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7 Shih Tzu Haircuts

Terrific Trims for Your Shih Tzu

By June 19, 2013 | See Comments

7 Shih Tzu Haircuts

Shih Tzus are some of the most adorable dogs out there, and their fur can be kept clipped or grown long for some great styles. Take a look at these great options for Shih Tzu haircuts.

If you’re lucky enough to have a Shih Tzu dog or puppy, you know the breed is known for their playful and affectionate personality. You also know that their coat--which naturally hangs straight down like a big mop--can shed heavily, tangle easily, and be uncomfortable for your pet. It can even cause overheating in warmer temperatures, which is dangerous to your pet’s health. This is because Shih Tzus have a long, double coat that can trap heat and requires diligent grooming. The answer? These Shih Tzu haircuts.

The Shih Tzu haircut you choose can reflect their unique personality. Their hair grows quickly, and should be trimmed every 4-6 weeks, so you (and maybe your groomer) can try out different looks and lengths for your pet. This article will help guide you towards the right trim for your dog’s personality and lifestyle.

The Puppy Cut

The puppy cut, which can also be called the summer cut since it helps keep your dog from overheating in warm temperatures, is one of the most popular and easy to maintain Shih Tzu cuts. With the puppy cut, your dog’s hair is trimmed to 1-2 inches all over. Although the puppy cut still requires regular brushing to avoid knots and tangles, it’s a more practical option than some other cuts. You can play with the length of ear and chest coat and feathering for different looks within the puppy cut.

A short-cropped puppy cut with short ears is one of the lowest maintenance cuts:



A variation on the above is a short-cropped puppy cut with longer ears:



Here is a longer puppy cut with a fuller chest and coat:


The Teddy Bear Cut

Named for the way it helps your dog resemble an adorable stuffed animal, the teddy bear cut refers to creating a fluffy, rounded face shape for your Shih Tzu. It refers only to the shape of the face hair, so it can be paired with any length of puppy cut.


The “Practical” Top Knot

The top knot is one of the most recognizable Shih Tzu haircuts. The top knot is formed by gathering some of your pet’s hair together at the ball or apex of the head and then gently securing it with a clip, ribbon, or tie. Some owners may even choose to creatively braid the hair back. The hair in the knot will cascade down from the clip, and the rest of their body hair can be kept trimmed neatly, at least one inch from the skin. It’s important to keep the hair clear of your dog’s eyes and mouth. In this instance, the body hair is kept on the long side:


The Top Knot Show Cut

This cut is similar to the practical top knot, except this is a very high maintenance cut usually reserved for show dogs. With this cut, all of the dog’s hair is left long and flowing. And to avoid tangles and keep the shine, the coat must be brushed several times a day. This is not a practical cut, and can leave your dog overheated in day to day activity.



More on Shih Tzus

About the Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu Training Secrets
Raw Food Diet for a Shih Tzu


Hey, just FYI I live in a very warm climate. I am convinced that my dog's long hair makes little to no difference to her body temperature. She is not an "outdoor dog," she is my indoor companion. When the heat is really intense, she just goes for walks in the early morning and after sunset. Otherwise, she's in the A/C just like me! Her fur, when brushed and tangle-free, lets the breeze in and does not make her any warmer than if she had a shaved cut.


Hey, hang in there! When a shih tzu grows from puppy to adult, there is a change in the coat - but if you just stay with the brushing program, you will be rewarded with a dog who has a regal, flowing coat. Also, the time you spend grooming your dog- is bonding time! My dog and I enjoy grooming time so much. I just have the tv on in the background, and spend tons of time lavishing my baby with brushing and give her treats from time to time while she offers up her paws, or tail or the rest of her beautiful fur for loving brushing. It is truly a wonderful experience. I wish you luck and love caring for your beautiful dog.


I've just started growing my shih tzu out from the puppy cut. He has such thick hair and looks like he's over weight. Hoping it'll smooth out after it grows out. I didn't have this problem with the girls I had before him.


So true! Sad to say, I see more of my hair on the bathroom floor after blow-drying than I ever see of my sweet Shih Tzu. She only "sheds" when I brush her, and the pin brush picks up her fluffy under coat, which tends to get tangles unless brushed daily.


That is so true! Sometimes I call my Shih Tzu a "Swiffer" because she picks up every leaf and blade of grass when outside! :-) We are lucky to have these little dogs are our friends.


I want mine to maintain his long hair, too, but I think having short hair would work better for him since he moves a lot (and it's pretty hot in our country, making him prefer the floor over his bed) and even after brushing his hair through, it gets too rugged the moment I let him loose (although I prefer that because it looks cool, the tangles make me feel bad, tho). O.O


Shih Tzu's seem to look good in any hair cut.


I know I will catch flack for this, but my dog seems to be happiest when her hair is long and freshly brushed. It's like she knows how beautiful she is. I think cutting their coats short is just not right... if you don't want a dog that requires a lot of grooming, then don't get a Shih Tzu. That being said, I do know many very well-loved, and happy Shih Tzu with short hair cuts, but I will always prefer them with long, flowing coats. Sooooo beautiful!!!


I took my choice you to for a puppy cut after being in the hospital for a week and sick for the past six months she has had little attention she was very full with her for and now it's very short her tail had to be cut back Real tight. She is now twitching her tail and she does not want to put her butt on the ground. Do you think she was hurt or it's just unusual for her?


but what cute haircuts! p.s. now i know what to tell the groomer.


Yes..I agree Beth!


The credibility of this article went down when I saw in the second sentence that shih tzu shed heavily. Yes, their coats require grooming and maintenance and grow quickly, but they barely shed.


It is false to suggest that long hair makes the dog more susceptible to overheating. The shih tzu's hair actually acts as an insulator. If it's too hot for your long-haired dog, it's also too hot for your puppy-cut shih tzu.

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