When Do Shih Tzu Shed Their Puppy Coat

When Do Shih Tzu Shed Their Puppy Coat

Shih Tzus, known for their luxurious flowing coat, undergo a fascinating shedding process that can take dog owners by surprise. Unlike other breeds, Shih Tzus have a unique shedding pattern that begins around the age of 6 to 8 months, when they start to lose their puppy coat. This shedding phase, known as "the puppy uglies," is a temporary stage where their fur may appear patchy and uneven as the adult hair takes its place.



When Do Shih Tzu Shed Their Puppy Coat

Understanding the Shedding Process of Shih Tzu Puppy Coat

Shih Tzu dogs are known for their luxurious, long, and flowing coats. However, when it comes to shedding, these adorable little creatures have a unique shedding pattern. Understanding when Shih Tzu puppies shed their puppy coat is essential for their proper grooming and care. In this article, we will delve into the shedding process of Shih Tzu puppies and provide you with valuable insights to ensure their coat remains healthy and manageable.

The Early Months: When Shih Tzu Puppies Begin to Shed

When Shih Tzu puppies are born, they have a soft and fluffy coat that is known as their "puppy coat." This coat is typically thicker and shorter than their adult coat and serves as insulation and protection during their early stages of life. While the puppy coat is adorable and cuddly, it inevitably transitions to their adult coat, and shedding is a natural part of this process.

Typically, Shih Tzu puppies start shedding their puppy coat around the age of 4 to 6 months. This shedding period can last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the individual puppy. During this time, you may notice an increase in shedding and loose hairs around your home. It is essential to understand that this shedding is normal and necessary for the growth of their adult coat.

As the puppy coat starts to shed, you may observe a change in your Shih Tzu's appearance. Their once smooth and fluffy coat may become patchy or uneven. This is completely normal and indicates that the old hair is making way for the new adult coat. It is crucial not to panic during this shedding phase and provide your puppy with the right care and grooming to ensure a healthy and smooth transition.

The Transition Phase: When Adult Coat Begins to Grow

Once the shedding of the puppy coat is complete, the transition phase begins, where the adult coat begins to grow. This phase can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. During this time, you will notice the new adult coat emerging, which will be longer, thicker, and more vibrant in color compared to the puppy coat.

The transition phase is an exciting time as you get to witness your Shih Tzu's beautiful adult coat coming in. It is crucial to provide them with adequate care and grooming during this phase to maintain the health and appearance of their coat. Regular brushing and grooming sessions will help remove any remaining loose hairs and ensure that the adult coat grows in evenly.

During the transition phase, you may also notice a change in your Shih Tzu's shedding pattern. While they may shed some loose hairs as the adult coat grows in, the shedding is generally less compared to the shedding of the puppy coat. It is important to note that every Shih Tzu may have a slightly different shedding pattern, so observing your dog's individual shedding process is key.

Grooming Tips for Shih Tzu During Shedding

During the shedding process of the puppy coat and the transition phase to the adult coat, it is essential to provide your Shih Tzu with proper grooming to keep their coat healthy and avoid matting. Here are some grooming tips for your Shih Tzu during shedding:

  • Regular brushing: Brush your Shih Tzu's coat daily to remove any loose hairs and prevent matting. Use a slicker brush or a grooming comb with fine teeth to gently remove tangles and knots.
  • Bathing: Regular bathing can help remove loose hairs and promote a healthy coat. Use a gentle, dog-specific shampoo and conditioner to keep their coat clean and moisturized.
  • Professional grooming: Consider taking your Shih Tzu to a professional groomer for a thorough grooming session. They can trim their hair, clean their ears, trim their nails, and give them a neat and tidy appearance.
  • Diet and nutrition: Ensure that your Shih Tzu's diet is balanced and provides them with all the necessary nutrients for healthy coat growth. Consult with your veterinarian for suitable diet recommendations for your Shih Tzu.

By following these grooming tips, you can help your Shih Tzu navigate the shedding process with ease and maintain a beautiful and healthy coat.

The Adult Coat: Maintaining Your Shih Tzu's Luscious Mane

Once the transition phase is complete, your Shih Tzu will have their full adult coat. The adult coat of a Shih Tzu is long, flowing, and requires regular maintenance to keep it in its best condition. Proper care and grooming routines are essential to prevent matting, tangles, and other coat-related issues.

Regular brushing is a must to keep your Shih Tzu's adult coat healthy and tangle-free. Aim to brush their coat at least two to three times a week, if not daily. Use a slicker brush or a grooming comb to gently remove any tangles or knots. Pay special attention to areas such as behind the ears, under the armpits, and around the tail, as these areas are prone to matting.

In addition to regular brushing, you should also schedule regular professional grooming sessions for your Shih Tzu. A professional groomer can trim their coat to a shorter length, especially around the face and paws, to prevent dirt and debris from getting tangled in the fur. They can also help keep the hair around the eyes trimmed to prevent eye irritation.

Tips for Maintaining Shih Tzu's Adult Coat

Here are some additional tips to help you maintain your Shih Tzu's adult coat:

  • Regular bathing: Bathe your Shih Tzu regularly using a gentle, dog-specific shampoo and conditioner. This will help keep their coat clean, healthy, and free from odors.
  • Trimming the hair around the eyes: The long hair around the eyes of a Shih Tzu can cause irritation and eye infections. Regularly trim the hair around their eyes to ensure good visibility and prevent eye-related issues.
  • Eye and tear stain cleaning: Shih Tzus are prone to tear stains due to their prominent eyes. Use a tear stain remover solution and gentle cotton pads to clean their under-eye area regularly.
  • Ear cleaning: Shih Tzus have ears that are prone to ear infections. Clean their ears regularly using a dog-specific ear cleaner to remove any dirt or wax buildup.

By following these tips and maintaining a regular grooming routine, you can keep your Shih Tzu's adult coat looking beautiful, healthy, and free from any coat-related issues.

In conclusion, understanding when Shih Tzu puppies shed their puppy coat and the subsequent transition to their adult coat is crucial for their proper grooming and care. By being aware of the shedding process and providing your Shih Tzu with the necessary grooming and maintenance, you can ensure that their coat remains healthy, manageable, and a source of admiration for all who encounter your fluffy companion.


When Do Shih Tzu Shed Their Puppy Coat

Shedding of Shih Tzu Puppy Coat

Shih Tzu puppies start shedding their puppy coat and transitioning to their adult coat between 4 to 6 months of age. This shedding process is referred to as "blowing the coat."

During this time, the old, soft puppy fur is replaced by the coarser adult fur. It is a natural process that helps the Shih Tzu adapt to changes in temperature and maintain their coat's health.

Most Shih Tzu owners notice an increased shedding during the transition period, but it is not as excessive as the shedding of some other breeds. Regular grooming and brushing can help manage the shedding and prevent tangles and mats.

It's important to note that the shedding of a Shih Tzu's puppy coat can vary from dog to dog. Some may shed more than others, and the duration of the shedding process may differ as well. If you have any concerns about your Shih Tzu's shedding or coat health, consulting a professional groomer or veterinarian is recommended.


Key Takeaways

  • Shih Tzu puppies typically shed their puppy coat between the ages of 6 and 8 months.
  • During the shedding process, the puppy coat will be replaced by an adult coat.
  • The shedding of the puppy coat is a natural and necessary part of a Shih Tzu's growth and development.
  • Regular grooming and brushing can help manage the shedding process.
  • Keeping your Shih Tzu's skin and coat healthy can minimize shedding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shih Tzu is a popular breed known for its long, beautiful coat. As they grow, Shih Tzu puppies go through different stages of coat development. Here are some frequently asked questions about when Shih Tzu shed their puppy coat:

1. When do Shih Tzu puppies start shedding their puppy coat?

Shih Tzu puppies typically start shedding their puppy coat around 4-6 months of age. This is a natural process as their adult coat begins to grow in. Shedding may vary from puppy to puppy, but it usually starts with the fur around the face, ears, and paws. It is important to note that shedding patterns can vary, and some Shih Tzu puppies may take longer to transition to their adult coat.

2. How long does it take for a Shih Tzu to shed its puppy coat completely?

The complete shedding of a Shih Tzu's puppy coat can take several months, lasting up to a year. This process can be gradual, and during this time, you may notice a mix of both the puppy coat and the adult coat on your Shih Tzu. Regular grooming and brushing are essential to help remove the dead hair and promote the growth of the new adult coat.

3. Will my Shih Tzu's adult coat be different from its puppy coat?

Yes, a Shih Tzu's adult coat will be different from its puppy coat. The adult coat tends to be longer, thicker, and more luxurious compared to the soft, fluffy puppy coat. The adult coat also requires more maintenance and grooming to keep it looking its best. It is important to establish a regular grooming routine to keep your Shih Tzu's coat healthy and free from tangles.

4. What can I do to help my Shih Tzu during the shedding process?

To help your Shih Tzu during the shedding process, regular brushing is key. Brushing helps to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Use a slicker brush or comb to gently remove the dead hair from your Shih Tzu's coat. Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet with proper nutrition will promote healthy hair growth. If you notice excessive shedding or bald patches, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian.

5. Can shaving a Shih Tzu's coat help with shedding?

Shaving a Shih Tzu's coat is not recommended to help with shedding. Shih Tzus have a double coat, and shaving can interfere with the natural shedding process. The coat serves as insulation, protecting the dog from both heat and cold. If you are concerned about shedding, it is best to consult with a professional groomer who can provide appropriate grooming techniques to manage your Shih Tzu's coat while still allowing for the natural shedding process to occur.


To summarize, Shih Tzu dogs typically shed their puppy coat between the ages of 4 to 6 months. During this time, you may notice an increase in shedding as the new adult coat starts to grow in. Shedding can vary depending on the individual dog and their genetics, but generally, Shih Tzu shedding is considered minimal compared to other dog breeds.

It's important to keep in mind that even though Shih Tzu puppies shed their coat, they will still require regular grooming to maintain their luxurious coat and prevent matting. Regular brushing, bathing, and occasional trimming will help keep their coat healthy and prevent tangling or matting. Additionally, providing a balanced diet and proper nutrition will contribute to maintaining a healthy coat in your Shih Tzu.


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