If you own a Shih-Tzu, you know how frequently this toy breed needs to be groomed. Its long, silky coat can easily become tangled if not properly combed, brushed and clipped. Whether you choose to keep your Shih-Tzu's coat long, which is also often called full coat, or clipped short, routine trimming of the fur in key areas will keep your pet looking its best in between complete grooming. Learning how to trim your Shih-Tzu's coat will also reduce tangling of its fine, soft double-coat.
Brush your Shih-Tzu thoroughly from head to tail. Carefully remove any knotted fur by using a comb to gently release the tangles. Don't forget to brush the dog's belly, tail and legs.
Look at your Shih-Tzu's coat to determine where it needs to be trimmed. If you step back and take a close look after you have brushed your dog's coat, you will be able to see any areas that are too long or uneven.
Begin trimming areas of your Shih-Tzu's coat, starting in sections that do not stress your dog. For example, if your dog is very nervous, you might not want to start at its face. Being able to see what you are doing may cause your dog to stress even more. If you start at the tail, your pet will see that you are not going to harm it by the time you get to its face.
Trim your Shih-Tzu's 's tail according to how long you want the fur on it to be. Some owners like the tail to have flowing fur, but it is up to your personal taste.
Cut the fur on your pet's mid-section. If you Shih-Tzu will hold still, you can simply move along with the scissors as your dog stands so you can clearly see areas that need trimming. However, if you dog is constantly in motion, try taking a strand of fur at a time between your fingers and cut it to the desired length.
Work down your pet's legs, trimming the fur as you keep in brushed in a downward pattern. As you trim around its paws, remove any excess fur from between your Shih-Tzu's toe pads.
Complete the trimming process by trimming the fur around your Shih-Tzu's ears, eyes and mouth. Brush the back away from the face and eyes, and carefully trim it as much as possible so the fur does not get into your pet's eyes and mouth. Trim any excess fur from the underside of your dog's ears.
Brush your Shih-Tzu thoroughly once you have completed trimming it to remove any loose fur. Repeat the trimming process every few months or as necessary depending on how often you thoroughly groom your pet.