Whether you’re a current or soon-to-be owner of a Shihpoo, you’ll know that these darling Doods have charm by the bucketful. After all, what could be cuter than a dog that takes all the delights of the ‘lion-like’ Shih Tzu and adds them to the sassy Miniature (or Toy) Poodle? Not much! These loving, loyal guys and gals really do make perfect little lapdogs.
With that in mind, you’ll want to do all you can to help your pup feel happy and remain healthy. One of the most significant aspects of this is coat care. If you’ve never owned a dog quite like the Shihpoo before, you’ll likely have a lot of grooming questions. Hopefully, we’ll tackle some of these today as we talk you through the best brushes for your Shihpoo.
Table of Contents
- Shihpoo Coat Types: A Quick Overview
- Popular Brush Types
- Dog Brushes: Buyer’s Guide
- Best Brushes for Shihpoos: Reviews
- Honorable Mentions: Other Highly Recommended Brushes
- Tips for Grooming Your Shihpoo
- Grooming a Shihpoo: Frequently Asked Questions
- Best Brush for Shihpoo: Conclusion
Our Top 2 Brushes (and a Comb) Recommended by Doodle Parents
If you’re in a bit of a hurry to get to the good stuff, here are our top picks, a brief overview of the coats and tasks they do best with, and links to where you can pick one up. Happy shopping!
Chris Christensen Baby G Slicker Brush. Designed for ultra tricky curly and dense wavy coats, the Baby G Slicker (available in two other sizes) is much-loved by Doodle owners everywhere for just how well it does its job.
Chris Christensen Pin Brush. Long, silky straight, or slightly wavy coats looks great with the CC Oval or Oblong Pin brush, which is perfect for getting that professionally-groomed finish that looks so good.
Andis Pet Steel Comb. No grooming kit is complete with this fab Pet Steel Comb, which not only tackles tough tangles but is perfect for finishing a coat once it has been thoroughly brushed.
Shihpoo Coat Types: A Quick Overview
Since the Shihpoo is a hybrid dog, it’s not always clear what coat they will have. However, if you’ve opted for a Doodle because you have allergies, you’ll be happy to know that Shih Tzus are considered every bit as hypoallergenic as Poodles, meaning that whichever hair your pal does inherit, they will be low shed.
Aside from that, the Poodle coat and the Shih Tzu one are noticeably different. While they are both hair coats that will grow (and grow, and grow), the Poodle typically has soft or coarse curly hair, while the Shih Tzu has what is known as a drop coat – a long, flowing, smooth, silky one that hangs to the floor.
Alternatively, your Shihpoo could end up with a wavy coat (either single or double-layered) that sits somewhere between these extremes. This is the more well-known of the Doodle coats and gives them their trademark teddy bear appearance. It’s also the easiest to care for.
Popular Brush Types
Gone are the days of single-design dog brushes. Now you can get products to deal with just about every coat type and all the various problems they bring to the table. This is good news for you and your pooch as, if you pick the right one, you can cut grooming times in half or maybe more.
When it comes to Doodles and their varying hair types, there are two main kinds of brushes that you’ll be looking at. Your choice will largely depend on which parent coat type your little darling leans towards.
Probably the most popular of the canine brushes, mostly because of their excellent versatility, slickers are designed to tackle the toughest of coats. With their rectangular design, which allows you to cover more ground, and thin, dense pins that reach deep into your pet’s coat, they cut through tricky knots and tangles with effortless ease.
Like human brushes with their round or oval design and straight, more widely spaced pins, these are great for removing dirt, debris, and loose coat from long, straight, or slightly wavy hair. They also help to distribute the coat’s natural oils right through from root to tip keeping every inch of the hair hydrated and well protected.
While brushes are great for covering larger areas, they don’t always do well with removing matting from tighter or more delicate spaces. This is important because behind the ears, around the tail, or armpits are where knots accumulate, causing irritation and allowing pests to flourish.
Dog Brushes: Buyer’s Guide
While there are many types of brush, there is also a lot of variability in how they are both styled and made. This is important to consider when picking the best one for your pooch. It could impact how well they function and how long they last.
Most brushes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The one to suit your dog will naturally depend on their size and coat type. A larger brush will do better covering more ground but won’t be as maneuverable on a smaller pup. Both are important.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the length and density of the pins. You want something that will get right through your pet’s coat without dragging painfully on the skin. More densely packed brushes deal better with removing dirt and loose coat but might not work as well for particularly long hair.
The design is as important for your comfort as your dog’s. A lightweight brush helps prevent hand fatigue, as is an ergonomic handle. This will make the brush more comfortable to both hold and use. A non-slip grip (rubber, for instance) is essential for keeping hold of the brush when dealing with a tougher coat.
While it would be nice to think you’re getting the best quality for your money – particularly when you’re shelling out a fair bit of it, the sad truth is not all brushes are as durable and built to last as others. The majority will be hardy and light plastic with stainless steel pins to prevent rust damage, but you’ll want to pay attention to the joins.
Imagine that you’re right in the middle of a groom, the brush is doing excellently, it’s comfortable to hold, and it’s cutting through the tough tangles with ease when suddenly… the head comes right off. Not good! Opt for cheaply-made products, and you’ll be replacing them so often that you’ll end up spending a lot more in the long run.
You may not know what to look out for in terms of construction, especially when you are just checking out a whole lot of pictures online or plastic-wrapped products in a store. That’s why it pays to give close attention to brand information and reviews. Most dog owners that have been around the block a few times know who does it better.
Best Brushes for Shihpoos: Reviews
Best for Curly/Wavy Coats
We know, this brush is not exactly wallet-friendly – but hear us out! It has all the necessary features that make it a terrific tool for tough, tangle-prone curly Poodle coats. Not only does it have many more pins than competitor products, but they are long and angled, making them perfect for lifting out dirt and working through thick knots too. Moreover, the extreme curve back of the brush allows for more control and movement while the flexible cushion pad keeps it kind to your pet’s skin.
While many reviewers were hesitant about buying this brush, most agree that it has completely changed their grooming experience. One refers to it as a “magic brush” for the way it not only lasts but makes their life and the life of their pup that much easier. Others can’t say enough good things about it. The Baby G Slicker is even popular with groomers who say they can use it for hours without worrying about hand or wrist pain.
Never was a brush more perfectly designed for Doodles. The reviews don’t lie; it really is the best thing for dealing with challenging coats.
Literally, the only bad thing is the price, but that seems quickly forgotten when pet parents get their hands on this fab product.
Best for Straight/Wavy Coats
For the long-haired luvvy in your life, particularly if that hair tends towards the straighter side or has a slight wave, you might prefer the Oval (or Oblong) Pin Brush. This original-style grooming tool features a lightweight, durable beech wood body and high-quality stainless steel pins with rounded tips for the safety and comfort of your pooch. With 30% more of these than traditional pin brushes and at varying lengths for different coat types and styles, this product really works for you.
“Expensive… but yeah, it’s good” is again the general consensus among owners here. It’s considered particularly excellent for dogs with thick, coarse double coats. Like its slicker cousin, it lasts and lasts. The brush feels good in your hand and, perhaps even better, according to pet parents of previously groom-shy pups, dogs love the feel of it too. In many ways, it is definitely paying a little more.
A nice-looking brush that works just as well as it looks. The CC Pin is constructed from the highest-quality materials and designed to perfection.
You will want to opt for the slicker for the truly curly coats. Some reviewers tried these on Poodle-like coats and not always with great results.
Best for All Coats
Not a brush – and not to be used in place of one. However, a comb should definitely be part of your grooming arsenal, whatever your pup’s coat type. We love the simplicity of Andis Steel Pet Comb. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of other combs, but that works in its favor if you ask us. It has narrow and wide-spaced teeth, and that’s all you really need for finishing and dealing with knots.
Available in a few different sizes, so make sure to get the right one for your pup; this excellent comb is just what you need. It’s reasonably comfortable to hold, and the varying spaced teeth make it nicely versatile. In the words of one happy Doodle owner, “If used correctly a couple of times/week, it will save a lot of time fighting matting in doodle hair, and your groomer will appreciate it, too.”
A well-made comb constructed from quality materials yet still at a price that can’t be beaten.
Some people may struggle to grip this comb properly without a handle. If that’s you, we’ve included an alternative option below.
Honorable Mentions: Other Highly Recommended Brushes
If you’ve done all the research, read all the reviews, and are still not sure the CC Slicker is the one for you, the Artero Double Flexible Slicker is a great alternative. Many would consider it just as good but at a lower price. It includes dense angled pins, a flexible cushion, an ergonomic handle, and the added benefit of greater versatility.
As above but with the pin brush option, you might go for the Safari Wire Pin Brush for Dogs. This brush has many of the same features, i.e., the wooden construction and safety-polished pins. It’s also available in two different sizes. Plus, the handle includes special grip pads that help you keep a firm hold of the brush even while giving it your all.
The easy-grip alternative to the Andis Steel Combo that we recommend is the Li’l Pals Double-Sided Dog Comb. It has the narrow and widely spaced teeth options, albeit on different sides of the comb, all in stainless steel besides, plus it’s a great size for smaller dogs. However, that handle is truly great for enhanced controllability.
Tips for Grooming Your Shihpoo
We don’t mean in the morning…pick whatever time of day you want. What we mean is it’s best to get your pup in the habit of being groomed from the day you bring them home. Let them explore, play with, mouth the brushes, combs, etc., before you get going. Start with a few minutes, adding a little more time each day. Be sure to keep it a positive experience for your pet while getting them used to being handled.
Pick A Good Time
Again, we’re not dictating your schedule to you! In this instance, we mean that it’s best to brush when your dog is in a quiet and relaxed mood. Perhaps just after you have taken them for a nice, long walk. If they get overexcited, they will act like it’s a game, making every grooming task at least 10 times more difficult than it needs to be. Choice your moment, and a nice rhythmic brushing could even send them off to the land of nod.
Get Into A Routine
Okay, so this time, we are kind of dictating your routine – just a little. As pet owners ourselves, we find it best if we have a specific grooming time each day (or every two or three days – whatever your pet needs). This will make it easier for you to keep up. Your pup will know to expect it, and tackling a little at regular intervals will stop those tangles from building up into unmanageable dreadlocks that no brush will get through.
Work in Sections
The novice groomer will be the one working the brush across their pet’s back, gliding across the top of their coat with no awareness of the absolute horrors that lurk beneath. Don’t worry. We’ve all been there and reaped the painful consequences, whether it be an embarrassing trip to the groomers or hours of work once we do find those buried knots. Save yourself the pain by dividing your pal’s coat into sections covering the head down to the tail. And, be sure to brush/comb all the way down to the skin.
Don’t Forget The Other Bits
Brushing, while perhaps the most vital part of the grooming routine, is by no means the only one. Alongside this, you will need to tackle nail trims, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, removing tear stains, and trimming overly long hair around the face, paws, and back end. If you’re keen to take on all this at home, we’ve got handy articles on each.
Grooming a Shihpoo: Frequently Asked Questions
The best brush for your Shihpoo will very much depend on the type of coat they have. A slicker brush will likely be your best option if they are a little more on the curly side. With longer, straight, or wavy hair, a pin brush is a good choice. Chris Christensen has great options for both, as per our reviews on this page.
With their puppy coat, grooming your Shihpoo may seem unnecessary. However, trust us when we say that the earlier you get your dog used to be handled in this way, the better for both of you. Give yourself time to take it easy and make it fun with plenty of praise and well-timed treats.
Whether or not your pup ends up with an undercoat depends on the coat they inherit. Poodles only have a single layer of hair. Shih Tzus, on the other hand, do have both a longer outercoat and a shorter, denser undercoat. That being said, these dogs mysteriously don’t seem to shed any more than Poodles, so maybe, in this case, it doesn’t even matter.
Best Brush for Shihpoo: Conclusion
When you adopt a Shihpoo, you will need to know how to properly care for them. While nutrition, accessories, and training are all things to think about, you cannot overlook the importance of coat maintenance. This is something you will be dealing with on a very regular basis, so you will want the right tools and methods for making it as painless as possible for both you and your pup. We can help you with both! Here we have reviewed and recommended some excellent grooming tools that beat the Doodle-owner test.
Learn How to!
A Maintenance Grooming Guide to Keeping Your Dood Looking as Perfect as They Do on Grooming Day!Plus, get $355 worth of Bonus Materials for FREE, including:
- Doodle Parenthood Community and Support Group ($190 value)
- Video on Trimming Overgrown Eyebrows, Jowls, and Beard ($30 value)
- Video on What Improper Brushing Looks Like ($20 value)
- Easy to Use Doodle Grooming Tracker ($20 value)
- And MORE!