Each Shih Tzu dog will grow hair at different speeds; however, most dogs will regrow long hair within 6 to 8 weeks. For owners who prefer shorter hair and less maintenance, ongoing grooming appointments will need to be scheduled.

The Shih Tzu coat itself is time consuming to maintain and needs daily attention. Without daily combing and brushing, the Shih Tzu will end up with numerous tangles. It is also recommended that the Shih Tzu have a bath as often as once per week. Due to the time- consuming maintenance of the coat, owners of Shih Tzu dogs often take the dog to regular appointments with a groomer.

The coat of the Shih Tzu is easier to maintain while it is a puppy because the hair is fluffy and light. However, once the puppy reaches 10 to 12 months old, the coat turns into the traditional silky coat that Shih Tzu lovers adore. The Shih Tzu also has hair around its face that will need to either be trimmed or kept out of its eyes.

The Shih Tzu's coat comes in many colors, such as black and white, which is the most common, as well as black, red and white or gray and white. If the dog has a white blaze on its forehead and a white tip on its tail then the dog is considered "highly prized" because these are the ideal markings, according to the American Kennel Club.