Shih Tzu Dog Colors and Markings

Many dog owners today pick a puppy based on their taste and preference. Shih Tzu colors come in a remarkable array of shades and patterns.

You will rarely see two Shih Tzu alike. Unlike other dogs’ breeds, a Shih Tzu is popular for having diverse coat color patterns and combinations.

It can either be only one shade, a combination of two shades, or even a combination of more colors.

Either way, all colors are permissible by the breed’s standard; however, you must never base your choice on the color of fur as they are a breed that is renowned for changing the colors once they become mature. 

What is the history beyond Shih Tzu?


This breed of dogs is centuries old and is thought to have been traded to the Chinese by Tibetans, who then further developed the dog.

This is a common dog among Chinese royalty, known as a Royal lapdog. 

Many Shih Tzu owners love this dog as they are outgoing, friendly, and very affectionate.

On the other hand, some are less loving and tolerant than others and might nip, growl, or bite when they have enough of being held.

Many Shih Tzu has long, silky fur, which needs everyday brushing.

Many owners love using ornaments or decorative bows to keep their Shih Tzu’s hair out of its face. 

This breed of dog doesn’t shed much and could potentially be a smart choice for people with allergies.

Regarded as a toy breed, Shih Tzu just weighs between 9 and 16 pounds. 

Complete List of all Recognized Coat Colors 


Here is a comprehensive list of Shih Tzu recognized colors: 

  • Solid Black: This is a rare color and is the most common –seen monochromic option. On the other hand, you will usually see mostly black dogs, with a small splotch of color somewhere else. 
  • Solid White: It is seldom to find a white color Shih Tzu than a black one. However, they do exist. Sometimes, other shades creep in, and the popular color on multi-colored dogs is white. The nose is black, though, and it will stick out like a bit lump of charcoal on a snowman. 
  • Solid Blue: Most of the time, a blue Shih Tzu looks gray, but is seen in the right light, they will impart a luminous blue shimmer. The blue chase is only a diluted black, and it happens once the pup has something called the dilution gene. 
  • Solid Red: This is technically regarded as red. This color usually looks orange in most light. Red is common in puppies than fully-developed Shih Tzu, as this breed of dog normally grown out of it as they grew up. 
  • Silver: This color appears like white; however, it does have a bit of silvery sheen to them. 
  • Gold: Even if gold is usually found on multi-colored dogs, it is rare to see a solid gold, Shih Tzu. Normally the color begins vivid and gleaming. However, it often fades to a soft yellow shade as the dog becomes mature. 
  • Live: This sometimes called chocolate, and while they are largely brown, they are normally not exclusively so. You will often see white patches on the chest and elsewhere. The liver does not refer to the coat’s color, but the skin’s shade at their point, like the lips, paw pads, and nose. 
  • Brindle: A brindle Shih Tzu comes with a solid base fur streaked in another shade. Those two shades could be just about anything; therefore, it is not uncommon to see all brindle Shih Tzus styles. 
  • Double Colored: A double-colored Shih Tzu, as the name suggests, has two primary colors, but one of these shades normally be white. Black is the common counterpart to the white coat. However, you will see any of the colors mentioned above, including brindle, mixed in as well. 
  • Tri-Colored: This is relatively rare and taken for granted easily, as the third color is often pale and faded. While it is always included as one of the mixture’s shades, gold and black are often seen. 
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What About Shih Tzu Coat Patterns?


While this breed of dog can come in an array of shades, those markings will be sorted out in one of the following patterns: 

  • Shawl or Collar: This is when a Shih Tzu comes with a solid base fur over much of his body, but with a diverse shade, normally white going around the neck. This makes it look like wearing a cute small shawl. 
  • Blaze: This dog has a white streak that runs right between the eyes. It might go down beyond the neck or back. However, it always split the eyes down the center. 
  • Flare: This pattern is identical to the blaze, excluding the patch of white broadens as it reached the top of the head of the dog. It can take over back and neck parts. 
  • Tuxedo: This is one solid shade, with a bit of white on the chest and, from time to time, the feet. It makes the dog appear like it is wearing a tuxedo. 
  • Saddle: This marking appears like a bit of color, normally white, which sits on top of the dog’s back the same as a horse saddle. 

Do Shih Tzu Colors Affect Health?


At present, no study suggests that Shih Tzu’s color affects wellbeing in any way.

But, there is not a lot of study in the first place on how coat colors might affect other factors of a Shih Tzu. So far, many studies done on fur color have more to do with issues related to wellbeing. 

For example, double merle genotypes can result in an array of eye defects, including blindness, and cause deafness in one or both eats.

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Some research suggests that Labrador has a shorter lifespan than its yellow or black counterparts. Also, they tend to experience ear infections and hot spots. 

Do Shih Tzu Colors Affect Behavior?

Some studies focused on English Cocker Spaniels when it comes to behavior.

These studies suggested that coat shade could be a sign of aggression.

Studies revealed that Golden English Cocker Spaniels show aggression most often, followed by black ESCs and then parti-colors. 

On the other hand, this does not signify all golden dogs will be aggressive than their parti-colored or black counterparts. 

Despite being similar species, dogs have much dissent that what is true for one breed may not be so for another. 

Apart from this research done, there has been a lot of research performed on different kinds of animals, suggesting an association between temperament and depigmentation.

According to animal experts, animals with big amounts of depigmentation that will appear as the coat’s whiteness and often pink lips, noses, and eye rims, are likely to be worried and tense. 

Can a Shih Tzu have Blue Eyes?


Yes. On the other hand, this is the outcome of a genetic defect, so it is relatively rare. Blue eyes might also be a sign of keratitis or cataracts.

Once your Shih Tzu’s eye color changes to black from blue, you must immediately check your vet. 

Is liver Shih Tzu rare? 

It unofficially gives you a lavender Shih Tzu, and the dog would be officially registered as what you call a regular liver. This is very rare and, as you see, quite beautiful. 

Is Shih Tzu available in various types? 

Yes. Shih Tzu is available in two types. The European and the American Shih Tzu look like two diverse breeds, however rare, two diverse types of a similar breed. 

What is the best color for Shih Tzu?


Black is the best color, and a real black Shih Tzu doesn’t come with other hair colors.

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Even when there’s a small trace of another shade, the dog will be regarded to have a mixture of two shades. 

Does a Shih Tzu change color as they become mature? 

It’s extremely common and just about anticipated for Shih Tzu dogs to change shades as they grow older.

This could take first time owners off guard, and it often leads to some dog having a different shade than what’s listed on the registration. 

What colors does Shih Tzus see?

Black is the standard eye color for this breed of dog. It’s common for dogs with blue or liver fur to have a diverse eye color.

A liver coated Shih Tzu will more than likely have light brown or golden-colored eyes.

Once the dog has blue hair, it is quite probable that the eyes will also be blue.

How will you know if your Shih Tzu dog loves you?


Here is the list of indications on how to determine if your Shih Tzu dog loves you a lot. 

  • You dog smile 
  • He does bottom wiggles as well as tail wags 
  • Your dog gives you the big puppy dog eyes
  • He or she shows no aggression
  • He or she has a relaxed body
  • He or she has lots of reasons to play 

What is the most common Shih Tzu Color?

There are many colors of Shih Tzu available, but the common color is white.

Tuxedo is characterized by a white on his or her chest on an otherwise single-colored Shih Tzu. 

What is the rarest Shih Tzu Color?


The rarest color is black Shih Tzu; 

There is usually a white marking somewhere and often on their chest. On the other hand, full black coloring is present. Black Shih Tzu always come with black pigmented noses,

Does Shih Tzu change in color after a while? 

The answer is a big yes. Usually, this is the case. Shih Tzu coat color most of the time changes at approximately 12 months of age.

The coat might become either darker or pale. Black and white Shih Tzus dog will not change shade or color. 


Shih Tzu is known as royal lapdogs and has been around for decades and is preferred among toy breeds.

The reason behind this is the sleek looks and happy go lucky personality. There are almost 19 recognized colors of Shih Tzu and four documented markings. 

Though they require extra attention regarding grooming, this breed of dog gets to sport hairstyles accentuated with cute ribbons and decorations.

Moreover, Shih Tzu does not shed very much, which is an extra perk, most especially for dog lovers prone to allergies.

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