There are few things as cute as a shih tzu puppy. But a fully grown shih tzu is almost as cute thanks in large part to its small size. The shih tzu has been a popular companion dog in China for many centuries. Once introduced to the Western world, they have become arguably the most well-known of the toy dog family. You often see shih tzus in dog shows and competitions, but they are mostly found in homes around the world.
But how long does it take for a shih tzu puppy to become a fully grown shih tzu? The answer is about the same as most dog breeds.
Life Stages for a Shih Tzu
From newborn to full maturity, the life cycle of a shih tzu is pretty much the same for most dogs. Knowing where they are at in the growing stage will help you determine their proper size and weight.
For the first ten days after they are born, a shih tzu puppy cannot see or hear. And even after they open their eyes, they will not see clearly for about two weeks. Once a shih tzu starts to see clearly, they will start to hear as well. At this point, they graduate from the newborn stage.
From the three to six-week mark, a shih tzu puppy will start to grow and mature rapidly. As they can now see and hear, they will start to explore their surroundings. In addition, they will recognize their mother and siblings and begin the process of play. They will also rest a great deal during this period of rapid growth.
Starting at the six-week mark, a shih tzu will be the puppy everyone will recognize. Adventurous, curious, and probably getting into trouble, you will need to create a safe environment to protect the puppy from harm. This stage of curiosity will last for several weeks.
Two to Eight Months:
At this point, the puppy will develop their teeth and take on the characteristics more like a teenager. They will stop adding to their height at the end of eight month, but they will still be growing in terms of weight.
Up to Twelve Months: By the time they have reached their first birthday, the shih tzu puppy will be close to full maturation. They will no longer have the frenetic energy of a puppy, but they will still be learning as they reach adulthood.
A fully grown shih tzu will normally weigh between nine and sixteen pounds. And, they will reach a height of eight to eleven inches depending on their genetics.
A shih tzu puppy will grow over the first six to eight months of its lifespan. At that point, they will stop growing in height, but continue to add weight until they reach the age of two. If the diet they consume does not add extra fat, sugars, or carbohydrates that otherwise would become excess weight, a shih tzu will maintain its current weight for the rest of its life.
A fully grown shih tzu will be a bundle of love and energy for most of its life. Knowing the different stages will help you prepare as your shih tzu matures.