Shih Tzus sure are cute and part of that cuteness comes from their hair, but do Shih Tzus need hair cuts? Some might say yes, and others might say no, but here all you need to know about Shih Tzu hair cuts.
Do Shih Tzus Need Hair Cuts
Shih Tzus are said to be one of the most high maintenance dog breeds when it comes to grooming, but do they need haircuts?
The short answer is, no. Shih Tzus do not require haircuts per se, although they will need trimming on occasion with their long coats.
What is the Shih Tzu Coat Like?
Shih Tzus have a double coat that consists of a soft undercoat and guard hairs, which can be straight, wavy, or curly.
They come in brown, white, black, and all sorts of combinations of the three.
They do not shed a lot, but their grooming requirements are high.
Their hair is prone to matting between the toes and around their eyes if not kept well-groomed.
The main problem with Shih Tzus when they are not properly cared for is that they look scruffy and untidy because their coats can get matted underneath from rolling in dirt and grass if they are not brushed often enough.
What kind of Grooming does a Shih Tzu Need?
Shih Tzus do not require haircuts as such, but they will need trimming.
The hairs around their eyes need to be trimmed on a regular basis to reduce the chance of infection.
They have long hair that grows on the lower body, so this needs to be brushed or combed regularly to prevent mats from forming between the toes and on the underside of their bellies.
They need regular brushing with a rubber grooming mitt or brush in order to prevent matting around the eyes and feet in addition to making them look nice.
You don’t want to let your Shih Tzu’s hair get tangled or matted at this can cause skin irritation and pain.
If you notice your Shih Tzu licking themselves a lot, take a close look.
If there is matting be sure to cut it out of their hair or take them to the groomers to have them saved.
Matted and tangled hair is also a good home for fleas and no one wants that.
Keeping your Shih Tzu looking good and feeling good takes daily brushing and a bath every 4 to 6 weeks. That can also mean a haircut or a trim.
There are many different types of haircuts that look good on Shih Tzus. Some require higher maintenance and some less.
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Common Shih Tzu Hair Cuts
There are a lot of different ways you can cut your Shih Tzu’s hair. Here are some of the more popular.
Top Knot Shih Tzu Hair Cut
The top knot Shih Tzu cut is the most popular among owners as it is one of the easiest and most convenient styles.
All that you need to do to get this look is pull your Shih Tzu’s hair up and tie it.
You can use a rubber band or a scrunchie to hold the hair together, then wrap the band around the knot a few times to hold it in place.
The top knot can be worn on either short-haired or long-haired Shih Tzus.
Shaving Your Shih Tzu
This is one of the most common cuts for Shih Tzus. It’s very easy to maintain.
All you have to do is clip your Shih Tzu’s hair with clippers and use a razor for their private area or if they are messy from going to the bathroom.
You just need to be really careful to not nick their leg joints.
I have both of my Shih Tzus shaved all year long, but I do take them to the groomers to have it done.
I’ve tried to do it myself, but they end up looking pretty bad.
I have them shaved once every three months and have their face hairs trimmed once a month to six weeks.
The Puppy Cut with Longer Ears and Tail
This is kind of what it sounds like.
Your Shih Tzus’s body is cut very short and their ears and tail are left longer.
That’s how my groomer does my two Shih Tzus, and it is adorable.
Teddy Bear Haircut
The Shih Tzu Teddy Bear Haircut is a look that you cannot miss.
The body hair and the ears are left at about 2 and a half inches in length while the hair on the face is left much longer at about 4 inches.
The facial hair is also made to look fluffy just like a teddy bear.
Shih Tzu Lion Haircut
The Lion Haircut for Shih Tzus is also known as the lion cut, lion clip, or lion trim.
This cut became very popular in recent years.
While it does not require a lot of maintenance, you have to keep it trimmed regularly for it to remain neat.
With this cut, the body hair is about 2 inches long while the face and tail are left longer. The hair on the face is fanned out and fluffed up to look like a lion’s mane.
These are just a few examples of the many styles you can give your Shih Tzu.
There are a lot more cuts available than these as well, so it’s best to do some research if you decide that you want a different look for your dog.
You should also consider what type of haircut would suit your dog the most and whether it will be convenient for you to maintain or not.
If short hair is easier to maintain in your area, then that may be the way to go if you don’t have the time for daily brushing and cleaning.
How Often Will Your Shih Tzu Need to Be Groomed?
Although Shih Tzus do not shed a lot, their hair is prone to matting if not maintained well.
Regular brushing with a rubber grooming mitt is recommended to keep the matting under control between baths and in between grooming sessions.
Regular grooming should include cleaning of the ears, wiping clean of the eyes, and regular attention to clipper blades, although clipping may not be necessary for some dogs depending on how long you want your dog’s coat to grow.
Plan on having your Shih Tzu groomed every 4 to 6 weeks.
If you are bathing your Shih Tzu at home, don’t give them a bath more than once every 3 weeks or you may reduce their natural skin oils to a point that they start to have dry skin and other skin issues.
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How Often Does My Shih Tzu Need a Haircut?
As far as a haircut frequency goes, it depends on the length you prefer your dog’s fur to be and how fast its hair grows.
If you like your dog with longer hair, then it may need a bath in between trimming sessions.
But at the same time, putting your Shih Tzu through major changes in its hairstyle too often can cause stress that could lead to shedding problems.
In general, your Shih Tzu should have a haircut every 4 to 6 weeks.
To Sum it Up:
Shih Tzus are high maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming. If they aren’t shaved, you will need to brush their hair daily to keep them from matting. Plan on taking them to the groomers once every 4 to 6 weeks for a trim and bath to keep them looking stylish.
This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu’s grooming. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.