Pet Wellness Guides > Shih Tzu Growth and Weight Chart

Shih Tzu Growth and Weight Chart

Posted: 11/09/2023 | BY: Humberto Noguera | Categories: Dog , Dog Weight and Growth Chart

The Shih Tzu is known as the “Lion Dog” due to its beautiful, fluffy, and often multi-colored coat. This ancient Tibetan breed has been a popular pet for thousands of years, starting in ancient China, when they were given to emperors as cherished gifts. The Chinese bred the dogs to look like miniature lions, hence the name Shih Tzu which means “little lion” in Mandarin Chinese.

Friendly in nature and small in stature, the Shih Tzu is an outgoing and joyful dog who loves children, making this breed a perfect choice for families. They make an ideal dog for apartment or condo living as small dogs. This little ball of energy is ideal for anyone looking to add a cute and cuddly friend into their life. Shih Tzu puppies will keep you constantly entertained with their goofy personalities. Whether they’re playing fetch in the backyard, trying out new tricks at home, or being perfect lap dogs, Shih Tzus are unforgettable companions.

If you already own one of these amazing dogs, you may wonder how big do Shih Tzus get? As a toy breed, these pups often weighs more than it may seem due to its impressive coat. There isn’t much difference between the genders regarding adult weight and height; however, there are some slight differences in size. Like the teacup Shih Tzu, smaller Shih Tzus are tinier options for families who want a smaller pup. Closely following dietary needs, weight, and height ensures healthy Shih Tzu puppies become happy adult dogs.

To make sure your Shih Tzu puppy experiences healthy growth and becomes a healthy adult, you need to know when she’ll be mature. Our Shih Tzu growth and weight chart allows you to keep track of how tall and heavy puppies should be during each stage of development from birth to weeks old to adult size.


Thinking About Adopting a Puppy?

If you own a Shih Tzu or are thinking about adding one to your family, you may wonder how much a full-grown Shih Tzu weighs? When do Shih Tzu puppies stop growing? How big do Shih Tzus get? What is a Shih Tzu’s adult size?

The Shih Tzu is a toy dog breed amongst small breed dogs that reaches maturity more quickly than other breeds. Some pups may take an entire year to grow into full size, but most puppies reach full growth around ten months old. The American Kennel Club notes that the life span for this toy dog breed is about 12-15 years with regular care and diet.

Six-month-old Shih Tzu puppies will weigh between 7 and 12 pounds, with many reaching their adult height of 9 to 10 inches by the 10-month mark. Our Shih Tzu growth and weight charts offer an estimated weight for your pup and the adult weight they should achieve.

Your Shih Tzu’s growth rate will vary depending on how old they are, what kind of diet they eat, and their physical activity level. If you’re concerned with any aspect of your Shih Tzu puppy’s growth, consult an experienced veterinary professional who can give you an accurate assessment of your puppy’s health. Many breeders can also provide helpful information about your puppy’s weight and adult weight.

Still not sure how much your pup should weigh? We have the answers for that, too! Check out our Shih Tzu growth chart and puppy weight chart below.

Loving the adorable Shih Tzu is easy. But paying for their medical care should they experience an illness or injury can be a challenge. Make sure you can afford to care for your fur baby by enrolling them into a pet health insurance plan.

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Shih Tzu Puppy Growth Patterns: How Much Does a Shih Tzu Breed Weigh?

Shih Tzu puppies grow up fast! That’s why it’s essential to monitor your Shih Tzu’s health, height, and weight to make sure that she’s meeting the statistical averages for both qualities. If she falls short of what breed expectations, then there may be some genetic or environmental conditions affecting the puppy’s growth.

Your Shih Tzu puppy has a lot of personality! They’re lively, fun, and full of energy, which means you must carefully select their diet to keep them healthy for years. The best way for your puppy to grow up properly and live a healthy lifestyle is by consuming the proper amount of puppy food with adequate nutrients.

Preventative care is a necessity for your puppy’s health and well-being. You should have your Shih Tzu’s veterinarian check your pup at 6 and 12 months. Any potential growth issues that could lead to stunted growth in puppyhood or obesity in adulthood need to be identified early. When you get a Shih Tzu, it’s important to watch their weight. The smaller the breed (less than 20 pounds), you should pay greater attention to weight gain. Once the Shih Tzu’s metabolism slows down with growth and age, they tend to gain fat quickly, making them susceptible to obesity. An overweight Shih Tzu is in danger of experiencing future medical conditions.

A nutritional and balanced dog food diet is best for your Shih Tzu puppy. A careful eye toward her exercise, amount of food, and a watchful attitude toward her growth and weight are also essential to her well-being. Proper nutrition and a healthy diet will keep most puppies at an average weight as they grow. Our puppy growth chart is ideal for observing your young puppy as she grows.


Shih Tzu Growth Chart from Puppy to Adult Shih Tzu

There is little growth difference between the Shih Tzu male and the female Shih Tzu. Unlike many other dog breeds, female Shih Tzus have the same adult height and adult weights as males. The average height for a Shih Tzu is about 8 to 11 inches or 20 to 28 centimeters. The male and female can weigh between 9 and 16 pounds as a fully grown Shih Tzu. Now that you know how important it is to take care of your new puppy, here’s a chart showing what healthy weight ranges are suitable for Shih Tzu dogs.

Puppy Age Estimated Weight
Birth Less than 1 pound
4 weeks 1.25 pounds
8 weeks 2 – 2.5 pounds
3 months 4 pounds
4 months 6 pounds
5 months 8 pounds
6 months 10 pounds
7 months 12 pounds
8 months 12.5 pounds
9 months 12.5 pounds
10 months 12.5 pounds
11 months 12.5 pounds
12 months/1 year 12.5 pounds



When Do Shih Tzus Stop Growing?

When is your Shih Tzu fully grown? Shih Tzus do not take much time to grow into adulthood, with most dogs reaching full height or weight around ten months old. In some cases, a Shih Tzu may not reach full growth until 12 months of age. Many breeders note that the Shih Tzu’s height and weight are often dependent on the size of the parents.

Tracking how your puppy develops during her first year will alert you to any signs that could point towards lifelong health problems. That’s why developmental monitoring of milestones is critical to get an idea of whether there might be underlying issues before it becomes too late.

Your pup will grow and change steadily throughout her first year. Expectedly, she’ll experience a lot of growth during this period. To help you track how much a Shih Tzu puppy is changing or adapting at any given moment, use the above growth and weight chart.


Shih Tzu Lifespan

Before adopting any breed, people always want to know how many wonderful years can they expect with their fur baby. If you’ve fallen in love with Shih Tzus, you’re probably wondering what is the Shih Tzu lifespan.

Shih Tzus have a life span of between 10 and 16 years, with the average length being 13 years. Of course, there are always those dogs that significantly outlive their expected life span. In fact, the oldest documented Shih Tzu was 23 years old. If you care for your fur baby, you can expect to enjoy many wonderful years together.

Shih Tzu Health Problems

Remember that your Shih Tzu is a family member just like any other. This responsibility means taking her for regular checkups at the vet and making sure immunizations stay up-to-date so you can protect her from illness or disease. Annual physicals for your pup will help your vet identify early signs of medical trouble and treat them before they become debilitating. Checkups will also give a better understanding of what causes these ailments in the Shih Tzu. Here are some common health concerns that can affect this breed:

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome refers to breathing problems associated with some Shih Tzus due to their structured face. A brachycephalic dog has predominantly shortened noses and upper jaws, interfering with normal breathing. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome covers various conditions, including trachea issues, collapsed larynx, elongated soft palate, and stenotic nares.

A Shih Tzu with this facial structure is born with this condition, although breathing may not be affected until the dog is between 1 and 6 months old. If your Shih Tzu has any two or all three states present, it can lead to severe limitations in how much air they’re able to breathe. Treatment includes limiting exercise and using a collar and not a leash. Surgery is often recommended if a Shih Tzu has more than one issue with her breathing.

Hip Dysplasia

The Shih Tzu is one of many breeds prone to hip dysplasia. This condition affects the ball and socket joint, which causes it to slip out, leading to severe physical limitations, pain, and advanced arthritis. Dysplasia is a condition that affects dogs’ hips. The soft tissues surrounding the hip joint develop abnormally as a pup grows up, which causes the bones to separate instead of staying together.

This form of dysplasia is a genetic condition that rarely appears in young dogs, but more so in older dogs, as their bones degenerate. Unfortunately, this condition limits motion, which is painful for dog breeds, and that often causes dogs to gain weight. Gaining weight can lead to adult Shih Tzus becoming obese.

While there is no cure for canine dysplasia, treatment options include weight management and controlled exercise. In some cases, it may be necessary to apply warmth or take medications that reduce inflammation in the joints. If nothing else works, then surgery may be an option.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVD)

Intervertebral disc disease occurs in certain breeds, particularly longer back and shorter legs, like the Shih Tzu. IVD occurs when a disc in the back slips, causing it to press on the spinal cord. This disease may appear in Shih Tzus after two years of age, and the pain, spasms, and weakness it causes are debilitating to the dog.

Without treatment, IVD may ultimately cause paralysis. Surgery is possible if the dog does not respond well to rest and medicine. A veterinarian will typically use muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs, or any other necessary technique to relieve the dog.


Hypothyroidism is a disease that limits the speed with which your dog can burn calories. The thyroid gland controls metabolism, and when it doesn’t produce enough thyroxine, a dog will not convert food into energy at a regular rate. Although hypothyroidism can affect a Shih Tzu at any age, it is more likely to develop in older dogs. The symptoms include weight gain, hair loss, lethargy, depression, and heart problems. Hypothyroidism can be treated and managed with medication.

Patellar Luxation

One of the most common orthopedic conditions in dogs is patellar luxation, which involves the dislocation or slipping out-of-place of a dog’s kneecap. Patellar luxation is found mainly among small breeds such as the Shih Tzu. Luxating patella is a congenital issue present in a puppy at birth. Still, it can happen at any time in a dog’s life. If the problem is mild and only involves one leg, your puppy may not require much treatment. When symptoms are severe, though, the dog may need surgery to realign the kneecap so that it doesn’t pop out of place anymore.

Harderian Gland Prolapse

Harderian gland prolapse (cherry eye) is a condition where the tear ducts of a dog’s third eyelid become detached and settle as an inflamed mass in the corner of the eye. Though this condition can occur at any time, it is more likely to affect Shih Tzus when they are young and affects both eyes together. If your dog gets diagnosed early enough, the glands can be massaged back into position by a professional, licensed veterinarian.


Protect Your Shih Tzu with Pet Insurance

You love your Shih Tzu dog, and you want to make sure your Shih Tzu’s life is full of happiness. She needs to be cared for just like any other family member. Do you know the potential health risks that come with owning a dog? Some breeds are more likely to develop medical conditions than others due to genetic or environmental factors. What will happen if your Shih Tzu has a health issue? You might worry about the cost of veterinary care and medications. Still, pet insurance helps relieve this stress by providing coverage for any pre-existing conditions.

With pet health insurance, you’ll have peace of mind that veterinary professionals will take the best care of your dog. Dog owners who purchase coverage from insurance providers can receive up to 90% reimbursement on veterinary costs, depending on the policy they choose. We all know how much our Shih Tzus mean to us, so why not get peace-of-mind for yourself and protect them too? Find out more with a free pet insurance quote available today.

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The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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