It is best they learn as a puppy to be groomed, but sometimes you may need to start the process again with an adult dog. For this you need to be able to get them to stand still, as well as getting them to lie on their back to groom their underside and legs.
You will find that if you ‘fiddle’ with their ears when they are young, or as soon as possible if they are adult, it will get them used to having their ears touched, thus making care of ears much easier.
The coat needs a great deal of attention if kept long as they are a double-coated breed, with a strong top coat and a soft undercoat, which has to be dealt with separately. If you find you are unable to keep them in full coat or they have already been clipped down into a ‘puppy cut’, it is possible to get this maintained by a professional groomer, who should also cut the nails and check the anal glands.
You should get into the habit of giving him or her a daily quick brush through, this will help to keep the coat in a clean condition. A weekly thorough groom is recommended.
After a grooming session have a playtime too! This means they soon become accustomed to ‘grooming-fun’ and will look forward to their daily grooming session, rather than dread it.
Do not be tempted to over-bath your Shih Tzu, as this could remove the natural oils from the coat. Conditioners do not replace the coat’s natural oils.