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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
That was my reaction last night when I read up on how to brush a shih tzu because my poor little guy keeps getting Matts even though I brush him every two days. But apparently I've only been brushing the outer coat and the undercoat is where the matts were. We're taking him to the groomer soon but she never tries to do anything other than shaving him down because "he's too matted" even though last time there were only matts in his butt area and under his chin but ok lol. I've watched about twenty videos on how to properly groom a shih Tzu and right now, he looks beautiful. Fluffy, soft, Matt free. I'm doing a whole lotta work just to take him to the groomer lmao but I refuse to let him get shaved again
 

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that what confuses me because shih tzus are so commonly groomed at a groomers and clipped! when a friend told me this i was in shock! thankfully Jessie only has one coat as she is crossed with australian terrier as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It doesn't LOOK like he has a double coat so I just never thought about it, he's crossed with a bichon and apparently they too have a double coat!! I don't even know why I never looked up how to groom a dog, I always thought it was "you take a brush and you brush the hair" but there's so much more lol. At least he looks fantastic now and there's no way the groomer will be able to say she's gotta shave him.
 

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the key is to use a comb, not a brush-brush, so you know you've gotten down through the woolier undercoat.

Some groomers will try to save the coat and not shave tho, have you tried other groomers? D:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The one time we changed groomers they came back bald, there's normally a little bit of hair left after our normal groomer shaved them, that time they were pink. Our bichon had been matt free when we took her in and we requested that she have an inch cut off but when we got her back the groomer said "I had to shave one so I didn't want the other one to feel left out" we never went back lol. It was winter too and in Minnesota the winters are COLD, they wore two jackets each plus boots plus little homemade hats and a little glove for their tails, probably excessive but I wasn't going to risk anything lol
 

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With little dogs and longer haired dogs they seem to matte easy.I would say do the butt, tummy, chin, and behind the ears really well. But like @Redwood said use a comb, then you can get to the other coat and not just the top coat.

Also some owners like their dogs shaved in the winter (not too short) because then they go outside walk around some roll and then all that snow isn't stuck in the big coat and then melting in your house when the dog walks around. If they are shorter then the snow wont stick so much. Also with the longer coat the longer it will take the dog to dry which would take longer for the dog to warm back up.

I hope this helps :)
 

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I have Shih Tzu x Maltese and I do clip them down right about now so their coats are not too long for the winter. If we happen to get wet snow, it balls up in their coats so bad they can hardly walk. I have had some that their coats were really easy to keep long as they did not seem to matt the same way as the others. I don't know if this was from the Maltese or Shih Tzu side. I usually cut them down short as it is hard to get a neat looking coat trying to clip them with it a few inches long. It grows out pretty fast and I do not usually put coats on my dogs even though we get really cold weather here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When my mom had big dogs She would do the same thing but with our little dogs we just rub them down with a towel when they get in and they're perfectly fine! we take them on walks and they get pretty cold, like to the point of visibly shaking if they're not wearing coats
 

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When you brush a double coated dog you need to section the hair and brush each section so if you were doing the hind quarters you'd start at the top of the back brush that till it's mat free, then lift that unmatted section out of the way and brush the next section, you'll be parting the hair horizontal across the dog and not vertical. That's what I learned to do back when I had my double coated terrier mix, if I did not do it that way I'd have a dog that looked nice and brushed out but he'd have mats down close to his skin. The main areas that matted on him were his hind quarters, and along the sides of his neck and shoulders, strangely the rest of him stayed pretty much mat free.

I used a a comb to work on any mats and to make sure he didn't have any, a pin brush for regular brushing and maintaining his coat and a slicker brush to remove loose undercoat.

I'd tell your groomer that if she does not follow your instructions she'll loose a paying customers, you'll never be back, that this is her last chance. I'd also park myself in the grooming place and say you want to be available in case she feels the need to shave the dog since you will want to see the reason for it and discuss other options.
 

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Dogs with undercoats are significantly more difficult to keep matt-free. I brush Samantha, daily, using a slicker and two combs. I am constantly amazed at how many matted areas begin to form in just 24 hours. We take her to a professional groomer every four to five weeks, without fail, necessary with her hair. Fortunately the groomer knows and understands how to maintain poodle/bischon hair, so between the groomer and the daily time spent brushing her, we do manage to keep her matt free. When we first adopted her, she was a matted mess, and had to be shaved in many spots, she looked terrible, and I vowed never to allow her to get into that condition again. It is just part of our morning routine, now.
 
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