Black and White Shih Tzus just look beautiful.  The different colours of a Shih Tzu are truly a delight to most Shih Tzu owners. Once you realize this, the awe often leads to an obsession to the breed. Unlike other breeds that have specific or limited coat colours, Shih Tzus has so many different colours and markings.

Newborn Shih Tzus can be registered to the American Kennel Club as a solid colour, a combination of two colours, or a combination of three (tricolour). They can even be registered depending on their skin colour rather than their coat colour.

The American Kennel Club acknowledges eight official Shih Tzu layer shades:

  • Black
  • White
  • Blue
  • Liver
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Red
  • Brindle

With these colours, there can be a wide variety of markings and combinations, making each Shih Tzu coat very distinct. However, out of all the possible colours, none is as remarkable as the black and white Shih Tzus. The way that the genes affect a Shih Tzu’s coat colour makes it rare for two opposite colour to show up.


In a Shih Tzu breed, there are seven registered coat colours that are a combination of white and other colours:

  • White and blue
  • White and red
  • White and black
  • White and silver
  • White and gold
  • White and liver
  • White and brindle

Whenever two colours are combined, there are endless possibilities. What’s more mesmerizing is that no Shih Tzu with two coat colours will ever look the same. One of the most unique coat combinations in a Shih Tzu is black and white.


Since we now know that black and white Shih Tzus are very unique from the other colour combinations, here are some things that you need to know about them:

  1. They are not white Shih Tzus with black colours or markings, they are black Shih Tzus with white colours even though the black looks like it’s a secondary colour.
  2. Whenever white colours show up in a black Shih Tzu, this is because of the spotting gene which is also known as Gene S. However, this gene does not affect those white Shih Tzus that starts showing any black markings.
  3. Although the Gene S is actively at work, that doesn’t mean that a Shih Tzu will only show white spots, the gene produces different amounts and patterns of whites.


Black and white Shih Tzus are classified according to how much white markings are present in their coat which is known as piebald. Although the piebald gene is present in black and white Shih Tzus, the term ‘pieblad’ should not be used to describe the varying black and white markings in them. There are three types of piebald gene:

  • Parti-piebald: refers to Shih Tzus with an equal amount of black and white.
  • Irish Mark Piebald: this is when there are more black markings than white and the white colour usually shows over the forehead, chest, shoulders, breastbone, paw tips, and tail.
  • Extreme Piebald: this is when the Shih Tzu is mostly white with just a little bit of black colour.

The spotting happens while the Shih Tzu is still in the womb and starts in specific body areas like the paw, chest, tail, paws, and muzzle. It then spreads to the other body parts depending on the Shih Tzu’s genetic structure.

The white colour usually spreads last to the top of the head and the back. This is why it’s very unlikely to see a black and white Shih Tzu with just black colours on the chest or paws. The white will continually spread to the back as the Shih Tzu grows up. This is the reason why a black and white Shih Tzu puppy will show different coat markings when he/she grows up.

Colour spots will not fade in a certain area of the body and appear in another. Instead, the while will spread to the other areas. Always remember that the black colours don’t change, only the white.

Shih Tzu Coat Colour Changes

Black and White Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus is a breed that is known to change colours multiple times once they are born. The white colour can spread to a bigger area until they become an adult. This is the point where they reach their permanent colour.

The changes in the colour of a Shih Tzu is determined by its genes and usually, the ones you see when they are newborn is not their final colour. Shih Tzu’s normally achieve their final colour when they turn 1-year-old but minimal changes may still take place after that. You can find our about Shih Tzu coat colours and see which one your Shih Tzu most closely matches.

Any colour change can happen in a Shih Tzu; their colours can darken, lighten, small spots can become big, double colours can turn to three, etc. The possibilities are truly limitless!

Note:  that there’s nothing you can do to stop your Shih Tzu’s coat colour from changing.  This should be a piece of advice to those wanting to own a Shih Tzu or already own a black and white Shih Tzu. You shouldn’t just consider their appearance and instead choose one that’s healthy and has a personality that matches yours. At the end of the day, once a Shih Tzu switches colours, they become more beautiful than they were before.

Black and White Shih Tzu & Tear Stains

Black and white Shih Tzu’s don’t require any special care. Like other Shih Tzu’s, they just need proper health care and grooming. One thing that you need to watch out though are tear stains. Shih Tzu’s are prone to tear stains that runs down their coat. They not only make your Shih Tzu look dirty, but they can also make your Shih Tzu’s fur an environment where bacteria can grow.

Tear stains are not so obvious in black and white Shih Tzu’s especially those with a black mask marking on the face. This isn’t so much of a good thing though because it also means that you can’t easily notice their tear stains and clean them properly. In this situation, what you need to do is feel the fur below your Shih Tzu’s eyes. If it feels crusty or flaky, it might be a sign that your Shih Tzu is suffering from tear stains.

To clean your Shih Tzu’s tear stains, make sure to use a solution of hydrogen peroxide. In a cup, mix one part of hydrogen to 10 cups of clean water. Using a cotton swab, apply the solution under your Shih Tzu’s eyes to remove any tear stains.

Another thing you can do to remove tear stains is to make it a point to take your Shih Tzu to the groomer when the hair around their eyes starts to grow. The hair can catch secretions from the tear ducts that would lead to tear stains and cutting this hair is best left to a professional so you won’t hurt your Shih Tzu’s eyes.

Here’s some suggested products that might help with cleaning tear stains:


In order for you to get an idea of how black and white Shih Tzus look like, here are some pictures from our social media followers. If you haven’t followed us yet, make sure to do so by clicking this LINK:

Toby Black and White Shih TzusSassafrass Black and White Shih Tzus

Lucy Black and White Shih Tzus
Gigolo Black and White Shih TzusLibby Black and White Shih Tzus

Like and comment about your Black and White Shih Tzu or share a pic with us 🙂