Color and Weight Recognized Colors of the Shih Tzu AND Understanding the Key of Pigmentation
When a dog is registered as liver or blue, this refers to the dog's pigmentation and not the color of the dog's coat. What Qualifies a Shih Tzu to be Blue or Liver A dog may be registered as blue or liver (chocolate) because of the pigmentation of the dog's skin...not the coat color. Blue and liver Shih Tzu dogs lack black pigmentation.The pigmentation will be where the color is most obvious: the eye rims, nose, paw pads, etc. Blue dogs will have a charcoal color. Liver dogs will have brown that will vary from very pale to a deep dark chocolate. A dog will be registered with the AKC as a "liver" or "blue" because of the pigmentation of the skin, but the coat can be solid white, a cream color, red, dark chocolate brown, etc.
Blue is a very rare color. Quite often this hue is misunderstood and for good reason. A Shih Tzu of just about any color may have a shade of blue on the skin of their body. This often leads one to assume that this is proof that the dog is indeed blue. However, according to official guidelines, only if blue is present on the nose, will the dog actually be blue.
There are 8 solid colors:
Black- A black Shih Tzu will not have any other color fur. Even a touch of a different shade will move this dog over to a mixed color. Because liver colored dogs lack all black pigmentation, you will not see a true black dog with a liver colored nose. Solid having no other color mixed into it. May have royal marking in white, can lose some markings as matures White - As with the black, no other color will exist in this dog. Liver - when the dog has brown pigmentation on the nose, paws and eye rims.
Liver nose- dog is liver colored. Nose determines it's color.
Shades of liver Dark looking like Chocolate. To very light almost a Cream.
Blue - Only if the Shih Tzu"s nose is blue, will this be the official color of the fur. At birth they look black. Can take up to 8 months to see it change to blue. Nose will have a purple or blueshine. ( like an eggplant color). In the sunlight you see a haze of blue. It's beautiful color and rare. Shades of Blue= Eggplant to Blue.
Brindle - This is a combination actually, of a base coat of fur with streaking. Mixture of at least two colors usually black and liver. Puppy can turn liver, or stay dark keeping some of it's black hairs. Most keep a black face. Shades of Brindle: * Dark To Light
Gold - A tan - yellow, found commonly among Labradors
Red - A very deep and dark orange.Must have a Black Nose, Red is a solid color even thou there is a black face. Most Reds will have a dark mask.Dark to Light Black Tips are common on most Reds and other colors. Black face is not on A.K.C papers; so black mask is used. Individuals like their black face because it hides the eye stains.*Recently more breeders are breeding for more darker faces.
Silver - White but with a deep shine.
Born blue silver coloring. True Blue means the nose is bluish. Nose is a Light blue or gray. If had black face can have a black nose. Extremely rare at birth. There are many different shades of Silver. Shades of Silver: * Dark to Light Usually have a black face and hair will grow into a beautiful Silver gray. There may be some liver highlights creating the color. There are also recognized mixtures of 2 colors White and Black White and Blue White and Brindle White and Gold White and Liver White and Red White and Silver
There are recognized mixtures of 3 colors: Silver, Gold and White Black, Silver and White Black, Gold and White Black, Silver and Gold
Until a future time when more colors may become officially recognized and an owner is able to register their Shih Tzu with the color that they believe their dog is, one must choose from the above list. Do keep in mind that with all colors, there will be shading and deepness levels; thus any dog can be placed into one of these categories. It is very common for puppies to be one color, registered as that color and then have a color change as the puppy matures into adult dog. This is completely normal. Explaining a Chocolate Shih Tzu
There has been some confusion among breeders, buyers and other regarding the chocolate colored Shih Tzu. The most recognized and largest dog club, the American Kennel Club, does not list chocolate as a standard or alternate color of the Shih Tzu. A dog may be referred to as this color for reason of having a brownish coat, however this dog will official be listed as liver colored both on registration papers and when shown at dog clubs. Color can change many times throughout a Shih Tzu's Life Shih Tzus can change color many times as years go by. Some fade as they get older, some get darker. That is why all colors are accepted by AKC. Brindle and Blue are pretty close when the puppies are young, but as the pup grows so will it's coloring. I recommend getting a puppy you will enjoy no mater what the color. It's the sweet temperament, independent, self confident, lap warmer and companionship that will stay with the puppy forever Fading -Dog gets lighter as it matures Darkening Dogs gets darker as it matures Shading -Dog gets light then dark or visa versa
Weight Multiply a female shih tzu puppy's weight at eight weeks old by 3.6 - 4.2 to estimate her healthy adult weight. Multiply a male shih tzu puppy's weight at eight weeks old by 4.2 - 4.8 to estimate his healthy adult weight. Weight of mature Shih Tzu, 9 to 16 pounds