Summer Cut vs Puppy Cut for Shih Tzus: Which Is Perfect for Your Dog?

It’s getting warmer, and you’re thinking about giving your Shih Tzu a fresh new look. But should you go for a summer cut or stick with the classic puppy cut? It’s a common dilemma for Shih Tzu owners.

As a self thought groomer with years of experience styling my Shih Tzus, I’ve seen firsthand how the right cut can make a world of difference in a dog’s comfort and appearance. Both summer cuts and puppy cuts have their merits, but which one is right for your furry friend?

In this guide, we’ll break down the differences between summer cuts and puppy cuts for Shih Tzus. You’ll learn the pros and cons of each style, how to maintain them, and which might be best suited for your pup’s needs.

Ready to become a Shih Tzu grooming expert? Let’s dive in!

A Look at The Summer Cut Style for Shih Tzus.

A summer cut is a shorter, more dramatic trim designed to keep your Shih Tzu cool during hot weather.

Key features of the summer cut:

  1. Very short all over (often 1/2 inch or less)
  2. Ears and tail may be left slightly longer
  3. Face trimmed close, but not shaved
  4. Paw pads and sanitary areas clipped short

Why choose a summer cut:

  • Keeps your Shih Tzu cooler in hot weather
  • Reduces matting and tangling
  • Easier to maintain during active summer months
  • Can help with skin issues that need monitoring

A Look at Puppy Cut for Shih Tzus.

The puppy cut is a classic, versatile trim that gives your Shih Tzu a youthful, easy-to-maintain look.

Key features of the puppy cut:

  1. Even length all over the body (usually 1-2 inches)
  2. Rounded face trim
  3. Slightly longer ears
  4. Tail trimmed but left fluffy

Why choose a puppy cut:

  • Suitable for all seasons with minor adjustments
  • Maintains some of the Shih Tzu’s signature fluffiness
  • Balances ease of care with a cute appearance
  • Can be customized to suit your preferences

Summer Cut vs Puppy Cut: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Let’s break down the main differences:

FeatureSummer CutPuppy Cut
LengthVery short (1/2 inch or less)Moderate (1-2 inches)
Cooling EffectMaximumModerate
MaintenanceMinimalLow to moderate
Frequency of GroomingEvery 6-8 weeksEvery 4-6 weeks
Suitability for SeasonsBest for summerYear-round with adjustments
AppearanceLess fluffy, more sleekFluffy, puppy-like

Also Check out These other 20+ Shih Tzu Grooming Styles & Haircuts You Can Try Today.

How to Decide Between a Summer Cut and Puppy Cut

Choosing the right cut for your Shih Tzu depends on several factors:

  1. Climate:
    • Hot, humid summers? Summer cut might be best
    • Mild temperatures? Puppy cut could work year-round
  2. Your Shih Tzu’s activity level:
    • Very active? Summer cut keeps them cooler
    • More laid-back? Puppy cut might suffice
  3. Coat type:
    • Thick, heavy coat? Summer cut can provide relief
    • Silky, less dense coat? Puppy cut might be enough
  4. Your grooming commitment:
    • Minimal grooming time? Summer cut is lower maintenance
    • Enjoy regular brushing? Puppy cut allows for more styling
  5. Personal preference:
    • Love the fluffy look? Stick with a puppy cut
    • Prefer a sleeker appearance? Try a summer cut

Maintaining Your Shih Tzu’s Cut

Proper maintenance keeps your Shih Tzu looking great between grooming sessions.

For Summer Cuts:

  1. Brush 1-2 times a week
  2. Bathe every 2-3 weeks
  3. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin when outdoors
  4. Professional grooming every 6-8 weeks

For Puppy Cuts:

  1. Brush 2-3 times a week
  2. Bathe every 2-3 weeks
  3. Trim face and paw pads monthly
  4. Professional grooming every 4-6 weeks

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to Shih Tzu haircuts, here are some pitfalls to watch out for:

  1. Shaving too close to the skin: This can lead to sunburn and changes in coat texture
  2. Neglecting ear care: Both cuts require regular ear cleaning
  3. Forgetting about nail trims: Short hair doesn’t mean you can skip nail care
  4. Overusing clippers: Hand scissoring creates a softer look
  5. Not adjusting grooming routines: Each cut has different maintenance needs

Related: Check this out: 14 Common Shih Tzu Grooming Mistakes that Most Owners Including You Make When Doing DIY Grooming.

The Impact of Haircuts on Your Shih Tzu’s Comfort

The right haircut isn’t just about looks – it affects your dog’s well-being:

  • Proper length reduces overheating risk
  • Regular trims prevent painful matting
  • Face trims improve vision and reduce eye irritation
  • Even cuts distribute natural oils for healthier skin

Seasonal Transitions: Switching Between Cuts

You can switch between summer cuts and puppy cuts as seasons change:

  • Spring: Transition from longer winter coat to puppy cut
  • Early Summer: Switch to summer cut if needed
  • Fall: Grow out summer cut to puppy cut length
  • Winter: Maintain slightly longer puppy cut for warmth

How Haircuts Affect Shih Tzu Behavior

Believe it or not, a haircut can change your Shih Tzu’s behavior:

  • Summer cuts often lead to increased activity due to comfort
  • Puppy cuts maintain some coat for dogs who dislike feeling exposed
  • Both cuts can boost confidence when dogs feel comfortable
  • Removal of hair from eyes often makes dogs more responsive

DIY vs Professional Grooming

While some maintenance can be done at home, there are benefits to professional grooming:

DIY Grooming:

  • Cost-effective
  • Builds bond with your dog
  • Allows for frequent touch-ups

Professional Grooming:

  • Expertise in handling difficult areas
  • Access to professional tools and products
  • Ability to spot potential health issues


Will my Shih Tzu’s hair grow back if I get a summer cut? 

Yes, Shih Tzu hair typically grows about half an inch per month. A summer cut will grow out in 2-3 months.

Can I switch from a summer cut to a puppy cut in winter? 

Absolutely! Just allow enough time for the coat to grow out before cold weather hits.

Are there any health benefits to either cut? 

Both cuts can help prevent matting and make it easier to spot skin issues. Summer cuts may be beneficial for Shih Tzus prone to overheating.

How do I keep my Shih Tzu’s hair from getting in their eyes? 

Both cuts typically involve trimming facial hair. You can also use small clips or bands to keep hair out of the eyes between trims.

Can I combine elements of both cuts? 

Yes! Many groomers offer custom cuts that blend features of summer and puppy cuts to suit your preferences.

Remember, the best cut for your Shih Tzu is one that keeps them comfortable and fits your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to discuss options with your groomer and experiment to find what works best for you and your furry friend.

Whether you choose the cooling summer cut or the versatile puppy cut, your Shih Tzu is sure to look adorable. The most important thing is that they’re happy, healthy, and enjoying life with you!

With these insights, you’re now equipped to make the best decision for your Shih Tzu’s summer style. Remember, a comfortable dog is a happy dog, so choose the cut that best suits your pup’s needs and your local climate. Happy grooming!

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