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handling snappy shih tzus when scooping eyes

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  • handling snappy shih tzus when scooping eyes

    Any suggestions on keeping a nervous or snappy shih tzu still when scooping around their eyes?

  • #2

    I use first and foremost my groomers helper, firm told of the beard and then sometimes they just don't like the sound of the clipper so I scissor instead. I have a tiny pair of shears w/ball end that I use near the eyes.

    I'm sure better advice is coming!!!


    • #3
      Originally posted by bednbones View Post

      I'm sure better advice is coming!!!
      You bet!

      Super-glue the rascal to the table, then sit on him! :-D!

      Actually, I put away the big buzzing clippers and switch to one of the little, teensy cordless models. Hardly makes a sound. I turn it on, make sweet talk to the doglet while I lightly rub the clipper all around his face, dodge in quickly for a scoop and repeat until the job is finished.

      The above is all done with a good firm grip on his beard.


      • #4
        I retrain them

        Retraining usually takes a couple of minutes here and there, maybe done in one groom, maybe takes 2-3 grooms. Sometimes a repetition of the "lesson" may take only 10-20 seconds! So it is well worth the time spent.

        "Test" the response of just holding head, then holding head and touching eye corners. Reassure the dog. If it is really wild, I use one hand holding chin hair, and one behind neck/head, pushing head forward, waiting for calm, then praise and let go. Do something else. Come back to this "lesson" until dog knows to drop its head into your hand and wait.

        If the dog is quite bad, I use small scissors, not clippers. If you need to use clippers, then you need to go in baby steps, and I definitely recommend that scooping the eyes with clippers NOT be one of the first things you do! I know its tempting, but Shih Tzus are not Poodles, they need to "warm up" for each groom sometimes, especially if something bugs them or scares them. So use the clipper on easy areas, intermittently holding head and touching eye corners, maybe even slightly pulling on the hair in the corners. Let the clipper buzz near cheeks or near back of neck while you hold chin and see the reaction. If dog keeps responding with calmness, you may finally be able to scoop the eyes with little hassle. HOWEVER - if the eyes are goopy and the blade "pulls" (like a #10 or #15 will if the goop is too much), use a #40 or at least scissor SOME of the goop off first, and/or bath the dog and moisten that stuff, then use a fine comb (flea comb often works) to pull it out. That way the scooping does not yank and hurt.

        I don't know if I have a way with Shih Tzus, but I see this problem posted all the time and I rarely have a problem with one. ALSO - one of the "happiest" and most effective rewards for a Shih Tzu that has been calm for holding its head is a NECK RUB. They eat that up! That reward gets them almost every time! So I use that quite a bit, and most are putty in my hands. It only takes 20-45 seconds of a neck rub most times.

        So yes, this takes some time in the beginning, but it saves lots of time and aggravation over the years you may be grooming such a dog. I have turned around some wild-acting dogs, and it is great to see them do the behavior you need and they work so hard to do it "right" because they trust you and "get" what you are asking them to do. Plus it just makes grooming a lot easier and more pleasant for both groomer and dog.


        • #5
          I work at a vet clinic and I have a couple puppies brought back every day that need the hair between their eyes cleaned out. I basically use the same method for adults. I switch to my Bravuras because they are much quieter. I turn them on, and hold it close to the puppies head while I pet and talk to him. I also rub between their eyes and on top of the nose. When they are calm I will take a swipe with my clippers. Then I rub again. It generally only takes a couple times before the puppy realizes it doesn't hurt and submits.

          I don't like holding them by the hair of their chin because I think that does hurt and it gets you into a battle of wills.
          "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


          • #6
            I've done what I call the backwards scoop. Picture holding the dogs body under your arm with them facing in the same direction you are. Hold your clippers in your hand in the same direction as you would if you were facing the dog. Am I losing ya? Make sure your table is a little lower than you would normally have it so that way you are looking down on the top of the dogs head and can see what you are doing. Massage the head with the clippers (not for too long or blade will become hot) when the dog appears a little relaxed then scoop out away from the eyes like you normally would. I've found that when a nervous dog is not looking directly at you they are a little perplexed.

            Or you can preoccupy the dog with some peanut butter ) Trust me it works.


            • #7
              Ive had many a groomer laugh at me for this... years ago, I had a client purchase a clipper and try to do their own dog.. they really butchered it good (not the actual dog just a really really bad shave) so they came in, dropped off dog & said here (dropped this clipper on the counter) , you take these.

              Yup... good old 'Lucky Dog clippers' Oster... so quiet I have had other groomer's ask if it is on. They are really inexpensive (about $50 or less) I take the blade off, let the clipper 'massage the dog starting at their butt.. eventually letting the clipper run over their head. Ive had a few bite at it (these things are really tough...LOL) and they really respond quite well when they see it will not hurt them.
              You can get 3 different blade lengths for this little clipper... I use the medium (similar to a 10).
              My only issue with scissoring, Ive seen some shih tzus with some really deep wrinkles in this area and yes, Ive seen one groomer actually cut a dog by doing it (she claimed she thought it was a mat)


              • #8
                I've used a TidBit or small cordless clipper, but for some reason I find that using your regular clippers with a toe blade works great. I also do the "sneak up from behind" thing, moving in quickly for one pass, move on to something else for a minute, then sneak back in for another quick pass, until it's done.

                I don't know what it is about the toe blade that makes it seem less of a threat, but it really does work on a lot of these guys.

                I also don't like to hold by the chin hairs. I do use my Groomer's Helper, tri-tie position, and place my hand on TOP of the head, pushing slightly forward (sometimes forward enough to close the eyes0 and use my toe blade. If it needs just a little more touching up I use one of those little cordless personal trimmers people get to trim eyebrows. They're about the size of a pencil, make no noise, and will get any stray little hairs you missed with the clipper.