The Shih Tzu, popular for its size and adorable personality, comes in a wide variety of colors, including the well-sought-after black and white Shih Tzu.
Despite this being among the most common colors of Shih Tzu, aspiring dog owners are still head over heels for this color, and it’s easy to understand why.
In this guide, we will discuss everything that you need to know about the black and white Shih Tzu.
We’ll discuss its appearance, temperaments, and the cost of owning one so you’d know if this is the right dog for you.
What Is a Black and White Shih Tzu?
A black and white Shih Tzu is one of the color variations of the Shih Tzu breed. This cute little dog is known for the black markings on its face, breastbone, chest, shoulders, and at the tips of its paws and tails. Despite being very common, it continues to be a favorite choice among dog enthusiasts.
Nonetheless, the physical attributes of a black and white Shih Tzu are similar to that of other Shih Tzu color variations.
Are Black and White Shih Tzus Rare?
Black and white Shih Tzus are not rare at all. In fact, this color is one of the most common colors of the Shih Tzu breed. The reason this color is very common is due to genetics.
The black color and white spotting are genetically dominant, so it is incredibly simple to produce black and white puppies even from random mating processes.
Black and White Shih Tzu Appearance
Black and white Shih Tzus are small, sturdy dogs with short snouts. These small pooches typically grow about 9 to 16 pounds in weight and 8 to 11 inches in height, similar to that of a standard Shih Tzu’s size.
Like the rest of the Shih Tzu color variations, black and white Shih Tzus also flaunts a thick, long, flowing coat that can either be straight or slightly wavy. Their head is rounded with eyes that are quite prominent.
As with the markings of these black and white pooches, their markings are usually arranged in different patterns, with the blaze pattern being the most common in this color.
Black and white Shih Tzus with a blaze pattern marking have a strip of white hair running up the face and between the eyes.
Shih Tzus with a flare pattern will have an expanded blaze that covers a wider part of the face and head.
The shawl or collar pattern resembles a usually white collar-shaped mark around the neck.
Black and white Shih Tzus are divided into different piebald categories based on how many white markings are visible in their coat.
Shih Tzus that are parti-piebald have an equal amount of black and white in their coats.
Meanwhile, Irish mark piebald is when there are more black markings than white. Black and white Shih Tzus with this coat usually have white color all over their forehead, chest, shoulders, breastbone, paw tips, and tails.
Black and white Shih Tzus with extreme piebald, on the other hand, have mostly white coloration and just a little bit of black color.
To have a visual idea of what a black and white Shih Tzu looks like, you can watch this video:
Black and White Shih Tzu Color Genetics
There are only two basic pigments that determine the color of dogs: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Black and white Shih Tzus are carriers of the black pigment or eumelanin.
Black and white Shih Tzus are solid black dogs. This means that these dogs have two copies of the dominant black gene KB, which makes a puppy black.
However, since black is a dominant color, a dog with just one KB gene will show up to be a solid black Shih Tzu.
In the case of black and white Shih Tzus, the white spots and markings show up in black Shih Tzus because of a gene known as the S locus or the spotting gene.
The spotting gene produces different amounts of white. That is why there are black and white Shih Tzus with more whites than blacks while some have more blacks than whites.
Do Black and White Shih Tzu Puppies Change Color as They Grow?
Like the rest of the color variations, black and white Shih Tzus may change their coat color as they mature. This change in color is often determined by the genes they carry.
Similarly, some Shih Tzu puppies may actually be born with certain colors but will change to their true colors over time.
Regardless, these dogs typically reach their permanent color when they are one year old. However, note that minor color changes may continue to occur beyond that age.
These changes can come in different ways, including darkening or lightening coat colors and spots and changing spot sizes.
Does the AKC Recognize Black and White Shih Tzus?
While the American Kennel Club (AKC) accepts all color variations of the Shih Tzu breed, the black and white Shih Tzu is considered and recognized as one of the standard colors of the breed.
The black and white Shih Tzu is at par with all the other 13 standard colors of the breed, including the rare black Shih Tzu.
All these colors are permissible inside the show ring and are judged equally according to the breed standard.
Black and White Shih Tzu Temperament and Personality
Black and white Shih Tzus are very affectionate dogs that love cuddles and will surely light up homes with their quirky personality. These dogs truly live up to their name as companion dogs.
Further, black and white Shih Tzus are friendly dogs not just to humans but to other animals as well.
Families wanting to take this dog but have other pets at home will not have difficulties with how they will get along.
These dogs also get along well with kids and senior family members alike. However, always keep an eye on them when playing with younger kids since they are prone to get hurt when mishandled due to their size.
This dog is a good choice for all families as they can easily adapt to apartment living setups. Unlike large dogs, black and white Shih Tzus do not require large spaces to run around.
They’d be happy to stroll around the neighborhood yet would equally enjoy cuddling and lounging at home.
Black and White Shih Tzu Lifespan and Health Issues
The black and white Shih Tzu is a fairly healthy dog breed with a lifespan of 10 to 16 years, given enough care and routine veterinary check-ups.
However, there are still health risks that every pet owner should know about this breed.
Here are some of the most common health problems of black and white Shih Tzus:
- Cataract: Cataract is often an inherited trait in Shih Tzu dog breeds that causes cloud-like substance in the dog’s eye lens. Cataracts usually start small and grow larger, which may eventually lead to your dog being completely blind.
- Luxating Patella: Another hereditary condition common in black and white Shih Tzu is luxating patella. Dogs with this condition experience an abnormal movement or popping out of the kneecap out of its normal location. If left untreated, your pup is likely to develop more orthopedic problems.
- Intervertebral Disc Disease: Intervertebral disc disease is an age-related, degenerative disorder that usually affects dogs with short and curved limbs such as black and white Shih Tzus. This disease happens when the jelly-like cushion between the vertebrae slips, resulting in the disc pressing on the spinal cord.
It is also important that you have a routine check-up with a licensed veterinarian to make sure that your pup is kept in healthy condition and to avoid serious complications later on.
How Much Does a Black and White Shih Tzu Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
Black and white Shih Tzu puppies usually cost around $500 to $1,500. The price, however, depends on many factors, including your pup’s overall quality, breeder’s location, and reputation.
The puppy’s price may be on average, but the costs do not end there. You also need to consider other expenses such as food and treats, vaccines, vet visits, and supplies your new pooch will need.
Below is a summarized table of the initial expenses of owning a black and white Shih Tzu pup:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$50 – $80|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10 – $25|
|Bed||$30 – $150|
|Crate||$30 – $200|
|Leashes and Collars||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Grooming Essentials||$30 – $150|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$525 – $1,995|
To cover the initial costs of taking home this black and white Shih Tzu, new pet owners will need to prepare $525 to $1,995, on top of the puppy’s price tag and the recurring costs.
It is also recommended that you purchase pet insurance to help lessen expenses in case your puppy gets sick. Likewise, setting aside an emergency fund for your pup is also a wise idea.
Places to Find Black and White Shih Tzu Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Finding black and white Shih Tzus is easy. The challenge, though, is ensuring you buy from reputable and responsible breeders who adhere to strict breeding standards.
To help you make your Shih Tzu breeder hunting faster and easier, I have here some Shih Tzu breeders and places where you can find high-quality and healthy Shih Tzu puppies.
Here are a few black and white Shih Tzu breeders you can get in touch with:
- Lotus Shih Tzu – This Texas-based breeder has been breeding AKC Champion Shih Tzu puppies since 2009. If you are interested in getting a black and white Shih Tzu from this breeder, you should reach out through their website as soon as possible, as they only have a few litters each year.
- Sapphire Shih Tzu – Located in Montana, this small Shih Tzu breeder has been an owner and handler of several AKC Champions. The breeder plans puppy breedings in advance to ensure conformity with breed standards. Black and white Shih Tzus from this breeder come with a health guarantee and AKC limited registry.
- Ultra Shih Tzu – Ultra Shih Tzu is a New Jersey-based breeder that has been breeding and showing Shih Tzus for over 30 years. In fact, this breeder has already produced over a hundred AKC Champions, which proves the high quality of their Shih Tzus. To buy from this breeder, be prepared to go through an intensive screening process.
If you still haven’t found a black and white Shih Tzu from the places above, you can check out our Shih Tzu breeder recommendations.
You can also read our puppy buying guide to help you get through the process of buying puppies.
Likewise, you can also opt for adoption in securing a black and white Shih Tzu. This way, you get to give a dog another chance in life to feel loved.
Here are some places you can check to see if they have black and white Shih Tzu for adoption:
- Ohio Fuzzy Pawz Shih Tzu Rescue – This non-profit organization is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming small breed dogs such as black and white Shih Tzus into loving homes. Before adoption, they evaluate each dog and the potential home to see if it is the perfect match.
- Bluegrass Shih Tzu Rescue – Bluegrass Shih Tzu Rescue has been finding homes for homeless, neglected, and abused Shih Tzus and other small dog breeds for over 15 years already. To adopt, you must go through an intensive background check to see if you are a good match for these puppies.
- Northstar Shih Tzu Rescue – Northstar Shih Tzu Rescue is a Minnesota-based rescue organization. Before finding suitable owners, rescued dogs undergo rehabilitation to make sure they are safe and healthy for adoption. You can check out their website if you want to get a black and white Shih Tzu from them.
Dog Name Ideas for Black and White Shih Tzu Puppies
Naming a new pup can be overwhelming, especially for novice dog owners. While giving your dog a unique name is nice, remember to give it something short but sweet.
To make it simpler for you to name your pup, I have listed the names you can use for your black and white Shih Tzu.
Here are some name ideas for your male black and white Shih Tzu:
Meanwhile, here are some name ideas for your female black and white Shih Tzu:
Giving your dog a short and simple name will make it easier for your dog to remember and respond to commands, especially when in training.
Even so, pick a name you will enjoy calling your dog for the rest of its life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Rarest Color of Shih Tzu?
A solid black Shih Tzu is considered to be the rarest color in a Shih Tzu. Although black is one of the most dominant genes, producing a completely black dog without markings is very hard and uncommon.
It is also for the same reason why black Shih Tzus are priced more expensive than the rest of the Shih Tzu color variations.
Do Black and White Shih Tzus Shed a Lot?
Black and white Shih Tzus shed very minimally, just like how a standard Shih Tzus shed. These dogs shed some hair on a daily basis, but you will hardly notice the hair fall.
However, expect an increase in shedding during the fall and spring seasons. This seasonal shedding happens due to a change in temperature, also known as blowing coats.
Are Black and White Shih Tzus Hypoallergenic?
Black and white Shih Tzus are technically not hypoallergenic because these dogs still shed, and dander in these dogs may be one of the triggers of allergy in humans.
However, black and white Shih Tzus do not cause allergies as much as other breeds since they are light shedders and their coats are easy to maintain.
Final Thoughts: Is a Black and White Shih Tzu the Right Dog for You?
Needless to say, black and white Shih Tzus are a great addition to any family. These small dogs will surely bring joy and laughter to your house and will be very good companions in your household.
Just like the other color variations of the Shih Tzu, these black and white Shih Tzus require love, attention, and commitment for them to thrive and be better pets for the family.
That is why it is important that you know what you’re getting into before you take home one of these pups and make sure that you can provide for them and commit to taking care of them for a lifetime.
Are you ready to take home a black and white Shih Tzu? Let us know in the comments.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.