Different Brushing Techniques for Your Shih Tzu

Owning a Shih Tzu can be a rewarding experience, but proper grooming is essential to ensure their well-being. One frequently overlooked aspect of grooming is brushing your Shih Tzu’s hair regularly. Brushing them not only keeps their coat looking nice but also helps to prevent skin problems and matting. It’s important to use the right tools and techniques when brushing both their face and body. In this article, we’ll explore different brushing techniques for your Shih Tzu’s face and body to keep them looking and feeling their best. So, let’s dive right into it!

Tools Needed

Tools Needed
As a proud owner of a Shih Tzu, you already know how important it is to keep your furry friend’s coat clean, tidy, and mat-free. But to achieve that, you need to have the right tools in your grooming arsenal. Here are some top-quality grooming tools you’ll need to have on hand to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat in perfect condition: a bristle brush, a comb, a pair of grooming scissors, ear cleaning solution, and cotton balls. It’s essential to have the right tools for the job, and with these items, you’ll be able to tackle any grooming task that comes your way. Before we dive into the techniques on how to use them, make sure you have all these tools on your Shih Tzu’s grooming kit. Don’t have them yet? Check out these Shih Tzu grooming brushes to help you choose the best one for your dog’s coat.

Bristle Brush

When it comes to grooming your beloved Shih Tzu, choosing the right tools is key to achieving the best results. One of the most important tools you’ll need is a bristle brush. This type of brush is specially designed to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris from your dog’s coat without damaging the skin or causing discomfort. Additionally, using a bristle brush on your Shih Tzu will help to distribute their natural oils, keeping their coat shiny and healthy.

To use a bristle brush on your Shih Tzu, start by selecting the right size brush based on your dog’s coat length and size. For a Shih Tzu, it’s best to use a small or medium-sized brush. Then, follow these steps:

Steps to Use Bristle Brush on Shih Tzu’s Body
Step 1: Brush in the direction of hair growth
Step 2: Gently brush the chest, neck, back, and legs
Step 3: Use long, sweeping strokes to remove loose hairs
Step 4: Pay extra attention to areas where mats and tangles tend to form, such as behind the ears and under the legs
Step 5: Brush your Shih Tzu’s tail using a gentle, back-and-forth motion
Step 6: Always reward your dog with treats and praise for good behavior during the brushing process.

Regular use of a bristle brush in your Shih Tzu’s grooming routine will not only help maintain their coat’s appearance but will also act as a bonding experience between you and your furry friend. However, it is important to keep in mind that over-brushing or brushing too hard can potentially damage your dog’s skin, so always be gentle in your brushing technique. For more information on proper Shih Tzu grooming techniques and important tips, check out our helpful links: importance of brushing your Shih Tzu, tips for Shih Tzu brushing, how to fix a matted Shih Tzu coat, common brushing mistakes to avoid, and essential Shih Tzu grooming steps.


To effectively groom your Shih Tzu’s fur, you will need a high-quality comb designed specifically for dog grooming. A comb will help you remove tangles, mats, and loose fur from your dog’s coat. It will also help spread natural oils throughout the coat, making it shinier and healthier. The best combs for Shih Tzus are those with fine teeth that can get through even the thickest hair.

When choosing a comb, consider the following factors:

Teeth spacingChoose a comb with teeth that are appropriately spaced for your dog’s fur. For Shih Tzus, finer teeth are better.
Length of teethIf your Shih Tzu has a longer coat, choose a comb with longer teeth. For a shorter coat, look for a comb with shorter teeth.
MaterialCombs can be made of metal or plastic. Metal combs are typically more durable and easier to clean, while plastic combs are less expensive and better for dogs with sensitive skin.
Ease of useChoose a comb that feels comfortable in your hand and has a non-slip grip. This will make grooming your Shih Tzu easier and more enjoyable for both you and your dog.

Using a comb alongside a bristle brush can help ensure that your Shih Tzu’s coat stays tangle-free and healthy. When combing your dog’s coat, make sure to start at the top and work your way down to the bottom, being careful not to pull too hard on any tangles you encounter. If you encounter a stubborn mat, use grooming scissors to gently cut it out. Never cut through a mat or try to pull it out, as this can be painful for your dog.

Grooming Scissors

One of the essential tools needed for grooming your Shih Tzu is a pair of grooming scissors. Choosing the right pair for the job can make all the difference in achieving a professional-looking trim. There are a few things to consider when selecting grooming scissors, such as the size of the blades, the material they’re made of, and their sharpness.

Blade sizeThe blade size is crucial when it comes to grooming scissors. A smaller blade size is ideal for precision trimming of the face and around the paws, while a larger blade size is more suited for trimming the body.
MaterialGrooming scissors come in different materials such as stainless steel, titanium, and ceramic. Stainless steel is the most commonly used material and is long-lasting and rust-resistant. Titanium is a lightweight and durable option, while ceramic blades are sharp and stay cool.
SharpnessThe sharpness of the scissors is an essential factor in achieving a clean cut. Look for scissors with razor-sharp blades for easy and efficient trimming.

It’s important to keep grooming scissors clean and sharp to maintain their effectiveness. After use, wipe the blades with a dry cloth or a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to sanitize them. Store the scissors in a dry place, and avoid dropping them, as this can damage the blades and affect their sharpness.

Ear Cleaning Solution

Cleaning your Shih Tzu’s ears regularly is an important part of their grooming routine. For this, you’ll need a reliable ear cleaning solution that can get the job done without causing any irritation to your pet’s sensitive ears. Here are some of the top ear cleaning solutions you can consider using:

  • Vet’s Best Ear Cleaning Solution: This all-natural solution is perfect for dogs with sensitive skin, as it is made from a blend of soothing ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile. It effectively cleans your Shih Tzu’s ears, removing dirt and wax buildup.
  • Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment: This ear cleaning solution is designed to get rid of harmful bacteria, fungi, and yeast that can cause infections. It is suitable for dogs with chronic ear problems and contains no harmful chemicals.
  • SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Ear Therapy: This ear cleaning solution uses a combination of salicylic acid and alpha-hydroxy to deep clean your Shih Tzu’s ears and remove built-up earwax. It also helps to soothe any inflammation or irritation in the ear canal.
  • Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner: This ear cleaning solution is perfect for maintaining the hygiene of healthy ears. It has a non-irritating formula that removes dirt, debris and excess earwax while also soothing the skin and reducing any unpleasant odors.

Choose an ear cleaning solution that is best suited for your Shih Tzu’s needs and follow the instructions on the packaging carefully. If your Shih Tzu has any ear problems, remember to consult your veterinarian before starting any cleaning regimen.

Cotton Balls

Having the right tools when grooming your Shih Tzu can make all the difference. Using cotton balls is an essential part of keeping your furry friend’s ears clean and healthy. Here’s how to use them properly:

Step 1: Prepare Your Supplies
– Gather your ear cleaning solution and cotton balls before you start.
– Make sure your Shih Tzu is calm and relaxed so they can have a comfortable grooming experience.

Step 2: Apply Ear Cleaning Solution
– Dip a cotton ball in the ear cleaning solution and gently squeeze out any excess liquid.
– Hold your Shih Tzu’s ear flap up and place the cotton ball just inside the ear canal.
– Rub the cotton ball back and forth gently inside the ear canal to spread the solution.
– Repeat this process with a fresh cotton ball for the other ear.

Step 3: Wipe Away Excess Solution
– Take a fresh cotton ball and gently wipe the inside of the ear flap to remove any excess solution.
– Be careful not to push the cotton ball too far into the ear canal.
– Repeat the process with a fresh cotton ball for the other ear.

Step 4: Repeat as Needed
– If your Shih Tzu’s ears are particularly dirty or smelly, you may need to repeat the process a few times until the cotton balls come out clean.
– If your Shih Tzu has a history of ear infections or other ear problems, consult with your veterinarian before starting any ear cleaning routine.

With these simple steps, you can keep your Shih Tzu’s ears clean and healthy. Remember to always be gentle and take breaks if needed to keep your furry friend comfortable during grooming sessions.

Techniques for Brushing Your Shih Tzu’s Face

Techniques For Brushing Your Shih Tzu'S Face
As the face of your Shih Tzu is the most expressive and captivating part of their physique, it is crucial to give it a proper grooming routine. However, it may sometimes not be as easy as it sounds. With so many different areas to take care of, owners may feel perplexed while selecting the right technique to use. But fret not as we have compiled a list of four essential techniques that will not only make your life easier but will also keep your furry friend’s face looking healthy and shiny. From removing tear stains to brushing teeth, these techniques cover it all!

Removing Tear Stains

Shih Tzu’s are known for their big, beautiful eyes, but unfortunately, tear stains are a common issue in this breed. If left untreated, tear stains can lead to infection and discomfort for your furry friend. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can easily remove tear stains from your Shih Tzu’s face.

Tools Needed:

Bristle BrushEar Cleaning SolutionCotton Balls
A bristle brush is essential for removing dirt and debris from your Shih Tzu’s face.Ear cleaning solution will help clean your Shih Tzu’s tear ducts and remove bacteria that can contribute to tear staining.Cotton balls are gentle and effective in cleaning around your Shih Tzu’s delicate eyes.


1. First, gently brush your Shih Tzu’s face with a bristle brush to remove any dirt or debris.

2. Next, dampen a cotton ball with ear cleaning solution and gently wipe around your Shih Tzu’s eyes. Be careful not to get any solution in their eyes.

3. Once you have cleaned the tear ducts, use a fresh cotton ball to gently wipe away any tear stains. Avoid using excessive force or rubbing the area vigorously, as this can irritate your Shih Tzu’s eyes.

4. Repeat this process daily to prevent tear staining and keep your Shih Tzu’s face clean and healthy.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to tear staining. Keep your Shih Tzu’s face free from excess moisture and provide them with a healthy, well-balanced diet to help prevent tear stains from forming. If you notice any signs of infection or discomfort, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

Cleaning the Ears

Cleaning your Shih Tzu’s ears is an essential aspect of grooming that should not be overlooked. Not only is it important for hygiene purposes, but it also helps prevent ear infections, which can cause discomfort and pain. To properly clean your Shih Tzu’s ears, follow the steps below:

Step 1:Gather the necessary materials. You will need ear cleaning solution and cotton balls.
Step 2:Hold your Shih Tzu firmly but gently to prevent any sudden movements that could cause injury.
Step 3:Squeeze a few drops of ear cleaning solution into one of your Shih Tzu’s ears.
Step 4:Massage the base of your Shih Tzu’s ear for about 30 seconds. This will help loosen any wax and debris that may be present.
Step 5:Remove the excess solution and debris using a cotton ball. Be gentle to avoid causing any discomfort to your Shih Tzu.
Step 6:Repeat the process on the other ear.

It’s important to note that you should never use cotton swabs to clean your Shih Tzu’s ears, as they can push wax and debris further into the ear canal, leading to ear infections. Additionally, if you notice any signs of redness, swelling, or discharge in your Shih Tzu’s ears, it’s important to consult your veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment. By regularly cleaning your Shih Tzu’s ears, you can help maintain their overall health and well-being.

Brushing the Teeth

Brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth on a regular basis is essential to maintain their dental hygiene. Neglecting their teeth can lead to the buildup of plaque, tartar, and tooth decay. Here are the steps to follow when brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth:

Step 1Choose an appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste designed specifically for dogs. A human toothbrush may be too harsh on their teeth and gums, and human toothpaste contains ingredients that can be harmful to dogs.
Step 2Apply a small amount of toothpaste onto the toothbrush and let your Shih Tzu sniff and taste it. This will help them get used to the toothbrush and toothpaste.
Step 3Gently lift your Shih Tzu’s lip and start brushing the outer surfaces of their teeth in a circular motion. Focus on the areas where the teeth and gums meet as these areas are more susceptible to tartar buildup.
Step 4Brush the inner surfaces of their teeth in a circular motion as well.
Step 5Gently brush their tongue and the roof of their mouth.
Step 6Reward your Shih Tzu with a treat or praise after brushing their teeth to help positively reinforce the experience.

Remember to brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth at least 2-3 times a week to maintain their dental hygiene. Regular brushing can also help prevent bad breath and reduce the risk of dental disease. If you notice any signs of dental problems such as bleeding gums or loose teeth, consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Trimming the Hair around the Eyes

Trimming the hair around the eyes of your Shih Tzu is essential to ensure that they can see clearly without having their vision obstructed by long hair. It’s essential to do it carefully and delicately to avoid hurting your furry friend. Here are the steps you can follow to trim the hair around their eyes:

Tools Needed:Grooming scissors, ear cleaning solution, and cotton balls
Step 1:First, clean the eye area with ear cleaning solution and cotton balls. This will help remove any dirt or debris around the eye area, making it easier to see where the hair needs to be trimmed.
Step 2:Using grooming scissors, carefully trim the hair around the eyes. Use your fingers to hold the hair while cutting, so you don’t accidentally cut their skin.
Step 3:To ensure symmetry, hold a comb between the eye and the hair and cut along the comb. Repeat the process for the other eye.
Step 4:Make sure to remove any loose hair or debris from the eye area using a cotton ball or a soft-bristled brush.
Step 5:If you’re uncomfortable trimming the hair yourself, consider taking your Shih Tzu to a professional groomer. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your furry friend’s safety and comfort.

Note: Never use regular scissors to trim your Shih Tzu’s hair, as it can cause accidental cuts or injury. Always use grooming scissors designed for pet grooming. Additionally, avoid poking or prodding your Shih Tzu’s eyes while trimming the hair, as it can cause pain and discomfort. Take breaks if your pup gets restless or impatient during the process.

Techniques for Brushing Your Shih Tzu’s Body

As Shih Tzus have a thick and luxurious coat, it requires a lot of maintenance to keep it looking healthy and shiny. Brushing your four-legged companion’s body is an important part of their grooming routine, and doing it regularly can prevent matting and tangling. In this section, we will explore different techniques that will help you keep your Shih Tzu’s coat looking its best, including brushing the coat, trimming the coat, and checking for mats and tangles. Read on to discover how to keep your furry friend looking and feeling great!

Brushing the Coat

Brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat is an essential grooming task that you should perform regularly. It helps distribute natural oils throughout their coat, preventing mats and tangles, and keeps their skin healthy. Here are some steps to follow when brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat:

  1. Start with a bristle brush: Use a bristle brush to remove any loose hair and dirt from your Shih Tzu’s coat. Brush gently but firmly in the direction of the hair growth. This will help to remove any tangles or mats that have formed in the hair.
  2. Switch to a comb: Using a comb after the bristle brush will help to remove any tangles or mats that might still be present in the hair. Make sure to start at the base of the hair and work your way up slowly to avoid pulling your Shih Tzu’s hair too hard.
    • Tip: If you find any mats or tangles, use your fingers or grooming scissors to gently tease them out. Be careful not to cut your Shih Tzu’s skin.
  3. Brush the undercoat: Shih Tzus have a thick undercoat that needs to be brushed regularly. Use a slicker brush to get through the undercoat, making sure to brush gently but thoroughly. This will help to prevent any mats or tangles from forming and will keep your Shih Tzu’s coat looking healthy and shiny.
  4. Finish with a light brushing: Finally, use a soft-bristled brush to give your Shih Tzu’s coat a light brushing. This will smooth out the hair and give it a nice shine. Use long, gentle strokes to finish the job.

Remember to take your time and be patient when brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat. Brushing too hard or too quickly can damage their skin and cause discomfort. Your furry friend will thank you for keeping their coat clean and healthy!

Trimming the Coat

Keeping your Shih Tzu’s coat trimmed is an essential part of their grooming routine. It helps prevent mats and tangles from forming, which can be uncomfortable and even painful for your furry friend. Here are some steps for trimming your Shih Tzu’s coat:

  • Step 1: Start by brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat to remove any tangles or mats. This will make it easier to see where the coat needs to be trimmed. Use a soft bristle brush to brush the coat in the direction of hair growth.
  • Step 2: Use grooming scissors to trim around the ears, paws, and other sensitive areas. Be careful not to cut too close to the skin, as this could cause discomfort or even injury. Use the comb to lift the hair and trim with the scissors, making small, careful cuts as you go.
  • Step 3: Next, trim the hair around the anus to prevent feces from getting tangled in the fur. This area should be trimmed regularly to ensure your Shih Tzu stays clean and comfortable.
  • Step 4: Finally, trim the hair on the body to keep it at an appropriate length. Use a clipper with a guard attachment to ensure you don’t accidentally cut your Shih Tzu’s skin. Start at the neck and work your way down to the tail, going against the direction of hair growth.

Remember to take breaks during the trimming process to ensure your Shih Tzu stays comfortable and calm. Reward them with treats and praise for good behavior. With regular grooming and trimming, your Shih Tzu will continue to look and feel their best.

Checking for Mats and Tangles

One essential part of brushing your Shih Tzu’s body is checking for mats and tangles. These clumps of knotted fur can cause discomfort, pain, and even lead to skin irritation and infection if left unattended.

To check for mats and tangles, you will need to use a comb and gently run it through your dog’s coat. Focus on areas where mats tend to occur, such as behind the ears, under the legs, and around the tail.

Once you identify a mat, use a pair of grooming scissors to cut it off carefully. Place your fingers between the mat and your dog’s skin to prevent accidentally snipping their skin. Be patient and cut small sections at a time until the mat is entirely removed.


Tools NeededSteps
Comb, grooming scissors1. Use a comb to run through your dog’s coat
2. Identify mats and tangles in areas where they tend to occur
Grooming scissors3. Use grooming scissors to cut off the mat carefully
4. Place your fingers between the mat and skin to prevent injury
5. Cut small sections at a time until the mat is entirely removed

Regularly checking for mats and tangles in your Shih Tzu’s coat ensures that they stay comfortable and healthy. It also prevents further complications that may require a visit to the groomer or a veterinarian. So be sure to take the time to groom your furry friend regularly and keep their coat looking and feeling its best!


In conclusion, taking care of a Shih Tzu’s grooming needs is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. They require regular brushing and cleaning to prevent mats, tangles, and skin irritation. By using the proper tools and techniques, you can keep your Shih Tzu’s coat looking healthy and shiny. Use a bristle brush, comb, grooming scissors, ear cleaning solution, and cotton balls to make the grooming process easier.

When brushing your Shih Tzu’s face, it’s important to follow specific techniques to prevent discomfort and injury. Removing tear stains, cleaning the ears, brushing the teeth, and trimming the hair around the eyes are all important steps to maintain your Shih Tzu’s facial hygiene.

In addition to facial grooming, brushing and trimming your Shih Tzu’s coat is an essential part of their grooming routine. Regularly brushing the coat, trimming areas where the hair is too long, and checking for mats and tangles can prevent skin irritation and ensure a healthy-looking coat.

Overall, grooming your Shih Tzu can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. A well-groomed and healthy Shih Tzu can lead to a happy and comfortable pet. By following the techniques outlined in this article, you can keep your Shih Tzu looking and feeling their best. Remember to always consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about grooming your Shih Tzu.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of brush is best for my Shih Tzu’s coat?

A bristle brush or a slicker brush are both good choices for your Shih Tzu’s coat. Bristle brushes work well on shorter coats, while slicker brushes are better for longer coats.

How often should I clean my Shih Tzu’s ears?

You should clean your Shih Tzu’s ears once a week to prevent infections and remove any dirt or debris.

Can I use human toothpaste to brush my Shih Tzu’s teeth?

No, you should never use human toothpaste on your Shih Tzu. It may contain harmful ingredients that are not safe for dogs. Use a toothpaste specifically made for dogs.

How often should I trim the hair around my Shih Tzu’s eyes?

You should trim the hair around your Shih Tzu’s eyes once a month to prevent hair from poking their eyes and causing irritation.

What should I do if I find mats or tangles in my Shih Tzu’s coat?

Use a detangling spray or conditioner and gently comb out the mats or tangles. Be careful not to pull on your Shih Tzu’s skin or cause them any discomfort.

Do Shih Tzus shed a lot?

Shih Tzus do shed, but not as much as some other breeds. Regular brushing and grooming can help keep shedding under control.

How often should I give my Shih Tzu a bath?

Shih Tzus should be bathed once every 4-6 weeks, or as needed if they get particularly dirty.

Is it safe to use grooming scissors to trim my Shih Tzu’s coat?

Yes, but be sure to use scissors specifically made for grooming animals, as regular scissors can be dangerous and cause injury.

How can I prevent tear stains on my Shih Tzu’s face?

You can prevent tear stains by wiping your Shih Tzu’s face daily with a warm, damp cloth and keeping the hair on their face trimmed short.

Can I use baby wipes to clean my Shih Tzu’s face?

No, you should not use baby wipes on your Shih Tzu’s face as they may contain harmful chemicals. Instead, use a damp cloth or specialized pet wipes.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

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

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