5 Best Dog Clippers for Shih Tzu’s in 2019

Shih Tzu’s on some of the most popular members of the toy dog group and have been highly celebrated as “royalty” dogs from the early Chinese Dynasty and even to royalty in the UK. Shih Tzu’s are best known for their long and flowing hair that drapes over their body and just gracing the ground.

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Shih Tzu’s require regular grooming, from brushing to clipping, and the right tools can help you maintain the perfect luxurious-looking coat. As a Shih Tzu owner, you might want to save money by grooming your dog on your own.

While their high-maintenance coat may be a bit of an undertaking, with the right tools, you can groom your Shih Tzu without any trouble.

In this article we’ll discuss:

  • The different types of clippers for Shih Tzu’s
  • The different sizes of blades for Shih Tzu clippers
  • The best size of blade to use on your Shih Tzu
  • The overall best clippers for Shih Tzu’s
  • The best blade to use on matted Shih Tzu hair
  • Tips for grooming your Shih Tzu with clippers

Shih Tzu’s have dense double-coats. It’s important to take special consideration when grooming a double-coated dog because not only do their coats help keep them cool in the summer and warmer in the winter, but a double coat helps to protect sensitive skin.

Like other double-coated dogs, Shih Tzu’s benefit from weekly, if not daily, brushing to help prevent tangles, knots, and matted hair. Your Shih Tzu is more likely to have tangled hair if you keep the cut long, but if you do give your Shih Tzu a Teddy Bear cut it’s important not to cut the hair too short.

While brushing your Shih Tzu is essential to maintaining your dog’s coat, you also need to maintain a grooming schedule. Depending on the type of cut you choose for your Shih Tzu, you may need to extend the time between grooming with clippers, but we recommend establishing a grooming schedule of every six weeks.

Since taking your Shih Tzu to a professional groomer can be expensive, and a stressful experience for some dogs, grooming your dog at home can be a better option overall. While maintaining your Shih Tzu’s luxurious coat may be intimidating, the right tools can help you create your dog’s iconic look. Here are some of the best dog clippers for Shih Tzu’s.

Different Types of Clippers for Shih Tzu’s

Even if you have a brush and a pair of high-quality grooming scissors, an electric dog clipper is essential if you plan on grooming your Shih Tzu at home. The type of dog clipper will depend on your personal preferences and your grooming needs, such as whether or not you chose a “puppy cut” or the traditional long cut.

The clippers you choose should be easy to use and make you feel comfortable with grooming your Shih Tzu on your own. Here are the different types of clippers to consider.

Corded Clippers

Corded dog clippers are popular for professional and DIY groomers alike. Top-rated corded clippers, like Andis and Oster, have durable designs and are often powerful enough to cut all types of dog coats, including matted hair.

Many groomers prefer to work with corded clippers because there are more options to customize your cut by swapping out different-sized blades. Depending on your Shih Tzu’s cut, you may not use many different blades, but options can offer more artistic freedom.

A major advantage of using corded clippers is that they don’t use batteries, which means you don’t have to worry about the batteries dying in the middle of your grooming session.

Most corded clippers have various speed settings, which can be beneficial for novice groomers or dogs that are hesitant about being groomed.

If your Shih Tzu is sensitive to sound or has a history of bad grooming experiences, you may want to look for a corded clipper that has low-vibration and overall quiet operation. While corded clippers typically last longer than other types of clippers, it may take some getting used to as you learn to maneuver with a long cord.

If you decide that a corded clipper is the best option for grooming your Shih Tzu, it’s important to invest in a few more accessories for your clippers such as cooling gel or spray to keep the blades cool. You may also need oil and a cleaning kit for your clippers.

The owner manual that comes with your clippers should tell you everything you need (if it isn’t included with the clippers). Taking care of your clippers will not only extend the life of the clipper, but will also make clipping your Shih Tzu’s hair easier.

Cordless Clippers

Many groomers who own corded clippers also have cordless clippers. Cordless dog clippers are battery-powered or rechargeable, and regardless of what type you choose, it’s always important to have a fully charged spare battery pack or extra batteries on hand.

Cordless clippers are a popular choice for groomers who hate feeling “limited” by a cord. Since a corded clipper can feel a little awkward and hard to control, a cordless clipper is a good option to consider.

Many cordless clippers have limited blade lengths or have a 5-in-1 blade, which can limit your choices when trying out different blade lengths. It’s important to note that even if you take care of your cordless clippers and keep battery packs fully charged, cordless clippers typically have a shorter lifespan than corded clippers.

Pet Trimmers

Pet trimmers are designed for touch-ups and grooming around the face and paws. Pet trimmers are mostly battery-powered and work similarly to cordless clippers. Depending on your personal preferences and your Shih Tzu’s grooming needs, you may not need a pet trimmer.

If you trim the hair by the face or paws, you may feel more comfortable to use high-quality grooming scissors, but pet trimmers are always a nice grooming tool to have on hand.

Different Sizes of Blades for Shih Tzu Clippers

Whether you prefer to keep your Shih Tzu’s hair long or a short style like the “puppy trim,” you’re likely to need different size blades. If you decide to cut your Shih Tzu’s hair short, it’s important to think about your dog’s double-coat.

Double-coats not only help to keep your dog comfortable year-round but the unique coat can also protect the skin. If you cut your Shih Tzu’s coat too short, your dog may be more susceptible to sunburn, skin irritation, and insect bites.

If a double-coat is cut too short, the hair may grow back slowly, uneven, and may even appear patchy. While the Teddy Bear cut or puppy trim is a popular cut, and often easier to maintain, it’s important that you know what you’re doing before you start clipping.

It’s better to start long and clip more if needed. A short-style cut on your Shih Tzu may loo charming, but it’s more important to think about the well-being of your Shih Tzu.

Investing in a high-quality clipper, from brands like Oster or Andis, you can switch out different size blades. Using the right size blade can prevent you from clipping your Shih Tzu’s hair too short and having detachable blades can help you clean and sharpen your blades more easily.

When you purchase a dog clipper, most of them usually come with a #10 blade which is a standard size blade for dog grooming. A #10 blade leaves one-sixteenth of an inch of hair on your Shih Tzu.

As you browse other sized blades, it’s important to pay close attention to the number on the blade. #4, #5, and #7 blades are other commonly used blades, which leave the hair looking trimmed but longer. The lower the blade number, the longer the hair.

Some groomers may recommend using a #30 or even a #40 blade. Blades with these high numbers are often used in a veterinary setting, and since these blades clip so close to the skin, we strongly advise against using these blades on a double-coated dog like your Shih Tzu.

Many blades have the letter “F” next to the number, which is indicative of a full tooth blade. Full tooth blades are standard, cut the hair evenly, and result in a more finished look. Other types of blades are skip tooth blades. The teeth on these blades alternate between short and long and result in a textured finish.

Skip tooth blades are not commonly used on Shih Tzu coats.

Most of today’s high-quality blades are made of stainless steel or ceramic. Blades may also have a coating that contains titanium, carbon, chrome, or silver. Coated blades are designed to last longer and protect the blades from rust and bacteria.

The majority of clipper blades are compatible with other clippers, such as Andis and Oster brands. Before you buy a blade, it’s always important to double-check that it is compatible with your clipper.

Which Size Blade Should You Use on a Shih Tzu?

As we already noted, the size of the blade that you use when grooming your Shih Tzu will depend on the type of cut you want for your dog. Remember, groomers may recommend certain blade sizes that we don’t recommend. Whichever blade size you choose, remember never to cut your Shih Tzu’s coat too short.

While the #10 blade is a standard size and a “go to” for many groomers, it may not be the best choice for your Shih Tzu. When you’re clipping the top of your Shih Tzu’s head, cheeks, and body, we recommend using #4 blades. When trimming around the face and ears, it’s best to trim with high-quality grooming scissors carefully.

If your Shih Tzu is prone to matted hair, even with regular brushing, we recommend a #7 blade. While you may not use the #10 blade as frequently as you would with other dog breeds, you can use #10 for carefully trimming around the rear (for sanitary reasons) or around the pads.

Overall Best Clippers for Shih Tzu’s

While all of the dog clippers in our article are top-rated and suitable options to consider when grooming your Shih Tzu, we start by reviewing our top pick for the best clippers for Shih Tzu’s.

Andis ProClip Speed Detachable Blade Clipper

Andis is a popular brand for professional and DIY groomers alike. The professional grade dog clipper has two speeds, with the top speed 25 percent faster than the low setting. The ProClip clippers have a cool-running design to prevent overheating.

The corded clippers run quietly and have low-vibration, which may be an ideal choice for dogs who are easily startled by noise. The detachable blades are compatible with other clippers and are easy to clean.

Pros:

  • Professional grade durability and shatterproof housing
  • Two speeds and quiet operation
  • Easy to clean and maintenance

Cons:

  • Not cordless
  • Needs to be oiled before and after every use
  • May run hot when grooming your Shih Tzu despite the cool-running feature

Shih Tzu hair is often described as high-maintenance and their double-coats can make it even more challenging to maintain sometimes. Even if you brush your Shih Tzu numerous times throughout the week, your dog may still end up with matted hair.

Matted hair should be taken care of as soon as you can for the comfort of your Shih Tzu.

Corded clippers are typically a better option for matted hair because they have more power than most cordless clippers. Take a look at our pick for the best dog clippers for matted Shih Tzu hair.

Oster A5 Turbo 2-Speed Professional Animal Clipper

Best Pick for Matted Shih Tzu Hair – The Oster A5 with Turbo two-speed has similar features to our overall best pic, the Andis ProClip, but the Oster has more power. The extra boost of power in this professional grade clipper is one of the main reasons why it’s our top choice for matted Shih Tzu hair.

The Oster A5 has two speeds, is durable, has an easy-to-maintain design, and is compatible with other top-rated brands like Andis.

Pros:

  • Faster speed for cutting matted hair
  • Quiet operation
  • Heavy-duty design
  • Easy to change blades

Cons:

  • Not cordless
  • Needs to be checked frequently to make sure it’s not too hot
  • May be more power than you need or feel comfortable using

3 More Top Rated Shih Tzu Clippers

Depending on the type of cut you choose for your Shih Tzu, your grooming needs may be different than other Shih Tzu owners who groom their dogs.

We believe that it’s always beneficial to have options and that’s why we have three more top-rated picks for you to check out for grooming your Shih Tzu.

Oster Golden A5 Single Speed Animal Clipper

The Oster Golden A5 single speed clipper is a great option for anyone who thinks that the A5 Turbo two-speed clipper has too much power and speed for their Shih Tzu’s hair. The single speed clipper operates over 2,100 strokes per minute (SPM) and has enough power for various lengths of hair, including matted hair.

The corded clipper has a detachable blade and is compatible with top-rated clippers and blades. The durable, professional grade clipper is easy to clean and use.

Pros:

  • Professional grade
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Quiet operation and low-vibration
  • Powerful enough for Shih Tzu matted hair

Cons:

  • Not cordless
  • Only one speed setting

Andis AGC 1-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper

If you like the specific features of the Andis ProClip but feel that the dual power settings are too strong, the Andis single speed clipper may be an ideal option for you. The Andis AGC single speed has more power than the Oster A5 and operates 2,700 SPM.

The single speed clipper is professional grade, is compatible with other detachable blades, and comes with a #10 blade.

Pros:

  • More power than other single speed clippers
  • Quiet operation and low-vibration
  • Great option for matted hair
  • Easy to clean and change blades

Cons:

  • Not cordless
  • Only one speed setting
  • Runs cooler, but still needs frequent checking for overheating

Oster Golden A5 2-Speed Animal Clipper

The Oster Golden A5 dual speed clipper has more power than the single speed model. The dual speed clipper has many of the same features of the single speed clipper, but with the benefit of the additional setting of 2,700 SPM.

Like the Oster Golden A5 single speed clipper, this corded clipper has a detachable blade that is easy to clean and is compatible with other top-rated brands like Andis.

Pros:

  • Professional grade
  • Quiet operation and low-vibration
  • Suitable for double-coats and mats

Cons:

  • Not cordless
  • May not use the second setting or may not provide enough power

5 Tips on How to Groom a Shih Tzu with Clippers

While Shih Tzu’s have high-maintenance coats, it doesn’t mean that you can’t groom them successfully in the comfort of your own home. If you have limited grooming experience, you may be a bit hesitant to cut your Shih Tzu’s hair with clippers.

Having the right tools, and keeping these tips in mind, you can groom your Shih Tzu and have professional-looking results.

  • Brushing your Shih Tzu frequently will reduce tangling and matted fur. Even if you brush your Shih Tzu daily, it’s important to remember that your dog may still get mats. It doesn’t mean that you’re an inattentive owner, but you should take care of a mat as soon as you can.
  • Introducing your Shih Tzu to grooming, such as brushing, at an early age can help the grooming process go more smoothly. Before you start using clippers, let your dog get used to the sound and feel of the clipper before you start trimming hair.
  • Before you clip your Shih Tzu’s hair, bathe your dog and dry the coat before you start clipping. If your Shih Tzu has skin issues or sensitive skin, make sure that you’re using the right type of shampoo and avoid a short-style cut on to ensure that you don’t irritate the skin more.
  • Grooming your Shih Tzu takes time and patience. As a beginner, be prepared to make mistakes and end up with a less-than-professional look. If you get too stressed or don’t have enough time to groom your Shih Tzu, set aside some time when you can focus and have patience. You may benefit from having someone help you groom your Shih Tzu.
  • Whether you’re interested in trying out a shorter-style cut or perfecting the traditional long cut, it can be helpful to check out online tutorials and read other dog grooming resources before you start grooming your Shih Tzu.

Final Thoughts

Shih Tzu’s have a unique and beautiful coat that requires careful grooming, but the hard work pays off when your Shih Tzu’s coat looks flawless. With the right clippers and a good amount of practice, you can give your Shih Tzu a professional-looking cut.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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