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How Huge Will My Shih Tzu Get? (With Measurement and Expansion Chart)


Mar 10, 2023
Holding her Shih Tzu dog at home


Holding her Shih Tzu dog at home

Shih Tzus are playful, outgoing, and appreciate sitting on your lap. It’s a great point, much too, simply because their modest stature and regal appearance make them perfect lap pet dogs. From puppy to complete maturity, they only get about 10 to 15 pounds. A person appear at them, and you’re just itching to sit down for a Shih Tzu snuggle. Is it any surprise why they’re the 22nd most well known breed in the US1?

But wait, how do you know if your Shih Tzu is growing correctly? Will they often stay so tiny?

In this put up, we’re heading about what to assume as your Shih Tzu grows in excess weight, length, and top.


The 6 Facts About Shih Tzus

  1. About 1,000 decades ago, long right before China dominated Tibet, the two civilizations labored jointly, experimenting with the Pekingese and Lhasa Apso1. The outcome was the lovely and playful Shih Tzu.
  2. “Shih Tzu”is a Mandarin term meaning “little lion.” This could be a reference to Mañjuśrī, the Buddhist God of Finding out. His name in Sanskrit indicates “gentle, or sweet, glory.”
  3. Shih Tzus lived as lap puppies to emperors and royalty, notably with The Ming Dynasty from 1368 to 1644.
  4. While the Ming Dynasty’s had significant political and cultural impact more than China, the Shih Tzu remained a magic formula involving Tibetan and Chinese royalty. They utilised the breed as a position symbol, exchanging puppies as precious presents.
  5. Finally, China took more than Tibet in the 1950s, and the breed went pretty much extinct2.
  6. The breed’s survival can be traced again to 14 canines, thanks to hardworking American military services staff and diligent breeders.
Shih Tzu standing on an ice floe
Graphic Credit history: Tatiana Gasich, Shutterstock

Shih Tzu Dimensions and Advancement Chart

Shih Tzus commenced as extravagant lap canines and haven’t transformed a great deal. From beginning to maturity, they only achieve about 10 to 15 lbs. Consider a glimpse at this progress chart for reference.

Age Fat Vary Height Variety
Delivery < 1 pound 1–2 inches
4 weeks 1.5 pounds 2–4 inches
8 weeks 1.5–2 pounds 3–4 inches
3 months 4 pounds 5–6 inches
4 months 5 pounds 6–7 inches
6 months 6–10 pounds 7–8 inches
9 months 7–12 pounds 8–9 inches
10 months+ 9–16 pounds 9–10.5 inches

*Source from Pet Insurance Review

When Does a Shih Tzu Stop Growing?

Small dogs reach maturity faster than large dogs, which makes sense since they don’t need as much time to grow. Expect a Shih Tzu to be fully grown by 10 months old. Larger Shih Tzus could take a full year to grow, but 10 months is the average.

If you’re interested in estimating your Shih Tzu’s adult weight, a few formulas will give you a rough estimate. These are merely estimates, so don’t treat these formulas as law.

Formula 1

8 Weeks Old: weight X 3, + 2–3 pounds = Estimated Adult Weight

Formula 2

12 Weeks Old: weight X 2 + 1 Pound = Estimated Adult Weight

Formula 3

16 Weeks Old: weight x 2 = Estimated Adult Weight

soldier cuddling his shih tzu dog
Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

Factors Affecting the Size of a Shih Tzu

Genetics, diet, exercise, and the dog’s overall health will affect how big or small a Shih Tzu becomes.


Shih Tzu puppies will often grow to be the average size of the parent. So, if your adult Shih Tzu is small and one of the parents is small, you know why.


Diet also plays a huge role in your Shih Tzu’s size. Malnourished puppies tend to be smaller and possibly sickly into adulthood. Proper nutrition is vital for young puppies to grow to their ideal weight and fight disease.

Of course, you don’t want to feed your Shih Tzu too much. This breed is prone to obesity since they don’t require as much exercise. Your veterinarian can help determine your Shih Tzu’s body condition score and how many calories should be fed daily.

shih tzu playing with dog toy on the grass
Image Credit: Castorly Stock, Pexels


Even though they’re fancy lap dogs, Shih Tzus still need some exercise to stay healthy and strong. Generally, 20 minutes per day is all they need. A few laps around the block, tossing a toy around in the backyard, or fun indoor playtime is enough.

If your Shih Tzu doesn’t receive any exercise, don’t be surprised if you notice weight gain. Simple exercises and a well-rounded diet will help fix the problem.

Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

All dogs should eat a diet that suits their season of life. You can achieve this through commercial or homemade diets if you work with a veterinarian to provide proper nutrition.

Typically, puppies need a high-protein, high-fat diet to provide the necessary energy requirements for a hyperactive puppy. In addition, you’ll want to look for food with amino and fatty acids, including DHA, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. Offering grain-free or grain inclusive is your choice, as long as your puppy receives the basic nutrition requirements.

As your dog ages, you can transition to a diet designed for adult dogs and its activity level. Shih Tzus are lap dogs, so they don’t require caloric-dense foods.

Elderly dogs need more protein, but this can vary from dog to dog. Some dogs develop specific medical ailments that require a veterinarian-designed formula.

No matter what, it is important to make adjustments based on what your dog needs for its age, activity level, and overall health.

shih tzu dog getting wet food from owner at kitchen
Image Credit: chaoss, Shutterstock

How to Measure Your Shih Tzu

It’s a good idea to measure your Shih Tzu’s length and weight to ensure it’s growing correctly. Luckily, measuring your Shih Tzu is simple!

To measure your Shih Tzu’s height, take a tape measure and note the measurement from the wither (shoulders) to the floor. For length, measure the distance from the wither to the base of the tail.

Measuring weight requires more math, but it’s still easy as pie. Start by standing on the scale and measuring your weight. Next, stand on the scale again, this time holding your Shih Tzu. Note the difference in weight.

You can also take your Shih Tzu to the vet’s office for weight checks. These are usually free of charge.



Shih Tzus are small dogs, so don’t be alarmed if your luxury lap dog stays smaller than the size of a pillow. Sometimes, dogs don’t stay within the normal range of weight.

Even with its small stature, it’s a good idea to record your puppy’s weight, length, and height. This information will give you a good idea about how your Shih Tzu is doing.

Featured Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

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