Known sometimes as the Chrysanthemum faced dog due to the facial hair growing in all directions, this study little companion dog has proud ancestry and noble beginnings. A hard to beat contender one has to appreciate that all that glamour comes from diligent and long-planned months of work. A good coat does not just “happen”. Genes do play a big role but at the end of the day, this coated breed is the result of someone’s investment into long-range planning.
Maintenance for this breed is a key issue and to keep that required double coat, luxurious and long and flowing be prepared to do the work. This is not a wash and wear breed. For those loving the discipline of grooming and able to keep to a well-planned schedule then this breed will give you lots of rewards with achievement.
There are key things to learn such as the intricacies of that top knot and many hours of practice will see this done correctly. Some countries allow more “bouffant” and contrived headpieces than others but the basics stay the same. One section into two areas with the front section running horizontally to mid skull and the rear section to a V just behind the occipital. The front section is as wide as the outer corner of the eye.
The Top knot no matter what country is an art that you need to practice and practice again. The head and expression of this breed is a hallmark so attention needs to be paid to make sure your top knot makes the best of your dog.
AS the head and expression is so very important so is care with those wonderful eyes and been able to wash the face, whiskers and head without causing any irritation. For this use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It is what the dog showing world has needed for way too long. Another one of the famous Plush Puppy products that with the latest of technology and the highest amounts of naturally sourced ingredients has developed a product that is a must! This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed for faces. It’s no tear formula with the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro-Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean, soothes, adds moisture, aids healing and anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball sized amounts directly to the face and eye area allows you to thoroughly clean without causing irritation. Can be used in and around ears also with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows easy of rinsing yet complete cleaning.
The coat is not permitted to be curly or sparse. Preparing the Shih Tzu is to recognize what help your dog needs to create that silhouette. Each shampoo has a specific propose so you the right shampoo to the right dog and or area. Plush Puppy Natural Conditioning Shampoo if the coat is dry or needs softening. Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo on sparser areas like the legs or tail. Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo for a normal coat but will give amazing shine. Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo for toning unwanted warm tones and white areas. Use all at 3:1 (3 parts water to one part shampoo). For extra whitening on stained areas use Plush Puppy Wonder Blok. This is formulated using the very latest of technology and brightens and whitens and stained areas. Wet the area and apply, leave for 10-20 minutes and rinse. For better results reapply or leave on for a longer time. This is perfect for legs, pee feathers or anywhere needing extra whitening.
After picking the right shampoo or shampoos rinse and now for conditioning. Use Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner at 5:1. Allow 5 minutes and then rinse lightly. Every so often your dogs’ coat may need a treatment to retain its texture and healthiness. For this use Plush Puppy Coat Rescue. This is an intensive treatment that rebuilds the cuticle. Mix 2 tablespoons to 250 mls of water. Apply to the coat and allow to sit for 10 mins before rinsing.
Now for the drying – use Plush Puppy Swishy Coat either on its own for the smoothing process or with Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream added. They are wonderful together or used singly. The Blow Dry Cream will flatten and soften and help the brush to slide easier. Add a tablespoon of each to 1 L of water depending on the coat texture and how much has to be done to achieve results. You can dilute or strengthen this mix as coats are individual even within their own breed and lines.
Dry with an oval Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush section by section till ¾ dry finishing the drying with the Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush. Both these are mixtures of bristle and dialon and enhance the smoothing process. Your pin brush will not smooth well enough but won’t rip the coat when wet. Small sections dried properly from root to end is the key to success.
For those that do spray up top knots use Plush Puppy HOLD is a strong sculpting spray scientifically formulated for shaping all types of coats on Show Dogs. The quick drying formulation won’t become sticky and will not build-up. HOLD can be removed with ease by simply shampooing the coat. Contains Pro Vitamin B5 to improve elasticity, moisture retention and flexibility in their coat hair. We recommend using and storing at normal room temperature for a perfect mist spray. Optimum spray distance is approximately 30cm (12 inches).
For brushing at the show or mid-week grooming use Plush Puppy OMG a revolutionary grooming spray that lives up to its name. A light spray of OMG and brushing in allows this product to refresh the coat leaving it feeling wonderful. Using OMG can be a one-off at shows or during the drying process after bathing. An amazing product for disentangling and moisturizing during regular brushing also. OMG never builds up and never goes stringy. A true necessity for the tool kit.
Trim feet removing all underneath hair and neatening the foot shape not to distort – don’t do this like an Am Cocker foot. It is just to tidy the excess and shape.
In between shows, oil. Use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil – especially important for puppies changing coat – at 1 tablespoon to 1/2 gal/2 litres water and saturate the coat. Dry thoroughly (without all the straightening attention) and band face, ears, top knot, tail if required or wrap using Plush Puppy Reviva Coat at 1 golf ball to 1 cup water in a spray bottle.
For show day you have done the long slog with the preparation of drying and have banded lightly to keep neat for the show. I freshen up with your Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush and using OMG will have your coat looking like its was just finished drying.
A light dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust onto the Anti-Static Brush and through the top layers will give hints and glints of light to the coat and finish with a light application of Plush Puppy Shine and Comb to your hands and applied down from the center part to keep down the “fluffies”. Don’t keep reapplying this – one light touch of this is all that is needed on this coat. For the flyaways on windy days and to keep static under control, use the Plush Puppy Protein Coat Balm and you can use this as much as you like. It won’t go greasy. Apply to hands and wipe down from mid lengths to ends adding extra to ends to weigh them down and hold into place.
Do not continue using your bristle brushes once the coat is dry – this just encourages the static. Use the pin brush or a metal comb. Frankly, if you have done a good and thorough job, your light touch with the pin brush ought to be enough as long as you apply the Protein Coat Balm just prior to ring time.
Now move that Shih Tzu out like a Spanish galleon with full wind in the front sail and motor around that ring showing the pads of the back feet to full advantage. This is an arrogant, proud breed. Look the part!