If you have a Shih Tzu in your family then you’re already well aware of their gorgeous coat! Their luscious locks are more like human hair, grow longer than the average dog’s, and don’t shed nearly as much as other breeds.
However you must understand that their hair requires special attention—it has to be cleaned and brushed regularly to prevent knots and tangles, and most haircuts require a trim every 4-6 weeks to keep them looking their best.
Still not sure how to style your pup? We’re here to help with a variety of possible cuts and clips for your favorite four-legged friend. We hope you’ll find something that’ll tickle your fancy.
Top Shih Tzu Hairstyles
1. Puppy Cut
2. Teddy Bear Cut
Want to make your dog look like the cutest stuffed animal around? Then this cut is for you! For this fairly simple style, the hair is trimmed to 2 to 2 1/2 inches all over the body (including the ears) and the face is left longer, at about 4 inches.
Though it’s fairly easy to maintain, you’re going to need to look out for tangles with this cut (since the fur is left a bit puffy), and you’re going to want to get your dog regularly trimmed—or perfect your own grooming technique—in order to keep the cut looking its best.
3. Practical Top Knot
You know when you just need to get that hair out of your eyes? Your dog feels the same way—and this cut is here to help. It’s fairly long all over the body (though not as long as the style you’ll see below), with enough hair on the head to create an impressive-looking top knot.
Find some snazzy clips, ribbons, or barrettes to hold it up and really get in touch with your pooch’s personality. The rest of their hair can be trimmed as short as you’d like (though 1 inch is probably the minimum), and make sure they don’t have hair hanging into their mouths or eyes—that’s just uncomfortable.
4. Top Knot Show Cut
If you have a lot of time on your hands, then you may be able to handle this Top Knot Show Cut—it definitely requires some maintenance. This is an extremely long style, with hair from your dog’s back falling all the way down to their feet.
Regular brushing and trimming are essential for this cut, in fact, you’re going to want to brush their coat a few times a day. That’s probably why this cut is almost exclusively found on show dogs. It’s an immense amount of effort to keep up, and can make dogs a little too toasty during summer months.
5. Lion Cut
Help your dog transform into an adorable little lion with this unique style that emphasizes the hair around their face. The fur on the body is trimmed to around 1 1/2 to 2 inches, with a mane-like cut around the face and head.
Just be sure to keep the body trimmed up with clippers, or keep your groomer on standby every four to six weeks. Otherwise, your not-so-ferocious dog will have a low-maintenance cut that keeps them looking chic all year round.
Regardless of the cut you choose for your Shih Tzu, we know that those fun, fluffy locks are part of what makes this breed so lovely. Now, it’s up to you to decide what style best suits their personality, and which is the best match for your lifestyle, your family, and your wallet.
Does your dog dislike being brushed?
Many dogs love to be brushed, but not all do. And unless they got a lot of practice with it as puppies, they may be suspicious when you first introduce them to the brush. Approaching brushing slowly, with positive, non-threatening interactions, is more likely to result in a smoother grooming routine. Here’s how to get your dog to accept—and perhaps even enjoy—brushing:
- Before you even set brush to fur, let your pup make friends with the tool. Start by placing the brush on the ground and throwing high-value treats around and on top of it, encouraging your dog to investigate the funny new object at their speed.
- The simple act of reaching for your dog with the brush can be scary for some dogs. Next, work on reaching out with the brush to very lightly touch your dog’s body with the edge of the bristles. Each time you reach out with the brush, immediately follow it with a high-value treat. Be sure to take extra care (and time, if needed) when brushing around the ears, legs, and genitals.
- When your dog is comfortable with step 2, move on to brushing the fur. Start lightly, alternating each stroke with a reward. Over time, work your way up to pressing more firmly and brushing for several strokes in a row.
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