Written by 8:58 pm Training and Behavior

Shih Tzu Growth Guide: When Do Shih Tzus Stop Growing?

When Do Shih Tzus Stop Growing

This article delves into the fascinating world of Shih Tzu’s growth, exploring factors influencing their size and providing insights into their developmental journey. We’ll uncover the secrets behind their growth patterns, answer your burning questions, and equip you with the knowledge to provide the best care for your furry friend. So buckle up and get ready to embark on a captivating exploration of Shih Tzu growth and the answer to your question, When Do Shih Tzus Stop Growing?

Shih Tzu Growth

A Shih Tzu’s growth and weight might vary based on various factors, including their gender, parent size, and how much they weighed when they were born. It’s crucial to understand that various dog breeds grow at different rates.

8 weeks of shih tzu age range normally weighs between 1.5 and 4 pounds. A healthy adult Shih Tzu size, beginning at one year of age, has a bit more wiggle room, with an optimal weight ranging from 6 to 18 pounds.

Shih Tzu puppies are noted for their tiny size and rapid growth, but when do these cute canines stop growing? The answer depends on the Shih Tzu breed standard as well as other characteristics like gender and parental Shih Tzu average size.

With a minimum weight of 6 lbs and a maximum weight of 18 lbs, adult Shih Tzu size typically attains full maturity at roughly one year of age. Although this is the acceptable range according to breed standards, some individuals may surpass or fall below it depending on their genetics.

Adult female Shih Tzus are recognized for their petite size and rapid growth pace, attaining full maturity at roughly 12 months old. These dogs normally weigh between 6 and 18 pounds, depending on the genetics and size of their parents.

To ensure that these dogs maintain a healthy weight, they must receive adequate exercise and nutrition. Exercise keeps muscles toned while also offering mental stimulation, which may help prevent boredom and lead to overeating or other harmful habits.

With enough exercise and a well-balanced diet, an adult female Shih Tzu will quickly achieve her optimal weight!

Understanding Growth Parameters:

While cute Shih Tzus captivate hearts with their own appeal, it’s vital to realize that individual growth rates differ.

Growth Timeline: Most Shih Tzus stop growing between 10 and 15 months, although others might take up to a year to achieve their peak size. Consider this timetable as a basic guideline, and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Weight Range: Adult Shih Tzus typically weigh between 7 and 21 pounds (3.2 and 9.5 kg), with an average of 9 to 16 pounds (4 and 7.3 kg). It’s crucial to note that weight might fluctuate based on genetics, gender, and exercise level.

Height Range: Their height normally ranges from 8 to 11 inches (20.3–27.9 cm). Remember, these are only averages; individual Shih Tzus may fall significantly outside of these ranges.

Shih Tzu Growth Charts: While Shih Tzu Growth Charts A and B (consider including a source or disclaimer for their accuracy) can offer estimates based on age and weight, they should not be taken as absolute predictions.

Shih Tzu weight chart A: 8-week Shih Tzu puppies. 

8-week weightEstimated adult weight8 week weightEstimated adult weight
1.5 lbs.6 lbs.3.25 lbs.14 lbs.
1.75 lbs.7.25 lbs.3.5 lbs.15 lbs.
2 lbs.8.25 lbs.3.75 lbs.16 lbs.
2.25 lbs.9.25 lbs.4 lbs.17 lbs.
2.5 lbs.10.25 lbs.4.25 lbs.18 lbs.
2.75 lbs.11 lbs.4.5 lbs.19 lbs.
3 lbs.12 lbs.

Shih Tzu weight chart B: 4-month Shih Tzu puppies. 

4 month weightEstimated adult weight4 month weightEstimated adult weight
3.5 lbs.7 lbs.7 lbs.14 lbs.
4 lbs.8 lbs.7.5 lbs.15 lbs.
4.5 lbs.9 lbs.8 lbs.16 lbs.
5 lbs.10 lbs.8.5 lbs.17 lbs.
5.5 lbs.11 lbs.9 lbs.18 lbs.
6 lbs.12 lbs.9.5 lbs.19 lbs.
6.5 lbs.13 lbs.10 lbs.20 lbs.


The duration of a dog’s growth phase varies according to breed size and the individual dog. Toy breed dogs, such as the Shih Tzu, often do the most of their growth in the first 12 months, when they attain physical and social maturity, as compared to the 18 or 24 months that larger dogs may experience throughout the growth phase. And, because each Shih Tzu is unique, they may cease growing in both girth and height between the ages of 10 and 15 months. 

How long a Shih Tzu will continue to grow is closely proportional to the dog’s genetically determined adult Shih Tzu size. Those who are on the small side (in the 9 to 10-pound range [4 to 4.5 kg]) will cease growing before those on the bigger side (in the 15 or 16-pound range and beyond) [6.8 to 7.3 kg]. 


Shih Tzu weight by age growth rates: 

1. From birth to two weeks is the fastest stage, with growth occurring almost daily. The Shih Tzu weight by age doubles in the first week alone. 

2. Growth is relatively rapid between two and eight weeks. 

3. Growth remains vigorous, if slightly slower, from the 2- to 4-month mark. 

4. There is another gradual slowdown from 4 to 6 months. 

5. The final phase of sluggish growth lasts from 6 months until the point at which a dog is expected to cease growth.

Demystifying Growth Estimates:

Have you ever wondered what size your Shih Tzu would be? Here are two commonly used formulas (Growth Estimate Formula A and Growth Estimate Formula B) to estimate your puppy’s adult weight, but remember, these are just estimations and should not replace veterinary expertise:

Growth Estimate Formula A (Imperial): Adult weight (lbs) equals puppy weight (lbs) at 8 weeks x 4.

Growth Estimate Formula B (Metric): Adult weight (kg) equals puppy weight (kg) at 4 months x 2.5.

It’s important to remember that these formulas are only approximations and may differ depending on individual features and growth trends. Consulting your veterinarian remains the most accurate approach to determining your Shih Tzu’s predicted growth and development.

Tailoring the Perfect Diet

Weaning (3-8 weeks): Feed a high-quality puppy food designed exclusively for small breeds. Begin by combining a small quantity with milk replacer, gradually increasing the kibble portion as they become used to solid food. Consult your veterinarian for precise suggestions and feeding requirements.

Puppyhood3–8 weeks to 1 year): Continue feeding high-quality puppy food. Your Shih Tzu’s age, activity level, and unique needs will all affect the quantity of feeding you give. Remember that Shih Tzus are prone to overeating, so controlling their meals and avoiding harmful treats is essential.

Adulthood (over one year): Switch to an adult dog food designed for small breeds. Consult your veterinarian to discover the best portion sizes and diet for your dog’s individual needs and health issues.

Important Note: Always visit your veterinarian for individualized nutritional advice and suggestions based on your Shih Tzu’s unique needs and health problems.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight:

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for your Shih Tzu’s well-being and may help prevent a variety of health problems in the long run, just as it does for people. Here are some crucial factors to consider:

Monitoring: Use a weight scale to regularly check your Shih Tzu’s weight. Consult your veterinarian to discover your Shih Tzu’s appropriate weight range according to breed, age, and body shape.

Meal Control: Be aware of your meal sizes and prevent overeating. Obesity can result from overeating, increasing the risk of diabetes, joint difficulties, and other health issues.

Exercise: Regular exercise is critical for maintaining a healthy weight and general well-being. Give your Shih Tzu plenty of playing and regular walks, varying the intensity and duration depending on their age and health status.

Boredom Busters: Be mindful of their habits and boredom behaviours, as they can occasionally lead to overeating. Engaging in interactive play and giving them chew toys can help keep them cognitively and physically busy, lowering the temptation to overeat out of boredom.

Shih Tzu Puppy Development

Beyond their stunning beauty, Shih Tzus go on an intriguing path of behavioral development. Understanding these stages and executing appropriate care practices creates the groundwork for a healthy attachment and a well-adjusted pet.

A. Navigating Behavioral Stages:

Socialization Stage (Birth to 16 weeks): This critical time, which begins at birth, establishes the foundation for your Shih Tzu’s future social interactions.

Expected Timeframe: This period usually lasts until they are 16 weeks old in the Shih Tzu age range.

Key Point: Introduce your puppy to a wide range of people, animals, and environments in a pleasant and regulated manner. This helps kids feel at ease and confident in many settings, lowering future concerns and fear-based behaviours.

Examples: Examples include exposing them to gentle interactions with children, adults, and other dogs of varying sizes and varied sights and noises in a controlled environment.

Teething Stage (3 to 6 months): Prepare yourself for the “exploring with teeth” phase! This time can be difficult, but with patience and the correct equipment, you can guide your pup through it gently.

Expected Timeframe: Teething normally begins at 3 months old and can persist for up to 6 months.

Challenges:  Puppies experience discomfort and irritation in their gums when their teeth emerge. This can result in chewing on furniture or other unsuitable items.

Tip: To refocus their chewing tendency, provide plenty of safe chew toys made of sturdy materials such as rubber or nylon.

Independence Stage (6 months to 1 year): As your Shih Tzu nears the one-year mark, they may begin to show signs of independence.

Expected Timeframe: This period typically begins around 6 months old and lasts until they reach one year old.

Behavioral Changes: You may see them growing more autonomous, pushing boundaries, or demonstrating stubbornness.

Consistent training with positive reinforcement is essential at this point. Maintain patience, provide moderate but strong orders, and regularly reward positive conduct.

Shaping Good Habits: Training Tips

Start Early: The early stages of a Shih Tzu’s life provide an excellent opportunity to develop healthy training habits. Here are some important aspects to remember:

Start Early: Shih Tzu puppies can begin obedience training as young as eight weeks old.

Consistency is key: Consistency is critical for good training. Apply the same commands, cues, and incentives each time.

Positive Reinforcement: Reward positive conduct with praise, treats, or fun with positive reinforcement. This encourages children to acquire and practice desirable behaviors.

Basic Commands: The Basic Commands Focus on teaching them basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “down,” and “leave it.” These commands are essential for safe and controlled interactions throughout their lives.

Building Social Confidence:

As previously said, socialization has a significant impact on the behavior and temperament of your Shih Tzu. Here’s how to ensure safe and effective socialization:

Start Early: Begin socializing your puppy as soon as they obtain their full set of immunizations.

Supervised Interactions: Always monitor interactions with other animals and people, especially in the early phases of socializing.

Nice Experiences: Make sure all encounters are nice and regulated. If your puppy shows signs of fear or anxiety, gently remove them from the situation and try again later in a calmer environment.

Potty Training Challenges:

Potty training can be difficult, but with patience and determination, you can teach your Shih Tzu the correct bathroom manners. Here are some tips:

Create a routine: Take your puppy outside regularly, particularly after meals, playing, and waking up after a nap.

Reward success: When your puppy uses the restroom outside, praise and reward them vocally and with treats.

Be patient. Accidents happen, especially in the early phases. Maintain patience and consistency in your training program.

Safeguarding Health: Common Concerns

Shih Tzus are typically healthy dogs; however, they are prone to a few health issues. Being aware of these risks helps you take proactive steps, such as obtaining veterinary treatment if necessary.

Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BOAS): Shih Tzus’ flattened face characteristics might cause breathing problems.

Eye Problems: Dry eye, cataracts, and cherry eye can all impair vision.

Patellar Luxation: This condition occurs when the kneecap slips out of place, producing lameness.


This manual explores the intriguing realm of Shih Tzu growth, providing answers to frequent inquiries and apprehensions expressed by pet guardians.

When do shih tzus stop growing?

While the average Shih Tzu reaches full maturity between 10 months and 1 year of age, some may require an additional 15 months. Diverse factors exert an influence on this timeframe, encompassing:

Genetics: The size of their progenitors has a substantial impact on their ultimate stature.

Gender: Shih Tzu females are typically a little smaller than males.

Gaining insight into growth parameters:

Shih Tzu weight by age: On average, adult Shih Tzus range in weight from 9 to 16 pounds (4 to 7.3 kg) or 7 to 21 pounds (3.2 to 9.5 kg). Keep in mind that genetics, gender, and level of exercise can all affect one’s weight.

Shih Tzu height: Typically, Shih Tzu height ranges from 8 to 11 inches (20.3 — 27.9 cm). These values represent merely averages; specific Shih Tzus might deviate from these ranges.

Shih tzu growth charts:

Advice should not be placed as absolute predictions on Shih Tzu growth charts A and B, which provide estimates based on age and weight (for precise information, consult your veterinarian). Although these charts offer a broad perspective, it is important to note that specific growth rates may vary.

Rate and Phases of Growth:

Birth to two weeks (weight doubles in the first week): the period of quickest growth.

Speedy Development: 2 to 8 weeks of Shih Tzu age range.

2 to 4 months for vigorous growth (slightly decelerated).

4 to 6 months for a gradual slowdown

6 months until they cease growing slowly

Developmental Variations:

The AKC breed standard specifies a weight range for adults of 9 to 16 pounds (4.08 to 7.25 kg). In contrast, according to a 2019 survey, Shih Tzus range in weight from 7.17 to 21 pounds (equivalent to 9.5 kg or more). This further underscores the substantial variations in Shih Tzu growth among individuals.

The Difficulties of Growth Estimation:

Making precise predictions about their final weight is challenging due to the wide range of potential Shih Tzu average sizes (from 9 to 16 pounds, according to the AKC and even more so by real-world data). Additionally, the fact that growth fluctuates between phases of accelerated advancement and a subsequent decline in pace complicates estimations further.

Destruction of Growth Estimate Myths:

It is possible to approximate the adult weight of your puppy using Growth Approximation Formulas A (Imperial) and B (Metric); however, keep in mind that these are merely approximations and should not be substituted for veterinary expertise. Obtaining guidance from a veterinarian continues to be the most precise method for forecasting the growth and development of your Shih Tzu.

Sustaining Optimal Body Weight:

Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for the well-being of your Shih Tzu, just as it is for humans, and can help prevent future health issues. The following are several essential factors to keep in mind:

Consistently determine the weight of your Shih Tzu by employing a scale. Ascertain the healthy weight range for your pet by consulting your veterinarian, taking into consideration factors such as breed, age, and body composition.

Meal control involves exercising mindfulness regarding portion sizes and refraining from overfeeding. Obesity, which raises the risk of diabetes, joint issues, and other health issues, can result from consuming too much.

The maintenance of a healthy weight and general well-being is contingent upon engaging in regular exercise. Ensure that your Shih Tzu has sufficient time for play and excursions, with duration and intensity modified according to their health and age.

An Examination of Shih Tzu Development Beyond Growth

Along with their physical growth, Shih Tzus experience an intriguing voyage of behavior development. Building a solid connection with your feline companion requires an understanding of these stages and the application of suitable care techniques.

Accomplishing Behavioral Stages:

Age of Socialization (Birth to 16 Weeks): This crucial time sets the stage for your Shih Tzu’s subsequent social interactions. Encourage self-assurance and alleviate future anxieties by exposing them to a variety of environments, animals, and people in a controlled and positive fashion.

Teething Stage (approximately three to six months): readiness for the “discovering with teeth” phase. To redirect their gnawing behavior and alleviate their age-related discomfort, provide plenty of safe chew toys.

The Independence Stage (6 months to 1 year): As your Shih Tzu approaches their first year, they may exhibit signs of independence, such as pressing limits or displaying stubbornness. At this juncture, consistent training, accompanied by positive reinforcement, is critical.

FAQs ( Frequently Asked Questions)

When do Shih Tzus stop growing in height and length?

Shih Tzus typically stop growing in height and length by the age of 10 to 12 months

When is a Shih Tzu considered fully grown?

Shih Tzus are considered adults when they reach the age of one year, and they reach their adult height between the ages of 6 and 8 months

Do Shih Tzus continue to gain weight after reaching adulthood?

Shih Tzus can continue to put on some weight after reaching adulthood, but if fed a healthy diet, they won’t gain more weight beyond 12 to 15 months

Will spaying or neutering affect the growth of a Shih Tzu?

Spaying or neutering a Shih Tzu at around the six-month mark does not affect their growth, weight, or health

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