Do shih tzus (or bichons)blow coat or not.../ and when do they get their adult coat...?

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

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Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Mon Jan 30, '12 9:27am PST 
Frankie has been having a couple matting issues this past month...

I am not necessarily looking for suggestions on how to deal with it, but I was wondering if shih tzus do or do not blow coat...? I read conflicting things everywhere about this...thinking

Also, when does a shih tzu get his adult coat...?

I guess I should ask this concerning bichon frises, as well, because he is a shih tzu/bichon mix...although his fur mostly reminds me of a bichon's...

I had been giving him fish oil daily but stopped a couple months ago...may need to start that back up as well, as his fur seems kinda dry...we got it from the vet this past summer when he had a food allergy, and just kept using it, so I am wondeirng if I maybe should keep using the fish oil, or if he is just blowing coat or getting his adult fur...?

Again, I am not nec asking for advice on how to deal with matts, but am mainly wondering if these breeds of dogs do indeed blow coat and when they get their adult coat...

Thanks!! smile

The Boy Wonder
Barked: Mon Jan 30, '12 3:33pm PST 
They don't 'blow coat' per say but they do have a change over, and during that time matting is a lot more of an issue (poodles do the same). In my experience you see the change start anywhere from 7-9 months and by a year they generally have in their adult coats. The texture is very different from one to the other and that makes it harder.

In the mean time get a good leave in conditioner or oil (lanolin is nice in this situation if a bit heavy) and yes fish oil (or a small amount of canned fish) would help
Trixie Bean!

none so blind as- those that will- not see
Barked: Mon Jan 30, '12 5:33pm PST 
Out customers ALWAYS have issues with their Tzu's and their Bichons at 8-9 months.. MANY of them who had previously been keeping them with a lot of coat ask for them to be shaved because they simply can't handle it. My boss describes it as the puppy coat and adult coat fighting against each other- the coat texture during the change to an adult coat is not pleasant to deal with, unfortunately!

Edited by author Mon Jan 30, '12 5:34pm PST



Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Mon Jan 30, '12 11:00pm PST 
Guess we will just have to ride it out...

I do have an appt with the groomer for him this coming Friday morning...I spent a good half hour tonight working on his fur with the slicker brush, then with a dematting spray and a grooming comb, making sure to get them down to the skin..I must have worked out 6 - 8 matts, none of them too terrible..I did go over him from head to tail, top to bottom, head to foot, and back again and again...

I guess all in all I should not mind...
His fur is beautiful and while I have been a bit lax, esp these past couple of weeks while fsmily and myself were all sick, I guess I should be lucky it was not worse, considering it does indeed appear his adult coat is coming in...

I don't think I want to shave him down..his matts are not that bad, and we are still in the dead of Winter here in the East (we often have cold-cold temps here until mid-April...), so I think I want to keep his coat...although I could see where some would be tempted to shave it all off...shock shock shock although some pups do look cute shaved down..wink

I do not think I would even want to do that in the Summer, as they say it insulates them both in the winter and summer...thinking

It will be interesting to see how different his adult fur will be...smile

Design jewelry,- not dogs
Barked: Wed Feb 1, '12 10:33am PST 
FYI, it can also happen after the dog is neutered. Crystal, a Powder Puff Chinese Crested, had a great show potential coat growing up with minimal brushing and once a week bathing and conditioning. During her coat change it was AWFUL, to the point where I, a groomer by profession, actually shaved her into the pony cut. 4 to 5 hours of brushing per week was no fun for her OR me.
Undaunted, I let it grow back still hoping to show her in another year or so. Coat grew back beautiful and long and silky, and I was back to the once a week brushout and bath.
Her saggy ear never came up so her show career was out and I had her spayed, just about 2 months ago. She was fully groomed and matt less and conditioned last Friday (after about 2.5 hrs of brushing). Today it was just as matted so she just got another pony cut, BOL!
We see this same thing happen in our regular clients about 6 weeks to two months after they are either spayed or castrated. Sadly, that coat WILL REMAIN cottony and always have a greater tendency to matt.

Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Thu Feb 2, '12 3:01pm PST 
Thanks, Crystal, a lot of what you say seems to be very true..

We had Frankie neutered mid-Novemeber, and last month (January) is when the horrible matting started...I felt like it was bc I had been getting a touch neglectful on the brushing, but this past week, he needs brushed/sprayed/combed/again/and/again, and he still has been matting...

I really do not want to get him shaved down...
I was hoping to stay on top of it..
And I really do not mind combing him every day or brushing him every day, but not when it takes 45+ minutes every day and still has terrible matts the next morning...

I will see what the groomer suggests tomorrow when I take him...
But while I know an understand it is a lot of work for Tzus and Bichons, it apparently can be quite overwhwelming....

I have been using various de-matting sprays...
I swear I have one for every day of the week...lol...

I am just really hoping his fur is not going to be especially problematic, as you say...eek

Thanks again...smile

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Thu Feb 2, '12 3:35pm PST 
I know Max hasn't anything like a shih tzu coat as he is a spaniel mix but he does have a nasty 'cotton' undercoat that doesn't shed on its own. It snarled, looked horrible and caught debris like nobody's business. He actually would avoid running through weeds, he hated the clean up so much.

My theory was the old hair wasn't coming out and old hair cuticle is damaged so it snarled and caught up stuff. I pulled out undercoat with a Mars Coat King and/or a metal flea comb for years to control the mess. That helped a great deal.

When he was about 8 years old I started him on a prey model raw diet which is high fat and protein. That sticky undercoat became silky smooth and I either don't need to or don't feel like pulling so much undercoat these days. I get after the stuff on his legs when it gets reddish now but it FEELS nice and doesn't grab so many weeds these days.

I don't know, this is just my experience with a completely different type of dog hair but could adding more fat to the diet help? Perhaps altered dogs need more fat for good skin and coat health for some reason? It would take a really long time to see any results of course and it would need to be increased slowly as too much fat can trigger pancreatitis in some dogs.

Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Thu Feb 2, '12 4:59pm PST 
Maxwell, that is exactly how it looks...like cotton...ugh...
I do not know much sbolut the prey model diet

So far my plan is to get a trim this go-round at the groomer, see how the next month or so goes, and decide from there...My groomer has been grooming dogs since 1970, so I am sure she will have some good advice as well...smile

I just really hope it is not going to be a constant battle...
I totally understand their fur needs a good bit of work, but I am hoping this may just be the adult coat coming in and 'fighting' with the puppy coat...

Time will tell...
So many options, tho...smile

Thanks, Everyone!! smile
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Fri Feb 3, '12 4:26am PST 
Frankie... if you are using different sprays and NOT washing them out before you use the next one you may be causing more issues by gunking up the coat.
I would find one that you like and stick with it.
I know we always have to thoroughly have to bathe a poodle after a show to get the hairspray out of the coat, otherwise it will matt horribly.

Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Fri Feb 3, '12 5:55am PST 
Thanks, Toto... I bathe Frankie once a week...I will switch up the spray each week and see which one I like best...I kind of wondered if conditioning spray- on top of -conditioning spray might leave a funky build-up...Good to know!! smile

I am off to the groomer's...will see what she says...
So far I do not have the heart to shave him down, I am leaning towards cutting half off of his fur..it is about 3 inches and I am thinking taking it down to 1 1/2 inches would be way more manageable w/o the little guy being 'bald' ....
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