Avoid These Shih Tzu Brushing Mistakes for a Healthy and Shiny Coat

Shih Tzus are known for their luxurious, long coats that require regular grooming to maintain their beautiful appearance and prevent matting. Brushing is an essential part of grooming a Shih Tzu, but it’s important to do it correctly to avoid damaging their delicate coat or causing discomfort to your furry friend. In this article, we’ll explore some common Shih Tzu brushing mistakes and provide tips on how to properly brush your pup.

Mistake #1: Not Brushing Regularly

One of the biggest mistakes Shih Tzu owners make is not brushing their dog’s coat regularly. Shih Tzus require daily brushing to prevent matting and keep their coat looking its best. Neglecting to brush your Shih Tzu’s coat can lead to tangles, knots, and mats, which can be painful and difficult to remove.

Mistake #2: Using the Wrong Brush

Using the wrong brush can also be detrimental to your Shih Tzu’s coat. Shih Tzus have a double coat, consisting of a soft undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. To properly groom their coat, you’ll need two different types of brushes:

Slicker Brush

A slicker brush is essential for removing loose hair and preventing matting. It has fine, closely-spaced wire bristles that can penetrate the coat and gently remove tangles and knots.

Pin Brush

A pin brush is used for finishing and smoothing the coat after brushing with a slicker brush. It has widely-spaced bristles that can help distribute the natural oils throughout the coat, giving it a healthy shine.

Mistake #3: Brushing Too Aggressively

While it’s important to be thorough when brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat, you should never brush too aggressively. Shih Tzus have sensitive skin, and brushing too hard can cause irritation, discomfort, and even skin damage.

Proper Brushing Technique

When brushing your Shih Tzu, start at the bottom of the coat and work your way up, using gentle strokes. Be extra careful around sensitive areas like the ears, face, and belly.

Detangling Mats

If you encounter a mat, never try to brush it out forcefully. Instead, use a detangling spray or conditioner to help loosen the mat, and gently work it out with your fingers or a mat-splitting tool.

Seeking Professional Help

If you encounter severe matting or tangles that you can’t manage on your own, it’s best to seek the help of a professional groomer. Trying to brush out severe mats can be painful for your Shih Tzu and may even cause skin irritation or coat damage.

Mistake #4: Not Brushing Before Bathing

It’s essential to brush your Shih Tzu’s coat thoroughly before bathing them. Bathing a matted or tangled coat can cause the mats to tighten and become even more difficult to remove. Brushing before bathing will help remove loose hair and prevent further matting.

Mistake #5: Skipping the Undercoat

Many Shih Tzu owners make the mistake of only brushing the outer coat, neglecting the soft undercoat. This can lead to matting and tangling close to the skin, which can be uncomfortable for your pup and difficult to remove.

Mistake #6: Not Rewarding Good Behavior

Brushing can be a stressful experience for some Shih Tzus, especially if they’re not used to it. To make the process more enjoyable for both you and your pup, it’s important to reward good behavior with treats and praise. This will help your Shih Tzu associate brushing with positive experiences and make them more cooperative during grooming sessions.

Mistake #7: Ignoring Coat Condition

It’s important to pay attention to the condition of your Shih Tzu’s coat and adjust your grooming routine accordingly. If you notice excessive shedding, dryness, or dullness, it may be a sign of a dietary deficiency or underlying health issue. In such cases, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian or a professional groomer for advice.

Are you making mistakes when brushing your Shih Tzu? Learn about proper brushing techniques, essential brushing tips, the best brushes for your furry friend, and the importance of regular brushing here!


Proper brushing is essential for maintaining the health and beauty of your Shih Tzu’s coat. By avoiding common brushing mistakes and following the right techniques, you can ensure that your furry friend looks and feels their best. Remember to brush regularly, use the appropriate brushes, be gentle, and seek professional help when needed. With patience and consistency, you can keep your Shih Tzu’s coat in top condition and strengthen the bond between you and your beloved companion.

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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