A Beginner Guide to Shih Tzu Haircut

Shih Tzu is the most playful breed of dogs in the world. Not only their bodies but also their hair bounce a lot. As a matter of fact, Shih Tzu’s hair resembles human hair in many ways. For instance, they don’t shed hair as much, their hair is silky, and they require trimming every month to remain in good shape. Therefore, this beginner’s guide to Shih Tzu haircut will help you maintain your pooch in the best shape all the time.

Many people are as confused about their Shih Tzu’s hair as their own hair. They should be confused because the hairstyle depends on the physique and the face shape of the dog. Moreover, the hairstyle will completely change your dog’s personality. So, it is up to you whether you want the Shih Tzu to look like a cutie-pie or full-fledged emo with some serious attitude.

How Often should you Groom your Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzu’s hair is very silky and delicate. Therefore, the hair gets tangled or knotty if you don’t take proper care of grooming for dogs. So, before you choose from Shih Tzu haircut ideas, you should make a grooming routine in your mind. Usually, Shih Tzu dogs require grooming every 2 weeks. However, the grooming duration depends on how often you complete the process, and a single groom can last for the whole month. 

Tools you Need for Grooming Shih Tzu:

Tools you Need for Grooming Shih Tzu
Tools you Need for Grooming Shih Tzu

Hairstyling, your Shih Tzu, is a sub-process of grooming. As a matter of fact, you need to repeat the whole grooming cycle after every haircut till the next. Therefore, the tools you need for maintaining your Shih Tzu are the same as grooming.

  • Dog hair comb with small beads.
  • Dog detangler brush with metal pins.
  • Dog shampoo + conditioner 
  • Best dog hair clippers or scissors
  • Rechargeable trimmer for dog hair
  • Styling guide
  • Blow hairdryer

How to Groom your Shih Tzu?

The timely grooming of your pup makes him look neat, clean, and very cute in front of other dogs of his age. The Shih Tzu grooming process is not as simple as other dogs; you can’t just pick up a grooming brush and start rubbing on his hair. Furthermore, only physical grooming is not enough to keep your dog’s hair silky. Better mental health, good routine, and optimized nutrition plan by using the best dog food for Shih Tzu can also help you maintain your puppy. The Shih Tzu grooming consists of the following steps:



The first step towards properly grooming your dog is to bathe him in clean, warm water with his favorite dog shampoo. There are hundreds of shampoos in the market, but not all of them are suitable for your puppy’s delicate and silky hair.

Therefore, you should look for what your dog loves so he enjoys bathing. For a suggestion, my Shih Tzu loves only to bathe in  Nature’s Specialties Plum Silky Dog Shampoo.  The benefit of this best dog shampoo is that you don’t need any extra conditioning after using this product.

Start by filling a tub with warm water. To check whether the temperature is suitable or not, dip your pinky finger in the water, and if you can keep it inside for more than 30 seconds, you are good to go. Stand the Shih Tzu in the tub, pour some water, and gently scrub him using a brush. Start by brushing only the top layers and go deeper with every pass.

Look for any easy knots and tangling that you can clear with your fingers. Apply shampoo to the dog using a brush and try to solve any remaining tangles in his hair. Lastly, rinse him with clean water and blow-dry for a fluffy look.


Trimming is the most important service that you can do to your dog after the Shih Tzu puppy cut. Moreover, trimming can also save you a lot of money by delaying the need for professional Shih Tzu puppy hairstyles.

However, it is a very crucial step and requires great care because you can easily mess up the Shih Tzu hairstyle. For trimming, you need the best dog hair trimmer and some hair soother. My recommendation is the Wahl Clipper Pet-Pro Dog Grooming Kit. It is a heavy-duty best dog grooming clipper that helps you give your pup a professional look every time. 


The final step of every grooming cycle is to get your Shih Tzu a professional haircut. This step is very essential as the dog’s look depends on whether he has a Shih Tzu teddy bear cut vs. puppy cut or any other hairstyle.

However, professional hairstyling can be very expensive in some cases. So you can try how to cut a Shih Tzu hair at home. But if you love to see your dog in perfect shape, I recommend you to visit a dog hair groomer after every 6 to 8 weeks. 

Does Your Dog Dislike Being Brushed?

Shih Tzu With Tangled and Knotted Air
Shih Tzu With Tangled and Knotted Air

Brushing is as important in grooming as bathing. It helps make the hair silky, clean, and detangles any knots without hurting your dog. Moreover, you should try to brush the dog yourself because you know his weak spots to remain gentle in those areas.

You should only use the best equipment for brushing the dog because soft brushes won’t work, and too hard a brush may hurt the Shih Tzu. You can use the  Andis Pet Premium Dog Grooming Tools because they are high-quality short hair dog brushes, and I use them for my pal. Brushing makes the hair straighter and detangles any matts left by the bathing. It would be best to use your fingers along with the tools to solve any knots while brushing. 

Moreover, brushing also helps you de-shed your Shih Tzu without requiring any professional help. You can find some of the best de-shedding tools online or in your local stores. De-shedding not only helps make your puppy healthy but also saves you from many respiratory disorders.

Shih Tzu Haircut Ideas:

Let’s face it, there is a hairstyle for every Shih Tzu out there, and he looks good only in that specific haircut. To find that perfect Shih Tzu face haircut is up to you. This is a very lengthy process because you have to test every style before knowing which one suits him the best. To get you started, here are the top 7 best Shih Tzu haircut ideas for you:

Shih Tzu Lion Cut: Cutest Lion Ever 

Shih Tzu lion cut
Shih Tzu lion cut

Lions are fierce animals and the king of the jungle. Everyone is afraid of the lion because of their cruel look. Well, not anymore! Wait till you see a Shih Tzu with a lion cut. Beware that the little cutie is the new king of the hearts, and you may want to keep playing with him. A Shih Tzu lion cut makes use of the long silky hair of this breed to transform him into a smaller and cuter version of the lion. This style is usually recommended for people with golden-brown Shih Tzu because only then will it truly get the iconic lion look.

For this cut, only the hair around the neck and on the tail is kept while the rest of the body is shaved. The hair around the neck should be kept at least 3 inches long to resemble a mane. This provides the desired look without making your pun look wild. Moreover, you can also cut the tail hair in a bun shape to make it resemble a lion’s tail. The rest of the body hair is cut to 1 to 1.5 inches and represents the clean body. However, make sure to groom trim the hairstyle every two to four weeks to make sure the little lion remains in perfect shape.

Neatly Shaved: Easy to Groom Haircut

Shih Tzu Neatly Shaved Cut
Shih Tzu Neatly Shaved Cut

If you want your Shih Tzu matt-free, then you should go with the shaved cut. Some people even call it the army cut because it resembles the cadets. This cut is fairly easy to manage because it requires minimal attention. Moreover, the shaved cut also saves you quite a lot of money because it only needs professional attention every 3 to 4 months. 

Neatly shaved Shih Tzu hairstyles look surprisingly good on older puppies. It is because they don’t have much hair on the body, and the haircut doesn’t require any. So, it is beneficial to get your growing pup a shaved cut for some time to make his body hair stronger and silkier. This hairstyle dictates that all the hair be trimmed till very close to the skin. The only hair left is on the head, and that too not longer than 2 inches. However, be careful taking your shaved pup out in the cold because he needs a sweater to keep him warm. Other than that, this haircut is easy to manage and only requires trimming after two months.

Shih Tzu Puppy Cut: The Best Shih Tzu Summer Cuts

Shih Tzu Puppy Cut
Shih Tzu Puppy Cut

The puppy cut is one of the basic hairstyles that you can get for your dog. Luckily, it is also the universal hairstyle that looks good on any Shih Tzu regardless of his age or physique. This cut also doesn’t require much trimming, and the amount of grooming, especially brushing, depends on the hair length. Furthermore, it is very easy to get this hairstyle. So, here is your answer to how to cut a Shih Tzu hair at home. 

The puppy cut is extremely cute for young adults because you get back that cute puppy look on your Shih Tzu. In order to get the puppy cut,  cut all the body hair all the way to 1.5 inches except for the facial hair. The hair on the face should be kept a little tall, say 2.5 to 3 inches. Moreover, you can even go for larger facial hairs and a mane if you consider yourself free enough for extensive brushing and grooming. This cut requires grooming after every 3 weeks and bathing at least once every week. It is called the summer cut because once you get it, you won’t need to visit the saloon till winter.

Ponytail Cut: Best Female Shih Tzu Poodle Haircut

Shih Tzu Ponytail Cut
Shih Tzu Ponytail Cut

Shih Tzu has long silky hair that becomes messy if not handled correctly. They experience the same hair problems as most of the girls. So, the solution to the girly hair problems is also a bit girly. If you like your female Shih Tzu poodle haircut to be with tall hair, then you should go for this one. With the right hair length and accessories, your poodle can become the next dog model.

This haircut is relatively difficult to maintain and requires brushing every now and then. Furthermore, you need to groom and trim the poodle with a ponytail every 2 weeks and a bathing session every 3 days to maintain this look. The cut dictates that the hair on the body be kept to 2 inches while the facial hair remains half-inch larger than the body. Finally, the hair over the head can be kept as tall as you want because they will be managed using pony and bands. If you are up for the grooming this cut requires, trust me, you should get a ponytail for your Shih Tzu.

Long Hair: The Practical Topknot Cut

Shih Tzu Longhair
Shih Tzu Longhair

The top knot haircut represents the Shih Tzu breed all around the world. There is a great chance that you chose a Shih Tzu after looking at a picture of the practical top knot haircut. This cut brings you the good news that now your Shih Tzu can have big hair without becoming messy. However, this hairstyle requires constant grooming and bathing because the knot on the head leads to matted hair if not groomed at least once a week.

As tricky as the maintenance sounds, this style looks extremely cute on every Shih Tzu. You can think of the top knot cut as the standard Shih Tzu cut. This cut requires the hair on the head as well as the facial hair to be kept large up to 4 inches. The remaining body hair can be trimmed to your desired length but shorter than the facial hair. Finally, bring the hair over the head and tie using a top knot forming a bow in the forehead. You can also add other accessories like bands or braids to make the poodle look even more adorable.

The Medium Cut: The Simpler, the Better

Shih Tzu Medium Cut
Shih Tzu Medium Cut

If you are not into dog styling and don’t have enough time to groom your Shih Tzu every week, then the medium cut is for you. This is a minimalistic hairstyle that has no special styling whatsoever. Moreover, it is straightforward to maintain and requires very little grooming other than brushing and bathing. Another good thing about the medium cut is that you can cut the Shih Tzu hair at home using only the best dog grooming clippers.

This cut dictates that all the hair from tail to head is kept at the same height. So basically, you can take a trimmer, select a trimming height and start cutting from head to tail. However, you should know that the amount of grooming depends on how tall the hair is kept. Therefore, only select a hair length that you know you can manage with your given skills and limited spare time.

Teddy Bear Cut: The Most Adorable Shih Tzu Hairstyle

Shih Tzu Teddy Bear Cut
Shih Tzu Teddy Bear Cut

The Teddy bear cut is the modified mixture of a lion cut along with the modern puppy haircut. This variation allows your cute puppy to look even cuter by becoming the beloved teddy bear. Think about it! How great is it to have a walking teddy bear around you all the time? However, this haircut can’t be done without professional help, so you should make an appointment at a dog saloon.

The teddy bear cut gives you complete freedom to make the body hair as tall or short as you want. This hair length depends on how much grooming and brushing you can do. The hair around the neck is kept straighter and 4 inches tall. Finally, the facial hair is the same length as body hair and rounded using a curler or blow-drier. This hairstyle requires a lot of maintenance, from daily brushing to weekly baths and blow-drying. You also need to trim the dog hair every 3 weeks to keep them in the perfect length.

Need the help of a professional groomer for your beloved Shih Tzu puppy? You should make an appointment with the rover groomers. Their team is highly professional and takes good care of your dog’s comfort. Moreover, rover groomers are present in almost every state of the USA. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to give a Shih Tzu a haircut?

Shih Tzu has long hair that can get tangled very easily. Therefore, you should groom the hair before giving him a haircut. Then, you can use any dog clippers and trimmer to give your poodle a haircut.

When should my Shih Tzu get her first haircut?

Shih Tzu puppies develop considerable hair within 8 weeks after birth. However, according to experts, the perfect age for the first haircut of any puppy is 3 months of age.

How do I give my Shih Tzu puppy his first haircut?

Young Shih Tzu puppies have very delicate skins. Therefore, you should hire a professional hairdresser to cut the hair for the first few times. You can start haircutting at home once he reaches 6 months of age.

How often does a Shih Tzu need a haircut?

The duration of one haircut depends on the hairstyle. Some styles like the neat shave require a haircut every 3 to 4 months. On the contrary, lion cut or teddy bear cut requires hair cutting every month.

How to give a Shih Tzu a teddy bear cut?

For a teddy bear cut, trim the body hair to a length of 2 inches. The facial hair and the mane should be around 4 inches tall. Make the facial hair round using a blow dryer or hair-curler.


Shih Tzu has the best hair of all breeds of dogs. Therefore, their hair requires more attention than any other dogs as well. You need to regularly groom your puppy’s hair and get him a suitable haircut to maintain his personality. I hope this article has helped you to know everything about Shih Tzu haircuts.

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