Shih Tzu Grooming Is Art, Skill, Trade And A Profession

By: Connie Limon


Shih Tzu grooming can be compared to human beauty culture because it is the beautification of the Shih Tzu breed. The art of Shih Tzu grooming is aimed at creating a reasonable facsimile of a normal specimen of the Shih Tzu breed. The attendance of Shih Tzu American Kennel Club dog shows is an excellent place to observe first hand the best specimens of the Shih Tzu breed.

There are basic steps applicable to grooming the Shih Tzu as well as all breeds of dogs. Anyone interested in becoming a complete dog grooming artist, should know how to make all breeds beautiful. A Shih Tzu grooming artist professional should know how best to enhance the appearance of each breed of dog. However, if the Shih Tzu is your favorite breed, one can become known as an “expert” in grooming the Shih Tzu.

A professional Shih Tzu groomer understands that certain breeds, like Poodles, most Terriers and Spaniels, and the Shih Tzu require far more time and skill to groom than smooth-haired breeds, in which only a knowledge of the fundamentals is required.

History of dog grooming:
The dog, including the Shih Tzu, has been the closest animal to the human family. Grooming dogs was the fashion of the aristocracy during the 19th Century. The art flourished during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI of France. The Poodle, however, and not the Shih Tzu, was the favorite breed. Grooming was largely confined to the Poodle. The first recorded grooming parlors were established in France about this same time.

The Shih Tzu has become so much an integral part of the family that going to the canine beautician is as much a ritual for the family Shih Tzu as going to the hairdresser is for the lady of the house. Shih Tzu and dog styling in general has also become so professional and sophisticated that Shih Tzu owners have become as selective about their Shih Tzu’s groomer as they are about their own hair stylist.

Origin of the clips:
Since the art of dog grooming flourished during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI of France and the Poodle, instead of our beloved Shih Tzu, was the favorite breed in France, the Poodle breed became known as the French Poodle. The first Poodles were water dogs and retrievers. The clip most suitable to them resembled what is known today as the “Continental clip.” A mane of hair was left on the foreparts while the back and hindquarters were shaven. This clip made the Poodle resemble a lion, and therefore the clip became known in England as the “Lion clip.”

The American fancy made some variations in the “Lion clip” and began to call it the “Saddle clip.” The English Saddle clip calls for the greatest skill in the art of dog grooming.

It is not clear from historical records just when the “pet clips” originated. Often now we hear of a “Puppy Cut” for our Shih Tzu, which is a very popular style for a family pet Shih Tzu. However, for the show ring, there is much, much more to grooming our beloved Shih Tzu.

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Connie Limon is a shih tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at: www.stainglassshihtzus.com

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