As a Shih Tzu owner, choosing the right haircut style for your furry friend can be a daunting task. With so many different styles to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which one will suit your dog the best. Whether you want a practical and low-maintenance cut or a fanciful style that will turn heads, there are plenty of options to choose from. So, how do you know which style is right for your Shih Tzu, and how do you achieve the perfect cut? In this article, we will explore different Shih Tzu haircut styles and provide step-by-step instructions on how to achieve them. From the playful Teddy Bear Cut to the regal Lion Cut, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your grooming supplies and let’s get started!

Common Shih Tzu Haircuts

Common Shih Tzu Haircuts
As a Shih Tzu owner, you may be wondering what kind of haircut style would look best on your furry companion. There are numerous Shih Tzu haircut styles to choose from, and each one can give your pet a unique and adorable appearance. From long and luxurious to short and practical, there is a Shih Tzu haircut for every preference. In this section, we will discuss some of the most popular Shih Tzu haircuts and the specific characteristics of each style. Whether you’re looking for a playful puppy cut or a regal lion cut, we have got you covered. But before we dive into the different Shih Tzu haircuts, make sure you have the proper grooming supplies. You can check our guide on the best tools for Shih Tzu grooming to make sure you have everything you need for a flawless haircut.

Top Knot

A top knot is a popular haircut style for Shih Tzu dogs, particularly for show dogs. It involves tying up the hair on the top of the head with a bow or band. The rest of the coat can be trimmed short, left in a puppy cut, or grown out long.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Start by brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat and removing any tangles or mats. It’s important to make sure the coat is clean and dry before beginning the top knot.
  2. Gather the hair on the top of the head, leaving a small section of hair in the front for the bangs. Use a comb or your fingers to smooth out any bumps or knots in the hair.
  3. Secure the hair with a small rubber band or bow, making sure it’s not too tight and doesn’t pull on the hair. You may also use a coated band to avoid any breakage of hairs.
  4. If desired, trim the hair in the back and on the sides of the head to a shorter length.
  5. Style the bangs by trimming them straight across or angling them to the side.

It’s important to note that top knots require regular maintenance to keep them looking neat and tidy. The rubber band or bow should be replaced every few days to prevent it from loosening or breaking, which could cause the hair to become tangled.

Additionally, proper grooming and coat care are essential to achieving and maintaining a top knot. Regular bathing, brushing, and trimming will help prevent tangles and mats. Don’t forget to regularly clean your Shih Tzu’s ears and brush their teeth to maintain their overall health.

For more grooming tips, check out our other articles:

Puppy Cut

One of the most popular Shih Tzu haircuts is the cute and adorable Puppy Cut. This style is perfect for pet owners looking for a low-maintenance, easy to manage haircut that still keeps their Shih Tzu looking adorable.


  • Evenly trimmed hair all over the body
  • Short fur on the face with rounded ears
  • Top knot left long and brushed back

How to Achieve the Puppy Cut:

Grooming Supplies You’ll Need:

To achieve the Puppy Cut, you’ll need the following grooming supplies:

  • Clippers with a #3 or #4 blade attachment
  • Scissors
  • Comb
  • Brush
  • Nail clippers
  • Styptic powder or cornstarch (in case you accidentally cut your Shih Tzu’s nails too short)
  • Ear cleaner
  • Cotton balls or gauze
  • Shampoo and conditioner

Preparing Your Shih Tzu:

Before you start trimming your Shih Tzu’s hair, you need to prepare them by following these steps:

  1. Give your Shih Tzu a warm bath with shampoo and conditioner to soften their fur and make it easier to cut
  2. Dry your Shih Tzu thoroughly with a towel and then a blow dryer, making sure they are completely dry
  3. Brush your Shih Tzu’s fur to remove any tangles or knots
  4. Trim your Shih Tzu’s nails, being careful not to cut them too short
  5. Clean your Shih Tzu’s ears with an ear cleaner and cotton balls or gauze

Step-by-Step Instructions for the Puppy Cut:

Now that your Shih Tzu is ready, you can start trimming their hair by following these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Using your clippers with a #3 or #4 blade attachment, trim your Shih Tzu’s body fur evenly, leaving it around 1 inch long
  2. Using your scissors, trim the fur around your Shih Tzu’s ears, making them rounded
  3. Trim the fur on your Shih Tzu’s face short, leaving the top knot long and brushed back
  4. Trim the fur on your Shih Tzu’s feet evenly
  5. Using your scissors, trim any stray hairs on your Shih Tzu’s body

Tips and Tricks for Achieving the Perfect Cut:

  • Brush your Shih Tzu’s fur before, during, and after trimming to ensure it is even and you don’t miss any tangles
  • Regularly check the blade attachment on your clippers to make sure it is tight and secure
  • Take your time and don’t rush the trimming process to avoid making mistakes
  • If you accidentally cut your Shih Tzu’s fur too short, don’t worry – it will grow back over time
  • Consider investing in a grooming table to make it easier to trim your Shih Tzu’s fur

The Puppy Cut is an adorable and easy-to-maintain Shih Tzu haircut style that any pet owner can achieve with the right grooming supplies and techniques. By following these step-by-step instructions and tips, you can keep your Shih Tzu looking cute and cuddly all year round. For more Shih Tzu grooming tips, check out our Shih Tzu grooming tips article.

Lion Cut

The Lion Cut is a popular and dramatic look for Shih Tzu dogs. If you want your furry friend to have an appearance fit for a king, then the Lion Cut could be perfect for them. This style originated from, as the name suggests, giving your dog the look of a miniature lion. This cut shaves the fur from the body while leaving long hair on the head and tail, giving your Shih Tzu a regal appearance. Here are the steps to achieve the Lion Cut:

• Firstly, make sure that your Shih Tzu’s coat is clean and free of tangles. Bathe them using a high-quality shampoo and conditioner, and then thoroughly dry their hair after bathing.

• Next, use clippers to shave your Shih Tzu’s body hair short. You want to leave about <strong>1/16th of an inch</strong> of hair on their body to prevent any cuts or scrapes.

• Afterward, use scissors to trim the fur around the neck and chest. This should leave a mane-like appearance surrounding the head.

• For the tail, start shaping the long hair in a large, rounded tip. Then, trim around the edges and leave the long hair fading into the shorter fur on the body.

• Finally, trim the fur on the legs so that all of the hair is even in length. You can also round the tips of the paws to give them a more lion-like appearance.

Done properly, your Shih Tzu will look like a miniature lion! Remember that this cut requires some maintenance, so be prepared to have to touch-up the hair on a regular basis to keep the regal look. Also, keep in mind that not all dogs are suited for this haircut, as it can leave them vulnerable to cold weather, sunburn, and other weather conditions. Consult with your vet before committing to this cut.

Bear Cut

The bear cut is a popular style for Shih Tzus that give them a cuddly, teddy bear-like appearance. This haircut involves trimming the fur down to a short length all over the body, leaving the ears and tail slightly longer.

To achieve the bear cut, you will need grooming clippers with an adjustable blade, scissors, a comb, and a pair of thinning shears. You may also want to have a non-slip mat for your dog to stand on, as well as grooming wipes to keep their face clean.

Step 1: Start by using the clippers with the adjustable blade set to a longer length (around 1 inch) to trim the body. Work in the direction of hair growth, starting at the neck and moving down towards the tail. Use the comb to lift sections of fur and make sure you trim evenly.

Step 2: Next, use the thinning shears to blend the longer fur on the ears and tail with the shorter fur on the body. This will create a gradual transition and give the appearance of a bear’s ears and tail.

Step 3: Use the scissors to trim around the paw pads and any excess fur on the feet. This will give your Shih Tzu a tidy appearance and reduce the risk of mats.

Step 4: Finally, trim the fur on the face to give it a rounded appearance. Use the scissors to carefully trim around the eyes, nose, and mouth, making sure not to cut too close to the skin.

Tips: When trimming with scissors or shears, it’s important to work carefully and not rush the process. Start with small cuts and gradually build up to the desired length. Additionally, make sure your Shih Tzu is calm and relaxed while you groom them, as this will make the process easier and safer for both you and your furry friend.

By following these simple steps, you can achieve a cute and cuddly bear cut for your Shih Tzu. Keep in mind that it’s important to regularly groom your Shih Tzu to maintain their coat health and prevent mats and tangles.

Teddy Bear Cut

The Teddy Bear Cut is one of the most popular Shih Tzu haircuts today. It’s a cute and cuddly style that gives your dog a teddy bear-like appearance. To achieve this look, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Trim the body: Using a clipper with a #2 or #3 blade, carefully trim the hair on your Shih Tzu’s body. Start at the top of the head and work your way down to the tail, making sure to go with the grain of the hair. Trim the hair on the legs and feet as well.
  2. Blend the hair: Use scissors to blend the longer hair on the legs and feet with the clipped body. Make sure to blend the hair in a way that looks natural and even.
  3. Trim the head: Using scissors, carefully trim the hair on the head to the desired length. Make sure to leave the hair around the eyes longer, as this will give your Shih Tzu that signature teddy bear look.
  4. Round the ears: Using scissors, round the edges of your Shih Tzu’s ears to give them a soft, teddy bear appearance.
  5. Trim the tail: Use scissors to trim the hair on your Shih Tzu’s tail to the desired length.
  6. Finish with a brush and comb: Brush your Shih Tzu’s hair thoroughly and use a comb to make sure the hair is even and smooth.

It’s important to note that the Teddy Bear Cut requires regular brushing and grooming to maintain its shape and prevent matting. Invest in a high-quality brush and comb and make sure to brush your Shih Tzu at least once a week. You may also want to consider scheduling regular grooming appointments with a professional groomer to keep your Shih Tzu looking and feeling their best.

Summer Cut

During hot summer months, a lot of Shih Tzu owners opt for the Summer Cut, which is a short and practical haircut that keeps their furry friend cool and comfortable. This haircut consists of trimming the fur all over the body, leaving only about an inch of hair to protect the skin from the sun and other elements. The hair on the muzzle, ears, and tail is also trimmed short, but not completely shaved.

To achieve the perfect Summer Cut for your Shih Tzu, you’ll need the following tools:

Grooming Supplies
Clipper Attachment Combs
Styptic Powder

Preparing Your Shih Tzu

Before you start clipping your Shih Tzu’s hair, make sure that they’re calm and relaxed. It’s ideal to bathe your dog first and then dry them completely, so the hair is easier to clip.

shih tzu in summer cut

Step-by-Step Instructions for the Summer Cut

Step 1: Start with your clipper on a low setting, use a blade size 7 and slowly make your way down the back, sides and legs to remove any long fur.

Step 2: Now take a blade size 4, leave 1 inch of hair all over the body, make sure that the hair on the muzzle, ears, and tail is trimmed short, but not shaved.

Step 3: Use scissors to cut around the eyes and ears to make sure no hair is blocking their vision or hearing.

Tips and Tricks for Achieving the Perfect Summer Cut

Beginners may find it a bit tricky to get the perfect Summer Cut at first, so here are some additional tips and tricks to help you out:

– Always use a blade size of 7 for the underbelly, between the paw pads, and the genital area.
– If your Shih Tzu moves around a lot during grooming, try using a grooming restraint to keep them still and comfortable.
– Use treats to motivate and reward your dog during grooming.
– Clipper blades can get hot quickly, so be sure to change blades often and check the temperature of the blades with your hand.
– If you’re not confident in your grooming skills, consult with a professional groomer.

The Summer Cut is a practical and easy-to-maintain hairstyle that keeps your Shih Tzu cool during the hot months. With the right tools, preparation, and technique, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve a professional-looking cut for your furry friend at home. Remember to take your time, use positive reinforcement, and seek professional help if needed.

Full Coat

The full coat style is one of the most classic looks for Shih Tzus, and it involves keeping the dog’s hair at its full length. This style requires a bit more maintenance than some of the other options, but it’s worth it to achieve that beautiful, flowing coat. Here are the steps to achieve the full coat look:

  • Grooming supplies: You’ll need a slicker brush, a metal comb, a pair of scissors, and clippers with various clipper blades. You may also want to use a detangling spray or conditioner to help with matting.
  • Preparing your Shih Tzu: Begin by brushing your dog’s coat thoroughly to remove any tangles or mats. Use the metal comb to get through any particularly stubborn tangles. If you encounter any mats that you can’t remove by brushing, you may need to carefully cut them out with scissors.
  • Clipping your dog: Starting at the top of your dog’s head, use the clippers to carefully trim around the ears, taking care not to nick the delicate skin. Continue clipping down the back of the neck and along the spinal cord, stopping just before the base of the tail. Use a longer clipper blade for the body and a shorter blade for the face and paws.
  • Trimming the face: Carefully trim around your dog’s face using scissors, being sure not to cut too close to the eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Grooming the legs: Use the clippers to trim the hair on your dog’s legs, leaving them at an even length. Then, use the scissors to carefully trim around the paw pads, being sure not to nick the skin.
  • Finishing touches: Use the slicker brush to brush through your dog’s coat again to remove any loose hairs or tangles. You may also want to add a bow or other accessory to your dog’s hair to complete the look.

To maintain the full coat style, it’s important to brush your dog’s coat regularly to prevent tangles and matting. You may also need to trim your dog’s hair every few weeks to keep it at the desired length. With a little bit of effort, you can achieve a stunning full coat look for your Shih Tzu.

How to Achieve Different Shih Tzu Haircut Styles

Now that we have explored the common Shih Tzu haircut styles in detail, it’s time to move on to the exciting part – learning how to achieve these styles! With the right grooming supplies, preparation and step-by-step instructions, you can easily groom your furry friend to perfection. Whether you want a practical and low-maintenance look, or a fancy and intricate style, this guide will walk you through the process of achieving each one. So, grab your grooming tools and get ready to provide your Shih Tzu with a stunning new look.

Grooming Supplies You’ll Need

To achieve different Shih Tzu haircut styles, you’ll need a variety of grooming supplies. Below is a list of essential items that you should have on hand:

  • Clippers: A good-quality set of clippers is essential for trimming your Shih Tzu’s coat. Look for clippers that are specifically designed for use on dogs and have multiple blade options for varying hair lengths.
  • Blades: In addition to the blades that come with your clippers, it’s a good idea to have a few extra on hand. This is especially important if you plan on performing more than one type of haircut.
  • Scissors: Sharp scissors are necessary for trimming hair around your Shih Tzu’s face, ears, and paws. Choose scissors that are specifically designed for pet grooming and have a comfortable grip.
  • Comb: A comb is helpful for removing tangles and mats from your Shih Tzu’s coat before you begin trimming. Look for a comb with both wide and narrow teeth.
  • Brush: A brush is useful for removing loose hair and distributing natural oils throughout your Shih Tzu’s coat. Choose a brush with soft bristles that won’t damage your dog’s skin.
  • Nail Clippers: Keeping your Shih Tzu’s nails trimmed is important for their overall health and comfort. Invest in a set of nail clippers that are specifically designed for use on dogs.
  • Styptic Powder: Accidents can happen when you’re trimming your Shih Tzu’s nails. Keep a small container of styptic powder on hand to help stop any bleeding that may occur.
  • Towels: Grooming your Shih Tzu can be messy, so it’s a good idea to have a few towels on hand to clean up any spills or debris.
  • Treats: Grooming can be a stressful experience for your Shih Tzu, so it’s important to offer positive reinforcement throughout the process. Use treats to reward good behavior and make the experience more enjoyable for both you and your pup!

Having these grooming supplies on hand will help you achieve a well-groomed Shih Tzu with a great haircut style. Remember, always use caution when trimming your dog’s coat and don’t be afraid to seek professional grooming help if necessary.

Preparing Your Shih Tzu

Before you start with the haircut, it is essential to prepare your Shih Tzu. Here are some steps you should follow to adequately prepare your furry friend:

  • Brushing: Brush your dog’s coat thoroughly to remove any tangles or mats. Make sure that you use the appropriate brush for your Shih Tzu’s coat type.
  • Bathing: Give your Shih Tzu a bath with a shampoo specifically designed for their coat type. This step makes the coat more manageable and easier to work with during the grooming process. Remember to rinse your dog well to remove any shampoo residue that might irritate their skin later.
  • Drying: After the bath, use a towel to pat-dry your Shih Tzu before using a blow dryer on the coat. A high-velocity blow dryer designed for pets works best. Make sure to hold it a few inches away from the coat to prevent burning your dog’s skin.
  • Trimming Nails: While you’re grooming your Shih Tzu, don’t forget to trim their nails. Long nails can cause discomfort, and you don’t want to have them hindering the trimming process later. Make sure to use a sharp clipper and only cut the tip of the nail to avoid cutting the quick and causing bleeding.
  • Cleaning Ears: The last thing you want is to stop midway through the grooming process to clean your dog’s ears. Use a damp cotton ball to gently clean the outer portion of your Shih Tzu’s ears. Avoid inserting anything in the ear canal, and if you notice signs of ear infection, seek medical attention from a veterinarian.

By following these preparation steps, you pave the way for a successful Shih Tzu haircut. It might take some extra time, but it is worth it. A clean and well-groomed Shih Tzu not only looks great but also feels great.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Each Haircut Style

Each Shih Tzu haircut style requires specific instructions to achieve the desired look. Here are step-by-step instructions for each style.

Top KnotPuppy CutLion Cut
  • Gather the hair and tie it into a ponytail at the top of your Shih Tzu’s head.
  • Secure with a small hair tie or clip.
  • Trim any excess hair that falls below the ponytail.
  • Fluff and style the top knot to your liking.
  • Start with a longer blade attachment on your clipper.
  • Begin at the neck and cut the hair along the body, following the direction of the fur.
  • Switch to a shorter blade attachment for the legs and face.
  • Trim around the ears and eyes with scissors, being careful not to cut too close.
  • Fluff and style the hair as desired.
  • Begin by using a longer blade attachment on your clipper to shave the body.
  • Leave fur longer around the head, leaving hair for a mane and strip down the back.
  • Trim the hair around the face with scissors, creating a lion’s mane.
  • Trim fur on the tail, leaving a tuft on the end.
Bear CutTeddy Bear CutSummer Cut
  • Use clippers to cut the fur short all over the body.
  • Trim the hair on the legs, leaving it slightly longer than the body.
  • Fluff the fur around the face to resemble a bear snout.
  • Trim the hair on the top of the head to resemble bear ears.
  • Use clippers to trim hair short all over the body.
  • Leave hair slightly longer on the face, legs and tail.
  • Trim the hair around the ears and tail slightly shorter.
  • Fluff the hair around the face to create a teddy bear look.
  • Begin with a long blade attachment on your clipper and trim all over the body.
  • Cut the hair on the legs slightly shorter than the rest of the body.
  • Trim the hair on the face, leaving it slightly longer than the body.
  • Trim the hair on the ears, tail and feet slightly shorter.
Full Coat
  • Use scissors to trim excess hair around the paws.
  • Trim hair around the anus and genital area carefully.
  • Use a slicker brush to remove any tangles or mats.
  • Use a pin brush to brush out and evenly distribute the hair.

Follow these instructions and use the appropriate grooming supplies to achieve your desired Shih Tzu haircut style. Remember to always be patient and gentle with your furry friend.

Tips and Tricks for Achieving the Perfect Cut

Achieving the perfect cut for your Shih Tzu haircut style can be challenging, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you achieve the look you want:

Use a good pair of grooming scissorsAvoid using regular scissors as they can cause uneven cuts or even harm your dog. Purchase a pair of grooming scissors that are sharp, comfortable to grip, and made specifically for dog grooming.
Start with clean and dry furClean and dry fur is easier to work with and will give you a better idea of what the final cut will look like. Make sure to bathe and blow-dry your dog thoroughly before starting the grooming process.
Take your timeRushing the process can result in uneven cuts or injuries to your dog. Take your time and be patient, especially around sensitive areas like the face, ears, and paws.
Use positive reinforcementGrooming can be stressful for dogs, so make sure to use positive reinforcement like treats and praise to keep your dog calm and comfortable throughout the process.
Pay attention to the direction of the furCutting against the direction of the fur can cause a choppy, uneven look. Make sure to cut in the same direction as the fur, especially around the face and paws.
Trim small sections at a timeTrimming off a small section at a time will give you more control and prevent you from cutting off too much fur at once. This is especially important when trimming around sensitive areas.
Know when to stopIt’s important to know when to stop, especially if you’re not sure how much to cut. Remember that it’s better to under-cut than to over-cut, as over-cutting can lead to injuries or a lopsided look.

These tips and tricks can help you achieve the perfect cut for your Shih Tzu haircut style. Remember to take your time, use positive reinforcement, and be patient. With practice and persistence, you’ll be able to achieve the look you want for your furry friend!


In conclusion, giving your Shih Tzu a proper haircut is not only a matter of aesthetics but also crucial for their overall health and wellbeing. The variety of haircut styles allows pet owners to personalize their Shih Tzu’s appearance according to their preferences and lifestyle.

However, achieving the perfect Shih Tzu haircut requires patience, practice, and the use of proper grooming tools. It’s essential to take the time to prepare your Shih Tzu before starting the grooming process, to ensure their comfort and safety.

Remember that some Shih Tzu breeds have more sensitive skin than others, and may need special attention during the grooming process. Always use high-quality grooming products that are suitable for your pet’s skin and coat type.

A well-groomed Shih Tzu not only looks stunning but also feels healthier, happier, and more confident. Regular grooming sessions can prevent skin infections, matting, and other issues that may affect your pet’s well-being.

In addition to following the step-by-step instructions for each haircut style, don’t be afraid to add your own creative touch to the process. The best part about grooming your Shih Tzu is the opportunity to bond with them, and create a unique look that reflects their unique personality.

Finally, as a pet owner, it’s essential to recognize the importance of a balanced and nutritious diet, daily exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups to ensure your Shih Tzu’s optimal health and well-being. With these strategies in place, your furry friend is sure to live a long, healthy, and happy life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Shih Tzus get hairballs?

Yes, Shih Tzus can get hairballs if they swallow too much of their own fur while grooming themselves.

Do Shih Tzus shed a lot?

Shih Tzus have hair, not fur, which means they shed less than dogs with fur. However, they still require regular grooming to prevent matting.

What is the best Shih Tzu haircut for hot weather?

The Summer Cut, which involves trimming the hair short on the body and legs, is ideal for hot weather to keep your Shih Tzu cool.

How often should you groom a Shih Tzu?

A Shih Tzu should be groomed every 4-6 weeks to maintain their coat and prevent matting.

Is it necessary to take your Shih Tzu to a professional groomer?

No, it is possible to groom your Shih Tzu at home with the right tools and techniques. But a professional groomer can also provide a more polished look and catch any grooming issues you may have missed.

What kind of shampoo should you use on a Shih Tzu?

It’s recommended to use a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo made specifically for dogs. Avoid using human shampoo, as it can disrupt the natural oils in your Shih Tzu’s coat.

Can you trim a Shih Tzu’s nails at home?

Yes, you can trim your Shih Tzu’s nails at home with a pair of dog nail clippers. Just be careful not to clip the quick, which can cause bleeding.

Is it normal for Shih Tzus to have tear stains?

Yes, tear stains are common for Shih Tzus because of their large eyes and shallow eye sockets. Regular cleaning and proper diet can help reduce tear stains.

How long does it take to groom a Shih Tzu?

The time it takes to groom a Shih Tzu varies depending on the haircut style and their coat condition. It can take anywhere from 1-3 hours.

Can you train a Shih Tzu to enjoy grooming?

Yes, with patience and positive reinforcement, you can train your Shih Tzu to enjoy grooming sessions. Start with short sessions and reward them for good behavior.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DoggoLab, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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