Shih Tzu is a cute, friendly, and affectionate dog that makes a great companion. Shih Tzus are best known for their happy temperament as well as their friendliness to people and other dogs. The breed originates from Tibet and has over an 1,000 year old history of the breed. The name ‘Shih Tzu’ roughly translates to ‘Little Lion’ in Mandarin. If you are planning to bring home a Shih Tzu as a pet, it is important for you to know do Shih Tzu puppies shed?

Although most canines usually shed lots of hair on furniture and carpets, the same cannot be said about Shih Tzu. 

You would be glad to know that the Shih Tzu breed does not shed much and has a double coat. 

Here in this article, you will learn about Shih Tzu puppy and adult shedding, if a Shih Tzu mix shed, tips to reduce shedding, Shih Tzu grooming routine, and how to deal with Shih Tzu hair and shedding if anyone has allergies.

Before we go on to discuss shedding in this dog breed, let’s find out if Shih Tzu is a hypoallergenic dog.

Is a Shih Tzu a hypoallergenic dog?

Yes, Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic and tend to shed minimally. This means they are less prone to allergens. So, any person suffering from allergies and looking for a dog can consider bringing a Shih Tzu home. 

At the same time, we cannot assert that they don’t shed at all and are 100% hypoallergenic. You will not come across any dog breed that is completely allergy-proof. 

The main reason for the Shih Tzu breed to be a hypoallergenic dog is that it has got a coat that resembles hair and not fur. 

Having said this, you must know that hair is not the only culprit in dogs that cause sensitivities. Allergic reactions are often caused by certain food items, secretions from dogs’ skin, and also their saliva. It is also possible for a Shih Tzu to develop some sensitivities at any time.

Nevertheless, if one is susceptible to pet dander and/or dog hair, it is not possible to avoid suffering from allergies even in the presence of a low shedding or non-shedding dog. Some people are highly prone to allergic reactions even from those dogs that are allergy-friendly.

In that case, one must take certain measures to control allergies to some extent.  We have discussed the same in one of the following sections, so keep reading to learn more.

How much do Shih Tzus shed?

Close up of a black, grey and white Shih Tzu staring away from the camera. Image by Maxime Agnelli from Unsplash.
Close up of a black, grey and white Shih Tzu staring away from the camera. Image by Maxime Agnelli from Unsplash.

As mentioned, Shi Tzus are low shedding, double-coated dogs. They do shed some hair but usually, they don’t shed a lot. 

In fact, there is generally no need for you to change your clothes after you have held this pup or an adult dog in your arms. The reason for this is that a Shih Tzu’s coat is double layered, and they have hair instead of fur. This prevents the hair from falling on the floor or furniture. It is unlikely that you will see the shedding of a shih tzu’s hair within your home.

When does a Shih Tzu dog shed?

This breed sheds minimally throughout the year, but there will also be some seasonal shedding cycles that can happen from time to time. While this dog breed does shed more during the hot summer months, the shedding process becomes slower during the cold winter months as well as in the fall. 

The reason for this is that they tend to get rid of excess heat by shedding hair. The shedding helps to make their body cooler during the hot weather. This is nature’s way to prepare the dog for the winter months by growing a new thicker coat.

Light shedding is okay as long as it happens at a normal pace, as this process does result in new hair. However, if there is excessive shedding, there could be other reasons apart from hot weather. This could include pregnancy, health ailments and allergic reactions. One more key reason can be the Shih Tzu puppy’s transition phase i.e. when it’s trying to adjust to the new environment. 

Do Shih Tzu puppies shed?

Shih Tzu pups only have an inner coat when they are born. They keep their coat and then gradually an outer layer appears on their adult coat. This is known as the top coat.  

The hair on the body of a Shih Tzu pup is different from those of an adult Shih Tzu canine. The hair on a puppy is thinner and finer, unlike an adult dog.

During the puppy stage, you can expect their hair to grow longer and shedding levels to be low. As they grow into adult dogs (approximately a year after birth), this is the time their hair coat begins to change.

Most of the shedding happens when the canine is developing into a mature dog as their hair volume increases during this stage.

It is important to mention here that Shih Tzus shed less when they grow old in comparison to this breed in their growing stage.

Now that we know that this dog breed is low-shedding, let’s find out if a Shih Tzu mix sheds.

Will a Shih Tzu Mix Shed?

It would be wrong to assume that a Shih Tzu mixed dog does not shed. Though the amount of shedding that can occur can be comparatively less than other mixed breeds. Fortunately, this means that maintaining their coat is not a difficult task i.e. they will require grooming much less. Consider asking an expert or a professional dog groomer if you do choose to purchase a Shih Tzu.

Things that can cause your Shih Tzu to shed

A white, brown and black colored Shih Tzu looking away from the camera with their tongue sticking out. Image by Dieny Portinanni from Unsplash.
A white, brown and black colored Shih Tzu looking away from the camera with their tongue sticking out. Image by Dieny Portinanni from Unsplash.

Even though the Shih Tzu dog breed is better known for light shedding, sometimes they can shed excessively. If you notice your furry friend is shedding more than usual, it could be due to one of the below reasons. 


The intensity of the shedding will increase when the puppy hits adulthood i.e. when they are a year old. The duration of this type of shedding on excessive levels usually lasts for approximately three weeks or so.


During pregnancy, hormonal changes can make a female Shih Tzu shed excessively or suffer from severe hair loss. At times, they exhibit this behavior after giving birth to puppies. This particular process is referred to as coat blowing, which can happen during pregnancy.


Poor diet can also lead to shedding. As a responsible dog parent, you must provide your canine friends with a balanced diet. If the diet is packed with protein, then there is less chance of hair fall. This is because proteins will ensure that their hair is less brittle and more attractive.


Sometimes medicines prescribed by the vet can result in the shedding of excessive hair in the long run. Moreover, the vet can tell whether the pooch is shedding lots of hair because of an allergic reaction.

Anxiety and stress

High shedding of hair can also be caused by anxiety and stress in addition to excessive scratching because of fleas and skin ailments.

Tips for Controlling Shedding and Allergies

You can take the following measures to reduce shedding in your adorable canine and control sensitivities.

  • If possible, spend some time or a couple of days with the Shih Tzu pup that you intend to bring home.  This will help you know how your body responds to allergies in their presence. 
  • Cleaning your home regularly. We all know that maintaining a clean house will reduce the chance of an allergic reaction while also keeping your home clean and fresh. By cleaning regularly, this will also minimize pet dander that can drop on the floor and furniture.
  • Do ensure that your pet’s sitting and sleeping area is cleaned frequently.
  • Wash your pet’s bedding frequently.
  • Clean the areas and surfaces that your Shih Tzu visits or touches more frequently.
  • Ensure that your pet sits and sleeps in a predefined area.
  • Don’t let your pet go near those who could suffer from an allergic reaction. 
  • Also, do not personally groom your pet if you happen to be a person susceptible to allergic reactions. Have another family member or professional groomer do the work for you to minimize risk of overexposure to pet dander. 
  • Sometimes, your only option to get rid of tangled hair on the body of a Shih Tzu will be to shave them. However, the appearance of a shaven canine is not attractive. To make sure you’re never in a situation where shaving your pet is the only option, consider grooming and brushing your Shih Tzu on a regular basis. This will also allow you to manage their shedding to a great extent.
  • Depending on the length of your pup’s hair, you may need to brush and comb your furry friend more frequently to control shedding, tangles and/or allergic reactions. Your chosen frequency of brushing the dog can depend on the level of shedding as well as sensitivities to allergic reactions. For some, brushing every 3 to 4 days is sufficient while others need to brush their pup’s coat daily to combat these issues.
  • To minimize shedding of your toy dog, it is a good idea to provide him with a balanced diet. Also, give him plenty of water so that he remains hydrated. 

Shih Tzu Care & Grooming Routine Advice

Keeping in mind that Shih Tzu pups can shed, we will talk about some grooming tips to help you maintain your Shih Tzu well.

  • It is advised to brush your pet daily if their hair is rather long. If it is not possible to do so, then make sure to cut the hair of your adorable pet at the interval of a couple of months.
  • You should use a top-quality brush that will not cause any damage to the coating.
  • Get a bristle brush with round pins for the best results. In this way, you will be able to enhance the appearance of your furry friend. This will improve the health of the hair as well. 
  • The Shih Tzu will shed more hair if you bathe them frequently. So, it is advisable to bathe your pet at an interval of 3 weeks for a healthy coat.
  • Use good products for a better volume of hair and to keep their topcoat as well as the inner layer of hair healthy. 
  • If you are not certain which particular shampoo to use while bathing your dog, you can take the advice of your vet who will be the best person to guide you.
  • Dry your pet immediately after bath else it might result in fungus on the body of the canine. This can result in health issues in the long run.
  • Make it a point to provide them with face grooming more than anything else. For this, you can take a cotton ball, dip it in warm water, and wipe their face slowly. 
  • Try to make the hair of the face short and get rid of any dirt from the face using a warm and moist washcloth. 
  • Also, focus on the ears of the canine apart from their facial hair. Hair, ear wax, moisture, or any other dirt or dust particles in the ear can result in infections. So, do keep a close watch and groom your pet well.
  • Do check their nails and teeth as well. Although you can take the help of a professional, you can do it by yourself too. Maintain the proper length of the nails of the canine without making them excessively short or long.

Shih Tzus Don’t Shed Much: Final Thoughts 

Shih Tzu is a toy dog that does not shed excessively. Further, its double coat ensures less loose hair that will fall or shed. 

Using the information provided about grooming your Shih Tzu, taking care of puppy coats, reasons for shedding, and how to differentiate between normal shedding and more shedding, we are sure you will be able to take care of your adorable canine well.  For more tips and advice, you can always ask an expert.