When it comes to miniature dogs, it’s understandable that dog lovers would be interested in the Shih Tzu growth chart. These popular little dogs are loved equally for their small size and their outgoing personality.
Looking at the name, one would think that Shih Tzu originates from China, but that’s wrong. They originate from ancient Tibet. In the early 20th century the little dogs were gifted to Chinese emperors as pets.
The Chinese bred with the dogs and attempted to make them look like “the lion, as in traditional oriental art”. In fact, Shih Tzu is Mandarin Chinese for lion.
Today these charming little dogs are kept as pets by people all over the world.
When Do Shih Tzus Stop Growing
Shih tzu puppies mature within a year. Many reach adulthood when they are a year old, but some are known to have stopped growing when they reached 9, 10, or 11-months.
It’s interesting to note that although these puppies don’t grow much beyond one year of age, they can gain some weight after that time. If they are fed a healthy diet, they won’t gain more weight beyond 12 to 15-months.
They reach their full adult height at around 6 – 8 months.
In exceptional cases, the puppy can continue growing until 15 months and put on a little weight until 2 years.
Shih Tzu Weight Chart
There are many different methods that breeders use to predict the eventual size of a shih tzu dog. Whatever method is used, most breeders give a range of weights as there is currently no accurate way to predict the actual size of a dog at a certain age.
Traditionally the weight is predicted based on the size of the parents. A shih tzu weight chart gives weight estimates.To give you a more concrete idea of what you can expect of the growth of your puppy, let’s have a look at this Shih Tzu weight chart.
Shih Tzu Puppy Weight Chart
|8 Weeks Old Puppy||Estimated Adult |
Weight In Lbs
Weight In Kg
|1.25 lbs - 0.5 kg||5.5 lbs - 7.0 lbs||2.5 kg - 3.0 kg|
|1.5 lbs - 0.7 kb||6.0 lbs - 7.5 lbs||2.5 kg - 3.5 kg|
|1.75 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 - 9.5 lbs||3.7 kg - 4.5 kg|
|2.25 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|
|2.75 lbs - 1.3 kg||11.0 lbs - 14.0 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|
|3.25 lbs - 1.5 kg||13.0 lbs - 16.0 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|
|3.75 lbs - 1.7 kg||15.0 lbs - 17.0 lbs||7.0 kg - 8.0 kg|
|4.0 lbs - 1.8 kg||16.0 lbs - 18.0 lbs||7.5 kg - 8.5 kg|
As you can see, a puppy can weigh anything between 1.25 pounds (extremely small) to 4 pounds (on the large size for a shih tzu) by the time the puppy is 8 weeks old.
This is quite a huge variance in weight and you can expect that there will also be a big variance in the eventual sizes of the puppies.
For instance, a puppy that weighs 1.25 pounds at 8 weeks, can be expected to have an adult weight of around 5.5 – 7 pounds. On the other hand, a puppy that weighs 4 pounds at 8 weeks can be expected to have an eventual adult weight of 16 – 18 pounds.
Shih Tzu Growth Chart – What To Expect
Birth – 2 Weeks
Newborn shih tzu puppies weigh around 6 ounces and have an undeveloped nervous system. A newborn puppy won’t be able to see or hear anything as they are born with their eyes shut tight and their ear canals closed. They have a strong instinct to burrow and hide and to suck – all necessary for survival. They can sense when they are picked up by the scruff of the neck and instinctively allows this action.
3 Weeks – 12 Weeks
A lot of development happens over these 9 weeks. Puppies can’t hear or see properly at 3 weeks, but by 6 weeks sight and hearing are fully developed. At around 3 weeks pups can walk around having mastered walking in only 3 days. Puppies become more active and aware of their surroundings.
By 4 weeks, milk teeth start showing and weaning starts. They start playing with siblings, making sounds and forming bonds. Around 6 weeks weaning is completed.
By 8 weeks, puppies can be moved to their new owners and house training can start. At 12 weeks, the important ranking phase starts where puppies learn where they fit into the hierarchy of the den/household.
4 Months – 6 Months
At 4 months, the ranking phase is still being sorted out. At this age, a puppy realizes when it’s being left alone and might object and even show anxiety. If you started house training, this will be almost complete by now. At 4 months, shih tsu puppies are very active.
When the puppy is 6 months old, it has reached adolescence and puberty. Females will go on heat for the first time and this is the time to consider spaying them. Pups now understand the household hierarchy and might even challenge the ranking depending on their judgment of the situation. As the human leader, you can affirm your position by demanding a certain behavior before snacks can be enjoyed.
7 Months – 9 Months
By 7 months, growth starts slowing down and teething will be coming to an end. Most puppies will also be calmer at this stage.
Keep in mind that your dog will be fully aware of the pecking order by now and any weakness sensed on your part will be challenged.
By 9-months, most shih tzu puppies will have reached their adult size although they do continue to put on some weight. This tendency varies from dog to dog – some keep on gaining weight, albeit little, until they’re 11 months old and even beyond until 2 years.
This is the time to stop feeding puppy food and start with adult food. At this stage, your puppy will be able to handle adult food because he will have his adult teeth.
10 Months – 12 Month
By the time a shih tzu reaches 1 year, it is an adult dog. At this stage, the dog is active and demands attention. Periods of intense activity are interspersed with periods of rest. The dog has reached its adult weight and height and the coat starts growing longer.
Shih tzu dogs reach adulthood at one year of age. As an adult dog, this breed becomes a human’s best companion – after all, these dogs were bred for companionship. They have an affectionate and outgoing personality that seems to get along with everyone. They love attention and being with their human companion. They even tolerate children as long as they handle them with care.
Shih Tzu Body Shape Changes
Shih tzu puppies grow fast. When they are born, they weigh a few ounces and by the time they’re eight weeks old, they already weigh a couple of pounds. Where puppies have round bodies with short limbs, adult dogs tend to be longer and somewhat slimmer, but they still look sturdy. It is accurate to describe the shih tzu as a small but sturdy dog.
As they grow bigger, these dogs increase in weight and height. According to the American Kennel Club, the standard weight of the shih tzu is 9-16 pounds and the standard height is 8-11 inches, measured from the floor to the withers (the top of the shoulder blades).
When you measure the shih tzu carefully, you’ll notice that the dog is slightly longer than it is tall.
The two other physical aspects of the shih tzu that contributes to its appearance as sturdy and compact are its broad chest and shortened muzzle.
Another aspect of the dog that changes over the first year, is its coat color. The color of your 8-week-old puppy won’t be the same when he turns one. Some of the colors can fade while others can deepen. By the time your dog turns one, he’ll probably sport his final coloring and markings.
Factors That Affect Shih Tzu Puppy Growth
Three factors influence the growth of a shih tzu puppy: genetics, nutrition, and level of physical activity.
Genetics is the determining factor in deciding the size of this breed. The shih tzu is a toy dog breed, so it is meant to be a small dog. If both the parents were of the shih tzu breed, you are bound to have small offspring. If you know the size and weight of the parents or the grandparents, you will have a good idea of what size and weight your dog will be.
It stands to reason that what you feed your dog will determine its growth. A puppy that is fed a healthy, balanced diet, will flourish and put on weight.
Make sure you feed your shih tzu puppy the best quality dog food you can afford. Cheap, unhealthy food and snacks will set him up for weight and health problems later on. If you want a happy, healthy, and active companion, feed your dog well.
Physical Activity & Health
This is a naturally active breed that likes to be on the move. When this breed is not active enough and doesn’t get enough exercise, they put on too much weight. They also need the exercise to strengthen their bones and muscles.
Luckily, this breed loves to be active so you won’t have any problems getting your dog to go for its daily walks.
How Long Are Shih Tzus Pregnant?
The Shih Tzu gestation period is 63 days on average, which is the same for all breeds of dogs, large and small. The first sign that your dog is pregnant, is a change in behavior. She might be less active if she used to be active or she might become markedly more active. Initially, her appetite won’t be affected, but by week four of her pregnancy, her appetite will increase.
She will also show all the usual signs of pregnancy like enlarged nipples and a growing belly. By week four her belly will clearly show that she’s expecting a litter.
If you are not sure whether you shih tzu is pregnant, have a pregnancy test done. As soon as you’re sure that your dog is pregnant, make sure she’s following a nutritious diet.
How Many Puppies Do Shih Tzus Have?
The shih tzu is a toy dog breed and they don’t normally have large litters. Some only have 1 – 3 puppies. The typical shih tzu litter is 3. However, the litter can be anywhere from 1 to 5 puppies. There have also been cases of litters that were even larger, but that is the exception.
It’s also good to note that miscarriages among shih tzu females are uncommon. So, you can reasonably expect to have at least 3 puppies in the litter.
What If My Shih Tzu Is Not The Right Weight?
Your shih tzu can be the wrong weight, either over- or underweight for several reasons.
Sometimes a shih tzu will be smaller than the standard size and weigh less. This may be due to breeding –where a breeder aims to create dogs that are smaller than normal. Also, if the parents or grandparents were very small, your dog will also be smaller than usual.
If your dog is overweight, it’s probably due to a combination of bad diet and lack of exercise. It’s very easy to spoil an adorable little dog with too many snacks and before you know it, you sit with an overweight dog. This issue, of course, can be fixed easily – stop the snacks and focus on a healthy balanced diet and a daily walk.
If your dog is 1 -2 pounds under the normal weight, it’s not a matter for concern. If a shih tzu is much smaller than normal and only weighs 4-6 pounds, they might be subject to all manner of health concerns, including hypoglycemia, hip dysplasia, and a collapsed trachea among others.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of a Shih Tzu?
Judging the life expectancy of any animal is not an exact science. However, averages have been worked out for certain will-known breeds. It has been found that dogs under 20 pounds live an average of 11 years, while heavier dogs typically live for 8 years.
The shih tzu’s life expectancy ranges from 10 to 16 years. On average they live for 13 years. This is an average, some dogs die in puberty and others live longer. A case of a shih tzu that reached the ripe old age of 19 years has been recorded.
Female shis tzus generally live 1.5 years longer than males. This is the case with all dog breeds.
How Much Does It Cost To Own A Shih Tzu?
A Shih Tzu puppy can cost you anywhere between $500 and $1,600, the average price is $850.
During the pup’s first year, your expenses will be around $2,570 and will come to about $98 per month after that. Through your dog’s lifetime, you’ll spend around $17,910 on his upkeep.
These figures take into account expenses like food, treats, grooming costs, license registration, a microchip, training costs, and medical expenses (spay/neuter).
You may also commit to additional optional costs like insurance, dog walking services, certain medical procedures, and dog boarding. These costs are not included in the above figures.
Shih Tzu Genetics And Common Health Problems
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is a fairly common health problem in small breed dogs like the shih tzu. Hypoglycemia in a small dog must be diagnosed early as it can quickly become fatal if not treated timeously.
Hip dysplasia, stenotic nares, and Luxating patella are all conditions that small breeds are susceptible to.
Hip Dysplasia causes lameness in the rear legs of dogs. Stenotic nares is a condition where the dog’s nostrils are narrowed which causes breathing problems.
A luxating patella is a condition where the dog’s patella or kneecap gets dislocated, which causes mobility issues.
If you consult the shih tzu growth chart, you will quickly learn what that the standard range of sizes and weights for this delightful breed is. You’ll know exactly what to expect at every stage of your dog’s first year of life. A shih tzu puppy weight chart gives you all the information you need to give your peace of mind and let you enjoy your little dog