Monitoring your dog's weight is critical to keeping them healthy, especially purebred dogs like Shih Tzus. With this in mind, how much should a Shih Tzu weigh?
The weight your Shih Tzu should be at will depend heavily on age. When healthy, a fully grown adult Shih Tzu should weigh between 9-16 pounds. Newborn Shih Tzu puppies can weigh anywhere from 1.5-4 pounds, and 7-12 pounds at the 6 month mark.
In this article, I’m going to help you understand how much your Shih Tzu should weigh and give you insight into common health problems they may encounter.
As the proud owner of an adorable Shih Tzu, I regularly monitor my dog’s weight to ensure she’s happy and healthy. You can do the same with the right knowledge!
What is a Shih Tzu?
Shih Tzus are ‘toy dog’ breeds that are characterized by their small size and luxurious coat, which can come in many different colors.
Here are a few key points to remember about Shih Tzus before we get into how much they should weigh:
- While Shih Tzus may be small, they can actually have a solid frame under their long-haired coats and weigh a lot more than what you might assume just by looking at them.
- Unlike other dog breeds, there isn’t much of a difference between boy and girl Shih Tzus when it comes to height and weight. Both genders follow the same or similar growth trajectories.
- Shih Tzus can be highly mischievous, playful, and energetic with a sweet temperament.
- I can tell you from personal experience that Shih Tzus are great around kids! They are also ideal for pet parents who live in smaller homes or apartments due to their small size.
How Much Should a Shih Tzu Weigh?
The ideal weight of a Shih Tzu will depend on the dog’s age. Puppies start around 1.5-4 pounds and can get up to 7-12 pounds by the 6 month mark.
You want to start monitoring your Shih Tzu when they become fully grown. An adult Shih Tzu should weigh 9-16 pounds when healthy.
Of course, every dog is different, and might be a pound or two off so it’s important not to panic if this is the case.
Keep in mind, a lot of factors go into how much your Shih Tzu weighs including:
- Living environment
- Amount of exercise they receive
Additionally, if your Shih Tzu was the runt of the litter – meaning they were the smallest or weakest of their siblings – this could impact the dog’s size and weight.
While runts often do catch up and reach a normal size with the proper nutrition, they can sometimes stay smaller throughout their lifespan.
When is My Shih Tzu Considered Fully Grown?
Similar to other toy dog breeds, Shih Tzus can reach maturity rapidly. This typically happens when they are around ten months old.
With that said, some Shih Tzu pups can take up to one year to reach a full adult size.
However, if your Shih Tzu is around ten months old they should already be fully grown and weighing between 9-16 pounds.
How Much Should a Shih Tzu Weigh at 6 Months?
At six months, your Shih Tzu is already nearing their adult size. Six month old Shih Tzus typically weigh 7-12 pounds when healthy.
Additionally, six month old Shih Tzus will already be reaching their full adult height which can be anywhere from 9-10.5 inches tall.
What if My Shih Tzu is Underweight?
If your Shih Tzu isn’t the underweight based on their age, it’s important to:
- Assess their diet: make sure they are getting enough nutrition and are eating the right dog food. Your vet can help determine whether or not your Shih Tzu is malnourished and make dietary change suggestions.
- Monitor their weight: If you don’t have one already, get a scale for your dog and weigh them on a regular basis (I recommend weekly or bi-weekly).
- Speak with your vet: many conditions could cause a dog to be underweight, some of them could be serious. This is why it’s important to either speak with your vet or make an appointment so they can be examined and receive the right treatment.
What if My Shih Tzu is Overweight?
For overweight Shih Tzus, you should:
- Ensure your dog isn't overeating: assess your Shih Tzu’s diet to ensure they are eating the right dog food and avoid overfeeding your dog. A lot of dog owners overfeed their dogs without knowing it. However, your dog should only be eating three meals per day.
- Don’t give them human food: Many foods that humans consume on a daily basis are full of carbs and aren’t good for your dog’s health. Not only can these foods lead to obesity but they could cause other health complications as well.
- Monitor their weight: Weigh your dog on a scale regularly to ensure they are on the path to reaching a healthy weight.
- Exercise and play time: make sure your Shih Tzu is getting the proper amount of exercise and isn’t stuck indoors or inside a crate all day. Walks and simply playing with your furry friend work best.
- Speak with your vet: A vet will be able to help you identify any health conditions that may be causing your Shih Tzu to be overweight or pinpoint certain lifestyle changes that need to be made to help them reach the proper weight.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will a Shih Tzu take to grow?
If your Shih Tzu is younger than 10 months, then they definitely still have time to grow. Some even continue growing up until they are a year old.
A tell-tale sign of a puppy still in their growth stage is oversized paws. If your Shih Tzu’s paws look big in comparison to their legs and body then the chances are they are still growing!
What is the size of an adult Shih Tzu?
When healthy, full-grown adult Shih Tzus should weigh 9-16 pounds. Additionally, they should stand 9-10.5 inches tall.
How can I check my Shih Tzu’s weight without a scale?
To check if your Shih Tzu is gaining excess weight or is potentially underweight you can feel your dog’s body underneath their coat.
Do Shih Tzus have health problems?
Because Shih Tzus are purebred dogs, they are more likely to have genetic health problems including hip dysplasia and retinal detachment.
To avoid these issues it’s important to make sure they eat a healthy diet and get enough exercise.
Here are a few minor issues your Shih Tzu might run into as well:
- Stray lashes: due to their long coats, Shih Tzus are prone to stray hairs and lashes getting into their eyes so ensure you groom and brush them regularly.
- Dirty/clogged ears: your Shih Tzus long hair can cover their ears causing a lot of earwax, dirt, and grime build up. Regular ear cleanings are recommended.
- Overheating: because of their thick coats and short muzzles, you should keep your Shih Tzu inside with air conditioning when the weather is hot as they overheat easily.
So..how much should a Shih Tzu weigh. As I mentioned in this article a fully-grown adult Shih Tzu should weigh between 9-16 pounds when healthy.
Shih Tzus that are six months old can already be approaching adulthood size and can weigh anywhere from 7-12 pounds.
If you suspect your Shih Tzu is underweight or overweight and are concerned, I recommend calling your vet. At the very least your vet will be able to give you advice and ease your mind!
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright