Teacup Poodle Facts, Size, Price, Colors, Breeders & More

Many people dream of adopting a Poodle, but these dogs do not always fit well with everyone’s lifestyle. Maybe they are too big or too energetic.

Teacup Poodles are a miniaturized version of the Poodle! It is the smallest Poodle that you will find and its teensy size makes it look like a cute teddy bear-like puppy.

They have all the great qualities that make Poodles so popular, but they come in a tiny teacup size. They are bred for people who do not have large homes, want to travel a lot with their dog, or need a low maintenance dog.

Interested in bringing this tiny, adorable puppy into your home?

All About Teacup Poodles

Teacup Poodle

The Teacup Poodle is a type of Toy Poodle shrunken down through selective breeding.

All Poodles come from the same bloodline and the Teacup is no exception. The Teacup is just an informal name for any Poodle less than nine inches tall and six pounds. The smallest Teacups can grow to be as small as six inches and only two pounds!

The Teacup name was given by breeders who arbitrarily decided to describe all Poodles under nine inches as Teacups.

Teacup dogs are quickly rising in popularity because of their irresistible tiny faces. Many people think their mini size and teddy bear-like faces are adorable, so aesthetics play a huge role in the breeding of Teacup Poodles.

Unlike what some breeders might lead you to believe, ‘Teacup’ is not a recognized type of Poodle. It is just a variation of the Toy Poodle.

The American Kennel Club classifies all Poodles shorter than 10 inches as “Toy.” There are no official breed standards that recognize the Teacup clarification. The Kennel Club only acknowledges three size variations: Standard, Mini, and Toy.

Just because it is not a recognized size does not mean they cannot be registered with The American Kennel Club. Most Teacups are officially registered as a Toy.

Teacup Poodles are one of the smallest dogs in the world. Their size is very convenient for the city dweller that lives in a small apartment, or the globe trotter who is going from new place to new place.

Their small size does not mean that they lose any of the Poodle’s personality and temperament. They are super smart, friendly, adorable and love to play. They are also attention seekers and need to be with their person or family constantly.

Poodles are known for their incredible intelligence and agility. However, Teacups are too delicate for work! They might have hunting and agility in their genes but their true purpose is to be cute little snugglebugs. They make great companions because of their friendliness, playfulness and affection.

History

Teacup is a fairly new classification of Poodle. This informal name only started being used twenty years ago by breeders in the United States to try and catch people’s attention.

Poodles as a breed have a long history; they are one of the oldest purebred dogs.

Despite them being the national dog of France, these dogs originated in Germany in the early 14th century. Their name comes from the German word “pudelin” which means splashing in water. Originally, they had the purpose of serving as hunting dogs for retrieving waterfowl from ponds, lakes and rivers.

French nobility eventually took notice of these magnificent dogs and brought the Standard Poodle to France. In France there they were purposely bred to be smaller, so both the Standard and Miniature became luxurious lap dogs. Soon their popularity grew across Europe.

Poodles were introduced to the rest of the world in the late 17th century. They were recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1887.

In the early 20th century American breeders started breeding down the Miniature Poodle to serve as a city-dwelling companion dog. These dogs are now called Toy Poodles. Eventually, in the late 20th century, breeders took the smallest puppies from Toy litters and bred the Teacup.

Teacup Poodle Size and Appearance

Poodle Teacup
Their thick, curly fur is perfect for styling and make all of us just want to cuddle them.

The Teacup Poodle looks like a mini Poodle. It has the same long muzzle, furry and floppy ears, and dark oval eyes. It also has their thick, single layered, hypoallergenic and waterproof curly coat.

They have square bodies, a round head, and perfectly proportioned legs.

Two of the most common hairstyles for these puppies take full advantage of their body type and try to maximize their cuteness factor. If they are groomed with the puppy clip, then they will look like adorable puppies no matter their age. A teddy bear clip will make them look like cute, little teddy-bear dogs.

What makes these adorable pups unique is their size.

There is no standard size for the Teacup, but in general, breeders count any Poodle less than nine inches tall and six pounds as a Teacup.

Though they are small, Teacups are also very elegant.

Their tiny size does not take away from them that they descended from dogs who were once the lapdogs of royalty. They always stand poised and regally watch with small alert eyes. Remember, they are a Poodle in a smaller body.

Small Poodle

Do Teacup Poodles Stay Small?

As puppies Teacups do not grow much. When these puppies are born they weigh about two pounds and the biggest they can grow to is only five pounds. Once they reach their adult height of six to nine inches, they cannot grow anymore.

The fact that Teacup Poodles stay small is what so many people adore about them. This is true for Teacup Yorkies and Pomeranians.

Any Poodle that grows taller than nine inches would not be considered a Teacup.

If you do get a dog that grows larger than nine inches, the chances are that you did not get a Teacup. Breeders could sell you a dog advertised as a Teacup, but in reality, it is a Toy.

Make sure when you are in search of a Teacup that you look for reputable breeders. This will help avoid the problem of your Poodle suddenly growing bigger than what you expected.

Micro, Teacup and Toy Differences

Teacup Poodle Puppy
Opposite to what most people think, Teacup is not an official classification.

Micro Poodle is just another name used by breeders to describe Teacups and Toys. It is a word that is used commonly to refer to very small dog breeds. Both Teacup and Toys are tiny dogs, so they both qualify as being described as micro.

Teacup Poodles are a smaller variation of the Toy. The difference between these two dogs is just their size.

To create the Teacup Poodle, breeders took the smallest Toys (i.e. runts) and bred them together. Technically, Teacups are Toys as they are not considered a classification by the American Kennel Club.

According to the American Kennel Club, a Toy Poodle “is 10 inches or under” and weighs 4-6 pounds. Teacups are always below 10 inches so they can be registered as Toy. Breeders have unofficially named any Poodle under nine inches as Teacup.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know

  1. This breed wants to be treated as if they are the queen or king of the house. While they do need a lot of attention, be careful not to spoil them. They might actually start thinking that they are in charge and can become highly strung.
  2. The Teacup is known by a variety of names: Pudle, Barbone, Caniche, Chien Canne, French Poodle, Small Toy Poodle, and Tiny Toy Poodle.
  3. They love everyone in the house and form unique relationships with each family member. These individual connections make them protective of their loved ones.
  4. With the right haircut they will always look like puppies, no matter how old they get. These pups are also super popular because of their “cloud-like coats”.
  5. These cute puppies can be categorized as designer dogs as they are selectively bred. However, they differ from most designer dogs in that they are not a mixed breed. Most designer dogs are formed by crossbreeding two different breeds, a good example is the Bichon Poodle.
  6. Teacups are the smaller version of the Toy. Breeders take the smallest puppies from each litter, which are commonly known as “the runts”, and breed them together. The practice of selectively shrinking breeds can be controversial because it could lead to the dogs inheriting unwanted health conditions like dwarfism, like in Miniature German Shepherd.
  7. These pups can cost as much as $5,000. Breeders tend to sell these puppies at a high price, not only because of their demand, but also because they are rare and difficult to breed.
  8. The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Teacup size classification. They consider them the same as the Toy variant. The only Kennel Club to accept the size classification is the Dog Registry of America Inc.
  9. They are often crossbred with other dogs to create a puppy that has the characteristics of a teddy bear—round head and eyes, and button nose.
  10. These puppies are so tiny that they can sit on the palm of your hand!

Temperament

Breed Characteristics
Family Friendly★★★★★(3)
Energy Levels★★★★★(2)
Ease of Training★★★★★(5)
Shedding Frequency★★★★(1)
Price★★★★(4)

Since Teacup Poodles are just smaller Poodles, they are really easy to train, friendly and love to play.

Teacup Poodles are super affectionate and can become very attached and protective of their family. They are attention seekers and love being treated like royalty. One of their favorite activities is spending time with you. To recompensate the time you devote to them, they will pay you with their supposed “guard dog” abilities.

However, having a big heart also means that these puppies are prone to developing separation anxiety.

They need to receive comfort from you at almost all times and leaving them alone for long periods of time can make them anxious and nervous. These feelings can then translate into behaviors such as barking and destroying things around the house.

For centuries people around the world have adopted Poodles into their families. While Teacups make excellent companions, they are not the greatest dog for families with other pets and young children.

Do not be mistaken, these tiny puppies are incredibly social and have no prey drive. But, rough play can easily hurt them or break their bones.

Teacup Poodles do not have the patience that the Standard does. They can react towards toddlers and children, especially when irritated. Parents should be wary of allowing children to play alone with this breed.

Do Teacup Poodles Bark A Lot?

A well-trained and obedient Teacup Poodle might bark a bit when it meets someone for the first time. Once they realize that they are friendly, these little guard dogs will stop barking and become the true socialites they are.

Teacups that have been spoiled, not properly socialized, or do not have any obedience training might be a bit more vocal than what you were expecting to come from a tiny, fluffy dog. If it starts thinking that it is the boss, it can become very demanding and barky.

You do not want this pup barking all day, which it will do if allowed to.

They think they are bigger than what they are and will bark at large dogs and strangers since they are so protective of their loved ones.

Setting boundaries will help it develop good behaviors and reduce barking.

Giving them obedience training from a young age and keeping their minds active will help reduce barking too.

Health Problems and Lifespan

Teacup Poodle on a walk

The average lifespan of a Teacup Poodle is between 12 to 14 years. Even though they can live for a long time, in general they are not a healthy breed. They are prone to many genetic disorders and conditions which include:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy, an eye disorder that leads to blindness.
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia.
  • Hypoglycemia.
  • Heart defects.
  • Patella luxation.
  • Addison’s Disease.
  • Hypothyroidism.

Because Teacup Poodles are selectively bred to be small, they are more likely to get hurt in accidents such as falling from a high place and breaking their bones. Even things like using a collar (instead of a harness) can really hurt these dogs. Pulling on the collar can damage their upper airways.

It is important that you treat this breed with cautious care and delicacy.

Puppy proofing your home and always keeping a close watch on them can help to avoid accidents.

Where To Buy A Teacup Poodle

Poodle Face

It might take some time to find yourself a Teacup Poodle puppy, especially from a reputable breeder. These puppies are in high demand and are rare to find. When you do find a puppy, expect to pay between $2,000 and $2,500.

Their high price is also because it takes time to selectively breed these puppies. The litter sizes are very small, typically one and two puppies. It is possible to get a larger litter, but this is very rare and could bring difficulties to the pregnancy since the body of the mom is so small.

Since Teacup variants are not registered by any major Kennel Club, it will be hard to find a reputable breeder.

Most likely you will find breeders advertising Toy Poodles but some of their pups could qualify as a Teacup if they are small. It is possible that they have small puppies due to normal variation.

Puppies that are sold as Teacup Poodles often come from backyard breeders. You should try to avoid buying from these breeders as they try to mass produce their puppies. The main focus of these breeders is to satisfy the demand and sell these pups quickly.

To find a good breeder, try looking for Toy Poodle breeders on the American Kennel Club’s website and asking if they have smaller than usual puppies.

The Poodle Club of America is also another good point for beginning your search.

A cheaper option is to adopt from the shelter. Keep in mind that it isn’t easy to find one in local shelters since they are so rare. Nonetheless, there are dogs that do make it to the shelter for reasons such as being surrendered by owners.

Care Guide

Cute Poodle Dog
Families with young children should not adopt this pup.

These puppies are very convenient for those who live in small city apartments. They are also good for first time owners and seniors since they are one of the smartest dog breeds.

Caring for a puppy is always a challenge, but this dog’s Teacup size can introduce some extra care needs.

Teacup Poodles do not eat a lot at once, but they should eat four small meals a day. They require 250 calories per day, which is the same as one cup of dry kibble. It is especially important that you never underfeed or skip a meal since this can lead to their blood sugar rapidly dropping and developing hypoglycemia.

These pups also do not need a lot of exercise. They might want to play all day, but you should limit daily exercise to no more than 30 minutes. If you can, try splitting this time into 3 separate 10-minute walks so that your puppy doesn’t overexert itself.

They are one of the smartest dogs out there so things like puzzle toys will not only entertain them in the house and keep them calm, but they will also keep their small puppy brains happy.

These puppies are super eager-to-please and love to show off their smarts.

Training these pups is another way in which you will be putting their intelligence to the test and keep them engaged. Just keep each session short, sweet, and interesting.

You have probably seen Teacup Poodles with their adorable, neatly trimmed fur and want your own puppy to look just as cute. Since their fur is so thick, it can be styled in many different ways. Whether you take your pup to the groomer or not, these pups do need to be brushed at least three times a week.

They do not shed a lot since their fur is hypoallergenic. Brushing helps remove dead hairs, keeps their coat looking healthy, and avoids it from getting tangled and knotted.

Summary

Teacup Poodles are the smallest variety of Poodle. They grow to be no more than nine inches tall and can easily be carried around in a handbag. Unlike other Poodles, Teacups are not an officially recognized classification. They are a smaller version of their Toy siblings.

These precious dogs will look like puppies for their whole life. They are great for first time owners, but they should not live in a household with small children. Kids can accidentally hurt them while playing.

These dogs might be tiny, but they do not have a small attitude.

They think they are as large as the Standard Poodle and will act like it. They are as intelligent, affectionate, playful and energetic, and sometimes can be a bit bossy. They will act as if they are royals that need special treatment. Some may even try to take charge of the house.

Teacup Poodles might have a bit of an attitude, but they are sure to be your loyal companion.

Will the teacup fit its tiny self right into your life? Let us know.

Leave a Comment