Shih Tzu Dogs...
a Non Shedding Dog Breed?

UPDATED MARCH 26, 2019 | WRITTEN BY MOLLY

Many people consider Shih Tzu dogs to be a non-shedding dog breed, and that they are "hypoallergenic dogs"...but are they really?

And what exactly does being hypoallergenic mean for people who suffer from dog allergies?

Tan and white Shih Tzu dog being brushed on a grooming table

Well…although the Shih Tzu are indeed a great pet choice for allergy sufferers, to say they are a non shedding dog breed isn't entirely accurate.

Shih Tzu are among the few breeds whose coat is made up of hair (like people) instead of fur, but they will shed their hair daily, just as people do.

The difference is what happens to the hair they have shed.

Why Are Shih Tzu Thought To Be a Non Shedding Dog Breed?

The thing about the Shih Tzu breed is they have what is called a double coat.

When the hair is kept long the shedding hairs don't fall to the ground or furniture.  Instead these hairs will shed off into the coat itself and is then brushed out during regular grooming.

This means you won't have to pull out the lint roller to clean up a bunch of hairs after these pampered, longed haired pooches have been lounging on the couch all day.  Nor worry about changing your clothes after you've cuddled with them before heading out to work.

And since clumps of loose hair are not visibly seen, this is likely the reason many consider them to be a non-shedding dog breed.

Slightly off the subject but worth mentioning is that since the Shih Tzu hair does tend to shed off into itself, and if his hair is kept long, brushing must be done daily. 

Otherwise his hair would become tangled and a matted mess which, if left uncared for, will pull on your Shih Tzu skin and cause pain and unhappiness.

And when your Shih Tzu is unhappy, and you look into those big round beautiful sad eyes, it will just about break your heart.

If matting has occurred it can be a haven for an insect invasion and infections arise, which of course will be very uncomfortable for your Shih Tzu.

You can try to get the mats out with a good slicker brush (like this very popular tool from Amazon), but if the matting is so bad that brushing doesn't seem to help or it gets worse, the only thing you can do is have all their hair shaved off and start over.

Are Shih Tzu Hypoallergenic Dogs?

You probably also heard that the Shih Tzu were a hypoallergenic dog...well again, this isn't quite accurate either.

Two Shih Tzu hypoallergenic dogs

Since the Shih Tzu dog breed is covered in hair and not fur, what is probably meant by "hypoallergenic" simply means that most people, who are allergic to fur, will not be allergic to the Shih Tzu hair.

Something else worth mentioning is that a dogs skin can become dry.  When a dog shakes its body, these flakes tend to fly into the area around him.  These flakes could trigger an allergic reaction in some people.

It's easy to tell when his skin is dry because he will be scratching quite a bit, his hair will be dull, and you'll see the tiny flakes on him and on your clothes.

However, this happens with any dog breed.

The best way to keep his skin from becoming dry and his coat dull is to feed him the best dog food you can, and brush him more often to stimulate oil glands.

Another beneficial option is to add a little omega oils in his diet.

But, if after trying all of the above and the problem persists you'll want to have your Veterinarian check him out for any underlying issues like food allergies or thyroid disease.

No dog will be completely allergy free to all people, but as far as a hypoallergenic dog, or non shedding dog breed go, the Shih Tzu comes pretty close.

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  • Are Shih Tzu Good With Other Dogs

    Generally the Shih Tzu breed are calm and very playful, and enjoy a variety of canine friends. However every dog has their own unique personality and experiences.


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