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A Shih-poo is a cross between a miniature poodle and a Shih-Tzu. Often referred to as a designer dog, the Shih-poo is a small companion animal, weighing about seven to 20 pounds and possessing the best characteristics of both breeds. A Shih-poo has hair instead of fur, which means less shedding, but also requires regular maintenance to keep the coat healthy. There are many grooming ideas for ways to clip your Shih-poo's hair.
Get acquainted with the basics
Depending on the dominant gene, the Shih-poo's hair may be straight or curly. Regardless of the hair type, the Shih-poo requires regular brushing to prevent painful matting and tangles and also needs regular trips to the groomer.
Use a combination of grooming tools to keep your dog's coat in top condition. Grooming kits such as CHI Small Dog Detangling Kit contain everything you need, including three brushes designed for detangling, removing debris, and bringing a lustrous shine to the topcoat. The kit even contains detangling spray to loosen knots and add shine to your Shih-poo'scoat.
Banish the tears
Tearing is a common problem in poodle mixes, in which the dog will develop reddish-brown stains beneath the eyes. To prevent these stains, clean beneath your dog's eyes regularly with disposable eye wipes such as Angels' Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs. Add a tear stain preventive supplement that uses natural ingredients like cranberry and marshmallow root such as VetClassics Tear Stain Soft Chews.
The Shih-poo is also subject to ear infections due to long hair that grows continually inside their ear canal. That hair collects ear wax, moisture, and debris that produce the perfect climate for bacteria to flourish. If you take your dog to the groomer every 6 to 8 weeks, she'll remove the extra hair. Otherwise, you'll need to do this yourself.
Wipe away debris and earwax from the underside of your dog's ears using Earthbath Pet Ear Wipes or a similar product. Cleanse and soothe the ear canal with a product such as Burt's Bees Relieving Dog Ear Rinse that uses pH-balanced ingredients like chamomile and rosemary. If you decide to pluck your dog's ear hair yourself, use blunt-nosed forceps — not a regular tweezer that can have sharp edges that can injure your dog.
Cleanliness for all seasons
The Shih-poo does not have a high tolerance for temperature extremes. Keeping this in mind, clip your Shih-poo's hair short in the summer, and let the hair grow longer in the winter. There is also an issue of cleanliness which is directly tied to your Shih-poo's hair length. To prevent dirt, urine, and fecal matter from soiling your dog's coat, keep his belly, hindquarters, and genital areas shaved or clipped short. Short hair in these areas is hygienic and better for the dog.
Winter poodle puppy clip
Because the Shih-poo is a small dog, and a member of the poodle family, the poodle puppy clip is one of the best clips for a Shih-poo in the winter. If you choose the poodle puppy clip, the groomer will shave the hair around the face, neck, feet, and base of the tail. The rest of the coat is left at a longer length. Traditionally, the groomer will leave a tuft of fur, also known as a pom-pom at the end of the tail. However, you can advise your groomer to shave the entire tail if your Shih-poo has straight hair.
Summertime lamb clip
The lamb clip is the best cut for a Shih-poo during the summer months. For this cut, the groomer will shave the dog's back, hindquarters, neck, and stomach down to 1/4 inch. The rest of the dog is clipped with scissors so the remaining hair is short and clean. You can also talk to your groomer about adjusting the length of this cut so your Shih-poo can wear the lamb clip through the spring and fall months.
Experiment with creative clips
There is no end to the creativity that you and your groomer can have when trimming your Shih-poo's hair. A creative cut is one that does not follow any traditional pattern. As long as you follow the important guidelines for cleanliness and seasonal length, you can get as creative as you'd like. The most important thing is that your Shih-poo is happy and comfortable.