Grooming Your Shih Poo: A Step-by-Step Guide


Grooming plays a critical role in the overall health and wellbeing of your Shih Poo. A regular grooming routine can help keep your pup’s coat clean, reduce shedding, prevent infections, and ensure they look and feel their best. However, grooming your Shih Poo can be a daunting task, especially for first-time owners. Don’t worry, though, with the right tools, techniques, and patience, grooming your furry friend can be a fun and rewarding experience. Let’s explore the step-by-step process of grooming your Shih Poo to perfection.

What is a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo is a crossbreed dog resulting from a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle. These adorable dogs are known for their small size and soft, curly coat. Shih Poos typically grow to be between 8-13 inches tall and weigh around 8-20 pounds.

Due to its hypoallergenic coat, Shih Poos have become a popular choice for those who suffer from allergies. Shih Poos are known for being affectionate, playful, and loyal, which makes them the perfect companions for families and individuals alike.

It is important to keep in mind that grooming a Shih Poo can take time and effort. Their curly coat requires regular brushing and trimming to prevent mats and tangles. Additionally, their ears are prone to infection and their nails need to be trimmed regularly to avoid discomfort or potential injury. However, the effort is worth it – a well-groomed Shih Poo looks amazing and is healthy and happy.

If you’re considering getting a Shih Poo, keep in mind that grooming is an essential part of their care. In the following sections, we will cover step-by-step on how to groom your Shih Poo, including gathering the right tools,/shih-poo-grooming-tools/ why grooming is important for your dog’s health,/shih-poo-grooming-health/ tips for keeping their coat healthy,/shih-poo-coat-care-tips/ and common mistakes to avoid while grooming./shih-poo-grooming-mistakes/

Why Is Grooming Important For A Shih Poo?

Grooming is an essential part of taking care of your Shih Poo. It not only helps maintain their appearance but also keeps them comfortable and healthy. Here are some reasons why grooming is important for your furry friend:

Preventing matting and tanglingA Shih Poo’s coat can quickly become tangled and matted, which can be uncomfortable and even painful for your furry friend. Regular grooming can help prevent tangles and mats from forming and keep their coat free from debris.
Keeping them cleanShih Poos love to play and explore, which means they can quickly get dirty. Regular grooming helps to keep them clean and prevent bacteria, dirt and other harmful substances from accumulating on their coat, skin, nails and teeth.
Monitoring for health issuesRegular grooming allows you to check for any lumps, bumps, or other issues that might be hiding beneath your Shih Poo’s coat. This can help you catch health problems early before they become more serious.
Bonding with your Shih PooGrooming can be a fantastic opportunity for bonding with your furry friend. Through regular brushing and cleaning, you can help build trust with your Shih Poo, making them feel comfortable and relaxed around you.
Helping with sheddingShih Poos are known for their thick and luscious coat, but that also means they shed quite a bit. Regular grooming can help reduce the amount of shedding and keep your home clean.

Grooming your Shih Poo is a crucial part of their care routine. Not only does it help keep them clean and healthy, but it also allows for a strong bond between pet and owner.

Step 1: Materials

Step 1: Materials
When it comes to grooming your Shih Poo, having the right materials on hand is essential. Before getting started, it’s important to gather everything you need to ensure a successful grooming experience. You don’t want to be caught off guard halfway through the process, so take the time to prepare and gather all the necessary tools. From brushes and combs to shampoo and towels, make sure you have everything you need within arm’s reach. Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need to have on hand to give your Shih Poo a proper grooming session.

Gathering The Right Tools

To groom your Shih Poo at home, you will need the right tools to make sure the process is as smooth as possible. Here is a list of the essential tools you will need to gather:

Grooming combFor removing tangles and mats from the coat
Slicker brushFor brushing out loose fur and removing tangles from the coat
Pin brushFor smoothing the coat and detangling any remaining knots or mats
Nail clippersTo trim your Shih Poo’s nails
Dog shampooTo bathe your Shih Poo with a gentle, dog-friendly formula
Towels or a blow dryerTo dry your Shih Poo after the bath
Cotton balls or padsTo clean your Shih Poo’s ears
Dog toothbrush and toothpasteTo brush your Shih Poo’s teeth and maintain their dental health
ScissorsFor trimming any excess hair or tidying up your Shih Poo’s coat
Treats and a calm attitudeTo keep your Shih Poo relaxed and happy during the grooming process

Make sure you have all these tools assembled before you start grooming your Shih Poo. Having the right tools at hand will ensure that you can complete the grooming process efficiently and effectively. With patience, care, and the right tools, your Shih Poo will have a shiny, healthy coat that you can be proud of.

Step 2: Brushing

Step 2: Brushing
Keeping a Shih Poo looking neat and tidy requires some effort, but the results are worth it. One of the most important steps in grooming your furry friend is brushing their coat regularly. Not only does this help your Shih Poo look good, but it also prevents matting and tangling, which can be uncomfortable for your pup. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started! In this section, we’ll go over some tips and tricks for brushing your Shih Poo’s coat, and how to remove tangles and mats if they’ve already formed.

Removing Tangles And Mats

As a Shih Poo owner, you know that tangling and matting can be common issues with your furry friend’s coat. But don’t worry, it’s not difficult to remove tangles and mats if you have the right tools and technique. Let’s go over the steps in detail.

Step 1: Start by gently separating any large mats with your fingers. Do this as soon as you notice any mats developing, because they can quickly become larger and more difficult to remove.

Step 2: Use a slicker brush to remove smaller mats and tangles. A slicker brush is designed to penetrate your Shih Poo’s coat and remove loose fur, tangles and mats without causing damage or pain.

Step 3: For more stubborn mats and tangles, use a dematter tool. A dematter tool is specifically designed to break apart mats with sharp blades that slice through the mat without pulling on the hair.

Step 4: Be careful when using scissors to remove mats. Scissors can be dangerous and you may accidentally cut your Shih Poo’s skin. Instead, consider using clippers to shave the matted hair away. If you aren’t comfortable using clippers or your Shih Poo doesn’t tolerate it, it’s better to leave the task to a professional groomer.

Step 5: Remember to brush your Shih Poo’s coat regularly to prevent tangles and mats from forming. Brushing helps distribute oils throughout the coat and keeps it looking healthy and shiny.

By following these steps, you can easily remove tangles and mats from your Shih Poo’s coat without hurting or damaging their hair. It’s important to maintain a regular grooming routine to keep your fluffy friend looking and feeling their best.

Brushing Your Shih Poo’s Coat

Brushing your Shih Poo’s coat is an essential part of their grooming routine. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you do it right.

1. Start by using a slicker brush as it’s ideal for removing mats and tangles. Hold a small section of your Shih Poo’s hair at the base, then brush gently towards the tip. Repeat this process until you have covered the entire coat.

2. Next, switch to a pin brush to remove any loose hairs and to help evenly distribute their natural oils. This will help keep their coat healthy and shiny. As you brush, be sure to pay attention to any tangles that you may come across.

3. Use a comb to gently tease out any remaining tangles. Start by working on small sections and hold the hair at the base using one hand while using the comb with the other in a gentle sawing motion. Remember to be patient and gentle to prevent causing discomfort or harm to their skin.

Important tip: If you come across a particularly stubborn mat, do not pull or tug at it. Instead, use a pair of scissors to cut it out. Make sure you do this carefully to avoid cutting their skin.

4. Once you have removed all the mats and tangles, finish up by using a bristle brush to smooth out their coat. This will help to remove any lingering debris and leave their coat looking shiny.

By following these simple steps, you can help your Shih Poo maintain a healthy and attractive coat. Regular brushing sessions also provide a great opportunity to bond with your furry friend and help prevent the formation of painful mats and tangles.

Step 3: Bathing

Step 3: Bathing
Giving your beloved Shih Poo a bath can be a daunting task, especially if your furry friend has a habit of hating water. However, regular bathing is an important aspect of grooming your Shih Poo, as it helps keep their coat clean and healthy. In this step, we will cover everything you need to know about bathing your Shih Poo, from preparing for the bath to rinsing and drying. So, grab your towels and be prepared for some wet and wild fun!

Preparing For The Bath

Preparing properly for your Shih Poo’s bath is important to ensure a successful grooming session. Here’s a checklist of things you should do before you start bathing your furry friend.

1Brush your Shih Poo’s coat: Before bathing, it is essential to brush your dog’s coat to remove any tangles and mats. This will ensure that the shampoo can penetrate through the fur and reach the skin, providing a better lather and improving cleansing.
2Gather the necessary supplies: Make sure to have everything you need, including shampoo, conditioner, towels, a non-slip mat, and a sprayer or hose attachment, in one place to avoid unnecessary distractions and interruptions during the bath.
3Trim nails: If your Shih Poo’s nails are too long, it’s a good idea to trim them before the bath. This will make it easier to control your dog during the process and prevent scratches if they become agitated or try to escape from the tub.
4Check ear and teeth: While your Shih Poo is drying, you can take the opportunity to clean their ears and brush their teeth. This is a good time to check for any signs of irritation or infection and to give your dog a fresh breath.
5Place a non-slip mat: Place a non-slip mat in the bathtub or wherever you plan on bathing your Shih Poo. This will prevent your dog from slipping during the bath, reducing the risk of injury and creating a more comfortable environment.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your Shih Poo has a comfortable and stress-free bathing experience. The more relaxed your dog is, the easier it will be for you to groom them and bond with them.

Bathing Your Shih Poo

When it comes to bathing your Shih Poo, it’s important to first gather all the necessary materials, including a mild dog shampoo, towels, and a non-slip mat for the bathtub or sink. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to bathe your furry friend:

| Step | Action |
| — | — |
| 1. | Fill the bathtub or sink with lukewarm water, making sure it’s not too hot or too cold. |
| 2. | Wet your Shih Poo’s coat thoroughly, starting from the neck and working your way down to the legs. |
| 3. | Apply a small amount of dog shampoo to your Shih Poo’s coat, and begin to lather it in, being careful to avoid getting any soap in your dog’s eyes, ears, or nose. |
| 4. | Use a washcloth or sponge to clean your Shih Poo’s face and ears, being careful not to get water or soap in their eyes or ears. |
| 5. | Rinse your Shih Poo’s coat thoroughly, making sure all shampoo is washed out completely. |
| 6. | Gently squeeze out excess water from your Shih Poo’s coat, then use a towel to dry them off. Be sure to dry their coat thoroughly to prevent any skin irritation or infection. |
| 7. | If your Shih Poo has long hair, you may want to use a hairdryer set on low heat to ensure their coat is completely dry. Make sure the hairdryer is not too close to your dog’s skin and that you never leave them unattended during this process. |

Remember, bathing your Shih Poo too frequently can strip their coat of natural oils, so it’s recommended to give them a bath only once every 2-3 months, depending on their activity level and lifestyle.

Rinsing And Drying Your Shih Poo

After giving your Shih Poo a bath, it’s important to properly rinse and dry them to prevent any skin irritation or matting in their coat. Here’s how to do it:


1. Use lukewarm water to rinse your Shih Poo thoroughly, making sure to remove all shampoo from their coat.

2. Avoid getting water in their ears as it can lead to infection. You can place cotton balls in their ears to prevent water from getting in.

3. Make sure to rinse their underbelly and paws as well, as these areas can also trap shampoo and dirt.


1. Gently towel dry your Shih Poo by blotting their coat. Avoid rubbing as it can create mats in their fur.

2. You can use a hair dryer on a low heat setting to dry your Shih Poo, but make sure to keep the dryer at least 6 inches away from their body.

3. As you dry their coat, use a slicker brush to prevent any tangles or mats.

4. Don’t forget to dry their ears, as moisture can lead to ear infections.

Properly rinsing and drying your Shih Poo is an important step in keeping their coat healthy and mat-free. Remember to be gentle and patient, and your furry friend will appreciate the extra care you’re giving them.

1.Use lukewarm water to rinse your Shih Poo thoroughly, making sure to remove all shampoo from their coat.
2.Avoid getting water in their ears as it can lead to infection. You can place cotton balls in their ears to prevent water from getting in.
3.Make sure to rinse their underbelly and paws as well, as these areas can also trap shampoo and dirt.
1.Gently towel dry your Shih Poo by blotting their coat. Avoid rubbing as it can create mats in their fur.
2.You can use a hair dryer on a low heat setting to dry your Shih Poo, but make sure to keep the dryer at least 6 inches away from their body.
3.As you dry their coat, use a slicker brush to prevent any tangles or mats.
4.Don’t forget to dry their ears, as moisture can lead to ear infections.

Step 4: Nails, Ears, And Teeth

Step 4: Nails, Ears, And Teeth
As a responsible Shih Poo owner, taking care of your furry friend goes beyond just grooming their coat. Your Shih Poo’s nails, ears, and teeth must also be tended to regularly to ensure their overall health and well-being. Neglecting these areas can potentially lead to painful infections and other health issues. In this step, we will go over the tools and techniques necessary to safely and effectively trim your Shih Poo’s nails, clean their ears, and maintain their dental hygiene. Let’s dive in and give your beloved Shih Poo the care they deserve.

Trimming Your Shih Poo’s Nails

Maintaining your Shih Poo’s nails is an essential aspect of grooming that should not be overlooked. Long nails can be uncomfortable for your pooch and can cause health issues like joint pain and spine problems. Keeping your Shih Poo’s nails clean and trimmed is essential for their health and overall well-being. Here is a step-by-step guide to trimming your Shih Poo’s nails:

Step 1: Gather the Right Tools
The tools you’ll need for nail trimming may include:
• Nail clippers or scissors
• Styptic powder in case of bleeding
• A towel to keep your Shih Poo still
• A treat to reward good behavior
Step 2: Familiarize Your Shih Poo With the Tools
Before beginning the nail trimming process, make sure your pooch is comfortable with the tools. Let them sniff the clippers and show them the treat that they’ll get upon completion.
Step 3: Get Your Shih Poo in a Comfortable Position
You need to make sure your Shih Poo is in a comfortable position before you start trimming their nails. You can either sit them on a table or hold them in your lap. Wrap them in a towel if it helps to keep them still.
Step 4: Start Trimming Your Shih Poo’s Nails
Hold your Shih Poo’s paw securely and use the clippers/scissors to trim their nails. Be careful not to cut into the quick, which is a pinkish area within the nail that has blood vessels. If you accidentally cut into the quick, apply the styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Give your Shih Poo a treat if they behave calmly throughout the process.
Step 5: Repeat for All Nails
Repeat the nail trimming process for all nails on all four paws. Do not forget to trim the dewclaws located on the inside of your pooch’s front legs.
Step 6: Final Touches
After you’ve finished trimming your Shih Poo’s nails, give them a treat and praise them for their good behavior. If your pooch is uncomfortable with the trimming process, try the process again in a few days.

Remember to trim your Shih Poo’s nails regularly, every four to six weeks. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and pain for your furry friend, so trimming them regularly is crucial. With practice, you and your pooch will become more comfortable with the nail trimming process.

Cleaning Your Shih Poo’s Ears

It’s important to regularly clean your Shih Poo’s ears to prevent any infections or discomfort. Here are the steps to properly clean your Shih Poo’s ears:

Step 1: Gather the necessary materials for cleaning your dog’s ears. You will need cotton balls or pads, ear cleaning solution specifically for dogs, and treats.

Step 2: Start by inspecting your Shih Poo’s ears for any signs of irritation, redness, or discharge. Consult with a vet if you notice any problems with your dog’s ears.

Step 3: Apply a few drops of the ear cleaning solution to the cotton ball or pad. Gently rub the inside of your dog’s ear, avoiding the ear canal. Use a fresh cotton ball or pad for the other ear.

Step 4: Reward your Shih Poo with a treat. This will help them associate ear cleaning with something positive, making future cleanings easier.

Step 5: Repeat the cleaning process once a week or as recommended by your vet.

Remember to never use Q-tips or any other pointed object to clean your dog’s ears as this can cause damage to the ear canal. By regularly cleaning your Shih Poo’s ears, you can prevent any potential ear infections and keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

Brushing Your Shih Poo’s Teeth

Keeping your Shih Poo’s teeth clean is crucial for their dental health. Dental issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay, can lead to serious health problems if not taken care of properly. It is important to brush your pet’s teeth regularly.

Here are the steps to follow when brushing your Shih Poo’s teeth:

Step 1: Choose a pet toothbrush and toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste, as it can be harmful to your pet. You can purchase toothbrushes and toothpaste specifically designed for pets at most pet stores.

Step 2: Introduce the toothbrush and toothpaste to your pet. Allow your Shih Poo to sniff and explore the toothbrush and toothpaste before attempting to brush their teeth.

Step 3: Place a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush and gently brush your pet’s teeth in a circular motion. Focus on the outer surfaces of the teeth, as this is where most plaque and tartar build-up occurs.

Step 4: It is important to provide positive reinforcement during the brushing process. Offer verbal praise or treats to your Shih Poo to make the experience enjoyable for them.

Step 5: Make brushing your pet’s teeth a regular part of their grooming routine. Ideally, you should brush your pet’s teeth at least twice a week.

Regular teeth brushing can help prevent dental issues in your Shih Poo, such as bad breath, gum disease, and the loss of teeth. By following these simple steps, you can help keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy, and their breath smelling fresh.

Step 5: Final Touches

As your Shih Poo nears the end of their grooming session, it’s time to focus on the final touches that will leave them looking and feeling their best. These finishing steps are crucial for achieving a polished and professional look, and they include everything from trimming your pup’s hair to applying special care products. Let’s dive into some tips and tricks for giving your Shih Poo the perfect finishing touches.

Trimming Your Shih Poo’s Hair

One important aspect of grooming your Shih Poo is trimming their hair to maintain a neat and tidy appearance. While it can be tempting to try trimming your pup’s hair yourself, it’s important to use caution and the right tools to avoid injuring your furry friend. Here are some tips to keep in mind when trimming your Shih Poo’s hair:

1. Get the right tools: You’ll need a pair of sharp scissors or clippers, as well as a comb to help guide your cuts. Clippers may be easier to use if your pup has particularly long or thick hair.

2. Keep your Shih Poo calm: Trimming your pup’s hair can be a stressful and uncomfortable experience for them, so it’s important to keep them calm and relaxed. Try using treats or distractions to keep them occupied and make the experience more enjoyable.

3. Trim gradually: Start by trimming small sections of your pup’s hair at a time, rather than trying to cut large clumps all at once. This will help you maintain control and ensure that you’re not taking off too much hair at once.

4. Pay attention to the length: Depending on your Shih Poo’s hair type and desired style, you may need to trim their hair to different lengths. Use your comb to guide your cuts and make sure that you’re trimming evenly.

5. Avoid sensitive areas: Be extra careful when trimming around your pup’s face, ears, and paw pads, as these areas are particularly sensitive. Use caution and take breaks as needed to ensure that your pup stays comfortable.

Remember, if you’re not comfortable trimming your pup’s hair yourself, it’s always a good idea to seek the help of a professional groomer. They’ll have the experience and tools needed to create a safe, comfortable grooming experience for your Shih Poo.

Applying Finishing Touches

After grooming your Shih Poo, it’s time to give them a little extra love and attention. Applying finishing touches can help make your Shih Poo stand out from the rest. Here are a few steps to follow to apply the perfect finishing touches:

  • Check for Stray Hairs: After trimming your Shih Poo’s hair, check for any stray hairs that may have been missed. Tweezers can be helpful in pulling out those unwanted hairs.
  • Use Scissors to Trim: Use scissors to give your Shih Poo a more polished look. Use them to trim any hair that is uneven, sticking out or too long.
  • Apply Hair Polish: Apply hair polish to your Shih Poo’s coat to give it a shiny and smooth finish. Make sure to only use a small amount and spread it evenly throughout their coat.
  • Check and Clean Their Eyes: Use a damp cloth to clean any tear stains that may be present around their eyes. Be sure to check their eyes for any signs of infection or irritation.
  • Add Finishing Touches: Use accessories such as bows or bandanas to give your Shih Poo a fun and stylish look. Be sure to choose accessories that are comfortable, safe and won’t cause them any discomfort or harm.

By following these steps, your Shih Poo will not only look great, but also feel loved and cared for. Taking the time to apply finishing touches shows your furry friend just how much you care.


As you wrap up the grooming process for your lovable Shih Poo, it’s important to keep in mind the importance of maintaining their cleanliness and health. By following this step-by-step guide and gathering the necessary materials, you can ensure that your furry friend looks and feels their best. Remember to always approach grooming with patience and a gentle touch, and your Shih Poo will thank you with plenty of puppy kisses and tail wags. So, give your pet a cuddle and take pride in their well-groomed appearance!

Keeping Your Shih Poo Clean And Healthy

As a Shih Poo owner, you want to make sure your furry companion stays clean and healthy. Keeping up with their grooming routine is one way to ensure this. Here are some tips to help you maintain the health and hygiene of your Shih Poo:

  • Regular Grooming: As highlighted in the previous steps, it’s important to establish a grooming routine for your Shih Poo. Regular brushing, bathing, and checking their nails, ears, and teeth are all essential components of this routine. Make sure you groom your Shih Poo as often as needed to keep their coat healthy and prevent mats and tangles.
  • Proper Nutrition: The food you give your Shih Poo plays a huge role in their overall health. Make sure you feed them high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your furry friend.
  • Regular Exercise: Just like nutrition, exercise is also important for keeping your Shih Poo healthy. Make sure they get enough physical activity each day. This can include walks, playtime, and any other activities they enjoy.
  • Regular Vet Checkups: Regular checkups with your veterinarian can help you catch any potential health issues early on. Your vet can also provide you with advice on how to keep your Shih Poo healthy and answer any questions you may have.
  • Proper Dental Care: Dental health is crucial for your Shih Poo’s overall wellbeing. Make sure you brush their teeth regularly using a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs. You can also provide them with dental chews or toys to help keep their teeth clean.
  • Regular Cleaning: It’s essential to keep your Shih Poo’s living areas clean to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. Clean their food and water bowls regularly, and make sure their bedding is washed frequently.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your Shih Poo remains healthy and happy for many years to come. Remember to always monitor their behavior and keep an eye out for any changes in their health. By doing so, you can catch any issues early on and provide them with the care they need.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I groom my Shih Poo?

It’s recommended to groom your Shih Poo at least once a month to maintain a healthy coat.

2. Can I use human shampoo on my Shih Poo?

No, human shampoo can be harmful to your Shih Poo’s sensitive skin. Use a shampoo specifically made for dogs.

3. How do I prevent matting in my Shih Poo’s coat?

Regular brushing and grooming can help prevent matting in your Shih Poo’s coat. Use a detangling spray or conditioner for extra help.

4. How do I clean my Shih Poo’s ears?

Gently wipe your Shih Poo’s ears with a damp cloth or use an ear cleaning solution recommended by your vet.

5. Should I trim my Shih Poo’s hair myself or take them to a groomer?

It’s recommended to take your Shih Poo to a professional groomer for haircuts. They have the proper tools and experience to safely trim your dog’s hair.

6. How often should I brush my Shih Poo’s teeth?

Brush your Shih Poo’s teeth at least two to three times a week to prevent dental problems.

7. Can I use human toothpaste on my Shih Poo?

No, human toothpaste is not safe for dogs. Use a toothpaste made specifically for dogs.

8. How short should I trim my Shih Poo’s nails?

Trim your Shih Poo’s nails to the point where you can see the nail’s curve. Avoid cutting the quick, which can cause bleeding and discomfort.

9. How do I make sure my Shih Poo stays calm during grooming?

Try to establish a grooming routine and use positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, to reward your Shih Poo for good behavior. Use a calming spray or diffuser if your dog is particularly anxious.

10. Can grooming help detect health issues in my Shih Poo?

Yes, grooming can help you detect lumps, bumps, or any abnormalities on your Shih Poo’s skin. Regular grooming also allows you to keep an eye on your dog’s overall health and well-being.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DoggoLab, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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