Pro’s to Keeping a Longer Coat
During the winter our house is kept between 66-72 degrees. Unfortunately since it’s winter our temps are in the 40’s & 50’s during the day and the evenings drop down into the 30’s & 20’s it’s nice to have the extra little layer when they are outside. I know there may be a lot of you out there thinking, ‘What? Our temps are below zero! What are you complaining about?’. Well we get that wet Tule fog, and it’s actually chilling to the bone. And though those of you who live on the east coast have access to train and compete in indoor facilities, we do not!! So the longer coat provides a little extra thermal protection to their little bodies when we are training and exercising.
Beautiful Silky Coat
There is an awkward stage when it grows out that may last just 1/4 inch, but then the coat will start becoming silky. I absolutely love the feeling of a silky coat and running my fingers through it. This is another pro for the dog as massage sessions usually start lasting a little bit longer with the silk coat.
Cons of a Long Coat
Since we give weekly baths because of Katie’s & Ise’s allergies the dry time takes a little bit longer now. I’m thinking of a new professional dryer in the near future. Something that has both a little more power, cool & warm options along with being whisper quiet.
Mats, Brushes & Combs
Normally I don’t have to worry about mats, but with longer hair means mats are more likely to occur, so I make sure to take the time and comb the hair to ensure the hair is mat free. A great comb or brush is essential in keeping the hair mat and tangle free, so that is why I invested in a Chris Christiansen brush and comb. Talk about the best brushes in the world, they are on the pricey side but believe me, my dogs love to be brushed now. I mean they always would sit and tolerate the brushing, but now they just LOOOOVVVEEE it! Currently I am using the Chris Christensen 20mm Wood Brush along with the 000 Fine/Course Buttercomb.
More Shih Tzu Grooming
If you decide to forego your grooming in the winter time like me, here are a couple of must dos:
- Sanitary cut or clip – I recommend using a pair of clips over scissors to keep your little ones nether regions nice and clean. I normally use a pair of Sunbeam Clippers that are pretty quiet so they don’t freak anyone out. They are a fixed blade clipper, but never caught the skin or caused any oppsies.
- Paw pads – remember that hair grows between the toes of the paw pads! And if you have tile/laminate flooring hair on the paws can cause a loss of traction, in turn leading to hurt knees.
- Eyes – It is important to keep eyes clear of hair and any debris. This is when I get the scissors out. I don’t recommend using short scissors since your dog can pull away and you don’t want to poke them in the eye. The most important grooming tip I can give when using scissors around the eyes is to always point the scissors down so you are making a “V” around the nose. If you are having trouble keeping your Tzus face steady, in a nice firm gentle grip hold them under the chin.
I want to thank you for being loyal readers, as you know we have a new puppy and I am venturing into the world of AKC Conformation so please don’t forget to sign up for our weekly newsletters as there will be more grooming tips and advice to come. I’m already learning a lot of what it takes to grow a show coat and how I’m applying these lessons to my non-show dogs to have beautiful coats.