There’s a lot of confusion around Shih Tzu shedding and whether or not they do in fact shed. So I thought I’d dedicate an article to answering the often asked question, “Do Shih Tzu shed?”
First, we need to take a closer look at the Shih Tzu coat.
The Shih Tzu coat
The Shih Tzu coat is usually considered to be hair and not fur. In practice, that’s just a semantic difference. After all, what is hair and what is fur?
The only real difference people seem to claim is that fur doesn’t grow as long as hair. And we normally consider humans to have hair and other animals to have fur.
But because the Shih Tzu has a long coat, we tend to think of it as hair and so I’ll refer to it as hair in this article.
Shih Tzu are also double-coated dogs which impacts on why we tend to think of them as not shedding, as we’ll see.
Shih Tzu shedding
So do Shih Tzu shed their hair?
Well, in truth there’s no such thing as a dog that doesn’t shed at all. All dogs shed to some extent, even the so-called hypoallergenic dogs.
That said, Shih Tzu are considered to be one of the low shedding, hypoallergenic dog breeds.
But they do lose some hair daily. And because the Shih Tzu hair is long, and also due to its texture and the fact that they’re double-coated dogs, most of it doesn’t fall onto the floor.
Instead, it gets caught in the coat.
And the hairs that do get on the floor and furniture are very fine so they’re hard to see.
These are the main reasons why many owners don’t realize Shih Tzu shedding is taking place. They don’t realize that the hairs that come out when they groom their dog have actually already been shed. And the hairs that do escape the coat and fall on the floor are easily missed.
Because the majority of the hairs remain on the coat, they can become tangled and end up matting and knotting if left alone. This is why you need to brush and comb your Shih Tzu daily.
Shih Tzu puppies have a completely different coat from the adults. It’s much softer and lighter, and isn’t as easy to grow out.
At some point, a Shih Tzu puppy will shed it’s puppy coat and grow it’s adult coat. This is a period of very heavy shedding.
It can last for between one to three months, and the age at which it starts can also vary. Some puppies will start shedding when they’re only about three months old, while others won’t start until they’re nine months old.
Shih Tzu shedding also takes place as they shed their heavy winter coat in spring. This will take place over a period of a few weeks.
And then during fall, they’ll shed some of this lighter summer coat and replace the hairs with thicker ones ready for the winter.
This particular Shih Tzu shedding does depend on where you live and the climate there. It also depends on how much your dog is outside too. In some cases no shedding will take place, especially if your dog spends most of its time inside.
Shedding due to pregnancy
One other time you may see Shih Tzu shedding is after a dog has produced a litter. They can in fact shed a fair amount at this time. The coat will soon grow back though.
Although they are considered to be non-shedding dogs, in reality Shih Tzu shedding does happen. They lose some hair every day, and will also shed seasonally too.