Teacup dogs are known for being the world’s smallest dog breed! Because of their tiny size, they became very popular with many dog lovers.
And, there are quite a few reasons why these little dogs quickly made their way into people’s hearts worldwide.
Not only are teacup dogs the smallest dog breed, but they are also the most adorable tiny pups ever! Despite their small size, teacups’ personalities are over the roof!
If you’re interested in getting a small dog from the teacup dog group, but aren’t sure which breed to choose and how to care for it, we’re here to help!
What are teacup dogs? What are the most popular teacup dog breeds? Do tiny teacup dogs stay so tiny their whole life? Do teacup dogs make good pets?
Let’s find the answers to your questions in this article!
Teacup Dog Breed Vs. Small Dog Breed
Firstly, we need to define the teacup dog breed. Let’s make it simple and start off by saying that there are no smaller dogs than teacup dogs.
So, this makes the first difference between the teacup dog breed and the small dog breed. In terms of size, toy breeds take place between these two.
Teacup dog breeds usually weigh five or fewer pounds, and usually reach up to 10 inches in height.
Toy breeds, on the other hand, can weigh between five and 12 pounds. Some examples of toy breeds include the Chihuahua, the Maltese, the Shih Tzu, the Pomeranian, the Yorkshire Terrier, and so on.
Small dog breeds can weigh anywhere between 12 and 24 pounds, which is almost double the size of a teacup dog breed. Dogs like the Corgi, the Boston Terrier, and the French Bulldog fall under the small dog category.
Size is not the only difference.
Teacup dog breeds were primarily bred as companions and lap dogs. While some small dog breeds were bred to be companion dogs, some were also bred to be fierce hunting dogs and watchdogs (like the Dachshund).
Popular Teacup Dog Breeds
Teacup dog breeds became very popular among celebrities and paw lovers that wanted pocket-sized pups. Well, it turns out that teacup pups can actually fit into tea cups!
There is no exact information about when these tiny pups came about, but the toy breed from which they derived has its roots back in the year 12,000 BC.
It is believed that teacup puppies became popular in the past few decades. Here are some of the most popular ones.
1. Teacup Maltese.
Photo from: @nimbus_cloud_dog
We know that the Maltese is a little dog that belongs to the toy group. The Maltese is already considered the smallest purebred dog.
Now, the teacup Maltese is even smaller than the smallest! Fully grown teacup Maltese dogs reach up to only eight inches in height, and weigh three to five pounds on average.
This tiny dog is a result of crossing the two smallest purebred Maltese dogs. This means that it’s basically a miniature version of a toy Maltese. They share most similar characteristics; the only one being different is the size.
The standard Maltese is often the first choice for dog lovers who are suffering from different allergies. The teacup Maltese is no different.
This tiny pooch is hypoallergenic, meaning it barely sheds and produces minimum to no dander.
2. Teacup Chihuahua.
Photo from: @gwenthechi
If you thought Chihuahuas are tiny, you should check out the teacup Chihuahua!
This tiny pup is so miniature that it can weigh up to only five pounds. The average height of an adult teacup Chihuahua ranges anywhere from six to 10 inches.
The standard Chihuahua has a high metabolism, which manifests through its body occasionally shaking. Now, the tiny teacup Chihuahua also has a high metabolism, but its tiny body size might cause some problems in dealing with blood sugar levels and high heart rates.
These tiny pups are very fragile, and are prone to health issues such as hypoglycemia, joint luxations and bone fractures, heart problems, as well as many eye problems.
3. Teacup Yorkie.
Photo from: @therealkloek
The Teacup Yorkie is a miniature-sized Yorkshire Terrier. This tiny dog resembles a little, plush teddy bear! Just look at its adorable puppy face and fluffy, pointy little ears!
The Yorkshire Terrier is a little dog that was primarily bred as a working dog. The purpose of breeding made its body a bit more sturdy compared to other toy dogs.
So, the teacup Yorkie has a somewhat sturdier build than other teacup dogs. The adult teacup Yorkie usually weighs between seven and nine pounds.
Not only is this tiny teacup a great four-legged, fluffy companion, but it is also the best dog for allergy sufferers!
4. Teacup Pomeranian.
Photo from: @lola_teacup_pom
Pom Poms are the cutest fluffballs out there! The Pomeranian is a member of the toy group. Teacup Pomeranians were derived from smaller purebred Pom individuals.
The teacup Pom is a friendly and affectionate little dog, but don’t let its sweet nature and small size fool you. The teacup Pom can get feisty when there are strangers nearby!
On average, the adult teacup Pomeranian weighs around two to four pounds, and reaches only 10 inches in height. These tiny pups stay miniature their whole life. Their size depends on the breeding selection and the parent dog’s genetics.
5. Teacup Poodle.
Photo from: @poodle.lollipop
Remember those little wind-up plush dog toys that kids used to play with? The teacup Poodle is almost the same size as one of those toys!
This tiny teacup is beyond adorable! A full grown teacup Poodle can reach up to only nine inches in height, while being light as a feather, weighing up to five pounds.
Sometimes, it’s difficult for dog lovers to differentiate the two; the teacup Poodle is just a smaller version of the toy Poodle.
The teacup Poodle is surely one of the most popular teacup dog breeds because of its cute doll-like appearance and tiny size that’s perfect for small living places!
6. Teacup Shih Tzu.
Photo from: @jade.in.oakland
The Shih Tzu is a very popular toy dog. It’s known for its long hair that’s usually made into a cute ponytail. Shih Tzu owners are very fond of their little furballs.
Most dog lovers go crazy over the tiny teacup Shih Tzu! That’s because it shares the same personality traits as the standard toy Shih Tzu, but it’s quite smaller in size.
The teacup Shih Tzu, often called the Imperial Shih Tzu, doesn’t have such long hair as its standard counterpart. It still has a fluffy coat that’s easier to maintain than the long one!
What’s great about this tiny companion is that it is a hypoallergenic dog that’s perfect for future dog owners who are suffering from allergies.
7. Teacup French Bulldog.
Photo from: @bellatheteacupfrenchie
The teacup French Bulldog is often called a Micro French Bulldog or a Mini Frenchie. And, yes, this tiny pooch is as cute as its name!
The standard French Bulldog is already the most adorable dog ever! Now, its “mini me” is a tiny teacup companion that loves the attention and cuddles that it always gets.
A mini Frenchie can grow up to 12 inches in height, weighing from 24 to 28 pounds. This is a bit “bigger” teacup dog breed when compared to others because of the standard French Bulldog’s robust build.
The teacup French Bulldog is still a brachycephalic dog that can inherit many health issues that are typical for the standard French Bulldog.
8. Teacup Pug.
Just like the teeny tiny teacup Frenchies, the teacup Pug put itself right in the spotlight. The teacup Pug is a tiny, wrinkly little dog that is derived either from two small Pugs, or it’s a combination of a purebred Pug and a purebred Chihuahua.
A crossbred teacup Pug would have slightly different physical characteristics than the regular teacup Pug.
These tiny pups make great family dogs, and they’re perfect to carry in doggie bags and in purses!
9. Teacup Pekingese.
Photo from: @bettysyorkies
You’ll often hear dog lovers calling it by the name, Sleeve Pekingese. This wonderful tiny dog can grow up to six inches in height, and weigh from seven to 13 pounds.
The tiny Sleeve Pekingese pups usually have fluffy fur that grows longer as they mature. They come in various coat color combinations such as white, brown, brown and tan, black and tan, brindle, and fawn.
A significant physical trait is its cute, large puppy eyes that you simply can’t resist. Moreover, the teacup Pekingese isn’t prone to many health issues. Some eye problems might occur later in life.
10. Russian Toy.
Photo from: @oscartherussiantoy
Well, this certainly is not a toy, but a tiny teacup Terrier. As the name implies, this dog belongs to the toy group of canines. So, a teacup Russian Toy would be a mini version of this little dog.
The Russian Toy is famous for its sleek posture, slim body, and long, thin legs. But, the most dazzling physical trait is its pointy ears. The ears are usually referred to as “feathered” because of the long hairs on top.
These tiny dogs can grow anywhere between eight and 10 inches in height, and can weigh up to six pounds.
11. Teacup Papillon.
Photo from: @livelyphotographyca
The teacup Papillon is a miniature version of the purebred toy Papillon. This tiny dog breed is often mistaken for the Russian Toy breed because of its similar appearance. But, there are a few characteristics unique to the teacup Papillon.
The Papillon has big, “butterfly wing” ears that, along with a long, silky coat, give it a mesmerizing appearance. But, these tiny dogs are more than just looks.
The tiny teacup Papillon is a highly energetic little dog that loves to play and exercise. Not only is it crazy for some quality playtime, but it also enjoys relaxing by its owner.
12. Teacup Maltipoo.
Photo from: @maltipoo.mabel
A Maltipoo is a cross between the Maltese and the Toy Poodle. So, the teacup Maltipoo is just a smaller version of the original crossbreed. It shares the same personality traits as its bigger version.
The teacup Maltipoo is truly a cute little teddy-like dog. Its coat is curly and short, coming in different shades of brown.
It’s one of the tiniest teacup dog breeds. A full-grown teacup Maltipoo reaches up to only six inches in height.
This little dog makes a great addition to the family – it’s loving, loyal, and so cuddly! It might not be the best option for a family with small children as this tiny teacup is so tiny it can get hurt easily.
13. Teacup Pomsky.
Photo from: @lil_bear_teacup_pomsky
The Pomsky is a unique crossbreed derived from the purebred Siberian Husky and the purebred Pomeranian. The teacup Pomsky is derived from smaller individuals of these pure breeds.
This little fellow is a remarkable teacup breed. Its coat colors and patterns are similar to the Siberian Husky, but its coat texture is silky and fluffy like the Pom’s.
The teacup Pomsky mix became very popular over the past few years. An adult teacup Pomsky reaches up to 10 inches in height, and usually weighs around three to eight pounds. Considering its size and amazing personality, the teacup Pomsky is loved by paw parents worldwide.
14. Teacup Cavoodle.
Photo from: @honey_the_teacup_cavoodle
The teacup Cavoodle is a mix of small dogs from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Toy Poodle litters.
This teacup breed can range in size depending on the parent breeds. If the Poodle isn’t a toy, but rather a Miniature breed, the teacup Cavoodle can be bigger in size. And, if its size is bigger, it’s not considered a teacup breed.
Teacup Cavoodles usually grow to 11 inches in height, and weigh around eight to 10 pounds. When compared to other teacup breeds, the adult teacup Cavoodle is slightly larger in size.
But, it’s still a tiny dog that needs lots of love and attention! These tiny teacups are very energetic and affectionate. Be aware that they can develop separation anxiety if left alone for some time.
15. Teacup Beagle.
Photo from: @mya_graboski
Often called the Glove Beagle or the Pocket Beagle, this tiny dog will win your heart over! Standard Beagles are already so adorable with their little snouts and floppy ears.
The teacup Beagle has all the same characteristics as the standard Beagle, but just a bit sized-down. What makes the teacup Beagle stand out is its tiny size and its big, dropped ears.
Teacup Beagles grow to 12 inches in height, weighing usually around 10 pounds depending on their diet. This size puts the teacup Beagle among larger teacup dogs.
These tiny pooches are relatively easy to maintain. They’re friendly and outgoing, just like their bigger relatives. Teacup Beagles love going out on adventures, and you’ll love following them around!
16. Teacup Bichon Frise.
Photo from: @itlog.boopy
When you look at the teacup Bichon Frise, the first thing that will probably come to your mind is how fluffy and soft this tiny dog must be.
Well, you’re right.
The teacup Bichon Frise has one of the softest and silkiest curly white coats that is perfect for styling. You’ll often see these tiny pooches with a haircut style that makes their little head round. It’s the cutest thing to see!
One thing about this tiny teacup is that it likes to bark – a lot. So, regular training is a must if you want to keep peace with your neighbors.
Other than that, the teacup Bichon Frise is a wonderful companion that enjoys the attention that it always gets. It’s impossible to ignore this little fluff ball!
17. Teacup Brussels Griffon.
Photo from: @thedoghousebalham
You may or may not have heard about the teacup Brussels Griffon breed. Nevertheless, we’re here to introduce you to this unusual tiny pup.
The teacup Brussels Griffon is a miniature version of the already small Brussels Griffon dog. The Brussels Griffon pure breed is a brachycephalic dog with a series of health issues. So, the miniature version of it will most likely have many, if not more health problems.
Putting that aside, the teacup Brussels Griffon is a rare sight. Its size ranges between six and seven inches, and it usually weighs around eight pounds.
The Teacup Brussels Griffon’s temperament might be a bit tricky for first-time dog owners to comprehend. This tiny pup has lots of energy and a strong urge to speak, so loud and consistent barking might cause problems for both the dog and the owner.
18. Teacup Japanese Chin.
Photo from: @berkeleyyumi
The teacup Japanese Chin is a tiny dog that’s very difficult to find. The standard Japanese Chin is already considered a rare breed, so its tiny version might be rarer, and thus, harder to find.
The Japanese Chin comes with a long, silky coat, usually ranging in black and white coat colors. The “mini me” Japanese Chins – the tiny teacups, share almost the same characteristics.
The coat length might be the only thing that teacup Japanese Chins don’t have in common with the standard breed. Their hair isn’t as long, but it is still fluffy and silky.
The teacup Japanese Chin is a wonderful tiny companion that can really fit into a teacup! Its size and low maintenance routine makes it perfect for small apartments.
This tiny pup will love being in the role of a lap dog, always seeking your attention and cuddles!
19. Teacup Morkie.
Photo from: @morkie_alice
The teacup Morkie is a lovable, tiny dog derived from crossing a Maltese with a Yorkshire Terrier.
This tiny teacup can grow from six to 10 inches in height. Unlike the standard Morkie, the adult teacup Morkie will stay small throughout its whole life. Teacup Morkies usually weigh four to 10 pounds, which can differ according to their diet.
Among other teacup breeds, the Morkie isn’t considered a hypoallergenic dog.
This little ball of fur makes a great companion for small families, seniors, and singles. It enjoys spending most of its time alongside its owner.
Are Teacup dogs purebred dogs?
No, teacup dogs are not purebred dogs. Their appearance might lead you to think this is a purebred.
The Teacup dog breed isn’t officially recognized by the AKC (The American Kennel Club) as a pure breed, nor is it recognized by any other kennel club.
Not only are they not recognized as purebred, but teacup puppies aren’t considered a “real breed” as well.
The term “teacup” refers to smaller-sized toy dogs. Mostly, those tiny pups that don’t grow up to meet the breed’s standard are defined as teacups.
This has a lot to do with breeders and the whole breeding process, which is a bit controversial. But, we’ll get to that later.
Let’s check out some of the most popular teacup dog breeds that have been (and still are) very high in demand!
Keep Up With The Teacup
Toy dogs were primarily bred as companion dogs, so their personalities are perfect for establishing a wonderful human-puppy friendship. The teacup pups are just the same! But, a bit smaller.
Despite their small size, teacup pups have big dog personalities! By that, we mean the teacup isn’t afraid to speak up!
These pooches are loyal and devoted to their owners. It seems like they forget about their small size and gather the courage to stand tall in front of anyone they feel threatened by. And, that can either be a stranger or a familiar human.
That being said, teacup pups tend to bark a lot. Their tiny voices are nothing but silent! So, these little dogs should be put through early socialization and training. This will help them in meeting new human and dog friends. It will also help you manage the barking your tiny companion is prone to.
Some teacup pups are so energetic that you will need to take them out more often to meet their high energy needs. Considering they’re such tiny dogs, a small apartment might also be a good playground for their zoomies.
Teacup dogs are great for both first-time dog owners as well as experienced dog owners. These dogs might not get along very well with children. Not because they don’t like children, but because tiny humans might accidentally hurt tiny pups during playtime.
Some teacup dogs are hypoallergenic, meaning they don’t shed as much as other tiny teacups. Hypoallergenic teacup dogs such as the teacup Maltese, the teacup Bichon Frise, and the teacup Yorkie are a good choice for new dog owners who are suffering from allergies.
Health problems and other issues
All dogs face certain health problems during their lifetime. Some are more prone to health issues, some less.
However, teacup dogs have inherited many health problems, and therefore, they aren’t considered the healthiest dogs.
Unlike small dog breeds and toy dog breeds, teacup dogs are more prone to health issues because of their super small size and selective breeding methods.
Their tiny size means all of their organs are tiny as well. So, a small stomach might be susceptible to many digestive issues, and a tiny liver might not be able to filter all body metabolites and toxins, leading to liver shunts.
Teacup pups also have a high metabolism that can lead to fast emptying of the blood sugar storage, leading to hypoglycemia.
Not only that, but their bones are very thin and fragile. This means they’re more prone to fractures. In fact, they’re so fragile that they might break a leg when jumping off of the couch (or when trying to get on one).
There are so many things that tiny dog owners should take into consideration. Tiny teacups are really difficult to care for.
All of the above-mentioned health problems will require veterinary supervision and assistance, meaning you will spend lots of money on vet bills than you would with a standard dog breed.
The Smaller The Dog, The Longer The Lifespan
Most small dog breeds, toy breeds, and teacup breeds are known for their long life expectancy.
The average lifespan of a small dog is between 10 to 13 years. Usually, toy dogs have the longest life expectancy.
A tiny version of the toy dog breed, the teacup pups stand somewhere in the middle. The teacup dog breed is the tiniest of them all, but they’re still little dogs with a relatively long lifespan.
Teacup dogs are long-living tiny pooches that stay by their owner’s side from 15 to 18 years.
There is a lot of different information as to why small dogs live longer than big dogs, mostly claiming it’s because of the difference in their body’s metabolism rate.
All we know is that we’re happy to spend as long as we can with our loveable pooches, providing them with all the necessary care and, of course, endless love!
Teacup Dog Breeds: The Good And The Bad
Okay, so here is where it gets a bit tricky. You might not want to hear this part of the story, but trust me, it’s extremely important. So, bear with me.
The teacup pups are, without a doubt, one of the cutest and most adorable living animals on this planet. But, the selective breeding of teacup pups isn’t as cute and adorable as you might think.
There is a reason why teacup dogs aren’t even considered a dog breed.
There are many divided opinions on the way these dogs are being bred, most of them are on the negative side. And, here’s why.
In order to achieve a teacup dog breed, the breeders must first specialize in the breeding of toy dogs. Toy dogs are already tiny, right? So, how do you get an even tinier pup from two already tiny dogs?
Well, one way they do it is by selecting runts from the toy dog litter. Runts are newborn puppies that are smaller than other pups in the litter.
They usually don’t grow as fast as their siblings, and remain the smallest of them all.
Runts are not only the smallest in the litter, but also the weakest. This means there’s no guarantee if this tiny, undeveloped pup is healthy or not.
So, instead of choosing the best dog in the litter, some breeders decide to mix two runts from the same litter in order to produce a teacup dog. This is wrong on so many levels, and should NEVER be practiced by any breeder, nor should anyone support this type of unethical breeding.
Inbreeding can cause many genetic mutations and health complications in newborn pups. Even those tiny pups that don’t immediately show signs of health issues will develop them in the near future.
It’s sad that some breeders exchange the puppy’s wellbeing and health for their price tag. Just because teacup pups are high in demand doesn’t mean they have to be sold by any means necessary.
This is a very cruel way for irresponsible breeders to make money, and supporting this kind of breeding is straight up supporting the production of tiny dogs that suffer from many health problems.
Purposely stunting the growth
If you thought the previous breeding method was bad, take a look at this one.
Some irresponsible breeders and puppy mills opt for malnourishment of the newborn puppies. This is a horrible way to produce tiny dogs – basically starving the small puppies so that they are not able to reach their usual size.
This is considered animal cruelty and should NEVER be practiced. Tiny dogs already have health issues. Malnourishment can lead to even more serious health problems that can be fatal for tiny, fragile puppies.
You know how all babies need lots of quality food and nutrition? It’s especially crucial for tiny pups to receive all the nutrients their tiny body needs.
So, this way of breeding is a way of producing puppies that are born to suffer. We do not support this, nor anyone ever should.
You may be wondering, now, is it even possible to produce teacup pups in an ethical way? Well, some reputable breeders succeed in that.
A teacup dog is considered a dog smaller than the standard toy dog. So, if a breeder has a litter of smaller dogs derived from purebred toy dogs, this can be considered a teacup dog litter.
That is, as long as the tiny pups are healthy and vital. Reputable breeders pay a lot of attention to producing the healthiest dogs. And, at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.
Teacup dog breeds are seriously among the cutest little dogs in the canine world. They’re fun, adorable, loving, and their size makes them fit almost anywhere!
But, the teacup dog breed isn’t considered a real breed, and this topic isn’t usually something most dog lovers would be happy to talk about. This is because of the way these tiny dogs are being bred, which leaves them with many health issues during their lifetime.
Of course, a tiny dog is “easy to maintain” and is definitely a good choice for people who live in small apartments. But, is a tiny teacup really a good choice?
Although it’s possible to breed healthy teacup dogs, it’s important to find reputable breeders who do so. If you decide to get a teacup pup, make sure to do a lot of research. Remember to search for breeders who focus primarily on producing healthy teacup pups.
We hope this article gives you some insight into the world of tiny teacup dog breeds – the good and the bad parts of it.