There is much confusion about color. A lot of this stems from understanding the difference between the actual coat color and pigmentation. The pigmentation will be where the color is most obvious: eye rims, nose, and pads of the feet. Shih Tzu's come in a variety of colors and all are accepted by the AKC.
Their are eight solid colors:
BLACK- A black Shih Tzu will not have any other color fur. Even a touch of a different shade will move this dog over to a mixed color. Because liver colored dogs lack all black pigmentation, you will not see a true black dog with a liver colored nose
.WHITE- Like black, no other color will exist on this dog. It can be liver, blue or black pigmented
.LIVER- This dog will have brown pigmentation on its nose, paws, and eye rims. The brown can vary from a very pale to a deep dark chocolate.
BLUE- Only if the nose is blue will this be the official color.
BRINDLE- This is a combination actually, of a base coat with streaking through it.
GOLD- A tan/yellowish color
RED- A very deep red or dark orange.
SILVER- Similar to white but with a grey shine to it.
Two color combinations:
WHITE & BLACK,
WHITE & BLUE,
WHITE & BRINDLE,
WHITE & GOLD,
WHITE & LIVER,
WHITE & RED,
WHITE & SILVER
Three color combination
SILVER, GOLD & WHITE
BLACK, SILVER & WHITE
BLACK,GOLD & WHITE
BLACK, SILVER, GOLD.
A blue or liver dog can have a coat in various shades. It can be solid white, cream, red, a dark chocolate brown etc. It all boils down to the pigmentation. It can be confusing. Blue is a rare color and often confused, just because the coat color may have blue in it, if the nose isn't blue, then it's not. Blue pigmentation is a charcoal like color. Shih Tzu's come in various shades and depths of color. It is very common and completely normal for Shih Tzus to change color as they grow from puppies to adults. Sometimes it is difficult to choose the correct color on your paperwork, just do the best you can, and remember it is common for a mature dog's color to be different than when they were as a puppy.
HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING FACTS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW.
Blue eyes & Excessive white
Blue eyes that persist throughout life can occasionally be found in the Shih-tzu. Such blue eyes (actually, often dark or light gray rather then bright blue) are found in blue dogs. Blue
Shih-tzu lack a needed color gene for black. Their color is therefore dilute, they also have blue pigment on their muzzles, noses, lips, footpads, and eye rims. Like the liver pigmented dogs (which have light brown eyes and pigment rather then the more common black)