Doggie celebrity parents and social media have brought immense popularity to tiny representatives of some doggie breeds. Teacup dogs have become increasingly popular as they are often seen with their celebrity parents and posted on Instagram and Facebook. These dogs are remarkably smaller than their standard breeds and are often called micro-dogs.
In recent decades, teacup pups are everywhere. They are inside purses, and they have taken over internet videos with their adorable cuteness. These dogs are undeniably appealing, but are they that small? Their popularity has caused many dog lovers to take a serious interest in them. Would these tiny pooches make good pets? And of course, are they healthy?
There are various myths and misconceptions surrounding teacup dogs. With a weight ranging from two to five pounds, these tiny pups are prone to several health issues such as skeletal and immune system problems. If you are interested in making them a part of your family, you must do some research.
Some unscrupulous breeders often produce tiny and unhealthy pups. Making an informed decision will lead to a big difference between bringing a healthy or sick pet into your home. Thus, read on to learn more about these tiny pooches.
What Are Teacup Dogs?
As the name implies, the term “Teacup” depicts a smaller-than-average dog size. This term is quite attractive and flashy when reading on ads and social media feeds that include cute and adorable pooches that comfortably fit into a coffee cup.
These dogs are tiny versions of a popular small dog breed. Other terms used are pocket-sized and micro-dogs. On top of being small, teacups also weigh much less than the standards for a particular breed. For instance, the Americal Kennel Club set the standard weight for a Maltese at seven pounds or less. A teacup version would weigh less and will be much smaller than what is acceptable.
Teacup dogs come in various breeds and bloodlines. Any breed of dog can have a teacup version in its litter. What defines them is their size and weight. Their average weight is no more than four pounds, and they are less than 17 inches tall in their adulthood. Their size and measurements are not standardized, yet they are so tiny that they can fit inside a teacup; thus, the term teacup dogs.
There are many breeds with their versions of teacup sizes. Some of the most popular ones are teacup Maltese, Chihuahua, and the Yorkshire Terrier. Teacups are often confused with toy dogs, but Toys are usually more significant in size, although they are still smaller than the average counterparts.
Popular Teacup Dog Breeds
When you search online for the most popular Teacup breeds, you’ll find a long list of adorable looking and tiny pups. However, there are only a few legitimate dog breeds that can be classified as teacups.
1. Teacup Chihuahua
- Size: Varies (From 15 to 23 cm or 30 to 38 cm)
- Weight: Four pounds or less at adult weight
- Lifespan: 10-18 years
- Characteristics: Long or smooth coat, alert expressions, comes in black, tan and other colors
- Price Range: From $2,000 and up
These tiny canines are currently one of the most popular teacup dog breeds. They are adorable, but they are also one of the most panicky breeds. For instance, they do well around cats, but they are nervous around kids and other dogs. These pups are popularized as the puppy purse and are always with celebrities and Hollywood stars.
These dogs are incredibly devoted and affectionate to their owners. They should not be left alone for long periods. Likewise, they are brilliant and easy to train. These tiny canines are ideal for apartment and condo dwellers; however, they require a lot of care and attention. Regular visits to the veterinarian are also essential as teacup types of this breed are prone to health issues like having soft spots in the skull, weak teeth, hypoglycemia, heart diseases, and others. Make sure you read our guide about Dog strollers for small dogs.
Much like their standard-sized siblings, chihuahuas require proper training and early socialization. These dogs can be extra defensive or become fearful around strangers. They are not aware of how small they are and may grow aggressive around bigger pets. Likewise, they require mental stimulation and regular exercise to stay healthy.
MUST-READ: Quick Facts About Teacup Chihuahua
2. Teacup Maltese
- Size: Varies (Under 7 inches)
- Weight: Varies (Under 7 pounds)
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Characteristics: Fluffy, single-layer silky white coat, dark and alert eyes
- Price Range: From $750 to $2000
The Maltese dog is one of the oldest known breeds – dating back to almost 3,000 years ago. Back then, they were considered royalty and were even tagged as “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta.” The standard size of this dog breed is already small; thus, the teacup versions are even smaller. Their tiny size and low energy make them an ideal choice for people who wish to have a fur baby always to cuddle.
Due to their smaller sizes, teacup Maltese can be extremely fragile, and they can become nervous when meeting new pets or in a new and unfamiliar environment. They may take a while to warm up, so introducing them to new people or places should be on their pace. On the other hand, they have a natural temperament suitable for effortless training and quick learning.
Although they are always excited to be around their owners, you should still be careful around them as you can trample over them. Likewise, stairs can be a challenge for tiny canines, and they are suited for flats and bungalows. It is also essential to keep playtime with kids supervised or teach them how to handle small dogs to prevent accidents.
MUST-READ: The Adorable and Popular Teacup Maltese
3. Teacup Shih Tzu
- Size: 9 to 10 inches
- Weight: 9 pounds or below
- Lifespan: 10-16 years
- Characteristics: Has a long flowy coat that comes in black, gold, silver, and others.
- Price Range: From $2000 to $3000 and even more
Shih Tzus are a small dog breed that is well-loved by Chinese royalty. They were regarded as the Lion Dog and had laws that protected them. Their long line of royalty might be due to its arrogant carriage, though they are not arrogant at all. Generally, this breed is athletic and energetic. They have muscular bodies underneath their long silky coat. On the other hand, don’t overwork them as they are prone to breathing issues and overheating.
The breed’s teacup versions are known as divas. They have inherited their parents’ dark eyes, flowy coat, and playful yet affectionate characteristics. With their tiny size, they look even more adorable and attractive. They are loyal to their owners, outgoing, loving, and alert. They require early training to curb their stubborn behaviors.
On the other hand, Shih Tzus this small are also prone to various health conditions like breathing problems, heart issues, and eye problems. If you decide that a teacup version of this breed is the one for you, always have them checked with the veterinarian for early detection of potential health problems.
4. Teacup Yorkie
- Size: 6 to 7 inches
- Weight: 2 to 4 pounds
- Lifespan: 9 to 14 years
- Characteristics: Has a compact body, light shedding silky and straight coat; colors include black and brown, black and gold, blue and brown, and more.
- Price Range: From $1200 to $2000
This delightful dog breed is just a tinier version of the Yorkshire Terrier. They look very much the same as their standard siblings and have the same playful characteristic, but they come in smaller packages. They are devoted and protective of their owner and family. More so, despite their mischief, they require lots of love and care.
Yorkshire Terriers originally were mice hunters in Northern England. They were a big help in industrial settings, but soon they become popular companion dogs. They’ve been introduced as family pets too, but their hunter instincts would show up, making them confident and bold with their naughtiness. On the other hand, they can be affectionate and loves to be around their owners. Moreover, you can correct their sassiness and feisty traits with early socialization and training.
Teacup versions of the Yorkie have carried the breed’s small dog syndrome; thus, they must be supervised when meeting bigger pets. They are also territorial and have that prey drive for smaller animals. Likewise, they are susceptible to barking, and it can be irritating if not trained out.
Because of their tiny size, Teacup Yorkies are not suitable for families with small children. They have fragile little bodies. And they are also prone to health issues like bronchitis, portosystemic shunt, and lymphangiectasia.
MUST-READ: Facts About Teacup Yorkie
5. Teacup Poodle
- Size: Less than 9 inches
- Weight: Less than 6 pounds
- Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
- Characteristics: Has a curly and dense coat; colors include black, white, gray, apricot, and more.
- Price Range: From $1200 to $5000
Poodles are known for being intelligent, friendly, and active. They are well-loved family dogs and are suited for people with allergies because of their hypoallergenic coat. These dogs have a colorful history, from hunting companions in Germany to being pampered by French nobility and becoming extra popular in Spain. These days, the breed remains to be a favorite pet, and they come in standard, toy, and miniature sizes.
Teacup versions of the Poodle are even smaller than their recognized miniature size. But their appearance and characteristics are quite the same. They all have stocky built, dark, and oval eyes, and they express alertness and intelligence. Their coat is their significant characteristic. It is dense, curly, low-shedding, and hypoallergenic. It may require minimum maintenance, but they need regular grooming to keep them looking good.
Generally, this teacup breed is prone to some health issues like gastric torsion, epilepsy, and cataracts. They are ideal for families with older children and those living in apartments. By nature, these dogs are energetic, friendly, and highly trainable; thus, many people find them attractive.
6. Teacup Pug
- Size: Less than 10 inches
- Weight: Less than 7 pounds
- Lifespan: 6 to 10 years
- Characteristics: Compact mini-muscular built, double-layered coat in colors such as fawn, black, white, brown and brindle
- Price Range: From $750 to $2000
Pugs are known for their prominent personalities. They are playful, passionate, sometimes ridiculous, amusing, cheerful, and always peaceful. Many dog lovers want to have a Pug for its adorable features and affectionate nature. Over the years, teacup dog versions’ popularity has reached Pug-lovers and increased their interest in having these little boogers in pocket sizes.
There are pugs that smaller than their regular-sized counterparts. They are short-legged and could be possible runts in a litter. But did you know that Teacup Pugs are not pure breed pups? The teacup version is a cross between a Pug and a teacup version of the Chihuahua. They are also known as Chug or Pughuahua.
But despite its dwarfism and seemingly inferior qualities, these dogs remains to be a loveable and adorable companion. They are suitable for apartment dwellers as they have low-exercise needs and have this chill demeanor. While they can be stubborn, they can be trained easily with the help of positive reinforcement and treats as rewards.
7. Teacup Pomeranian
- Size: Less than 7 inches
- Weight: Less than 7 pounds
- Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
- Characteristics: Has fluffy double coat in colors like orange, black, gold, chocolate and more
- Price Range: From $600 – $1500 but can go as high as $4000
In present times, Pomeranians are loveable lap dogs. These dogs pull sleds and herd animals in the early years. Back then, they weigh 30 pounds or more during their old times. However, they were bred to become smaller to be companion pets instead of the big working ones. Since then, they’ve become smaller until we now have their teacup version.
Teacup Poms has all those classic looks and personality-packed in a smaller body. Despite their tiny size, they are chatty, bouncy, and friendly canines. People love them for their cuteness and lively personality. Likewise, their smaller sizes make humans feel more protective over them and are more likely to adore and cuddle them.
Teacups’ adorable cuteness surely encourages pet parents to want one. But before you push through with getting a teacup version of the Poms, you have to consider their health and needs seriously. Tiny dogs will have lots of energy, but they will have bodies that are often too fragile. Likewise, they have smaller organs and faster metabolism. Thus they are likely to eat and urinate more often. Though they are suitable apartment pets, you have to think carefully about their toilet needs.
But, if you are ready to handle these fragile little fluffs of joy, they can be wonderful companions that will stay loyal and loving to their owners.
MUST-READ: Teacup Pomeranian Facts
8. Teacup Maltipoo
- Size: 8 to 14 inches
- Weight: Less than 9 pounds
- Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
- Characteristics: Has soft-woolly and fluffy coat in colors like white, cream, and silver.
- Price Range: From $500 – $2000
Maltipoos are a mix of two popular dog breeds, the Poodle and the Maltese. These dogs are some of the most sought after designer hybrid pets because of their adorable fluffy appearance and easy temperament. Despite its tiny size, Teacup Maltipoos are extraordinary. They have unique characteristics, personality, and looks that endears them to humans.
Teacup versions of this dog breed require a close human connection. They should live indoors, thus avoid putting them in kennels or outside. Ideally, they are great as apartment pets; however, they can be noisy, and they tend to bark a lot. Likewise, they are very energetic and active. Pet owners need to take them some exercise to keep them healthy and out of trouble.
These dogs are also brilliant; thus, they are easy to train. You can use a lot of positive reinforcements, such as food rewards and praise. They love to be the center of attention, and they are always winning to please their owners. On the other hand, if you intend to have this teacup breed as a pet, you should learn more about their health concerns. They can be prone to Cardiomyopathy, luxating patella, progressive retinal atrophy, and Legg Calve Perthes.
MUST-READ: Interesting Facts About Teacup Maltipoo
FAQS About Teacup Dogs
Many controversies are surrounding this famous dog breed. Although they are not a single breed of dogs, teacup dogs have become a hot commodity for pet parents worldwide. They are always with celebrities, and they graced Instagram pages with their delightful cuteness.
Apart from their adorable looks, their small size is one of the most attractive characteristics. It leaves people wondering how they become so little or making great pets despite their tiny sizes. Here are a few crucial facts you need to know before getting a teacup-sized pet.
The owner must display leadership skills to show it who’s the boss. This action can improve good behavior in Teacup dogs. Children who interact with the dog must demonstrate traits of leadership to the dog.
Bottom line the teacup is not for meek owners but for those who can show firmness and discipline. It is recommended that a Teacup puppy should be trained as early as possible since training Teacup dogs at this point will turn them into good dogs.
Teacup Dogs Lifespan
Based on the Canine Journal studies, widespread inbreeding influences a dog’s physical appearance, size, and lifespan. In the case of teacup inbreeding, their lifespan supposedly is the same as their regular-sized versions. However, because of their health and psychological issues, their lifespans can severely decrease. Although, in most cases, small dog breeds live longer than bigger breeds.
The average number of years for teacup dog versions is around 15 years. It varies according to their specific breeds too. For instance, if you decide to get a teacup-sized chihuahua and you give proper care and treatment, it can live for up to 18 long years. Pet parents should be vigilant in monitoring signs and symptoms of common health issues in this type of dog breed. Additionally, teacups can live a long and fulfilling life with the right treatment and care for their size.
What Are Common Health Issues Of A Teacup Dogs?
Each breed of dog may experience different health issues. The most common conditions among all breeds include diabetes, heart diseases, and eye problems. However, since teacup versions are tiny, they are more prone to experiencing health problems common with their size. Some of these health issues in teacups include the following:
Unhealthy weight – smaller dogs have a faster metabolism than average dogs; thus, they need frequent feedings. However, you must pair constant feeding with regular exercise. Otherwise, your pet can lead to an unhealthy weight for its size.
Hypoglycemia – the extreme drop in a canine’s blood sugar can lead to weakness, shivering, and seizures.
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) – health studies conducted on smaller dogs also revealed that they are more likely to have HGE or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. While the exact cause is still unknown, tiny pets with this condition may experience vomiting, decreased appetite, bloody diarrhea, and lethargy.
Fragile Bones – because of their tiny size, teacups also have smaller and frailer bones than their standard counterparts. Thus, they are more susceptible to fractures and breaks.
These dogs are also more prone to being trampled and stepped on. They can be sat on or dropped because they are so tiny. These are not ideal pets for families with very small children.
It is important to remember that not all teacup-sized breeds will experience these health conditions. If you are a potential pet parent, you should be aware of these risks before getting involved with teacup dogs.
How Much Does Teacup Sized Dogs Cost?
Teacup-sized pooches are pretty much rare. Although they are trendy, you cannot easily find a teacup puppy of the breed you want. Likewise, breeders find it hard to produce a healthy yet tiny puppy that can pass as a teacup version.
As potential pet parents, you have to do your research before bringing in any pet home. Find ethical and reputable breeders or try adopting one for your local rescue shelters. In case you find your teacup pup, expect to pay a hefty price for them. Their prices range from $750 to $3500, depending on their rarity. More so, if you get an unhealthy pooch, you will have a severe expense to cover their veterinary requirements.
Tips on Finding A Responsible Breeder
Although finding a legitimate teacup version of your desired breed is challenging, it is very much possible to find ethical breeders with a teacup pup. In some cases, an ethical breeder will find smaller-than-average puppies in a litter. If they can give you a health guarantee for these, it is the most ethical way of finding your teacup.
If you are searching for a teacup-sized pooch, avoid pet stores and puppy mills at all costs. These venues mass-produce puppies with little concern for the health and happiness of their dogs. Likewise, some breeders use unethical techniques that endanger the health and life of dogs.
In case you are having a hard time finding an ethical breeder, you may consider getting a toy breed instead. They are also smaller than usual, but they pass the healthy weight and size standard for their breed.
Teacup and Toy Dogs – What’s The Difference?
The terms “toy” and “teacup” describe specific dog breeds that are very small in size. But there are distinct differences between these two that not many people notice. For instance, the American Kennel Club recognizes the “Toy” breeds, but “teacup” is the unofficial name for a tiny pooch.
The “Toy dog” is a group consisting of small and tiny pets perfect for small homes and apartments. Their compact size makes them a favorite choice among city dwellers. Some examples of breeds belonging to this group include Shih Tzus, Italian greyhounds, Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers.
Generally, toy dogs are 18 inches or less when they reach adult age. Their standard weight is 18 pounds or less. Likewise, the average lifespan for this dog group is 14 years. But of course, it can extend longer with proper care, good nutrition, and mental stimulation.
Toy dogs do not require large spaces, and they are easy to train. These dogs have a quiet, loyal, affectionate, and friendly demeanor. They make great companions and pets for modern families with children.
On the other hand, AKC still does not recognize teacup dogs. Breeders refer to these types of dogs as those who are extremely small. These pooches usually weigh around four pounds or less and measures around 17 inches when they reach adult age.
Teacups are much smaller than the toy group. Potential pet parents may find them rate because not many ethical breeders have them. Some popular breeds with teacup-sized versions are the Shih Tzu, Maltese, Chihuahua, Poodle, and Yorkshire Terrier.
Similar to Toys, these dogs are also suitable for pet owners in small homes or apartments. But they might not be the right choice for families with very young children.
These two types of dogs are prone to health problems common in small dogs. Always be on the lookout for signs of hypoglycemia and heart problems. Regular visits to the vet, proper care, and a healthy lifestyle will mitigate these health problems.
When it comes to teacup dogs, potential pet parents should do plenty of research and be extra patient. If you want to find ethically bred teacups, avoid pet stores or puppy mills. It is possible to find a healthy and happy teacup-sized pooch that will complete your home and your heart!