All Things Dog

The Shih Tzu: Hair Here!

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The very name Shih Tzu conjures up images of long, flowing, silky hair. Chances are that’s the picture you had in mind when you first fell in love with this breed. It may have been the show-stopping look of a well-groomed Shih Tzu’s hair—and the coat is hair, not fur—or the fact that these dogs don’t shed and are a good choice for people with allergies. Whatever it was that attracted you to this breed, it probably had something to do with its coat.

The long and short of long hair

Your Shih Tzu may be everything you desire—a dog of exceptional beauty, refinement, and smooth-flowing elegance. If this is the case, you probably consider the grooming time you spend with your pet to be “quality time.”

However, you may be one of the Shih Tzu owners who love their dogs—but have grown to dislike the time-consuming grooming ritual. If you fall into this category, there are a few things to consider that could help you come to grips with your less-than-enthusiastic feelings about grooming.

First: Does your Shih Tzu really need a very long coat? If you don’t have a lot of time to constantly groom your dog, you may want to consider giving your Shih Tzu a short haircut. Though it will still require regular grooming to keep your pet looking and feeling nice, you may find that it takes less time and effort to maintain a short haircut.

Ask yourself this: Does your Shih Tzu absolutely, positively need to look like a Westminster Best of Breed winner? Chances are, the answer is no. Remember, your Shih Tzu can still look beautiful even if it’s not up to the ultra-high standards show dogs must meet. With regular and conscientious grooming—including daily brushing— your Shih Tzu can still be the beauty queen of the dog park.

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