Different Colors of Shih Tzu Dogs: Essential Guide

Dog Breeds by Feroz
Update On: Feb 14, 2023
Different Colors of Shih Tzu Dogs: Essential Guide

Shih Tzu pups are known for their wide array of beautiful and unique coat colors. From light golden and white shades to darker browns and black, the possibilities are endless. Other common colors of Shih Tzu include red and silver, with rarer shades like brindle, sable, and blue being a possibility too. Before picking out your potential Shih Tzu puppy, make sure you know what color you prefer as it can impact their coat type or even personality!

Shih Tzu colors are recognized by the AKC

With more than 10 accepted Shih Tzu coat colors, ranging from black and white to gray and silver, the world of color for this toy breed can be quite confusing. The American Kennel Club recognizes black, white, gold, red, and brindle as acceptable core shades for the breed. However, there are also variations on each of those colors, including blue and auburn. Additionally, the Shih Tzu has bear-like facial markings that add another element to its coloring.

The Shih Tzu is a small and beloved breed of toy dog that comes in a wide variety of colors, including black, white, gold, grey, red, silver, brown, and even brindled versions. Many people may wonder if Shih Tzu can see the many color variations that appear on their coats. Although the eyesight of a Shih Tzu is quite good, they are not known to be able to see specific colors. Instead, most Shih Tzu owners report that their dogs can only differentiate between light and dark shades. They typically perceive all colors as shades of gray with varying levels of brightness or darkness.

There are seven colors of Shih Tzu that are recognized by the American Kennel Club. Additionally, we added 2 more for you. These colors include black, blue, gold, red, liver, silver, brindle, and additionally white and albino. All of these colors can be seen in various combinations and patterns across the breed!

1. Black

Shih Tzu black
Shih Tzu black

While Shih Tzus come in a multitude of different colors, the most popular shade by far is black and white. This color is known as ‘black and white’, ‘tri-colored’, or even ‘panda bear’ coats because it resembles the iconic animal. In addition to this, there is also the classic Havana brown coat as well as attractive sable combinations of both light and dark variations. No matter what your taste may be, there are plenty of Shih Tzu colors up for grabs!

Black is a striking color that adds elegance to the overall Shih Tzu look. Also known as ‘pepper and salt’ or ‘salt and pepper’, these dogs have black and white fur streaked throughout their coats. Traditional black and white Shih Tzus will usually have a predominantly black face, while spots of white can also be found on the legs, muzzle, chest, and toes. These ‘tuxedo’ Tzus are sure to turn heads everywhere they go!

True black Shih Tzus can vary in shade from deep espresso to lighter charcoal, depending on the lighting. They will not have any red-toned fur and should be a true black color. Since it’s a rarer color, expect to pay more for a true black Shih Tzu puppy than for puppies of other colors. This color isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club but it remains one that is highly sought after by prospective pet owners.

2. Blue

Blue Shih Tzu
Blue Shih Tzu

The color blue may not be one of the most popular Colors of Shih Tzu, but there are plenty of blue variations to choose from. From the icy-blue Ice White Color to the darker Navy Blue, you’ll be sure to find a shade that is perfect for your pup. Another variation is the Blue and White combination which creates a beautiful contrast between the unknown shades.

Each of these unique coats requires a certain amount of maintenance to keep its lustrous shine. When it comes to grooming and bathing, opt for specifically formulated shampoo for the breed that has been known to intensify each coat’s natural color. For an extra boost in vibrancy, you can supplement with specially designed doggy conditioners. Additionally, you should brush your pup’s coat at least two times a week to prevent tangling, as well as remove any excess allergens or dirt. If you show your Shih Tzu, you must visit a professional groomer every month.

3. Red

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A variety of red, blonde, and cream-colored coats can also make a Shih Tzu even more remarkable. This includes apricot-red, light brown, reddish-brown, or mahogany tones. Meanwhile, blondes can range from warm yellow to a rich golden onion color. Lastly, cream shades feature paler hues than the others but can also look stunning. Each coat type is unique in its way – allowing you to pick the perfect companion for you!

The most commonly seen Colors of Shih Tzu is red. It is one of the colors native to the breed, so it is quite a traditional choice. Red can come in several hues and shades. This includes rich dark colors like chestnut or mahogany or brighter colors such as apricot-red and reddish-brown. Many may assume all red coats are reserved for light colors, but if you look closely you will see some darker, more vibrant versions as well. Either way, there are many different types of red out there for sure!

4. Brindle

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Brindle colored Shih Tzus tend to be one of the rarer color combinations. This type of coat usually showcases a mix of chocolate, black and red stripes creating a unique “tiger-coat” look for these canines! Depending on Shih Tzu’s genetics, the brindle coloring is found in several variations and may appear more prominent or subtle.

A brindle Colors of Shih Tzu will have a base coat of white sable-tipped hairs with striping in shades of brown and black. When the fur is combed through or plucked, however, other colors may reveal themselves, including yellow beige and red rust hues. The darker the color of the stripes is, the more stunning its overall appearance will be. Notably, brindle dogs tend to have a splash of white on their chest that further adds to their beauty!

5. Liver

Liver Shih Tzu
Liver Shih Tzu

The liver and party colors are among the rare and sought-after Colors of Shih Tzu. Liver-colored puppies have a dark brown/reddish coat color, while parti pups have a combination of white and any other color. These special babies will no doubt be show-stoppers!

These Shih Tzu puppies have a unique appearance, as liver-colored pups feature a darker brown or reddish coat color. They also tend to be lighter on the feet, tail tip, and face than other variations of Shih Tzu’s. Similarly, parti-colored puppies often have a combination of white and any other color – usually black, red, or sable. This makes them stand out among other canine breeds making them quite eye-catching! No matter their color combination these pint-sized packages of joy are sure to brighten your day with their delightful personalities.

6. Silver

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Silver and white are arguably two of the most popular coat colors of Shih Tzu puppies! Some silver puppies bear a hint of champagne, while others can be almost totally silver. White coats can range from pure ivory whites to the more common off-white hues, making these little pups look like tiny snowballs of cuteness!

Silver and white puppies often have black points around their face, ears, nose, and eyes. Their noses tend to be black or liver in color, along with their lips and eye rims. Even if a puppy looks almost completely silver, he may have some white hairs mixed throughout the coat – a common trait in Shih Tzu pups – so make sure to give your baby’s coat an extra close look! These two colors are known for making the beautiful breed of Shih Tzu look especially dainty and elegant.

7. Gold

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Aside from popular white, black, and tan Shih Tzu colors, many other unique variations can further enhance their already majestic beauty. They can come in different shades of gold, silver, and red, each shimmering in its unique way when they’re basking in the sunlight. Not to mention their chocolate brown or auburn variation – making them look even more special!

Gold colors of Shih Tzu come in three different shades – light gold, honey gold, and dark gold. Generally speaking, when it comes to the body coloring of a light-goldened Shih Tzu, their face and ears tend to be darker than the rest of their body. The same goes for a honey-golden version of the breed; they usually have darker arms that contrast with their cream or white legs but still contain flecks of golden coloring. Lastly, a dark-golden coat appears to be a deep but warm yellow color with sometimes brown highlights scattered throughout.

2 Extra common colors of shih Tzu’s

The Shih Tzu breed of dog is recognizable for its wide variety of beautiful colors and coat patterns. Officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, seven color varieties are accepted: black, red, white, gold, silver, blue and liver. However, there are two additional colors that may also be found among Shih Tzus – albino and white.

1. Albino

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An incredibly rare color option is the albino colors of Shih Tzu. Generally, they are completely white with solid pale eyes, though they may also display a light hue of yellow or pink. Albino pups have an extremely delicate complexion that requires extra love and care on your part to ensure their continued health and well-being.

Albino Shih Tzus are not albinos, genetically speaking. An albino animal is born without pigment, whereas an Albino Shih Tzu merely has a genetic lack of it. Still, this beautiful color qualifies in some rare coatings for these fur babies. They are a treasure, and if you manage to make an owner of them, then you will own a pup that cannot be compared to the others when it comes to uniqueness!

2. White

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White, Black, and Tan Shih Tzu colors are some of the most popular. They have a coat that consists of white, black, tan, and sometimes cream – making them stand out from other breeds. These charming dogs are loved by many because they make great companions due to their intelligent and loyal nature. The combination of their vibrant colors paired with their intelligence makes them truly unique.

White Shih Tzu dogs are easily recognized due to their solid white fur that sets them apart from other breeds. The undercoat and topcoat may have some hint of cream or tan, but they should be mostly white. The reason a white colored Shih Tzu will sometimes have other colors is because of crossbreeding and the genetics involved in the mating process. The good news is that any Shih Tzu of this color combination will still possess all the same qualities that make them so special.

Shih Tzu color combinations

Now, let’s talk about the Shih Tzu color range or color combinations. Shih Tzu can have multiple color coats. Below, you can find 5 common Shih Tzu color patterns.

Cream (C): A bright white, ivory color.

The Cream (C) Shih Tzu is one of the brightest colors of this bundle of joys, with a light coat that looks just like fresh-fallen snow. This color can range from ice white to dark beige. These pups tend to require regular grooming and bathing to keep their coats looking glamorous and fluffy.

An advantage of this color is that it helps reflect the sun during hot summer days and coats most dirt, helping to keep the pup healthy despite a hectic lifestyle. Despite this light coat, Cream is not vulnerable to bad weather or cold temps thanks to the coat’s natural insulation. The cream is one of the easiest colors to maintain in terms of grooming since a good brushing and shampooing once a month is enough for them to stay healthy and look elegant.

The eyes and nose of the Cream Shih Tzu should be black for a balanced look, as its white fur contrasts perfectly against the darker colors. Cream Shih Tzus may have dark tips or specks on their coat, which make them even more handsome and distinctive. What makes this color favored among all colors of Shih Tzus is that it looks bright and attractive because of its light color. Yet if not looked after properly, they can turn yellowish or grey which is why regular food, bath, and brushing should be done to keep them in good condition always.

No matter if it’s their curiosity, gentleness, loyal nature, or their looks, the Cream Shih Tzu is a breed that many consider one of the most adorable and cheerful around. Due to its ivory white colored fur, it’s often seen as an elegant pup compared to other colors since bright colors bring out its beauty. The Cream Shih Tzu can be both a hypoallergenic companion as well as an active and playful pup that loves going outdoors and exploring new places alongside its owner.

Golden (G): Light to dark gold color with a black mask.

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The most vibrant of the golden tones, the Golden Shih Tzu brings sunshine wherever it goes! Often referred to as ‘Golden Apricots’ for their sweet peach-like hues, these lively coat colors can range from light champagne to an almost chestnut brown. A black mask stands out against its honeyed color, marking it as part of the beloved ‘G’ series.

Being a member of the G family, the Golden Shih Tzu can often be mistaken for a Lilac or even a sable. The key difference lies in its darker agouti effect. Dark guard hair is used to standardize the color grade as well as give this variety its distinct color-tolerance and tousled look. Golden Shih Tzus tend to have longer hair than their other coloring counterparts, giving them the true look of a tiny lion ready to devour your heart with love!

These little Goldendoodles showcase a blend of white, cream, and gold through their coats, some with slight darkening around the face. These puppies are loyal companions, training easily and behaving well with children. The golden color of these puppies pairs beautifully with the traditional black nose, facial mask, and brown eyes for an added sense of luxe look. Some breeders also breed multi-colored Golden Shih Tzus as well, adding to their allure even more.

Despite the differences in their coats and masks, one thing remains true for all Golden Shih Tzus: they need regular grooming and brushing. If left unattended, their silky coat will start to mat, so it is important to keep on top of their fur maintenance. Brushing also allows you to check out any skin factors that might arise if not attended to properly. Having a regular care routine of bathing and clipping nails helps keep the little dogs from feeling discomfort and maintains the beautiful golden glow of their coats.

White and Cream (W/C): White with cream highlights or patches

As its name suggests, this series of Shih Tzu is a blend of creamy ivory and white. Depending on the intensity of the cream shading, these coat colors can range from a nearly solid white to a distinct ivory with patches or highlights. The mask tends to stay black, making it easier for you to identify this lovely shade at first sight.

These coats vary from pubic to even powder puff and have lion cuts. Regardless of their style, White and Cream Shih Tzu look stunning! These handsome pooches combine the gentleness of white and cream shades to create spectacular canine works of art. Grooming-wise, W/C Shih Tzu requires a lot of maintenance. The long hair is particularly fragile, so brushing at least every other day is necessary to avoid knots and frequent groomer trips are recommended.

White and Cream Shih Tzu are the most popular color of this breed and are instantly recognizable. They can have patches of cream throughout their bodies, although white is the primary color with cream highlights or beautiful cream ears, face markings, belly patches, or tail tips. Regardless of their cream patches, these dogs sometimes have a tinge of light brown that’s hidden deep in their fur and only visible when losing fur in a seasonal blowout. For owners looking for a unique touch to their White & Cream Shih Tzu’s appearance, trimming them into lion cuts is an option worth considering. This creates an incredibly endearing expression on these beloved pets!

Black and White (B/W): Brownish-gray with creamy white markings

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The Black and White color of the Shih Tzu is composed of a combination of creamy white and brownish gray. These pups usually have black facial masks, but it’s also common to have dark brown markings around the face adding some contrast to their look. This color variation is produced by blending two separate colors in the coat, which gives them an ever-changing hue that requires now and then brushing for maintenance.

While the black and white Shih Tzu doesn’t have a solid coat like other color varieties, it requires similar care regarding grooming. This coat needs regular brushing to keep it looking its best; otherwise, tangles form due to shedding. If you want the coat to maintain its color pattern, brushing should be done twice a week. Additionally, these pups tend to experience tear staining around the eyes due to their long hair, so weekly cleaning with a damp cloth is recommended.

Black and white Shih Tzu often have a brownish-gray base coat that comes in various tones, while their fur is creamy white with black markings. Generally speaking, the way the two colors of their coat settle down lies in the genetics of each dog. These dogs can be born with any combination of black-and-white patterns on their personalities and physical bodies.

The two colors found in these Shih Tzu coats develop as the dog matures. The cream color is the main hue and can appear almost anywhere on their body, accompanied by different distinctive black or white markings that experts classify into nine different pattern types. It’s common for black and white Shih Tzu puppies to feature different colored eyes – one brown and one blue – as a part of their physical features.

Red and White (R/W): Red mixed with creamy white  markings

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The Red and White colors are produced by blending a deep reddish hue with creamy white markings around the face, chest, and legs. These Shih Tzu puppies flaunt their unique multicolor pattern and will continue to develop unique shades of red, cream, and white as they grow older. When well-groomed the Red and White will display a beautiful coat that radiates charm.

Whether the red mix is more prominent or the white pattern is dominant, one thing is certain, Red and White Shih Tzu puppies are extra special. Not only are these pups beautiful to look at, but their special color also grants them some unique benefits from a grooming perspective. Their coats can help hide dirt, making it easier to keep clean and tidy between groomer visits. While you will still need to regularly brush your pup’s fur and trimmed their nails for quality care, this color allows you a bit more slack than other shades of Shih Tzu.

Unlike other breeds, red and white Shih Tzu pups aren’t considered a separate color. Instead, this hue comes from the combination of both black and chocolate feet, ears, and masks combined with creamy white fur. The patterning results in unique coat hues which range from deep oranges to warm rusts. When in sunlight, the coats may even have a faint golden sheen revealing a sense of regal grace. As the puppies grow older, the balance between black or chocolate and creamy white can change, making the puppies look different as time passes. However, the Red and White markings are just as adorable regardless of pup age!

Perfect Color Combinations and marking

From silky golds to glossy blacks, the Shih Tzu breed of dog comes in a variety of stunning colors. Mixing and matching these colors offers limitless possibilities for customizing your pet’s furry friend. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to create the perfect Shih Tzu color combination!

1. Solid Colors & Markings.

Shih Tzus often feature pure, solid colors such as black, white, cream, silver and gold. Markings can be used to highlight a certain color or an additional shade can be added for greater depth. The most popular marking combination for the Shih Tzu breed is the black mask and white blaze mark. This combination looks especially opulent when combined with a pure silver or golden color base!

2. Parti-Coloring and Tricolors in Shih Tzus

Parti-color Shih Tzus are white-based with two separate colors present on the body. These are made up of either two bi-colors, or one bi-color and a splash of another color on their face and/or chest, often referred to as a “face mask”. Tricolored dogs have three distinct colors on the fur – usually white, black and gold or liver. Generally speaking, these dogs have a tan coat, white legs and muzzle and sometimes a saddle pattern over their backs.

3. Merle Markings and Color Variations in Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus with merle markings are popular among breeders and pet owners alike. Merles usually have a layer of lighter color covering a darker base coat. Common colors include blue, red, chocolate and lilac. While the visual effect of this pattern is unique, there can be medical problems that accompany it, so research carefully and make sure you understand the associated risks when considering this variety of Shih Tzu.

4. Unique Coat Colors and Patterns in Shih Tzus

When selecting a coat color for your Shih Tzu, you’ll quickly find there are many options. Popular combinations include black and white, apricot and white, and dark reds with cream or buff accents. Some breeders strive to produce the rarer liver-colored Shih Tzus which have a chocolate base color softened with light tan markings. Smoked or saddle markings may also be present in some Shih Tzus which adds further depths of hues to the coat pattern.

5. Bicolor Markings & Coloring

Bicolor markings are two colors in combination that are separated clearly, showing clear boundaries between the two colors. These markings often feature a colored mask on the face and a white coat from the neck to the tail. A bicolor Shih Tzu may use a lighter or darker shade for its coloring to create an eye-catching look. These unique combinations add more depth to the look of a Shih Tzu and take your pet’s fashion to new levels!

What are the best colors for Shih Tzu based on the above discussions?

Based on the discussions above, the top six most popular colors of Shih Tzu are white, black, red, brown and tan, black and white, and golden. With so many options available you can find a hue that will fit your individual needs and desires. Be sure to research all of your options thoroughly before making your final decision!

Each of the colors of Shih Tzu above is unique and has its charm and beauty. White coats are considered classic, making them popular with those who want a traditional look for their pet. Red, brown, and tan Shih Tzu coats are often combined to produce a multicolored effect that looks stunning in just about any setting. Black and white hues bring out the vivid markings of this breed, while gold is a great option for those looking for lighter-colored locks. No matter what color you choose, be sure to find a reputable breeder with purebred puppies to ensure that you get the healthiest pooch possible!

The Shih Tzu is a small and affectionate breed of dog that has its origins in China. It has long, flowing hair and may have either short or long legs. They are known for their outgoing and gentle nature, making them the perfect companion animal. They are relatively easy to train and groom, and can be loving companions for all members of the family. For more information about this breed, please read our dedicated Shih Tzu article.

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