Most of us know that Shih Tzu puppies come in a variety of colors. Many individuals have seen a Shih Tzu with a black nose. Black traditional Shih Tzus have black noses, eye rims, lips, and paw pads. They come in just about any color as well. But, did you know that recessive genes can change the pigmentation color in Shih Tzus? A Shih Tzu puppy may be born with black, liver of blue pigmentation which will be evident on nose, pads an eye rims.
As a Shih Tzu breeder, I have always found color genetics to be fascinating! I run an Embark genetic panel on all of my sires and dams. Click here if you want to check out Embark: https://embarkvet.com/breeders/. The genetic panel helps rule out dangerous genetic defects that may lurk in breeding lines.
Also, Embark provides a wealth of information in regards to coat and pigmentation color. This color trait information helps me to know what color offspring may be produced in my responsible breeding program. Color is obviously not important from a health standpoint but some clients do have a color preference.
Liver Shih Tzu Puppies
Liver Shih Tzu puppies have a liver or chocolate nose, eye rims, lips, and paw pads. All pigment changes to liver if both parents carry this recessive gene. Sometimes individuals may call a liver Shih Tzu puppy a chocolate Shih Tzu puppy. In reality, liver is the correct term. Chocolate refers to the coat color not the pigmentation color. Liver Shih Tzu puppies can come in just about any coat color except black. All black changes to brown in a liver Shih Tzu puppy.
Blue Shih Tzu puppies
Blue Shih Tzu puppies have a blue nose that sometimes is the color of charcoal. The D locus is responsible for the dilute pigmentation. Shih Tzu puppies with two copies of the dilution gene are often known as blue Shih Tzu puppies or Isabella Shih Tzu puppies. All black pigment becomes blue. Brown pigment becomes an almost lavender color. The hair color on a blue Shih Tzu puppy once again can be a variety of colors. I prefer not to breed for blue pigment because there is an increased risk of Color Dilution Alopecia in adulthood.
As you can see, Shih Tzus come in a delightful assortment of colors and pigments. Here at Arizona Sunrise Shih Tzus & Poos we produce the traditional black pigmented Shih Tzu and the more rare liver Shih Tzu Puppy in a rainbow of colors and patterns. The great news is that no matter what color Shih Tzu you decide to bring home, rest assured he or she will steal your heart!