shih tzu short hair

Shih Tzu Short Hair in 2023: Truth About Trimming Fluff

Short and chic! Learn more about shih tzu short hair and why it might be the perfect style for your pet.

Shih Tzu Short Hair: Can They Have a Shorter Coat?

When it comes to Shih Tzus, most people imagine them with long, luxurious coats that require frequent grooming and upkeep. However, some owners may prefer a shorter coat for their furry companion.

But is this even possible for the breed? In this article, we’ll explore the topic of Shih Tzu short hair and whether or not they can have a shorter coat.

Firstly, let’s define what a Shih Tzu is. This small dog breed originated in China and was originally bred as palace pets for Chinese royals.

They are known for their affectionate and playful personalities, making them excellent family pets. Their signature look includes long hair that falls over their eyes and faces.

There are two main types of Shih Tzu coats: long and short. The long coat is the more common of the two and requires more attention to grooming in order to prevent matting and tangles.

On the other hand, the short coat is less common but still possible for some Shih Tzus. So can a Shih Tzu have a shorter coat?

The answer is yes, but it depends on several factors such as genetics, age, health, grooming habits, and more. Some owners may prefer a shorter coat due to ease of maintenance or personal preference.

However, it’s important to note that having a shorter coat does come with its own set of pros and cons which we’ll dive into later in this article. In the following sections we’ll explore each subtopic in detail so you can make an informed decision about whether or not a shorter coat is right for your furry friend.

What is a Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzu is a small and adorable dog breed that originated from China. They are also known as “Lion Dogs” because of their resemblance to the Chinese guardian lions. Shih Tzus have gained popularity around the world due to their cute looks, friendly disposition, and adaptability to living in apartments.

Physical Characteristics

Shih Tzus have a unique appearance that makes them stand out from other breeds. They have long, flowing hair that covers their entire body, which can come in a variety of colors such as gold, black, white or brown.

Their eyes are round and large with a sweet expression that melts any heart. Their noses are flat and wide with floppy ears that hang down on either side of their head.

These dogs typically weigh between 9-16 pounds and stand at about 8-11 inches tall at the shoulder. They are compactly built with sturdy legs that allow them to move gracefully despite being small in size.


Shih Tzus are known for their friendly personality and gentle nature, making them perfect pets for families with children or senior citizens looking for companionship. These dogs love being around people and thrive on attention from their owners. They also tend to be playful and energetic when they want to be, but can also be lazy couch potatoes when they want some rest.

Despite their small size, Shih Tzus make excellent watchdogs due to their alertness towards strangers. Overall, these dogs are affectionate companions who bond closely with their owners.

They require daily interaction with humans and plenty of cuddles to keep them happy. It’s no wonder why so many people choose the Shih Tzu breed as their loyal furry friends!

The Two Main Coat Types of Shih Tzu Dogs

Long vs. Short CoatsShih Tzu dogs are well-known for their adorable, fluffy coats that can come in a variety of colors, including white, black, brown, and gold. However, there are actually two main types of Shih Tzu coats: long and short. The long coat is what most people envision when they think of a Shih Tzu. This type of coat is silky and straight with a lot of volume and length. The hair can grow up to 8 or 9 inches in length if left untrimmed. Long coats require more maintenance than short coats as they can easily become tangled or matted without proper grooming. The short coat is less common but still very cute! This type of coat is smoother and shorter with hair that lies closer to the skin. A shorter coat can make grooming much easier as it requires less daily maintenance than a longer coat. Overall, while both long and short coats have their unique benefits and drawbacks, the majority of Shih Tzus have long coats due to their natural genetics.

Why Are Long Coats More Common?

As previously mentioned, most Shih Tzus have long coats due to genetic factors. The breed was originally developed in China hundreds of years ago as a companion dog for royalty who valued its luxurious appearance. While some breeders intentionally breed for shorter haired dogs by crossing them with other breeds like Pekingese or Pomeranians that carry genes for shorter hair lengths – the vast majority end up having longer hair due to the dominant genetic trait carried by both parents even if they don’t exhibit those traits themselves.

However, some owners may prefer a shorter-haired Shih Tzu because it’s easier to maintain and manage on a daily basis compared to a longer-haired one. Additionally, a shorter coat can help dogs feel cooler and more comfortable in warmer climates.

Whether you prefer a long or short-coated Shih Tzu, it’s important to choose the right type of dog for your lifestyle and personality. If you don’t have the time or resources to devote to daily grooming, then a shorter-haired Shih Tzu may be the perfect option for you!

Can Shih Tzu Have Shorter Coats?

Shih Tzus are known for their luxurious, fluffy coats, but some owners may prefer a shorter coat for their furry companion. The answer to whether or not Shih Tzus can have shorter coats is yes, they can. However, it’s important to note that the length of a Shih Tzu’s coat is largely determined by genetics.

Some Shih Tzus are born with naturally shorter coats than others. If you’re considering adopting a Shih Tzu with a shorter coat or want to groom your current pup for a shorter look, it’s important to first understand the potential reasons behind wanting a shorter coat.

Why Some Owners May Want a Shorter Coat for Their Shih Tzu

One reason an owner may want a shorter coat for their Shih Tzu is practicality. Long coats require more maintenance and grooming to keep them looking healthy and beautiful.

For owners who don’t have the time or resources to devote regular attention to their pet’s grooming needs, opting for a shorter coat may be beneficial. Another reason an owner may prefer a short-coated Shih Tzu is due to allergies.

While no dog breed is truly hypoallergenic, breeds with longer hair tend to shed more frequently and produce more dander than those with short hair. For allergy sufferers who still want an affectionate companion in their lives, choosing a short-coated dog like the Shih Tzu might be ideal.

Some owners simply prefer the look of dogs with short hair over those with long hair. Personal preferences aside, there’s no denying that short-coated dogs are often just as cute and lovable as their long-haired counterparts.

So overall, yes -Shih Tzus can have shorter coats! But keep in mind that while genetics play the biggest role in determining a Shih Tzu’s coat length, grooming habits and other factors can also impact the length of their coat.

Factors That Affect Coat Length

As mentioned earlier, various factors can impact the length of a Shih Tzu’s coat. Some of these factors are beyond our control, such as genetics and age.

Others, like grooming habits and health, are within our control. Understanding what impacts your Shih Tzu’s coat length can help you take better care of your furry friend and keep them looking their best.


The most significant factor that determines the length of a Shih Tzu’s coat is genetics. Each breed has specific genetic traits that affect its physical characteristics, including coat type and color.

For example, if both parents have long coats, it is more likely that their offspring will also have long coats. However, some Shih Tzus may have a mix of genes for long or short coats, making it challenging to predict the exact length.


Age is another factor that can impact the length of a Shih Tzu’s coat. Puppies typically have shorter hair than adult dogs because their hair hasn’t fully grown yet.

As they age, their hair will inevitably grow longer until it reaches its full potential. Senior dogs may experience changes in their fur as well due to hormonal imbalances or other health issues.


A healthy diet and regular exercise can help keep your Shih Tzu’s coat healthy and shiny. Poor nutrition or underlying health issues can affect the quality and length of their fur over time. If you notice sudden changes in your dog’s coat length or texture, consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health concerns.

Grooming Habits

Grooming habits are another essential factor that can impact a Shih Tzu’s coat length. Regular grooming helps maintain the right fur texture for either long or short coats. For long coats, frequent brushing helps eliminate tangles and mats that can cause discomfort or even skin problems.

Shorter coats also require regular grooming, such as clipping and trimming, to keep their coat well-maintained and looking its best. Overall, several factors can impact a Shih Tzu’s coat length, from genetics to grooming habits.

While we cannot change some of these factors, such as genetics or age, we can take steps to help our furry friends look their best by maintaining regular grooming habits and ensuring they receive proper nutrition and exercise. By understanding what impacts your Shih Tzu’s coat length, you can give them the care they need to live a happy and healthy life.

How to Achieve a Shorter Coat

Grooming Tips for Shih Tzu Short Hair

Grooming is an essential aspect of taking care of your Shih Tzu’s coat, whether it’s long or short. However, grooming a Shih Tzu with short hair can be quite different from grooming one with long hair. Here are some tips to help you groom your Shih Tzu and achieve a shorter coat:

1. Brush Regularly: Brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat regularly can help remove loose hairs and tangles that may cause matting or knots in their fur. Use a slicker brush to get rid of any dead hairs and distribute natural oils evenly throughout your dog’s coat.

2. Trim their Fur: When trimming your Shih Tzu, avoid cutting too much at once as this may result in an uneven coat length. Use scissors or clippers specifically designed for pet grooming and do not cut too close to the skin.

3. Give them a Bath: Bathing your Shih Tzu regularly will not only make them smell fresh but also promote healthy fur growth while reducing shedding. Always use a gentle shampoo meant for dogs, rinse thoroughly, and dry them well using a towel or blow dryer.

Grooming Tools and Techniques for Short Coats

It is crucial to use the right tools when grooming your Shih Tzu’s short hair to ensure they look their best and remain healthy. Here are some recommended grooming tools that you can use: 1. Slicker Brush: A slicker brush is essential for brushing out tangles and removing loose fur from your dog’s coat.

2. Clippers or Scissors: Clippers are useful if you want to trim down the length of your dog’s fur significantly. 3. Detangling Spray: This spray helps loosen mats so that they can be brushed out with ease.

4. Grooming Table: A grooming table keeps your dog secure and at a comfortable height while you work on their coat. 5. Ear Cleaner: Shih Tzu’s are prone to ear infections, so keeping their ears clean is essential for their health.


Grooming a Shih Tzu with short hair requires patience, dedication, and the right tools. By following the grooming tips mentioned above and using the recommended tools, you can achieve a shorter coat that looks healthy and beautiful.

Always remember to take your time when grooming your dog’s coat and never rush through the process. With proper care and maintenance, your Shih Tzu will have a stunning short coat that they can be proud of!

The Pros and Cons of Shorter Coats for Shih Tzus

Advantages of a Shorter Coat

There are several advantages to having a Shih Tzu with a shorter coat. For one, it can be more comfortable for them in warmer weather.

A shorter coat also means less shedding and easier grooming, which can save both time and money. Additionally, some owners prefer the look of a shorter coat on their Shih Tzu.

Another advantage is that it can be easier to spot any skin issues or irritations with a shorter coat. This makes it easier to address these issues before they become more serious.

Disadvantages of a Shorter Coat

While there are advantages to having a shorter coat on your Shih Tzu, there are also some disadvantages that should be considered. One of the main drawbacks is that it can make them more susceptible to cold weather. Without their full coat to keep them warm, they may need additional layers or blankets during the colder months.

Another disadvantage is that a shorter coat may not provide as much protection from the sun or other outdoor elements. This can lead to sunburn or other skin damage if they spend significant time outside without adequate protection.

It’s also worth noting that some people believe that shaving a Shih Tzu’s coat can lead to long-term damage to their fur and skin health. While this has not been proven, it’s important for owners considering a short cut for their doggo pup to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making any decisions.


Ultimately, whether or not you choose to give your Shih Tzu a shorter haircut depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle needs, as well as consideration for your furry friend’s comfort needs in relation such matters as temperature exposure and grooming habits. Regardless of your decision, always ensure that your Shih Tzu is well cared for and comfortable, no matter what type of coat they have.


Throughout this article, we have covered the different types of Shih Tzu coats and whether or not they can have shorter coats. We’ve discussed the factors that affect coat length and how to achieve a shorter coat if desired. One thing that is important to note is that while Shih Tzus with shorter coats may look cute and stylish, their coats still require regular grooming and care just like those with longer coats.

Neglecting grooming can lead to matting, skin issues, and other health problems. If you do decide to groom your Shih Tzu for a shorter coat, it’s essential to use proper tools such as clippers or scissors designed specifically for dog grooming.

It’s also vital to remember that Shih Tzus have sensitive skin, so be sure not to cut too short or cause any discomfort. While Shih Tzus typically have long hair as part of their breed standard, they can indeed have a shorter coat if properly groomed and cared for.

However, it’s essential to prioritize your dog’s health over aesthetics and be mindful of their sensitive skin during grooming sessions. With proper care and attention, your furry friend will look cute no matter what length their hair is!

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