Chihuahuas have that big dog personality trapped inside a small dog’s body! They are just incredible lovebugs when it comes to their person.
Some people do not get along with their sass, but for many these dogs make irreplaceable pets. This is especially true for older adults who travel a lot.
So what is a teacup Chihuahua?
Breeders use the term “Teacup” to refer to the smallest of Chihuahuas.
This breed is for people who need a dog that can fit in their purse. They have all the wonderful traits that people love, but compacted into a smaller body. Teacup just means they are really small.
Keep reading if you are in search of a tiny dog that you can take with you anywhere. We share everything you need to know about this tiny pup…
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Teacup Chihuahuas are just really small purebred Chihuahuas. They are not a different type of dog, nor are they bred by mixing different dog breeds.
What most people call a Teacup is just a really small Chihuahua.
There is no such thing as an official Teacup size, but the name is commonly used by breeders. Some breeders decided to sell their puppies as “Teacups” to attract people’s attention. They also sell them as “purse friendly” dogs.
You might even hear some call them a different name, like Mini or Micro.
All these names refer to the same tiny, Teacup Chihuahua that weighs less than three pounds.
The Chihuahua Club of America actually criticizes the use of the word “Teacup” or other similar adjectives. They say they can be misleading and can trick people into paying more for a puppy.
There is no official standard for Mini, Toy, or Teacup varieties.
The American Kennel Club also does not categorize these dogs by size. No matter how big or how small a Chihuahua might be, it will be registered as a purebred dog under the Toy group. The important thing is that the dog does not exceed six pounds. There is not a standard for how small they can be, but Teacups are normally less than three pounds.
Though Teacup Chihuahuas keep the same adorable traits as larger Chihuahuas, they do have their own charms. Some people love their really tiny size as they look like adorable little fluffy toys. Their extra small size also means they can easily be taken care of by older people.
Teacup Chihuahuas definitely have their benefits for those who want them. All toy dogs are easy to carry, but the Teacup is a bit more convenient!
If you think this Teacup breed is best-suited for your lifestyle, just make sure that you get your puppy from a reputable breeder. Some breeding practices are not good when it comes to breeding healthy Teacup dogs.
Within the same litter you can have Chihuahuas of all sizes, including the Teacup.
All of these puppies will have the same temperaments, traits and characteristics. What really separates the different types of Chihuahuas are coat length and head type. Chihuahuas can be long-haired or short-haired and apple-head or deer-head. Teacups can be either.
Pros and Cons
|Tiny size makes them easy to live with and easy to carry. Suitable for city dwellers and adults who travel often.||Not great for families with small children as they can be easily injured because of their small size.|
|Playful, but tire easily.||They would rather be carried by you on a hike than walk side-by-side.|
|Form a strong bond with their owner.||Prone to separation anxiety and very untrusting of strangers.|
|Good for first time owners as they are eager to please and respond well to training.||Can be stubborn and bark a lot!|
|Can be long-haired or short-haired and come in all different colors and patterns.||Might live up to six years less as they are delicate and often unhealthy.|
Teacup Chihuahuas are known by various names. It can get a little confusing having so many names, but all of them actually refer to the same tiny dog. The other names that these dogs are known by are:
All of these adjectives just mean that the puppy you are adopting is very small. Remember that every Chihuahua is considered a toy dog since they cannot be bigger than six pounds.
Mini, Miniature, Micro and Tiny might be a bit more useful in describing a smaller Chihuahua, but none of these names are officially accepted. All Chihuahuas, no matter how small or big they are, are just Chihuahuas.
Try not to be confused by these different breed names.
|Common Names||Mini, Miniature, Micro, Tiny or Teacup|
|Size||Less than six inches tall|
|Weight||Less than three pounds|
|Coat||Short-haired or long-haired|
|Colors||Normally white, brown, black, blue or merle|
|Temperament||Fiery, sassy and big dog attitude|
|Family Friendly||Better for families with no children|
|Barking||Anything they disagree with will be voiced|
|Training||Lots of training is needed to housebreak them|
|Walking||15 minutes a day|
|Lifespan||8 to 16 years|
|Health||Heart conditions, eye problems, patellar luxation and idiopathic epilepsy|
|Price||$1,000 to $2,400|
How Are Teacup Chihuahuas Bred?
Usually Teacup Chihuahuas are just the smallest puppies of a purebred litter.
Sometimes breeders get really small puppies in their litters because of natural variation. If the parents have been health screened and all the puppies in the litter are healthy, these dogs can be just as robust and healthy as their siblings.
If you get your puppy from a trustworthy breeder, there will be nothing you need to worry about. When bred correctly they are perfectly healthy and happy puppies, they just won’t grow as big.
Any full grown Chihuahua that weighs less than three pounds is considered a Teacup. This is half the weight of their standard six pounds.
Breeders that purposefully breed for Teacup Chihuahuas produce them by selectively crossing the smallest puppies from their litters, often called the “runts”. This way they can ensure that in one litter they will get many tiny puppies.
This practice is considered unethical as it can lead to many genetic health conditions. Puppies bred in this way will not be healthy.
The same breeding practice is used for miniature labradors which is why they also have bowed knees and health complications.
When you are looking for a Teacup puppy, reputable breeders will not sell them as Teacups. They will just sell them as the smallest puppy of their litter. Chances are their smallest dog is what most people call “Teacup Chihuahuas”.
You want to avoid breeders who sell their pups as “Teacup”.
Are They Healthy?
When bred correctly Teacup Chihuahuas can be just as healthy as any other type.
Healthy Teacup varieties can live for as long as 16 years, but as a breed they do have some genetic conditions. Some of the most common genetic diseases are heart conditions, eye problems, patellar luxation and epilepsy.
If you get your Teacup Chihuahua from a reputable breeder you will not have to worry about these health issues. Reputable breeders are required to genetically test their dogs and the Chihuahua Club of America recommends cardiac, patella, and eye testing.
The health problems and controversies with Teacup Chihuahuas happen when breeders intentionally breed the runts from their litters. This leads to an increased chance of inheriting respiratory problems, cardiac problems and liver shunts.
Because of these health issues some Teacup pups have a lifespan shortened by as much as six years. This is why it is very important that if you do want one of these pups, you get one from a reputable breeder.
A Teacup Chihuahua will always think that it is the biggest dog in the room and will want to be the center of attention. Their cheekiness and pride will not allow them to understand how small they actually are.
Teacup Chihuahuas might be tiny, but that does not stop them from filling up the room with their personality. They have a “big dog attitude” and no matter how big the other dog may be they will bark at it.
Some people might not think of these pups as the friendliest dogs, but that might be because they have always been a stranger to them. Once these dogs know you and realize you are a friend they will warm up to you.
When it comes to their family Teacup Chihuahuas are incredibly friendly and loving.
They will just want to be cuddled and held all the time. If you can establish a bond with a Chihuahua, then you will have a partner that will remain loyal and loving to you for life. They especially make great pets for adults.
If you are looking for a quiet dog then you will not find it with any type of Chihuahua. They will make it very clear exactly how they feel. Anything that they disagree with will be voiced.
No stranger or dog will be able to escape their barking.
At times their barking can be annoying and unnecessary, but this quality can actually make them pretty good watch dogs. Their size does not stop their ability to alert you of anything. They are highly protective of their person so they will bark until the threat they see is gone.
Teacup Chihuahuas are so protective and loyal that they can become quite jealous.
They hate it when you don’t give them attention. You are the center of their world and they expect the same devotion from you. People love the affection and bonds they form with these dogs, but sometimes they can be a bit clingy. This is why they are not great at living with other pets in the house and even children.
With some early training you can reduce this need for constant attention, but it is not easy.
Teacup Chihuahua Size
When you think of a Teacup Chihuahua imagine a regular Chihuahua but shrunken down.
As the “Teacup” size is not an official classification there isn’t really a standard for their size. Most breeders call “Teacup Chihuahuas” any dog that does not stand more than six inches tall when they reach adulthood. Most will be smaller than this.
Any Chihuahua cannot exceed more than six pounds, but a Teacup will be no heavier than three pounds when fully grown.
Teacups are usually the smallest puppies in the litter and they don’t have much of a growth spurt. They won’t be any different than their litter mates, just smaller.
They have tiny bodies that are longer than tall. Their skulls are “apple domed” with short and pointy muzzles and big, erect ears. On their face they have bright, expressive eyes that are large and round and look at you with a saucy expression.
There are many types of Chihuahuas that are different because of their size, coat length and the shape of their head.
To start with these dogs can either be short-haired or long-haired.
Short-haired Teacups have fur that is no longer than one inch and stays close to their body. The coat is smooth, soft and glossy. Under their neck they can have a bit of a ruff and their tail is slightly furry.
Long-haired Chihuahuas must have hair that is obviously longer. The length of their coat should be more than one inch. This coat is also soft to the touch and can be either flat or slightly curly. These dogs are often called fluffy Teacup Chihuahuas because they have feathering on their ears, tail, feet and legs.
They can also be categorized based on the shape of their head.
The two types are the apple head and deer head.
Apple heads are the only shape recognized by the American Kennel Club. Their heads are round or domed and their muzzles are short. They have a skull that looks like the shape of an apple.
Teacup Chihuahuas with a deer head have a skull that is sloped and meets at the forehead with a longer muzzle. They also have really long ears that stick out from their head.
Rarely will you ever find a deer head puppy. Not only are they not considered part of the breed standard, but they usually tend to be larger and taller. Teacup Chihuahuas are really small so it is more likely that these puppies are the smaller apple head types.
The great thing about Chihuahuas is that they can be any color. They can be solid, marked or splashed – it really does not matter. Teacup Chihuahuas are just smaller pups, so they can be any of the known breed colors.
Check out the list below for some of the most popular Teacup Chihuahua colors:
- White Teacups are a solid, fluffy white. Sometimes their coat can be tinted with yellow or cream hairs, but often they are pure white. Because of their light coat color they can also have light-colored noses and eyes.
- Brown Teacups can range from a light chestnut to a dark chocolate brown. Many pups can be a solid brown, but some have white markings on their face, chest and legs.
- Black Teacups are entirely black. These pups are rare and it is most common for them to have white markings on their face, chest and legs.
- Blue Teacups are the result of a recessive gene that dilutes black to a grayish hue. Solid blues have a blue coat that covers their entire body. Sometimes pups will have a blue nose too.
- Merle Teacups are actually a pattern that is made of white with darker spots of blue splotched over it. The merle pattern occurs naturally in this breed and is accepted as standard, but there are some health concerns. Merles are at a higher risk of developing blindness and deafness.
Caring For A Teacup Chihuahua
Teacup Chihuahuas are very delicate dogs because of their tiny size.
When bringing a puppy home you want to be very cautious as they can very easily be accidentally hurt, especially if you have small children. They are not recommended for small kids as they can easily be dropped or stepped on.
Their tiny size also means they need lots of care when it comes to their diet and exercise. Keep in mind that some might be unhealthier than others, especially if they were bred from the runts of the litters. These pups will require a lot more care.
Teacup Chihuahuas have a really high metabolism and as tiny dogs they can also have low blood sugar levels very quickly. Because of this it is important that you feed your pup following a feeding schedule.
How much you feed your teacup Chihuahua each day depends on its age and activity levels.
Typically puppies will eat ¼ of a cup of kibble each day. Adults might eat ½ cup after one year.
Spread this kibble out into multiple meals as this will prevent their blood glucose levels from dropping. Puppies are usually fed 4 times a day or about every four hours. Adults can be fed three times a day, once in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Never feed your Teacup Chihuahua one meal a day. Even if it is ½ cup of kibble this will not be enough.
Grooming your dog will vary a bit depending on the type of coat they have.
Smooth-haired Teacups have short, low shedding hair that will be just fine when brushed once a week.
Long-haired Teacup Chihuahuas will need to be brushed about three times a week. They are still low shedders, but they need more frequent brushing to keep their fur from getting tangled.
Regardless of their coat type Teacup Chihuahuas do not need a lot of bathing. Once a month should be enough to keep them fresh and clean. Make sure that you use a light shampoo that does not irritate their skin and warm water when bathing.
Small dog breeds are also prone to developing dental diseases. It is really important that you brush their teeth regularly to avoid the accumulation of plaque and tartar.
It is really important that you begin training your Teacup Chihuahua immediately. They are really small, but they have big attitudes.
You will need to housebreak a Chihuahua straight away, otherwise it can become hard work. Because of their small body size they will need to urinate very frequently, as much as every 30 minutes. As your puppy gets older it will learn how to hold it more, but you want to teach them they can’t pee everywhere in the house.
Teacup Chihuahuas are stubborn, but with constant training you will have them well trained.
It is also very important that you crate train them and show them that it is okay to be alone. If not they will want to be by your side at every moment and will bark and whine if you leave them. Crate training will also help to reduce their jealous nature!
Finally you will need to teach them as puppies that other people and animals are nice and fun to be around. Nobody wants a suspicious Chihuahua who barks at everything.
Teacup Chihuahuas need their walks and exercise as much as any other dog. It will help them to stay strong and healthy. The good thing is you don’t have to go out for an hour in the yard or take long walks like with a Labrador. They will be very happy with just a short 15 minute leash walk around the neighborhood or playing in the living room for a few minutes.
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Teacup Chihuahuas are just Chihuahuas. There is no difference except their size.
Their name might get you to think that they are a different type of breed, but they are not. This name is used by breeders to describe a really small Chihuahua. They are normally less than three pounds in weight and six inches in size.
A smaller body might make them a bit easier to carry and fit in smaller spaces, but they do have special care needs.
Except for their small size these dogs have all the qualities that make this breed so beloved. They are incredibly loyal and will be happy to be by your side all the time. They will love you unconditionally and can be a bit jealous if you don’t give them much attention.
No matter their size all Chihuahuas will have the same personality and temperament.
Let us know if you would choose a Teacup Chihuahua in the comments below.