The American Kennel Club recognises eight official Shih Tzu coat colors. These are black, white, blue, liver, gold, silver, red and brindle. Within these colors, there can be a wide range of combinations and markings, making each Shih Tzu coat beautifully unique. In this article, we'll look at one of the most easily recognisable color combinations – black and white.
Brown tones are common in Shih Tzu coats, and these can range from lighter shades to darker tones. However, the majority of Shih Tzus that appear to be brown are in fact officially considered to be liver colored. This is because skin pigmentation is a factor in assessing a Shih Tzu's color, and it is most often the case that a Shih Tzu's nose, lips, eye rims and paw pads are actually liver rather than brown. In fact, there is no official solid brown color code for Shih Tzus, even though lots of Shih Tzus, such as those pictures below, look brown!
So how do you tell the difference between the various coat colors that feature shades of brown? Well, let's break it down:
If the coat is brown and white, and if the nose is brown, the Shih Tzu is considered liver and white. However, if a brown and white Shih Tzu has a black nose, it may in fact be considered a red/white, brindle/white, gold/white or other color combination.
Shih Tzus can occasionally be solid brown; however, as with other rare solid colors, such as black, if a Shih Tzu puppy is solid brown when born, its coat can lighten as it matures. On the