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Don's Beautiful gang from Texas..blue dog number 3 is from Bluecajunshihtzus
These are some of my past pups and examples,  there are 3 color noses in the Shih tzu Black,Blue(lavender) & Liver and non Dilute Isabella Blue dog has a blue nose(look at the color nose in the pictures below it is almost a silver gray)sometimes darkens with age. Sometimes a gunmetal  purple color. 

It is the nose color not fur color that makes a blue dog.
I've seen breeders advertise blue and I do not see the blue nose.Its a hard call on some pups with the dark noses but if they are coming off the blue parents most likely they are blue.I have bought dogs when I first started as blues that were not blue,they were silver.

A silver OR gray dog with a black nose does not  make it a blue,People think because a dog is silver or charcoal that it is a blue dog NOT SO.Nose color and pigmentation determines the dogs Color.I have lot's of dogs with Blue eyes,Blue eyes does not make a dog a blue it is the NOSE COLOR.Some dogs noses are darker but when put in sunlight '''you can and will '''see the blue pigment.The breeder will know if she has watched the pigmentation from birth.Blue Shih Tzu lack a needed color gene for black. Their color is therefore dilute;The dilution gene affects eumelanin (black and liver), although phaeomelanin (red) may be lightened slightly as well. When a dog has two copies of the d gene it impairs its ability to make full-coloured pigment, so the pigment it does produce is paler than on a normal dog. A black dog with the dilution gene becomes blue and a liver dog becomes isabella. A blue or isabella can have any coat pattern, but whatever they have, any black or liver in the coat will be turned to blue or isabella. It is genetically impossible for a blue dog to have any black in its coat.

The main giveaway that a dog is a dilute is its nose colour. The coat may be entirely sable or recessive red, but if the dog has a blue nose, it is genetically blue. 

 I take my breeding serious....here I go, I hope this helps the people who don't have anyone to tell them about colors.I'm not claiming to be a know it all..Im just sharing what I have learned..hope this helps you out.I am very busy so Ill try to write a few things that may answer someof the questions. you may have

Most  Blue Pups are born a steel Blue color(no guessing on these),Some are Born Black, cream, solid white,reddish brown Coat color does not matter.
I do find after all my years of breeding that most black nose pups (Silvers, gold's,reds,blacks Brindles,have their nose pigmentation at birth or within in the first 3 days.Now some pups may have a dark blue nose but in the beginning that nose did not change color until a few weeks and that's how I classify my dogs as a blue is within the first 3 days if that nose does not change to black.Some blues do have dark noses for the breeders who ask..If you take that dark nosed dog into the sun you can see the blue or compare nose color against a black nosed dog.
The blue pigment will come out on that pup in a few weeks.I have a lot of breeders who cant tell if its a blue or silver?..silver dog gets its nose within a few days and the nose is Black..that's a sure one.. 
BLUE PUPS especially the dark charcoal blues nose may turn dark as they get older nose but I know because if it were a black nose it would of came out usually on the first day.The cream blues are usually dark nosed but still born with the blue pigment.The Blue's and the liver usually are born with a pink nose and may take 2 to 3 weeks to develop the pigment on the nose,almost all  pups are born with blue eyes and the eyes can change colors after 8 weeks.I see people advertise pups with blue eyes at 2 weeks old   HOW????all pups are born with blue eyes..better wait till at least 8 weeks before you make that prediction on eye color because they do change.I have seen pups eyes change colors at 10 to 16 weeks.So with the blue eyes you have to take a chance if that's what your looking for.You can usually tell the eyes that won't change because they are very light almost a white blue. Same goes for the livers with the green eyes..they can change between 8 to 16 weeks..most blue or green eyes that do change will change to a light gold  AMBER or slate blue not brown.With the blue eyes you usually have to have 2 dogs carrying that gene so don't expect blue eyes off of a brown eyes line unless both parents carry that gene.Sometimes you won't even get blue eyes off of 2 dogs carrying the gene.Also this is for the black pups that blue out as they get older.The nose color takes weeks to develop on a blue over black as it is called.If the dog were black the nose would be out in 3 days.A blue over black pup can take up to 18 month for the coat color to change,That black pup born off a blue mom usally locks in the blue color gene strong.That's the dogs that throw blue look at ''Gracie'' my girl for example.She is a black off of an all blue line,She always throws me all blue litters no matter who she is bred too..So to those who shun that black pup from that blue line  or any color line..BEWARE You dont know what your letting go..Black is used in all lines to get that dark color(if you want dark chocolates or reds introduce a black into that line and see what you get..usually non fading colors... When you breed always look at the pedigrees to see what you will get...if you don't have blue or chocolate in the line how can you produce it????
If your going to breed blue or any color make sure you do your genetic research(know what your in for with genetics before you do it).It is nothing like breeding other colors.I have seen alot of things go wrong when breeders breed STRONG blue to blue..I never breed 2 blues  ''BOTH'' with strong blue lines.I will breed blue to blue only if one line is very weak.Take Oliver my stud for example.He needs no help throwing blue his lines are that strong.I would never breed Oliver to a blue  with a pedigree like his.I always use a dog of another color with super coat and get awesome Blues with great coats .This is where the mess up comes in with the blue dogs..with other colors you will breed that color to the same color to get that color.....TRY breeding your  Blue to another color .Alot of people think blues have shabby coats NOT SO.Im working for the last 4 years on getting something beautiful and very rare from my blue's and Im almost there.I can just taste it.You will be the first to know when I produce it....It took me 10 Years to learn what I have about the Blue's.Ive been breeding for more then 20 years.Here are a just few examples of blue pup litters.I never stop learning.2 solid dogs can produce a party..but 2 party's can not produce a solid.........well if im wrong ..this is what I have learned on my own.I'm writing this to answer questions asked about the blues It is from my experience only, I am not a rocket scientist and will never know everything or claim too know everything on the blue gene.ALL I can say is Im very satisfied with my dogs and am very proud of them.
Shih tzu Colors- what is a Blue?Liver?Black?
example-Liver Noses
There are 3 color noses in the Shih tzu Black,Liver and Blue is the rarest 
 True blue pigmentation around the eyes and blue nose.
 example-Blue Noses
Adonis  a Bluecajun pup born & bred here is featured in Dog Fancy  magazine August 2009 issue representing the rare Blue  Shih tzu
This is the same 2 pups at birth as adults they are BLUE NOSED DOGs I thought they were a gold & whites till the noses came out.I have these colors alot and they all end up being usally the silver with the blue nose.How can a pup change this much in color?Happens all the time with the blues.Beware of red or gold coming off of blue dogs they will FOOL YOU.
 Those tricky Blues.......Blue nose dogs Fur color can be any color, 
This is the Blue in the picture as a pup she is the forst pup on the left in the picture
Whites can have all 3 color noses.White's with a blue nose are called blue pointed with a liver nose, liver pointed with a black nose, black pointed.Solid white shihtzu are very rare.I register a white by the color of the nose not the fur.
 BLUE OR Black???Born solid Black with the blue nose...pup blues out between 5 to 18 months old SAME MALE AS HE BLUE'S OUT AT 18 MONTHS Watch those dogs you think are black...they can blue out...If the nose isn't black at birth or within 3 days watch them.Examples below.Anything coming from Bluecajuns that comes out black at birth is usally a Blue because of the strong blue lines that I have here.
Do ''all'' Shih tzu's stay the same color????the answer is NO
 HERE are a few examples of color changing from the left to right is the same dog Most shih tzus will get lighter with age.I have bought chocolates that were deep dark and faded out to light orange or brown .If you want dark chocolate, make sure the dogs line's are holding the dark almost black at birth color same goes for the mahogany deep dark reds. The darker(almost black) coat at birth the better for holding the color from left to right will be the same dog as it changes colors.Most Blue Brindles will turn light blue within one year,They will lose the red tones and turn light blue.
Example of  Blue gunmetal nose Bluecajun Imperial from 2010 thought she was a liver at first..But the nose was not liver.Thats why I do not go by fur color when it comes to Blues.She is a blue has the gunmetal blue nose.Check out how she blued out..
Blue noses-- no guessing if its a Blue 
Blue Nose
Liver Nose
Black Nose(common color on most shih tzu)
   A few Blue litters born here at Bluecajun's
Beaux & Nu Nu
Beaux & Nu Nu both born red in coat color
Blue eyes that persist throughout life can occasionally be found in Shih Tzu. Such blue eyes 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 liver-pigmented dogs (which have light brown eyes and pigment rather than the more common black), blue Shih Tzu are rare, but are perfectly acceptable in the show ring. All colors and markings are permissible in our breed. Nevertheless, blue eyes are unacceptable in the show ring .Light eyes of this kind do not affect vision, and blue-eyed Shih Tzu make fine pet.I have had lot's of dogs with Blue eyes,I have heard it's a fault in the shih tzu.Not in my book ,It's beautiful if the dog has all the pigmentation around the eyes to go with it.When pigment around the eyes is missing  on any color pup then it is a fault.I have seen pictures of so called faults and So far all my blue eyes have had the pigment(mascara) and no eye problems, they are not albino and a vet has checked them and their eyes are fine.It is not a disease it is a real  blue eye not to be associated with the white eye(disease) found in all dogs, that people confuse this with.Just like the liver nose dogs having the green eyes. Most liver puppies are born with blue eyes...these will  usally change to green then amber.I have not had a liver keep the baby blues yet.Not saying its not possible but I myself in all my years have never produced one that has kept the baby blue eye color it always has changed after 8 weeks...You MUST have 2 dogs carrying the blue eyes gene to produce the blue eyes.It is very rare to have Blue eyes in the shih tzu.THE DOGS BELOW ARE VERY RARE.Most puppies are born with blue eyes but the eye color will usually change at around 4 to 16 weeks.On a real blue eye pup the light color would compare to Edan or London  below.It is the lightest blue possible.The ones born with darker blue usally change.Just because a dog has blue eyes does not make it a blue dog.I see people advertize blue eyes as a blue dog not so...Most blue dogs will have not have the baby blues....they will have hazel,amber or brown or light gold eyes.Most babies have blue eyes THE FIRST WEEKS and you can get fooled. IF you have two blue eyed parents or carriers and have blue eyes on your puppies then you have a good chance these will stay.If they are going to change..  like I said...they will do so around 4-12 weeks.I can tell easily which will stay blue by the color.The color below is an example on eyes that will stay...any darker on the eye color then the 2 dogs below usally changes. These are real baby blues.
Blue eyes and Light color eyes
 example- BLACK NOSE   
    BLUE                        BLACK                 BLACK                           LIVER   NOSE
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Example on blue eye color that will stay..
 SAME DOG'''eyes turned from blue to light amber
same dog with green eyes turns to AMBER
 Dobie marked pup
True Blue
Solid White
 Blue and white party/blue eyes
True Blue and white party
 Dobie marked pup
Blue Brindle/will turn light blue
 Cream Blue /black mask
  Red Cream /black mask
 Dobie marked pup cream
True Blue
 Blue/with dark mask
Examples of the Rare Colors at Bluecajuns
 Blue/with dark mask
Cream Blue
  Cream blue Dobie 
True Blue
color?? very rare red brindle with blue mask dobie marked
True Blue/blue eyes
blue eyes
Red and white
Meet ASIA Rose