Shih Tzu Brushes and Combs
(What's in Your Grooming Bag?)

With so many Shih Tzu brushes on the market today, how do you decide which ones work best, which ones to use and where, and how much you should spend on your grooming supplies.  This is part two of a three part series on Shih Tzu Grooming Supplies.  If you haven't read Part One, I suggest you start there.

You will find that you spend plenty of time on combing and brushing your ShihTzu, even if you keep the coat in a short puppy cut.  It pays to have the best tools you can afford, but at the same time, if your Tzu is a pet and not a show dog, you don't need to shell out thousands of dollars for useless items. 

So it pays to find tools that feel good in your hands, but also does a satisfactory job on your Shih Tzu's coat. 

There are many different kinds of Shih Tzu brushes to choose from, but you will probably want to eventually have several to complete your Shih Tzu Grooming Supplies kit.

People are always asking me what to purchase and if I have any recommendations for specific grooming tools.  I thought I'd take this opportunity to answer those questions. 

The products I list below can be purchased from Amazon and I either currently use them or have used them in the past.  Most are adequate for my needs, but please remember that each Shih Tzu is different, and what works for some may not work for you. 

If you do purchase from this site, Miracle Shih Tzu gets a very small commission that helps cover the costs of keeping this website up and running.  Your business is most appreciated.

Shih Tzu Brushes and Combs for Adult Dogs

Adult Shih Tzu dogs normally have a thick coat whether you trim it down to a puppy cut or keep it long.  The right brushes and combs will keep the coat tangle free, soft and looking its best.

Puppies can use adult products or you can purchase a comb and brush specifically for the puppy coat.  Once the puppy has reached maturity, their combs and brushes can still be used on the the mustache and beard.

I will list the supplies I use on puppies first, followed by the adult brushes and combs.  You can either scroll down or jump directly to the adult brushes and combs

Puppy Brushes and Combs

Any of the Lil Pals products works well on puppies. In fact, I use them during their first grooming experiences here at Miracle Shih Tzu. The Li'l Pals Slicker Purple and Green Brush for Dogs, Extra Small is very gentle and puppies seem to love the feel of the brush.

Puppy Bristle Brush

A natural or synthetic bristle brush works great on puppies who have short hair. They can be used on adults but they don’t go through the coat well and should just be used for smoothing out the top layer. 

Our puppies are started on grooming soon after their eyes and ears are opened.  I use a soft puppy brush to brush around the eyes, ears and mouth of young puppies.  Soft brushes are soothing and they train the puppy to tolerate and hopefully love being groomed.

Puppy Pin Brush

The Pin brush is the most versitle brush for this breed of dog.  These small puppy pin brushes are soft and comfortable and get the puppy accustomed to being brushed.  The puppy version of the pin brush will work until the adult coat grows in at about 10 months old.  Once your Tzu has his adult double-coat, you will need a larger brush to get through the layers.

This Lil Pal Product is double sided -- two brushes for the price of one.   Use the pin brush first to brush the hair and then the bristle side to smooth and make it shine.

Puppy Combs

Puppies should get used to having their hair combed.  Brush the hair first and then use the comb to remove any small tangles.  Always try to detangle first with your fingers.  If you get into the habit of yanking mats out with a comb, you are not going to have a happy puppy and grooming sessions get harder over time.  Combs can be used to gently pull apart mats and then remove.  Combs are also good for remove gunk around the eyes and whiskers.  

Puppy combs are also useful  on adult dogs to keep their faces clean.  It works as well as a facial finishing comb or a flea comb for that purpose.

You may not need a detangling comb until your puppy gets a little older, but this one will also work on adult coats.

Adult Shih Tzu Brushes and Combs

The same type of brushes and combs are used on the adult coat except they are larger.

Pin Brush

This is a must have in your Shih Tzu Grooming Supplies Toolbox. These Shih Tzu brushes have metal pins with slightly rounded ends to prevent them from being too sharp.

They are good for brushing out small tangles and can go through both the top and under coat. Some pin brushes come with a flip side bristle brush which is a plus if you like the feel of a bristle brush.  This is a must have if you own a Shih Tzu.  Don't try your own pin brush on your Tzu, though, because you will be disappointed.  Human pin brushes have little tips at the ends that won't go through the Shih Tzu's double coat.

Oval Pin Brush

If you are looking for a high end product, you can't go wrong with Chris Christensen Wood Pin Brush 20mm Small 7.5 inches These brushes are the best. Many people who show their dogs use Chris Christensen products.

Oblong Pin Brush

If you need an everyday brush, that is a little less expensive, the Safari Wire Pin Brush - Small works really well especially with the Shih Tzu's double coat. The cost is reasonable and so far, they have proven to be durable. Check it out.

Slicker Brush

These Shih Tzu brushes have little metal bristles without the rounded ends making them perfect for brushing your Tzu’s undercoat.

Since these bristles are very sharp, you shouldn’t use them around the dog’s eyes. It’s better to use the metal or steel comb on the mustache and beard.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

I particularly like the Safari Self-Cleaning Large Small Slicker Brush for Dogs for the casual groomer because it is so easy to clean. Just push the button and the hair is lifted off the brush.

I have to admit that the Chris Christensen line of brushes is my all time favorite.  You just can't go wrong and they last forever.

Bristle Brushes

If you want your Shih Tzu to look his best, you may want to invest in a boar bristle brush.  

This is one of my favorites.  It will not remove tangles or mats, but feels good to the dog and stimulates the scalp to release the natural oils.  The coat looks great after a once over with this brush.


The steel comb is used after you have thoroughly brushed out the coat.  You can go over the entire body and face with comb to remove any last tangles or mats.

Any small mats that remain can be loosened with a steel comb or worked out with the end of the comb, making it one of the best de-tangling tools. 

You can also use a comb on the face and to make a part down the back of the Tzu, although a comb with a rat tail works better for making a part down the center of the back.

Some people prefer to comb rather than brush the hair.  Steel combs or greyhound combs as they are often called come in a variety of sizes from very fine toothed combs to wide toothed combs. Many combs will have a choice fine/coarse, medium/coarse and face/finishing styles. 

For more information on brushing and combing, click here to read our pages on grooming and mat removal.

Flea Combs

Extra fine combs (face/finishing combs) work well on the face, but another option is to use a flea comb.  Flea Combs have very fine teeth and can be used to spot a flea or remove dried debris from the eyes.

Even if your Shih Tzu does not have fleas, I recommend getting a flea comb, just to use on the face to remove debris under the eyes, in the whiskers, and on the beard. 

If your Tzu is like mine, they often enjoy "Wearing" their food, so you need something to get out all of those crumbs.

Puppy Combs

Rat Tail Combs

The rattail comb is used for parting the hair.  If you keep your dog in a short puppy cut with no topknot, this comb won't be necessary.  While you can use the side of a regular steel comb for parting, a rat tail comb works much better. 

These combs are used to make a part down the back of a long haired Shih Tzu.  They are also used to partition off the hair when making a topknot.  This comb is recommended if you'd like to grow your Shih Tzu's hair out and pin up the top hairs into a ponytail or topknot.

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