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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Greer, SC
    Posts
    5

    Question Grooming Shih Tzu face

    I've recently begun to groom my 2 Shih Tzus at home (bless their hearts). The two areas that make me very nervous are the stop, and the hair under the eyes that should be trimmed so it blends in with the hair on the muzzle. I've also heard the term, scoop out the eyes with the clippers, but I dont know what this means. Some people let it grow out but I really prefer it cut close. It just seems like it's so much nicer for them not to worry about hair in their eyes.

    I've heard some say to only use scissors, and others say they use clippers to do this. I've tried using scissors but it always looks so choppy because 1) I'm still kinda slow at it and 2) because i'm slow...the pups jerk their heads away.
    I'd like to learn to do it with the clippers..and just get it in one quick swoop. How safely can this be done? I have a small cordless trimmer and a set of Andis Ultraedge AGS 2sp clippers.

    I could really really use some tips on how to do this without hurting my boys and not getting hair in their eyes. Do I use a certain blade (I have a #10,#40 and #4F for the Andis), do I use my snap on combs? I have some small snap on combs that go with the cordless trimmers also.

    I have the Jodi Murphy video for grooming Shih Tzus but it really doesn't show how to do this. Any instructions on how to do this would be sooo appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tulip fields , WA
    Posts
    3,466

    Default Everyone has a thought...

    the way I do this is to take my Mini-Arco trimmer, (very tiny teeth) that as a #30 blade. I take the side or edge of the cutting edge of the clipper to the inside corner of each eye, just a touch to clean out this area for most pet trims. If you pull the skin back over the skull, the stop area is more exposed and a little easier to see where you are putting the blade...and speaking of the blade...I use just one side or the other of the blade, not the full cutting edge of the blade, but just enough to do the job. Fast and easy. I also have fine 5.5 detailing curve shears that I can use ... but only with caution and only on dogs that I am comfortable that won't move...my detailers have pointed tips ans I can't use them on some pets.
    www.pamsbubblemobile.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    denver, co
    Posts
    3

    Default shih face

    Hi you should clip this area with a 10 blade or what ever you are using close to that, in an inverted V shape, this should help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    5,059

    Default So many do's and don'ts

    No, you cannot use a snap-on or any blade with wide teeth or obvious points right by the eyes. Therefore, a #10 or 15 are going to be the safest unless your dogs have a lot of crud underneath their eyes, in which case you would go even shorter, but I don't recommend it for a beginner.

    Actually, there are so many points to doing this with either scissors or a clipper that I really feel you need to get with someone knowledgeable who can show you. You can call around to groomers and pay them to teach you a few things, maybe by the 1/2 hour or hour. You can read about it, and see photos, but until you see it in action, I don't think you will truly understand.

    Also, maybe one of your dogs needs to be handled one way, and one another way. Dogs are not all the same. An experienced person can get the feel for this right away, and let you know. You also need fine scissors if you use scissors, and you need to be shown how to keep the point away from any movement they might make. And if you don't have or don't want to use your scissors, if your dogs are not used to having clippers right up there by there eyes, they probably won't let you do it. Your cordless clippers with a fine blade (no snap-on!) would be the easiest for you. It CAN be one quick swoop, as you say, but not likely for a beginner. A light touch is IMPERATIVE!

    A groomer can also show you how to hold your dogs with confidence so that they do not jerk. They are probably jerking because you are uncertain.

    Beg, borrow, pay or trade services with a groomer, and get some pro pointers LIVE. It will be worth it for you - after all, you need to know how to do pads, privates, nails, underarms, ears, and maybe anals, too. If you don't, you will not be doing your dogs any favors by trying to do them yourself. You could take a lesson, then see what you can do at home for a couple of months, then pay/trade a groomer to "tidy" your dogs again while showing you. Learning in real life is going to be well worth it for you and your dogs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Bridgeton, NC
    Posts
    2,923

    Default

    10 blade is the safest for eyes that you have. A 40 would make it really clean, but is not really safe. You would take the clipper and turn it backwards so that the blade part is towards the dog and the blade is towards you (a little). Scoop towards you. I used to (before my wahls) aim one corner of the blade sort of up and in-between the eyes, kind of like a triangle there. Be careful, you can cut the eyelid (its not easy, but it is possible). So you want to start right in front of the eyelid and scoop on both sides. It is really hard to try to explain this via text (I don’t know if it is me or not). If your having trouble, I am sure someone would show you quick in a shop. It is like a two second thing, groomers would have no problem with.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Bridgeton, NC
    Posts
    2,923

    Default

    I forgot the 4f and snap on combs are handy for body’s but not for eyes. If your not doing a topknot, often times one snap on blade longer than what is on the body will help you set a nice round head. I never use anything but scissors on muzzles unless I have the rare fuzzy dog whose mom likes a shaved face.

  7. #7

    Default

    Here is a little pic of a Shih Tzu I groomed today. The body is really tight, but that is how they want it. The body is a 7f, the ears are 1/2" comb, around eyes are cut down with short, curved, blunt tip scissors. Face (sides of eyes) are clipped with 1/4" comb, face (below eyes, sides of nose, and chin) with 1/2" comb. In between eyes is cut with thinning shears. Pull skin back on head to get that hair to stick up and thin it down. This little dog will be 3 years old next month, but looks like a pup with this cut.

    I've always been afraid to use clippers around eyes, so I shorten that hair with the curved shears when the dog is wet.

    Hope this helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,760

    Default

    I shave all shih tzu faces under the eyes, generally with a 40.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    8,475

    Default

    I use a 5/8 inch toe blade. It's narrow, and fits down the bridge of the nose or between the eyes. The cut is the same length as a 30.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    8,475

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by azoci View Post
    If you pull the skin back over the skull, the stop area is more exposed and a little easier to see where you are putting the blade.
    Pam, my heart is in my throat after reading that. Do you know how easy it is to pop an eyeball out by doing that. Especially if you're inexperienced and don't know what you're doing. Shih Tzu (and other brachycephalic breeds) eye's aren't really "in there" to begin with. Pull the skin back and have the dog shake or suddenly move his head, and he could be looking around corners without turning his head.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2,477

    Goofy

    Quote Originally Posted by Helly View Post
    Pam, my heart is in my throat after reading that. Do you know how easy it is to pop an eyeball out by doing that. Especially if you're inexperienced and don't know what you're doing. Shih Tzu (and other brachycephalic breeds) eye's aren't really "in there" to begin with. Pull the skin back and have the dog shake or suddenly move his head, and he could be looking around corners without turning his head.
    Ok, can we talk percentages here? I'm getting sick just thinking about this! I HATE eyeballs, think they're sooo gross. I know what Pam's saying, and I've heard that the eyes can pop out, but I've had difficult dogs that pull away from me and struggle, and nothing's happened. I'm not saying I am pulling their skin back to get them to stop, but sometimes you're holding an ear to hold them steady and they contort and I can see these huge eyeballs staring at me. What are the chances the eyes are going to pop out on me....ewwwwwwwwwwww!!!!! I mean how common is this? At this rate I'm about to tell all my Shih clients to go somewhere else, lol. I'm getting sick...gotta go now.......
    Erin
    No Fur, No Paws, No Service.
    [url]www.LittleShopOfHowlers.com[/url]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Voorhees, NJ
    Posts
    1,559

    Default

    When you do all of these things keep in mind you have to hold the dog by the chin hair to keep still.
    Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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