When it comes to Shih Poo grooming, these pups have a reputation of being high-maintenance. We can’t argue with that, as Poodle mixes like the Shih Poo do require regular maintenance and upkeep. In this guide, we’ll share our top Shih Poo grooming hacks along with tons of photos of adorable Shih Poo grooming styles. If you’re ready to take your Shih Poo grooming skills to the next level, then keep on reading. 

Table of Contents

Shih Poo Grooming 101: Understanding The Shih Poo’s Coat

The adorable Shih Tzu Poodle mix is a pocket-sized companion perfect for people with allergies. Or, who simply prefer low shed dogs. Like other Doodles, Shih Poos are praised for their low-shedding and hypoallergenic coats, all thanks to their Poodle heritage. 

But as the Shih Poo is a crossbreed combining two different purebred dogs, it won’t be as easy trying to predict the outcome. Shih Poos may either inherit the Poodle-type curly coat, or the Shih Tzu’s straight coat. Some pups also come with wavy coats, combining the traits from both sides of their lineage. 

Although all of these coat types are gorgeous to look at, they do have quite different requirements in terms of Shih Poo grooming. So, before we jump into the details, let’s quickly go over the three Shih Poo coat types. 

Curly Coat

The curly coat is obviously inspired by the Shih Poo’s Poodle heritage. Although curly coats are found in all generations, they’re more likely to happen in backcross generations like F1b, F1bb, and so on.  

Curly coats are thought to be the most hypoallergenic of them all, since they’re usually single-coated. On the other hand, curly coats are also the hardest to manage, as the curls easily trap in dirt, debris, and dead hair. 

curly coat doodle
Doodle with a curly coat.

Since curly coats are the most prone to matting, the best way you can prevent this is by regularly brushing out any knots and tangles from your Shih Poo’s fur. You may also want to consider your dog’s hair length, since longer hair may be more time-consuming to manage. 

Straight Coat

On the opposite side we have the straight coat – a nod to their Shih Tzu heritage. Straight coat Shih Poos usually have long, silky smooth hair. Of course, you can also opt for a shorter Shih Poo grooming cut if you’re not that keen on lots of daily grooming. 

What’s important to note is that straight coat Shih Poos may come with an undercoat, just like their Shih Tzu parents. This means that they are likely to shed a small amount of hair, so people with severe allergies should instead opt for curly Shih Poos. 

shihtzu straight coat
Doodle with a straight coat.

Still, regardless of your Shih Poo’s coat type, their Poodle genes kick in no matter what, and even straight-coated Shih Poos shed much less than their purebred Shih Tzu parents. 

Wavy Combination Coat

Then there’s also a mix of the curly Poodle and straight Shih Tzu. Wavy coat Shih Poos are neither curly or straight, they aren’t usually heavy shedders, but they may sometimes come with an undercoat. 

The wavy coat is considered to be the easiest to manage out of the three coat types, as it’s not as prone to matting as the curly coat, and they also tend to shed less than straight coat Shih Poos. 

wavy coat doodle
Doodle with a wavy coat.

Shih Poo Teddy Bear Cut

Teddy bear cut, you guessed it, makes your Shih Poo look like a real-life teddy bear. The teddy bear cut is a common choice amongst all types of Doodles, as it perfectly enhances their signature Doodle looks. Just look at this cutie: 

Shaggy Shih Poo

Shaggy Shih Poo grooming style is perfect for pups that sport that relaxed, wavy, and long hair. It’s also relatively low maintenance and easy to achieve at home. With this Shih Poo grooming cut, the longer the hair the better! Of course, you’ll also have to be willing to dedicate time for daily brushing to keep this hairdo looking good. 

Shaggy Shih Poo

Long Puppy Cut

Variations of the puppy cut are highly popular amongst Doodles and Shih Tzus, since they look cute, they’re easy to achieve at home, and they’re also super easy to maintain. We absolutely love the long puppy cut, since it makes the Shih Poo’s coat all bouncy and fluffy when they walk. 

Shaved Shih Poo

Shaved Shih Poo grooming cut is the perfect choice during very hot summer months or if you live in a very warm climate. This means that the hair is trimmed as short as possible, leaving your pup feeling cool and comfy throughout the season. 

Shaved Cut Shih Poo

Shih Poo Grooming: Tools You Absolutely Need To Groom Your Shih Poo At Home

Tool #1

Brush – A good quality brush is an absolute must in any Shih Poo’s grooming kit. Opt for a durable pin or slicker brush, depending on your pup’s coat type and shedding levels. 

Tool #2

Comb – In addition to a great brush, you’ll also be needing a sturdy comb to detangle smaller and more delicate areas like the face, ears, and paws. It’s also great for fluffing up the coat.

See Also:

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Tool #3

Dog Clippers – If you’re serious about grooming your Shih Poo at home, then you’ll definitely want to invest in a set of dog clippers. Here you’ll find our top picks for Doodles that’ll help you get the job done. 

Tool #4

Scissors – Although clippers will do most of the legwork, a pair of scissors is great for smaller, hard-to-reach areas like the face, paws, or ears. We recommend dog-safe scissors with rounded tips for extra safety. 

Tool #5

Dog Shears – Our absolute favorite Shih Poo grooming tool has got to be this! Dog shears or thinning shears look like scissors, but their sharp teeth actually blend in the different lengths of hair without those hideous chopped ends. 

Tool #6

Detangler Spray – Another secret weapon in your Shih Poo’s grooming kit is a dog detangler spray. This is especially helpful if your pup’s hair is always tangled. Just spray some before brushing and see how much easier it makes things! Our ultimate guide on the best dog detangler sprays has some great recommendations for your Shih Poo. 

See Also:

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Tool #7

Shampoo – Always opt for a specially formulated dog shampoo, as human shampoos don’t have the same pH balance. Our Doodle Shampoo Guide has tons of recommendations for various skin conditions and purposes. 

Tool #8

Nail Clippers – To prevent ingrown nails, pain, and discomfort, make sure you regularly trim your Shih Poo’s nails. You can either opt for dog-safe nail clippers or a dog nail grinder, whichever you find more comfortable to use. 

Tool #9

Ear Cleaning Products –  Like other Doodles, Shih Poos are prone to ear infections. To prevent this, be sure to regularly use a dog ear cleaner. This will also prevent bad smell coming from the ears. 

Tool #10

A Grooming Table – Although it might seem like a stretch, a dog grooming table has got to be one of the best things to invest in when grooming a Shih Poo at home. You can also build one yourself if you’re very DIY-minded. 

First of all, a dog grooming table with an adjustable arm and leash will keep your pup safely still and you can use both hands for grooming. Secondly, you’ll be able to groom in a standing position, so no more back pains. 

How Often Do Shih Poos Need To Be Groomed?

As fellow Doodle owners, we know how difficult it can be to stay on top of your pup’s grooming routine. There’s always something that needs to be done. For this we’ve created a sample Shih Poo grooming schedule that could work for your pup:

  • Brushing: Daily or at least 3-4 times a week.  
  • Nail Trimming: Every week or every other week.  
  • Hair & Ear Hair Trimming: Every 4-8 weeks. 
  • Ear Cleaning: Make sure to dry your Shih Poo’s ears after each swim and shower, and use a dog ear cleaner every week. 
  • Bathing: Before every haircut, so every 4-8 weeks. Or, more or less frequently, depending on your pup’s skin and health conditions, lifestyle, and hair length.  

How To Groom A Shih Poo From Home

At first, grooming a Shih Poo may seem frightening. But once you’ve had a little practice, you’ll soon find this an enjoyable bonding experience with your pup. Of course, make sure you know what you’re doing, since we don’t want any accidents happening around scissors or nail clippers. Here are some of our top tips on Shih Poo grooming. 


By now it should be no surprise that brushing should be a daily activity in almost any Shih Poo’s grooming routine. By regularly brushing out any knots and tangles you’ll prevent matting, and also promote good skin and coat health. In fact, brushing helps distribute your dog’s natural skin oils throughout the lengths of the hair, making it soft and nourished. 

In addition to that, brushing also helps keep your Shih Poo clean for longer, as you’ll be brushing out any dirt and debris that’s stuck in the coat. 

A few tips when brushing your Dood – start from the bottom of the feet and move your way up the legs, then belly, neck, and finally back. You can use this as a guideline:

shih poo grooming

See Also:

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For obvious reasons, your Shih Poo will also need bathing every once in a while. Many Doodle owners bathe their pups before getting a haircut. However, depending on your Shih Poo’s skin health, coat type, shedding levels, and activity levels, you may have to bathe them more or less frequently. 

Although some pups may benefit from weekly bathing, you want to make sure that you don’t wash them too often, as this can lead to skin problems, dryness, and excessive shedding. Moreover, always make sure your Shih Poo is thoroughly dried after you bathe them, and don’t forget the ears, paws, and armpits. 

Shih Poo Grooming Styles

Grooming and regular haircuts are essential for any Shih Poo, regardless if you prefer longer or shorter hair on your pup. If you’ve decided to explore the fascinating world of at home grooming, then we recommend you learn all the basics from our How To Groom A Doodle At Home online course with self-study materials and tutorial videos with demonstrations. 

Nail Clipping

Did you know that overgrown nails can lead to injury, discomfort and pain when walking, ingrown nails, infections, and even joint problems? Make sure you keep your Shih Poo’s nails trimmed at all times to prevent any of those problems. Our guide on How To Trim Dog Nails has a step-by-step guide, tons of FAQs, and product recommendations for that. 

Ear Hygiene

As we mentioned earlier, Shih Poos are prone to ear infections. That’s because their floppy ears restrict airflow and trap in moisture, making the inner parts of the ear the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure your Shih Poo’s ears are dry after swimming or bathing, and use a dog ear cleaner weekly to further prevent ear infections. 

Shih Poo Grooming Tutorials

If you’ve been thinking about grooming your Shih Poo at home, then this right here is your cue to start. Not only is grooming at home much cheaper than taking your pup to the groomer’s every few weeks, it’s also a great way to bond with your little pal. 

Our easy-to-follow online course on How To Groom A Doodle At Home has tons of tutorial videos and step-by-step guides on all things related to grooming a Shih Poo, or any Doodle at home. 

Shih Poo Grooming: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Grooming Shih Poos Hard?

Obviously, if you’re not familiar with dog grooming, it will take a little bit of time to learn the basic techniques and find your own tricks in the process. However, with a little bit of practice, patience, and the correct Shih Poo grooming tools, you’ll soon find that it’s not that difficult after all. 

How Do You Groom A Shih Poo’s Face?

Shih Poo’s face is obviously more delicate and it’s slightly trickier to trim around the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. You may have to opt for scissors instead of clippers, and a comb instead of a brush. This way you’ll be able to gently trim all areas of the face. Here are some helpful guides on how to groom a Doodle’s face. 

Do Shih Poos Have An Undercoat?

Indeed, some Shih Poos may inherit a shedding undercoat from their Shih Tzu parents. Usually, either straight or wavy coat Shih Poos have undercoats. That’s why curly coats are so highly in demand – they’re usually single-coated, which means that they don’t shed. Nonetheless, even double-coated Shih Poos tend to shed considerably less than their purebred Shih Tzu parents. 

How Do You Groom A Shih Poo At Home?

Before you start, make sure you do your research, get the correct Shih Poo grooming tools, and learn the basic techniques. We also recommend you take a look at our How To Groom A Doodle At Home online course with all the know-how you’ll need to become a pro at grooming a Shih Poo at home. 

Shih Poo Grooming 101: Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! Our Shih Poo grooming 101 guide. We hope you found this helpful and that it provides you with a little bit of insight into what to expect when caring for your Doodle. Although sometimes high-maintenance, Shih Poos sure are worth the trouble. 

Learn How to Groom Your Doodle At Home!

For DIY-minded Doodle parents who want to have more control over their Doodle’s grooming routine or just want to save some money in times of high inflation. Take matters into your own hands and learn to give your Doodle the exact haircut YOU want with this valuable online course! Learn More

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