Shih Tzu Full Grown: What You Need to Know Best Guide

By: Mo


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Shih Tzu Full Grown

If you’re considering getting a Shih Tzu, you might be wondering about their full-grown size. These small dogs are known for their long, flowing coats and friendly personalities, but how big do they get?

Shih Tzu are considered fully grown at around one year old, but they continue to gain weight until they are about two years old. At six to eight months old, they reach their full height of 8 to 11 inches. Most adult Shih Tzu weigh between 10 and 14 pounds, but some may be smaller or larger depending on genetics, diet, and exercise.

Key Takeaways

  • Shih Tzu are fully grown at around one year old, but continue to gain weight until they are about two years old.
  • Adult Shih Tzu typically weigh between 10 and 14 pounds and reach a height of 8 to 11 inches.
  • Size can vary depending on genetics, diet, and exercise.

History and Ancestry

History and Ancestry - Shih Tzu Full Grown

The Shih Tzu is an ancient breed with a rich history and ancestry. The breed is believed to have originated in Tibet over a thousand years ago, where they were bred as companion dogs for Chinese royalty and nobility. According to legend, the Shih Tzu was created by crossing a lion with a monkey, resulting in a small and sturdy dog that was highly valued for its affectionate nature and loyalty.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644 AD), the Shih Tzu lived with royalty and was highly prized for its beauty and companionship. However, by the 19th century, the breed’s popularity had declined, and Pugs and Pekingese became more fashionable among the Chinese elite.

In the early 20th century, the breed was rediscovered by Westerners who were fascinated by its unique appearance and charming personality. The first Shih Tzu was brought to England in 1931, and the breed was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1946.

Today, the Shih Tzu is one of the most popular toy breeds in the world, beloved for its friendly and outgoing personality, adorable looks, and affectionate nature. The breed’s history and ancestry are a testament to its enduring popularity and appeal, and it remains a beloved companion for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Physical Characteristics

Physical Characteristics - Shih Tzu Full Grown

Shih Tzus are a small breed of dog that have a distinct and recognizable appearance. In this section, we will discuss the various physical characteristics of fully grown Shih Tzus, including their size, coat and colors, body features, and gender differences.

Size and Weight

When fully grown, Shih Tzus typically stand between 8 to 11 inches in height at the shoulder. They can weigh anywhere from 9 to 16 pounds, with males and females generally being similar in size. However, it’s important to note that there are no official size standards for the breed, so individual dogs may vary in size.

To get a better idea of what size your Shih Tzu may be when fully grown, you can refer to a Shih Tzu size chart, which can provide an estimate based on their age and weight.

Coat and Colors

One of the most distinctive features of the Shih Tzu is their long, luxurious coat. Their coat can come in a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, and gray, among others. Some Shih Tzus may also have two or more colors, with a white base and patches of color on their body.

Their coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Shih Tzus can also be prone to skin allergies, so it’s important to keep their coat clean and healthy.

Body Features

Shih Tzus have a small, compact body with a broad chest and sturdy legs. Their head is round and wide, with a short muzzle and large, round eyes. They also have a distinctive tail that curls over their back.

Gender Differences

While males and females are generally similar in size, there are some subtle differences between the genders. Male Shih Tzus may have a slightly larger head and more prominent muzzle, while females may have a slightly smaller head and a more delicate appearance.

Spaying or neutering your Shih Tzu can also affect their physical appearance, as it can impact their coat, body shape, and overall size.

Overall, Shih Tzus are a small but sturdy breed with a distinctive appearance and luxurious coat. By understanding their physical characteristics, you can better care for your fully grown Shih Tzu and keep them healthy and happy.

Personality and Temperament

Personality and Temperament - Shih Tzu Full Grown

Shih Tzus are known for their happy, affectionate, and playful personalities. They are friendly dogs that enjoy being around people and other pets. They have a lively temperament and love to play in the yard, but they do not require a lot of exercise.

One thing to keep in mind is that Shih Tzus can be prone to barking. They are outgoing dogs that desire attention, and barking can be their way of communicating. However, with proper training and socialization, you can teach your Shih Tzu when it is appropriate to bark and when it is not.

Despite their small size, Shih Tzus have a confident and outgoing personality. They are not shy dogs and will often approach strangers with enthusiasm. They make great lap dogs and love to cuddle with their owners.

Overall, Shih Tzus have a friendly and affectionate temperament that makes them great family pets. With proper training and socialization, they can be well-behaved and obedient dogs that bring joy to your life.

Living Conditions

Living Conditions - Shih Tzu Full Grown

When it comes to living conditions, Shih Tzus are very adaptable dogs. They can thrive in a variety of environments, including apartments and small houses. As long as they have enough space to move around and play, they can be happy in any home.

Because Shih Tzus are lap dogs, they are perfect for people who want a companion to cuddle with on the couch. They love to be close to their owners and will follow you around the house wherever you go.

Shih Tzus also make great family pets. They are gentle and affectionate with children, and their small size makes them less intimidating than larger breeds. However, it is important to supervise young children around Shih Tzus, as they can be easily injured if handled roughly.

If you have other pets in your home, a Shih Tzu can be a great addition to your family. They are generally friendly with other dogs and cats, and can even become best friends with them.

Overall, Shih Tzus are great apartment dogs. They are small in size and don’t require a lot of space to be happy. They are also relatively quiet dogs, which makes them a good choice for people who live in close quarters with others. If you live in an apartment or small house and are looking for a loyal and loving companion, a Shih Tzu could be the perfect pet for you.

Health and Lifespan

Health and Lifespan - Shih Tzu Full Grown

Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Proper veterinary care, nutrition, and exercise can help ensure a long and healthy life for your Shih Tzu.

Common Health Issues

Shih Tzus are prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears, so it’s important to keep their ears clean and dry. They are also prone to dental issues, so regular teeth brushing and dental check-ups are recommended.

Some Shih Tzus may develop genetic health problems such as hip dysplasia or patellar luxation. Deafness is also a potential health issue in this breed.

Lifespan and Longevity

On average, Shih Tzus live between 10 to 16 years. However, with proper care and attention, they can live up to 18 or even 20 years. Age-related health issues such as arthritis and vision problems may arise in older Shih Tzus.

To ensure a long and healthy life for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to provide them with proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help detect any potential health issues early on and ensure prompt treatment.

In summary, while Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs, it’s important to be aware of potential health issues and provide them with proper care to ensure a long and happy life.

Care and Grooming

Care and Grooming - Shih Tzu Full Grown

As a responsible Shih Tzu owner, it is essential to take care of your furry friend’s grooming needs. Shih Tzus have long, silky hair that requires regular grooming.

Here are some tips to keep your Shih Tzu looking healthy and beautiful:


Regular grooming is essential for your Shih Tzu’s health and happiness. Brushing your Shih Tzu’s hair daily will help prevent mats and tangles. Use a slicker brush and a metal comb to remove any knots gently. You can also use a detangler spray to help loosen any stubborn mats.

Shih Tzus also need their nails trimmed regularly. If you hear clicking sounds when your Shih Tzu walks on a hard surface, it’s time for a trim. You can use a nail clipper or a grinder to trim your Shih Tzu’s nails. Be sure to avoid cutting the quick, which is the blood vessel inside the nail.


Shih Tzus are small dogs that don’t need a lot of exercise. A daily walk around the block is enough to keep your Shih Tzu healthy and happy. Be sure to use a harness instead of a collar to prevent any neck injuries.


A healthy diet is essential for your Shih Tzu’s overall health. Feed your furry friend a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age and size. Avoid feeding your Shih Tzu table scraps or human food, as it can upset their stomach.


Shih Tzus are prone to dental problems, so it’s essential to feed them dry kibble instead of wet food. Dry kibble helps clean your Shih Tzu’s teeth and prevent tooth decay. Be sure to provide your Shih Tzu with fresh water at all times.


Shih Tzus enjoy short walks and playing in the yard. Be sure to supervise your Shih Tzu when they’re outside, as they’re small and can easily get hurt. Always use a leash when walking your Shih Tzu, and avoid walking them during the hottest part of the day.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu is healthy, happy, and well-groomed.

Training and Socialization

Training and Socialization - Shih Tzu Full Grown

Training and socialization are crucial for your Shih Tzu’s development. Shih Tzus are intelligent dogs that can learn many commands with ease. However, they can also be stubborn at times. Therefore, it is important to start training your Shih Tzu early and be consistent with your training methods.

Obedience training is essential for your Shih Tzu to learn basic commands, such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” You can enroll your Shih Tzu in obedience classes or train them at home with positive reinforcement methods. Positive reinforcement methods include rewarding your Shih Tzu with treats, toys, or praise when they follow a command correctly.

Socialization is also important to ensure your Shih Tzu is well-behaved around other dogs and people. Socialization involves exposing your Shih Tzu to different environments, sounds, and people. This can include taking your Shih Tzu on walks, to the park, or to dog-friendly events.

Agility training is another option for your Shih Tzu. Agility training involves teaching your Shih Tzu to navigate through obstacles such as tunnels, jumps, and weave poles. This type of training can improve your Shih Tzu’s coordination, confidence, and overall physical health.

Overall, training and socialization are important for your Shih Tzu’s development and well-being. With consistent training and positive reinforcement methods, your Shih Tzu can become a well-behaved and obedient companion.

Breeding and Puppies

Breeding and Puppies - Shih Tzu Full Grown

If you’re interested in getting a Shih Tzu puppy, it’s important to find a reputable breeder. Look for a breeder who is knowledgeable about the breed and who has a good reputation. You can ask for references from other Shih Tzu owners or check with the American Kennel Club for a list of breeders in your area.

When it comes to breeding Shih Tzus, it’s important to keep in mind that the breed can be prone to certain genetic health issues. A responsible breeder will test their breeding dogs for these issues and only breed dogs that are healthy and free of genetic defects. This can help ensure that the puppies are healthy and have a good temperament.

Shih Tzu puppies are typically born in litters of 2-4 puppies. Newborn puppies are very small and fragile, weighing only a few ounces. They are born with their eyes and ears closed and will rely on their sense of smell and touch to find their mother and littermates. During the first few weeks of life, the puppies will spend most of their time nursing and sleeping.

As the puppies grow and develop, they will become more active and playful. They will begin to interact with their littermates and explore their surroundings. This is an important period of socialization for the puppies, as they learn how to interact with other dogs and humans.

Shih Tzu puppies typically reach adolescence between 6 and 12 months of age. During this time, they will experience a lot of growth and development. It’s important to provide your puppy with plenty of exercise and socialization during this period to help them develop into a well-adjusted adult dog.

Overall, breeding and raising Shih Tzu puppies can be a rewarding experience. Just be sure to do your research and find a reputable breeder who can provide you with a healthy, happy puppy.

Adopting a Shih Tzu

Adopting a Shih Tzu - Shih Tzu Full Grown

If you’re considering adopting a Shih Tzu, you’re in for a treat. These little pups make wonderful companions and are known for their affectionate nature and playful disposition. Here are a few things to consider before bringing a Shih Tzu home.


Shih Tzus were bred to be companion dogs, and they excel in that role. They love nothing more than being by your side, whether you’re watching TV on the couch or going for a walk. They’re loyal and affectionate and will quickly become a beloved member of your family.


Shih Tzus are generally friendly and outgoing, and they get along well with people of all ages. However, they are small dogs and can be easily injured if handled roughly, so it’s important to supervise interactions between young children and your Shih Tzu.


Shih Tzus can make great family pets, but they may not be the best choice for families with very young children. Because they are small and delicate, they can be easily injured if handled roughly. It’s important to teach children how to interact with your Shih Tzu gently and respectfully.


Shih Tzus thrive on companionship and do best when they have someone to spend time with. If you work long hours or travel frequently, a Shih Tzu may not be the best choice for you. However, if you’re able to spend time with your pup on a daily basis, they’ll be a happy and content companion.

Living with Other Pets

Shih Tzus can get along well with other pets, but it’s important to introduce them slowly and carefully. If you have other dogs or cats in your home, make sure to supervise their interactions until you’re confident that everyone is getting along.


If you’re considering adopting a Shih Tzu, there are many options available. You can check with your local animal shelter or rescue organization to see if they have any Shih Tzus available for adoption. There are also breed-specific rescue organizations that focus on Shih Tzus. When adopting, make sure to ask about the dog’s history and any medical or behavioral issues they may have.


What is the typical weight of a female Shih Tzu at full growth?

The typical weight of a female Shih Tzu at full growth is between 9 and 16 pounds. However, the weight can vary depending on genetics, diet, and exercise.

How long does it take for a Shih Tzu to reach full size?

A Shih Tzu is full-grown by 15 months. Most reach adulthood within a year, and some stop growing at 9-11 months.

What is the average height of a male Shih Tzu at full growth?

The average height of a male Shih Tzu at full growth is between 9 and 10.5 inches. However, the height can vary depending on genetics, diet, and exercise.

Are Shih Tzus known for excessive barking?

Shih Tzus are known for being vocal, but excessive barking is not a trait of the breed. Proper training and socialization can help prevent excessive barking.

What is the typical behavior of a 6 month old Shih Tzu?

At 6 months old, a Shih Tzu will be playful, curious, and energetic. They will also be teething, so it’s important to provide them with appropriate chew toys.

Is a Shih Tzu a good choice for a family pet?

Shih Tzus make great family pets. They are affectionate, loyal, and adaptable to different living situations. However, they do require regular grooming and exercise.