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I wouldn't say that I'm extremely experienced in grooming. I've do give my dogs their hair cuts and take care of their coats but really, trimming my two shih-tzus' coats can be very difficult. They both lick all over one of them and so her coat becomes hard to groom (not to mention she has a curly/wavy coat). Many times mats (sp?) will appear and it makes it even more difficult when time comes to cut their hair. I admit I've accidentally pinched their skin before (thankfully it isn't ever anything bad) but that one mistake will keep me from grooming them until I regain confidence that I won't hurt them. My parents don't see any need to send them to a professional because they think I am capable. I sometimes use our cheap shaver but have found it easier (but longer) with a pair of scissors (sp?).

Excuse my misspellings xD Any advice/tips/tricks for me? Much appreciated! Thanks!
 

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Hello DustyVinci:

I think it's great that you want to groom your shih tzus at home. My favorite dog is the shih tzu so I hope my advice can help a little. This is only my opinion though.

I think you can use the scissors to cut their hair, as long as you cut in the direction of the hair growth and make sure the coat is completely combed through and CLEAN. If you blow dry the hair straight (after a good bath) with a slicker brush you will get it smoother looking. A stand drier and a grooming table with noose will make things a lot easier since you will have one hand free for brushing and one hand free for holding the dog. You can use a table and the dogs leash and collar if you want. It really will make it easier for you if the dog is at your level on a table. I find getting the coat nice and straight and thoroughly combed through will make the hair cut look a lot better. I suggest using a #30 clipper blade on the pads of the feet and to make sure you get into the pads since shih tzus matt easily there. Also to shave the groin tummy and bum with a #10 blade and to go in the direction of the hair growth. If you get a clip on comb and use it on your clipper for the body and legs of the doggy it will be A LOT easier than just scissoring, but you will still need to scissor a little to tidy up.

I groom on average 3 shih tzus or crosses a day and I own one too and this is only my opinion on at home grooming. I encourage anyone to groom their dog on their own.

I suggest you go into a grooming salon and ask for ONLY a face and feet trim on your dog and ask to watch. Let them know before you come in that you intend on watching how it's done so you can do it at home. This way you know the steps and you will see how a professional does it, plus a face and feet trim should be fairly cheap since it only takes the groomer 10 minutes or so.

I hope this kind of helps :D
 
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