Shih Tzus need regular brushing and grooming sessions to keep their fur looking tidy, in good condition, and free from tangles and mats. There are plenty of Shih Tzu haircuts to choose from, depending on the variety of Shih Tzu you have and the look you want to achieve for your pet. For example, you might fancy the adorable Lion clip or perhaps the cute Teddy Bear cut. Please read this guide to discover 23 cute Shih Tzu haircut ideas that could make your pet’s beautiful hair his crowning glory!
What is a Shih Tzu
The Chinese name “Shih Tzu” literally means “little lion,” but these adorable little dogs are certainly not fierce! The Shih Tzu was bred to be a companion and lapdog for wealthy, noble families, and the modern descendants of those pups love nothing more than to curl up in a cute ball of fur on their beloved owner’s knee.
These happy, affectionate little pups are sociable and outgoing with tons of personality, and many owners have trained their Shih Tzu to participate in canine sports, including rally, agility, and obedience competitions. Shih Tzus are active, fun-loving, inquisitive pups that usually get along well with kids and other pets, too, making them perfect family pets. The Shih Tzu has long, flowing fur, and the entire coat of body hair can be right down to the floor so that the dog appears to float on air as it moves across the ground.
Different Types Of Shih Tzu
Did you know that there are several different types of Shih Tzu? In this section of our guide, we introduce you to a few different members of this canine family!
American Shih Tzu
The American Shih Tzu is a purebred dog that was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969. The Official Shih Tzu Guide describes the dog as having a short neck, small chest, high and forward-facing legs with frontal shoulders, a square-shaped head, and small eyes set wide apart.
European Shih Tzu
The European Shih Tzu is also a purebred breed that was first recognized by the UK Kennel Club way back in 1946. These dogs differ slightly in appearance from the American version in that they have a round head and long neck, a wider frame, a broad chest, and larger eyes.
Imperial Shih Tzu
The Imperial Shih Tzu is often mistaken for a purebred, but that’s not the case. For that reason, this variant of the breed is not recognized by the AKC. The Imperial breed is essentially a smaller version of the purebred American Shih Tzu, and you can only tell the two breeds apart by measuring them. Purebred Shih Tzus should measure 10 to 11 inches high from paw to shoulder and weigh around 7 pounds. So, if a fully-grown Shih Tzu is smaller than that, it’s most likely an Imperial. Unfortunately, although these little dogs look cute, they are often produced by breeders using the runt of a litter, and that can lead to the puppies inheriting genetic defects.
Teacup Shih Tzu
Teacup is the term that’s commonly used to describe a truly tiny pup. The Teacup Shih Tzu is certainly tiny, but there are other differences between these petite pups and the regular Shih Tzu. Unfortunately, these little dogs are manipulated to be that small and are usually created by breeding two tiny runts. Again, that can lead to hidden health issues in the puppies.
Blue-Eyed Shih Tzu
The Blue-eyed ShihTzu is a rare find! Blue eyes in Shih Tzus usually occur when the dog lacks the color genes for black. That can result in a dilute pigmentation that makes the dog’s eyes blue. Blue eyes are not related to the dog’s coat color. To determine whether the dog will have blue eyes, you need to look at the pigment of the muzzle and nose. Usually, Shih Tzus have solid black eyes and noses.
Therefore, if the dog has lighter pigmentation on the nose or eyes, that’s considered to be a genetic fault caused by a weak gene. Often, blue-eyed Shih Tzus have gray or dark brown on their lips, eye rims, footpads, and noses. Blue-eyed Shih Tzus can have coats of any color. That said, gray is the most common shade of coat for the Blue-eyed Shih Tzu. However, you need to check the dog’s nose to be certain.
When it comes to puppies, it’s a different story. All puppies have blue eyes when they are born, but after 10 to 16 weeks, that color changes to their permanent dark eye color. However, sometimes, in rare instances, the puppy’s eyes main remain blue permanently.
Brown Shih Tzu
A Brown Shih Tzu is often called chocolate-colored. A solid brown Shih Tzu is usually liver-colored. However, liver color is dictated by skin pigmentation rather than the color of the coat. In a liver Shih Tzu, the dog’s lips, nose, paw pads, and eye rims are liver-colored. So, although the dog’s coat is brown, it’s the skin color that’s key. Often, a brown or liver-colored coat will become lighter as the dog matures.
Black Shih Tzu
A Black Shih Tzu is a very rare sight, especially if the dog is a full, solid black. In fact, in many dogs, the coat is contrasted by another color, usually white. A Black Shih Tzu always has black lips, paw pads, noses, and eye rims. Sometimes, the coat fades as the dog matures, even transitioning to a more silver-colored coat. Also, exposure to very strong sunlight can cause the coat color to fade or develop rusty or red-colored highlights.
Brindle Shih Tzu
The Brindle-coated Shih Tzu is a truly beautiful dog. The coat usually has a single base color with streaks of a different shade running through the double coat to create gorgeous multicolored tones. The term Brindle refers to the coat color and is recognized by the American Kennel Club. The coat colors can vary, as can the coat pattern, and that’s what makes these dogs so beautiful and unusual. If you have a Brindle Shih Tzu, you can honestly say that he’s unique!
Shih Tzu Types Of Cuts
Now, let’s discover our favorite cute Shih Tzu haircuts. Whether you’re looking for a curly haircut or something more practical for an active Shih Tzu that loves to participate in canine sports, you’re sure to find exactly the look for your pup in our list!
1. The Puppy Cut
The Puppy cut is a very popular Shih Tzu haircut that many owners opt for. Although it’s called the Puppy cut, you can use this style for an adult dog, too. This cut is great for preventing tangled hair, as it entails giving the dog a short ½ inch or ¾ inch all-over clip. The dog’s facial hair and cheek hair are trimmed, as are the ears, and the tail hair is given a smart feathered tail cut. Even though this is a short haircut, you still need to brush your Shih Tzu every day.
2. The Long Ear Puppy Cut
The Long Ear Puppy cut is essentially the same as the standard Puppy cut but the pup’s ears are left to grow long. If you opt for this haircut for your pet, you’ll need to put aside plenty of time for brushing and combing the ears so that the outer layer of fur doesn’t get tangled. With this style, you’ll need to pay special attention to your dog’s ear health, too.
3. The Lion Cut
The name Shih Tzu means little lion in Chinese, and the Lion cut is designed to make your dog look just like his namesake! In the Lion haircut, the rear of the dog’s body hair is clipped short to about ¼ inch in length. The facial hair is lightly trimmed to create the effect of a lion’s mane, and the tail hair, chest, and feet are all left on.
4. Cone Paws
The Cone Paws effect is achieved by leaving the dog’s leg hair longer from the knees down, creating a cone-like shape. The rest of the dog’s body hair is clipped short, as described in the haircut styles above.
5. Teddy Bear Cut
The Teddy Bear cut is another extremely popular Shih Tzu shorter style of haircut. Essentially, the Teddy Bear cut involves clipping the dog’s body hair to a ½ inch or ¾ inches in length all over. This haircut includes a shaved, non-feathered tail cut, facial hair, ear trim, and a round feet trim. This kind of short clip gives your dog greater freedom of movement and is a practical choice of style for active pups that enjoy trips to the dog park and an occasional game of fetch in your backyard. Also, this shorter cut makes brushing your dog much less labor-intensive and can help to prevent matting.
6. The Top Knot Show Cut
This is a medium-length haircut that sees the coat trimmed so that it hangs clear of the floor. The head hair is drawn back in a top knot that looks like a cute paintbrush! Finish off the look by carefully sponging away tear stains.
7. Medium-Length Puppy Cut
If you want to keep a little more hair on your Shih Tzu during the cooler months of the year and you have time to include extra brushing in your grooming routine, this medium-length cut could suit your requirements.
If you want to choose a really fun, head-turning hairstyle for your Shih Tzu, you might want to consider the Mohawk! With the Mohawk, the dog’s body is clipped to around 1 inch of hair all over. Shih Tzus’ head hair is left at around 2 to 4 inches long. Some owners choose to create a really dramatic look by leaving the hair to grow long right down the length of the dog’s back. For a fun look, why not consider coloring your pet’s hair with pet-friendly hair dye.
Other Shih Tzu Haircut Styles
Here are a few more Shih Tzu haircut style ideas for you to consider next time you take your fluffy canine sidekick to the groomer.
9. Short Haircuts
A short haircut still needs regular brushing but can save you lots of time and is great for preventing your pet’s coat from tangling and matting. A short haircut is also perfect for those living in hotter climates.
10. Long Haircuts
If you love your Shih Tzu’s gorgeous, silky coat, you might want to keep it long. There are plenty of popular haircuts to choose from; it’s really just a matter of personal preference.
11. Wavy Haircuts
There are plenty of hairstyles that suit Shih Tzu that have wavy coats. In fact, many pet parents prefer to keep their pet’s coat a little longer, purely because they love the dog’s cute, stuffed animal look!
12. Curly Haircuts
Curly Shih Tzu coats are super-cute! If you ask your groomer to clip your Shih Tzu’s coat in layers, the chances are that it will become curly. However, remember that a longer, curly coat does tend to mat, so you’ll need to keep right on top of brushing your pet every day.
A beautifully coiffured wagging tail provides the perfect finishing touch to every Shih Tzu haircut.
13. Lion Cut Tail
The Lion Cut tail sees the tail hair left long at the end so that it forms a fluffy tuft, just like a lion’s tail. That’s the perfect look for a little lion dog!
14. Dyed Tail
Some people like to make a statement by dying their dog’s tail in outrageous colors. Again, that’s just a matter of personal preference, but it can be a fun look.
Every Labradoodle suits a different haircut, just like people! The right choice of face style can really emphasize your pet’s good looks, so always ask your professional groomer what face cut will suit your dog’s head shape.
The TopKnot is a super-cute hairstyle that looks absolutely fabulous on a Shih Tzu! The hair on the top of the DOG’S head is left to grow long and is scissor-blended with the pup’s facial hair and body clip. You can then draw the hair back into a paintbrush-like topknot and fix it with a cute bow.
16. Clean Face
One of the most appealing things about the Shih Tzu breed, apart from their glorious flowing coat and bright button eyes, is their pretty face. You can make the most of your Shih Tzu’s looks by having your professional groomer give your dog a Clean Face trim. You can use this cut with pretty much every other style of body clip. The Clean Face look involves shaving off the dog’s facial hair, including the mustache and beard, leaving a totally clean-shaven look that you’re sure to love.
Some Before And After Pics
Are you still wondering what hairstyle would look best on your Shih Tzu? Check out these before and after pictures to see how your professional groomer could transform your pet!
I hope you enjoyed our guide to some of the cutest Shih Tzu haircut ideas around! There are so many wonderful hairstyles to choose from, it can be difficult to decide what look to go for. We bet you have some excellent ideas of your own for a unique hairstyle for your pet. If you do, we’d love to hear about them! Tell us how you would like your Shih Tzu to look in the comments box below, and please take a few moments to share our guide.