The AKC Shih Tzu Standard states that all colors and markings are permissible and are to be considered equally in judging this breed. 

AKC Recognized Colors of the Shih Tzu

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.
  • 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. 
  • Blue – Only if the Shih Tzu’s nose is blue, will this be the official color of fur 
  • Brindle – This is a combination actually, of a base coat of fur with streaking 
  • Gold – A tan – yellow, like a Labrador Retriever
  • Red – A very deep and dark orange 
  • Silver – White but with a deep shine 

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:

Black, Gold and Silver
Black, Gold and White
Black, White and Silver
Silver, Gold and White


For photos of the wonderful Shih Tzu colors please see: