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Gold Shih Tzu: A Guide To Shih Tzu Colors And Coat Care

Gold Shih Tzu: A Guide To Shih Tzu Colors And Coat Care

Shih Tzus are among the most popular dog breeds in the world. In fact, small dogs are growing in popularity overall, and there are several reasons behind this!

First off, Shih Tzus are adorable. They are one of the cutest dogs out there, with their long, silky coats, occasional underbite, and affectionate personality.

These dogs can easily fit into your apartment, making them perfect for urban living. They don’t take up much room, especially when compared to larger dog breeds, they don’t have huge exercise requirements, and they don’t eat too much dog food, which reflects on your budget.

Also, Shih Tzus are a popular choice for numerous celebrities. They are right there at the top of Hollywood pets, together with Pomeranians, Poodles, Chihuahuas, and Frenchies. This greatly influences people to buy Shih Tzu dogs, hoping to be on par with their favorite stars.

It seems like the Shih Tzu breed was born for fame. Even thousands of years ago, these little dogs were kept as the pets of Chinese imperials and royalties, making them accustomed to life in the spotlight.

While Shih Tzus are among the largest toy breeds – you cannot fit them in every purse as you can with Chihuahuas! – they are still one of the top ten favorite dog breeds everywhere.

However, there is one more thing that makes the Shih Tzu breed stand out from the rest, and that is the wide variety of different colors these dogs can come in. In fact, the American Kennel Club (AKC) allows all coat colors and patterns!

One of the dog breeds that is rising in popularity is the gold Shih Tzu. These adorable pups truly make you understand why Shih Tzus are known as lion dogs!

In fact, if you’re reading this, chances are you’re considering getting a gold Shih Tzu for yourself, or maybe you just want to know more about this unique coat color. Either way, you’re in the right spot!

We’ll take a closer look at the gold Shih Tzu and try to collect all the information you might need to know. We’ll also explain how to take care of their gorgeous fur, as well as many other facts that are important for every aspiring Shih Tzu owner.

Let’s begin!

Shih Tzu Coat And Care

gold shih tzu christmas tree

Photo from: @littleshihtzu

All Shih Tzus are long-haired dogs. Their coats are silky and shiny, and despite them having a thick undercoat, because of the texture of their hair, they don’t experience almost any shedding. This makes them ideal for allergy sufferers.

However, this long coat also means that gold Shih Tzus can be tricky to take care of. Still, if you’re keen on having this dog, you’ll find out that it’s worth the effort. There is nothing prettier than a properly groomed gold Shih Tzu!

Many Shih Tzu owners prefer to trim their pooch’s coat and style it as they find it easier to maintain. This is the reason behind the existence of so many gorgeous Shih Tzu hair cuts, such as the ‘teddy bear cut’ and ‘summer cut.’

Keep in mind that even if you cut your Shih Tzu’s coat, there will still be a lot of grooming involved, especially if you want your pup to look pristine. It would be best to take your Shih Tzu to a professional groomer about once every six weeks.

Of course, these groomer visits cost a lot, so it’s understandable that not everyone can afford this. However, you have to regularly brush your Shih Tzu’s coat to ensure that it looks shiny and to prevent mats and tangles.

If mats form, these tangles will pull on the skin, which can cause irritation or even skin injuries. Either way, your Shih Tzu will likely feel uncomfortable, and this isn’t something you want.

Dogs tend to scratch the affected area, which can point you to the location of the knots. However, this scratching can only increase the risk of infection and even break the skin, making everything ten times worse!

Because of this, daily brushing is very important. If you cut your Shih Tzu’s hair, then you might be able to reduce this to a few times a week.

Also, you should always check out your doggy’s ears, teeth, and eyes. These locations are prone to infection – not to mention how this can ruin your pup’s appearance! While you’re at it, clip his toenails from time to time, just to make sure he looks tidy and clean.

Other than improving your Shih Tzu’s looks, these activities can ensure your dog stays healthy as you’re preventing illnesses and other health problems – some of which can even be fatal.

Overall, regular grooming is necessary for every responsible dog owner, and you should use it as an opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your family pet.

Is Coat Color Really Important?

Shih-tzu dog standing on tree trunk in forest

There is a myth that a dog’s coat color affects its behavior. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you don’t believe us, just think about this: Does your hair color affect your personality? The same goes for dogs.

No matter if you choose a Shih Tzu with a white coat, a dog in a liver color, or a black one, you can be certain he’ll make a great pet because of the breed’s mild temperament. There is no difference in behavior in dogs of the same breed but in different colored coats.

However, some colors are connected with a dog’s health, which is something you need to be mindful of. For example, chocolate dogs are known to be slightly more prone to certain health conditions, especially ones connected to the heart.

Also, merle dogs are known to have a lot of health problems, and they are commonly blind or deaf or even both! The same goes for albino dogs.

Fortunately, gold Shih Tzus are as healthy as dogs of any other color, and this fur shade isn’t connected with an increased chance of any health issues.

Gold Shih Tzus

gold shih tzu in park

Photo from: @littleshihtzu

Gold Shih Tzus have a shiny, yellow to orange coat that resembles a gold color. They can come in a solid color, but they also come in a two color combination or even tricolor!

One thing that is important for all gold Shih Tzus is that they have a black nose, eye rims, paw pads, and lips. This is mandatory for a dog to be considered a gold Shih Tzu. If his nose is liver, then he’ll be considered liver-colored and not gold. The same goes for blue or gray ones.

Here are some of the more unique patterns gold Shih Tzus come in:

Solid Gold Shih Tzu

Solid gold Shih Tzu puppy

As its name suggests, a solid gold Shih Tzu is a Shih Tzu with a gold-colored coat. These pups cannot have any white patches or markings of any other color.

However, gold Shih Tzus have traces of black, especially on their noses, eye rims, lips, and feet pads. Any other color isn’t permitted.

White And Gold Shih Tzu

White Shih Tzus can often have markings of some other color, and this includes gold as well. However, white and gold Shih Tzus are a bit rare.

For a dog to be considered white and gold, he’d have to have a white base coat with gold markings or patches. The pattern itself isn’t important. A white and gold Shih Tzu can come in a parti, tuxedo, or any other coat pattern.

Gold White Shih Tzu

Gold and white Shih Tzu with long flowing hair

A gold white Shih Tzu is similar to a white and gold Shih Tzu, but with one difference: the bigger part of the Shih Tzu’s coat is gold and not white.

Among gold Shih Tzus, this is likely the most common pattern, as most Shih Tzus have at least some white specks on their otherwise solid-colored fur.

Black And Gold Shih Tzu

The black and gold Shih Tzu is another fairly rare color combination. This means that a dog has a black base coat with gold markings.

These dogs are considered to be very pretty as gold and black make a big contrast. Black can make gold appear much more shiny and bright than it would look in some other color combination.

However, it is much more common to find a gold Shih Tzu with black markings than the other way ’round. These dogs are considered to be gold and black Shih Tzus.

Many black dogs with tan markings are considered to be black and gold, but the tan is a much deeper shade compared to the shiny gold one.

Another somewhat common black and gold Shih Tzu combination is having a gold Shih Tzu with black tips – a pattern also known as sable.

Black Mask Gold Shih Tzu

black mask gold shih tzu

Photo from: @masato.oolong

A black mask is one of the more common patterns on dogs of all colors, gold included. This means that a Shih Tzu’s muzzle is colored black. Sometimes, the forehead or the eyes can be affected as well.

In many gold Shih Tzus with a black mask, black pigmentation affects the ears as well. However, this doesn’t have to go hand in hand with the black mask and can come as an entirely different pattern.

Gold Parti Shih Tzu

Parti is a term derived from the word ‘particularly’ colored, and it doesn’t have much to do with another similar word party.

A parti Shih Tzu is a Shih Tzu with a white base and large, irregular patches of some other color. In the case of gold parti Shih Tzus, these patches are gold.

Keep in mind that there is a slight risk that a gold parti Shih Tzu might have some health issues related to a white coat, such as vision or hearing problems and sensitive skin. However, this affects only a small number of parti dogs, and most gold parti Shih Tzus will be just as healthy as any other gold Shih Tzu.

Gold Liver Shih Tzu

Liver isn’t necessarily a coat color. In fact, liver dogs are determined by the color of their skin, which is a dilution of eumelanin. This can become confusing.

For a dog to be considered liver, his coat can come in any color. In fact, liver dogs are determined by the color of their noses, paw pads, eye rims, and eyes. If these areas of the body are brown, then a dog will be considered liver-colored.

In other words, a gold liver Shih Tzu is just a gold Shih Tzu but with a brown nose. Sometimes, its eye color can be lighter, as well, as this is also the area affected by the dilution gene.

One of the particularly sought-after color combinations is a gold liver Shih Tzu with green eyes. While this happens rarely, when it does, the puppies can be sold for an extremely high price.

Gold Brindle Shih Tzu

Brindle isn’t a color but rather a pattern. A brindle dog has tiger-like stripes on a lighter, base coat color. They can come in any color, including gold. The stripes themselves can be narrow or wide, and there are no two dogs that come in the same brindle pattern.

In other words, if you see a gold Shih Tzu with stripes, you can know this is a gold brindle Shih Tzu.

Gold Brindle And White Shih Tzu

gold brindle and white shih tzu

Photo from: @marryguillen

The brindle pattern doesn’t have to be all over a dog’s body – sometimes, it can cover just a portion. This is the case with gold brindle and white Shih Tzu dogs.

No, these dogs don’t have gold stripes on white fur. Instead, they have patches of gold with black stripes on a white base coat – although sometimes, the majority of the dog’s coat can be covered in a gold brindle.

These pups are very rare, and they are often confused with Shih Tzus of some other color, as the brindle pattern can make a gold Shih Tzu appear brown or red.

Black, Gold And White Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu standing on an ice floe

This is likely the most common color combination in Shih Tzus that includes the gold color. Gold is one of the most common colors in tricolor dogs, and this includes Shih Tzus.

Most of these pups will have a white base coat with black and gold markings – although any other combination is possible.

Another common combination is for a dog to be gold and white, but with a black mask and black ears. These dogs are also considered tricolor, and they aren’t nearly as rare as some other gold Shih Tzus.

Tricolor dogs don’t have to have a strict pattern on their bodies, and not all three colors have to be equally distributed. For example, even if a Shih Tzu has a white chest and black mask, he will still be considered a tricolor.

In fact, bicolored gold Shih Tzus are quite rare, as most dogs that aren’t solid gold have at least a small patch of some other color – most notably, these colors will be black and white.

Gold Mask Shih Tzu

gold mask shih tzu in park

Gold mask Shih Tzus are so rare that some dog lovers believe they don’t even exist. Most commonly, these are white dogs with gold hairs around their muzzle.

Keep in mind that most dogs, no matter their color, have a black mask. Finding gold hairs around the nose while there is no gold elsewhere on the fur is very unusual – but it still might happen.

These dogs can have a very high price because of how rare they are, and this is something you need to consider if you plan on getting one.

Gold Imperial Shih Tzu

Have you heard of the term imperial Shih Tzu? Do you know what this means?

An imperial Shih Tzu and a standard Shih Tzu are two dogs of the same breed. However, there is a big difference, and it all comes back to their size.

Imperial Shih Tzus are smaller than regular Shih Tzus. They are also known as teacup dogs. However, this isn’t as simple as it might sound.

All Shih Tzus are more or less the same size. They weigh up to 16 pounds and, as mentioned, are among the biggest small dogs.

Imperial Shih Tzus are bred in various ways, so they can be smaller than regular Shih Tzus. This means that most of the time, they aren’t purebred but rather crossbreeds of some smaller dog breed. If you want a purebred Shih Tzu, you shouldn’t get an imperial.

Even if an imperial Shih Tzu is purebred, this means he is either a runt of the litter or suffers from a bone problem, including dwarfism.

Despite this, imperial Shih Tzus are still very popular because of their cute appearance and small size.

A gold imperial Shih Tzu is just a small gold Shih Tzu. All of the patterns and shades that we’ve mentioned before apply to these dogs as well.

Are Gold Shih Tzus Rare?

gold shih tzu

Photo from: @max_loves_cocoa

Gold Shih Tzus aren’t that common. In fact, they are among the rarer Shih Tzu colors – including both the solid gold Shih Tzu and a gold Shih Tzu with some markings.

One of the reasons why gold is such a rare color is because this color can fade, so even if you may have a certain amount of gold puppies, you’ll find that the gold shade can be quite rare in adults.

Still, gold is far from being the rarest of all Shih Tzu colors.

Also, it’s important to note that gold is a fairly common color in tricolor dogs, especially when combined with black and white.

What Is The Rarest Shih Tzu Color?

solid black Shih Tzu

While gold Shih Tzus are somewhat rare, they are far from being the rarest color out there. But then, what is the color that you’re least likely to find?

Believe it or not, the rarest Shih Tzu color isn’t some fancy pattern or combination, but rather, solid black!

While this sounds surprising, there is actually a good reason behind this, and it lies in the way the AKC labels colors. What does this mean?

Almost all black Shih Tzus have a white marking on their bodies, no matter how large or small. However, even a single white hair means that the dog is qualified as a black and white Shih Tzu instead of solid black.

Not just that, but all true black Shih Tzus have to have a black nose, lips, eye rims, and paw pads. If any part of their body is in any other color than black, then these dogs cannot be considered solid black.

For example, if the dog has a blue nose, he’ll be considered a blue Shih Tzu. Similarly, if the nose is brown, the pup will be registered as a liver Shih Tzu.

This is because black dogs have eumelanin, a dominant black pigment that colors every part of their body, not just their hair. If that pigment isn’t distributed everywhere, a dog won’t be solid black, which means it cannot be considered a black Shih Tzu.

This strict criteria is one of the main reasons why true black Shih Tzus are so rare to find and why they are the rarest color out there.

Will A Gold Shih Tzu Change Colors?

little shih tzu looking through the window

Photo from: @littleshihtzu

One of the things that makes choosing the right color Shih Tzu quite challenging is this: Shih Tzus experience significant color change both in puppyhood and adulthood.

Once you hear this, you will probably wonder if your gold Shih Tzu puppy will change colors over time. The truth is – he probably will.

Throughout their lives, most Shih Tzu puppies go through several color changes. Most of these happen during puppyhood. In fact, you may even change the registered color of your Shih Tzu up to three times within the AKC!

These color changes happen because Shih Tzus can have up to two genes that influence this.

First off, there is the ‘G’ gene that causes fading. This fading can begin in puppies less than four weeks old! Dogs carrying this gene will usually grey or experience dulling of their color.

Secondly, there is a ‘CH’ Chinchilla gene that influences a Shih Tzu’s coat to turn into a rich, silvery color. This is how you get a silver Shih Tzu.

Gold Shih Tzus won’t experience as much color change throughout their lives as some other dogs. This is because lighter hair colors are less prone to these changes. On the contrary, a black dog might grow up to become silver or even light grey!

Some experts believe that environmental factors can also influence this color change. While it’s true that feeding your dog the wrong kind of diet or keeping him in surroundings that stress him out can affect greying or color dulling, this isn’t the same as regular fading.

This is because the wrong environment can affect the quality of a Shih Tzu’s coat, and with it, it can give their coat a dull appearance. However, most of the time, if you get your Shih Tzu healthy again, their coat will go back to its regular color.

On the other hand, genetic color changes are permanent.

Gold Shih Tzu Puppies

gold shih tzu puppies

Photo from: @shihtzufamily.tibetanbeautyfci

As mentioned, most Shih Tzus will experience changes in color. This can also happen with gold Shih Tzus.

In other words, most gold Shih Tzu puppies are not even gold in color. However, as their coat fades, they get the gold shade they are known for.

For example, you might have a red & white Shih Tzu that will grow up to be gold & white once the red fades to the golden shade.

In fact, most gold Shih Tzu puppies are born red or even brown, but they become gold over time. It can be tricky to predict which puppy will turn gold, even for experienced breeders, which is why it’s challenging to pick the right Shih Tzu right away.

Take a careful look at the Shih Tzu puppy you’re interested in. Does he have a golden streak somewhere, such as under his legs or on top of his ears? If he does, there are great chances that he will become a gold Shih Tzu.

Bringing Your Gold Shih Tzu Puppy Home

If you’ve decided to buy a gold Shih Tzu puppy, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you bring him home. The area you want your pup to spend the most time in should be prepared, and you should know that these little bundles of joy demand care, love, and attention.

First off, you need to prepare your backyard, if you have one. Shih Tzus are small dogs, and their puppies are truly toy size. They can squeeze through even the tiniest of holes, so make sure there are no gaps in your fence or wall.

If you have a pool or a pond, you should secure it so your puppy cannot go near it. Not all dogs know how to swim, especially when they are very young. Of course, you should teach your gold Shih Tzu puppy how to handle water, but some precautions are necessary until then.

Then, go back into your home and prepare three areas for your pup. He should sleep in one place, eat in another, and sleep in the third. While it may seem easier to do everything in just one room, doing it like this can help you teach your dog boundaries. This will come in handy when you begin training your pup.

The sleeping area should be secluded and quiet, and you should buy a dog crate, bed, or blankets. This will make him feel comfortable and safe. You might also consider keeping some dog toys in there but don’t go overboard. He needs to know that this isn’t a place for playtime.

If you want to keep some areas off-limits to your pup, use baby gates or stair gates. This is a good way to ensure your Shih Tzu is kept in the allowed area while you can still walk through it.

Also, you should ensure that the trash can is either off-limits or covered with a secure lid. Exposed electric cables are another no-no, as puppies love to chew on everything. Buy high-quality chew-proof casings for everything that might cause harm to your pooch.

Remove any breakable or valuable items, such as shoes, electric devices, purses, family heirlooms, glasses… Puppies will think everything is a toy, and this can end badly for both you and your pup.

Buy anything you need in terms of dog equipment, including food bowls, a leash, collar, grooming brushes, a dog toothbrush, pee pads, poop pads, dog shampoo, and so on.

It’s always better to prepare your home beforehand than to end up with a dog and no dog supplies!

Most importantly, check if there are reputable veterinarians in the area. While Shih Tzus are mostly healthy dogs, you’d still want to have an expert nearby in case of an emergency.

Gold Shih Tzu Price

gold shih tzu black mask

Most Shih Tzus aren’t that expensive. You can find them for as low as $750, and most will cost up to $1,500. However, some more reputable breeders sell their puppies for up to $3,000, sometimes even more!

Gold Shih Tzu puppies are fairly rare, so you can expect them to cost a bit more than an average Shih Tzu would. However, many things influence the price and not just the Shih Tzu coat color.

For example, if you live in an urban area, you can expect Shih Tzus to cost a bit more than in smaller towns. This is because toy dogs are more popular in places where most people live in apartments because they are easier to keep.

Then, you need to think about the breeder. Some breeders value their dogs more than others. There is usually a good reason behind this, but you should always compare the value and the price so you don’t get ripped off.

Certain bloodlines can also cost more than others, especially if you plan to have your dog participate in dog shows.

If you plan on purchasing your gold Shih Tzu puppy from an area he needs to be shipped from, you also need to consider the transportation costs.

Gold Shih Tzu Breeders

gold shih tzu in a walk

Photo from: @maple_tzu

Let’s talk a bit more about gold Shih Tzu breeders. As mentioned before, some people sell their Shih Tzu puppies for a higher price than others. On the other side, some breeders are very cheap and sell for a below-average price. Why is that?

For reputable breeders, their entire lives revolve around producing the best puppies possible. They spend most of their time dealing with their dogs, and they invest a lot of money in this. This also means they risk losing a lot of money if anything goes wrong.

Reputable breeders only buy the best dog food for their puppies, and they give them the best care possible. They invest a lot in genetic screening and health tests to ensure their puppies are healthy and don’t carry genes for serious conditions.

As they spend so much time and money on their dogs, they need to have a return on investment. To get that, they’ll raise their prices a bit.

Of course, some breeders might inflate the price for more than is justified. However, you should be more concerned about people who sell puppies for a much lower price than the average.

If a dog is advertised for a very low price, you should think about why that is so. Chances are that you’re dealing with a backyard breeder who doesn’t really know how to breed dogs properly.

These people don’t conduct any health tests, and they cannot guarantee you a healthy pup.

Most of the time, if you try to save money on buying a cheaper dog, you’ll pay much more on medical bills or special foods if your gold Shih Tzu puppy ends up with some deformity or severe health problem.

The best thing that you can do is visit a breeder in person. This visit will tell you all you need to know about their breeding practices.

A good breeder will keep their dogs in a healthy, clean environment. All of their pups should appear healthy and happy, and the same goes for the parent dogs. In fact, you should insist on seeing at least one parent in person, as this can give you an idea of what you can expect.

Good breeders will be glad to answer all questions you may have. Just keep in mind that even the best of the best cannot fully predict how your Shih Tzu puppy will look. This is how unpredictable the coat color is.

Should You Buy A Gold Shih Tzu?

gold shih tzu

Let’s face it. Gold Shih Tzus are adorable. If you love small dogs, chances are you’d do anything to get one of these pups for yourself! But, should you buy one?

Buying or adopting a dog means you need to be prepared for a great commitment. Not everyone has what it takes to be a good dog owner, no matter how much they love dogs. This is why we end up with so many dogs in shelters looking for new homes.

All dogs, including the gold Shih Tzu, require walks, food, love, and regular attention. This dog breed is especially prone to separation anxiety, so if you’re someone who works long hours every day, this might not be the best pet for you.

The next thing you need is to make sure you have the finances. Even if you can cover the initial puppy cost, you’ll need to invest money in your pet throughout its life. Since Shih Tzus have a long lifespan, you’ll be making a commitment that can last 15 years or even more!

Dogs require food, beds, collars, leashes, vet visits, treats, and so on. Shih Tzus can be somewhat expensive to maintain as they require regular groomer visits. Fortunately, they don’t eat a lot of food, so this is one less expense for you.

You should also take some time to make sure you’ve found the right breeder. You should always visit a few people before making a final decision, as this is the only way you can be certain you’re getting the best dog possible for the price.

Final Word

sleepy gold shih tzu

Photo from: @danny_thetzu

Buying a gold Shih Tzu is a long-term investment, and you should be prepared for this commitment. Dogs are living creatures with their own needs and feelings. Some dog lovers even compare this to having a small child that needs to be taken care of!

Choosing the right dog can take a lot of time. And, no, we’re not talking just about the coat color. In fact, Shih Tzus are the right dogs to show you that color isn’t important, as it’s likely to change over time.

It’s much more important to choose a dog that is fit for your lifestyle and that you can take good care of. Fortunately, Shih Tzus are great dogs for many types of people, and almost anyone can be the perfect owner to one of these tiny pups.

Make sure you’ve prepared your home for the arrival of your tiny pup, so you don’t have to rush to deal with this. Your property should be puppy-proof, so your new puppy cannot harm itself or cause damage to precious items.

Show your new gold Shih Tzu all the love you can, as it’s a big shock for any dog to be separated from its mom and siblings. They’ll need to find comfort in you, and you should help them de-stress.

Make sure you buy from a reputable breeder who knows what they’re doing. Don’t buy cheap dogs from pet stores, puppy mills, or directly from online advertisements. Chances are you’ll end up with a sickly puppy or that you’ll fall victim to a scam.

A good breeder will always ensure you get the best pup possible, and they’ll have all the necessary documentation to prove that their puppies are in the best condition possible.

Once you get your gold Shih Tzu, make sure you give him all the needed care and follow a grooming regime. While these dogs don’t shed, they are prone to tangles, as well as to many dental, eye, and ear health problems.

Also, keep in mind that your gold Shih Tzu might change colors over time and that this won’t affect him in any way. He’ll still be the same dog you’ve fallen in love with, but only with a slightly different appearance.

In fact, this excitement about waiting for your dog’s coat color to settle is one of the main reasons why people fall in love with the Shih Tzu breed.