Shih Tzus are very playful and friendly lapdogs who are adaptable, fun-loving, and make great companions. But the feature that probably makes them stand out the most is their long, beautiful coat.

Unfortunately, those luxurious locks can get really tangled and matted if not cared for properly. A Shih Tzu’s coat requires frequent grooming to keep their long, lustrous hair silky, shiny, and mat-free.

Brushing stimulates your dog’s natural oils and removes dirt, dead skin, and loose fur. Not to mention, it can be a great bonding experience for you and your pet.

You need a brush that’s comfortable and effective, but with all the different types of brushes and combs out there, it’s hard to decide. We’ve narrowed down your options into this comprehensive list to help you choose the best grooming tools for your Shih Tzu.

 

5 Tips for Brushing Your Shih Tzu

Keeping your Shih Tzu’s coat gorgeous and shiny doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require the right tools, techniques, and maintenance. Here are our tips for beautiful, mat-free locks.

  1. Frequency: Shih Tzus need to be brushed every two to three days or at least once a week at minimum. If your Shih Tzu has a longer coat, they may even need daily brushing. Adult Shih Tzus have a long double coat, which can be prone to tangles and matting if they’re not brushed regularly.
  2. Training: Training your Shih Tzu to stand, sit, or lay down during brushing sessions will make it easier to keep up with their long coats. If possible, start training them at a young age to stand or sit on a counter or grooming table that’s at a comfortable height for you. Start with short sessions and plenty of petting and praise.
  3. The Right Tools: It’s essential to use the right tools for caring for your Shih Tzu’s coat. It will also make your job so much easier. Make sure you purchase quality brushes and combs that will stand up to frequent use. Choose pin brushes, slickers, and combs with comfortable handles to avoid fatigue in your hands.
  4. Conditioning Spray: Detangling conditioning sprays can help get stubborn knots out of your dog’s long coat and keep it shiny and silky. You can use a light mist of conditioning spray over the entire coat each time you brush and spray a little extra before attempting to tackle any matted areas.
  5. Small Sections: Work your way through your dog’s coat in small sections, so you don’t miss any knots or matted fur. While working with each small section, be sure to brush the long hair in both directions, so the brush reaches the undercoat and not just the hair’s surface. Take special care in more knot-prone areas and make sure you brush all the way down to the skin.

Caring for Your Shih Tzu’s Coat

Shih Tzus are a double-coated breed with a dense outer guard coat and a soft undercoat. Puppies are born with just a single outer coat and usually grow their inner coat at about eight to nine months old. Shih Tzus are easy to brush as puppies because their coats are shorter and easier to get through. But most puppies can be squirmy and will have to be trained to get used to brushing.

Brushing can be a good bonding experience and enjoyable for your puppy. You can sit with them and cuddle while you brush them, so they feel comfortable and safe. Because of their long, dense fur, Shih Tzus can be prone to matting if their hair isn’t taken care of. And matting isn’t just a cosmetic problem.

It can cause pulling on the dog’s skin and lead to irritation. Large mats can also reduce air circulation to sensitive skin and lead to infection, so frequent brushing is necessary when caring for your Shih Tzu.

There are many different types of dog brushes for grooming every breed of dog with every coat type. These five brush types we’ve included are the most popular and effective for grooming Shih Tzus.

  1. Combs: Dog grooming combs work best for working through light knots throughout the coat and removing loose strands of fur. They’re a great finishing tool when styling your Shih Tzu’s hair.
  2. Pin Brush: Pin brushes are what you likely think of when you imagine a regular hairbrush. They typically have wire bristles with pins on the ends to protect sensitive skin. Pin brushes remove loose fur while stimulating oil production in the skin.
  3. Bristle Brush: Bristle brushes are a soft brush type and are excellent at massaging the skin and smoothing long hair. They grip loose fur but won’t be very effective at getting rid of existing mats.
  4. Slicker Brush: Slicker brushes are great for dogs with long hair and dense undercoats. They have bent metal bristles to grab hold of loose fur from the undercoat, and they are effective at working through matted fur.
  5. Dematters: Dematting tools have sharp teeth with rounded ends to break up matted fur so you can comb through it easily without cutting your dog’s long locks.

Best Dog Brushes for Shih Tzus

FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush

  • Reduces up to 90% of shedding
  • Curved edge conforms to pet
  • Price: $$

Safari De-Matting Dog Comb

  • Cuts through mats without pulling
  • Rounded ends for safety
  • Price: $

Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush

  • Two sides for multiple uses
  • Nylon bristles for softness and shine
  • Price: $

JW Pet Gripsoft Bristle Brush

  • Great as a finishing tool
  • Non-slip ergonomic handle
  • Price: $

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

  • Automatic retraction button for cleaning
  • Removes mats and tangles
  • Price: $$

ConairPRO Pet-It Dog Metal Pin Brush

  • Handle-free brush mimics petting
  • Perfect for daily use
  • Price: $

JW Pet Gripsoft Fine Tooth Comb

  • Removes tangles on fine-textured coats
  • Great for legs and tails
  • Price: $

FURminator Firm Slicker Brush For Dogs

Key Benefits:

  • Removes mats and detangles without pulling
  • Dual head reduces pressure on the skin
  • Intended for pets with long fur
  • The finishing side promotes shine

The FURminator Firm Slicker Brush has bristles on both sides for getting mats and knots out with ease and then finishing your Shih Tzu’s style. One side has bent bristles for gripping into stubborn knots and loosening them from the inside, and the other has straight bristles for smoothing out your dog’s fur after grooming.

This brush also has a flexible dual-head design that enables the brush to conform to your dog’s natural body contour, which gets it closer to the tangles’ roots and pulls less on the skin. The ergonomic cushioned handle allows for a tight grip on the brush for more control and puts less pressure on your hands. This slicker brush is also made with antimicrobial materials to cut down on bacteria.

Pros:

  • Straight and bent bristles in one
  • Antimicrobial plastic
  • Small or large options
  • High-quality and affordable

Cons:

  • Not intended for Shih Tzus with short hair

Hartz Groomer’s Best Slicker Brush

Key Benefits:

  • Extra fine bristles remove loose fur from the undercoat
  • Gentle enough for everyday use
  • Coated bristle tips to protect sensitive skin
  • Ergonomic handle for grip and comfort

The Hartz Groomer’s Best Slicker Brush is the perfect grooming tool for daily use on your Shih Tzu’s coat. With daily brushing, you can prevent knots and matted fur before they happen. This brush has fine bristles with coated tips to glide gently through fur and provide a gentle massage to the skin.

The thin bristles promote and distribute your pet’s natural oils for a shinier coat. This brush is compact and sleek, so you can easily bring it with you wherever you go with your pet. This highly-affordable slicker brush features an ergonomic handle for comfortable daily brushing and is ideal for smaller dogs with any hair length.

Pros:

  • Slip-resistant ergonomic handle
  • Great for sensitive areas like tummy and neck
  • Perfect for daily grooming
  • Great for all hair lengths

Cons:

  • Bristles can be a bit stiff.

FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush

Key Benefits:

  • Gets deep beneath topcoat to remove loose fur from the undercoat
  • Curved edge to conform to pet’s body
  • Comfortable ergonomic handle
  • Reduces shedding by up to 90%

The FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush is designed specifically for double-coated breeds with long hair, and it works great for managing shedding in Shih Tzu pups. This brush features a stainless steel edge with fine teeth to grip and remove loose fur from undercoats without pinching or hurting your pet’s skin.

The stainless steel edge curves to conform to your pet’s body to get all loose hair off your dog with no excessive pulling of the skin. The built-in skin guard is an added safety feature to protect your pet further. The comfortable ergonomic handle gives you control and lessens fatigue in the hands when de-shedding, and regular use of this brush can reduce shedding by up to 90%.

Pros:

  • Three available sizes
  • Available for short and long hair dogs
  • Fine stainless steel teeth to remove undercoat fur
  • Skin guard to protect your dog’s skin

Cons:

  • Brush fills up quickly.

Safari De-Matting Dog Comb

Key Benefits:

  • Gently loosens matted fur and knots
  • Rust-resistant stainless steel serrated blades
  • Rounded edges for safety
  • Comfortable anti-slip grip handle

The Safari De-Matting Dog Comb is a must-have for pet parents who spend hours picking at matted fur on their Shih Tzus. This comb features a stainless steel detangling rake with serrated blades to gently loosen matted fur and knots from your pet’s coat. These powerful blades have rounded edges to protect your dog’s sensitive skin and come with a cover when it’s not in use.

The rounded edges provide a gentle massage as you work your way through any knots or mats with ease. The handle features a comfortable anti-slip grip handle for a pain-free experience for you as well. The blades are easily reversed for both right and left-handed users so that anyone can enjoy the benefits of easily de-matting.

Pros:

  • Loosens mats and knots easily without ripping
  • Comes with cover for blades
  • Reasonable price
  • The blade is reversible for right and left-handed users

Cons:

  • Not intended for short-haired dogs

5 More Shih Tzu Brushes

Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush

The Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush features dual-action specialized sides for two types of grooming. One side uses stainless steel bristles to grab and remove loose fur and release knots, and the other features nylon bristles to smooth hair and distribute natural skin oils throughout the coat for shine and silkiness.

JW Pet Gripsoft Bristle Brush

The JW Pet Gripsoft Bristle Brush features soft bristles to gently loosen tangles and remove loose hair throughout your pet’s coat. This brush is ideal for sensitive areas around the face, neck, and tummy, and works well as a finishing step in your grooming process. The Gripsoft technology in the handle provides non-slip grips for comfort and control.

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is gentle and effective at loosening knots and tangles from the undercoat with its slightly curved bristles that penetrate deep beneath the surface of the fur. The shape of the bristles also helps to remove loose fur within the coat to prevent matting. Once you’re done grooming, simply press the automatic retraction button, and the fur falls into the trash.

ConairPRO Pet-It Dog Metal Pin Brush

The ConairPRO Pet-It Dog Metal Pin Brush is a handle-less brush that feels more like affectionate petting to your pet than being brushed. It’s an excellent choice for those pets who run at the sight of the brush. This brush features stainless steel pin bristles that reach deep into the undercoat for effective knot-removal. This brush is perfect for daily brushing and as a bonding experience.

JW Pet Gripsoft Fine Tooth Comb

The JW Pet Gripsoft Fine Tooth Comb is a fine-tooth comb that works great for detangling feathers on the legs and smoothing tails. This comb features Gripsoft technology with a rubber-sheathed handle that fits naturally in hand for added comfort and control while detangling and breaking up matted fur. This comb is perfect as a final step in the grooming process and distributing conditioning spray into your Shih Tzu’s coat for shiny and luxurious locks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I bathe my Shih Tzu?

Baths are vital for skin and coat health. You should bathe your Shih Tzu about every three weeks to remove accumulated dead skin and body oil in most situations. More frequent baths can dry out the skin and strip necessary body oils. If a pet has skin issues that require medication, pets can be bathed more often during treatment. Shih Tzus often have sensitive skin, so use a dog shampoo that’s gentle for sensitive skin and follow up with appropriate conditioner.

How much does a Shih Tzu shed?

Shih Tzus are considered to be low-shedding and hypoallergenic dogs, but they do still shed. Because Shih Tzus are double-coated, the long hair they shed tends to get caught in their coats. You likely won’t see much hair on your furniture or fur from Shih Tzus. This fact is also why you’ll have to be vigilant about preventing matted fur and knots. Loose hair that stays caught in the coat can easily create knots.

How do I train my Shih Tzu to sit still during grooming?

It’s best to get your dog used to grooming from an early age, if possible. To get your dog used to grooming and even teach them to love it, you can use a few techniques. Incorporate treats into your grooming sessions and give lots of love and encouragement. Train your dog to sit, stand, and lay down on command, and provide plenty of opportunity to practice away from grooming. Try using a leash during grooming so you can have your hands free while getting out knots.

Conclusion

Grooming is essential for preventing mats, tangles, shedding, and skin discomfort. A high-quality brush is a small investment to make for a healthy and happy pet. You may need more than one type of brush for grooming your Shih Tzu, so feel free to mix and match your options to keep your pet’s coat silky and shiny.

All the brushes on our list are high-quality and make it easy to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat healthy. If you’re still unsure which option to go with, we highly recommend our top pick from the list: the FURminator Firm Slicker Brush.

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