Grooming Gear

Grooming Gear for Shihpoos

Grooming a Shihpoo as the offspring of the Shih Tzu (with its long and straight flowing hair) and the Poodle (with its tightly curled hair) is bound to require time and effort. The first time we attempted to clip our oldest Shihpoo’s hair, it took over three hours to complete and lowered my life expectancy by 5 years.

What equipment will you need to clip your Shihpoo’s hair?

Make sure you have a two-speed corded electric clipper and a large, flat steel comb. To make the grooming experience go as smooth as possible, consider a grooming table with a 1′ to 2′ adjustable arm for the restraining loop.

These recommendations will help you if you choose to forego the $50 to $100 professional groomer fee and opt for the basic Shihpoo puppy cut (the equally close trim around the entire body). All together, you will be in nearly $200, but after the first year, you will end up spending $100 to $400 less every year over taking your Shihpoo puppy to the groomer.

Plan to spend well over an hour grooming your Shihpoo the first time you attempt it. With the proper equipment, your grooming time will become much more efficient.

Buy High Quality Clippers

This recommendation really matters. The first electric clipper I purchased from the local pet supply store was not the lowest price set, but it was on the lower end. I figured the cheapest set must be garbage but the next one should be fine, right? Wrong!

It took multiple passes to clip every single area of the puppy, making the experience excruciatingly painful for all involved. That is why I will not recommend skimping on this purchase:

  • Brand: Andis
  • Model: AGC2
  • Description: 2-speed with detachable head
  • Pricing: They will be about the same price on Amazon or Chewy.com, so long as shipping is free. In the early spring of 2020, the price was just over $100. With the massive demand to give haircuts at home during the pandemic, the price skyrocketed to closer to $200 at one point.
  • Availability: Most pet stores will carry them and charge about $25 to $50 more than you would find them online. Have it delivered directly to your door by Amazon or Chewy.com.

  • Why I Like this Model: Compared to the first clippers I purchased (for about $40), this model actually cuts my Shihpoo’s hair. After my 3-hour fiasco with the cheap model, using this Andis on my puppy’s curly hair was like slicing butter with a hot knife. I also love the 14′ cord, since I need to move around the puppy and my plugin is behind the dryer. Do follow the directions that come with the clippers, especially the tip about keeping the blades oiled.

Cordless Option

I have seen multiple Shihpoo families recommend these cordless clippers from Wahl. If my current clippers ever die (unlikely), I’m going with this product.

Wahl Bravura Professional Corded/Cordless Kit. There are serious benefits to using cordless clippers, including liberation to groom your Shihpoo just about wherever you want. With a 90-minute run time, you should also have plenty of battery time to get your puppy looking as cute as can be. It also comes with six plastic attachment guides to clip your dog’s hair just the right length.

Metal Comb

When clipping your Shihpoo’s hair, avoid the temptation to trim him or her all the way down to the skin. We did this, and besides ending up with a naked puppy, you dramatically increase the risk of nicking your puppy’s skin (around the groin and privates as well as up and down his or her legs).

Use a large, flat metal comb like this one we recommend below and place it between the clippers and your puppy’s skin. You will be amazed at how quickly you can clip through thick hair with this method.

  • Brand: Andis
  • Description: 7.5″ Flat Steel Pet Comb
  • Pricing: Whether on Amazon or Chewy.com, you will pay a little of $8.50 for this comb. They sell larger, 10″ versions, but that’s too big for your Shihpoo. I have seen other, similar-looking combs for a couple of dollars less, but even in their marketing photos, the teeth are bent. Don’t go there. Bent teeth will make the whole process more difficult.
  • Availability: Like the clippers, you can find this comb at most local pet stores, but you can also find it a couple of dollars cheaper online at Chewy.com or on Amazon.

  • Why I Like It: Sliding your clippers along this steel comb makes for a smooth and satisfying experience. Avoid plastic combs that “stick” to your dog’s hair. Plus, the rounded heads on this comb provide a safe and comfortable experience for your Shihpoo puppy.

Grooming Table

If you have ever watched your Shihpoo being groomed at a professional puppy salon, you have likely been fascinated, like I was, by how still most of the dogs stand while being groomed. This is not the case for most puppies if you attempt a puppy cut at home.

The first key is the restraining loop that is placed around your dog’s head and against which the dog will have to push or pull to wiggle away. The reality is that dogs will generally remain still and compliant when in this position because they feel vulnerable.

The second key is the manner in which the groomer holds or handles the dog. I have found that if I try to be too accommodating and allow my puppies to wiggle and contort themselves to get away, they eventually succeed. If, on the other hand, I hold their leg or body or face firmly (not in a way that will injure him or her), the puppy complies and stops wiggling (for the most part).

If you are going to clip your puppy’s hair in the garage or out in the back yard (not in the winter, mind you), you will want the same table I do.

Brand: Go Pet

-Description: 30″ Grooming Table with Adjustable Arm (Chewy).
-Pricing: You can find more expensive tables for over $100, but this one comes with the basics.
-Availability: You will find this table on Chewy.

  • Why I Like This: You can easily spend more, and you eventually will if you plan to go into the mobile dog grooming business. This table should last you for three or four years at least. Besides its affordability, this table is about the right size for me and my puppy. If you are over 6′ tall, you will need a taller table. Finally, I highly recommend a table with a non-slip surface. We bought just an arm that clamps to a table and regret it every time our puppy does the splits struggling against the loop.
  • Rating: With over 1,000 positive Amazon and nearly 300 positive Chewy reviews, this table has maintained a 4.5-star rating.

If you want a tabletop version with the groomer’s loop, here is one that I would want to get:

  • Brand: Master Equipment
  • Description: 19″x19″ Small, Portable Grooming Table. If you prefer to groom your pet on a table of your own (outdoors, hopefully, or in the garage), then try this one from Master Equipment.
  • Pricing: In 2019, this tabletop grooming table carried a price tag of just under $65.
  • Availability: This grooming table is available on both Amazon and Chewy.com.
  • Rating: With over 650 reviews, this model still has a 4½ star rating out of 5

DeMatter Tool

We have let our Shihpoos’ coats get too long for our liking a couple of times. We love dematting combs (avoid “rakes” and non-dematting combs). They are effective in getting rid of matted fur, especially behind and under the ears and down the back of the neck. Plus, they are easy to use. Try one of these, ranging from about $9 to $15.

NameAmazonChewy
FURminator
Poodle Pet Dematting Comb