Shih Tzus are playful, affectionate dogs in a small package. They can make loving companions and fit right in with the family, as they do well with both children and other dogs. While they can make the perfect addition to the family, they do have a long, thin coat with extensive grooming needs, which includes a regular Shih Tzu face cut.
Preparing for the trim
Before starting a Shih Tzu haircut for the face, make sure you have everything ready, including a safe location and all of the equipment you need. Make sure you have a spot for your pup to sit while you trim her face. While you can work with her while she is sitting on the floor, because this breed is only 9 to 10.5 inches tall, it will probably be uncomfortable for you. Consider a stable table and make sure to put down a towel or mat so that your pup won't slip.
You also need a comb and scissors. The scissors should be sharp but have a blunt tip to minimize the risk of injury if your pup jerks her head while you are working. Thinning shears will also work for this task. You can complete the face cut with scissors alone, but if you and your dog are comfortable, you can also use clippers for part of the task.
Shih Tzu face cut
Bathe your dog, dry her thoroughly, and comb her hair, removing all knots and tangles. The first step is to trim the hair in the corner of her eyes. Comb her forehead hair back and use one hand to hold back the hair, gently pulling the skin to smooth out any wrinkles. Using clippers or scissors, trim the hairs from the corners of her eyes and the top of her nose. Eye discharge can accumulate in this fur, so use caution if you use clippers.
Next, trim the hair above and between her eyes. Comb the hair forward and use your blunt-nosed scissors or thinning shears to trim the fur. Start from the outside edge near the ears and trim toward the eyes. Continue trimming until the hair is the desired length. It should be short enough so that it doesn't cover or irritate your pup's eyes.
Shih Tzu face grooming tips
When working with scissors or clippers on your dog's face and around his eyes, it is important that he stays calm and still so that you don't accidentally injure him. Make sure you are grooming him in a location where he feels safe and comfortable and that is free from distraction. If he isn't used to sitting still for a trim, ask a friend to help hold him still, and if your dog is fussing or refusing to sit still, end the grooming session.
A Shih Tzu's eyes are prone to injury and irritation. Make sure that his hair is kept short enough that it doesn't fall in his eyes and cause problems. Comb the hair on his face and check and clean his eyes daily. If his hair gets too long and is falling in his eyes and he won't sit still for a trim, don't risk injury by trying to force it. Instead, tie his hair back in a topknot.
Make an appointment with a professional groomer or work with your dog to make him more comfortable with the grooming process before trying again. Practice having him sit or lay down on the table. While he is there, gently brush and handle him, offering plenty of praise for remaining calm and still.