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10 Shih Tzu Haircuts & Grooming Styles in 2024 (With Pictures)

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

groomer brushing shih tzu dog's fur

Shih Tzus are among the adorable, long-haired, small dog breeds. They will have floor-length hair if you let things go natural. However, most owners choose to have their dogs’ hair trimmed or groomed to a very short length for easy maintenance.

As you can imagine, you can choose from tons of cute hairdos. We rounded up the most common for you to check out, along with a couple of other ways to accessorize and accentuate your Shih Tzu’s coat.


The 10 Shih Tzu Haircuts

1. Puppy Cut

The puppy cut is one of the most common and simple haircuts out there. This style is designed to trim down the access hair while keeping your puppy looking useful. The goal of the puppy cut is to leave the entire coat short, including the beard and ears.

The overall length is somewhere between 1 and 2 inches, depending on the groomer and preferences. This could be a very good haircut for warmer months or an easy way to keep your Shih Tzu trimmed without getting too fancy.

This is a straightforward cut for many people to learn at home because it is simple and all one length. So, if you’ve just gotten your first pair of clippers and you’re excited to try out a new hairdo, this can be an excellent place to start.

If you prefer a fuller cut, you can ask your groomer to leave the hair a little longer, creating a medium-length look. It’s still the same length all over, making maintenance easy, but you can enjoy some of your Shih Tzu’s natural essence.

2. Summer Cut

During the toasty months, the summer cut might be an excellent choice. If you have a Shih Tzu that gets hot easily. The summer cut keeps hair out of the face and is short around the body.

Essentially, this haircut is similar to the puppy cut, with the exception of the beard and ears. The puppy cut is one solid length all over, and the summer cut leaves the hair around the ears long.

3. Teddy Bear Cut

The teddy bear cut was designed to give your dog an overall stuffed animal-like appearance. It accentuates all of the features on their face, allowing a rounded appearance around the entire head.

The teddy bear cut is around 1 to 2 inches in length all over the body, except for the face. The face is often teased and shaped to create a seamless curvature. This is a trendy cut among Shih Tzus and many other small, long-haired breeds.

It was designed to make your pup look even cuter than they normally do, making them look like a huggable, squeezable stuffy.

4. Lion Cut

The lion cut is exactly what it sounds like. The hair on the body is very short, but they leave a long mane around the neck to mimic the wild lion. This is a super cute cut that will get a lot of attention!

Like the other cuts we’ve discussed so far, the lion cut requires a 1 to 2-inch cut all over the body, with the hair around the neck and head remaining long.

5. Show Cut

The show cut is certainly the hardest to maintain on this hairdo list. For a Shih Tzu, their hair can grow to floor length and be challenging to keep up with. The show cut offers a full-length, well-trimmed appearance where your Shih Tzu‘s natural hair can grow at its leisure.

However, this cut is very prone to mats and tangles, so it requires a lot of work after the grooming session. While this might be a fun coat to try out, many owners find that it is a pain unless their dog is actively in the show.

One thing is for sure: if you love doing your Shih Tzu‘s hair with braids, top knots, and other styles, it certainly is fun to try out. You just have to ensure you can brush them daily, removing any knots and keeping the fur fresh and debris-free.

6. Top Knot

The top knot itself is not a full-body hair cut, but rather a hairstyle you can do when the hair on your Shih Tzu’s head is long. Add all kinds of bows and accessories to make your little guy or gal as dapper as the day is long.

7. Chewbacca

The Chewbacca haircut looks most accurate if you have a brown Shih Tzu, but any color Shih Tzu can get it. This haircut is not as short as other Shih Tzu cuts, but instead gives your dog a fluffy appearance, with extra fluffy facial hair.

It’s the perfect haircut for your loyal sidekick, just like Chewbacca was to Han Solo!

8. Medium Length

The medium length Shih Tzu haircut is exactly what it sounds like. If you want to keep your Shih Tzu warmer during the cooler months but don’t want the high maintenance requirements of the long coat, find a nice medium.

This coat will still need routine brushing and grooming, but it’s much easier to care for and less prone to matting and tangles than the floor length Shih Tzu coat.

9. Fluffy Tail

The fluffy tail is many Shih Tzu owners’ favorite thing about their pup. This haircut trims the rest of your Shih Tzu’s hair short, including around the face, but leaves the tail long and fluffy. It’s great for summertime while still accentuating one of your Shih Tzu’s best features.

10. Bangs

Let’s go back to the 90s by giving your Shih Tzu some cute bangs. This particular style keeps the rest of the fur a couple of inches in length, while leaving the hair on the top of the head and around the eyes longer. But, you can cut the rest of the hair as short as you want to really make the bangs stand out.

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How Often Does Shih Tzu Need a Haircut?

The length of time you go in between grooming visits is entirely up to you. Some people like to do grooming at home, while others love to pamper their pup, taking them out for a full body treatment. Ultimately, it’s up to you.

With any cut, you’ll find that your Shih Tzu’s hair grows pretty quickly. A good recommendation is to wait 4 to 6 weeks in between cuts. However, you can go longer if you keep up with trims and maintenance.

Many people have the misconception that if their Shih Tzu’s hair is short, they will be a lot cooler in the summertime. And while cutting it to a shorter length can let the breeze flow through it easier, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your Shih Tzu will be cooler.

Their coats are designed to help them maintain body temperature. So, long hair works just as well in most cases. You can tell by touching your Shih Tzu that they have a very fine, downy coat that is already pretty light.

Cuts are much more of a way to provide convenience during grooming than to help them maintain temperature.

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The fantastic thing about owning a beautifully long-haired barker like the Shih Tzu is that you can try out all sorts of nifty hairdos. Not only do breeders offer many of the classics, like the puppy cut and teddy bear cut, but they can also offer a bunch of cute cuts all their own.

So, you can try out a new style for your pup and have some stored away for later. Ask your groomer to spruce up a standard cut with something unique—bangs, a bow, a braid, or other accessories. Your Shih Tzu will look so adorable, you won’t be able to stop taking pictures!

Featured Photo Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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