Grooming a Shih Poo with a Double Coat: Your Step-by-Step Guide


Preparing a Shih Poo for their next grooming session can be a daunting task, especially if you are not sure where to start. As a Shih Poo’s coiffure is an important aspect of their overall health and happiness, regular grooming is crucial. But there are many factors to consider when it comes to grooming your Shih Poo’s double coat. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about grooming a Shih Poo with a double coat, including identifying their coat type, the necessary tools you’ll need, and the step-by-step process to follow for a successful grooming session.

What is a Shih Poo?

The Shih Poo is a popular designer breed that has been gaining popularity in recent years. This breed is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle, and it is known for its adorable looks and friendly personality. If you are a proud Shih Poo parent or considering getting one, it is important to understand what you are signing up for.

– Shih Poos are small dogs that typically weigh between 7 and 20 pounds.
– They are known for their plush, hypoallergenic coats that have made them popular among allergy sufferers.
– Shih Poos can come in a variety of colors, including white, black, brown, apricot, and gray.
– They have a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years, so they make great long-term companions.
– Shih Poos are energetic, playful, and affectionate dogs that love to be around people and other dogs.

Understanding the characteristics of a Shih Poo can help you better care for your furry friend and ensure they have a happy and healthy life. Knowing how to properly groom and care for your Shih Poo is especially important, as they have a unique coat that requires some extra attention.

To learn more about the different Shih Poo coat types, check out our article on Shih Poo coat types, or for tips on managing shedding, read our article on Shih Poo shedding tips. Regular brushing and grooming are crucial for your Shih Poo’s coat health, and our guide to Shih Poo coat brushing can help you get started. Be sure to also look out for common coat problems, which we discuss in detail in our article on common coat problems for Shih Poo dogs.

Why is grooming important for Shih Poos?

The grooming process for Shih Poos is crucial for ensuring they stay healthy and happy. Here are some reasons why grooming is important for your furry friend:

  • Maintains their double coat: As Shih Poos have a double coat, neglecting grooming can lead to matting, tangling, and improper insulation, which can be uncomfortable for your pet.
  • Prevents skin irritation: Regular grooming helps to prevent skin irritations that can arise from dirt and debris getting trapped in their coat. Irritated skin can also cause infections, which can be painful and distressing for your pet.
  • Keeps them looking their best: A well-groomed Shih Poo looks adorable and cuddly, but regular grooming is also essential to avoid a scruffy appearance that may take away from their cuteness.
  • Allows for early detection of health issues: During grooming, you may discover lumps, bumps, or other abnormalities that require veterinary attention. Early detection of health problems can help prevent more serious issues down the road.
  • Strengthens your bond: Grooming your pet can be an excellent way to bond with them. They will appreciate the attention, and you will learn more about them as you spend time with them during the grooming process.

Failing to groom your Shih Poo regularly can lead to a host of problems. It’s vital to make grooming a part of their routine care regimen.

Understanding Your Shih Poo’s Coat

Understanding Your Shih Poo'S Coat
As a Shih Poo owner, it’s important to understand the unique characteristics of your furry friend’s coat. Without proper knowledge of your Shih Poo’s coat, grooming can become a daunting task. One aspect of your pup’s coat that requires special attention is its density and texture. In this section, we’ll explore what a double coat is and how to identify your Shih Poo’s coat type. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of Shih Poo coats!

What is a double coat?

A double coat is a type of coat that some dogs have, including Shih Poos. It is made up of two layers: a dense undercoat and a longer, coarser topcoat. This type of coat serves as a natural insulation for your Shih Poo, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. However, it also requires some extra grooming care.

The table below breaks down the main characteristics of a double coat, including its appearance and care needs:

Characteristics of a Double Coat
Appearance:Thick, dense undercoat; longer, coarser topcoat
Care Requirements:Regular brushing to prevent mats and tangles; occasional trimming to maintain length; protection from environmental factors
Common Challenges:Shedding; seasonal coat changes; mats and tangles; susceptibility to skin irritations and hot spots

Regular grooming is crucial for your Shih Poo’s double coat to stay healthy and free of mats and tangles. Without proper grooming care, the undercoat can become matted and trap dirt, debris, and moisture, which can lead to skin irritations and hot spots. Plus, the topcoat can become dull and lifeless without proper brushing and trimming.

To properly care for your Shih Poo’s double coat, you will need to invest in some grooming tools and dedicate time for regular grooming sessions. We will discuss the necessary tools and grooming process in detail in the next section of this article.

How to identify your Shih Poo’s coat type

As a Shih Poo owner, it’s essential to identify your pet’s coat type to groom them properly. Shih Poos have double coats that can either be straight, wavy, or curly. Here are some features that can help you identify your dog’s coat type:

Straight Coat:Wavy Coat:Curly Coat:
Straight and smooth to the touch.Can be combed through easily, and waves tend to lay in a consistent pattern.Tightly coiled, causing the curls to bounce as your dog moves.
No visible curls when wet.Waves may become more defined after a bath or wetting.Curls still visible even when wet.
Hair will lay down close to your dog’s body.Hair tends to wave away from the body slightly.Thick, fluffy, and may stand away from the body.

Once you have identified your Shih Poo’s coat type, you can choose the appropriate grooming techniques and tools to keep them looking and feeling their best. Straight coats may require less maintenance, while wavy and curly coats need more frequent brushing and trimming to prevent matting and tangling. With proper grooming, your Shih Poo’s coat will remain healthy, shiny, and soft to the touch.

Grooming Your Shih Poo’s Double Coat

Grooming Your Shih Poo'S Double Coat
Preparing your Shih Poo for any outing or just for daily life involves proper grooming. But grooming a pup with a double coat like a Shih Poo can be quite challenging if you don’t understand the correct approach. With dedication and the right tools, you can groom your furry friend’s double coat like a pro. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s dive into the step-by-step process of grooming your Shih Poo’s double coat, for a shiny and healthy appearance that will leave everyone impressed.

Tools you will need

Grooming a Shih Poo with a double coat requires specific tools to ensure that their long and thick fur is properly taken care of. Here are some of the essential tools you will need to groom your furry friend:

  • Slicker brush: This type of brush is ideal for removing tangles and mats from your Shih Poo’s fur.
  • Bristle brush: This brush helps to evenly distribute the natural oils in your Shih Poo’s coat, keeping it healthy and shiny.
  • Dematting tool: If your Shih Poo has particularly stubborn mats, a dematting tool can help to remove them without causing discomfort to your furry friend.
  • Scissors: A good pair of scissors is essential for trimming your Shih Poo’s fur, especially in sensitive areas such as around their eyes and anus.
  • Nail clippers: Keeping your Shih Poo’s nails trimmed is important for their overall health and mobility.
  • Cotton balls or pads: These can be used to clean your Shih Poo’s ears and prevent infections.
  • Ear cleaning solution: An ear cleaning solution specifically designed for dogs can help to keep your Shih Poo’s ears clean and healthy.
  • Bath products: A mild, dog-specific shampoo and conditioner will keep your Shih Poo’s coat fresh and clean.

Using the right tools and products will make grooming your Shih Poo with a double coat easier and more effective. Remember to groom your furry friend regularly to keep their coat healthy and free from mats and tangles.

How often to groom

We all want our Shih Poos to look their best, so it’s important to groom their double coat regularly. The frequency and intensity of grooming will depend on various factors such as the length and thickness of your Shih Poo’s coat, their activity level, and any medical conditions they may have.

To help you determine how often to groom your furry friend, we’ve created a table outlining some general guidelines:

Coat TypeFrequency
Short, Thin CoatGroom twice a week
Medium, Wavy CoatGroom every other day
Long, Thick CoatGroom daily

Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines, and your Shih Poo’s grooming needs may vary. It’s always best to check with your vet or a professional groomer for personalized advice based on your dog’s breed, health, and lifestyle.

Regular grooming can prevent matting, tangling, and skin irritation, so don’t neglect this important aspect of your Shih Poo’s healthcare. By establishing a consistent grooming routine and following the steps outlined in the previous section, you can help keep your furry friend’s coat healthy, shiny, and free from tangles and mats.

Step-by-step grooming process

Grooming your Shih Poo with a double coat can seem daunting, but with the right tools and technique, it can be a breeze. Follow this step-by-step process to keep your pup looking and feeling their best:

1Brush your Shih Poo’s coat to remove any tangles or mats before bathing. Use a slicker brush to gently remove any loose hair and stimulate the skin.
2Bathe your Shih Poo with a shampoo made for double-coated breeds. Wet your pup thoroughly, lather the shampoo, and rinse well. Avoid getting water in their ears and eyes.
3Dry your Shih Poo with a towel or blow dryer. Make sure their coat is completely dry to prevent skin irritation and matting.
4Brush your Shih Poo’s coat again using a pin brush to remove any remaining tangles and loose hair. This will also help distribute natural oils throughout their coat.
5Trim any necessary areas, such as around the eyes, muzzle, and paws. Be careful not to cut their skin or any sensitive areas.
6Check for any remaining tangles or mats and gently remove them with a dematting tool or scissors if necessary. Be very careful when using scissors and only cut small sections at a time.
7Apply a leave-in conditioner or coat spray to keep your Shih Poo’s coat looking and feeling soft and healthy.

Remember to be gentle and patient with your Shih Poo during the grooming process. If your pup becomes anxious or uncomfortable, take a break and try again later. With consistent grooming and care, your Shih Poo’s double coat will be a source of pride and joy.

Grooming sensitive areas

When grooming your Shih Poo’s double coat, it’s important to pay special attention to their sensitive areas. These are areas that are more delicate and require gentler handling. Here are the main sensitive areas to focus on:

  • Ears: The hair around your Shih Poo’s ears can easily get matted and tangled. Use a pair of scissors or clippers to carefully trim the hair around the ears. Be especially careful not to nick the skin or cut too close to the ear canal.
  • Eyes: Your Shih Poo’s eyes are another sensitive area that require careful grooming. Use a pair of blunt-tipped scissors to trim any long hairs around the eyes that could irritate them. You can also use a comb to gently brush the eyebrows and eyelashes.
  • Muzzle: The hair on your Shih Poo’s muzzle can grow very long and get in the way of eating and drinking. Use a pair of scissors to carefully trim the hair around the mouth and nose. Be sure to avoid the sensitive areas around the nostrils and lips.
  • Paws: The hair around your Shih Poo’s paws can easily become matted and tangled. Use a pair of scissors to trim the hair around the paw pads, being careful not to cut too close to the skin. You can also use a comb to gently groom the fluffier hair on top of the paws.

Remember to always be gentle when grooming these sensitive areas. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with trimming these areas, consider taking your Shih Poo to a professional groomer for help. With proper grooming, your Shih Poo’s coat will look and feel healthy, and they’ll be happy and comfortable.

Cleaning Your Shih Poo’s Coat

Cleaning Your Shih Poo'S Coat
After understanding the basics of grooming for Shih Poos with double coats, it’s important to address the cleaning aspect of their coat care. Maintaining good hygiene for your furry friend is essential for their overall health and wellbeing. However, with their thick and lush coats, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Fear not, we have gathered expert tips and tricks that will make the cleaning process easier and more effective. From bath time to spot-cleaning, we will guide you through every step to help your Shih Poo look and feel their best.

When and how to give your Shih Poo a bath

One of the most important aspects of grooming your Shih Poo with a double coat is giving them a bath. However, it’s important to know when and how to give them a bath to ensure their coat stays healthy and shiny.

When to give your Shih Poo a bath:

It’s recommended to give your Shih Poo a bath once every 4-6 weeks. However, if they happen to get particularly dirty or smelly in between, you can give them a quick rinse or spot clean.

How to give your Shih Poo a bath:

Before giving your Shih Poo a bath, make sure you have all the necessary supplies such as dog shampoo, towels, and a non-slip mat for the bathtub. Follow these steps to ensure a successful bath:

Step 1:Brush your Shih Poo’s coat to remove any tangles or mats.
Step 2:Fill the bathtub with warm water, making sure it’s not too hot or cold.
Step 3:Wet your Shih Poo’s coat with the handheld showerhead or a cup.
Step 4:Apply a small amount of dog shampoo to their coat, making sure to avoid their eyes and ears.
Step 5:Using gentle circular motions, massage the shampoo into your Shih Poo’s coat and skin.
Step 6:Rinse your Shih Poo thoroughly with water, making sure to remove all the shampoo.
Step 7:Use a towel to remove excess water from their coat, and then let them air dry or use a blow dryer on the lowest setting.
Step 8:Once they’re completely dry, brush their coat again to prevent any tangles or mats from forming.

By following these steps, you can make bath time a positive and pleasant experience for your Shih Poo while also ensuring their double coat remains clean and healthy. Remember, patience and gentleness are key when it comes to grooming your furry friend.

Drying your Shih Poo after a bath

After giving your Shih Poo a bath, it’s important to dry their coat thoroughly to prevent any matting or tangles. Here are some steps to follow for drying your Shih Poo:

  • Use a clean towel: After your Shih Poo has finished their bath, wrap them in a clean towel and gently rub them dry. Make sure to avoid rubbing too hard or pulling on their fur. Instead, pat their coat dry in a gentle motion.
  • Switch to a blow dryer: Once your Shih Poo is mostly dry, you can switch to a blow dryer on a cool setting. This will help to finish drying their coat and prevent any dampness from remaining. Make sure to use the low or cool settings, as high heat can be damaging to their fur and skin.
  • Use a brush: As you dry your Shih Poo’s coat with the blow dryer, use a soft-bristled brush to help separate and straighten their fur. This will also help to prevent any matting from occurring.
  • Dry sensitive areas separately: Some areas of your Shih Poo’s coat may be more sensitive than others, such as their face or ears. For these areas, use a separate towel or allow them to air dry to avoid any discomfort.

Remember: It may take some time for your Shih Poo’s coat to dry completely, so be patient and thorough in your drying process. Also, always make sure to use a blow dryer on a cool or low setting to protect their fur and skin from any damage.

Spot-cleaning your Shih Poo’s coat

As a Shih Poo owner, you are probably familiar with the occasional small messes and stains that can occur on your beloved pet’s coat. Spot-cleaning is a quick and easy solution to address these minor issues without the need for a full grooming session.

Here are some tips for spot-cleaning your Shih Poo’s coat:

Muddy or dirty pawsUse a damp cloth or pet-safe wipes to remove dirt from your Shih Poo’s paws. Be sure to dry their paws thoroughly afterwards to prevent moisture buildup and potential infections.
Food or drink stainsWipe away any food or drink stains on your Shih Poo’s face using a damp cloth. For tougher stains, you can use a mixture of warm water and pet shampoo. Just be sure to rinse the area well and dry it thoroughly afterwards.
Small matting or tanglesUse a metal comb to gently work out any small matting or tangles. If the matting or tangles are larger or more extensive, it may be best to schedule a full grooming session.
Strong odorsIf your Shih Poo has a strong odor, you can use a pet-safe deodorizing spray or baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on their coat, let it sit for a few minutes, and then brush it out gently. Be careful not to get any in their eyes, nose or mouth.

It’s important to keep in mind that spot-cleaning should not replace regular grooming sessions, as those are necessary to maintain the health of your dog’s coat. However, spot-cleaning can be a helpful tool to keep your Shih Poo looking and smelling their best in-between full grooming appointments.

Caring for Your Shih Poo’s Coat between Grooming Sessions

As a loving owner of a Shih Poo with a double coat, you want to keep your furry friend’s coat looking healthy and shiny between grooming sessions. But with so many different types of brushes and combs, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Don’t fret! With a few simple care techniques and the right tools, you can ensure your Shih Poo’s coat stays in excellent condition. In this section, we’ll explore the different ways you can care for your Shih Poo’s coat between grooming sessions. Let’s get started!

Brushing and combing your Shih Poo’s coat

Taking care of your Shih Poo’s coat doesn’t stop after a grooming session. Regular brushing and combing is essential for maintaining a healthy and shiny coat, as well as preventing matting and tangling. Here are some tips for brushing and combing your Shih Poo’s coat:

Tools needed:Frequency:Duration:
Bristle brush: for daily brushing and removing loose hair.Daily: 5-10 minutes a day.Depends: on the length and thickness of the coat.
Comb with wide and narrow teeth: for detangling and removing small knots.Weekly: 10-15 minutes a week.
Slicker brush: for removing dead hair and mats.Monthly: 20-30 minutes a month.

It’s important to start brushing and combing your Shih Poo at a young age, so they become accustomed to the grooming process. You can use treats to reward them and make the experience more enjoyable for them.

When brushing your Shih Poo’s coat, start from the top of their head and work your way down to the tail. Make sure to brush in the direction of hair growth, using gentle and slow strokes. Be extra careful around their ears, belly, and legs, as these are sensitive areas.

The comb can be used to remove any small knots or tangles and should be used after brushing to check for any missed spots. The slicker brush is used for more heavy-duty detangling and should only be used occasionally to prevent damaging the coat.

Regular brushing and combing not only keep your Shih Poo looking their best, but it also helps distribute the natural oils in their coat, keeping it healthy and moisturized. So make sure to add it to your routine for a happy and healthy pup!

Trimming your Shih Poo’s coat

Keeping your Shih Poo’s coat trimmed is an important part of their grooming regimen. Regular trimming helps to prevent matting and tangling, as well as keeping their coat looking neat and tidy. However, it’s important to note that not all Shih Poos require trimming, and the frequency may vary depending on your dog’s individual coat type and lifestyle.

Types of coat trimming

There are different types of trimming that you can consider for your Shih Poo’s coat, depending on the look you want to achieve and their specific needs. These include:

Type of trimmingDescription
Full-body trimThis involves trimming your Shih Poo’s entire body to a uniform length. This is a popular option for pet owners who want a low-maintenance coat, but keep in mind that it can make your dog more susceptible to sunburn and colder temperatures.
Face trimThis involves trimming the hair around your Shih Poo’s face, particularly the eyes, muzzle, and ears. This is important for keeping hair out of their eyes and preventing ear infections.
Feet trimThis involves trimming the hair around your Shih Poo’s paw pads, which can prevent dirt and debris from accumulating between their toes and causing irritation or infections.
Sanitary trimThis involves trimming the hair around your Shih Poo’s anal and genital areas for hygiene purposes.

Tips for trimming your Shih Poo’s coat

Trimming your Shih Poo’s coat can be a challenging task, particularly if they are not used to being handled or if they have a particularly dense or curly coat. Here are some tips to make the process easier:

– Use sharp scissors or clippers specifically designed for pet grooming. Dull blades can cause discomfort or even injuries to your dog.
– Work slowly and carefully, particularly around sensitive areas like the face, feet, and ears.
– Use treats or positive reinforcement to keep your Shih Poo calm and still during the trimming process.
– Don’t trim your Shih Poo’s coat too short, as this can make them more susceptible to sunburn, insect bites, and temperature fluctuations. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least an inch of hair on their body.
– If you’re not comfortable trimming your Shih Poo’s coat yourself, consider taking them to a professional groomer who can do it for you.

Protecting your Shih Poo’s coat from environmental factors

As a pet owner, protecting your Shih Poo’s coat from environmental factors is crucial in ensuring their fur remains healthy and shiny. Environmental factors such as the sun’s harsh rays, wind, and extreme temperatures can all negatively impact your pet’s coat, leading to dryness, dullness, and other issues.

To help protect your Shih Poo’s coat, consider the following:

Environmental FactorHow to Protect Your Pet’s Coat
Sun exposureLimit your pet’s time in direct sunlight and provide shaded areas when possible. Use pet-friendly sunscreen if your Shih Poo will be outside for an extended period.
WindOn windy days, protect your pet’s coat by using a dog coat or sweater. This will also help to keep your Shih Poo warm during cooler weather.
Extreme temperaturesDuring very hot or cold weather, provide your pet with adequate shelter to protect their coat from the elements. Use air conditioning or a fan to keep your pet cool in hot weather and provide warm blankets or a heated bed during cold weather.
HumidityHigh humidity can lead to tangles and matting in your pet’s fur. Brush your Shih Poo’s coat frequently and consider using a dehumidifier in your home to help combat this issue.
ChemicalsAvoid exposing your pet’s coat to harsh chemicals such as pesticides or household cleaners. If you must use chemicals, keep your pet away from the area until it has dried completely.

By taking steps to protect your Shih Poo’s coat from environmental factors, you can help ensure that their fur remains healthy, shiny, and free from tangles and other issues. Remember to always use pet-friendly products and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pet’s coat or overall health.


As a Shih Poo owner, taking care of your fur baby’s coat is essential to their overall health and well-being. With the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you should now have the confidence to properly groom, clean, and care for their double coat.

Remember to identify their coat type correctly before grooming, as this will determine the specific tools and techniques required for grooming. Double coats require more maintenance than single coats, but with consistent grooming, your Shih Poo’s coat will remain healthy and shiny.

Regular bathing is also important, but be cautious not to over-bathe your Shih Poo as this can strip their coat of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Additionally, spot-cleaning and brushing between grooming sessions are essential for keeping their coat knot-free and preventing mats from forming.

Trimming your Shih Poo’s coat may also be necessary, especially around the eyes, ears, and paw pads. Be careful when clipping with scissors or using an electric clipper, and never cut too close to the skin to avoid accidental injury.

Lastly, protect your Shih Poo’s coat from environmental factors such as sun damage, wind, and rain. Consider using a leave-in conditioner or coat protectant to keep their fur healthy and strong.

In conclusion, grooming your Shih Poo’s double coat is a crucial part of their care routine. With patience and the right tools, you can achieve a healthy, shiny coat that will make your fur baby the envy of all their friends at the dog park.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can Shih Poos shed a lot?

A: Yes, Shih Poos can shed a moderate amount. Regular grooming can help to minimize shedding.

Q: How often should I groom my Shih Poo?

A: It is recommended to groom your Shih Poo every 4-6 weeks. However, more frequent grooming may be necessary for dogs with particularly thick coats.

Q: Can I groom my Shih Poo at home?

A: Yes, you can groom your Shih Poo at home. But it may be helpful to schedule a few appointments with a professional groomer to learn the best techniques.

Q: How do I choose the right brush for my Shih Poo’s coat?

A: A slicker brush and/or a pin brush are recommended for Shih Poos with double coats. You can consult with a groomer or pet store worker to help you choose the best brush for your dog.

Q: How can I prevent matting in my Shih Poo’s coat?

A: Regular brushing and combing can help to prevent matting. Trimming the coat shorter in certain areas, such as the legs and belly, can also help to prevent matting.

Q: Should I bathe my Shih Poo before or after grooming?

A: It is generally recommended to bathe your Shih Poo before grooming, as water can make mats and tangles more difficult to remove.

Q: Can I use human shampoo on my Shih Poo?

A: No, it is not recommended to use human shampoo on your Shih Poo, as it can dry out their skin. Use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs instead.

Q: How can I tell if my Shih Poo has skin irritation?

A: Signs of skin irritation in dogs can include itchiness, redness, and flakiness. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult with your veterinarian.

Q: Can I use a hairdryer to dry my Shih Poo’s coat?

A: Yes, you can use a hairdryer to dry your Shih Poo’s coat. However, it is important to use a low heat setting and keep the hairdryer at a safe distance from your dog’s skin to avoid burning.

Q: Can I trim my Shih Poo’s nails at home?

A: Yes, but it may be helpful to have a professional groomer show you the proper technique. Cutting a dog’s nails too short can cause bleeding and pain.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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