Watching and caring for your Shih Tzu into adulthood and beyond
On an average, your Shih Tzu could grow to a shoulder-height of 8-11 inches, with a body weight that varies from 10 to 16 pounds. There are many factors which determine the body-weight factors like:
1. Food pattern and type: – If you are able to stick to a regular diet pattern, which starts from morning till the end of day, you can expect to see your puppy growing to attain its maximum height. However, it is recommended that you keep its weight within a manageable limit. This could be made possible by feeding more protein calories and less carbohydrates and fat.
2. Exercising: – This is very critical factor. You might try to put your puppy into some simple, yet effective routines like playing with the ball, brisk running, long walks etc. Though there is a popular opinion that Shih Tzus require minimum exercises, experience shows that regular exercises help in gaining maximum height and healthy weight.
First year: During this period, you can expect faster growth in height. Maximum growth can be expected between 6-12 months. The best way is to keep your pet’s food-patterns as per the breeder’s advice and not worry too much about its height and weight. The weight could vary between 4 pounds to 5 pounds.
Second year onwards: Till the age of 7 or 8 you can expect your favorite Shih Tzu to attain its maximum height of 10-11 inches. This figure could vary also. However, it is suggested that you keep a close watch on the body-weight of your dog at this stage; though you don’t have to run behind him with a weighing scale! Your pet weight could vary from 5 to 8 pounds on average.
8 years and later: This is considered to be a period of settling down. Most of the dogs are supposed to attain their maximum height by this time. However, don’t be surprised if your Shih Tzu shows some signs of slight to moderate increase in height at the earlier stages of this period. Your pet weight could vary from 12-16 pounds.
More than getting concerned about its height and weight if you are able to focus on the overall health and diet patterns, the rest will take shape naturally. You can expect your pet Shih Tzu to lead an overall fit and healthy life in the long run.