How to Use Electric Clippers to Cut a Shih Tzu's Hair

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Since the hair on your shih tzu grows continually, regular grooming is required. As the pet owner, you must brush and comb your dog on a daily basis to avoid mats and snarls. When the hair starts getting too long, shaving your shih tzu will be necessary. With practice, you can feel comfortable using electric clippers to cut your shih tzu's hair. Your dog should be restrained through the grooming process for its protection and yours.

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Before you get started, select your clipper blades. The number on a blade denotes the length of the hair. The higher the number of the blade, the shorter the hair. For example, a #7 blade will give your dog a slightly shorter cut than the #5. While clipping, check your blade often to be sure it does not get hot. If it starts to get warm, spray it well with clipper cool.

Step 1: Wash and dry your dog

Begin grooming by washing your dog and rinsing well. Towel dry and blow-dry your pet. If you can get a comb through your dog's hair after the bath and drying, you are ready to start shaving your shih tzu.

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Step 2: Begin shaving the fur

Shave the private areas of your dog with a #10 blade. This includes shaving a small area around the rectum for good hygiene.

Step 3: Shave the paws and nose

Change the blade to a #30 blade. Lift each paw and shave the excess fur under your dog's pads carefully. Use your electric clippers under the eyes to the top of the nose with the same blade. Be careful not to get close to the eyes.

Step 4: Shaving your shih tzu

Choose the blade of your choice to begin the haircut. The most common blades are #7 or #5 blades. Stand behind your dog and begin shaving down the back from the neck to the base of the tail. Use gentle pressure and clip the hair in the direction of the hair growth.

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Use a sweeping movement downward on each side of your dog. Lift your dog up and carefully shave the chest and belly area. In between each shaving motion, use your brush to brush the dog's hair backward and shave again. Repeat the process until you get the desired effect all over the dog's body. The hair should all look even with no hair sticking out.

Step 5: Trim the legs

Follow the hair growth and shape of the leg to shave the hair on each leg of your shih tzu. Back brush and continue to use your electric shaver to cut the hair on the legs until no unruly hairs are visible. To back brush the hair simply means to brush backward against the growth of the hair.

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Step 6: Trim the head

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Add a snap-on comb #2 on top of the #30 blade to trim the hair on top of the head. Use it in the direction of the hair growth, and backward as well. This forms the length and shape of the top knot on your dog's head. Also, trim upwards all around the neck to the face.

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Step 7: Shape the foot fur

Scissor around each foot on your dog to make a neat-looking, spherical foot.

Step 8: Cut fur on the face

Trim around each side of the face in the shape of a half-moon. Begin to cut from behind the ear and towards the neck area. Use a comb to backcomb the fur while trimming to get an even line on both sides of the face and blended into the chin.

Step 9: Comb and trim ears

Comb each ear out and cut with scissors to the length that you wish without cutting the ear itself.

Step 10: Trim the tail

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The final step to your dog's haircut is to grab the tail at its tip and twist the fur. Hold that fur in your fingers and cut a straight line at that tip without cutting the tail itself. Hold the tip of the tail again while letting the fur hang down and trim an even line on both sides.

Things You'll Need

  • Brush

  • Comb

  • Electric dog clippers

  • Blades

  • Clipper cool

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