2023 How To Trim A Shih Tzu Face: Expert Tips

Ready for a grooming session? Unravel tips and tricks on how to trim a shih tzu face to keep them looking their adorable best.


Shih Tzu dogs are known for their long and luxurious hair, including the hair on their faces. While this can make them look adorable, if not properly maintained it can cause discomfort and even health problems for the dog. That’s why it’s important to regularly groom your Shih Tzu’s face. Grooming a Shih Tzu’s face involves trimming and shaping the facial hair around the eyes, ears, muzzle, and topknot. These areas can easily trap dirt, debris, and moisture which can lead to matting and skin irritation. Proper grooming helps prevent these issues while maintaining your dog’s appearance.

The Importance of Grooming a Shih Tzu’s Face

Facial hair is one of the most prominent features of a Shih Tzu’s appearance. A well-groomed face is not only aesthetically pleasing but also essential for maintaining your pet’s health. Grooming your dog’s facial hair removes any debris or irritating materials that may be stuck in their fur which could cause skin infections or other complications. Additionally, leaving long facial hair unattended can obstruct your pet’s vision leading to eye irritations or even blindness if left unchecked for too long. Preventing matting in this area will ensure that they don’t suffer from any unnecessary discomforts caused by heavy mats pulling on sensitive areas like their ears.

An Overview of the Grooming Process

The process of grooming a Shih Tzu’s face involves several steps including bathing, drying, brushing and combing before trimming begins. You want to make sure that you’ve cleared away any tangles or knots in their fur so that when you begin cutting it will be easier to work with. After prepping the coat comes trimming which requires using clippers and scissors to cut away excess growth around sensitive areas like the eyes and mouth. Any finishing touches can be added with scissors to ensure the final result looks neat and polished. Overall, grooming your Shih Tzu’s facial hair is an essential task in maintaining their health and appearance. In this guide, we will take you through the process step-by-step so that you can confidently groom your Shih Tzu at home and keep them looking their best.

Tools Needed for Grooming


One of the most essential tools you’ll need to groom a Shih Tzu’s face is a pair of clippers. Clippers are used to trim the hair short, making it easier to work with and style. When purchasing clippers, look for ones specifically designed for pet grooming as they will have features such as adjustable blades and quiet operation that will make the grooming process smoother for both you and your pet. Choose clippers that fit comfortably in your hand; this will make maneuvering them around your pet’s face much easier. Remember to use clipper oil on the blades before and after each use to keep them clean and lubricated.


While clippers are great for removing long hair, scissors are necessary for trimming smaller areas precisely. A straight pair of scissors is perfect for cutting across straight lines, such as those around the eyes or mouth, while curved scissors help create more natural-looking cuts that follow the curves of your pet’s face. Be sure to choose high-quality scissors with sharp blades that can cut through thick hair without bending or pulling it.

Comb and Brush

A comb and brush set is another important tool you’ll need when grooming a Shih Tzu’s face. A comb helps detangle knots in your pet’s fur before trimming while a brush helps remove loose fur and smooth out any rough patches in their coat. Start by running a comb through your dog’s hair from roots to ends then brush their coat thoroughly. This makes it easier to see which areas need trimming or shaving. In addition, consider getting a slicker brush if your Shih Tzu has particularly thick or curly facial hair. These brushes have fine wire bristles that reach deep into the undercoat, helping remove mats and tangles more effectively than regular brushes.


Having the right tools is essential for properly grooming your Shih Tzu’s facial hair. Clippers, scissors, and a comb and brush set are necessary to ensure that your pet’s hair is trimmed evenly, without any rough edges or uneven areas. By investing in high-quality grooming tools, you can make the process of trimming your pet’s face much easier and more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

Preparing the Shih Tzu for Grooming

Bathing and Drying

Before starting the trimming process, it is essential to give your Shih Tzu a proper bath, which will make their fur easier to manage and trim. Start by filling up a bathtub with warm water and place your pet in it. Make sure that the water level is not too high as it may cause unnecessary stress to your pet. Use a mild dog shampoo while bathing your Shih Tzu, and work the shampoo thoroughly into their coat. Be careful not to get any soap in their eyes or ears as this can cause irritation. Once you have finished washing, rinse well to ensure all the soap is removed from their coat. After rinsing, use a towel or blow dryer on low heat setting to dry off your furry friend completely. Wet fur can cause clippers or scissors to pull at hair instead of cutting them properly.

Brushing and Combing

Once your Shih Tzu is dry, use a comb or brush specifically designed for removing tangles in dogs’ coats. Work slowly through their entire body, brushing out any knots or mats that may have formed during drying process. When you’re grooming facial hair, be mindful of any mats around the mouth area that may need extra attention with scissors later on. Carefully brush all parts of face fluff, being gentle around sensitive areas like eyes and nose. Brushing also helps remove dead hair from the face area making it easier for clipping. In addition, this pre-grooming session allows you an opportunity to inspect skin irritations such as hot spots or skin infections that can be addressed before starting the actual grooming process.


Proper grooming of your Shih Tzu’s face involves more than just trimming away excess hair; it requires proper preparation, the right tools, and careful execution. Bathing, drying, brushing and combing are all essential steps that will help ensure your pet’s coat is in perfect condition before you start trimming. Taking the time to prepare your Shih Tzu for grooming can also give you an opportunity to inspect their coat closely for any signs of skin infections or other medical issues that need to be addressed before starting the grooming process. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your furry friend looking their best while also ensuring their health and wellbeing.

Trimming Techniques

Trimming your Shih Tzu’s facial hair can be a bit intimidating, but with the right tools and a gentle hand, it can be a straightforward process. In this section, we will go over some essential techniques to help you trim your dog’s facial hair expertly.

Cutting the Hair Around the Eyes

The hair around a Shih Tzu’s eyes is prone to matting and tangling. If left untrimmed, it could become uncomfortable for your pet and even result in eye infections or irritations. To prevent this from happening, you need to gently cut the fur around their eyes. To start, use a pair of scissors or clippers with sharp blades. Hold out the fur on one side of your dog’s eye between two fingers and clip it in small sections following the natural curve of their eye socket. Repeat on the other side. It is important to avoid cutting too close to their eyeballs as it could cause injury or discomfort. Also, make sure that their eyelashes are not caught in between the blades as this could also cause harm.

Trimming the Beard and Mustache

The beard and mustache are distinguishing features of a Shih Tzu breed. However, they tend to collect food particles and debris that get stuck in their fur, causing hygiene issues if not regularly trimmed. To trim your pet’s beard and mustache properly, comb them outwards towards their chin using a metal comb or slicker brush. Using scissors, snip off any excess hair beyond where you want them to end up while holding them down with one hand. Aim for symmetry on both sides while keeping an eye on how much you’re trimming- It is better to err on the side of caution when deciding how much hair should come off as overzealous cuts are tough to correct afterward.

Shaping the Topknot

The topknot is a crucial part of a Shih Tzu’s appearance. It is also one of the more challenging areas to trim accurately. You want to maintain a balance between keeping it neat and clean while not cutting away too much hair, creating an awkward look. To begin trimming your dog’s topknot, comb all their hair up towards the crown of their head, making sure you have gathered all the hair evenly. Holding their hair tightly with one hand, use scissors to snip any stray or uneven hairs while maintaining a circular shape. It is essential to cut slowly and carefully while taking breaks at regular intervals so that your pet remains comfortable throughout the process.

Tips for a Perfect Finish

Once you are finished trimming your Shih Tzu’s facial hair, take some time to inspect it thoroughly. Look for any choppy spots or uneven areas that need blending in or cleaning up with scissors. If there are any lines that appear harsh or abrupt after trimming, gently blend them in by using thinning shears around those specific areas to give them a softer look. Take care not to overwork these areas as this could lead to patchy patches in your pet’s fur. Check for any flyaway hairs and use scissors or clippers on them accordingly. With some practice, patience and attention to detail, you can achieve an expert-level finish every time!

Tips for a Perfect Finish

Checking for Uneven Areas

After you have trimmed your Shih Tzu’s facial hair, it is important to check for any uneven areas. One easy way to do this is by running your hands gently over your pet’s face, feeling for any longer or shorter spots. Another method is to look closely at your dog’s face in a well-lit area and examine the symmetry of the cut. If there are any areas that seem uneven, you can go back over those sections with clippers or scissors until everything appears even.

Blending in Any Choppy Spots

If you find any choppy spots during your inspection, don’t panic! They can be fixed easily with just a few more snips of the scissors. It’s important to work slowly and carefully in these areas to avoid creating further unevenness. Using comb as a guide will help ensure smooth transitions between longer and shorter hair sections.

Adding Finishing Touches with Scissors

Scissors are a great tool for adding finishing touches after using clippers. Use them to trim any remaining stray hairs around the eyes and mouth, or give that topknot an extra bit of shaping. When using scissors on facial hair, make sure you have full control over the blades at all times and go slowly so as not to accidentally nick your pet.

A Few Extra Tips

To achieve a truly polished look when trimming your Shih Tzu’s facial hair, here are some additional tips: – Always keep an eye on how much hair you’re trimming – it’s better to take off less than too much. – Take breaks if necessary – grooming can be tiring for both pets and their owners. – Reward your furry friend with plenty of treats and praise throughout the process. With these tips and a little bit of patience, you can easily master the art of trimming your Shih Tzu’s facial hair. Remember that regular grooming is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health and happiness, so make it a fun bonding experience for both you and your furry friend.


Summary of Key Points

Throughout this article, we have discussed the importance of grooming a Shih Tzu’s face, the tools needed for grooming, preparing your pet for grooming, trimming techniques and tips for a perfect finish. Regular facial hair trimming is an essential part of Shih Tzu care that every pet owner should undertake. A well-groomed Shih Tzu can help your dog stay healthy and be comfortable in their skin.

Importance of Regular Grooming to Maintain Your Pet’s Health

Grooming your Shih Tzu regularly will help maintain their health and hygiene. Proper grooming reduces the risks of ear infections, matting, skin irritations or infections caused by bacteria accumulation as well as other respiratory problems that might arise from hair getting into their noses or eyes. Regular hair trimming also helps improve their appearance by keeping them looking neat and tidy. In addition to improving the appearance and health of your Shih Tzu, regular grooming can improve its attitude towards you. Grooming is essential for establishing a strong bond with your dog because it allows time for you to touch them gently during brushing sessions which can help reduce fear or anxiety issues caused by separation or lack of attention. Regular pet grooming can save you money in veterinary bills in the long run. By identifying potential health issues early on through consistent brushing routines and proper cleaning standards, you will be able to detect any problems before they become serious enough to require medical intervention. Whether you’re going to a professional groomer or doing it yourself at home; proper grooming is an essential part of caring for any Shih Tzu breed dog. It not only improves their appearance but also ensures they stay healthy and happy throughout their lives with minimal discomfort due to matted fur or other common ailments associated with poor hygiene standards.

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