Shih Tzu puppies are characterized by their friendly and loveable temperament, as well as their physical appearance. The following are the physical characteristics you should look for in your puppy before selecting him:

First take a look at his head. He should have large, round dark eyes that are positioned well apart. The eyes should convey a warm expression. The next aspects of the head you will likely notice are the ears of Shih Tzu puppies. The ears are large and long and are covered in a heavy layer of coat hair so that they virtually blend into the hair on the neck.

Just as the ears are covered in long hair, so are the head and the face. While still a puppy, the Shih Tzu will have shorter hair, but you will soon discover as it grows, that their hair on top of their head will fall down into their eyes. Most owners tie the hair into a knot on the top of the head to stop the hair from going in the eyes and causing infection. Aside from the top of the head, a Shih Tzu will develop a good beard and whiskers.

The muzzle of Shih Tzu puppies have a reasonable width, are short and square. The nose at the tip of the muzzle is black and has wide nostrils. The mouth of a Shih Tzu is broad and contains a perfect scissor bite.

A Shih Tzu has a distinguished neck that allows him to carry his head with pride. The neck extends into their well built body. The body is longer than it is high, and is exceptionally sturdy with a broad chest. Observe the bodies of the Shih Tzu puppies in the litter. The body of this breed should consist of a level back that flows nicely into their tail. The tail will become heavily plumed as the dog matures, and will be carried happily over the back.

You will find that the coat of Shih Tzu puppies is much shorter than the adult versions of this breed. Shih Tzus have long, dense and straight or slightly wavy hair. The coat can be of virtually any solid or mixed color recognized among canine breeds. However, Shih Tzus that are parti-colors and feature a “white blaze” on their forehead and white coloring at the tip of the tail are most desirable.

The last part of the physical characteristics of Shih Tzu puppies you need to take into consideration is their legs and feet. Both the back and the front legs should be short, muscular, straight and well covered in hair. The feet should be firm, well padded and appear round.

Unless you will be using your Shih Tzu for show purposes, it is not necessary for you to judge the breed too harshly on their appearance. As long as the Shih Tzu puppies you are considering are healthy, happy and closely resemble the breed standard, you can be satisfied with the pup you bring home.