Black Shih Tzu: The Definitive Guide to the Cutest Black Dog

Black Shih Tzu lying on sand

Shih Tzu is a widely popular breed that’s mostly preferred because of its size and adorable personalities. Although they are classified as toy dogs, they can be quite active.

They also come in different colors. Tri-color Shih Tzus are quite normal but solid colors ones like black Shih Tzus can be rare. For those looking to have a small dog with a great balance of personality, this tiny but mighty breed might just be the right choice for you.

What Is a Black Shih Tzu?

A black Shih Tzu can often be rare. They are categorized as traditional Shih Tzu breeds but with a unique solid black color. For a Shih Tzu to be registered as a black Shih Tzu, there must be no other streak of pigment on its coat.

Shih Tzus are classed as companion dogs and come in various colors. These include: black, white, liver, brindle, light brown, dark brown, black and white, and liver and white.

Black Shih Tzus can weigh from 9 to 16 pounds and grow 8 to 11 inches. These pooches are also hypoallergenic, which makes them even more preferable.

What Does the Black Shih Tzu Look Like?

Black Shih Tzus are longer than they are taller. They have a sturdy stance and a good-sized head. Their eyes are big and round, and their noses are snub. Their tail is curled over to their back, and they are best known for their long, straight coat.

Black Shih Tzus will bear the same physical traits except for the apparent difference which is the color of their coats. They will have a solid black coat that will continue to grow unless they are trimmed.

They do look appealing even to those who are fickle about dogs. They are simply irresistible which is the reason why they can act spoiled sometimes.

RELATED: How Big Do Shih Tzus Get? Puppy Growth Chart and FAQ

Are Black Shih Tzus Rare?

Some people are willing to pay a good amount of money for a solid black colored Shih Tzu. Does this mean that they’re rare? Not exactly. But they are considered less common.

It is typically harder to find a solid colored one like a black Shih Tzu. The American Kennel Club recognizes eight different colors of the Shih Tzu breed, they are: black, white, blue, liver, gold, silver, red, and brindle.

Sometimes, a black colored Shih Tzu might have a streak of white on their chest, tail, and other parts of their bodies. But an all-black Shih Tzu is often unusual to come across.

Additionally, to be registered by the AKC, black Shih Tzus should have no other color markings. Their eye rims, paw pads, and noses should also be black.

Black Shih Tzu Genetics: How Do They Develop Black Coats?

The color of a dog’s coat solely depends on genetics. Two types of pigments are present in dogs: the “eumelanin” color and the “pheomelanin” color. Eumelanin shades include black, lilac, chocolate, and blue while pheomelanin shades are cream to red.

Now, the basic color of a dog can either be solid eumelanin coat or non-solid which means it will have other markings. These markings depend on the K locus consisting of three alleles.

The Kb means a dominant black color, kbr means brindle, and ky means recessive non-black. This might sound very confusing but to explain things simply, solid black dogs will have a Kb ky or Kb Kb alleles.

Black Shih Tzu Price: Do They Cost More Than Normal Shih Tzus?

On average, you can expect to pay $500 to $1,500 for a Shih Tzu. However, this can increase if you’re looking for a specific color like a solid black Shih Tzu. Prices also depend on if you’re looking to get a show dog which is considered superior pedigree.

Because black Shih Tzus don’t come very often, they are priced higher than regular ones. However, as a word of caution, please refrain from purchasing dogs from puppy mills. This will only encourage illegal breeders to continue profiting from maltreated dogs.

Black Shih Tzu in Pictures

Solid black colored Shih Tzus are no different from the traditional ones, except for their hair color. While we’re at it, here are some photos of black Shih Tzu puppies and adults.

Black Shih Tzu Puppies

Black Shih Tzu Adults

Black Shih Tzu Temperament: Do They Make Good Family Dogs?

Aside from their cute appearance, one of the best things about this breed is their temperament. Shih Tzus are happy and friendly dogs that get along with almost anyone.

Black Shih Tzus and Shih Tzus, in general, share the same temperament. But for those who are not aware, listed below are some of their typical personality traits.


Don’t let their royal history deceive you and believe that they are only lapdogs. Regardless of their age, Shih Tzus are known for being playful.

When they don’t get enough daily walks, you will find these dogs playing with just about anything they can find around the house. They are more than willing to join any fun activity.


Being the royal dogs that they are, Shih Tzus often think that people constantly gush about them. If people come into your home, your little furry companion might feel that they are visiting them – not you. A Shih Tzu likes being the center of attention.


They might sometimes give off an arrogant vibe, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t loving. Shih Tzus were bred to be companions, and they are truly good at it.

Expect them to follow you around the house once you get back from work. They’ll be more than happy to jump on the bed to join you or curl up on your lap as you watch television.


It’s somewhat rare to find a snippy Shih Tzu, but they are generally sweet towards their owners. If they are raised in a loving household, they will surely end up really affectionate and clingy. These fluffy little lions want nothing more in life than to be your very best friend.

Black Shih Tzu Health Issues

When it comes to health, every pet owner should be well informed about the risks that come with their dog breeds. These dogs are generally healthy and live for 10 to 16 years.

But of course, there are still some concerns regarding their health. For black Shih Tzus and the general Shih Tzu population, they are prone to several health conditions including:

Eye Problems

Shih Tzus look undeniably cute, and part of it is because of their big round eyes. It is also because of this trait that makes them more susceptible to develop several eye conditions.

One common problem is retinal dysplasia which is an overflow of tears that can sometimes stain the fur around their eyes. They are also prone to retinal ulcers and cataracts.

For this reason, you should always keep the hair around their eyes trimmed. If you notice they frequently rubbing their eyes, it might be best to drop by a veterinary clinic for a check-up.

Dental Diseases

Because of their small mouths, they are more susceptible to dental diseases like crowding of their teeth and malocclusion.

It’s also worth noting that as they age, they can also develop plaque and tartar, which can lead to unhealthy roots and gums. Routinary dental cleaning is advisable to keep their teeth healthy.

Ear Infection

Because of their floppy and hairy ears, Shih Tzus are prone to ear mites and yeast infection. Symptoms include frequent head shaking, scratching of ears, and smelly odor. You need to make sure their ears are kept clean. Otherwise, these dogs might develop an ear infection.

Luxating Patella

This condition can occur on either of the hind legs of the Shih Tzu of both. It is usually hereditary, and dogs who have this have an abnormal dislocation of their kneecaps. If this is left untreated, this could make your dog more likely to develop arthritis and other orthopedic problems.

Black Shih Tzu Grooming Requirements

Black Shih Tzu running outdoor

If there is one thing that Shih Tzu owners will unanimously complain about, it might probably be the level of grooming that these dogs require.

Because of how long their hair grows, these dogs will need constant brushing and trimming. To give more information, here are some essential grooming tips for black Shih Tzu:

At Home Grooming

There are sets of basic grooming that you can do at home and regularly to keep your Shih Tzu looking neat.

They will require frequent face and eyes wiping to make sure that dirt and eye gunk are removed. Brushing their coats will be dependent on how long their hair is.

Long haired ones require everyday brushing. Those with medium hair can be brushed every two days, and short-haired Shih Tzus can do every three days. Their nails should be cut every 4 to 6 weeks while body wiping can be done as needed.

Professional Groomer

Black Shih Tzus will require regular visits to a professional groomer if you want to maintain their hair at a certain length and style. If you feel confident, little tail and ear trims can be done by you.

However, it’s always advisable to let a professional groomer do their haircuts and trim; otherwise, you might completely mess up your dog’s fur. Typically, it’s recommended to visit a pet salon every 6 to 8 weeks.

Additionally, there are several benefits attributed to regularly brushing your dog’s hair, such as:

  • Distribution of body oils.
  • Stimulates blood flow.
  • Promotes faster hair growth.
  • Removes debris.

RELATED: Shih Tzu Shedding: How Much And How to Deal With It?

Commonly Asked Questions

There are a few commonly asked questions when it comes to black Shih Tzu. Here are the answers to some of them.

Do Black Shih Tzus Shed?

When it comes to shedding, black Shih Tzus are categorized as “low shedders.” This means that as long as their hair is kept healthy, you will observe minimal shedding.

There’s no need to worry about dog hair all around the house. In contrast to Golden Retrievers or Huskies, that both shed at an overwhelming level, you won’t have this problem with Shih Tzus. 

What Is the Most Popular Shih Tzu Color?

When it comes to color popularity, you might notice there’s a dominant number of double-colored or tri-colored Shih Tzus.

They are more popular because they are more common compared to other solid colors. Regardless of color, they all look cute, though.

Is the Black Shih Tzu Right For You?

Whether you are looking for a solid black Shih Tzu or another color, the question is, are these little dogs right for you? To further determine and to come up with a conclusion, you need to weigh whether you can meet the demands that this breed needs.

Overall, these dogs are relatively adaptable to different living situations. They can settle well in an apartment provided that you take them for a walk for at least 20 minutes a day. Shih Tzus also do well with children and other existing pets.

Black Shih Tzus do, however, need regular grooming because of their hair. But amidst all that, if you’re looking for a good-sized dog with a pleasing and spunky personality, black Shih Tzus are highly recommended.

Final Thoughts

There’s that stereotype that comes with black dogs as they appear more dangerous than other colored ones. However, these are just allegations. As with black Shih Tzus, they happen to be born with this rare kind of colored coat. Plus, because they’re tiny, you can’t mistake them for being vicious.

If you’re wondering whether Shih Tzus make excellent pets, then you’ve probably missed all the points said earlier as to why they would be great companions. These little sweethearts could steal your heart away, and if they do, you’ll be put under this strange spell.

They have that certain royal flair with the way they carry themselves and even with the way they walk. It’s as if they know that they were born from royalty.

But they also have this spunk and playful personality that will make each day fun. And because they love being attached to their humans, you’ll never be able to resist their constant need to snuggle.

Once you let these little lions in your house, you’ll never be able to picture your home again without them.

1 comment

Elizabeth April 21, 2022 - 10:39 pm

I adore my black Shih Tzu! He is most definitely a little brat, but we love him and wouldn’t have him any other way. He is the center of attention and goes everywhere with me. He gets love from strangers all the time and fully expects it. Thanks for the wonderful article.


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