This page will be for education.
One time, while I was sitting in the vet's lobby with a basket full of shih tzu puppies, another breeder
came in with a litter of Yorkie puppies... She was so interested in seeing my puppies. When she
looked in the basket she said "They are all different colors! " so surprised...
I grinned at her and said "Yes isn't that wonderful" That IS the wonderful thing about shih tzu puppies...
each litter is like getting a grab-bag ---- you never know what will be inside.
Shih tzu is a breed that comes in a variety of colors. I am going to try and express the colors as
they are registered with AKC. All other colors advertised for shih tzu are merely statements used
for purposes of marketing. It "sounds" good to say CHOCOLATE instead of LIVER... see.
Also there is no such thing as PARTI in the shih tzu registry.
AKC STANDARDS: See the AKC website for more information.
Color and Markings
All colors are permissible and to be considered equally.
GOLD- The golds come in a variety of shades clear up to
the red.. they also
come in the gold & white (broken color). And are registered as Gold & White.
Above is our Wille (4.5 lb stud male - not for sale) he is a solid gold with a little
black on his face. Black Mask.
A lot of my customers will call and ask for a tan and white, or a brown puppy. :)
RED - a true red that stays red and doesn't go to gold - is a hard
thing to breed for as well. Reds come in a variety of shades from deep dark rust red like an irish setter red to a Lucille
Ball red, or a fox red. Below see example -our MITZU - red and white.
Sometimes a puppy that is born deep red will be almost blonde by the time it is 1 year old. These follow
the shih tzu rule of "ALL SHIH TZU LIGHTEN" hahaha.
Some shih Tzu DO NOT LIGHTEN but hold their color hence the term NON -FADING has come into the market...
Also some breeders have certain lines that actually darken from birth.... these I find interesting...
they hold their color well and often throw remarkable color.
Webster says "brindle : streaked with dark stripes, chevrons or spots on a gray or tan ground. "
A true Brindle is a shih tzu with "stripes or chevrons".
Many breeder call a shih tzu that is a swirl of colors a Brindle.
These used to be registered as Grizzle... but that registered color
does not exist any longer.
This is a fine example of a "tiger striped" brindled female...blue and white.
This one is not for sale this is just an example. :)
LIVER - CHOCOLATE
AKC REGISTERS CHOCOLATE AS LIVER
We have liver and white (brokens meaning broken color)
We have solid livers and some are so dark they are the dark
NONFADING means the color should stay. All shih tzu lighten, except for a
small handful. A true black is one. :)
A lot of our livers (chocolates) will carry the blue and lavender genes. We
have excellent liver, blue and the unusal colored lines.
All of our puppies are now AKC - we also register all of our dogs with
CKC to have an option. Just like a college student who goes for
their BA, MA and Ph. D. :)
BLUES- can be any color :) See THE COMPLETE SHIH TZU
by Victor Joris.
The thing that makes a blue a blue is it's points.
Blues do not have to have blue eyes...
AKC standard states "light colored eyes" meaning - hazel, amber, green, blue (but not the flat
powder blue which is a fault) human baby blue.
Blues may be gold and white, black and white, silver and white, solid white, apricot, lavender
(the color of a weimaraner) or blue :) They can truely be any color as long as their points
say blue.... Points are lips, eyes, eye rims, nose, ear leathers and pads.
I have seen many black pups born with blueberry pads if they have blue factored parents.
pups will " blue out" sometime in their life... meaning they will turn blue.
The lavenders (rose/blues) are the most unusual colored of the shih tzu.
They look just like a weimaraner and usually have green eyes... they will be registered
as a blue... not liver. They sometimes darken ( not often) but usually lighten
to a creme (blonde) color.
see photo below my Gypsy Rose Leigh
BLACK SHIH TZU- an all black shih tzu
is as rare as an all white shih tzu.. a truely all black shih tzu WITH BLACK OR VERY DARK EYES.
One that stays black and doesn't gray out or turn brown. AKC standard states - very
dark eyes - black eye rims, black nose- black lips - black pads and ear leathers. Most breeders will list an "all black shihtzu" and then when you go to look or call they
will say "yes it is all black EXCEPT for the little touch of white on it's chest or paws... Or it will have hazel eyes, not the dark dark eyes of AKC standard. ( I mistakenly wrote down ONLY black
eyes I apologize.)
For all practical purposes MOST breeders have been listing and registering these as black with AKC for years....
However, if a black shih tzu DOES NOT HAVE BLACK EYES OR REALLY DARK EYES, it is most
likely - liver and blue factored. This means that put with the right female/male to breed it will throw blues and livers and NOT blacks... a True black when put with a liver
will throw blacks... because black is dominant.
Whenever I call about an all black shih tzu the first thing I ask is "what color are it's eyes?" light brown- hazel - blue- are the answers I am getting.
I am however looking for a true black male or female WITH BLACK EYES.... OR THE DARK
DARK EYES.......so as to appear black. I have been looking for years.
I have a feeling that us breeders have " muddied the waters" by mixing the colors so long that there may not be any true blacks out there any longer... this would
be a shame...
I have black puppies on my webpage- don't be confused... These are not black...they
will most undoubtedly go blue- they will - as we say in the breeding world "blue out"...some people
say silver... but it is because all of
my black pups have so much blue or liver in them... :(
WHITE- an all white shih
tzu can be a thing of beauty. They also take a lot of work. Like the other white breeds, they take more grooming.
I do have a tip, a friend who had owned a Maltese for a very long time said " only feed your white dogs distilled water and
it eliminates the staining on the faces." I have heard this from three other sources now... a vet, a photographer and
another customer... so perhaps it is so.
I had my first all white shih tzu nearly 6 years ago. SV'S QUI LEE, He was born of two all black parents.
He was the last pup born in a 7 pup litter... I was astonished... I thought they truly did not exist.
He was a true snow white with black points.
He did not get any cream on him. He was a beautiful standard sized male.
When I went to purchase a white female to breed to him I took a lot of grief from other breeders.
"Why would you want to breed such an anamoly?" " You will have blind, deaf, retarded puppies. " " You
can't breed white to white"
I hear the same thing about breeding blue to blue, liver to liver. :)
Well I am NOT your typical breeder. First off, I have a college education, I am a nurse and have some genetics
background, I don't profess to be a genius but I did know that most of all these things that the breeders were saying to me
was OLD WIVES TALES. HOWEVER, I took the bull by the horns and sought out a dog genetitist.
She said that as far as she or any of the other researchers - at that time -knew - there was not one disease in the shih
tzu breed related to color.
I also wrote to a prominant AKC shih tzu judge - Asked him if there was any reason why I should not pursue breeding white
shih tzu to white shih tzu... He told me that at one time in the USA there were two very well known kennels that specialized
in all white shih tzu... (1960's) they no longer exist. just went out of business, owners died.
So I did my research, I found my first all white female and my first litter of all white pups was born in 2004.
Seven white pups.
Nice litter.. see photo.. (these are long grown and sold )
We still get white pups now and then.
Watch for them.