Black Shih Tzu

If you are looking for a small pooch who is perfect for cuddling with on the couch and has a unique and very striking color, the Black Shih Tzu is the perfect option for you.

The Black Shih Tzu is a purebred Shih Tzu whose coat color is a solid black, without any other streak of pigment. The solid black color makes these dogs look very royal and unique, something that has greatly driven up the demand for the Black Shih Tzu.

If you are considering owning a Black Shih Tzu, the first step is to educate yourself about this breed and its needs. In this article, weโ€™ll provide you with information about how to care for a Black Shih Tzu, health problems they are prone to, their life expectancy, how to groom a Black Shih Tzu, and so on. Before getting into that, however, letโ€™s get one thing out of the way; are Black Shih Tzus rare?

Are Black Shih Tzus Rare?

A lot of people love Black Shih Tzus because of how uncommon they are. So, how rare is a Black Shih Tzu?

According to experts and breeders, black is found to be the rarest Shih Tzu color. For a Shih Tzu to be considered to be truly black, they shouldnโ€™t have any streak of white or any other color anywhere on their body. All their points also need to be black.

How Big Do Black Shih Tzus Get?

Like all other Shih Tzus, the Black Shih Tzu is a small-sized dog. Most Shih Tzus grow to a height of about 8 to 11 inches from paw to shoulder and weigh between 9 to 16 lbs when fully matured. Black Shih Tzus will reach their adult size by the time they are 10 months old.

Black Shih Tzu Appearance

The Black Shih Tzu has a round, broad, head that is proportional to its body, large round eyes, a short, square muzzle without any wrinkles, and a broad and wide jaw with an underbite. It also has a compact but sturdy body with a long spine.


One of the defining features of the Black Shih Tzu is their lush coat. Black Shih Tzus have a long and flowing double coat with a silky texture. Whereas other Shih Tzus come in different colors, and sometimes even multiple colors, the coat on the Black Shih Tzu is a solid black.

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How Long Does A Black Shih Tzu Live?

Most small-sized dogs tend to have relatively long lifespans, and the Black Shih Tzu is no exception. The average Black Shih Tzu will have a life expectancy of between 10 to 18 years.

Vets and canine scientists have not found any link between the solid black coat in Shih Tzus and any medical conditions. Still, the Black Shih Tzu will still be vulnerable to the health problems that afflict other Shih Tzus. Some common health problems among the Black Shih Tzu include:

Juvenile Renal Dysplasia (JRD)

Juvenile Renal Dysplasia is an inherited condition that affects the kidneys of Black Shih Tzu puppies. If your dog has JRD, they show symptoms like frequent urinationexcessive thirstvomitingweight loss, and lack of both energy and vigor.


Black Shih Tzus are also at a high risk of developing various kinds of allergies. The most common among these are food allergiesinhalant allergies, and contact allergies. While allergies can sometimes be dangerous, they can easily be treated by eliminating the cause of the allergic reaction.

Heat Stroke

The Shih Tzu is a brachycephalic breed, which means that they have a very short muzzle and shortened airways. This puts your Black Shih Tzu at a high risk of getting heat strokes, since their shorter airways are poor at regulating their body temperature.

Hip Dysplasia

Black Shih Tzus are also highly prone to canine hip dysplasia, a condition that affects the hip joint. This can be attributed to the unique skeletal structure of the Black Shih Tzu.

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How To Take Care Of Black Shih Tzus?

Dietary Requirements

The Black Shih Tzu is a tiny dog, and therefore, they donโ€™t require lots of food. The recommended daily amount for an adult Black Shih Tzu is between ยฝ to 1 cup of food. The exact amount will depend on your doggieโ€™s size, level of physical activity, age, and so on.

So, what is the best dog food for your Black Shih Tzu? Based on our experience, weโ€™ve found Pet Plateโ€™s dog food to be the best for Black Shih Tzus. We love Pet Plate because all their food is kettle-cooked in USDA approved kitchens and is packed with the right kind of nutrients for your canine buddy.

In addition to giving your Black Shih Tzu high quality dog food, give them some multivitamin chews to ensure they get all the minerals and vitamins they need for proper growth and health.

All Shih Tzus also have a high risk of developing dental problems, so we recommend that you invest in dental water additives to help keep your Black Shih Tzuโ€™s teeth and gums healthy.

Exercise Requirements

The Black Shih Tzu is not a very active dog, and therefore, they donโ€™t need too much exercise. Taking them for a short walk each day is enough to keep them healthy and fit. Due to their small size, they can also get adequate exercise by running and wandering around the house.

Since the Black Shih Tzu is brachycephalic, you should avoid exercising them in hot weather, since this can greatly increase their likelihood of getting a heat stroke.

Are Black Shih Tzu Dogs Barkers? Temperaments Of Black Shih Tzus

While the Black Shih Tzu doesnโ€™t bark as much as some other toy breeds, they are still a vocal breed who love barking to alert you of anything they consider to be a threat. This could be a neighbor walking past your door, the mailman coming to drop off mail, or even a friend coming to knock on your door.

Are Shih Tzus Good Lap Dogs?

The Black Shih Tzu was bred to be a companion dog, and their temperament is a true reflection of this. The Black Shih Tzu is a social, cheerful and affectionate fido who really loves being around people.

Theyโ€™ll quickly make themselves comfortable on your lap whenever they get a chance, and will diligently follow you around whenever youโ€™re getting your house chores done.

The Black Shih Tzu has an easy-going personality and gets along well with everybody, from kids to other pets. However, always supervise your Black Shih Tzu when they are playing with kids or other dogs, because their small size puts them at a high risk of accidental injury.

Are Black Shih Tzus Aggressive?

The Black Shih Tzu is a friendly dog breed that is not known for being aggressive. Still, it is possible for your Black Shih Tzu to display some aggressive behaviors, such as growling, whenever they feel like someone wants to take other their toys, their food, or their territory.

Fortunately, it is possible to rectify aggressive behavior through training, if the training starts early enough.

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Can A Black Shih Tzu Turn Brown? Grooming Tips For Black Shih Tzus

Black Shih Tzu puppies do turn brown or change color during their first year of life. However, this color change does not happen to most Black Shih Tzu puppies. With better coat care and proper grooming, you can prevent a color change. Read on to find out more.

Is A Black Shih Tzu Hypoallergenic?

The Black Shih Tzu is considered to be hypoallergenic because they shed very little. Therefore, these adorable pooches are a great option for someone with dog allergies. 


The Black Shih Tzu is a bit demanding when it comes to grooming. Youโ€™ll need to brush your Black Shih Tzu daily if you donโ€™t want their long hair to form tangles.

During brushing, youโ€™ll need to use a proper brushing tool that reaches all the way through their double coat to the skin. One of the best options for this is the Furminator Undercoat Tool, which is designed to work on double coated dogs without damaging the top coat.


If you want to keep your Black Shih Tzuโ€™s coat looking gorgeous, youโ€™ll also need to give them a bath regularly, about once every month. Never use human shampoos when bathing your Black Shih Tzu, since the pH of human shampoos could be damaging to your doggoโ€™s coat.

Instead, you should bathe your Black Shih Tzu using canine shampoos with the right pH balance, such as Mighty Petz 2-In-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo And Conditioner.

Youโ€™ll also need to wipe your furry buddyโ€™s face every day to remove dirt and eye gunk and prevent tear staining.

How Much Is A Black Shih Tzu? An all Black Shih Tzu will cost about $1,000 to $2,000, which is a lot higher than the cost of a regular Shih Tzu. Black Shih Tzu puppies are more expensive because they are highly rare and harder to come by, and there is a huge demand for them.

Can Black Shih Tzus Swim? Even though the Black Shih Tzu can swim, Shih Tzus are not water dogs, and their physical limitations make it very difficult for them to swim. Therefore, it is not advisable to allow your Black Shih Tzu to get into the water, and if they do, always make sure they are under supervision and have a life jacket.

What Is A Black And White Shih Tzu Called? Shih Tzus that are half black and half white are referred to as parti-piebald Shih Tzus. Shih Tzus with more white than black on their coats are referred to as extreme piebald Shih Tzus, while those with more black than white on their coats are referred to as Irish mark piebald Shih Tzus.

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Pete Decker