10 Rarest Shih Tzu Colors: Which Type is Right for You?

Last Updated on July, 2024

Shih Tzu is a soft and fluffy toy breed that everyone loves. 

But wouldn’t it be best if you could handpick the color? Yes, it would! 

There are so many Shih Tzu colors, and we’re sure your favorite is on this list. 

We’ve carefully compiled all the recognized Shih Tzu coat colors, patterns, and markings. All you need to do is read through carefully and see what color fits you the best. 

Because some of the secrets you’d find are exclusive to this read.

After all, iPetGuides wants you to have nothing but the best.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Quick Summary

The most popular Shih Tzu colors are black, white, blue, brindle, gold, red, liver, silver, lavender or isabella, and albino.

The American Kennel Club accepts seven dual-colored Shih Tzu colors, including black and white, blue and white, and brindle and white.

Tri-colored Shih Tzus are less common and can have combinations such as black, gold, and silver. However, the AKC does not consider tri-colored Shih Tzus to be a standard color.

Shih Tzu Colors: Single Color

1. Black

Are black Shih Tzus rare? Yes, they are. In fact, mixed-colored Shih Tzu dogs are commonly found more than solid or single-colored Shih Tzu.

Out of color, the solid black Shih Tzu is the rarest kind. If a puppy has at least one mark of another color, be sure not to pay the price of a solid black Shih Tzu.

The true black Shih Tzu should ideally have a full black coat. In addition, their nose, paws, eyes, and even their belly and chest should be black.

You’re unlikely to see a black Shih Tzu with a brown nose.

Black Shih Tzu lying on the sofa

Remember that their coat tends to have a silver tinge as they age. But the black points will still remain pure black in a legitimate black Shih Tzu.

Black pigmentation, or the relevant gene, is supposed to be dominant. This contradicts the rarity of the color as they should be abundantly found in other dog breeds. However, there is a special gene interaction in the black Shih Tzu.

For starters, the MC1R melanocyte-stimulating hormone interacts with the dominant black gene in the K locus. The black gene simultaneously interacts with the A (Agouti) gene.


If you didn’t know, it’s the same gene responsible for the pure red and gold color of Shih Tzus.

Most black Shih Tzus aren’t very comfortable in extremely warm environments. They also need regular grooming as the black coat might hide the actual level of dust and dirt present. You must be careful with their long double coat as excessive force could hurt their skin.

2. White

One could argue that the pure white Shih Tzu is as rare as or even rarer than the pure black Shih Tzu.

But the real challenge is to differentiate a white Shih Tzu from an albino Shih Tzu, which we will discuss at the end.

Almost all white dogs of any breed typically lack pigmentation, and that’s one reason for their white coats.

The theory applies the same to white Shih Tzus the same. The rarity of the white Shih Tzu is mostly because white is a recessive color.

The second reason for the whiteness is the extreme dilution of pheomelanin pigment caused by the piebald gene.

white Shih Tzu standing on the floor

So, both parents must carry this gene for a white Shih Tzu puppy, theoretically.

But the most important feature is the color of their eyes, nose, and paw pads. 

Healthy white Shih Tzu pups should ideally have black eyes, noses, and paws. But upon closer inspection, their noses will look a little closer to a charcoal black — that’s how it should be.

The rest of the body must be covered with white fur without any colored patches or streaks of color.

White Shih Tzus don’t prefer messy and muddy outdoor situations. On the flip side, it only increases your effort to keep the dogs clean. Because if you get a white Shih Tzu, you should be ready to spend a lot of time grooming, even without outdoor adventures.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t identify white as a standard color. This is primarily because the color source is either the extreme dilution of a gene or a lack of pigmentation. 

Moreover, it’s highly recommended to check the pedigree of your white Shih Tzu before buying. While there are purebred white Shih Tzus, some breeders cross white Shih Tzu parents with Maltese to conveniently get that snowy white look.

On the flip side, breeders’ ability to produce unquestionable pedigree guarantees how well the dog’s parents have been taken care of. 

3. Blue

You’ll be lucky to come across a pure blue Shih Tzu. As mentioned earlier, solid color Shih Tzus are hard to come across and costly. 

There are times when the blue hue of Shih Tzus may look closer to grey. But the trick is to expose them to sunlight.

If the Shih Tzu coat doesn’t give out a noticeable blue shimmer, it’s probably not a genuine blue Shih Tzu.

In addition, the nose won’t always be black on blue Shih Tzu type; it should be an extremely dark blue or lavender.

Not only that, some pure blue Shih Tzus tend to have pale-colored or blue eyes too.

Blue Shih Tzu standing on the wooden floor

So, the blue Shih Tzus are beautiful and have a distinctive look.

Similar to white Shi Tzu, the blue coat of Shih Tzus occurs due to the interaction between the black allele and the D-locus dilution gene allele. This isn’t the same as lacking pigmentation of extreme dilution found in white Shih Tzus. 

That’s why blue is a standard color accepted by the AKC with the number 037. These numbers are the color registration numbers/codes by the American Kennel Club, which helps everyone recognize specific coat colors.

If not for the black pigment, the second source is the brown pigment. But it’s the same dilution gene that causes the blue color.

Nonetheless, you’re likely to confuse a black Shih Tzu with a blue version. If that confusion can happen in person, that possibility is sky-high when you view them via photographs. That’s why you must buy blue Shih Tzus only after seeing them in person.

However, the breeders continue to say that blue Shih Tzus carry higher health risks. This claim so far doesn’t have any scientific evidence. 

4. Brindle

Brindle is actually a color pattern that is common across multiple dog breeds. However, AKC accepts Brindle as a color under the registration code 057.

These registration codes are how you can know whether the color is standardized or not.

Additionally, the AKC accepts Brindle and white as an entirely different color combination with the registration code 059.

AKC’s position about brindle color should give you an idea about how distinct brindle Shih Tzus really are.

Brindle shih tzu lying in the beach

Brindle as a color originates from the yellow color family, closer to a dark brown. So, when brown becomes the base color, it is overlain by brown or black stripes. The primary requirement for a brindle Shih Tzu is a solid base coat.

The brindle color of Shih Tzu dogs is usually dark brown and yellowish. But a 057 brindle Shih Tzu won’t be authentic unless the dog doesn’t have black paw pads, mouth, and eye rims.

The colors aren’t as rare as conventional single Shih Tzu colors. But in parallel, finding two Shih Tzu dogs with the brindle color will be borderline impossible. 

But there’s one issue with 057 brindle Shih Tzus. It’s that their coat might drastically change as they leave puppyhood. That’s why it’s critical to choose a reputable breeder. Ideally, it’s better if you select a breeder.

As a Shih Tzu color, Brindle is very attractive, even if it’s technically a pattern. You’ll never have to groom them as much as you’ll groom a white Shih Tzu.

5. Gold

The first fact you must know about golden Shih Tzus is that some dogs lose the gold color as they age to pale yellow.

There’s no way of predicting whether it’ll happen when they’re puppies or young adults.

But if the color stays, the gold Shih Tzu has to be one of the most attractive Shih Tzu colors. They’re also not so common on the market but not as rare as pure black Shih Tzus.

You can also find many gold Shih Tzus mixed with markings of other colors, but they don’t fall under the 091 registration code.

Gold shih tzu standing on the ground

Gold is a standard and accepted color just as much as the gold and white combination.

Gold Shih Tzu pups are born with glamorous golden coats. Unless it fades away, the golden coat almost levels up to a more subtle shade. This color distribution looks phenomenal on adult golden Shih Tzus.

The color range is another distinctive characteristic of many gold Shih Tzu dogs. Although gold may resemble a tan-yellow hue, the color can vary from a light tan to deep gold. 

A significant reason for this color variation is the relative dominance between the related colors. Gold is recessive to black even if it is dominant to liver. 

These factors strictly affect the breeding process. For example, you’re likely to get red Shih Tzu puppies with black noses when you breed a gold male Shih Tzu with a black female Shih Tzu.

Don’t be surprised if the orange tinge is stronger in some golden Shih Tzus. But now you might ask yourself, “are there any red Shih Tzus?”

There are Red Shih Tzus, and that’s the next color on the list.

6. Red

It’s reasonable to confuse an adult coat color of a golden Shih Tzu with an orange tinge for a solid red Shih Tzu sometimes.

But don’t worry; you’re less likely to run into such situations. 

If you do, here’s a way to differentiate — a red Shih Tzu puppy will look much redder than a golden Shih Tzu with an orange tinge.

The color change only happens as they leave puppyhood. But there are occasions when red Shih Tzus are born almost entirely black.

Red shih tzu standing on the ground

Do you know how Irish Setters look? If you know, that’s a sound reference color palette on the Shih Tzu body to describe a red Shih Tzu. 

Adult red Shih Tzus are also mistaken as liver Shih Tzus by people who don’t know the critical difference. The difference is that red Shih Tzus have black points, and liver Shih Tzus almost always have brown points.

These points in dogs refer to the paws and nose primarily.

Red pigmentation that affects Shih Tzus is not recessive. In fact, it’s one of the most dominant color genes in the Shih Tzus. The dominance is so widely spread that the red pigment can produce gold or tan. What matters is the genetic interaction with other genes.

Remember that there are a lot of bi-colored and tri-colored Shih Tzus that have coats with more red color. These do not come under the code 140 standard red color, especially if they have white markings, which is a totally different category.

However, red Shih Tzus with a black mask or mild black markings are acceptable. The reason is the dominance of the black pigments in their points. 

The red Shih Tzu is a very eye-catching Shih Tzu version and not as expensive as white or black Shih Tzus at all.

7. Liver

Liver is another single standardized color according to the AKC under the registration code 123. 

Their brown noses are distinctive in color. But it’s not the coat that’s liver in color by the skin. That pushes their body genes to have lips and paw pads with a deep chocolate hue. 

Similar to other significant breeds, the liver Shih Tzus results from the dilution of the black pigment (eumelanin) by the B locus.

The liver gene is not dominant, increasing the difficulty of breeding them.

Liver shih tzu standing on the floor

So, how are they bred?

As the liver gene is recessive, the highest chance of a pure liver Shih Tzu puppy is when both parents carry the gene. 

But if you can’t seem to entertain that, you can always breed two black Shih Tzus with the dilution gene. You won’t get a pure-liver Shih Tzu, but you’ll get some liver-colored dogs.

Most of the popular breeds don’t prioritize breeding liver puppies. The reason is the genetic liability caused by the recessive dilution gene — but this isn’t the same with Shih Tzus, so don’t worry about that.

Nonetheless, liver Shih Tzus are still one of the most desired Shih Tzus colors. The trick is to find a breeder you can count on for the perfectly accurate hue.

8. Silver

White is not a standard yet accepted color by the AKC. But silver is both a standard and acceptable color with code 176. 

So, initially, you’d feel confused since white is a standard color in most dog breeds.

The issue is the lack of pigmentation and the probability of white Shih Tzus being confused with albino dogs.

Moreover, although there’s a genetic connection with the Weimaraner, it is believed unlikely to be the silver color’s source in the Shih Tzu breed.

As a result, silver is recognized Shih Tzu color.

Silver shih tzu standing in the water

You’ll notice the general paleness of a silver Shih Tzu’s coat but with a very distinct silvery sheen. This silvery sheen is absent in white Shih Tzus. Since there aren’t grey Shih Tzus, you won’t have to worry about interchanging a silver Shih Tzu with a grey variety.

Nonetheless, you’re likely to interchange a silver Shih Tzu with a white one. 

But you need to be extra careful as silver Shih Tzus can be more expensive than white Shih Tzus. Nonetheless, silver Shih Tzus also have black eye rims, pads, and even a nose similar to the white variety.

Some pure silver Shih Tzus are born completely black. The color transition happens only as they age. But black Shih Tzus are born black too — that’s why you need a reputable and trustworthy breeder.

Silver Shih Tzus need relatively more grooming than the breed’s darker variants. So, be prepared to allocate time and energy to maintain their exotic silver coat Shih Tzu coat color.

So far, you’ve read through some of the most common, uncommon, accepted, and unaccepted Shih Tzu colors. Up next are two of the solid yet extremely rare two colors.

Let’s see how they work.

9. Lavender or Isabella

Most pure dog breeds will always have at least one exotic coat color. For Shih Tzus, it’s lavender or isabella color.

For most breeds, the color is associated with the Weimaraner.

The lavender or isabella coat can be a little bit tricky to distinguish. The main reason is the color’s borderline similarity to liver or blue.

After all, the lavender Shih Tzu coat color results from dilution, which is the same gene as in liver and blue Shih Tzus.

But there’s a significant difference in the big picture. 

Isabella shih tzu standing in the car

The MLPH gene is present in the body of lavender Shih Tzus and the dilution gene. But for blue and liver Shiz Tzus, the initial pigment is black. For the lavender Shih Tzu coat color, however, the brown pigment dilutes the lavender hue.

Because of these genetic differences, lavender, lilac, or isabella-colored dogs are very rare. That rarity increases their market value as well. 

But don’t be surprised if the medical reports revealed that a lilac Shih Tzus was carrying a dilute for the liver color. This can take place under one condition. The eyes of the Shih Tzu have to be amber or hazel. If not, there will be a lilac tinge.


The AKC recognizes both liver and blue and not lavender. That lack of recognition keeps these beautiful Shih Tzu color varieties out of AKC dog shows.

Although isabella or lavender Shih Tzus are very rare, you can always get one bred via a reliable breeder.

When you’re checking for authenticity, be sure to check the eyes and the color under direct sunlight. That’s when the true coat colors can be seen.

Full lavender Shih Tzus are extremely rare and very expensive, although lavender Shih Tzus with whitish or light liver chest and tummies will be relatively cheaper.

Finally, remember that lilac, lavender, and Isabella Shih Tzu are the same color.

10. Albino

Albino is not a color but almost a condition. 

You guessed it right; the AKC doesn’t recognize albino as a color.

But does that mean albino Shih Tzus don’t have a market? They do! And it’s surprising how popular albino Shih Tzus are.

White Shih Tzus aren’t the same as albino Shih Tzus. But doesn’t the white coat make them equal? Absolutely not. They differ in three major ways.

Albino shih tzu lying on the floor

The first difference is eye color. White Shih Tzus typically have black or deep brown eyes. Albino Shih Tzus, on the flip side, have bluish eyes.

Bluish eyes on a white coat are the signature look for the albino variety. This increases the sensitivity of the albino dogs to light, especially sunlight.

In fact, that outlines their target audience, which you will read in a moment.

The second difference is the degree of dilution gene’s activity. The white pigmentation still lacks color pigments. But albino Shih Tzus are as if they were bleached. This removes the slightest hint of colors or whiteness but makes them look extremely pale. 

This extreme bleaching of-sort affects their skin.

And that’s the third difference. All healthy white Shih Tzus will always have black noses and paws. But albino Shih Tzus will always have pinkish noses and paws. The main reason is the alarming lacking of pigmentation in blood vessels just as much as in the eyes.

That’s how the white Shih Tzu differs from the albino variety. Nonetheless, albino Shih Tzus still have the same body features. 

The target market of albino Shih Tzus is dog parents who seek indoor dogs. Thanks to the small size and their own lack of motivation to go out, albino Shih Tzus make great indoor dogs.

However, you’ll have to pay extra attention to their health status. The albino version of any breed has a relatively very low immune system. 

Nonetheless, the albino Shih Tzu looks attractive to the right person. They make great pets if you’re prepared for the commitment.

With that, we have covered all the solid colors, including albino as well. 

Up next is the bi-colored Shih Tzu dog.

Shih Tzu Colors: Bi-Colored

Black and white shih tzu standing on the ground

The American Kennel Club accepts seven dual Shih Tzu colors. These are,

  • Black and white
  • Blue and white
  • Brindle and white
  • Gold and white
  • Liver and white
  • Red and white 
  • Silver and white 

At a glance, you can see the white color’s dominance in the dog breed. This dual color distribution is unique to Shih Tzus, unlike other similar-sized breeds. 

For example, Chihuahuas have dual color combinations such as black, tan, and so on. Although not standardized, there are three more accepted colors by the AKC. 

In addition to the above-mentioned dual colors, there are plenty of red and golden Shih Tzus. But AKC doesn’t recognize the color combination.

Let’s go over these colors one by one.

The black and white Shih Tzu is definitely one of the most popular and decently available types of color varieties. 

Most black and white Shih Tzus have a big white spot on their head, and the rest of the head, including the ears, is black. The coat is almost always of medium length. 

Most of the body is usually white, and the distribution of black is irregular but not as small as the markings would be. That would rule out their chance to be recognized as black and white.

On the flip side, the blue and white Shih Tzus tend to have a mixed-colored coat. The coat can have white and blue scattered all over or as an intermixed blue and white shade.

This doesn’t mean you won’t find a single blue and white Shih Tzu similar to the black and white distribution. However, the white-blue Shih Tzu is very popular and is not as rare as solid colors.

Brindle coat is considered a standard color, although it is a pattern with other breeds. After all, there is a distinct brindle pattern, which we will discuss shortly.

But Brindle and white are similar to black and white Shih Tzu as a pattern except for one major difference.

That difference is how the Shih Tzu’s face will have light brownish fur except for the dark brindle color.

This intermix makes the Brindle and white Shih Tzus look uniquely stunning, even on their body. Once again, this is not the same as the brindle patterns — they are two separate Shih Tzu colors.

Brindle coat shih tzu lying on the ground

The gold and white Shih Tzu is easy to spot, especially if the coat is long-haired. The white-gold color distribution is majestic and evenly spread. This evenness of the colors makes them remind you of peanut butter on bread or butterscotch ice cream.

It’s different when the coat is short, though. Don’t be disappointed if your golden white Shih Tzu looks like a white Shih Tzu had been dragged through the mud.

Some golden white Shih Tzus may look like black and white Shih Tzu dogs. The only difference is that there is gold instead of white.

Liver and white Shih Tzus could also be sold as brown and white Shih Tzus. The color is darker than the gold Shih Tzu coat but lighter than most Brindle and white varieties. The long-haired Shih Tzus of this type looks much more majestic than the short-haired ones usually. The main reason is the aesthetic color mixing.

The red and white Shih Tzu is basically the liver Shih Tzu if there was more redness to that brown tinge. There isn’t blood red and white Shih Tzus, although the AKC has named the color combination red and white — after all, there are solid red Shih Tzus. Most red and white Shih Tzus have white legs if not for genetic mutations.

Finally, the silver and white Shih Tzu is as attractive as you imagine.

Imagine a white Shih Tzu with the ideal amount of greyish-silver fur on its face and body — that’s the easiest to start describing them.

This “ideal” amount is much more than what you’d find in patterns. Some silver and white Shih Tzus have the same color patterns as the black and white ones. 

All of these color combinations have a shared characteristic, except for special cases. It’s black in color for paws, nose, and eye rims.

silver and white shih tzu standing on the ground

Now that you know about the dual colors, let’s look at the triple colors.

Shih Tzu Colors: Tri-Colored

There are no standard tricolor Shih Tzus. However, AKC still accepts some triple colors, as below,

  • Black, white, and silver
  • Silver, gold, and white
  • Black, gold, and silver
  • Black, gold, and white 

Solid-colored Shih Tzus are the rarest of single, dual, and tri-color combinations. But tri-colors aren’t as abundantly found as double-colored Shih Tzus. 

In fact, it’s a little difficult to determine the actual coat color of a tricolor dog. That’s because of how the average Shih Tzu changes color as they age. 

Most tri-colored Shih Tzus have a shared characteristic; the lighter colors on the chest and tummy.

You’ll likely see whitish stomachs and chests if the three colors have white. If it’s silver, then white replaces silver.

Black, white, and silver shih tzu lying on the floor

Black gold and silver are one of the sought combinations of tri colors. This is because of the shiny silver tinge that perfectly blends with the black and gold fur. But that’s rare.

Black gold and white are relatively rare. In fact, that’s the most common Shih Tzu color combination in the tricolor state. 

But there’s one issue — possibility. If your black gold and white Shih Tzu aren’t accepted under the 310 registration code, it will be considered a double-color Shih Tzu with white markings.

The most expensive tri-colored Shih Tzus tend to have black masks. The advantage of that to dog lovers is that this mask may not be present at birth. That increases your pet’s value.

Black, gold and silver shih tzu

Nonetheless, tri-colored Shih Tzus are very attractive, and you’d be lucky to come across just the type you like.

Best Patterns for a Shih Tzu Coat 

The AKC doesn’t list down any Shih Tzu coat patterns. But we did our research and filtered out the market’s three most defined Shih Tzu patterns.

These are,

  • Sable
  • Brindle 
  • Merle 

There can be several color combinations in the Shih Tzun coat patterns. It’s the pattern that scatters the colors aesthetically. 

Sable Shih Tzu dogs usually have black ends on all the fur. It’s the rest of the fur whose color changes from white to silver to tan to even brown.

It’s absolutely majestic how these Shih Tzus look with that aesthetic color scattering.

If you haven’t seen a sable Shih Tzu’s coat up close, distinguishing them might not be the easiest.

But that’s almost always because their coat is way too short. If the coat were longer, you’d notice the sable pattern nicely.

Sable Shih Tzu lying on the carpet

The only barrier for the Shih Tzu breeders is that they’re still figuring out how to breed Merle Shih Tzus according to what they expect.

As mentioned in this reading, Brindle is actually a pattern, although it is also a color for this breed. 

As a pattern, Brindle has a distinct “tiger striped” look. The Shih Tzu usually has a base color that is typically lighter than the Brindle’s.

The brindle pattern features color streaks spanning gold to brown and tan to black.

There’s a unique majestic appearance for all Brindle Shih Tzus, and that’s why they’re widely sought after in the market.

Some brindle puppies are lucky to be born with clearly identifiable brindle patterns.

Brindle Shih Tzu standing on the floor

But brindle puppies could also be born with either dark or thick stripes down their backs. They could be born with extremely light and narrow strips too. 

Since the color develops only gets distinctive as they age, this could be problematic for both Shih Tzu owners and breeders.

Merle Shih Tzu dog type typically has mottled spots all over the body. The base color is white for most merle dogs of the breed. The spots vary in color ranging from silver to blue to black. Only in rare situations will you find brown or gold. So, remember how to justify the price relative to the pattern rarity.

However, most Shih Tzu owners and breeders claim that the merle gene affects the eye of the dog. This gene accelerates the possibility of eye and ear complications.

Best Markings for a Shih Tzu Coat 

Tan marking shih tzu standing on the ground

The AKC accepts four marking types, which are,

  • White 
  • Tan 
  • Black
  • Black mask 

White markings are very common on the Shih Tzu dog. But unlike the dual-colored color variations, there would only be a few patches while the rest of the body will be of the solid base color. Don’t be surprised if you find some patches on the face too.

Moreover, white markings are very common on bi and tri-colored variations. They resemble the coloration seen on the Doberman Pinscher.

Tan markings, on the other hand, are rare. They’re usually found in colors such as white, black, and gold & white. The markings are similar in size and distribution to white markings. 

Black markings shouldn’t be confused with the black mask. Apart from that, black markings are the same as white and tan markings except for the color.

But it wouldn’t be considered black markings if several spots take about 40-50% of the body’s color.

On the flip side, black masks are very straightforward in being defined — a black mask on the face. You wouldn’t want a face fully covered with black hair.

The mask usually spreads the snout from the nose to the lower jaw. Black-masked dogs are hard to come across, increasing their market value.

Black mask Shih Tzu standing on the bed

Up next is the official table right from the American Kennel Club. Here you’ll find all the standard and acceptable single, bi, and tri colors.

Shih Tzu Colors and Markings Recognized By the AKC

Shih Tzu Colors

BlackStandard color007
Black & WhiteStandard color019
Black White & Silver033
BlueStandard color037
Blue & WhiteStandard color045
BrindleStandard color057
Brindle & WhiteStandard color059
GoldStandard color091
Gold & WhiteStandard color092
LiverStandard color123
Liver & WhiteStandard color125
RedStandard color140
Red & WhiteStandard color146
SilverStandard color176
Silver & WhiteStandard color182
Silver Gold & White188
Black Gold & Silver235
Black Gold & White310

Shih Tzu Markings

White Markings014
Tan MarkingsStandard marking012
Black MarkingsStandard marking002
Black MaskStandard marking004

Which Shih Tzu Color is Right for You?

Shih tzu dogs standing on the ground

Choosing the color of your puppy is one of the hardest decisions you can face. It only gets more complicated as the number of choices increases. So, which coat color is right for you?

Let’s divide the dog parents into five categories: the pet parents looking for a relatively cheap Shih Tzus, those looking for expensive and rare Shih Tzus, and those looking for indoor pets.

There are two more types: pet parents who have a lot of time to allocate for pet care and those who don’t.


Shih Tzus are affectionate with families and good with young children and other dogs. They can also be well-trained thanks to their high energy levels. They don’t bark too much and don’t require that much mental stimulation. 

That’s according to the American Kennel Club.

For Pet Parents Looking for Relatively Cheaper Shih Tzus 

These parents can go for bi-colored Shih Tzus and tri-colored Shih Tzus with many markings. They’re commonly found and relatively inexpensive. Some good examples of colors are black and white, blue and white, and maybe even a brindle pattern.

For Pet Parents Looking for Expensive and Rare Shih Tzus

As mentioned throughout the passage, single solid colors are the rarest. So, maybe you can try going for a solid black or blue Shih Tzu.

On the flip side, there are rare tri-colored Shih Tzus as well. These dogs are considered exotic as long as there is no sign of markings or colors fading.

For Pet Parents Looking for Indoor Pets 

The albino Shih Tzu just might be the ideal solution for you. But there’s no stopping them from getting any other color and training them to stay indoors.

For Pet Parents Who Can Allocate a Lot of Time to the Pets

While you can always get darker colors, lighter colors such as gold, white, or even liver might work for you. But remember that grooming will need more time over dark colors.

For Pet Parents Who Don’t Have a Lot of Time for the Pets

Darker colors are your savior if you can’t find time, as their coats only need a little maintenance, including cleaning. So, black, Brindle, merle, or even red Shih Tzus should be suitable for you.

Related articles:

In Conclusion 

Buying a Shih Tzu shouldn’t be a big deal if you have carefully read everything so far. Now you know some tactics and verification methods that only breeders know — increasing your chances of getting your dream Shih Tzu with the best quality.

Knowing all about colors should give you the confidence to make a better choice. After all, that’s the sole purpose of iPetGuides — we want you to have the best Shih Tzu.

All this knowledge is tailored just for that.


The rarest color of Shih Tzu is pure black.

The most common color of Shih Tzu is black and gold with white markings on the face.

Yes, Shih Tzus change color. They typically transition from puppyhood to adulthood around their first year, and this is usually accompanied by a change in color.

The cost of a Shih Tzu puppy ranges from $700 to $3000.

There are 14 AKC-recognized standard colors and 3 standard markings for Shih Tzu.

The Shih Tzu has an average lifespan of 10 to 18 years.

Shih Tzus commonly experience problems with breathing, eyes, joints, and hormones.

Yes, the Shih Tzu breed is known for being people-oriented and very clingy.

Was this article helpful?

User Avatar
Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

Leave a Comment