Shih Poo Grooming Guide

Shih Poos, the adorable hybrid breed resulting from the cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle, are known for their affectionate and playful personalities, as well as their hypoallergenic coats. However, their unique coat requires special grooming attention to maintain their cute and cuddly appearance. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the essential grooming techniques and tips to keep your Shih Poo looking and feeling their best.

Understanding the Shih Poo’s Coat

The Shih Poo’s coat is a beautiful blend of the Shih Tzu’s long, silky hair and the Poodle’s curly, hypoallergenic fur. This combination results in a coat that can range from wavy to curly, depending on the dominant traits inherited from the parent breeds. It’s important to note that Shih Poos are considered hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for those with allergies.

Grooming Tools and Supplies

Before we dive into the grooming process, it’s essential to have the right tools and supplies on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:


– Slicker brush: For detangling and removing loose hair
– Pin brush: For smoothing and finishing the coat

Scissors and Clippers

– Grooming scissors: For trimming and shaping the coat
– Clippers: For close trimming and shaving (if desired)

Bathing and Drying

Bathing Frequency

Shih Poos generally require bathing every 4-6 weeks, depending on their activity level and the condition of their coat. However, if your pup gets particularly dirty or smelly, you may need to bathe them more frequently.

Bathing Technique

– Use a mild, dog-safe shampoo and conditioner to avoid irritating their skin.
– Gently massage the shampoo into their coat, being careful around their eyes and ears.
– Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
– Apply conditioner and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.


– Towel dry your Shih Poo by gently squeezing the excess water from their coat.
– Use a high-velocity dryer or a regular hairdryer on a low, cool setting to finish drying.
– Brush their coat while drying to prevent matting and tangling.

Brushing and Combing

Regular brushing and combing are essential for maintaining a healthy, tangle-free coat. Here’s how to do it:


– Start by using a slicker brush to gently detangle any knots or mats.
– Work in sections, starting from the bottom and working your way up.
– Be gentle and patient, as excessive pulling can cause discomfort and breakage.


– After brushing, use a wide-toothed comb to further smooth and straighten the coat.
– Pay special attention to areas prone to matting, such as behind the ears and around the legs.

Trimming and Shaping

Shih Poos require regular trimming and shaping to maintain their adorable appearance. Here are some tips:

Face and Head

– Trim the hair around the eyes and muzzle to keep it neat and tidy.
– Use scissors or clippers to shape the topknot or teddy bear cut, if desired.

Body and Legs

– Trim the hair on the body and legs to your desired length, keeping it even and symmetrical.
– Use thinning shears or clippers to blend the coat and prevent a choppy appearance.

Nail Trimming

Keeping your Shih Poo’s nails trimmed is important for their comfort and to prevent scratching or snagging. Here’s how to do it:


– Trim your Shih Poo’s nails every 4-6 weeks, or as needed.
– If you hear their nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim.


– Use sharp, dog-safe nail clippers or a nail grinder.
– Trim a small amount at a time, avoiding the quick (the pink area inside the nail).
– If you accidentally cut the quick, apply styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.

Ear Cleaning

Shih Poos are prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears, so regular ear cleaning is essential. Here’s how to do it:


– Clean your Shih Poo’s ears once a week or as needed.
– Watch for signs of infection, such as redness, odor, or excessive wax buildup.


– Use a dog-safe ear cleaning solution and cotton balls or pads.
– Gently wipe the outer ear and the visible part of the ear canal.
– Never insert anything into the ear canal, as this can cause damage.

Dental Care

Good dental hygiene is crucial for your Shih Poo’s overall health and well-being. Here’s how to keep their teeth and gums healthy:


– Brush your Shih Poo’s teeth 2-3 times a week with a dog-safe toothpaste and soft-bristled brush.
– Start slowly and reward them with treats to make it a positive experience.

Dental Chews and Treats

– Provide your Shih Poo with dental chews and treats designed to help remove plaque and tartar.
– Look for products with the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal of approval.

Looking for the best grooming tools for your Shih Poo? Check out our articles on grooming tools, house training guide, grooming tips, bathing guide, and grooming health for all your grooming needs!


Grooming your Shih Poo is an essential part of their care routine. By following these tips and techniques, you can keep your furry friend looking and feeling their best. Remember, regular grooming not only maintains their adorable appearance but also promotes good health and well-being. With patience, consistency, and the right tools, you can ensure your Shih Poo stays happy, healthy, and looking their cutest.

Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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