Shih-poo Grooming

Adopting a Shih-poo is not an impulsive action; they are high-maintenance companions that need daily grooming. Daily brushing — preferably with particular brushes such as a pin brush with tiny rubber tips (to avoid scratching the skin) — a bath at least once a month and a trip to the groomer for clipping a few times a year are the absolute minimal grooming requirements. It is best to start brushing when they are puppies so they become used to the daily regimen.

Don't feel overwhelmed by the many grooming responsibilities required to keep your Shih-poo happy, healthy and looking great. This page has a lot of advice on how best to do all that and much more!

Shih-poo Coat Care

Shih-poo grooming is extremely important due to this hybrid's coat being constantly growing. As it is hair and not fur, there is very little shedding — which has pros and cons. One "pro" is that the lack of shedding means very little dander gets carried into the air to aggravate allergies, but that "pro" comes with a "con": the coat needs daily brushing and frequent trimming to prevent matting, accumulation of debris and to prevent other problems. It is strongly recommended that you allow a professional groomer to trim your Shih-poo so as to not injure him; even small nicks can become easily infected and as they are hidden by the hair, can become serious health risks. Bathing your Shih-poo is something that should be done every 3-4 weeks, and you should use gentle shampoos that are specially made for Shih Tzus (the more delicate of the two parent breeds) so that the coat is left silky, soft and intact. Unlike most dogs, Shih-poos need to be handled very delicately when bathing, and there are many areas that must be attended so as to prevent problems. As with trimming, it may be best to have a professional perform this task.

Shih-poo Styling & Haircuts

Your Shih-poo's coat requires a lot of care, and it should show it! There are many styles of Shih-poo haircuts as well as the option to modify one of the popular styles or even create your own. The three things to keep in mind when styling your Shih-poo's coat are her health, her happiness and the season.

Shih-poos don't have a high tolerance for extreme weather, and even temperatures that seem merely uncomfortable to us can seem extreme to your Shih-poo. As such, short cuts are best for summer cuts, and for winter it's best for the torso to have somewhat long hair.

The puppy clip is the most common cut, and in particular is the Poodle puppy clip: the hair around the face, feet, neck and tail's base is shaved. The torso is left a bit longer (the length can depend on the climate and season, of course) and the tail is either shaved clean or left with a tuft of hair called a pom-pom. (If your Shih-poo has straight hair, a pom-pom is not recommended.)

There is a lamb clip that is best for the hot summer months, too. This is when the entire coat is clipped down to about a quarter-inch all over.

Of course, you can get creative and perhaps have a bit of a Schnauzer cut (where the legs and belly are left long, and the head and face are made box-like while the top is shaved), or the lion cut (where the head is made to look huge), or the teddy bear cut (for maximum cuteness!) or any combination that is clean, safe and cut for your Shih-poo!

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