Thursday, September 07, 2006

Getting a New Shih Tzu Puppy to Tolerate Grooming

Getting a New Shih Tzu Puppy to Tolerate Groomingby Connie Limon (Email: All Shih Tzu puppies need to learn to tolerate grooming at an early age. Grooming your Shih Tzu is more than cosmetic. A matted Shih Tzu is uncomfortable and subject to skin irritations and infections. Unclipped toenails will grow and curve, distorting the Shih Tzu's foot to the point of crippling. Dirty ears can become infected and induce pain-related aggression and/or hearing loss. Lack of grooming can cause a Shih Tzu serious discomfort. Shih Tzu is not born with warm feelings toward being groomed. A Shih Tzu needs to learn to enjoy grooming. This is easiest if started sooner, rather than later. In time, your Shih Tzu will learn to love the extra attention it receives while being groomed. Allow your new Shih Tzu puppy a couple of days to settle in to his new home and family routine. Take the first few days to familiarize all family members with the new Shih Tzu puppy's housetraining, feeding and crating routines, and to establish basic house rules. During this time start preparing your new Shih Tzu puppy for grooming by practicing positive association touching exercises. You will need a container of treats. You can do the touching exercises in any order, several times a day, and repeat each one a half-dozen times before moving on to the next one. Try the following exercises in five- to 10-minute sessions. 10 Positive Association Touching Exercises: 1. Scratch your Shih Tzu puppy under the chin, and then feed it a tiny treat from your other hand. 2. Touch each paw, and then feed the Shih Tzu puppy a treat from your other hand. 3. Rub each ear. Feed your Shih Tzu puppy a treat after each rub. 4. Stroke your Shih Tzu puppy's back, then offer a treat. 5. Run your hand down your Shih Tzu puppy's tail, squeezing softly, then feed your pup a treat. 6. Slip one hand under the Shih Tzu puppy's chest and lift gently, and then feed your Shih Tzu puppy a treat. 7. Lift each paw, and feed a treat after each lift. 8. Massage each hind leg from hip to knee, and feed a treat after each leg. 9. Slide your hand from each shoulder to the ankle, and feed a treat after each. 10. Run your fingers over your Shih Tzu puppy's face, cheeks and muzzle, and feed your Shih Tzu puppy a treat. Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Sign up at: This article is FREE to publish with resource box.

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