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How to trim the face of a Shih Tzu?

Olga Zabelinskaya, Certified Master Groomer, illustrates how to tame a Shih Tzu’s round face with Wahl Bravurs clippers and Japanese Utsumi thinning shears.

Shih Tzu Grooming Styles

Maintenance of the Shih Tzu’s coat is essential to prevent overheating, shedding and tangling. Since their hair grows quickly, it needs to be brushed regularly and trimmed every 4 to 6 weeks.

Shih Tzus can always get a ‘puppy cut’ if you’re concerned about maintenance. In fact, some call it the ‘summer cut’ because it’s relatively short and helps puppies beat the heat in the summer. Generally, the undercut is 1-2 inches across the body. Any cuts will still need some attention, with frequent brushing necessary.


Grooming the clipped Shih Tzu has some similarities to grooming the Shih Tzu for a full coat. Keeping the coat short reduces grooming frequency, although grooming is still required depending on the style your Shih Tzu is groomed in.

Shih Tzu Grooming Cuts

Even if your Shih Tzu isn’t a show dog, everyone should try the topknot show cut because it looks amazing. Allow your pup’s hair to grow long (preferably not in the summer months), while bathing, brushing and trimming him regularly. Do not cut his beard or bangs. However, make sure that he can still see and that there are no stray hairs on the bridge of his nose.

The goal is to grow her hair out until you can collect it on top in a cute bun.

If growing your Shih Tzu’s hair to the floor seems like a nightmare, try the shorter version of the bun. Your dog’s body and face can be any length, but again, the goal is to grow long hair on top of his head. This can be put on a clip or elastic. Once your hair is long enough to do this, feel free to experiment with shorter cuts. It will make your pup look darling.

Shih Tzu Tooth and Nail Care

The last two focus areas are often the hardest to do yourself: teeth and nails. Many people prefer that the hairdresser take care of this; however, both are doable at home. Although brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth can be a difficult task, as your dog gets used to the routine, it will become easier.

The first step is to get a soft toothbrush from the pet store made especially for dogs. In addition to the toothbrush, get a designated dog toothpaste that your dog will find delicious. Let your dog lick off some of the toothpaste before gently lifting his lip and brushing his teeth.