The Shih Tzu is a breed known for its long, luxurious double coat. And while that famous coat is beautiful, it can also be quite a job to care for and maintain.
Many dog groomers contend the best way to bathe a Shih Tzu is not to bathe him at all—but to shower him with a shower attachment. Yes, shower. The gentle pressure of a handheld shower attachment helps loose hairs to fall off, rather than tangle with the rest of his coat, as it can in a tub filled with water.
How to shower your Shih Tzu
Brush before washing: Because the Shih Tzu has long hair, it's important to brush out as many of the loose hairs as possible to prevent matting. If some hair is already matted, do your best to untangle the coat before proceeding.
Wet the coat and shampoo: With a shower attachment, thoroughly wet the coat. Use your hands to make sure that the water gets all the way down to the skin. Now, apply the shampoo, lather and make sure to work it in with your hands. If you don't want to use your hands you can use a gentle bristle brush. There are many specialty shampoos that bring out the highlights in a Shih Tzu's coat. Detangling sprays can be a huge help in removing tangles.
Conditioning: After rinsing out the shampoo, apply a conditioner. This will help prevent tangling in your Shih Tzu's long coat, and can also work to keep your Shih Tzu's coat from matting.
Drying: The best way to dry your Shih Tzu is with a towel. Simply pat him dry-but make sure he is properly dried to the skin. Another great option is to use a specially designed dryer for long-hair dogs, or a blow dryer set on cool or warm It's also smart to invest in a pin brush-they're great to use when drying your Shih Tzu.
Since showering your Shih Tzu also involves showering him with attention, grooming can become an activity your dog learns to enjoy with you. And that can make it worth every bit of effort.