tzu’s coat once again to ensure evenness and smoothness. Check for any missed spots or uneven areas and make necessary touch-ups. Use the grooming scissors to neaten stray hairs or create a more precise shape.

Following these step-by-step instructions, you can safely and effectively shave your Shih Tzu’s coat. However, some additional tips and techniques can help you achieve an even better result. 

Tips for a Flawless Shave

Achieving a flawless shave requires attention to detail and some extra care. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results when shaving your Shih Tzu’s coat:

1. Take Breaks if Needed: If your Shih Tzu becomes restless or uncomfortable during the grooming process, take short breaks to allow them to relax. Grooming can be tiring for both you and your pup, so it’s important to prioritize their well-being and comfort.

2. Use Smooth and Even Strokes: When shaving your Shih Tzu coat, use smooth and even strokes to ensure an even length. Avoid rushing or applying uneven pressure, resulting in a rough shave.

3. Be Extra Cautious Around Sensitive Areas: Take extra care when shaving sensitive areas such as the belly, genitals, and paw pads. These areas can be more prone to irritation and injury, so use gentle strokes and adjust your pressure accordingly.

4. Pay Attention to Blade Temperature: Clippers can become warm during extended use, which can be uncomfortable for your Shih Tzu. Monitor the temperature of the clippers and take breaks to allow them to cool down if needed. You can also consider using clipper coolant or lubricant to keep the blades cool.

5. Have Treats and Rewards Handy: Positive reinforcement is vital to creating a positive grooming experience for your Shih Tzu. Have some treats or rewards handy to reward your pup for good behavior during shaving. This will help keep them calm and make the experience more enjoyable for both of you.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to achieve a flawless shave for your Shih Tzu’s coat. 

Maintaining a Shih Tzu’s Coat After Shaving

After shaving your Shih Tzu coat, it’s essential to establish a post-shave care routine to maintain the coat’s health and appearance. Here are some tips to help you keep their skin looking flawless:

1. Brush Regularly

Regular brushing is essential to prevent matting and keep the coat healthy even after shaving. Use a slicker brush or comb to gently brush your Shih Tzu coat, removing loose hair and preventing tangles.

hedgehog94 / Shutterstock

2. Moisturize the Skin

Shaving can sometimes leave the skin dry or irritated. Consider using a dog-specific moisturizing spray or oil to keep your Shih Tzu’s skin healthy. Apply a small amount to your hands and gently massage it into their skin, focusing on dry or sensitive areas.

3. Protect from Sun and Cold

Shih Tzus have a thin coat, which makes them more susceptible to sunburn and cold temperatures. If you live in a sunny or cold climate, consider using dog-specific sunscreen or a dog sweater to protect your Shih Tzu’s skin and keep it comfortable.

4. Maintain Regular Grooming Sessions

Even though you’ve shaved your Shih Tzu, regular grooming sessions are still necessary. Schedule regular brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning sessions to keep your pup’s coat and overall appearance in shape.

5. Consult a Professional Groomer

If you need clarification on maintaining your Shih Tzu’s coat after shaving or prefer professional assistance, consider consulting a professional groomer. They can guide the best grooming practices and help keep your Shih Tzu looking fabulous.

Following these post-shave care tips, you can maintain and keep your Shih Tzu’s coat flawless. However, it’s essential to be aware of common mistakes to avoid when shaving a Shih Tzu.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Shaving a Shih Tzu

Shaving a Shih Tzu’s coat requires precision and care. Here are some common mistakes to avoid during the shaving process:

1. Shaving Too Close to the Skin

Many Shih Tzu owners must correct a mistake: shaving too close to the skin. While we want our pets to look neat, shaving too close can cause skin irritation and discomfort for our little buddies. It’s essential to leave a reasonable amount of hair length to protect their delicate skin from sunburn and other environmental factors. So, remember to maintain a safe distance from the skin while trimming their coat.

2. Using the wrong tool

One of the most crucial mistakes to avoid when shaving a Shih Tzu is not using the correct tools. It is essential to invest in high-quality grooming clippers specifically designed for dogs. Using the wrong clippers can result in uneven cuts, discomfort for your pet, and even potential injury. So, let’s ensure we have the right equipment before embarking on our grooming journey.

3. Proper preparation

Another common mistake is not preparing your Shih Tzu’s coat before shaving. Brushing and detangling the fur thoroughly before starting the shaving process is crucial. Neglecting this step can lead to painful tugging and pulling of the hair, which we want to avoid. So, let’s grab our slicker brush and comb and give our furry friend’s coat some tender, loving care before we begin.

Grooming a Shih Tzu is an essential skill every owner should master. By avoiding common mistakes such as using the wrong tools, neglecting proper preparation, and shaving too close to the skin, we can achieve a flawless look for our furry companions. Let’s embrace the joy of grooming and give our Shih Tzus the love and care they deserve!

paula_olly / Pixabay

Professional grooming vs. DIY grooming

Professional Grooming

Professional grooming is like taking your furry friend to a luxurious spa. The experts know how to pamper your Shih Tzu and make them look like superstars. They have the right tools, products, and skills to give your pup the perfect haircut. The grooming salon has state-of-the-art equipment, soothing music, and a calming atmosphere that will relax and rejuvenate your furry friend. Plus, you get to sit back and enjoy a little me-time while someone else takes care of the grooming process.

DIY Grooming

DIY grooming can be an exhilarating adventure for you and your Shih Tzu. Imagine the satisfaction of grooming your furry friend with your own hands! With the proper guidance and tools, you can master the art of grooming and give your Shih Tzu a show-stopping look. You have complete control over the process, from choosing the right shampoo to styling their coat. It’s a beautiful bonding experience that strengthens your and your pet’s bond.

So, whether you opt for the luxurious experience of professional grooming or the thrilling adventure of DIY grooming, the art of grooming your Shih Tzu is genuinely rewarding. With the right tools, techniques, and excitement, you can transform your furry friend into the most stylish pup on the block!

Final Thoughts: How to Shave a Shih Tzu for a Flawless Coat

Finally, we have concluded our journey into grooming: How to shave a Shih Tzu for a fabulous new look! It has been an exciting and enlightening adventure filled with tips, tricks, and techniques to achieve that perfect trim for our furry friends. We have covered everything from selecting the right tools to ensuring their safety and comfort.

Armed with this knowledge, we can confidently transform our Shih Tzus into the most stylish and sophisticated pups on the block. So, let’s put our newfound skills to use and create some stunning makeovers for our beloved pets. Together, we can conquer any grooming challenge and leave our Shih Tzus looking their absolute best!

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