The most important thing is to brush your dog often enough so that large mats never have a chance to form.  The amount of brushing required by an older dog depends on the texture of the coat--it can range anywhere from every day to once a week. Softer coats tend to tangle more quickly, particularly if they are very thick. Dirty coats also mat more easily, so be sure to bathe your dog as often as necessary (generally every three to four weeks).

Never bathe a matted dog. Water tends to "set in" mats

Using a good quality wire brush with flexible pins, brush the coat in layers. Begin with the feet, legs, and belly and work upward to the center of the back. Be gentle, but be sure to brush all the way down to the skin,  Pay special attention to the areas inside the legs and around the neck and ears,  Use a comb on the face and feet and under the ears, if necessary.

Never brush a totally dry coat,  Dampen the hair lightly first, using a spray bottle filled with water and a capful of cream rinse or coat conditioner.

Pay special attention to the face and eyes.


A dog that is not being shown will probably need a bath every three weeks or so, A dirty coat tends to tangle more than a clean one 

Be sure to check the hair between the pads of the feet, which can mat and give your dog sore feet.

Pull any excess hair out of the ear canal with your fingers to prevent matted hair in the canal from cutting off air circulation, which can lead to ear infections. Your dog may not like to have you do this, but don't think you're really hurting him when you do: There are no nerves inside the ear canal.

If you place a rubber shower mat in the bottom of the sink or tub, you dog will have firm footing and will be less likely to struggle. Use lukewarm water and two soapings with a quality shampoo designed for your dog's coat, particularly on the legs, to get all the dirt out, and use your fingernails or a toothbrush to thoroughly clean any encrusted matter out of the hair beneath the eyes and around the mouth.

Use a corner of the towel to wipe the face and blot the ears. This is a good time to cut toenails--your dog is more or less captive while swaddled in towels, and his nails are softer when wet. Cut the nails to where they hook over being careful not to cut into the red streak (quick) that can be seen in any translucent nails. If you do accidentally cut too deep and the nail bleeds, use styptic powder to stop the bleeding.

A Shih Tzu should be dried with a blow dryer;   Brush the dog gently while his coat dries

If this sounds like a lot of work, it's really not,  just do a minimal amount of weekly grooming & You'll have a happy, healthy, beautiful shih-tzu you'll be proud to own.......Linda


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