As one of the most popular dogs around, Shih Tzu’s are a very recognizable breed. According to the American Kennel Club, Shih Tzu’s are ranked 20th out of 200 total breeds.
Their popularity most likely comes from their affectionate natures, how little they shed, and their ability to be trained easily.
Still, their double coats of long, humanlike hair need regular grooming. Taking your pup to a groomer for a Shih Tzu Teddy Bear cut costs $40 on average. Those numbers quickly add up, and they can get costly.
Why not opt out of taking your Shih Tzu to a professional and just groom them yourself at home instead?
General Tips for DIY Shih Tzu Grooming
Ideally, the long coat of a Shih Tzu needs to be brushed daily due to its unique nature.
When brushing their coats, it’s best to use a wire brush with flexible pins. Take care to layer the hair so that the brush reaches the skin. Regular baths every three or four weeks are also essential.
Unlike with short hair breeds, you may need a specialized conditioner for dogs to keep the hair moisturized and easier to brush.
The key to any at home dog haircutting and grooming is always persistence and patience. The more you groom your dog at home the more comfortable they will get with the process.
The Shih Tzu’s long coat can easily become unruly if it isn’t groomed and cut regularly. Shih Tzu’s have two coats, a wooly one on the beneath and a long, silky coat outside. While their coats can be elegant, they also require a lot of maintenance.
The Shih Tzu Teddy Bear Cut
Like the popular “puppy cut”, the Shih Tzu teddy bear cut is low maintenance and is considered a “standard” style for Shih Tzu grooming.
Though the puppy cut is a great summer style, all the hair is the same length, which can make your Shih Tzu look disproportionate. This is where the teddy bear cut shines as a low-maintenance alternative.
To successfully pull off a Shih Tzu Teddy Bear cut, you’ll need to focus on four different areas of your dog’s body. You’ll also need to know what tool to use to perfect your DIY Shih Tzu teddy bear cut.
Necessary Tools for the Teddy Bear Cut
- To trim a Shih Tzu’s hair, you can use clippers.
- For finer details and finishing touches, shears work best.
- Use a pair of blunted scissors when trimming the areas around the Shih Tzu’s eyelashes.
- Cotton swabs and/or q tips for cleaning the dirt and gunk from face and eye areas.
Be sure to lay your scissors while they are closed before you begin trimming any of your Shih Tzu’s facial hair to avoid damage to the eyes.
To help keep their little heads steady, you can keep a finger firmly planted atop the skull and your thumb beneath their chins. Be sure not to apply too much pressure, which could hurt the pup if they struggle.
Start your trim behind the ears and then move down to under the chin.
Neck and Chest
Usually, using ¾ inch clippers is best. Be sure to use the same size clippers on the back of the dog’s neck, going with the grain for an even cut before going against the grain to thin it out.
Ensure that your Shih Tzu’s ears are well out of the way when grooming this part of their bodies.
You want to aim for a blended, smooth finish. Avoid sharp lines, but try to achieve a neat, layered effect.
This will be the shortest part of the cut, and you’ll need a ½ inch clipper size. Cut in a downward motion towards the sides and the back.
Remember to avoid sharp lines! It’s easiest to do this by using a diagonal motion while running clippers over the Shih Tzu’s torso.
When cutting a Shih Tzu’s leg hair, you should use a 1 ¼ inch clipper. Leaving hair longer on the legs helps to keep them looking less skinny compared to the rest of their body and face.
When clipping inside the legs, you’ll want to opt for a shorter cut than the outside, as the longer length on their belly and groin area can easily become matted between grooming sessions.
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If you’re like millions of Shih Tzu owners around the world and you’re looking for an easy, DIY grooming style for your pup, without the extra cost, consider giving your dog a teddy bear cut.
The Shih Tzu teddy bear cut’s adorable resemblance to a stuffed toy is almost reason enough to try it out. As a bit plus, it’s often a hit with children, who love the sweet style.
Just like most other Shih Tzu styles, you’ll need to brush your dog’s coat regularly to avoid tangles. Regular trimming between cuts can better keep the style’s shape and make for short grooming sessions.