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How Fast Does Shih Tzu Hair Grow: Length, Growth & More

One question that often comes up among fellow Shih Tzu owners is how fast does their hair grow.

In this article, I’ll break down everything you need to know about your Shih Tzu’s hair growth, including the growth rate, grooming tips, and how to maintain their fabulous locks.

Let’s get started!

shih tzu hair

Shih Tzu Hair Growth Rate

Shih Tzus are known for their long, silky coats, but how fast does their hair actually grow?

On average, a Shih Tzu’s hair will grow about 1/2 inch per month.

However, this growth rate may vary depending on factors such as age, genetics, diet, and overall health.

To give you a better understanding of your Shih Tzu’s hair growth, let’s break it down by age:

  • Puppy Stage: During the first few months of their lives, Shih Tzu puppies have soft, fluffy fur. As they grow older, their adult coat will start to grow in, typically around 7 to 9 months of age.
  • Adolescent Stage: Between 9 months to 1 year, your Shih Tzu’s hair will continue to grow and develop its characteristic silky texture. At this stage, the hair growth rate may slightly increase.
  • Adult Stage: By the time your Shih Tzu reaches adulthood (around 1 to 2 years old), their hair growth rate will stabilize. They’ll have a full, flowing coat that requires regular grooming and maintenance.

Related: Is It Okay To Shave Shih Tzus?

How Long Can a Shih Tzus Hair Grow?

On average, a Shih Tzu’s hair can grow between 10 and 30 inches long if left uncut, according to pet experts. However, some Shih Tzus have been known to sport hair that reaches the floor and even drags a bit. It’s all based on genetics, diet, and care.

Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinary advisor for PetMD, says, “Shih Tzus can have hair that is long enough to reach the ground, but the length is typically limited by practicality and the dog’s comfort.”

Factors That Affect Shih Tzu Hair Growth

There are several factors that can influence the growth rate of your Shih Tzu’s hair. Some of these factors include:

  1. Genetics: Some Shih Tzus may naturally have faster or slower hair growth rates due to their genetic makeup.
  2. Diet: A well-balanced, nutritious diet is crucial for your Shih Tzu’s overall health and hair growth. Ensure your dog is receiving the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed for healthy hair growth.
  3. Health: Illnesses or hormonal imbalances can impact your Shih Tzu’s hair growth rate. Regular checkups with your veterinarian can help identify and address any health issues.
  4. Grooming: Proper grooming practices can promote healthy hair growth, while neglecting grooming can lead to matted hair and slower growth.

Interesting: Do Shih Tzus Have Double Coats?

Tips for Maintaining Your Shih Tzu’s Coat

Now that you know how fast your Shih Tzu’s hair grows, let’s talk about some tips for maintaining their beautiful coat:

  1. Brush Regularly: Brushing your Shih Tzu’s hair regularly (at least once every two days) helps prevent tangles, mats, and debris from accumulating in their coat. It also distributes natural oils and promotes healthy hair growth. Use a pin brush or a slicker brush to gently work through their coat, paying extra attention to areas prone to tangling.
  2. Trim Hair Around Eyes and Paws: To keep your Shih Tzu’s vision clear and prevent injuries, make sure to trim the hair around their eyes and paws. You can use round-tipped scissors for safety or visit a professional groomer for assistance.
  3. Bathing and Shampooing: Bathe your Shih Tzu every four to six weeks using a gentle dog shampoo designed for long-haired breeds. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all shampoo residue and avoid skin irritation.
  4. Professional Grooming: Regular visits to a professional groomer (every 4 to 6 weeks) can help maintain your Shih Tzu’s coat and keep them looking their best. A professional groomer can also give your dog a proper trim, making it easier for you to maintain their coat at home.
  5. Diet and Supplements: As mentioned earlier, a well-balanced diet is essential for healthy hair growth. High-quality dog food with the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals will support your Shih Tzu’s coat. You may also consider adding supplements like fish oil or biotin, which are known to promote healthy skin and hair. However, always consult with your veterinarian before starting any new supplements.

How Long Can a Shih Tzus Hair Grow

A Shih Tzu’s hair can grow remarkably long if left untrimmed. In fact, their hair can grow to the ground and even beyond, reaching lengths of several inches or more.

However, keeping a Shih Tzu’s hair at such lengths requires significant commitment to grooming and maintenance, as long hair can become easily tangled, matted, or dirty.

Most Shih Tzu owners opt for regular trims or haircuts, such as the puppy cut or teddy bear cut, to keep their dog’s coat more manageable and comfortable.

While a long, flowing coat can be beautiful, it’s essential to consider the time and effort involved in maintaining it, as well as the comfort and well-being of your Shih Tzu.

Shih Tzu Haircut Styles

One fun aspect of owning a Shih Tzu is experimenting with different haircut styles! Here are some popular options to consider:

  1. Puppy Cut: This is a low-maintenance, short haircut that keeps the hair even all over the body, usually about 1 to 2 inches long. The puppy cut is perfect for warmer weather and active Shih Tzus.
  2. Teddy Bear Cut: Similar to the puppy cut, the teddy bear cut features slightly longer hair around the face, giving your Shih Tzu a cute, plush appearance.
  3. Topknot: This classic Shih Tzu hairstyle involves gathering the hair on top of the head and securing it with a hairband or clip. This keeps the hair out of your dog’s eyes and shows off their adorable face.
  4. Long Coat: If you’re up for the challenge, you can keep your Shih Tzu’s hair long and flowing. This requires more grooming and maintenance, but it showcases the breed’s beautiful, silky coat.

When to Seek Expert Advice

If you have concerns about your Shih Tzu’s hair growth rate or overall coat health, it’s essential to consult with a professional. Reach out to your veterinarian or a professional groomer for guidance.

They can help identify potential issues and recommend solutions tailored to your dog’s needs.

For more information about Shih Tzu hair growth and coat maintenance, check out these reputable sources:

  1. American Kennel Club (AKC)
  2. PetMD – Shih Tzu Hair Care
  3. VCA Hospitals – Shih Tzu Care

Last Thoughts

Understanding your Shih Tzu’s hair growth rate and maintaining their coat can help keep your furry friend looking and feeling their best.

Remember that proper grooming, a well-balanced diet, and regular checkups with your veterinarian are crucial for maintaining a healthy coat.

With a little time and effort, you can ensure your Shih Tzu’s hair remains gorgeous and tangle-free. Happy grooming!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.