Why Is My Shih Tzu So Big?

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Shih Tzus are known for their small and compact size, making them a popular breed for apartment living and families with children. However, if you are a Shih Tzu owner and notice that your furry friend is significantly larger than expected, you may be wondering why this is the case. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to a Shih Tzu’s size, from genetics to nutrition and exercise. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind why some Shih Tzus may be bigger than others and what you can do to ensure your pup is healthy and happy.


What Is A Shih Tzu?

A Shih Tzu is a small dog breed that originated in China, known for its long, silky hair and friendly personality. The name “Shih Tzu” translates to “lion” in Mandarin Chinese, which is fitting as this breed was believed to have been bred by Tibetan monks to resemble lions.

Shih Tzus typically weigh between 9 and 16 pounds and stand between 8 and 11 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a distinctive appearance with their flat, broad face, large, round eyes, and floppy ears. Their coat is long and flowing, and can come in a variety of colors, including white, black, gray, and brown.

Shih Tzus are known for being loyal, affectionate, and playful. They make great companion dogs and are well-suited for apartment living. However, they do require regular grooming to maintain their long coat, and can be prone to certain health issues such as dental problems and respiratory issues.


Why Do Some Shih Tzus Grow So Big?

Shih Tzus are a small dog breed, typically weighing between 9 and 16 pounds and standing about 8 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder. However, some Shih Tzus may grow larger than the breed standard due to a variety of factors.

One possible reason for a Shih Tzu growing larger than usual could be genetics. If the dog’s parents or ancestors were larger than average, then it is possible that the Shih Tzu may also grow larger. Another factor could be diet and exercise. If a Shih Tzu is overfed or does not get enough exercise, they may gain weight and grow larger.

Additionally, certain health conditions could cause a Shih Tzu to grow larger than average. For example, hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, can cause weight gain and a slower metabolism, which may lead to a larger size.

It’s important to note that while some Shih Tzus may grow larger than the breed standard, it’s not necessarily a desirable trait. In fact, breeders strive to produce Shih Tzus that conform to the breed standard in terms of size and other physical characteristics. If you have concerns about your Shih Tzu’s size, it’s best to speak with a veterinarian.


Should I Be Concerned If My Shih Tzu Is Bigger Than Average?

Shih Tzus typically weigh between 9 to 16 pounds and stand 9 to 10.5 inches tall at the shoulder. However, there can be natural variations in size within a breed, and some individuals may be slightly larger or smaller than the breed standard.

If your Shih Tzu’s size is significantly larger than the breed standard, it is recommended to have a veterinarian examine them to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to their size. Additionally, you may want to adjust their diet and exercise routine to ensure they maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity, which can lead to health problems.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to ensure that your Shih Tzu is healthy, happy, and receives proper veterinary care, regardless of their size.



In conclusion, the size of a Shih Tzu can vary greatly depending on various factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health. While some may be smaller or larger than the average size of 9-16 pounds, it’s important to remember that size does not necessarily determine the happiness or well-being of your furry friend. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to provide your Shih Tzu with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper veterinary care to ensure they are thriving regardless of their size. So if you’re wondering why your Shih Tzu is bigger than others, remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and the most important thing is to love and care for your furry companion unconditionally.

Carol Jones

Carol Jones

Owner of the cutest shih tzu on earth

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