Shih Tzu Nursery One

Shih Tzu Nursery One was Updated 10-0902022  by Janice Jones

NEW:  I am in the process of migrating all of the pages on this website to my main Shih Tzu Website.  You will find any available puppies on that website.  Here are a few puppy pictures from previous litters.

10 Tips to Making Grooming the Shih Tzu Dog Easy

"Earl Gray" was born 11-12-2021 in NE Ohio.  Available for adoption.
Shih Tzu Nursery One, "Peaches"

10 Tips to Making Grooming the Shih Tzu Dog Easy

Many people worry that grooming a Shih Tzu puppy is going to be time-consuming and difficult.  It doesn't have to be unless you are planning to show your dog in conformation. 

Here are ten tips that will help you save time and make the process enjoyable for both you and your pup.

1. When is the best time to brush my puppy?

Grooming puppies is much easier when they are tired, after exercising or training, or just plain running around.  Often, the best time to groom is in the evening after a full day of activity.

2. Do I need to purchase a grooming table?

You don't need an expensive grooming table to groom a Shih Tzu Puppy.  Your lap may do just fine.  If you are planning to grow your Tzu hair out to reach the floor, then a grooming table might be your best bet. 

Start as soon as your puppy moves into your home with brushing and combing.  Young puppies are not likely to need much grooming, but if you begin a routine early, it will be easier in the long run. I have been working on a list of grooming tools that are needed for the breed.  Some will only be needed if you decide to do all the grooming yourself, including clipping and scissoring.

Read more about necessary grooming tools.

3. Why do I need to spray the hair before brushing?

A spray conditioner or de-tangler will help keep your Shih Tzu's hair from breaking, splitting or looking dull.  Brushing, and then combing the coat several times a week will prevent mats from forming and avoid costly grooming appointments.  Always use a good quality brush and the right type of comb to do the job.

4.  Why won't my puppy hold still when I try to brush her face?

This problem is common.  Puppies often let you brush their back and neck but hate having their face, legs, and paws touched.  This making grooming these areas very difficult.

Get your puppy used to having her face brushed by using a soft bristle brush, human infant brush or even an old toothbrush.  Pick a time when she is tired and relaxed and alternate between brushing her face and brushing her back.  If she has eye goo that needs to be gone, try using a warm washcloth or cotton ball to remove it before trying to brush it away.

Very active, squirmy puppies often settle with the gentle scent of chamomile and lavender either through a candle or essential oil diffuser.

Experiment on what works best for your puppy.  Does she prefer fast or slow strokes of the brush?  Little pressure or firm pressure?  Quiet room with low music or your constant reassuring voice?  Every puppy is different, even those within the same litter.

5. How often should I clip her nails?

It's always a good idea to trim nails regularly, normally every other week.  They grow quickly, and those little nails can get caught on carpet or your clothing.  The easiest way to clip puppy nails is with a human toenail clipper, small cat toenail clipper or the smallest dog nail clipper.  

After clipping, use a human metal file to smooth off the tip.

6.  How often should I bathe my puppy?

Puppies love to run and play and if given the opportunity (which they should), get dirty very easily.  I often smile at puppy buyers when they come to pick up their puppy.  They ask, "How old does the puppy need to be before I can give her the first bath?"  Well,  at 10 weeks of age, she's likely to have  had at least 4 or 5 baths.

In a home situation, you will not need to bathe that frequently, but you can bathe about every 1 to 3 weeks with no difficulty.  Use a good quality puppy shampoo, rinse well, towel dry and then use a hair dryer to complete the drying process.  Make it a positive experience from the first bath, and your puppy will learn to love her bath time.

7.  How do I bathe a squirmy puppy?

Every puppy is different.  Some will stand quietly and allow you to bathe them with ease.  Others will try desperately to climb out of the tub (sink) and others will paddle with their front feet hoping to swim away from the water.

If you have a squirmy puppy, you will want to be very careful that the puppy does not get away from you.  

Line your sink or tub with something like a rubber mat that won't slide and place the puppy on that mat holding onto her with a firm hand. Place one hand under the puppy's chest and abdomen and use your free hand to apply shampoo, massage and rinse. 

A firm massage around her back, behind her ears and down her legs and paws often relaxes the puppy enough to get the job done quickly.

Experiment with water temperatures.  The Goldilocks principle is appropriate here:  Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.  If the puppy is still trying to escape, lower or raise the temperature of the water.  Adjust the amount of water flow. 

Be sure the room temperature is not too cool and have a towel within reach to wrap up the puppy after the bath is complete.  A few minutes of swaddle time within the towel will also help calm her so you can complete the drying process.

8.  Yuck, there's poo on my puppy's rear end, what should I do?

This can be a problem in this breed because the hair continues to grow all over the body and hair that is preventing the puppy from having a normal bowel movement will get clogged creating a big mess.  

The easiest way to deal with this issue is to put on a pair of disposable gloves and then pop your puppy into the tub.

Let the water run over her rear end to soften the mess and then gently remove the clumps.  Have paper towels handy to hold the excess poop until you can finish the bath and dispose of it.  

You may want to use a little puppy shampoo to assure that she is clean, then rinse and pat dry with your towel.  An extra blow dry  will speed up the process.  

Finally, to prevent this from happening again  use a pair of blunt tipped scissors to trim above, below and to the sides of her rectum.

9.  Why did my puppy roll in the grass as soon as I gave her a bath?

You expect your super clean puppy to stay clean for a little while, but she had other ideas.  As soon as you finished her bath, got her dry and looking great, she goes out and rolls in the grass and likely something malodorous. 

This is a common behavior that can infuriate you.  There are many theories out there to why dogs roll in the grass, or other smelly places. 

The one theory that makes the most evolutionary sense to Stanley Coren, author of many dog books is that they want to mask their own smell. 

Before our dogs became who they are today, they were likely part of some type of wolf pack hunting prey.  If they rolled around in the dung of their prey, say an antelope, the wolf would smell more like an antelope than a wolf.  It would be easier to catch their prey if they smelled like it.  

Our clean, freshly bathed dogs may not need to mask their scent to catch their dinner, but they may prefer to smell like anything but the scented shampoo we just applied.

10.  I want to put a top knot in my puppy, but he won't hold still.

This one is frustrating to me too.  AND, it is even more so once you get the rubber band in only to watch your puppy rub rigorously on something to get it out.

Once your puppy is allowing you to groom his head, mustache and beard, you may want to add a small topknot to the daily grooming routine.

One way to help your puppy adjust to having something in his hair is to begin with infant barrettes.  They are easier to insert and help train the hair back and out of their eyes.

A tiny bit of hair gel also trains the hair and makes it easier to manage a small band.  Using a rat-tail comb will make getting a better part in the hair, but don't use one if your puppy is still squirmy as one small miss and you could injure his eyes.   Getting the topknot right does take time.  

Read more about puppy topknots.

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