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How Big Do Hmong Dogs Get? Hmong Dog Size & Growth Chart

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Vietnamese Hmong bobtail or docked tail dog

How Big Do Hmong Dogs Get? Hmong Dog Size & Growth Chart

The Hmong dog is among the rarest dog breeds worldwide. It is native to Asian regions of China and Vietnam and was bred as a work, hunting, and guard dog. As such, this medium-sized dog has a great appetite for work and boasts a naturally robust and masculine physique.

But how big do Hmong dogs get? How much do adults weigh? On average adults can get up t0 55 pounds with a height of up to 22 inches. Read on for a detailed size and growth chart.

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Size of a Full-Grown Hmong Dog

Hmong dogs have sturdy, masculine, and well-toned bodies. As a crossbreed between a native dog and wolf, they also boast eminent chests, wide backs, and notably strong ribs and bones for enhanced agility.

Even with the distinctive features of larger canine breeds, Hmongs are technically medium-sized. Adults grow to an impressive bulk of 35 to 55 pounds on average, with a height of 18 to 22 inches. These dogs hold incredible strength and appear much larger due to their muscle build.

Like most canine breeds, males are slightly larger than females.

Vietnamese Hmong dog or docked tail dog
Image Credit: marie martin, Shutterstock

Hmong Dog Size and Growth Chart

There are three types of Hmong dogs, each with a different physique. They include the following.


The Li-ung is a smaller spitz-type of dog. It is intelligent and friendly, making it an excellent companion pet. The Li-ung Hmong dog typically comes with a cream or white colored coat.


Shou-wu Hmong dogs are slightly bigger than the Li-ung. They also come with white or cream double coats. The Shou-wu make excellent guard dogs for being loyal and highly protective of their family members.


Lao-tzu is the largest of all Hmong dogs, best known for its loyalty and friendliness. It is powerful, active, and agile, making it an excellent guard or working dog. Lao-tzu Hmongs come in darker coat hues like black, gray, and brownish red.

Age Weight Range Length Range
0 to 6 months (puppy) 3 to 26 pounds 8 to 12 inches
6 to 12 months (adolescent) 30 to 35 pounds 18 to 20 inches
12 to 24 months (adult) 35 to 55 pounds 20 to 22 inches

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When Does a Hmong Dog Stop Growing?

Generally, Hmong dogs stop growing at 18 months. However, the Lao-tzu Hmongs become slightly bigger between 18 and 24 months. You can tell whether your pet has reached maximum growth by examining the size of its paws. If they still don’t seem proportional to the rest of the body, your doggo may grow slightly bigger before it turns two years old.

Factors Affecting the Size of Hmong Dogs

Body size is a complex trait influenced by both genetics and environmental factors. Let’s look at the three main factors that can affect the size of your Hmong dog.


A critical factor that will dictate your pup’s adult size is whether it is a Li-ung, Shou-wu, or Lao-tzu. Also, it is not uncommon for genetic mutations to occasionally happen and cause stunted growth or dwarfism in some puppies.

A Hmong dog with stunted growth looks like a Corgis. Instead of having a complete miniature body, it will have shorter legs that may not be immediately noticeable as short. Unless they stand beside a dog of the same breed and age without dwarfism, the concern can go unnoticed, especially to casual onlookers.


One of the main environmental factors that can influence the size of your Hmong dog is nutrition. The canine breed needs well-balanced food to avoid allergies and joint problems. Meeting the recommended protein, carbohydrate, and fat requirements also ensures Hmong dogs don’t grow too fast or too slowly.

Ideally, puppies need high-energy foods because they are playful and constantly move to burn more calories. Over half the calories they consume go towards tissue growth and skeletal development. Adolescents and adults need more protein-packed foods. Proteins are fundamental building blocks that promote healthy muscle development.


Hmong dogs are naturally active and need to expend excessive energy. A proper exercise routine also helps regulate their weight and overall size. Ideally, they need between 40 and 60 minutes of daily exercise to build muscles and remain healthy.

You can engage your pet in vigorous exercise by playing games like fetch. Another good alternative is to take it for a walk or run. If you choose the former, ensure that the intensity of your walks is sufficient to provide health benefits1. Failure to meet the recommended physical activity (PA) requirements increases the risk of obesity.

Bossi Poo puppy
Image Credit: Songdech Kothmongkol, Shutterstock

Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Hmongs are work dogs that generally need at least 1.5 times more food than less active breeds. They also require more hydration because they are constantly on the move. When choosing your pet’s food, you must ensure it has the right proportions of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and moisture.

The ideal food for your pet should contain real animal protein from pork, fish, turkey, or beef. Unlike foods packed with grain proteins, animal-sourced proteins provide more sustainable energy to maintain your dog’s active lifestyle. Moreover, ensure the nutritional profiles of the foods you choose provide ample amounts of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

It is imperative to maintain a proper nutrition and physical activity balance. Overfeeding, just like an ineffective exercise routine, can lead to obesity. According to research, being overweight can shorten your dog’s life by at least two and a half years2.

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How to Measure Your Hmong Dog

Measuring your Hmong dog is essential to keeping track of its size and weight. It can also make finding fitting accessories like harnesses, collars, or clothing easier.

There are five crucial areas you should measure to help you decide whether to reduce your pet’s meals or increase its exercise.

Body Weight

The most practical way to know your pet’s weight is to access the scales at your vet’s clinic. If it finds vet weigh-in visits too stressful, you can use your regular bathroom scale or invest in a dog scale.

Place the scale on a bare floor and use praise or treats to encourage your pet to step on the device. Let it hold the position for a few seconds before you record the reading.

Body Length

To measure your dog’s body length, place your tape measure from the base of the tail to the top of the neck. In layman terms, place your tape where the tail connects to the body and extend it to where the neck connects with the back.


Measuring the height of a Hmong dog is easy, and you can let your pet stand or sit. Place your tape measure at the base of one of the front paws and extend it to the top of the head.

Waist Girth

To measure your dog’s waist, place a tape measure on its back and extend it under the hind feet to measure the narrowest part of the belly area.

Neck Girth

The neck girth is your dog’s neck circumference. Start from the nape and wrap your tape measure around your dog’s neck while passing over the top of the chest.

Chest Girth

Hmong dogs appear larger mainly because of their broad chests. To measure the chest circumference, place your tape measure on the top of your dog’s shoulder and run it down around the armpits. Extend it across the space behind the forelegs and over the broadest area of the shoulder blades

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Facts About Hmong Dogs

The Hmong is one among four of Vietnam’s great national dogs. It is a crossbreed between a native dog and a jungle wolf, explaining its strong and masculine build. Because it was intended to be a herder, hunter, and guard dog, the Hmong dog is intelligent, loyal, and agile.

1. Appearance

The Hmong dogs have a sturdy physique and dense, thick coats that make them appear larger than their actual size. Because they were bred as hunting companions, they are incredibly fit and build muscle mass quickly. Their prominent backs, broad chests, and strong gaits make them look like pit bulls.

Other distinct features include the squishy-looking round face, short muzzle, almond-shaped eyes, and upright ears. These attributes, coupled with their friendly demeanor and broad, enchanting smiles, often make people confuse them for cats or bear cubs!

Often, Hmongs come in solid colors of black, white, or gray. In rare instances, these dogs come with brownish-red fur or brown coats with hints of other hues.

2. Temperament

Hmong Dogs are highly territorial and protective of their owners. Fortunately, they are intelligent and very obedient. Through early training and socialization, you can control their tendency to be overprotective and even hostile towards other pets.

One of the best traits of the dog breed is that it is active and lively. Hmongs are family-oriented and love running around or playing with their owners. Unfortunately, this also makes them prone to separation anxiety and aggression if caged for too long or left alone for extended hours.

It’s also crucial to note that Hmongs can be highly vocal. They can be annoying, especially when they bark at everything, including neighbors and other pets. An ideal way to deal with the problem is to keep them occupied with chews, interactive toys, or physical activity. Long walks or runs can help them burn off pent-up energy and keep them generally calm.

3. Trainability

Hmong dogs are brilliant and are quick to learn new tricks. However, even mastering basic commands like stay and come can be challenging if you don’t use firm rules and boundaries. Always be patient with your dog and use positive reinforcement whenever it acts as intended.

Moreover, you need to be consistent in your training sessions until your pet grasps different concepts. With time and effort, most Hmong dogs can master just about anything and grow to be well-behaved companions. Their high responsiveness to training makes them excellent service dogs. Vietnamese police often use Hmong dogs to sniff or detect illegal aliens when patrolling the country’s borders.

4. Rarity

Like most primitive purebred dog species, Hmong dogs are rare, even in Asian regions. There are roughly 1,000 Hmong dogs worldwide, including purebreds and hybrids. While purebreds cost about $3,000, hybrids cost between $2,500 and $2,000.

5. Longevity

Hmong dogs have high strength and endurance and often enjoy long, healthy lives. While they are a naturally strong breed, taking care of your dog’s physical and nutritional needs can help enhance its longevity. On average, Hmong dogs can live for 15 to 20 years.

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Final Thoughts

The Hmong dogs have solid bodies and sturdy legs. While they seem much larger, adults have a maximum height of 22 inches, which puts them under the medium-sized dog category. Because height often depends on genetics, always consider a pup’s genealogy before adoption.

Fortunately, you have some control over how much your pet weighs. The ideal weight of adults should not exceed 55 pounds.

Hmong dogs are naturally active and have impressive physical capabilities. If your pet has been adding extra pounds recently, you can regulate its weight through a rigorous daily exercise routine. Make the dog run until it pants!

Featured Image Credit: marie martin, Shutterstock

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