Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
When exactly do Shih Tzus stop growing and reach their final weight? And what is their final weight?
This article will diver into the Shih Tzus growth timeline and everything there is to know about how big they get and overall size.
Let’s get into it!
When Do Shih Tzus Stop Growing?
In general, Shih Tzus reach their full size between 10 and 12 months of age.
While they may continue to fill out a little beyond this age, most of their physical development happens in the first year.
Their growth rate will be fastest during the initial months, then slow down as they approach maturity.
How Big Do Shih Tzus Get?
Shih Tzus are small dogs, typically weighing between 9-16 pounds (4-7.25 kg) when fully grown. Their average height ranges from 9-10.5 inches (23-27 cm) at the shoulder.
Male vs Female
Like many dog breeds, there are slight differences in the average size and height of male and female Shih Tzus.
Male Shih Tzus tend to be slightly larger on average than females. A full-grown male Shih Tzu will typically stand about 9.5 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 10 and 16 pounds.
On the other hand, female Shih Tzus are usually a bit smaller. They typically stand about 8.5 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 9 and 15 pounds when fully grown.
Shih Tzu Growth Chart: A Month-by-Month Guide
It’s important to note that all Shih Tzus are unique, and growth can vary from one pup to another. However, here’s a general month-by-month guide to their growth:
Here’s a basic table that outlines the general average growth timeline for a Shih Tzu:
|Age||Weight Range||Growth Phase Description|
|Birth – 2 weeks||4 – 6 ounces (113-170g)||Fully dependent on their mother|
|2 – 8 weeks||2 – 4 pounds (0.9-1.8 kg)||Rapid growth phase, can be separated from mother|
|2 – 4 months||4 – 7 pounds (1.8-3.2 kg)||Continues to grow quickly, potentially doubling in size|
|4 – 6 months||7 – 10 pounds (3.2-4.5 kg)||Growth slows down a bit but still continues at a good pace|
|6 – 10 months||Up to adult height and length||Approaches full height and length, may still gain a bit of weight|
|10 – 12 months||Mostly reached adult size||Minimal growth, mostly filling out rather than getting taller or longer|
|12 – 18 months||Adult weight||Any additional weight gain is minimal, and weight should stabilize|
- Birth – 2 weeks: Shih Tzu puppies are tiny, usually weighing between 4-6 ounces (113-170g). They are fully dependent on their mother at this stage.
- 2 – 8 weeks: This is a rapid growth phase. By the end of 8 weeks, your puppy may weigh between 2-4 pounds (0.9-1.8 kg). This is also when puppies can be safely separated from their mother and siblings.
- 2 – 4 months: Puppies continue to grow quickly, potentially doubling in size. By 4 months, your Shih Tzu may weigh between 4-7 pounds (1.8-3.2 kg).
- 4 – 6 months: Growth slows down a bit but still continues at a good pace. By 6 months, expect your pup to weigh between 7-10 pounds (3.2-4.5 kg).
- 6 – 10 months: This is when your Shih Tzu will approach their full height and length, although they may still gain a bit of weight.
- 10 – 12 months and beyond: Your Shih Tzu has mostly reached their adult size. Any additional growth will be minimal and mostly involve filling out rather than getting taller or longer.
This puppy growth chart from the American Kennel Club can be a handy tool for tracking your Shih Tzu’s development.
The Biggest Growth Spurt
The most rapid growth for Shih Tzus typically occurs between 2 to 4 months of age.
This is when your little furball will put on weight and grow in height at a remarkable rate! It’s crucial during this period to provide proper nutrition to support their growth.
It’s also important to let them rest, sleep and nap as much as they want to during this period. While they might be balls of energy, they also love to sleep, and this is when most of their growth happens!
Factors Affecting Shih Tzu Growth
Several factors can influence the final size of your Shih Tzu:
- Genetics: The size of the parents is a good indicator of how big a Shih Tzu puppy will get.
- Diet: Proper nutrition is critical for healthy growth. Puppies should be fed a high-quality diet designed for small breed puppies.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity is vital for proper muscle development and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Health: Certain health issues, such as parasites or underlying diseases, can impact a puppy’s growth. Regular vet check-ups are essential.
Remember, individual variation is normal, and each Shih Tzu will grow at their own pace. If you have concerns about your puppy’s growth, it’s always a good idea to consult your vet.
Check out why it’s crucial to prevent your Shih Tzu from jumping up and down too much. This will avoid injuries and growth issues.
Reaching Their Full Weight
Shih Tzus typically reach their adult weight between 10 to 12 months of age. However, they might continue to fill out, adding a bit more weight until they are about 18 months old.
Your fur buddy’s weight should stabilize after this point, provided they maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Remember, though, that adult weight can vary widely among Shih Tzus, largely due to their genetics. If your Shih Tzu is slightly outside the average weight range, don’t panic.
It’s more important that they are healthy and at an appropriate weight for their individual size and build.
Nurturing Your Shih Tzu’s Growth: Expert Tips
A healthy diet and regular exercise are vital for your Shih Tzu’s growth. Here are some expert tips to help your pup grow into a healthy adult:
- Balanced Nutrition: Provide a diet specially formulated for small breed puppies. It should be high in quality protein for muscle growth and development. PetMD has a great guide on choosing the best dog food.
- Proper Exercise: Regular walks and playtime can help with proper muscle development. However, be careful not to overdo it; too much strenuous exercise can harm a growing pup’s developing bones and joints.
- Regular Vet Check-ups: Regular visits to the vet will ensure your pup is growing correctly and help identify any potential health issues early.
- Love and Socialization: Don’t underestimate the power of love! Lots of affection and socialization can help your Shih Tzu grow into a well-adjusted, happy adult.
Remember, while it’s fun to watch your Shih Tzu grow, they’ll always be your little pup at heart!
You might also like: Do Shih Tzus Have Dew Claws?
There you have it—a comprehensive guide to when Shih Tzus stop growing. Remember, each Shih Tzu is unique, and while these guidelines are helpful, there will always be some individual variation.
Most importantly, enjoy every stage of your Shih Tzu’s growth; they’re only little for a short time!
I hope this guide has been helpful in your journey as a Shih Tzu parent. For more in-depth information, I highly recommend The Spruce Pets, a resource I’ve found incredibly useful over the years. Happy parenting to you and your adorable Shih Tzu!