Shih Tzu Combs:  Your Guide to The Best Combs for Your Shih Tzu 

Choosing the best Shih Tzu combs is easy, right?  

Well, not so fast. 

by Janice Jones     |Last Updated 02-16-2020

There may not be as many choices on the market day as you might find for say, dog food, but there are enough to make you wonder if you're using the right product.  Choosing a good quality dog comb or two will make the job of brushing and combing so much easier and, you will save money in the long run.

Shih Tzu Combs

If you normally brush your Shih Tzu, you might be wondering why you'd even need a comb?  There are many reasons why you might want a couple of combs for your grooming toolbox.

  • Flea combs alert you to the presence of fleas even if you can't see or catch an adult flea
  • Rattail combs can part the hair making brushing small sections easier.  On long coats, the rattail combs will make the quintessential center part from the head to the base of the tail.
  • Fine toothed combs can help remove some of the debris that may accumulate under the eyes
  • Medium and Coarse toothed combs are good for going over the coat after brushing to remove any tangles or mats the brush may not have caught.
  • The end of a comb can be used to help break up a mat.
  • Dematting combs can quickly cut through tough mats, breaking them apart and making them easy to remove.

Those are just a sampling of the many different types of dog combs.  Since we're discussing Shih Tzu combs, I won't bore you with all the rest of combs you could purchase for other breeds.

Choices in Shih Tzu Combs...A style for Every Taste

Choosing the Best Shih Tzu CombChoosing the Best Shih Tzu Comb

Once you are sold on the need for a comb or two, your next job is to figure out what style of comb works well for you.  Do you like the option of a comb that has a handle?  Do you prefer soft gel, wooden, or plastic?  Maybe you'd like your comb handle to conform to the shape of your hand or maybe a straight handle will work better?

Maybe, you don't even need a comb with a handle.  A straight comb that comes with two sizes of combs might be more economical.  As you can see, the possibilities make decision making even more challenging.

Shih Tzu Combs:  Quality Matters

It goes to reason that you get what you pay for, but a comb is a comb, right?  Not so fast.  When I first started grooming my Shih Tzu dogs at home, I picked a couple of combs that looked chic,  pink and purple were my go to colors. 

I soon began noticing that these cute little combs started loosing their teeth, one by one, making them useless to use.  I can't remember how many combs I threw out over the years.  I realized the hard way that some brands were simply not worth the money.

What Comes First, the Comb or the Brush?

Some people prefer to comb the coat first then brush.  I find the opposite works best for me.  Brushing a section of hair loosens any tangles and massages the scalp releases the natural oils in the hair.  

Some of my dogs have extremely thick coats, and just brushing is not enough.  Combing through the coat after brushing especially if you use a professional finishing comb will make the coat shine.

Best Shih Tzu Combs

These are my favorites and ones I use on a daily basis on my adult dogs.  At the end of my recommendations, I will list a couple of combs that work great on tiny puppies.  Yes, I do start combing Shih Tzu puppies from about 4 or 5 weeks old so they become accustomed to the feel of a steel comb.

Greyhound Combs

My all time favorite is a product made in Germany by Chris Christensen.  Their greyhound style butter combs can't be beat.  Not only do the last, but they slide through the hair easier than any other I've tried.  Many combs will pull the hair causing breakage.  If you want your dog to look his best, this is the product you should try.  They come in fine/coarse, fine/extra fine, all fine, all coarse, and a variety of other options including lengths.

My Fav...Christensen Fine/Coarse Buttercut Comb

These products are a bit pricy, but so worth it in the end.  If you want one comb that can have multiple uses, I would recommend this one.  Use the fine side on the face and the coarse on the rest of the coat.

Love the comb, but still need a handle?  They have you covered.  These handles are 4.5 inches long and snap onto most Chris Christensen greyhound combs.  They make grooming so much easier.

Rattail Combs

The rattail comb is used for parting the hair.  If you keep your dog in a short puppy cut with no top knot, 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.

My Fav...Chris Christensen Buttercomb Course Tail Comb, 7.5"

For serious Shih Tzu Grooming enthusiasts, this is a must have.  If you think you may only use this tool occasionally, you may want to go for a human hair product with a steel rattail.  Plastic rattail combs do not work well.

Flea Combs

Flea combs are normally less costly than other type of combs and a good addition to your collection.

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.

Before running to the vet when your dog is itchy, check for fleas.  Run a flea comb slowly through the coat and look for black specks that resemble black pepper.  This is referred to as flea dirt and it is the excrement left by adult fleas.   If you see this, your next step is to treat for fleas.

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.

Here are a couple of examples of flea combs you can purchase on Amazon.

DeMatting Combs

Sooner or later our beautiful Shih Tzu gets a mat.  Life happens.   These dematting combs will be a life saver.  There are many ways to remove matted coats but this product makes it easy.

The teeth on these combs are actually little knives that can cut through mats without hurting your dog.  They work great on dogs, but I also use mine on my long haired cat, Tropic.   Here are a few of my recommendations.  You can click on the picture to be taken directly to Amazon.

Puppy Combs

A little puppy deserves a little comb and Li'l Pals products are my favorite.  You can get combs, brushes, even detangling combs.

About Janice

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.