How to Give a Shih Tzu a Haircut

Update your Shih Tzu's look with a haircut.
Update your Shih Tzu's look with a haircut. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

The Shih Tzu is a toy dog breed native to China. This common house pet is well-known for its long and soft double coat, which requires a lot of care and grooming to keep it attractive and free of knots and tangles. If you own a Shih Tzu and want to get rid of some of its hair, one option is to give it a "puppy cut." A puppy cut will also keep your dog cooler during the hot summer months.

Things You'll Need

  • Clipper
  • Small electric razor
  • Pin brush
  • Scissors

Take a clipper and start on the sides of your Shih Tzu. Trim off the hair to a length of between one and two inches. Concentrate on its legs. If you notice any knotted, tangled or matted hair, remove it with a pin brush before cutting.

Shorten your Shih Tzu's body hair. Concentrate on shaving its body hair, and take care to avoid its face, ears and legs. Try to keep its hair all at one length for a neat and groomed look.

Trim its ear hair with a clipper after you shave the body. Aim for a round look with the ears, and don't get too close to the skin.

Move toward your Shih Tzu's eyes. Use a pair of blunt scissors around the delicate eye area. Softly cut the surrounding hair to approximately one inch to maintain a soft and puppy-like appearance.

Trim your dog's face. Use scissors, keeping your dog's look round and like that of a puppy. Then, shave your Shih Tzu's neck and behind its head. Also shave the muzzle hair. Then, using scissors, cut its mustache to about one or two inches long (depending on how long you want it and what look you prefer). Brush the hair on your dog's cheeks and give it an arch where it meets the ears.

Abstain from cutting off all of your Shih Tzu's paw hair. Paw hair is necessary to keep your dog safe when it's walking on hard surfaces. Never cut off the hair on the paws. Lightly trim it, however, in order to stop it from tangling and knotting, which can result in pain for your dog.

Tips & Warnings

  • Puppy cuts do not mean that you can forsake daily grooming; however, these cuts are much easier to maintain. To keep your Shih Tzu looking its best, brush its hair every day. Puppy cuts can still lead to matting and tangling, especially as the hair grows longer.
  • Be careful with the clippers and don't go near the skin, which may lead to serious irritation.

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