Are these cute little puppies a scandal just waiting to happen, or is their controversial breeding just another hot story that will soon pass?
No matter what you hear, knowing the facts can help ease your fears and let you enjoy your cute puppy with peace of mind.
That’s not to say there are no issues about teacup dogs. In fact, before you fall deeply in love with these adorable dogs, there’s a lot you ought to know about them.
Tiny Packages: What are Teacup dogs?
So now that we’ve made our fact-finding goal clear, let’s try to understand the meaning of “teacup dogs” – first things first.
“Teacup dogs” may sound glitzy, but in fact, it is not an official term or name.
“Teacup dogs” refers to tiny versions of some of the most desired small dog breeds.
The secret – and major source of the gripe with teacup dogs – is in the way they are bred.
Notably, teacup dog breeders purposely practice inbreeding to get ever-smaller offspring. But inbreeding comes with a host of problems for the little pooches, such as the perpetuation of deleterious genes, poor fertility, and increased chance of physical defects, among other problems.
So, if you’re an aspiring teacup dog owner, it’s important to realize that many dog breeders’ associations neither endorse nor register these tiny little breeds.
This, however, doesn’t take anything away from the amount of love and affection you’ll get from your little friend.
It’s also good to know of the actual teacup breeds when searching for a tiny dog! So before you go looking for a teacup Corgi, teacup Siberian Husky, teacup Poodle, or another tiny teacup puppy, know that some do not exist and beware of the breeders out there who say otherwise.
The Tiny Sizes of Small Teacup Dogs
When considering getting a teacup dog, most prospect owners are lured by the idea that “smaller is cuter”. What they’re not told is that smaller also means more delicate to care for.
The truth is that besides their controversial breeding style, size is another major bone of contention for teacup dogs.
These tiny pooches – even when fully grown – weigh significantly less than the standard weight for their breed, according to the American Kennel Club.
For instance, if a Maltese Terrier typically weighs 6 pounds, a teacup Maltese might weigh as little as 3 to 4 pounds.
The point is when buying a little pooch no matter if it’s a teacup Morkie or a teacup Yorkshire Terrier, keep in mind that the smaller the size, the more susceptible it is to a plethora of health issues.
Having a vet clear the dog’s health prior to adopting it might help ease your mind.
Is a Teacup Dog Right for Me?
There’s no doubt these little pooches are so cute, but should you buy one?
That’s entirely a personal decision.
But as you’ve already hinted, micro dogs are delicate creatures that need round-the-clock care, just like you’d do for a human baby.
Are you ready to give devoted attention 24/7?
In addition, any slight health scare is a matter of life and death for that tiny beauty.
“In fact, the high potential for health issues is the biggest downside to owning a teacup dog. Realize that health-wise, a teacup dog is at a disadvantage right from birth.”
There are ethical issues to deal with as well.
Is your conscience ready to deal with all the controversies surrounding these extra small puppies?
These toy dogs are sweet and cute, but keep in mind that there are a lot of people out there who don’t approve.
Finally, there’s the cost issue.
Teacup dog breeders charge a fortune for the little cuties, with prices ranging from $300 all the way to $3,000 and more.
Right now, you’d be hard-pressed to get one below $500, which goes to show just how crazy things have got in the teacup dog world.
Weigh all these factors and decide whether a teacup dog is right for you.
Finding a trustworthy breeder goes a long way.
The Many Personalities: Teacup Dog Breeds
Teacup dog breeds are not officially recognized.
What we have are extra small versions of already small dog breeds. Here are some of the more popular breeds:
The Cheeky: Teacup Chihuahua
Witty, loyal, and thoroughly adorable, the Chihuahua’s eccentricity is unmatched by any other dog breed.
It’s the tiniest of all breeds, typically weighing under 4 pounds. A varied personality means that this teacup favorite needs a lot of patience sometimes.
If you’ve adopted the Chihuahua as your new pet, brace for constant barking as they’re fiercely wary of strangers. You should also stock up on some warm attire because they’re averse to cold temperatures.
The Mischievous: Teacup Maltese
The teacup Maltese is gentle-mannered yet very playful and vigorous.
Among small dog breeds, he’s one of the tiniest although he has a sturdy body.
He’s naturally easy-going but his upbringing can alter his temperament.
The Puppy-faced: Teacup Pug
Like normal pugs, teacup pugs have a compact, muscular build that’s distinctly square. Though naturally stubborn, pugs never really get into trouble.
Their balanced temperament and charm make them the perfect family pet.
The teacup pug likes to keep by his owner’s side but doesn’t really need special care, apart from the fact that his wrinkled face needs regular washing to prevent dirt from building up.
The Sneaky: Teacup Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu’s affection and outgoing demeanor make him the perfect companion; it’s no surprise that he’s bred primarily for companionship.
He has a stubborn streak but he’s friendly to other pets and rarely finds himself in trouble.
Shih Tzu’s are very difficult to housebreak so you need a lot of patience and consistency.
The Playful: Teacup Yorkies
The Yorkie is a delicate but lively pet.
He’s one of the smallest teacup dogs, and, in fact, some teacup Yorkies are born this small naturally and not as a means of willful inbreeding.
The Yorkie can be snoopy as he spends much time prying into things. Other than that, give him plenty of pampering as he craves it.
The Daring little: Teacup Dachshund
Like the Terrier, the Dachshund likes to be in on every little thing around the place. He’s very comical though and his good sense of humor is one of his best qualities.
He is very loyal, and many Dachshund owners find it difficult to adopt any other breed.
Sometimes he gets jealous and can be possessive of his toys, but he normally gets along well with other pets.
The Merry little: Teacup Maltipoos
Teacup Maltipoos are tiny little cuties that are fun-loving but can also be touchy.
A perfect pet for older children, a teacup Maltipoo is very adaptable to new environments.
You can move from an apartment to a big house and this little pooch will easily adjust.
Maltipoos are smart and can make great watchdogs with some training. They’re very alert and will easily bark at anything suspicious.
You may need to train him to moderate his constant barking.
The Proud: Teacup Pitbull
Teacup Pitbulls inherit many traits from their parent breeds. The tough-as-nails hunter genes of the Patterdale Terrier and the athletic build of the American Pitbull terrier make these tiny versions some of the most sturdy and muscular teacup dogs.
These tiny Pitbulls can be very active and usually fit in better in a place with a large garden where they can play.
Don’t be fooled by the “tough” parent genes though: miniature pit bulls can be sweethearts too.
When properly trained, they can be your child’s most loyal and playful companion.
The Puptastic: Teacup Pomsky
A cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky, a teacup Pomsky is one of the cutest tiny dogs you will ever lay eyes on.
Dubbed the “designer dog”, the Pomsky tends to be lively and good-natured. He’s gentle with children but may act up.
He’s smart and playful. Without the play, he easily gets bored.
He also needs regular grooming to control his thick coat.
The Pretty little: Teacup Pomeranians
The Pomeranian is a sharp-eyed, highly alert little pooch that also likes to pry.
He’s extremely wary of strangers and things can easily get out of hand with incessant barking. Training him to socialize early on can make him more comfortable with strangers.
They’re averse to high heat (heat strokes are not uncommon) so make sure you have a shady yard and climate controlled house before choosing a teacup Pomeranian.
The Loveable: Teacup Beagle
Teacup Beagles are very friendly and easily get along with children.
They are natural hunters so keeping them around other non-canine animals doesn’t do them good.
Beagles hate solitude, so you need to give them plenty of time and attention. Adopting two little beagles together can help minimize chances of separation anxiety.
Tiny terrors! A Teacup Puppy
A teacup puppy is a baby version of a tiny breed of dog.
They’re small enough to fit into the average teacup, hence the name.
Mixing the size and temperament of a teacup dog with the energy and mischievous nature of a puppy can be a recipe for disaster!
From A Pea-Sized Pup to A Tea Sized Cup! Teacup dogs full grown
Teacup dogs look like puppies even when fully grown, so when do you tell they’re fully grown?
Apparently, there’s no official size standard for these tiny pooches.
However, a 12 months old pup must not weigh more than 4 lbs. and must not be more than 17 inches tall to be considered a teacup pup, according to the unofficial measuring standard for pups. Otherwise, it is just another small dog breed.
Teacup Dogs for Sale
Teacup puppy for sale?!
Teacup dogs for sale are everywhere.
Start your search online as there are a countless teacup and toy dog boutiques with an online presence.
However, visiting a breeder’s place physically is the wiser thing to do. This way you get to see firsthand what goes on behind the scenes.
Remember there are plenty of unscrupulous toy breeders out there to watch out for, especially given the high prices teacup breeds can fetch.
There may be a couple of standard pet shops that sell teacup dogs, but these are not many.
The Cost of Teacup Puppies
Pet lovers adore these beautiful little beings and they’re also very much in vogue with celebrities.
This has led to teacup breeders charging a premium for them.
Typical price range for teacup puppies is $500 on the lower end and $3,000 at the upper end of the scale. However, as you search for a new pup expect to see more bizarre prices.
Toy breeds ain’t cheap!
5 Pawesome Facts About Teacup Dogs!
- They’re very prone to bone fractures.
- There’s no officially recognized dog classification for teacup dogs.
- Only 6 dog breeds can be classified as “true” teacup dogs, though several other breeds are considered teacup dogs provided they fit the size and weight restrictions when fully grown
- The teacup Chihuahua is arguably the most popular “true” teacup dog.
- These tiny pooches must feed at least four times daily to stay alive.
Are teacup dogs right for you?
Overlooking the cute aspect and considering the delicate nature of teacup breeds is the first crucial step when deciding whether to buy or adopt a teacup breed.
If you feel you’re up to the challenge, raising a teacup dog can be a rewarding experience for the whole family.