Shih Tzu - Proper Use Of Clippers And Scissors
Shih Tzu - Proper Use Of Clippers And Scissors

Shih Tzu - Proper Use Of Clippers And Scissors

The proper use of clippers and scissoring skill are the major elements in Shih Tzu grooming.

Probably the best known quality clipper in the world is the Oster clipper. Models most used by professional groomers are the A5 and A2. The difference between them is that the A5 has detachable blades while the A2 has a detachable head. The A5 is probably used more by professional groomers because of the ease with which the blades are interchanged.

To become a serious and efficient groomer it is well to study the blade chart since a familiarity with the whole range of blades is most beneficial long term. There are 14 different blades that come in a variety of sizes, ranging from the #4 blade to the #40 blade. The different sizes in blades will leave different lengths of coat. Vets often used the #40 blade for surgical procedures. I like using the #4 for the puppy cut look on a Shih Tzu. The #10 blade provides a very close cut in the cases of extremely matted Shih Tzu.

Snap-on combs were developed because manufacturers found it impractical to make a coarser blade than a #4. The #4 blade with the widest spaced teeth leaves on more Shih Tzu coat after clipping (5/8") than any other blade.

The size #1 snap-on comb can be snapped onto a #10 or #15 regular blade and leave a one-inch Shih Tzu coat. Theoretically, no scissoring need be done on the body. The coat of a Shih Tzu can be trimmed down to "puppy" length without scissoring.

The object of the snap-on combs, when used correctly, is to reduce clipping and scissoring time of the Shih Tzu coat. There is a specific technique for using the snap-on comb.

Clipping technique:

The clipper should be held in a certain position when clipping the coat of a Shih Tzu. When held in the correct position, the clipper is held like a pencil. The clipper should be held easily and lightly, yet firmly while clipping your Shih Tzus coat. With the correct blade attached, the clipper can remove any Shih Tzu coat right down to the skin, or the Shih Tzu coat can be shaped and blended into almost any style desired.

Oster A5 and A2 clippers can provide almost a lifetime of useful service for grooming your Shih Tzu providing proper care is taken of them. Follow the maintenance instructions booklet that accompanies the clipper. If followed carefully, the clipper should provide optimum service for grooming your Shih Tzu for many years.


The most artistic aspect of Shih Tzu grooming lies in the scissoring work. The perfecting finishing touches of your Shih Tzus coat can only be achieved through skillfully applied scissoring. It is the scissor work, above all, which separates the real professional from the novice. If ones objection is top-quality, professional grooming for your Shih Tzu, it is essential to develop the scissoring technique to perfection.

Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:
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