Shih Tzu Colors

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 09/17/22 •  6 min read
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Shih Tzu Colors

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Shih Tzus are very popular dogs, and for good reason! They’re small and elegant looking, with gorgeous fur coats. They have thick, double coats that pet parents love to style in many ways. What’s more, Shih Tzu coats come in a wide range of colors!

If you’d like to learn more about these diminutive dogs and their coat colors, read on! We’ve put together information about these dogs and their beautifully colored fur coats. Let’s get started!

What is a Shih Tzu?

The small Shih Tzu comes from an ancient dog breed that originally came from China. Dog bones dating back to 8,000 BC have been found in China, and they strongly resemble today’s Shih Tzu! That’s one ancient dog breed!

These small dogs are famous for their long, flowing hair and beautiful faces. This is a dog that will surely steal your heart, so watch out! These elegant small dogs are very popular. Though they may seem to be snobby, the truth is that the dogs are friendly, lively, and loyal to their families.

This is a dog that will not allow you to ignore his presence. They were bred to be human-oriented and need to be with their families. Shih Tzus love just about everyone.

While these dogs can make great family companions, Shih Tzus are best for families that don’t have small kids. These small dogs are easily injured if kids play with them too roughly. They do great with families that have older kids who know how to properly treat these stunning dogs.

Shih Tzu Colors

Shih Tzus come in a wide range of colors, which we’ll explore in the following sections!

1. Solid Black

The Solid black Shih Tzu is the most common of the solid-colored Shih Tzus. Solid-colored dogs are very rare in this dog breed. So you won’t see them too often.

2. Solid White

Here’s another solid color for the Shih Tzu—white. These dogs are even more rare than black Shih Tzus. It’s even harder to find these completely white dogs, but they do exist.

These dogs will have black noses and look something like a snowman with a charcoal nose!

3. Solid Blue

The Blue Shih Tzu looks more like a gray or charcoal color; however, they can also look very blue. The blue is caused by the dilute black gene.

4. Solid Red

These Shih Tzus look more orange than red, but they are considered to have red fur. Rest assured, this is not a furry pumpkin with legs!

Red is the most common color in Shih Tzus, though it’s more common in puppies than in adult dogs. The color usually grows out as the puppies become adult dogs.

5. Silver

Silver Shih Tzus can be mistaken for white dogs; however, they have a silvery cast to them. These dogs are just as beautiful as Shih Tzus of other colors!

6. Gold

If you prefer gold to silver, you may want to consider the gold Shih Tzu. This is also a rare color for these dogs. The puppies are usually a strong golden color; however, as they mature, the color changes over to a softer yellow shade. Still very pretty!

7. Liver

Liver Shih Tzus are also sometimes referred to as “chocolate” Shih Tzus. These dogs are mostly brown, but may also have white patches on their chests or in other places.

The “liver” color doesn’t refer to the dog’s fur. Instead, the color refers to the color of the dog’s nose, lips, and paw pads.

8. Brindle

Brindle is another interesting color for the Shih Tzu. These dogs have a solid base coat that’s streaked with another color. These colors can come in almost any combination!

9. Double Colored

You may also come across Shih Tzus, which are double-colored. These dogs have two basic colors, one of which is usually white. The white can be combined with red and more. However, it’s also possible to have a black and white dog!

10. Tricolored

You’ll also find tricolored Shih Tzus, which are just adorable. These dogs are pretty rare and hard to find. What’s more, the third color is usually very faint and hard to discern.

White is usually one of the colors, though black and gold are also seen.

What are the Officially Accepted Shih Tzu Colors?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes the following colors as the official for this dog breed:

Shih Tzu Coat Patterns

Along with their wide range of colors, Shih Tzus also come in a variety of different coat patterns!

Collar or Shawl

These dogs have a solid base coat over most of their bodies. However, they have a different color around their necks, which is usually white. This pattern makes the dog look like he’s wearing a collar or a shawl.


Shih Tzus have a blaze with a white streak running between their eyes. It may go down their necks or to their backs. However, it always splits right between their eyes.


This pattern is similar to the blaze, but it is a patch of white that widens and goes up to the top of the dog’s head. It can also travel to the dog’s neck and back.


The tuxedo pattern makes the Shih Tzu look as if he’s wearing a tuxedo! These dogs have one solid color, with patches of white on their chests and feet.

This is a dog that’s ready for a formal event just about anywhere!


The saddle pattern looks like the dog is wearing a saddle. You’ll find it on the dog’s back, where a horse’s saddle would be placed.

Summing It Up

So, there you have it! Who knew that Shih Tzus came in so many colors, variations, and patterns! These are lovely small dogs that are adorable, no matter what color or pattern they sport!

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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