Apart from their fluffy coats and endearing faces, Shih Tzu are also gifted in terms of their size – making them perfect pets. Their miniature sizes allow their owners to carry them around like keychains so they experience the perks of being with their owners all the time – which they truly love. Shih Tzu belong to the toy category group of dogs which range from 2-20 pounds and 6-14 inches tall from the paw to the shoulder. So how big are Shih Tzu? And how small can they get? Are there any standards that define if a Shih Tzu is a true one?
Shih Tzu goes from 9-16 pounds and 8-11 inches in height. These are the customary guidelines set by the American Kennel Club; however, if your Shih Tzu does not fit into the range of standards, it doesn’t mean that he is not a pure breed. You can still register your Shih Tzu however he is not allowed to enter conformation events wherein the breed standards are primarily used in the judging. Other toy breeds include the Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Maltese, Yorkshire terrier and Pug. Among them the Chihuahua is the smallest while the Pug is the biggest. Shih Tzu is somewhere near the pug when it comes to size and height; so this breed is typically a larger type of toy breed. Shih Tzu are sturdy and stocky in size compared to the Yorkie, Maltese and Pomeranian – which are almost the same in size. Shih Tzu are not really sleek and slim; they are more ‘full’ looking than other toy breeds. Fastest growth is observed at 4-6 month old.
Bigger Shih Tzu which fall outside the breed standards are either obese or naturally big boned. In a litter, there is usually a bigger and a smaller one obviously far from the average size of their littermates. They can be healthy or not so it is still best to bring them to the vet. If ever your pet is obese, the most effective method in slimming down is gradual increase in exercise and a strict diet. Make sure to follow a regimen and do not make an abrupt change in your dog’s physical activity. Remember that bigger and overweight dogs are more prone to breathing and heart problems.