The shih tzu (also known as shitzu), originally bred in China and Tibet, is the 10th most popular breed in America, according the American Kennel Club. Some puppies wind up as strays or at shelters without papers.
Shih tzu puppies are far smaller than puppies of many other breeds. Even when full grown, they only weigh an average of 9 to 16 pounds, and are under 12 inches tall at the top of the shoulder.
According to "Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds" by D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D., shih tzu puppies can come in virtually any color or combination of colors.
Shih tzu puppies have a flattened face similar to a Pekingese--with large eyes, a round forehead and a muzzle shorter than many other kinds of dog breeds.
According to the Shih Tzu Club, shih tzu puppies do not get long, tangled coats until they are about 7 to 8 months old. The straight hair feels soft and dense.
Shih tzus, even as puppies, tend to be longer than they are tall, according to the "Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds."