7 Best Brushes for Shi Tzu With 5 Simple Brushing Tips

Shi Tzus are an excellent small dog known for their beautiful coats. They are also known for being very active and playful. However, with all that activity comes all of the tangles, dirt, and matting that an owner dreads. Knowing how to groom your Shi Tzu best is essential to keep their coats healthy and lovely.

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Brushing your dog well will stimulate the natural oils in their skin, helping remove dead skin, debris, and stuck fur. This routine not only keeps your pal healthier, but grooming also helps them bond to you. Taking the time to do this regularly will ensure that your dog will have the best life it can have.

Having the right tools can help make sure that you’re able to maintain your Shi Tzu’s coat without running into trouble. Although professional grooming should be done every once in a while, having the right tools will prevent unnecessary expensive grooms and shave downs.

The Shi Tzu coat changes dramatically throughout their lives. The changes mean that you will have to pay attention as your dog grows, changing your tool kit and the amount of time you spend grooming.

As a puppy, your Shi Tzu’s coat will be short and fluffy. They have this coat for essential insulation, and it’s the most accessible type of fur to take care of. Groom your puppy about once a week during this age, using a comb or pin brush. It will help keep them clean and smooth, as well as getting them used to regular grooming sessions.

Taking Care of Grooming

During their growing stage, Shi Tzu fur becomes the most difficult to manage. It will begin transforming just before a year old. At this stage, the coat is prone to matting and tangles. A slicker brush will become very useful during this time, and you will need to use it every day.

As an adult, your dog’s coat will be longer and smoother. It will mat and tangle less, but because of the longer hair, you will need to be more meticulous as you groom. During this time, either slicker or pin brushes are great. Although you won’t have to brush every day, bi-weekly thorough grooming is still necessary.

The right brush is vital. Without the proper tools, the hair of your pet will still be full of tangles, even if you’re brushing every day. There are many brands of dog brushes, and you may feel overwhelmed with just which one to choose. We’ll give you an overview of the essential brushes that you’ll need to keep your friend in perfect shape.

Although all of these are great options for your Shi Tzu, it’s always good to talk with your vet or professional groomer before the use of anything new. Following the manufacturers instructions are also important, as you can cause pain or injury through improper use.

Different Types of Popular Shi Tzu Brushes

Your Shi Tzu has specific brushing needs that are different than other dogs. Their hair changes throughout their lives, and you’ll need to give them a different type of attention during each growth period. You’ll need three primary tools, your comb, pin/bristle brush, and your slicker brush.


Much like human combs, a comb for your dog will have a full set of teeth in a straight line. A comb is ideal for working out the knots on your Shi Tzu, or for shorter-haired Shi Tzu’s and puppies.

Buying combs that are good quality will mean you have to replace them less often. By purchasing metal and properly hardened combs, you can ensure that teeth won’t break or the spine snap. It will also mean there’s less of a chance that they will break while grooming and possibly injure your pet.

Pin and Bristle Brushes

Similarly, a pin brush looks like a human hairbrush, only with more spaced out pins. A bristle brush also looks like the human version, with soft nylon, close-set bristles.

The pin and bristle brushes are brushes that are great for basic detangling and smoothing. You’ll want one or both of these during the first year of your puppy, adding in a slicker brush as they get older. You can then use this brush as a finishing brush after your slicker on your adult dog.

Make sure that any grooming tool you find has safety features to protect the skin of your dog. Shi Tzu’s have sensitive skin under that coat, so choose brushes with soft bristles or safety tips on the end of pins.

Slicker Brushes

Slicker brushes are ideal for Shi Tzu’s as they’re designed specifically for long hair with an undercoat. A good quality slicker brush is densely packed with rows of bent pins. The pins separate the hair as it moves through it, getting out those nasty tangles.

The job of the slicker brush is to pass through both layers of the coat while still protecting the skin. It will help move the natural oils through the fur, keeping it healthy and shiny.

Although a pin brush could work in a pinch, slicker brushes are preferred for adult Shi Tzu’s. Their thick plush coat and dense underlayer need a thorough brushing for all the dead hair to be brought to the surface. It is also better at detangling knots.

Overall Best Brush for a Shi Tzu

1. Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

The Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush is an excellent choice for your everyday slicker brush. It is short with bent bristles and will run through your Shi Tzu’s hair with comfort and ease. It is a functional brush that makes sure your dog’s coat is tangle-free, with cared-for skin.

It has everything you want in a slicker. It is an excellent high-quality brush head that will last you for many years. It also has an ergonomic anti-slip handle that makes it easy to use every day. The real reason we love the Hertzko though, is because of its fantastic self-cleaning function.

When too much hair gets stuck in the brush, you just push a button on the head. The bristles retract into the brush, entirely releasing the hair from the pins. Although this may seem like a luxury to some, having anything that makes your daily grooming easier may come to be a necessity.

6 More Top-Rated Shi Tzu Dog Brushes

1. FURminator Firm Grooming Slicker Brush

FURminator has always been a leader in pet care products. This brush is very popular for breeds of dogs that have thick undercoats and shed. While the Shi Tzu may not have as many of these issues as some breeds, the features of this brush will still help your dog’s coat stay shiny and knot-free.

The thing that makes the FURminator different is its two different bristle types. It has a set of curved pins and a set of straight. The straight bristles have the added function of being able to remove knots and tangles more effectively than the curved ones. It is ideal for the tangle-prone Shi Tzu hair.

2. JW Pet Rotating Comfort Comb

The JW Pet Rotating Comfort Comb is at the top of the market, specifically for Shi Tzu grooming. Not only is it one of the cheapest grooming tools you can buy, but it is also durable and quality, and perfectly designed for the Shi Tzu’s needs.

The thing that makes this comb unique is that the stainless steel teeth can rotate 360 degrees. The rotation factor makes it especially useful in preventing uncomfortable tangling as you move through your dog’s coat. The metal teeth will stand up to the job of untangling even the most aggressive knots.

3. ConairPRO Dog Pin Brush

This pin brush has ergonomic memory grip handles that will make your grooming process comfortable and relaxed. It also has a slip-resistant coating that will form to your hand during the process. This technology will help you avoid any hand fatigue or wrist pain during your sessions.

The pins are stainless steel with soft comfort tips that will go into your Shi Tzu’s undercoat without pain or damage. While the pins may bend if you brush too hard, the tips will ensure that you’re never hurting your dog. The brush adequately works out tangles and eliminates mats, and is excellent for daily use.

4. JW Pet Gripsoft Bristle Brush

The JW Pet Gripsoft Bristle Brush gets our vote for a brush to try if your Shi Tzu has sensitive skin. It has wide-set soft bristles that will root out hair and gently massage your pal and is particularly ideal for soft areas like the neck and face.

The thicker bristles will do an excellent job of keeping your Shi Tzu’s hair tangle-free and shiny. It is also a great finishing brush that can be used after your slicker to give your dog a smooth look.

It has a Gripsoft technology handle with non-slip grips, which gives you great control and comfort while brushing. An excellent option for daily grooming, this brush is best used on hair that has been well maintained and is without matting.

5. Hartz Groomer’s Best Slicker Brush

The Hartz Groomer’s Best Slicker Brush gets our vote for being a great slicker brush at an affordable price. It was initially designed for professional groomers and did the needed job of detangling mats and tangles while getting out the undesired hair.

The extra added feature we love about this brush is that the bristle tips are covered with a protective coating, which protects your dog’s skin from unwanted scrapes and irritations. It also has an ergonomic handle, so you can be comfortable while using it.

Although this brush is a little tougher to clean, it will do the job required of a good slicker, while saving you a couple of extra dollars at the same time. It is easy and safe to use while reducing shedding and keeping your dog’s hair smooth and healthy.

6. Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush

The Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush is terrific for your Shi Tzu because it gives you two options in one. On one side is a pin brush, and on the other is a soft bristle brush, giving you a versatile tool to bring anywhere with you.

The pins have a safety tip on them, protecting the skin of your dog, while the nylon bristles will be great for dogs with sensitive skin. You can start with the pins to work out all small knots in your dog’s coat, and then switch to the bristles to add shine and smoothness.

This double-sided brush is useful for every day. The price point, though, does denote its quality. Over time the safety tips may fall off, and the rubber backing tends to detach. While you may enjoy the dual functionality, it may not last you over time.

5 Simple Tips to Properly Brush a Shi Tzu

Every dog is different, so your grooming strategy should be personalized to your dog. Make the process an experiment, and a time to connect and bond with your Shi Tzu. Try out different brushes and different routines. You’ll quickly find out what works best and be able to create a regular system.

1. Use Multiple Brushes

Since Shi Tzu’s coats are long and double-layered, it will likely work best to use multiple types of brushes in tandem. Think about the main issues your dog faces, and then experiment with which brushes mitigate those problems. Always staring from head to tail, use your comb to work out tangles. Next, use your slicker to get into the undercoat to get out all dead hair. Finally, finish and smooth with a pin or bristle brush.

2. Groom Often

Although it may sometimes feel like a pain to groom your Shi Tzu regularly, doing just a little bit every day will help avoid more significant problems and will keep your friend healthy. Grooming should be rewarding, and finding the right tools will make sure that it’s an enjoyable experience for you and your Shi Tzu.

3. Use a Conditioning Spray

You may want to use your slicker brush in tandem with a light conditioning spray. It will help free tangled hair and leave the coat soft and smooth. Spray your dog lightly, and then brush over each section more than once. If you hit a tangle, work at it gently until it comes free, and you can pass the brush through without sticking.

4. Be Comfortable

Consider buying grooming tools with ergonomic and comfort features. A Shi Tzu will take more maintenance than other breeds, and you want to make sure that you’re comfortable while grooming our pet. Ergonomic features will prevent hand strain and make you less rushed during the process. An anti-slip group handle will also help make sure you don’t lose your grip while grooming, getting the brush painfully stuck in your dog’s fur.

5. Keep Your Dog Safe

Your Shi Tzu has very sensitive skin underneath all that fur, so make sure that any tool you buy has safety features. Make sure that all tools are high quality and won’t snap under pressure.

Combs and pin brushes should have rounded or safety tips on the ends of the points. The bristles on your slicker brush should have a bend in them. Straight bristles on your brush make it too easy to scratch your pet’s skin. They should also be fine, dense, and evenly dispersed.

Although grooming may seem like a tedious process, taking the time to do it regularly will ensure that your dog will have a happy and healthy life.

FAQ Regarding Shi Tzu Brushing / Grooming

How often should I bathe my Shi Tzu?

You can bathe your Shi Tzu every 7 to 10 days, making sure that you use a good pet shampoo. There are many shampoos explicitly made for Shi Tzu’s. However, never wash your dog if they have a mat in their hair. It will only make the matting worse. Make sure that you comb and remove all mats before a bath.

How do I get my Shi Tzu to sit still during grooming?

Although there are many great training tips, the best way to get your dog to sit still is by being relaxed. Talk to your dog during the whole process, using a calm and gentle voice. Make sure you don’t get frustrated during the grooming, as this will only increase their agitation. The more consistently you groom your Shi Tzu, the more used to it they will become.

How much do Shi Tzu’s shed?

All Shi Tzu’s shed moderately at all times of the year, with the significant shedding being during the spring and winter. During the spring, their coat switches to a summer coat, and during the fall, it changes to a winter coat. The shedding process generally takes about three weeks. However, if you consistently groom, you’re able to catch the loose hair in a hairbrush rather than getting it all over the house.

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