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Do Shih Tzus Shed More Than Other Dogs? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Greg Iacono

Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

grooming shih tzu dog

Do Shih Tzus Shed More Than Other Dogs? Facts & FAQ

Few dogs have as beautiful, long, and luxurious hair as the Shih Tzu. Originating in Tibet more than 2,000 years ago, the Shih Tzu is one of the oldest dog breeds on earth, and they were bred for the ruling class in China. As a small, compact dog, a Shih Tzu’s hair usually hangs down to the floor, although many owners cut their hair to be much shorter.

Surprisingly, Shih Tzus shed less than most dogs because they have hair, not fur. If you’d like to know more about Shih Tzus and their hair, including are Shih Tzus hypoallergenic and when they shed, read on. We have answers, info, and insights about Shih Tzus and their hair-shedding capacity below.

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Do Shih Tzus Ever Shed?

There is one time in their lives when a Shih Tzu sheds, and that’s when they change from a puppy into an adult dog. Luckily, the typical Shih Tzu stops shedding after 2 to 4 weeks, at which point they never shed so heavily again.

During these 2 to 4 weeks, as they change, you’ll need to brush your Shih Tzu at least once a day, and maybe more!

brushing shih tzu dog
Image By: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Are Shih Tzus Hypoallergenic?

Another surprising fact about Shih Tzus that many don’t realize is that, because they have hair, Shih Tzus are about as hypoallergenic as most dogs get.

That’s great news for anyone with allergies; when you own a Shih Tzu, the chance of allergic reactions to their hair or, more specifically, the dander in their hair will be much lower. Are Shih Tzus 100% hypoallergenic? No, because no dog is, but they come pretty close.

Do Shih Tzus Need De-shedding?

De-shedding is sometimes necessary when a dog has a lot of fur, especially a double fur coat like the Shih Tzu. That’s because regular brushing and combing won’t do the trick and eliminate all that fur. However, because they have hair and shed very little, a Shih Tzu will never need de-shedding.

How Often Do Shih Tzus Need to Be Brushed?

Dog groomers and veterinarians recommend brushing your Shih Tzu every day. Because their hair is so long, it can mat and tangle easily. Brushing daily, or at least every other day, will keep that from happening and prevent painful mats.

Dog groomers also recommend giving your Shih Tzu a full brush out about two to three times a week. In short, although they don’t shed much, you’ll still spend a lot of time brushing and grooming your furry little buddy.

pet groomer combing hair of shih tzu with hairbrush
Image By: Vlad Antonov, Shutterstock

Do Shih Tzus Have Hair or Fur?

As we mentioned earlier, Shih Tzus has hair, not fur. That’s why they shed so little, even though they look like they would shed a metric ton. Because the hair has a longer growth cycle and falls out less frequently, dogs with hair shed much less than dogs with fur.

Which Breeds Shed Very Little?

The Shih Tzu isn’t the only dog breed that only sheds a little bit. There are several of them, and a few dogs shed even less than a Shih Tzu!

Are Shih Tzus Easy to Groom?

Although they are tiny dogs, grooming a Shih Tzu isn’t as easy as you might think. It takes time, skill, and patience and, if you do it yourself, quite a bit of time every day. If you decide to groom your Shih Tzu yourself, you’ll need the following tools:

  • A dog brush with flexible pins
  • A “slicker” brush with very fine pins
  • A comb
  • Dog clippers
  • Blunt-tipped scissors
  • A platform to groom your Shih Tzu
  • A non-slip mat to keep your pup from sliding around while you groom
  • A spray nozzle that you can use in a spare sink

Do Shih Tzus Bark a Lot?

While this last bit of info has nothing to do with their level of shedding, it is vital to know if you’re contemplating a Shih Tzu adoption. The truth is that, like many small dog breeds, the average Shih Tzu barks frequently.

When friends and family (or delivery drivers) come over, you can be sure your Shih Tzu will bark their little head off! Some Shih Tzus even bark when traveling in your car! The good news is that, although they bark up a storm, the average Shih Tzu is sweet and has no time or desire for aggressive behavior.

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Final Thoughts

If you were wondering whether Shih Tzus shed a lot, you now know they shed very little, even though most have luxurious and gorgeous coats. Yes, Shih Tzu puppies go through a 2 to 4-week period of shedding when they change their puppy coat to an adult coat, but besides that, they shed very little.

If you’ve just adopted an adorable Shih Tzu, we wish you the very best of luck with them!

Featured Image Credit: Vershinin89, Shutterstock

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