Haircuts for Shih Tzu Dogs

Updated March 21, 2017

The Shih Tzu breed originated in China and is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Shih Tzu dogs became royalty when a couple in the court received a pair during the Tang Dynasty. Since then, Shih Tzu dogs have been a favourite of royals for their playful, yet trustworthy and calm demeanour. They were imported to Europe in the 1930s and were recognised as an official breed in the late 1960s. Today, the Shih Tzu in show competitions often wears his hair long with a ponytail.

Full Coat

A Shih Tzu in show competitions may wear what is referred to as a "full coat." This means his ears and fur will grow out to its natural length, and the hair on top of his head will be put in a rubber band or bow to keep it out of his eyes. Having a dog at show length requires lots of maintenance. You must brush your Shih Tzu several times a day to prevent matting; bathing is recommended a few times per month. This is such a high maintenance cut that most owners prefer to trim their dog down if he's not showing at the moment.

Teddy Bear Face

Shih Tzus can indeed resemble teddy bears when they have their hair shaved in this fashion. Shih Tzus sporting the "teddy bear face" often are shaved down or have their fur cut fairly short. The hair on their ears is cut and shaved down, but a little round beard is left, giving him an easy-to-maintain and cute appearance.

Trimmed Down

Many owners choose to trim down their Shih Tzu completely in the summer months. It is not necessary to do so as Shih Tzus have natural ventilation, but it may well be the easiest cut to maintain. A Shih Tzu trimmed down simply has the hair on his ears cut shorter and his fur cut fairly close to the skin. He may have a teddy bear beard or not, but it is usually simpler to go without one if you're looking for a low-maintenance 'do. Food can get stuck in the Shih Tzu beard, making meal times a tug of war. Trimming down your Shih Tzu makes for an easy cut that only needs to be attended to about once every six weeks, with a bath and a new trim at the groomers.

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About the Author

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.