6 Shih Tzu Haircuts

Which Shih Tzu haircut would make your dog look most adorable? Find out which style your pup can try next.

These are some of the most common haircuts for Shih Tzus:

  1. Full Shave
  2. Lion Cut
  3. Practical Top Knot
  4. Puppy Cut
  5. Teddy Bear Cut
  6. Top Knot Show Cut

Reading on, you’ll see how each of these haircuts looks on a Shih Tzu. You will also get to know how to maintain each of these haircuts and how they affect your Shih Tzu’s coat. Finally, it will help you figure out how to decide on which haircut to go with for your puppy.

1. Full Shave

The full shave is also known as the Summer Cut. This haircut is when your Shih Tzu’s coat is completely clipped back or shaved close to the skin. This gives your Shih Tzu a lot of relief during the hot summer season or in tropical climates. With this haircut, the fur on your Shih Tzu’s body will feel smooth for the first few days and grow coarse over time. By the time that they need a trim again, their fur’s texture will be soft.

Some versions of the full shave will leave fur around the ears to keep the Shih Tzu looking adorable. This haircut is popular in countries with hotter climates because it keeps your puppy from overheating. It’s also popular among pet owners that don’t have the time to maintain their dog’s fur because, with a full shave, you don’t have to worry about matting or knots in your dog’s fur.

To maintain a full shave, your Shih Tzu will need to be trimmed once every four to six weeks. This haircut doesn’t need a lot of brushing or washing. At most, you will only need to brush your Shih Tzu once every two or three days. It’s also good practice to keep your Shih Tzu’s ears clean if you opt to keep your puppy’s ear fur at the same length.

2. Lion Cut

The Lion Cut is one of the most popular Shih Tzu haircuts. It’s styled in a way that puts emphasis on the coat around the Shih Tzu’s head, giving it a lion-like mane. The fur is cut short all over the body while the fur around the head and tail are kept long.

Some variations of the lion cut hairstyle keeps the fur around the Shih Tzu’s chest long to make them look even more like a lion. This haircut is also popular among Shih Tzu lovers because it doesn’t need much maintenance.

To maintain your Shih Tzu’s lion cut, you’ll need to trim the fur around their body once every four to six weeks. You will mostly need to brush the fur around your dog’s tail and face because those areas are the parts that are prone to matting and knots.

Similar to the full shave, you’ll only have to brush your Shih Tzu’s body once every two or three days but you will need to brush their lion mane once a day to keep it shiny and healthy.

3. Practical Top Knot

The practical top knot is probably the most iconic Shih Tzu haircut. This haircut features medium-length fur around the body and tail and longer fur around the head and face. The fur around the body is cut at what’s known as the three-quarter length or the three-fourth length.

Since a Shih Tzu’s bangs can obstruct their sight and irritate their eyes, they’re tied using a ribbon or clip. If you opt to give your Shih Tzu a practical top knot, it’s important not to use a rubber band because it can tug too hard at your Shih Tzu’s fur and hurt them.

You can also choose to have your Shih Tzu’s body fur cut shorter if you see fit. If you decide to choose the common three-quarter length, you will need to brush your Shih Tzu’s coat once a day. This will prevent your puppy’s fur from developing mats or knots.

This length grows a little faster than the full shave or the lion cut so you will either need to groom your Shih Tzu yourself or take them to your local pet salon. To maintain this haircut, your puppy will need a trip to the groomers once every three to four weeks.

4. Puppy Cut

If you’re looking to make sure your Shih Tzu looks like a puppy forever, consider the puppy cut! The puppy cut features a trim all over the body using just a pair of scissors. It’s safer than a shorter cut like the full shave because it takes away the risk of getting cuts from clippers. This cut is normally around 1-2 inches in length on your Shih Tzu’s body, tail, head, and face.

This haircut is a favorite among Shih Tzu owners that wish to avoid needing to maintain their puppy’s fur often. Due to its short length, the puppy cut will need you to brush your Shih Tzu’s fur once every three to four days.

The puppy cut is like a less extreme of the full shave, keeping your Shih Tzu’s adorable fur soft and pleasing to look at. Maintaining a puppy cut’s length means that you will need to trim your puppy’s fur once a month.

5. Teddy Bear Cut

The teddy bear cut is actually a variation of the puppy cut. This features a haircut that is moderate in length with the areas around the face and paws rounded with scissors. This style makes your Shih Tzu look like an adorable teddy bear, just like its namesake.

The teddy bear cut is about 2 to 2 ½ inches in length around the body and legs while the fur around the face is about 4 inches long. What makes this haircut unique from the puppy cut is the rounding around the head and paws, making the puppy look rounder and cute!

This haircut requires quite a bit more maintenance than most Shih Tzu haircuts. You will need to brush your puppy’s fur once or twice a day to keep it free from mats and knots. Since the fur is kept long around the paws, you will also need to regularly bathe your Shih Tzu puppy. To keep their coat clean and shiny, a bath once a week should be enough.

6. Top Knot Show Cut

The top knot show cut is the most elegant among Shih Tzu haircuts. This is just like the practical top knot but to achieve this look, you will need to let your puppy’s fur grow long enough to reach the floor. Remember to use only a ribbon or clip when tying your Shih Tzu’s bangs to avoid obstructing their vision.

Shih Tzus can’t achieve a clean and shiny look on their own, so you will need to do a lot of maintenance of your puppy’s fur. With a top knot show cut, you will need to brush your puppy’s hair multiple times every day and give them regular baths with the use of a pet-friendly conditioner.

Your Shih Tzu puppy will also need a trim once every two weeks to make sure that their fur grows healthily. You will have to use just scissors because clippers will cut your Shih Tzu’s fur too short.

As the name implies, this haircut is popular among pet owners that like to enter their Shih Tzus in dog shows. It brings their Shih Tzu puppy much attention and love from Shih Tzu fans because of its regal style.

However, it is also the haircut that requires the most maintenance. Firstly, getting your dog’s fur to the length of a top knot show cut takes quite a bit of time. It usually takes a Shih Tzu about one to two years to have fur long enough to touch the ground. Since this is a labor-intensive haircut, it is recommended only to the most dedicated Shih Tzu owners or show dog competitors.

Deciding on the Best Haircut

The most important thing to consider when choosing a haircut for your Shih Tzu is how much time and money you have to maintain it. Haircuts like the top knot show cut and lion cut require more maintenance than haircuts like the puppy cut or full shave.

If you are dedicated to keeping your Shih Tzu’s hair cared for, then having a higher maintenance haircut should be no problem. However, if you don’t think that you can handle maintaining their fur, it would be better to consider lower maintenance haircuts.

Although it’s fun to decide on a Shih Tzu’s haircut based on your preference, you have to remember that you have a responsibility to your dog as a pet owner. It’s important that your Shih Tzu is comfortable and can live without worrying about knots or matting in their fur.

Should you decide to be your dog’s primary groomer, you must use professional quality pet grooming tools. A good investment would be the Wahl grooming kit. Although it costs quite a bit, it includes everything you need to keep your Shih Tzu’s fur in top shape.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are so many ways that you can style your Shih Tzu’s fur. You can choose cuter styles like the puppy cut or teddy bear cut or more beautiful styles like the top knot show cut and lion cut.

The amount of maintenance a Shih Tzu’s fur needs depends on the haircut’s length. Longer haircuts need more regular and frequent grooming while shorter haircuts will fair well with just a bit of brushing and trims every now and then.

As a responsible pet owner, your role is to make sure that your puppy’s fur is healthy, shiny, and tangle-free. No matter what haircut you choose for your puppy, they will be happy as long as you take the time to take care of them.