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Black And White Shih Tzu: Everything You Need To Know

Affectionate, playful, loyal, and outgoing are just a few words that describe the charming Shih Tzu.

This adorable pooch is one of the most beloved dog breeds in the country, and it’s not hard to see why with its cute face and fun character.

Although Shih Tzu pups have coats in many colors, we’re focusing more on the black-and-white fur combination in this article.

Today, we’re sharing a comprehensive guide on black and white Shih Tzu to help you learn more about this dog breed and figure out if you two are a good fit.

Keep reading as we discuss everything related to this sweet pup from its appearance, personality traits, and life span to its common health issues, care system, and price.

Black And White Shih Tzu History

Shih Tzu dogs are embedded into Chinese history. The breed was developed by imperial breeders in the Chinese emperor’s palace.

The breed had a folk story surrounding it where a Tibetan god owned a Shih Tzu that transformed into a lion at his owner’s command. This explains the name Shih Tzu, meaning small lion.

Many centuries later, the Shih Tzu breed finally became known to the public in the 1930s. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1969.

Currently, the Shih Tzu is one of the most popular breeds worldwide. It holds the 22nd spot out of 284 in the 2021 AKC popularity rankings

Black And White Shih Tzu Interesting Facts

  • No two black and white Shih Tzus have the same coat pattern.
  • Most of the Ming Dynasty had the Shih Tzu as a house pet.
  • Courts were the breeding grounds for Shih Tzus because their name means lion, which is tied to the Deity in Buddhism.
  • Shih Tzus are also known as chrysanthemum-faced dogs because of their pattern of hair growth on the front.

Black And White Shih Tzu Size 

The black and white Shih Tzu is a small-sized pooch. This is one of the reasons it’s so popular as a lap dog.

The weight of adult male black and white Shih Tzu dogs falls between 9 and 16 pounds. They stand at an average height of 9 to 10.5 inches.

The weight and height of adult female black and white Shih Tzu dogs are about the same.

As for puppies (around 2 months old), they weigh between 1.5 to 3.75 pounds and stand at an average height of 2 to 4 inches.

Based on these measurements, black and white Shih Tzus are categorized as toy dogs.

Black And White Shih Tzu Appearance

Shih Tzus are adorable dogs with petite features. Their muzzles are short and broad (mostly black) whereas their ears are big and flabby with lots of hair.

Their eyes are dark and doe-like, while their pig-like noses are tiny and upturned. Their feet are small as are their teeth.

When it comes to their fur, Shih Tzus sport thick and fluffy double-layer coats with solid, 2-shade, or 3-shade colors. The rarest type is solid coats, whereas 2-shade and 3-shade coats are pretty common.

Shih Tzus can be black, silver, blue, brown, red, brindle, gold, or any of these hues accompanied by white patches.

The black and white coat, in particular, consists of a black main coat with white spotting on top. The white patterns are usually located on the face, legs, stomach, and torso.

We said earlier that no two black and white Shih Tzus have the same coat patches. Each pattern is unique and is called different names such as:

  • Tuxedo: the back and arms are black while the neck, chest, and belly are white (looks like it’s wearing a tuxedo).
  • Parti-piebald: the coat is equally black as it’s white.
  • Irish mark piebald: the coat is mostly black with white spots on the neck, front, and face.
  • Extreme piebald: the coat is mostly white with very few black patches.

Do Black and White Shih Tzu Stay the Same Color?

This is another interesting bit about black and white Shih Tzu dogs. They’re known for possessing coats that change appearance several times during their lifetime.

It’s not that their fur doesn’t stay black and white, it’s more along the lines of the proportion of each color changing.

This means that a black and white Shih Tzu can become more black, white, or silver as it gets older.

Is It Normal for a Shih Tzu To Turn Black?

If your Shih Tzu’s coat is turning darker, the color change could be normal or due to a medical condition such as hypothyroidism or hyperpigmentation.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the dog’s body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone to cover the needs of its functions. One of the symptoms of this health issue is the coat turning a darker shade (brown or black.

Hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, is a condition where the dog’s body releases more melanin than it should. The excessive concentration of these pigment cells results in dark spots appearing on the skin, which causes the fur to look darker with time.

If you’re not sure whether or not the black color of your Shih Tzu is normal, be sure to visit the vet for a check-up.

Are Black and White Coats Rare in Shih Tzus?

You may think that black and white Shih Tzus are rare, but they’re actually pretty common and easy to find.

What Is the Rarest Coat Color of Shih Tzu?

The rarest coat color of the Shih Tzu breed is pure black.

While black is a standard color in Shih Tzus, it’s typically accompanied by patches of another color. On the other hand, it can be very tricky to find a Shih Tzu that’s solid black.

The same goes for white coats in Shih Tzus. They’re usually combined with markings in a different color, whereas solid white is kind of rare to witness.

Black And White Shih Tzu Personality

The temperament of a black and white Shih Tzu is extremely pleasant. These adorable dogs are gentle, affectionate, outgoing, friendly, loyal, and smart.

They’re pretty social toward other people and dogs, offering a uniquely fun personality that never makes for a boring moment!

Black and white Shih Tzus are perfect family dogs. They love to spend time with their owners, whether it’s active playtime or bundled up peacefully on your lap.

Additionally, these small canines are alert and protective. They like interacting with their owners and crave attention in exchange for their never-ending love.

Is a Black and White Shih Tzu Good With Kids?


Black and white Shih Tzu dogs are fantastic at dealing with kids. Their gentle, friendly, and affectionate nature make them great family dogs.

Is a Black and White Shih Tzu Good With Other Pets?


A black and white Shih Tzu will get along well with other household dogs and pets as long as you provide early training, socialization, and proper introduction.

Heads up though, the playful side of a Shih Tzu can be too intense for smaller pets like hamsters.

Does the Black and White Shih Tzu Bark a Lot?

A black and white Shih Tzu is sort of a middle ground between a quiet pup and a noisy pooch.

It has a somewhat prominent protective nature, so it’ll use its voice to bark if someone gets too close to your home. Not only is it an awesome companion canine, but it’s also a good watchdog.

In other words, when a Shih Tzu barks, there’s always a reason.

Black And White Shih Tzu Lifespan 

Shih Tzu is a generally healthy and sturdy dog breed. It has an average lifespan of 10 to 18 years, which falls on the longer side of the spectrum.

Black And White Shih Tzu Common Health Issues

Generally speaking, black and white Shih Tzu dogs are a healthy and robust breed. As you can tell by now, they typically stick around for many years as one of the longest-living pooches out there.

That said, the black and white Shih Tzu is still at risk of some health problems.

While not every member of this dog breed will necessarily suffer from one or even any of these conditions, you should still be aware of them as a responsible owner.

Here are some of the main concerns to look out for in black-and-white Shih Tzus:

Cancer and Kidney Problems

Unfortunately, Shih Tzu dogs can suffer from cancer when they get old, even black and white ones.

Unless it’s detected early, this disease can be fatal. It can manifest in multiple types such as hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, and mast cell tumors.

Kidney issues can also shorten the lifespan of your black and white Shih Tzu. The small size of this dog breed makes their urinary tracts rather narrow, which means they’re prone to infections and bladder stones.

This is where a healthy diet can be beneficial, so be sure to limit the salt intake of your pup and give them plenty of water. Also, schedule periodic urine tests to detect anything that goes wrong before complications.

Patellar Luxation

This is an orthopedic condition that commonly affects small dog breeds such as Pomeranians and Chihuahuas, not only Shih Tzus.

Patellar luxation or dislocation happens when the knee cap becomes misaligned.

Also known as the patellar, the knee cap is a small bone located at the joining point of the thigh bone, kneecap, and tibia.

When the luxating knee cap shifts outside of its normal position (the femoral groove), it causes excessive strain on the rest of the bones in the joint as they slip in and out.

In most cases, patellar luxation is detected in puppies when they start carrying the affected limb(s) up. But sometimes the symptoms aren’t noticeable until the dog is older.

Hip Dysplasia

Common in both large and small dog breeds, hip dysplasia affects the joints of the hip and results from degenerative growth abnormalities.

This condition occurs when the ball of the hip bone fits loosely into the socket. This weakens the ligaments and places additional stress on the bones.

The hip joints eventually become more vulnerable to stiffness and breakage, developing into arthritis.

Hip dysplasia is a painful condition that manifests in symptoms like limping and lameness. It doesn’t have a definitive cure yet.

Black And White Shih Tzu Care

Now that you’re familiar with the appearance and personality of the black and white Shih Tzu, it’s time we talk about its basic care requirements.


With their long coats, Shih Tzus require brushing every day with a high-quality, flexible brush. To keep the coat healthy, clean, and shiny, be sure to bathe your pup once or twice a month.

Remember to gently wipe its eyes daily with a damp cloth and comb the topknot/mustache every day. Trim the hair on top to prevent irritating its eyes.

As part of its monthly grooming routine, carefully trim your Shih Tzu’s nails and clean its ears. Daily teeth brushing is also necessary for the hygiene of their small mouths.


The intelligent and delightful Shih Tzu is both easy and frustrating to train. It can be stubborn and may charm you into abandoning the session, but it can also be obedient and eager to please out of love for the owner.

Make sure to start training as early as possible and rely only on positive reinforcement with treats and praises.


A Shih Tzu requires daily exercise for at least 70 minutes including playtime. Outdoor activities like short walks and jogs ensure that your small pup’s mind and body stay active.

Black And White Shih Tzu Price

The general price of a black and white Shih Tzu puppy from a trusted breeder ranges between $1,000 to $1,800.

If you’re looking for an adult dog, it’ll cost less than puppies at around $800 to $1,200.

Of course, you can opt to adopt an older black and white Shih Tzu, in which case you’ll end up paying less depending on the dog’s age, temperament, color, and health.