How to Cut Shihtzu Hair: A Step-by-Step Guide to Grooming

How to Cut Shihtzu Hair: A Step-by-Step Guide to Grooming

Shihtzus are adorable and fluffy dogs that require regular grooming to maintain their beautiful coat. One essential aspect of grooming is cutting their hair. Properly trimming a Shihtzu’s hair not only keeps them looking neat but also ensures their comfort and overall well-being. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to cut Shihtzu hair, ensuring a happy and healthy pup.

Understanding Shihtzu Hair

Understanding Shihtzu Hair:

Before delving into the grooming process, it’s important to understand the unique characteristics of Shihtzu hair. These dogs have a double coat, consisting of a soft undercoat and a longer topcoat. Their hair can be prone to tangling and matting if not properly maintained. Regular haircuts help prevent matting and keep the fur manageable.

Preparing for the Haircut
Shih tzu dog after washing. With bathrobe, towels and comb. Soft blue background tint.

Preparing for the Haircut:

To get started, gather the necessary tools and equipment. You will need clippers, scissors, brushes, combs, and treats for rewards. Create a comfortable and safe space for your Shihtzu, ensuring they are calm and relaxed before beginning the grooming process. This will make the experience more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cutting Shihtzu Hair:

  • Brushing and Detangling:
    Begin by thoroughly brushing your Shihtzu’s coat to remove any tangles or mats. Use a slicker brush to gently detangle the hair, paying close attention to the neck, behind the ears, and under the armpits. Gradually work through the entire body, using a comb to eliminate any remaining knots.
  • Trimming the Body Hair:
    Decide on the desired hair length for your Shihtzu’s body. Using clippers with an appropriate guard, trim the hair on the back, sides, and belly. Start from the neck, moving towards the tail, using smooth and even strokes. Take care around sensitive areas, such as the genitals and nipples.
  • Shaping the Face and Head:
    Use blunt-tipped scissors to carefully trim the hair around your Shihtzu’s eyes, ears, and muzzle. Create a clean and well-defined appearance while maintaining their adorable features. Pay attention to the topknot (the hair tied on the head) and the beard, ensuring they are neatly shaped according to your preference.
  • Trimming the Tail and Feet:
    Trim the hair on the tail and feet to keep them tidy and avoid matting. Use scissors to carefully remove excess hair, shaping the tail into an appealing style. For the feet, trim the hair between the paw pads and around the edges to achieve a neat look.

Managing Challenges and Safety Considerations:

During the grooming process, it’s common to encounter challenges such as a wiggly or nervous dog. Remain patient and provide reassurance to keep your Shihtzu calm. Remember to avoid sensitive areas and use blunt-tipped scissors for added safety. If you feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable, consider seeking professional assistance from a trained groomer.

Completing the Haircut and Aftercare:

Once you have finished cutting your Shihtzu’s hair, review the overall appearance for any uneven areas or imperfections. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure a balanced and well-groomed look. Reward your furry companion with treats or praise for their cooperation. Clean and store your grooming tools properly for the next session.

Seeking Professional Grooming Assistance:

While this guide provides comprehensive instructions, some owners may prefer professional grooming services for their Shihtzus. Professional groomers possess expertise in breed-specific cuts and have specialized equipment that can achieve desired results efficiently. Consider booking an appointment with a trusted groomer if you feel more comfortable with their professional assistance.


Grooming your Shihtzu is an important part of their care routine, and cutting their hair is a crucial aspect of that grooming. By following this step-by-step guide, you can confidently trim your Shihtzu’s hair, ensuring their comfort, health, and a well-maintained appearance. Remember to prioritize patience, seek guidance when needed, and prioritize your precious companion’s overall well-being through regular grooming sessions.

FAQ About “Cut Shihtzu Hair”

  1. How often should I cut my Shih Tzu’s hair? It is recommended to have your Shih Tzu’s hair trimmed every 4-6 weeks to maintain a healthy coat and prevent matting.
  2. Can I cut my Shih Tzu’s hair myself? While it is possible to trim your Shih Tzu’s hair at home, it is advisable to seek professional grooming assistance, especially if you are not experienced. Professional groomers have the necessary tools and expertise to ensure a safe and aesthetically pleasing cut.
  3. What tools do I need to cut my Shih Tzu’s hair? You will typically need grooming scissors, thinning shears, a comb, clippers (optional), and a slicker brush for regular grooming. It’s important to use high-quality tools specifically designed for pet grooming to avoid any discomfort or injury to your pet.
  4. How short should I trim my Shih Tzu’s hair? The length of the cut can vary based on personal preference and climate, but many Shih Tzu owners prefer a shorter cut for easier maintenance. It’s best to discuss your desired length with a professional groomer who can guide you based on your dog’s specific needs.
  5. How can I prevent matting when cutting my Shih Tzu’s hair? Regular brushing and thorough detangling before trimming is crucial to prevent mats. Use a slicker brush or comb to gently remove any knots or tangles. If matting is severe or persists, it’s recommended to consult a professional groomer.
  6. Should I trim the hair around my Shih Tzu’s eyes? Yes, it’s important to keep the hair around your Shih Tzu’s eyes trimmed to prevent irritation and eye infections. However, it is highly recommended to have this done by a professional groomer to avoid any accidental injuries to your dog’s eyes.
  7. How can I keep my Shih Tzu calm during the grooming process? Introduce your Shih Tzu to grooming at a young age to help them get accustomed to the process. Use positive reinforcement, treats, and praise to create a calm and positive association with grooming. Break the grooming process into shorter sessions to prevent overwhelming your pet.
  8. Can I bathe my Shih Tzu before trimming its hair? Yes, it is often recommended to bathe your Shih Tzu before trimming the hair to ensure cleanliness and easier handling. However, ensure that your Shih Tzu is completely dry before starting the trimming process.
  9. Should I shave my Shih Tzu’s hair during hot weather? While some owners opt for a shave during hot weather to keep their Shih Tzu cool, it is not recommended to completely shave their hair. Shih Tzu’s double coat protects them from both heat and cold, so a shorter trim or thinning may be more beneficial.
  10. How can I maintain my Shih Tzu’s hair between professional grooming sessions? Regular brushing and combing at home are essential to prevent matting and maintain a healthy coat. You can also do minor touch-ups using grooming scissors or thinning shears, but avoid attempting major trims without appropriate skills.

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