by Janice Jones |Last Updated 06-14-2022
So it's time to bathe a Shih Tzu and you're wondering if one method works better than others. Maybe you have that calm Tzu that loves bath time. You know the one that patiently stands in the tub while you drench him in water and suds, never shakes, never squirms, never jumps or climbs out of the tub.
If this is your Tzu, then you are probably wondering why anyone would need an article teaching them how to bathe a Shih Tzu.
But for the rest of us, the task can conjure up images in our minds ranging from mild anxiety to down right dread at the thought having to bathe our Tzu. If you fall into this category, relax, there is hope. Even the most stubborn Shih Tzu can be bathed successfully while you hold onto your sanity.
I have personally had all kinds of Shih Tzu dogs, from the most docile that tolerated everything to the one that I needed a raincoat just to spray on a little water. I have learned that when you bathe a Shih Tzu who does not like baths, your goal should be to bond and create a calm environment. If he gets clean, well, so much the better. With a patient approach, he might not be squeaky clean, but the next bath will be easier.
You won't need any special expensive equipment when you bathe a Shih Tzu, but you will need:
Sounds easy doesn't it? But what if you have a Tzu who hates to have a bath, be brushed, or groomed. What if he squirms, tries to bolt, or gets down right aggressive with your attempts to bathe him. What can you do?
My Shih Tzu Bolts/Squirms/Tries to Jump or otherwise remove himself from you and the water source. How am I supposed to bathe a Shih Tzu like this?
Some Shih Tzu dogs just hate being groomed. They are normally happy pets, but become stressed the second they know that you are contemplating a grooming session.
Here are a few suggestions. Not all will work on your Tzu, but they are worth a try.
My Shih Tzu Tries To Bite me When I Give Him A Bath
If you have a Shih Tzu who becomes aggressive during bath time, first we must determine what is causing his anxiety. If he is normally a happy dog but hates to be groomed, it is likely that he has had a bad experience in his past. He has since associated being groomed with pain or worse and refuses to cooperate.
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.
Shampoos and Conditions are really a MUST HAVE item for your Shih Tzu Grooming Supplies Kit. These dogs will not look good for very long without a regular bath.
There is so many different products today to bathe a Shih Tzu, it can be confusing. If the dog does not have any immediate problems such as fleas or dry itchy skin, the choice of products is really a matter of personal preference.
Then, there is your everyday all purpose shampoo that comes in a wide assortment of fragrances and ingredients such as aloe vera, shampoo, tea tree oil and many more.
Shih Tzu dogs should be bathed with a good dog shampoo followed by a conditioning rinse for best hair results.
Everyone has their favorite shampoo and conditioning products. These are the ones I regularly use on my own dogs and on the puppies in my care.
These are shampoos that I have used from time to time and can recommend.
Most people agree that spraying the coat with a fine mist conditioner prior to brushing is a must. Dry hair tends to break. So the rule of thumb is, never brush a dry coat.
The conditioner also aids in removing tangles. They are usually slightly scented making your dog smell nice after her brushing.
Shih Tzu hair doesn’t look great if you let it dry naturally so I keep a hair dryer handy in my Shih Tzu's Grooming Toolbox. If you want that smooth straight look or even just a fluffier appearance you will need to blow dry after you bathe your Shih Tzu. Always use a low or cool setting as these dogs can get burned easily.
There is really no end to the number of products you can purchase to groom your dog. Here are a few more things that are helpful for completing many of the grooming tasks presented on this site. Read over them and decide what's most important to you.
A small bath mat placed inside the sink will give your Shih Tzu more security. Most sinks are slippery and if your dog begins to slide around, he is not going to like the experience. You can purchase an inexpensive rubber mat used for bath tubs and cut it to size or line the sink with a thick towel.
These come in handy for many small jobs such as cleaning around the eyes and ears and for stuffing in the ears when you bathe a Shih Tzu. If your dog is prone to ear infections, a small wad of cotton in each ear will protect them from being sprayed with water.
Cotton Tipped Applicators or Q-tips for carefully cleaning ears.
Wash cloths or wipes for washing the face, cleaning foot pads and removing debris from around the eyes. You will also need towels for drying, but don't rub the hair--just squeeze out all the excess water before you blow dry.
Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.
Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.
She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.
When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and smart knit crocheting.