How to Trim a Shih Tzu Dog

A bow helps keep long hair out of your pup's eyes.

A bow helps keep long hair out of your pup's eyes.

Grooming your Shih Tzu’s woolly undercoat and silky top coat daily keep nasty tangles away. The Shih Tzu's coat grows just like your own hair -- giving your pup regular haircuts is part of owning the breed. Haircuts also help prevent mats. Leave trimming face and genitals to a pro.

Items you will need

  • Detangler spray for dogs
  • Pin brush
  • Slicker brush
  • Metal comb
  • Long-haired dog shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Towel
  • Hair dryer
  • Scissors or shears
  • Ear powder

Step 1

Spray you Shih Tzu’s coat with a detangler spray for dogs. Hold up the top layer of hair, and start brushing underneath with a pin brush. Brush the entire coat with the pin brush and follow up with a slicker brush until you're able to run a metal comb freely through the hair.

Step 2

Wet the coat and apply a dog shampoo for long-haired breeds. Generally, this type of shampoo contains conditioners to help remove mats and tangles. Gently work the shampoo into the hair, careful not to rub the hair and cause tangles.

Step 3

Rinse your furry friend’s coat until the water runs clear. Condition the long, luscious coat with a doggie conditioner. Follow the directions on the label and leave it on the coat for a few minutes. Rinse it out as directed.

Step 4

Dry your long-haired Shih Tzu’s coat. After patting him dry with a clean towel, set your hair dryer to the low or medium setting and brush his hair while drying it. Continue until the coat is almost dry; then brush it again.

Step 5

Hold the scissors or shears in your dominate hand and hold the Shih Tzu’s hair straight up on his back. Trim the ends to the desire length. Cut the hair on the back, chest and body the same length. Leave the tail long and flowing.

Step 6

Clip the hair down each leg with the scissors. Again, make sure it is uniform with the body hair.

Step 7

Trim the hair around each foot, since the Shih Tzu’s hair on his feet tends to grow fast and form mats. Pick up each foot and trim the hair around his pads. Let a groomer trim sensitive areas such as around the face and genitals. You may take on those grooming responsibilities only after professional instruction and supervised experience.

Step 8

Hold up each ear and add a small amount of commercial ear powder for dogs. Grasp the hair in the ear with your fingers or tweezers and twist and pull straight out to remove it. This helps prevent wax buildup and ear infections.


  • When washing your pup, put cotton balls in his ears to help keep them dry. When the top knot is long, pulling the hair back with a rubber band keeps it out of the dog's eyes.


  • Have a professional groomer trim your Shih Tzu’s face, genitals and anal area.

About the Author

Amanda Maddox began writing professionally in 2007. Her work appears on various websites focusing on topics about medical billing, coding, real estate, insurance, accounting and business. Maddox has her insurance and real estate licenses and holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting and business administration from Wallace State Community College.

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