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Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is sometimes known as the Chrysanthemum faced dog due to the facial hair growing in all directions, this study little companion dog has proud ancestry and noble beginnings. A hard to beat contender one has to appreciate that all that glamour comes from diligent and long-planned months of work. A good coat does not just “happen”. Genes do play a big role but at the end of the day, this coated breed is the result of someone’s investment into long-range planning.

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The Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is sometimes known as the Chrysanthemum faced dog due to the facial hair growing in all directions, this study little companion dog has proud ancestry and noble beginnings. A hard to beat contender one has to appreciate that all that glamour comes from diligent and long-planned months of work. A good coat does not just “happen”. Genes do play a big role but at the end of the day, this coated breed is the result of someone’s investment into long-range planning.

Maintenance for the Shih Tzu is a key issue and to keep that required double coat, luxurious and long and flowing be prepared to do the work. This is not a wash and wear breed. For those loving the discipline of grooming and able to keep to a well-planned schedule then this breed will give you lots of rewards with achievement.

There are key things to learn such as the intricacies of that top knot and many hours of practice will see this done correctly. Some countries allow more “bouffant” and contrived headpieces than others but the basics stay the same. One section into two areas with the front section running horizontally to mid skull and the rear section to a V just behind the occipital. The front section is as wide as the outer corner of the eye.

The Top knot no matter what country is an art that you need to practice and practice again. The head and expression of this breed is a hallmark so attention needs to be paid to make sure your top knot makes the best of your dog.

As the head and expression is so very important with the Shih Tzu, so is care with those wonderful eyes and been able to wash the face, whiskers and head without causing any irritation. For this use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It. This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed just for faces. It’s no tear formula features the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean, soothe, add moisture, aid healing and have anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball sized amounts directly to the face and eye area allows you to thoroughly clean without causing irritation. It can also be used in and around the ears with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows ease of rinsing, yet complete cleaning.

The Shih Tzu coat is not permitted to be curly or sparse. Preparing the Shih Tzu is to recognise what help your dog needs to create that silhouette. Each shampoo has a specific purpose so you need to use the right shampoo in the right area of the coat.  

Use all of the following shampoos at a dilution rate of 1:3 (1 part water to 3 parts shampoo).

If the coat is dry or needs softening use Plush Puppy Natural Conditioning Shampoo. This is a nourishing shampoo, helping to increase hydration while slightly softening your dog’s coat. Derived from organic sources with a strong emphasis on Evening Primrose extracts to boost skin and hair regeneration.

Use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo on sparser areas like the legs or tail. This shampoo does have enormous lift and a bodifying effect to the coat without an artificial feel plus it is wonderful for the coat as it is primarily naturally derived and infused with beneficial plant extracts.

For the most amazing shine use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo on a normal coat. We call this the ‘Shine’ shampoo as it features natural Henna stalk extracts that impart a beautiful gloss and shine to your dog’s coat. All Purpose Shampoo is primarily derived from organic sources and also features Alpine and Lichen herbs.  It is wonderful to use on normal to slightly dehydrated coats.

For any colours that are faded or for toning unwanted warm tones and white areas use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo. This will not lighten or bleach whites, but instead tone with optical brighteners. This is the same for darker colours as it reduces any warm tones hence intensifying the depth of colour.  It works brilliantly in reducing yellowing or warm tones in white coats or white area of the coat without bleaching or lightening. Herbal Whitening Shampoo is primarily derived from organic sources with Ginseng extracts, protein, and violet tone combined in a concentrated and rich formula.

Another clever stain reducing product is Plush Puppy Wonder Blok. It helps to maintain a white stain free coat. It is not a bleach and contains no harmful chemicals but high amounts of naturally sourced vegetable surfactants and glycerin. This product is designed to remove gently unwanted warm or red tones to the coat. Best used on a damp or wet coat. Gently rub into the areas required allowing 5-10 minutes and rinse. For maximum effects repeat or allow a longer time for this amazing product to work. As with all products take care around eyes.

Ensuring you select the correct shampoos for your coat requirements is a great start to a brilliant coat.  All of the shampoos are outcome orientated and do what they are suppose to do.

Use Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner diluted at 1:5 (1 part conditioner to 5 parts water). Leave for 5 minutes and then rinse lightly.

Every so often your dogs coat may need a treatment to retain its texture and healthiness. For this use Plush Puppy Coat Rescue. This is an intensive treatment that rebuilds the cuticle. Mix 2 tablespoons to 250mls of water. Apply to the coat and allow to sit for 10 mins before rinsing.

Use Plush Puppy Swishy Coat either on its own for the smoothing process, or with Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream added. They are wonderful together or used on their own. The Blow Dry Cream will flatten and soften and help the brush to slide easier. Add a tablespoon of each to 1 Litre of water depending on the coat texture and how much has to be done to achieve results. You can dilute or strengthen this mix as coats are individual even within their own breed and lines.

Dry with an oval Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush section by section till ¾ dry finishing the drying with the Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush. Both these are mixtures of bristle and dialon and enhance the smoothing process. Your pin brush will not smooth well enough but won’t rip the coat when wet. Small sections dried properly from root to end is the key to success.

Finish with a Plush Puppy Professional Grooming Comb, built for absolute ergonomic comfort in various sizes. The lightweight oval shaped spine combining fine and coarse pins made of hardened stainless steel with anodic oxide finish that reduces drag and static to the coat. Perfect for use for this breed of dog.

At times due to various reasons including the weather static electricity can create flyaways. If this occurs use Plush Puppy Anti-Static Coat Control. This is a lightweight spray using the latest technology is infused with organic extracts of Witch Hazel Leaf, Linden Flower, Birch Bark and Nettle. It also adds to the protection, include a UV filter to stop sun damage and protect against heat strength for the perfect finished look of the coat. This amazing product is idea for this breed and a must for your tack box.

For those that do spray up the top knots use Plush Puppy HOLD. This is a strong sculpting spray scientifically formulated for shaping all types of coats on Show Dogs. The quick drying formulation won’t become sticky and will not build-up. HOLD can be removed with ease by simply shampooing the coat. Contains Pro Vitamin B5 to improve elasticity, moisture retention and flexibility in their coat hair. We recommend using and storing at normal room temperature for a perfect mist spray. Optimum spray distance is approximately 30cm (12 inches).

For brushing at the show or mid-week grooming use Plush Puppy OMG a revolutionary grooming spray that lives up to its name. A light spray of OMG and brushing in allows this product to refresh the coat leaving it feeling wonderful. Using OMG can be a one-off at shows or during the drying process after bathing. An amazing product for disentangling and moisturising during regular brushing also. OMG never builds up and never goes stringy. A true necessity for the tool kit.

Trim feet removing all underneath hair and neatening the foot shape not to distort – don’t do this like an Am Cocker foot. It is just to tidy the excess and shape.

In between shows, oil. Use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil – especially important for puppies changing coat – at 1 tablespoon to 1/2 gal/2 litres water and saturate the coat. Dry thoroughly (without all the straightening attention) and band face, ears, top knot, tail if required or wrap using Plush Puppy Reviva Coat at 1 golfball to 1 cup water in a spray bottle.

For show day you have done the long slog with the preparation of drying and have banded lightly to keep neat for the show. I freshen up with your Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush and using OMG will have your coat looking like its was just finished drying.

A light dusting of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust onto the Anti-Static Brush and through the top layers will give hints and glints of light to the coat and finish with a light application of Plush Puppy Shine and Comb to your hands and applied down from the centre part to keep down the “fluffies”. Don’t keep reapplying this – one light touch of this is all that is needed on this coat. For the flyaways on windy days and to keep static under control, use the Plush Puppy Protein Coat Balm and you can use this as much as you like. It won’t go greasy. Apply to hands and wipe down from mid lengths to ends adding extra to ends to weigh them down and hold into place.

Do not continue using your bristle brushes once the coat is dry – this just encourages the static. Use the pin brush or a metal comb. Frankly, if you have done a good and thorough job, your light touch with the pin brush ought to be enough as long as you apply the Protein Coat Balm just prior to ring time.

Now move that Shih Tzu out like a Spanish galleon with full wind in the front sail and motor around that ring showing the pads of the back feet to full advantage. This is an arrogant, proud breed. Look the part!

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