Shih Tzu coat colors come in a wonderful range of patterns and shades, it’s rare you’ll find two Shih Tzu dogs alike. Unlike other dog breeds, they are known for having different coat shade combinations and patterns. It can either be just a single color, a combination of two colors or even a combination of more. Either way, all coat colors are actually permissible according to the breed standard, but you should never base your decision on the coat color because they are a breed that’s known to change coat colors when they enter adulthood.

This article will be talking about the different coat colors and patterns a Shih Tzu dog can have. Throughout the years, many coat colors have emerged but do you know that a Shih Tzu can also actually be registered using the pigment of their skin? It’s pretty confusing but it’s a good thing to know before we get to the real point.

Shih Tzu Dog - Black Shih Tzu


So there are different categories of Shih Tzu coat colors that a breeder can choose when they want to register their Shih Tzu dogs to the American Kennel Club or to their local country pedigree club. These coat color categories include the following:


Black – is a popular color for a Shih Tzu dog and pure black is often seen as being unusual Shih Tzu coat color. A Shih Tzu is considered pure black if it has no other coat color present, so no white tall tips or pews as an example. If there is, then the dog will fall into another category so keep reading. Also, it’s with nothing, a pure black Shih Tzu should also have a black nose.

White – just like with the Black Shih Tzu, the white Shih Tzu should only be white in color and no other shade present with the exception of their nose, which of course is black.

Blue – a pure blue Shih Tzu dog usually has a blue nose but can have other coat colors. This color is only seen clearly with a natural light for usually it appears to be like the color charcoal.

Silver – this looks very similar to white but with a shine that resembles the color silver. It does not look like gray but has a shiny color

Red – this is another solid color that looks like a dark orange. The nose and other points are black in color.

Liver – this is the color of the points of the dog and not the coat itself. A Shih Tzu dog is considered to have a liver color if the points are either liver or brown.

Gold – looks like a yellowish tan

Brindle – is composed of one color and has streaks of another color that runs down

Below are some examples of Shih Tzu dogs with solid colors:

Solid Color - Shih Tzu Dog Cot Color


Two-combination coat colors are very common to Shih Tzu dogs. They are usually white combined with other solid colors and may have a few but minimal patches of a third color. Each Shih Tzu is unique which means that they will never look exactly the same, they will have different coat colors and patterns. See examples below:

Two Color - Shih Tzu Dog Cot Color


This is the most confusing of all the coat color categories because some of the Shih Tzu dogs who have three coat colors may appear to have only two coat colors when you first look at it so thorough inspection is needed to really know if the dog has two or three coat colors. Three-color coats contain three solid colors in different strokes or patterns. Here are some examples:

Three Color - Shih Tzu Dog Cot Color


Just as there are different types of coat colors, there are also different types of coat patterns a Shih Tzu dog can have. These can include the following:

Blaze – this is a strip of white hair located between the eyes

Collar/Shawl – this is a marking around the neck of the dog, usually white

Flare – this happens when the blaze widens and meets the top skull

Tuxedo – when a solid-colored dog has a white patch of hair on the chest or can also be on the chin and on the feet

Saddle – a large portion of color located at the back which looks like the saddle of a horse

Some of the Shih Tzu dogs coat patterns are shown below:

Shih Tzu Dog Coat Pattern


Although there are different Shih Tzu coat colors and patterns, we should look at each dog depending on their personality. Beauty is skin deep and it applies to these dogs. We should never depend on the outside appearance when choosing which dog to have because surely, every dog can provide more joy to our lives. Check out this great video showing some of the amazing variety of Shih Tzu Coat Colors.