Shih Tzu Dog Colors And Markings

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Shih Tzu dog colors and markings can vary, but a wholly black or pure white Shih Tzu without any markings is considered rare. The color of a Shih Tzu’s coat is determined by genetics, and some colors may fade over time.

Identifying a purebred Shih Tzu puppy can be done by carefully observing specific markings, such as the “Dobie” markings on a black-haired puppy, which appear in particular patterns and locations on the body.

Introduction To Shih Tzu Dog Colors And Markings

Shih Tzu dog colors and markings are determined by genetics, with black being the most dominant gene. Wholly black or pure white Shih Tzus are rare, and white puppies with black markings are virtually unheard of. The coat colors of Shih Tzus can change over time, with fading occurring in puppies as young as a month old.

The colors and markings of the adorable Shih Tzu breed are fascinating aspects of their appearance. Understanding the various coat colors and markings of Shih Tzus can help you appreciate their uniqueness and beauty. This article will provide an overview of the Shih Tzu breed, discuss their key physical features, and explain the importance of colors and markings in these delightful dogs.

Overview Of The Shih Tzu Breed

The Shih Tzu is a toy dog breed that originated from Tibet and is thought to be a result of crossing the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso. Known for their short snouts, large round eyes, long coat, floppy ears, and quick and stout posture, Shih Tzus are irresistibly charming. They have a playful, affectionate, clever, friendly, and lively temperament, making them great companions for individuals and families.

Key Physical Features Of Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus have several prominent physical features that make them easily recognizable. Their most distinctive feature is their abundant coat, which is long and flowing. The skin comes in various colors: black, white, brindle, liver & white, light brown, dark brown, black & white, blue, and gold. Additionally, Shih Tzus has a short snout, large round eyes that shine with warmth, and floppy ears that add to their adorable appeal.

Explanation Of The Importance Of Colors And Markings

The colors and markings of Shih Tzus play a significant role in their appearance and can vary widely. These color variations add charm and individuality to each dog. Although some colors are more commonly seen, there are rare colorings like completely black Shih Tzus without any white markings or pure white Shih Tzus. Identifying the stains and markings of these beloved dogs is exciting and can assist with breeding and contribute to their value in certain circles.

In conclusion, Shih Tzu dog colors and markings are a captivating aspect of this breed’s charm. By understanding the overview of the Shih Tzu breed, their vital physical features, and the significance of colors and markings, you can appreciate the unique beauty of each Shih Tzu. Whether you are a dog lover, breeder, or simply curious about these delightful dogs, exploring their colors and markings will bring you joy and admiration.

Shih Tzu Dog Colors And Markings


Common Shih Tzu Dog Colors

Shih Tzus come in various colors and markings, making them an attractive and diverse breed. Let’s explore some of the standard Shih Tzu dog colors:


Black is a classic color for Shih Tzus. These dogs have a beautiful jet-black coat that can have a glossy sheen. The black coloring is often solid, but some black Shih Tzus may have white markings on their chest or paws.


White Shih Tzus are elegant and regal in appearance. Their pure white coats make them stand out in a crowd. While white is a striking color, it should be noted that entirely white Shih Tzus are pretty rare. Most white Shih Tzus have some degree of color markings, typically on their ears or back.


The brindle color pattern is a unique and eye-catching combination of light and dark streaks. Brindle Shih Tzus have a base color, usually gold or brown, with darker stripes or spots scattered throughout their coat. This gives them a distinct and beautiful appearance.

Liver & White

Liver and white Shih Tzus are characterized by a rich brown or chocolate coat and white markings. This color combination creates a striking contrast and adds an element of uniqueness to the dog’s appearance.


Liver-colored Shih Tzus have a deep, rich brown coat. This color is often uniform throughout their body, giving them a luxurious and velvety appearance. Liver Shih Tzus are less common than other colors, making them quite unique.

Light Brown

Light brown Shih Tzus have a warm and inviting color that ranges from a light caramel shade to a golden hue. This color is often associated with sweetness, making the dog look even more adorable.

Dark Brown

Dark brown Shih Tzus has a deep and intense color that exudes elegance and sophistication. The dark brown coat can have variations in shade, ranging from rich chocolate to a velvety mahogany.

Black & White

Black and white Shih Tzus have a striking coat pattern where black and white colors are evenly distributed on their body. This combination creates a visually appealing contrast that enhances the dog’s appearance.


Blue Shih Tzus has a dilute grayish-blue coat color that is unique. This color is not as standard as other Shih Tzu colors, making blue Shih Tzus stand out.


Gold is a popular and sought-after color for Shih Tzus. These dogs have a warm, lustrous golden coat that radiates beauty and charm. The gold color can range from a light blonde to a deep amber shade.

Overall, Shih Tzus comes in various colors, each bringing its unique charm and beauty. Whether you prefer the classic black or white, the striking brindle, or the warm and luxurious shades of brown and gold, there is a Shih Tzu color that will capture your heart. The different coat colors and markings add to the breed’s appeal, making them even more lovable and adorable.

Rare Shih Tzu Dog Colors And Markings



Shih Tzu dogs are known for their beautiful coat colors and unique markings. While there are many common color combinations, some rare color variations are highly sought after by Shih Tzu enthusiasts. This article will explore these rare colors and markings in detail.

When it comes to Shih Tzu dog colors and markings, there are several rare combinations that dog lovers highly covet. These rare color variations add a touch of uniqueness and charm to these already adorable dogs. Let’s take a look at some of the rare color combinations you may come across:

Color Combination Description
Completely Black A Shih Tzu without any white markings is considered one of the rarest color combinations. These dogs have a solid black coat that adds elegance and sophistication.
Pure White Another rare color variation is a Shih Tzu with a pure white coat. These dogs have no markings or any other mixed color. Their pristine white fur makes them stand out in a crowd and exude a sense of purity and grace.
Black with White Markings While a completely black Shih Tzu is rare, a black dog with white markings is even more uncommon. These dogs have a predominantly black coat with specific white areas, such as on their chest, paws, or face. The contrast between the black and white adds a striking visual appeal.

Wholly black or pure white Shih Tzus are considered rare due to the breed’s dominance of other coat colors and markings. The genetics behind coat color inheritance in Shih Tzus can be complex, resulting in a wide range of colors and patterns. However, black and white are relatively less common than other color variations.

A completely black Shih Tzu, without any white markings, is rare. The presence of the dominant black gene in a Shih Tzu’s genetic makeup usually results in the dog having some white markings, such as on the chest or paws. A Shih Tzu with no white markings is considered to be quite rare and sought after by breed enthusiasts.

Similarly, a pure white Shih Tzu is also relatively uncommon. The absence of any color or markings adds a rarity to these dogs. While white Shih Tzus with other colors mixed in, such as black or brown, are more common, a completely pure white Shih Tzu is a rare gem.

It’s important to note that rarity does not necessarily mean better or superior. Each Shih Tzu, regardless of its color or markings, is a unique and lovable companion.

Highlighting The Dobie Markings On A Shih Tzu

One unique and eye-catching marking pattern in Shih Tzus is the Dobie markings. This term refers to black markings on a predominantly light-colored coat, resembling those on a Doberman Pinscher. While it is not a typical marking pattern, it is highly sought after by Shih Tzu enthusiasts who appreciate its distinct and striking appearance.

Shih Tzus with Dobie markings usually have a light-colored coat, such as cream or white, with black markings on their muzzle, eyebrows, ears, and sometimes paws and tail. These markings create a beautiful contrast and make the dog stand out from the crowd.

While Dobie markings are not as rare as wholly black or pure white Shih Tzus, they are still considered uncommon and add a touch of uniqueness to the breed.

Overall, rare Shih Tzu dog colors and markings offer a glimpse into the diversity and beauty of this beloved breed. Whether it’s an entirely black or pure white Shih Tzu or a dog with unique Dobie markings, these rare variations add an element of exclusivity to the already enchanting nature of Shih Tzus.


Shih Tzu Dog Colors And Markings


Shih Tzu Dog Colors And Markings


Frequently Asked Questions On Shih Tzu Dog Colors And Markings

What’s The Rarest Shih Tzu Color?

The rarest Shih Tzu color is entirely black without any white markings. A pure white Shih Tzu is also rare, and a white puppy with black markings is virtually unheard of.

How Do You Tell What Color A Shih Tzu Will Be?

A Shih Tzu’s color can be determined by genetics. Their coat may lighten or gray over time, depending on specific genes. Black Shih Tzus without white markings are rare, while pure white Shih Tzus are uncommon. White puppies with black markings are extremely rare.

How Do I Know If My Shih Tzu Is Purebred?

To determine if your Shih Tzu is purebred, you can look for specific markings, such as a completely black coat without any white markings or a pure white coat without any other colors. These color combinations are rare in Shih Tzus and indicate a purebred dog.

Genetics also play a role in determining the color of a Shih Tzu’s coat, as they may lighten or gray over time. You can learn more about identifying pure Shih Tzu puppies on YouTube.

What Are Dobie Markings On A Shih Tzu?

Dobie markings on a Shih Tzu are sporadic and highly prized. They are tan markings on a black pigment, a black-haired puppy. These markings appear in specific patterns on specific body locations, such as over each eye, jowls, lower legs, and under the tail.

Shih Tzu’s coat colors vary, but Dobie’s markings are unique and special.


Shih Tzu dog colors and markings can vary greatly, offering a wide range of unique and beautiful combinations. While black and white are the most common colors, pure black or white Shih Tzus are rare. The coat color of a Shih Tzu is determined by genetics, and their coat may change as they age.

There are also unique markings, like Dobie, which are highly prized. Understanding the different colors and markings of Shih Tzus adds to their charm and individuality.

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