The Shih Tzu is a toy dog breed originating from Tibet. The Shih Tsu is a mix between the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso.
In this article, we will discuss the Shih Tzu size chart for new owners of these lovely little dogs.
The charm of this dog lies in its beautiful coat, droopy ears and large round eyes. They have a stout posture and a playful nature.
Although Shih Tzu means “little lion”, there is nothing about a lion that applies to this calm dog with its friendly temperament. Unless you think it looks like a lion!
When Do Shih Tzus Stop Growing?
Like many toy dog breeds, the Shih Tzu grows very fast. They stop growing at around ten months when they reach maturity. That’s a very young age, but that is common for small dogs.
You can expect your Shih Tzu puppy to be at its adult size when it reaches ten months.
However, dogs are individuals, so some of these dogs may still need a week or two before they reach full maturity.
Shih Tzu Size Chart
You can use the Shih Tzu weight chart below to know if your dog is more or less the right weight and size.
The Shih Tzu starts life out weighing between 5.5 to 7 pounds when they are two months old. Adult dogs can weigh between 16 and 18 pounds.
If you have a Shih Tzu puppy you may be wondering which size your dog will end up being. Will it be a tiny Shih Tzu or a slightly bigger one? Let’s see how you can work that out.
If you look at the Shih Tzu size chart, you will see that i your pup weighs 2 pounds at 8 weeks, it’s likely to weigh between 8 and 9.5 pounds when it reaches maturity.
Keep in mind that, like humans, dogs are individuals and don’t all grow at exactly the same rate. If your dog’s weight differs slightly from that on the chart, you don’t need to be concerned.
Shih Tzu Weight Chart
|8 Weeks Old||Estimated Adult Weight In Lbs||Estimated Adult Weight In Kg|
|1.2 lbs - 0.5 kg||5.5 lbs - 6.5 lbs||2.5 kg - 3.0 kg|
|1.5 lbs - 0.7 kb||6.0 lbs - 7.3 lbs||2.5 kg - 3.5 kg|
|1.7 lbs - 0.8 kg||7.0 lbs - 8.0 lbs||3.0 kg - 3.7 kg|
|2.0 lbs - 0.9 kg||8.0 lbs - 9.3 lbs||3.7 kg - 4.5 kg|
|2.2 lbs - 1.0 kg||9.0 lbs - 10.5 lbs||4.0 kg - 4.8 kg|
|2.5 lbs - 1.2 kg||9.0 lbs - 11.0 lbs||4.0 kg - 5.0 kg|
|2.7 lbs - 1.3 kg||11.0 lbs - 13.5 lbs||5.0 kg - 6.5 kg|
|3.0 lbs - 1.4 kg||12.0 lbs - 15.0 lbs||5.5 kg - 7.0 kg|
|3.2 lbs - 1.5 kg||13.0 lbs - 15.5 lbs||6.0 kg - 7.5 kg|
|3.5 lbs - 1.5 kg||14.0 lbs - 16.0 lbs||6.5 kg - 7.5 kg|
|3.7 lbs - 1.7 kg||15.0 lbs - 16.5 lbs||7.0 kg - 8.0 kg|
|4.0 lbs 1.8 kg||16.5 lbs - 18.0 lbs||7.5 kg - 8.5 kg|
Shih Tzu Puppy Development Stages
Birth – 2 Weeks
At this time, a Shih Tzu pup is utterly dependent on its mom. In the first two weeks, they are both blind and deaf.
They receive all their nutrition from their mother’s milk and don’t move away from her.
At this stage, all they do is feed and sleep. At around two weeks of age, their eyes begin to open, and they start to hear sounds for the first time, which might startle them.
3 Weeks – 12 Weeks
Soon after their eyes open, puppies start exploring their surroundings, and their siblings, tugging at them.
Puppies are usually fully weaned by eight months and should start eating dog food for toy dogs. Give your dog a very small amount of food three to four times a day.
This is a good time to start with obedience training. It’s also vital to socialize your dog and get it used to other dogs, people and different places.
By 12 weeks, your dog should receive three measured meals a day.
4 Months – 9 Months
During these months, you should continue with training and socialization. You can now reduce your dog’s feeding to two times a day.
At some time now your puppy will start to lose its baby teeth and it may show discomfort due to teething pain. Find some teething toys to comfort your dog during this time.
In this time frame, your pup will reach maturity and reach its adult size. Don’t forget to continue training and socializing your dog.
10 Months – 18 Months
Shih Tzu dogs stop growing when they are eight months old when they reach maturity and adulthood.
At about ten to twelve months of age, your dog’s coat will change. It will lose the fluff and develop a proper adult coat. During this stage, you’ll be stuck with a matted coat, which will make brushing torture for you and your dog.
The time period between 10 months and 18 months is the early adult years of these toy dogs.
They normally eat two meals of dog food developed for toy dogs. By 12 months of age, they likely need to have some booster shots.
As an adult dog, the Shih Tzu is easy to live with. They are lively and happy little dogs and tend to get along well with people of all ages and with other dogs and other animals.
These dogs require a lot of attention and love to be with people. A Shih Tzu gets overweight very easily, so don’t feed your dog too many snacks between meals.
They should be taken for walks every day but it need not be long walks, especially not in hot, humid weather as these dogs are prone to heat stroke due to their short muzzle.
The only hassle with a Shih Tzu is its coat. While it’s beautiful, you’ll need to brush it regularly.
How Big Do Shih Tzus Get?
According to the American Kennel Club, adult Shih Tzus will weigh between 9 to 16 pounds and stand between 9 and 10.5 inches tall, measured from the floor to the withers (the top of the shoulder blades).
Are you wondering how big your Shih Tzu will get? You can use our Shih Tzu growth chart to estimate how big your dog will get. But there are other ways too.
Looking at the size of the parents is usually a good indicator of how big your dog will be. If the two parents are big dogs, your puppy won’t be a tiny dog.
The size of the paws is also a good indicator of a puppy’s size as an adult – puppies with large paws usually grow into fairly-sized dogs.
For the most accurate estimation of your dog’s eventual size, consider DNA testing. It is the most accurate prediction of a dog’s eventual size.
Will Neutering/Spaying My Shih Tzu Affect His Growth?
According to research done at the University of California, the Shih Tzu is not prone to joint issues following neutering (males) or spaying (females). For male dogs, there was no noticeable increase in joint disorders or cancers after they were neutered.
However, for females, there was a noticeable increase in some forms of cancer if the spaying occurred between 6 and 11 months of age.
The researchers suggest that owners of female dogs delay spaying until the female is 2 years of age.
Another possibility is to spay a female a month or two before 6 months to avoid the increased risk of cancers.
Havanese vs Shih Tzu Growth Chart
The Havanese is a toy dog breed that comes from Cuba. The Havanese appears to be the Shih Tzu’s double, being almost identical in size and appearance.
It is very difficult to see the difference in size between the two breeds, because of their thick coats, but the Shih Tzu is slightly larger than the Havanese.
Dogs from the two breeds grow to be 8-11 inches tall. However, the difference comes in with the weight. The Shih Tzu is heavier than the Havanese, weighing 9-16 pounds compared to the Havanese weighing 7-13 pounds.
Factors That Affect Shih Tzu Growth
Genetics & Gender
The growth of a Shih Tzu depends on its genetic inheritance from parents and grandparents. Bigger dogs will usually have big offspring, but in the case of toy dogs, the size of the offspring will always be small.
When you get your dog from the breeder, ask to see the parents of your dog to get an idea of the adult size of your dog.
Proper nutrition is crucial for the health of these dogs. Poor-quality food can quickly cause weight gain.
The Shih Tzu requires a balanced and quality diet consisting of a combination of meats and vegetables and some carbs.
Also, include some high-quality fish in their diet for the essential fatty acid-based proteins. This diet boosts immunity and ensures healthy joints and bones.
Make sure you don’t feed your dog food that contains artificial ingredients.
Physical Activity & Health
This breed is not very active. The Shih Tzu was not bred for physically demanding jobs; they were bred as companion dogs.
This is a house dog that will be content with a slow stroll around the block in the evening or a few short walks in the garden.
For most of the time, they are happy to sit on your lap and wander around the house. Get your dog a few toys to encourage it to get moving.
Keep in mind that the Shih Tzu is sensitive to heat because of their short face. Don’t take your dog out in the heat; keep it in a cool room to avoid heat stroke.
How Much To Feed A Growing Shih Tzu Puppy?
Many people are unsure about this. One of the reasons is the reaction of this breed to food: the dog either eats too much or too little.
There are quite a few factors that make it difficult to determine exactly how much to feed a toy breed, including the type of food (wet or, dry) as well as a dog’s activity level, health, age, and individual metabolism.
The only thing that one can be sure of is that no two dogs will eat exactly the same amount.
Having said that, if you are feeding your dog packaged dog food, you can simply follow the feeding guidelines printed on the packaging.
These are usually recommendations by weight, so if you know your dog’s weight it’s simple to know how much to feed it.
With all that said, as a general guideline, you can feed your dog a three-quarter cup to one-and-a-quarter cup of food per day for every ten pounds of weight.
What To Do If My Shih Tzu Is Not the Right Weight?
If you have weighed your Shih Tzu and it’s not the right weight, you can take the following steps.
Check your dog’s food. Make sure that you are feeding your dog a nutritionally complete and balanced diet.
Look for dog food that’s not full of carbs potato, rice, oats, pasta, or barley. These ingredients are high in calories. Find a dog food that has a simple ingredient list.
Also, make sure your dog is not eating too much or too little. Strictly adhere to the portion recommendations on the packaging. Also, the dog food is right for your dog’s age; don’t feed dog food fit for an adult dog to your puppy.
If you are feeding your Shih Tzu the correct amount of balanced dog food and it’s not the right weight, it’s time to consult your veterinarian, who can do a range of tests to determine what might be wrong with your dog.
How To Properly Weight My Shih Tzu?
Puppies should be weighed at least every three to four weeks for the first four to six months to make sure that they are developing correctly.
A dog that has a chronic medical condition, such as cancer or diabetes, should also be weighed regularly.
Otherwise, most dogs need to be weighed once a year.
Since your Shih Zhu is a toy bred, you can simply pick it up and weigh it on your bath scale. The scale should be on the floor so there’s no danger of the dog falling off.
If you have a baby scale, that is even better because these scales weigh in grams and ounces, which is more accurate. In a toy breed like a Shih Zhu a few grams/ounces can be a warning of an underlying health issue.
Shih Tzu Genetics And Common Health Problems
The Shih Tzu is a healthy breed that can live to 14 or 15 years.
Some medical problems that this breed is predisposed to include obesity, Luxating Patellas, dental disease, hip dysplasia, eye problems, liver shunts, and ear problems.
This breed is predisposed to become overweight because they are not very active dogs. For optimal health, it’s important to limit treats since obesity can lead to other health problems.
With Luxating Patellas, the kneecap has slipped out of its normal position, which can be painful and lead to arthritis.
Dental disease is common in Shih Tzu dogs because their mouths are so small they can’t accommodate all the teeth. This overcrowding causes tartar and plaque build-up.
Eye problems are also common in Shih Tzu dogs, including glaucoma, chronic dry eye, and cataracts.
Dogs with flat faces, like the Shih Tzu, suffer from brachycephalic syndrome, which causes upper airway abnormalities that makes it difficult for these dogs to breathe.
Shih Zhu dogs are delightful life companions. They have a pleasant temperament and get along with everybody, which means your dog won’t protect you or your family.
This dog is your friend and companion, not your protector.
Don’t be seduced by those big brown eyes into feeding your dog treats. These dogs gain weight very easily and you don’t want an overweight dog.