Different Shih Tzu Colors

Shih Tzu Colors

Shih Tzus come in many different colors. In fact, many Shih Tzu puppies have so many colors that owners may not know for sure which is the dominant coloring. This may cause some confusion as the AKC and other kennel clubs have a list of official colors for Shih Tzus. When a puppy is registered, using the properly recognize coloring is recommended to avoid any confusion.

What makes it worse is that many Shih Tzus will change color as they mature from puppies to adults. This means when registering your young Shih Tzu as one color, that may change considerably by the time they fully mature. That is one reason why it is important to note the official colors as recognized by the AKC.

AKC Recognized Colors

It should be noted that Shih Tzus may be recognized by single, double, and even triple colors. What follows is a list of recognized colors and color combinations by the AKC.

  • Black, Black & White
  • Blue, Blue & White
  • Brindle, Brindle & White
  • Gold, Gold & White
  • Liver/Brown/Chocolate, Liver & White
  • Red, Red & White
  • Silver, Silver & White
  • White
  • Black Gold & Silver
  • Black Gold & White
  • Black, White, & Silver
  • Silver, Gold, & White

In addition, there are distinctive markings that may be recognized as well.

  • Black, Black Mask
  • Tan
  • White

What makes a Shih Tzu double or triple colored is the percentage of each color present in the hair. This means that a small amount of a different color does not change the single coloring of the dog. But a significant amount of a secondary and even tertiary coloring will mark the Shih Tzu as either double or tripled colored.

Solid Colors

Shih Tzus that are primarily one color are rarely fully that color. A black Shih Tzu, for example, will usually have some white on the chest or other locations. However, pure black Shih Tzus do exist. A blue Shih Tzu, however, is not really blue, but actually a subtle combination of colors that when put together have a blue hue.

As with blue, Shih Tzus that are brindle are also a combination of different colors. In fact, brindle is really a pattern and not a color. A liver-colored Shih Tzu may range from light to dark in their coloring, but they are not chocolate as the AKC does not recognize that color in Shih Tzus.

Silver and gold are common colors with Shih Tzus, and they are often mixed with other colors as well. Red is quite rare and mostly found in puppies that tend to fade as they mature.

Double & Triple Coloring

All double and triple colored Shih Tzus have white as one of the possible color combinations. Black and white is arguably the most common. However, it is possible that a triple-colored Shih Tzu may not have any white in its coat at all, but this is quite rare.

Shih Tzus come in many different colors and color combinations. For registration purposes with recognized organizations such as the AKC, it is important to fully understand which colors should be used.

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