SHIH TZU 4U

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Shih Tzu Colors - Complete Guide

Dry skin on your Shih Tzu can be uncomfortable and irritating. Although it’s fairly common, it’s important to understand the causes and prevention of dry skin, as well as how to best treat it if it occurs.

 

This article will explore the causes, preventive measures that can be taken to reduce its occurrence, and home remedies and treatments that can be used when needed.

Article Contents

Importance Of Understanding The Different Colors Of A Shih Tzu

Understanding the different colors of a Shih Tzu is important for several reasons.

 

Firstly, it helps you identify the breed of your dog more accurately. Shih Tzus come in a variety of colors, and each one has distinct physical and behavioral characteristics. By understanding the different colors, you can better understand your dog’s traits and needs.

 

Secondly, knowing about the different colors can help you choose the right Shih Tzu for your lifestyle.

 

Some colors are more common than others, and certain colors may be more desirable for some owners than others. For example, if you have allergies, you may want to consider a white Shih Tzu, as they tend to produce less dander than other colors.

shih tzu

Thirdly, understanding the different colors of a Shih Tzu can help you identify potential health issues.

 

Certain colors are associated with genetic health problems, and by knowing about these issues, you can take steps to ensure that your dog stays healthy and happy.

 

For example, blue Shih Tzus are prone to skin problems and deafness, so owners of blue Shih Tzus should be especially vigilant about their pet’s skin and hearing.

 

In addition, knowing about the different colors of a Shih Tzu can help you care for your dog’s coat more effectively. Different colors may require different grooming techniques or products, and by knowing about these differences, you can ensure that your dog’s coat stays healthy and shiny.

 

Overall, understanding the different colors of a Shih Tzu is an important part of being a responsible Shih Tzu owner. It can help you care for your dog’s physical and emotional needs, and ensure that they live a happy and healthy life.

 

So, take the time to learn about the different colors of this beloved breed – you and your furry friend will be glad you did!

Overview Of The Shih Tzu Breed

The Shih Tzu is a small dog breed that originated in China over 1,000 years ago. They were originally bred as lap dogs for Chinese royalty and were prized for their beauty, loyalty, and playful personalities.

 

Today, they are a popular breed around the world and are known for their distinctive, long, and silky coat, as well as their friendly and outgoing temperament.

 

Shih Tzus are small dogs, typically weighing between 9 and 16 pounds and standing 9 to 10.5 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a compact, muscular build and a distinctive “chrysanthemum” face, with a short snout and large, expressive eyes.

 

One of the most notable features of the Shih Tzu is their long, flowing coat, which can come in a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, and gold. This coat requires regular grooming to keep it clean, tangle-free, and healthy.

 

Despite their small size, Shih Tzus are known for their playful and outgoing personalities. They love spending time with their owners and are often described as affectionate, loyal, and protective. They are also great with children and make wonderful family pets.

 

Overall, the Shih Tzu is a beloved breed that has been cherished for centuries for their beauty, loyalty, and playful nature. They make wonderful companions for families and individuals alike, and their distinctive appearance and personality have made them a popular breed around the world.

Solid Colors, Color Combinations, Markings, & Patterns

Shih Tzus come in a variety of solid colors and color combinations. In addition to these colors, Shih Tzus can also have a variety of markings and patterns, such as the parti-color pattern, which is a combination of two or more colors in a single coat.

 

Bellow, we will cover all the different colors in depth.

Solid Colors

Black

 

Black is one of the most popular coat colors of the Shih Tzu breed. This color can range from a solid jet black to a mix of black and white, known as “black and white parti.”

 

Shih Tzus with a black coat typically have a shiny, smooth and straight coat that is medium to long in length. However, they do require regular grooming to prevent tangling and matting. They may also have a black mask around the eyes or black tipping on the ears.

 

It is important to note that while black is a dominant color, it can also be influenced by other genes, resulting in variations in coat color and pattern. For example, a Shih Tzu with a black and white parti coat may have patches of black and white throughout their coat.

 

Black Shih Tzus are known for their regal and elegant appearance, which is enhanced by their long, flowing coat.

 

When considering a black Shih Tzu as a pet, it is important to note that they may be more susceptible to skin conditions such as allergies or hot spots. Regular grooming, a healthy diet, and proper skin care can help prevent these issues.

 

Overall, black Shih Tzus are a beautiful color variation of this beloved breed.

black shih tzu

White

 

The solid white coat color is another popular and highly sought-after color variation of the Shih Tzu breed. This color is characterized by a coat that is completely white with no other color markings or patterns.

 

Shih Tzus with a solid white coat often has a soft, silky, and straight coat that requires regular grooming to maintain its beauty and health. They may also have a slightly round face with a short snout and large, expressive eyes, which gives them a cute and adorable appearance.

 

One of the advantages of the solid white coat is that it is relatively easy to maintain, as dirt and stains are more easily visible on a white coat, allowing owners to spot-clean or bathe them more frequently.

 

However, it is important to note that white-coated Shih Tzus may be more prone to tear stains around the eyes, which can be prevented or treated with proper grooming and care.

 

Overall, the solid white coat color is a beautiful and elegant variation of the Shih Tzu breed that is highly sought-after by many owners.

white shih tzu

Silver

 

The solid silver coat color is a rare and unique variation of the Shih Tzu breed. This color is characterized by a coat that is a light grayish-silver color without any other markings or patterns.

 

Because of its rarity, the solid silver coat color is highly sought after by many owners who are looking for a unique and striking appearance.

 

However, it is important to note that the solid silver coat color can be difficult to maintain, as dirt and stains are more visible on a light-colored coat.

 

It is important to note that while the solid silver coat color is a beautiful and unique variation of the Shih Tzu breed, it is not recognized by all breed standards. As with any dog, potential owners should do their research and find a reputable breeder.

 

Overall, the solid silver coat color is a beautiful and rare variation of the Shih Tzu breed that can provide a striking and unique appearance.

silver shih tzu

Red

 

The Solid Red Coat color is one of the most popular and sought-after colors on a Shih Tzu.

 

It’s known for its deep, rich hue and its all-over solid color. The Shih Tzu is known to have many coat variations, but the red coat stands out among them. Its vibrant color adds a touch of elegance to any Shih Tzu, making it a great choice for show dogs or family pets.

 

Red coats are created by both recessive and dominant genes in the breed’s genetic makeup and it tends to be more consistent in its hue compared to other colors once achieved.

 

In order to maintain this beautiful shade, regular grooming is required as red coats can easily become matted or stained if not properly cared for.

red shih tzu

Gold

 

The solid gold coat color is a rich, warm shade of gold that can vary in intensity from a light golden blonde to a deep, rich gold. The coat is usually very soft and silky and requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

 

In terms of genetics, the solid gold coat color is determined by a dominant gene, which means that a dog only needs to inherit one copy of the gene from either parent in order to have the solid gold coat color.

 

However, there can be variations in the shade and intensity of the gold color, depending on the specific genes that are passed down from the parents.

 

While the solid gold coat color is a beautiful and popular choice for Shih Tzu owners, it’s important to note that coat color should not be the only factor considered when choosing a dog. Health, temperament, and overall suitability for your lifestyle should also be taken into account when deciding to bring a Shih Tzu into your home.

gold shih tzu

Liver

 

The solid liver coat color is a relatively rare color in Shih Tzus, but it is a beautiful and unique shade that is highly sought after by some breed enthusiasts. The liver color is a rich, dark brown that can vary in intensity from a light brown to a deep, chocolate brown.

 

The liver color is caused by a recessive gene that must be inherited from both parents in order for a Shih Tzu to have a solid liver coat color. This means that two dogs with liver genes must be bred together in order to produce puppies with the liver color.

 

Like all Shih Tzus, those with a solid liver coat require regular grooming to keep their long, silky coats healthy and free from matting and tangling. It’s important to note that the liver color can be more prone to fading than other coat colors, so it’s important to take steps to protect the coat from excessive sun exposure or harsh chemicals that can cause damage.

liver shih tzu

Blue

 

The solid blue coat color is a rare and highly sought-after color in Shih Tzus. The blue color is a beautiful and unique shade of gray-blue that can vary in intensity from a light, silvery blue to a deep, slate blue.

 

The blue color is caused by a dilution gene that affects the expression of the black pigment in the coat. This gene causes the black pigment to be diluted, resulting in the blue color. In order for a Shih Tzu to have a solid blue coat, it must inherit two copies of the dilution gene – one from each parent.

 

Breeding for the solid blue coat color can be challenging, as two dogs with the dilution gene must be bred together in order to produce blue puppies.

 

However, because the blue color is rare and highly valued, breeders may use genetic testing to identify dogs with the dilution gene in order to produce blue puppies.

blue shih tzu

Color Combinations

Double Color Combinations

Tri-Color Combinations

As you can see above the Shih Tzu breed comes in a wide variety of coat colors, making them a popular choice for those who want a dog with a unique and beautiful coat. Here are some common color combinations seen in Shih Tzus:

black and white shih tzu

The brindle coat color is a unique and striking pattern that can be found in Shih Tzus. The brindle pattern is a mixture of brown, black, and sometimes white, creating a swirled or striped effect on the coat.

 

Brindle Shih Tzus can have different patterns and variations of the brindle coat. Some may have a lighter brown color mixed with black, while others may have a darker brown color mixed with black. The white may be present as small patches or stripes.

 

The brindle coat color is a result of a specific gene that affects the distribution of pigments in the coat. This gene causes the brown and black pigments to mix together in a unique way, creating the brindle pattern.

brindle shih tzu
gold and white shih tzu

As you can see, the color combinations of Shih Tzu coat colors are almost endless, which makes them a fun and interesting breed for those who love a unique and eye-catching coat.

Markings

Shih Tzus can have various markings on their coat, which add to their unique and charming appearance. Some of the common markings found on a Shih Tzu’s coat are black masks, Doberman Pinscher (dobie) markings, and black tips.

 

Black Mask

 

Black masks are a distinctive marking found on the face of some Shih Tzus. This marking is black coloring on the muzzle and around the eyes.

 

The rest of the coat may be a different color or pattern, but the black mask adds a striking contrast to the face. Black masks are often seen in Shih Tzus with white or light-colored coats.

Dobie Markings

 

Dobie markings are another unique marking found on some Shih Tzus. This pattern is similar to the markings found on Doberman Pinschers, with a tan or light brown color on the eyebrows, cheeks, and legs, and a black color on the rest of the body. This pattern can add a unique and eye-catching look to the coat.

Black Tips

 

Black tips are a marking found on some Shih Tzus with longer coats. This marking is a black color on the tips of the fur, giving the coat a darker appearance on the ends. This can be seen in Shih Tzus with a variety of coat colors and patterns.

Saddle Markings

 

A marking found on the back of some Shih Tzus, consisting of a darker color on the back and a lighter color on the sides and belly.

Ticking

 

A pattern consisting of small flecks or spots of color, typically white or black, on a solid or parti-colored coat.

How Genetics Affects The Color Of A Shih Tzu

The coat color of a Shih Tzu is determined by genetics, specifically by the inheritance of genes that control the production and distribution of pigments in the hair shafts. The genes that control coat color in Shih Tzus are complex, with many different genes interacting to produce the final color.

 

There are several genes that can influence the coat color of a Shih Tzu. One of the most important genes is the melanin gene, which controls the production of pigments in the hair shafts. The amount and type of pigment produced by this gene can result in different colors, such as black, brown, and white.

Another important gene is the dilution gene, which can affect the expression of the black pigment in the coat. Dogs with two copies of the dilution gene will have a blue coat color, while dogs with one copy of the gene will have a diluted coat color, such as silver or gray.

 

The inheritance of these genes can be complex and unpredictable, with different combinations of genes resulting in different coat colors and patterns. Breeders may use genetic testing to identify dogs with certain coat color genes in order to produce specific coat colors in their puppies.

Besides genetics, there are several other factors that can affect the color of a Shih Tzu’s coat. Here’s a list of some common ones:

These are just a few examples of things that can affect the color of a Shih Tzu’s coat, aside from genetics. Proper care and attention can help maintain a healthy and vibrant coat for your furry friend.

The color of a Shih Tzu’s coat can change over time due to a variety of factors. One of the most common reasons for color change is age. Puppies may have lighter colors that darken as they mature, while older dogs may have graying or whitening of their coat.

 

Another factor that can cause color change is sun exposure. Shih Tzus with lighter colors or white fur are particularly susceptible to fading or bleaching from excessive exposure to sunlight. This can cause a once vibrant coat to appear dull or faded.

 

Nutrition can also play a role in the color of a Shih Tzu’s coat. A balanced diet with essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and protein can help maintain a healthy coat.

 

On the other hand, a poor diet or nutrient deficiencies can lead to a lackluster or dull coat.

shih tzu

Grooming practices can also impact the color of a Shih Tzu’s coat. Regular brushing, bathing, and trimming can help remove dirt, debris, and dead hair, which can dull the coat’s color.

 

Failing to groom a Shih Tzu properly can cause matting, which can cause a change in coat color or even lead to discoloration or damage to the coat.

 

Certain health conditions, such as thyroid issues or allergies, can also cause changes in coat color. It’s important to monitor a Shih Tzu’s coat for any changes or abnormalities and consult with a veterinarian if necessary.

 

Lastly, the environment in which a Shih Tzu lives can affect their coat color. Exposure to chemicals or pollutants, such as chlorine from swimming pools, can cause discoloration or damage to the coat.

 

Overall, the color of a Shih Tzu’s coat can change over time due to a variety of factors. Proper care, grooming, and attention to your pet’s health can help maintain a healthy and vibrant coat for your furry friend.

Maintaining the color of a Shih Tzu’s coat requires regular care and attention. Here are some tips to help you keep your pet’s coat looking healthy and vibrant:

By following these tips, you can help maintain the color of your Shih Tzu’s coat and keep it looking healthy and vibrant.

Below is a list of related articles related to the health of your Shih Tzu’s coat that you might find helpful:

 

Best Food For A Shih Tzu.

Shih Tzu Raw Diet.

Best Shampoo For A Shih Tzu.

How To Groom A Shih Tzu At Home.

Best Brush For A Shih Tzu.

Dematting Comb For A Shih Tzu.

Below is a list of the official Shih Tzu colors and markings accepted by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and their registration code.

 

According to the AKC – “A description of the ideal dog of each recognized breed, to serve as an ideal against which dogs are judged at shows, originally laid down by a parent breed club and accepted officially by national or international bodies.”

Colors

AKC shih tzu colors

Markings

AKC shih tzu colors

What Is The Most Common Shih Tzu Color?

 

The most common color for a Shih Tzu is gold. Gold Shih Tzus can range from a light, creamy color to deep, rich gold. It’s important to note that while gold is the most common color, Shih Tzus can come in a wide range of colors and color combinations, as recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Other common colors include black and white, black, and various shades of brown (such as liver and red).

 

What Is The Rarest Color For A Shih Tzu?

 

The rarest color for a Shih Tzu is generally considered to be the blue or lavender color. Blue or lavender Shih Tzus have a unique and distinctive coat color that is a result of a dilution gene.

 

This dilution gene can also cause the nose and paw pads of the dog to have a blue or lavender tint. It’s worth noting, however, that while blue or lavender Shih Tzus are considered rare, they are still recognized as an official color by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

 

Other rare colors for Shih Tzus include solid liver and solid black, as these colors are not as commonly seen in the breed.

 

Do Shih Tzus Change Color?

 

Yes, Shih Tzus can change color over time due to a variety of factors. As Shih Tzus age, their coat color may fade or become lighter.

 

Additionally, sun exposure can cause a Shih Tzu’s coat color to change or become lighter. Health conditions can also impact a Shih Tzu’s coat color, as certain conditions can cause hair loss or changes in pigmentation.

 

Furthermore, grooming practices such as dyeing a Shih Tzu’s fur can also cause temporary changes in color. It’s important to note that while a Shih Tzu’s coat color may change, it does not impact their overall health or personality.

 

Are Blue Shih Tzus Actually Blue?

 

While the color of a “blue” Shih Tzu is not an actual blue color as we might know it, it does have a tint, or “blueish” look. Blue Shih Tzus have a unique and distinctive coat color that is the result of a dilution gene. This dilution gene can cause the color of the Shih Tzu’s coat to appear blue or grayish-blue.

 

It’s worth noting that while the blue coloration is distinct, it can also vary in intensity and may appear more subtle or muted in some dogs.

 

Additionally, blue Shih Tzus may have a blue or lavender tint to their nose and paw pads.

 

Overall, the blue coloration is a recognized and unique feature of some Shih Tzus and is one of the official coat colors recognized by the American Kennel Club.

 

Are Black Shih Tzus Rare?

 

Solid black Shih Tzus are considered rare compared to other color combinations. This is because black is a dominant gene and therefore, other colors and markings are often more prevalent in the breed.

 

However, black and white or black and gold color combinations are quite common for Shih Tzus, and solid black Shih Tzus can still be found through selective breeding or by chance.

 

Ultimately, the rarity of a solid black Shih Tzu may vary depending on the specific breeder or region.

Gallery Of Different Colored Shih Tzus

Further Reading

If you would like to dig deeper into all areas of caring for your Shih Tzu we recommend you check out the book below.

shih tzu complete guide book cover

Using interviews with 17 top Shih Tzu breeders, author and experienced Shih Tzu owner Molly Weinfurter has created an in-depth look at what it takes to successfully live with, raise, and train a Shih Tzu.

 

This book has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon with over 220 reviews.

Summary

In conclusion, the Shih Tzu breed offers a variety of stunning coat colors and patterns that make them unique and lovable companions.

 

From solid gold and silver to parti-color and brindle, there is a Shih Tzu for every color preference. It’s important to note that genetics play a significant role in determining a Shih Tzu’s coat color, but other factors such as diet and environment can also impact the shade and vibrancy of their coat.

 

While certain colors may be more popular or sought after than others, it’s important to remember that a Shih Tzu’s coat color does not determine their personality or temperament.

 

Whether you have a solid black Shih Tzu or a parti-color Shih Tzu with white and brown spots, they all share the same loving and playful nature that makes them such wonderful pets.

 

Owners can maintain their Shih Tzu’s coat color by providing a nutritious diet and regular grooming, which includes bathing, brushing, and trimming. Regular visits to the veterinarian can also help ensure that any underlying health issues are addressed promptly, which can impact the appearance of their coat.

 

In summary, the colors of a Shih Tzu’s coat are diverse and beautiful, but ultimately, it’s their loving and affectionate personalities that make them such cherished pets.

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