Pet Care Blog

Shih Tzu Growth & Weight Chart: Everything You Need To Know

Aliyah Diamond
Aliyah Diamond
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Shih Tzu puppy

Known as “Lion Dog'' because of their luxurious coat, Shih Tzus have been a charming, mischievous companion to many for thousands of years. Their coats come in many colors and require a good deal of maintenance. However, few dogs have such a show-stopping look! Shih Tzus are known for being especially kind to children, and they make wonderful apartment dogs due to their small size.

If you’re looking for an ideal lapdog with a silly streak, the Shih Tzu is the perfect dog for you! If you’re already the lucky pet parent to this mischievous, outgoing dog, you may be wondering how big does a Shih Tzu get and when will they stop growing?

Here's everything you need to know about Shih Tzu growth:

Shih Tzu Dog Breed

As a toy dog breed, the Shih Tzu is characterized by its small, compact size. Despite their short stature, Shih Tzus are quite solid underneath their plush coat and weigh more than they might first appear. There is little discernible difference between the two genders in terms of weight and height, unlike many dog breeds.

If your pup is slightly behind or ahead of the following numbers, don’t fret! These are estimates to give you a general idea of your Shih Tzu’s adult weight. All dogs are unique and grow at their own pace. If you’re concerned, please consult with your veterinarian about your Shih Tzu’s weight and if you need to take further action.

Pro Tip: Want to be reimbursed for up to 90% of your dog’s veterinary bills whenever they are sick or injured? Compare Shih Tzu health insurance options today.

Shih Tzu Growth and Weight Chart

Shih Tzu at 8-Weeks Est. Healthy Adult
1.5 lbs 6-7 lbs
1.75 lbs 7-7.5 lbs
2 lbs 8-9 lbs
2.5 lbs 9.5-11 lbs
2.75 lbs 11-13 lbs
3 lbs 12.5-14.5 lbs
3.25 lbs 13-15 lbs
3.5 lbs 14-16 lbs
3.75 lbs 15-16 lbs
4 lbs 16-18 lbs
Avg. adult 9-16 lbs

At what age is a Shih Tzu fully grown?

Like many toy dog breeds, the Shih Tzu reaches maturity more quickly around ten months old. Some Shih Tzu puppies may take an entire year to reach their full adult size, but you can expect your Shih Tzu to be at their adult size or very close to it, around ten months of age.

Brown Shih Tzu puppy (Image Source: Pexels)

How big should a 6 month old Shih Tzu be?

A six month old Shih Tzu is close to their adult size. Most six month old Shih Tzus will weigh between 7 and 12 pounds, and many Shih Tzus will already be at their full adult height, which is usually between 9 and 10.5 inches tall.

Pro Tip: Download this new puppy checklist for a complete list of safety procedures, training tools, how to set up a vaccination schedule, and more!

How much bigger will my Shih Tzu get?

If your Shih Tzu is younger than ten months old, they definitely still have growing to do! Some Shih Tzus may continue growing until they are a year old, but after one year, it’s unlikely that your Shih Tzu will grow bigger.

You can also take a look at your Shih Tzu’s paws. If their paws look oversized next to their legs and body, then they likely still have growing left to do, as this is a classic puppy feature!

If you purchased your Shih Tzu through a breeder, contact your breeder for your pup’s estimated adult size. Your breeder can give you a more precise estimate based on your Shih Tzu’s parents and previous litters. A puppy is rarely larger than their bigger parent, so this will also give you an idea of the largest weight and height your Shih Tzu may reach.

What is the size of a full-grown Shih Tzu?

According to the American Kennel Club Official Shih Tzu Breed Standards, adult Shih Tzus will weigh between 9 to 16 pounds and stand between 9 and 10.5 inches tall. Fully grown Shih Tzus should appear slightly longer than tall with their tail curved over their back.

Due to their lush double-coat, it can be challenging to see if your Shih Tzu is putting on excess weight. The Veterinary Centers of America recommend regularly feeling your Shih Tzu’s body underneath their coat so that you can monitor their weight more closely.

Couple holding Shih Tzu puppy

(Image Source: Pexels)

How do I make sure my Shih Tzu is healthy?

As purebred dogs, Shih Tzus are more prone to genetic health problems, such as retinal detachment and hip dysplasia. Don't worry just yet, though. Many health problems can be avoided or treated with regular, quality veterinary care and healthy lifestyle choices. Consult with your veterinarian about the best diet and exercise for your Shih Tzu puppy.

Regular grooming will be vital for your Shih Tzu’s health and comfort as they are prone to have stray lashes or hairs in their eyes. Their ears will also need to be regularly cleaned because of poor air circulation in that area. Due to their short muzzles and heavy coats, it’s also advised that you keep your Shih Tzu indoors when it’s hot out because they are prone to overheating.

Preventive veterinary care is the best thing you can do for your Shih Tzu throughout their lifetime. Like us, dogs are living longer lives and require ongoing, regular care from a veterinary professional to live happily and healthily. Unfortunately, this can quickly become pricey, with some treatments and surgeries easily costing thousands of dollars. One survey found that only 19.44% of pet parents surveyed would be able to cover a $5,000 veterinary expense out-of-pocket, which leaves many of us in a precarious position should the worst happen to our precious pup.

This is where pet insurance comes in. Pet insurance works by reimbursing you for up to 90% of all out-of-pocket veterinary costs, which provides you with a safety net should the worst happen to your Shih Tzu. Not only does pet insurance give you peace of mind, but your Shih Tzu can receive the top-notch veterinary care they need, no matter the cost. Pet insurance gives your puppy the chance to live their healthiest and happiest life. Wellness plans are also available to help you provide your Shih Tzu with regular veterinarian exams, dental cleanings, x-rays, and more!

Let us do the hard work of sorting through countless pet insurance plans for you today. We’ll compare the top Shih Tzu pet insurance plans side by side for you so that you can provide your Shih Tzu with the best veterinary care and give yourself peace of mind that your pup is covered should the worst happen.

Pawlicy Advisor’s personalized recommendations can help you save up to 83% on insurance costs over your dog’s lifespan.

Key Takeaways

  • A full-size Shih Tzu weighs 9-16 pounds and stands 9-10.5 inches tall.
  • Shih Tzus reach maturity around 10 months old, but keep an eye under their coat to see whether they're putting on excess weight.
  • The breed is prone to certain health conditions, succh as eye problems and ear infections.
  • Good health is a critical factor in both your Shih Tzu’s longevity and happiness, so consider dog health insurance to make care more affordable.

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Aliyah Diamond

Aliyah Diamond
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Aliyah Diamond has more than ten years of experience in animal hospitals - working with dozens of species from dogs and cats, to elephants and snow leopards. Her lifelong passion for helping animals currently has her earning her doctorate of veterinary medicine at Cornell University and helping Pawlicy Advisor educate pet parents.

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