My strange Shih Tzu's colors. Don't know if one is full Shih Tzu.

by Donna Wihebrink
(Union, Ky)

Minnie before/after hair 1st haircut-9 mo old

Minnie before/after hair 1st haircut-9 mo old


I recently adopted two Shih Tzu puppies. One is older, yet they are sisters from different liters lol. So they are supposed to be from the same set of parents.

Although they do look very similar especially the fur color, they also look very different as well.

What's confusing is the color comes from the dad and not the mother. So I want to upload pics to you of both dogs. The mother is a black/white Shih Tzu, but the dad has an unusual color. The dad does have an unusual look as well.

Once I acquired puppy #2 is when I started to question if the dad is even a Shih Tzu or a full-blooded Shih Tzu at that. Someone asked me if my youngest puppy was a Brussels Griffon and I said no she's Shih Tzu. I didn't even know what a Brussels Griffon looks like. So I went home and researched it. The Brussels Griffon didn't look like my puppy, but curiosity got best of me so researched Shih Tzu/Brussels Griffon mix (Shiffon) and wow did it look similar to my puppy.

So here's the big difference in two dogs I have. The older one has very thick soft fur like a Shih Tzu. Her coloring is different but still very like a Shih Tzu. She has the black mask. She has gold and dark hair.

But my youngest has very thin hair that sheds. It is longer and wiry on top (back) and tail yet on top of the head, around stomach and legs very silky kind of like a Yorkie breed.

She is also pretty small with tiny legs, yet she does have a very long body. Even though she weighs 10 lbs and she's about 13 months old, and that is in the normal range for Shih Tzu.

Her sister has ranged from 11 lbs up to 13 lbs (had to put her on a diet) she has a shorter body and got rather unhealthy at the heavier weight.

I'm seriously thinking of doing DNA testing on the one for sure. First pics are of the pup in question.

Minnie is showing her when I first got her before/after the 1st haircut..up to present pics and then the last pic is of her sister Lucy (older pup) that to me looks Shih Tzu. Any advice you can give is appreciated.

Janice here from Miracle Shih Tzu

Wow, you do have a mystery on your hands. It sounds like you did see the parents so you know what they look like. I have a couple of hypotheses and explanations for you to consider.

Every litter is going to be different even if the parents are the same. Puppies get a large portion of the genes from their parents, but genes from previous generations can come out too.

It is not unusual to get puppies that don't look like either parent especially when it comes to color. It is entirely possible that the dog who resembles a Shih Tzu had a grandmother or grandfather that had her coloring and markings.

Did the mother look like a pure-bred Shih Tzu? That might explain the resemblance of one of your dogs to the Shih Tzu breed. In that litter, the mixture of genes might have been more pronounced on the Shih Tzu side.

The real mystery is the dad. I think it is possible that the grandfather could have other breeds in him. The reason I say this is because your dog looks like he has a longer nose. Both Shih Tzu and Brussels have very short snouts.

Your dog is also showing some wiry or rough coat tendencies, but most wire coat dogs don't shed the way we think of as shedding. Their hair grows and then dies but the dead hair remains on the dog so it needs to be stripped or clipped.

The small legs are a characteristic of Yorkies, but Yorkies also have prick ears. Yorkies don't shed very much.

You might want to consider the possibility that your dog has more than two breeds in his genes. A DNA, though a bit expensive is a great idea. That is the only way you will know for sure what your dog truly is. It is also good to know because all breeds have different health issues and if you know the breeds, you can read up on the different health problems that could affect her later in life.

Comments for My strange Shih Tzu's colors. Don't know if one is full Shih Tzu.

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 17, 2018
My strange Shih Tzu's colors....
by: Donna

hello & thanks for I know that the mom of these two dogs is a black and white Shih tzu or she does look like a shih tzu, but the father is the mystery. He looks like he could be a Brussels Griffon. I have seen both the mom and dad dogs. When I searched and found the 'Shiffon' I did find dogs that look very similar to my two, especially Minnie. The Brussels have the long skinny legs and have wiry hair as well. So I do think that is the best match for these dogs. But I am going to try to do a DNA match on Minnie when I get the extra money as I really want to know. Thanks again.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Very Special ShihTzu.

Grab our Newsletter "Tzu Tips"

Get the latest on everything Shih Tzu.  Sign up today for our monthly E-zine.  It's free!

Recent Articles

  1. Ultimate Guide to Shih Tzu Puppy Travel: Tips and Recommendations

    Sep 12, 19 05:50 PM

    This Shih Tzu puppy travel guide will help you make informed decision when planning your next adventure with your Shih Tzu pup or adult

    Read More

  2. Introducing Mozart, my Shih Tzu Boy

    Sep 07, 19 06:23 PM

    My mom's colleague's Shih Tzu had puppies and we adopted one of her sweet puppies. He is our sweet boy, Mozart. He is an absolute ball of energy and

    Read More

  3. How Can I Manage Distractions with My Shih Tzu

    Sep 07, 19 05:48 PM

    Hello, A week ago, I got a sweet girl (Shih Tzu). She turned one yr.old in June of this year. I have taught her quite a lot in this period of time. One

    Read More

  4. How to Keep a Shih Tzu Puppy Out of a Big Dog's Water Bowl

    Sep 07, 19 04:51 PM

    Hi, I have a golden retriever and Shih Tzu puppy. I bought a water bottle and my Shih Tzu uses it but also uses the other bowl. How do I keep him out of

    Read More

  5. How to Dispose of Dog Poop in an Environmentally Friendly Way

    Aug 29, 19 01:46 PM

    All owners need to dispose of dog poop, but is there an easier or better way to accomplish this unpleasant task? Here's a green method friendly to the earth

    Read More

Come, Be Social With Us

Visit my Pinterest Page
Follow me on Facebook
View my YouTube Channel
Join our FB Group
Follow us on Twitter