Shih Tzu doggies are truly some of the most adorable dogs. Everything about them just makes you want to give them a tight hug from their tiny, lapdog build to their long, silky locks and big, beautiful eyes.
In terms of aesthetics, the Black And White Shih Tzu is one of the most popular variations of the dog breed. The distribution of black and white fur varies from one Shih Tzu to another based on genetics.
Some Black And White Shih Tzus have a predominantly white coat with a few black spots or predominantly black with white markings. This leaves some of the Black And White Shihs looking like little penguins or pandas and others looking like smaller and fluffier Dalmatians.
In the sections below, we shall take a look at all these types of Black And White Shih Tzus as well as how to take proper care of your two-tone Shih doggy.
Is A Black And White Shih Tzu Rare?
Black And White Shih Tzus may be popular but they are quite rare. Some genetic patterns of black and white fur distribution are more common than others. However, the black and white two-tone pairing is relatively rare in general compared to other Shih Tzu coat colors.
The black and white coat color combination in Shih Tzus can be as a result of one of two different genetic profiles. Here are some of the possible patterns and the genes responsible.
Irish Mark Piebald
These Black And White Shih Tzus have a predominantly black coat with white markings covering less than 50% of the coat. The white coat is usually restricted to the chest, shoulders, forehead, and the tips of the paws and tail.
This distribution is as a result of the spotting gene on the S-locus. Interestingly, the white markings on these Black And White Shih Tzus can extend and cover more space as the dog grows older.
These Black And White Shih Tzus have a mainly white coat with black patches usually on the ears, around the eyes, and on the back. This particular pattern is as a result of the piebald gene which is also implicated in hearing issues including full deafness.
Parti-piebald Black And White Shih Tzus are probably the rarest of the black and white variety. They have a coat with an almost equal distribution of black and white fur.
For the most part, the distribution of this fur is very similar to the Irish Mark Piebald with the black fur mainly on the back and tail and the white fur on the chest, belly, face, and paws.
How Big Do Black And White Shih Tzus Get?
The Black And White Shih Tzu is a small-sized dog, similar to all other Shih Tzus. It normally grows to a height of about 8 to 11 inches from paw to shoulder.
A Black And White Shih Tzu also weighs typically between 9 to 16 lbs. It will reach its adult size by the time they mature at 10 months old.
How Long Do Black And White Shih Tzus Live?
Black And White Shih Tzus can live for 10 to 18 years.
This is the same life span you can expect from any other Shih Tzu color variation as none of the genes responsible for the black and white are directly life-threatening.
Black And White Shih Tzus are fairly healthy dogs. However, you should get familiar with the common health issues including some of the diseases that Black And White Shih Tzus die from if you are considering getting one of these doggies. These issues include:
Ear infections are very common in Black And White Shih Tzus as with all the other variations of the dog breed. This happens as a result of their long hair growing into their ears and creating conditions that promote the rapid growth of bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms.
Black And White Shih Tzus are typically active dogs. However, if they are overfed, on unhealthy diets, and not adequately physically engaged, they may very easily develop obesity.
This obesity in turn results in life-threatening conditions like heart disease which affect both the length and the quality of your Black And White Shih Tzu’s life.
Patellar luxation is a condition where the patella bone in the Black And White Shih Tzu’s knee becomes loose. This in turn results in instability of the joint and affects the pooch’s ability to walk, run, and even climb stairs.
Corneal Injuries And Irritation
Black And White Shih Tzus have large eyes that protrude from the surface of their faces. This exposes the eyes to injury as well as irritation from dryness.
Shih Tzus in general are also very interesting in that their eyelids do not close fully which further increases the chances of corneal issues.
Black And White Shih Tzus with the piebald gene are at a high risk of developing deafness as the gene may interfere with the formation of crucial inner ear structures. This most commonly happens in Black And White Shih Tzus with two copies of the piebald gene instead of just one.
How To Take Care Of Black And White Shih Tzus?
Taking good care of a Black And White Shih Tzu is about raising a happy and healthy dog by any means possible.
For the most part, you just have to ensure that you are feeding them the right things and proportions, keeping them active, and keeping up with your vet visits and grooming schedule.
As a first time Black And White Shih Tzu owner, you will need all the help you can get figuring all these needs out. Here is a quick guide that should come in handy.
A healthy diet for a Black And White Shih Tzu should be made from real and high quality ingredients. It should also be balanced to ensure that your pooch is getting all the nutrients they need. About 1 to 1.5 cups of food per day should suffice.
Pet Plate is one of the few dog food brands that delivers on both fronts. The meals are specially customized to meet your dog’s specific needs based on parameters like breed, age, gender, and special health needs.
You also have to include supplements like multivitamins, probiotics, and joint-friendly compounds like chondroitin and glucosamine to truly balance your Black And White Shih Tzu’s diet.
Black And White Shih Tzus are relatively low maintenance as far as exercise requirements go. The little pooches need about 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day to stay mentally and physically fit.
Vet Care Needs
A part of good care for your Black And White Shih Tzu will require that you involve your vet whether or not the pooch is sick.
Regular visits at an interval of every 3 to 6 months should be enough to ensure your Black And White Shih Tzu is up to date on routine checkups, vaccinations, and deworming.
Are Black And White Shih Tzus Jealous Dogs? Temperaments Of Black And White Shih Tzus
With a Black And White Shih Tzu in your home, you are pretty much guaranteed that you will never have a dull moment in your household. These cute little doggies may be small but they make up for their lack of size with their huge personalities.
Here are a few of the most interesting personality traits and quirks that you have to look forward to with a Black And White Shih Tzu.
Feisty And Vocal
Black And White Shihs are very opinionated dogs and they are not shy about expressing themselves. The feisty little dogs walk around with an air of confidence and are known to be very vocal when it comes to expressing themselves.
Black And White Shih Tzus may not be the most active and athletic of dogs but they are definitely playful. These little doggies will always find ways to entertain themselves which makes it easier to leave them alone for a few hours.
With early socialization training, Black And White Shih Tzus are some of the friendliest dogs you will ever meet. They get along with everyone including strangers and other pets and are a true delight to have around.
Alert And Curious
Black And White Shih Tzus are very much like cats when it comes to their curiosity and their alertness. These little furballs are very happy exploring the outdoors and make for perfect companions if you are an outdoorsy persona yourself.
Cuddles galore and so much more are a part of the deal when you sign up to bring a Black And White Shih Tzu home with you. These affectionate dogs are proper lap dogs and will follow you around everywhere for that extra hug or forehead rub.
Will My Black And White Shih Tzu Puppy Change Color? Grooming Tips For Black And White Shih Tzus
If you or someone in your home is allergic to dogs, then the Black And White Shih Tzu might just be the perfect fit. Don’t let the long and luscious coat fool you as these doggies are hypoallergenic and hardly ever shed.
Despite this massive bonus on their part, Black And White Shih Tzus still need regular coat grooming to keep them looking beautiful and smelling fresh. Here are the two most important coat grooming tips you need.
Brush The Coat 2 Times A Week
The fact that Black And White Shih Tzus shed minimally does not mean that they don’t get brushed. Remember that there is still going to be some loose fur within their coats that needs to be brushed out.
The long coat on a Black And White Shih Tzu is also likely to get tangled up if not regularly brushed.
In addition to sticking with this schedule, you have to invest in a high quality grooming comb like the Furminator Undercoat Tool. It is designed to work on all coat types and is perfect for maintaining the silky smooth and tangle-free texture on the Black And White Shih Tzu’s coat.
Wash Once A Month
Black And White Shih Tzus do not typically get smelly. However, the white parts of their coats need regular maintenance to avoid staining and fading.
In addition to washing your Black And White Shih Tzu regularly, we recommend you work with a whitening dog shampoo to keep the black brilliant and the white parts bright and beautiful. Seamus Cherry Blossom Whitening Dog Shampoo is ideal for the job and has the added bonus of deodorizing with its mild, floral scent.
How Much Does A Black And White Shih Tzu Cost? A Black And White Shih Tzu typically goes for $2,000 to $2,300 or even more depending on the breeder. For some perspective, most other Shih Tzus go for $500 to $1,600. The main reason for this difference in price ranges is the fact that Black And White Shih Tzus are quite rare compared to other color types of the Shih Tzu dog breed.
Why Is My Shih Tzu’s Skin Turning Black? Your Shih Tzu’s skin may turn black either as a result of normal processes as some have black skin patches or due to pathological changes. The latter are what you have to worry about as they may point to issues either with your Shih Tzu’s skin health or general well-being. Here are some of the most common of these pathological causes of skin hyperpigmentation in a Shih Tzu.
- Allergic reactions like contact dermatitis
- Skin infections
- Hormonal imbalances like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome
Is There Really A Pure White Shih Tzu? Pure White Shih Tzus are technically possible and do exist. However, it is extremely rare for a Shih Tzu to have a white coat with absolutely no pigmented markings. This is due to the recessive nature of the genes responsible for the white coat. As long as there is a single copy of genes responsible for pigmentation, most Shih Tzus will have colored markings on their white coat.