Shih Tzu Tricks And Tools Of Shih Tzu Grooming

Published: 29th November 2005
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Shih Tzu – Tricks And Tools Of Shih Tzu Grooming

Brushing and combing out the Shih Tzu coat of hair is the most laborious and time-consuming chore in Shih Tzu dog grooming. A knowledge of some "tricks of the trade" will help cut down on this labor time, especially so in cases of badly matted Shih Tzu coats. The longer the coat of your Shih Tzu, the greater the potential for matting.

If your Shih Tzu's coat is very badly matted and tangled there is no alternative but to strip the coat of your Shih Tzu. Stripping the coat of your Shih Tzu means to remove the entire coat with clippers fitted with a fine blade, right down to the skin. If the coat of your Shih Tzu requires stripping, obviously, there is no need for brushing and combing.

Coat conditioner:
If your Shih Tzu's coat is not so bad, does not require stripping and can be saved, but still bad enough to require considerable brushing and combing, you can saturate the Shih Tzu's coat with an oil-based coat condition to loosen the knots and tangles and ease the brushing chore. Coat conditioners that contain an oil base are beneficial for both the coat and skin. Mink oil is probably about the best Shih Tzu coat conditioner on the market and especially for a matted Shih Tzu coat. There are other methods professional groomers and handlers use for dealing with matted Shih Tzu coats. This becomes a matter of personal preference between you and your Shih Tzu.

Universal brush:
The Universal brush is a German import and is convex-shaped with fairly long, hard, wire bristles. Its shape and density enable it to pull out the dead hairs of your Shih Tzu more efficiently than any other brush. Unfortunately, it will also pull out the live hairs of your Shih Tzu's coat and therefore should never be used for a show coat of a Shih Tzu.

Oster mat comb:
The "Oster mat comb is a major product that cuts down on grooming time of your Shih Tzu. The comb is specially designed to cut through knots and tangles and much less time is spent in brushing and combing your Shih Tzu.

The Oster mat comb is used in the following manner:
Grasp the mat comb firmly with thumb resting on the thumbrest and the other fingers around the wooden handle. Place the mat comb directly behind the mat with the teeth flat against the skin. Pull the mat comb forward towards you. If the Shih Tzu coat is heavily matted, try pulling the comb through the Shih Tzu coat with short vertical strokes that should result in slicing the big mat into several smaller ones. Continue the process until you can comb through the coat of your Shih Tzu without catching.

Use your soft wire slicker or Universal brush to brush out all the remaining small mats and comb through the Shih Tzu coat once again, until the comb runs through the shih tzu coat smoothly.

Brushes and combs:
The brush you use to brush your Shih Tzu is most important. A soft wire slicker brush is a happy medium between the too-soft brushes used for Shih Tzu show dogs and the too-harsh slicker brushes sold in most pet stores.

The Universal brush or a fairly large slicker brush with hard fibers is used in cases of badly matted Shih Tzu coats. This type of brush is harsher than the normal slicker and may take our more hair than desired.

The comb of choice for general Shih Tzu use consists of half fine and half coarse teeth and does not have a handle. The best of these types of combs were formerly manufactured in Belgium but American companies now make equally fine combs. The comb can be used for roughing out to finishing touches of your Shih Tzu's coat.

The mat comb is a companion to the Universal brush for coping with badly matted Shih Tzu coats. The mat comb is heavier with wider-spaced teeth and is not to be confused with the Oster mat comb, which is a tool especially for dealing with very badly matted Shih Tzu coats.

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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