The Teacup Yorkie looks like a Yorkshire Terrier, but is half the size! They have the same confident, inquisitive, and sometimes stubborn personality. Their large personality in such a small body makes them very cute.
Toy dog breeds might be cute, but there is controversy about the ethics of breeding such a small dog. Many breeders refuse to breed teacup dogs under four pounds to avoid health issues.
Keep reading to learn more about this inquisitive teddy bear-like dog. We also share the extra care it takes to own a teacup Yorkie…
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All About Teacup Yorkies
The Teacup Yorkie comes from the Yorkshire Terrier, and it can be argued that they are the same breed. Therefore, their origins are identical.
Terriers were popular in England in the Victorian era, and made their way to America in 1872. While it did a great job hunting small rodents, which is still seen in its high prey drive, that was not their only purpose. Many people kept this small breed to be a companion dog.
It is unknown exactly when the teacup Yorkshire Terrier began to be bred, but popularity of the breed, as well as other teacup dogs, has grown in recent years.
The Teacup Yorkie is also called the toy or micro Yorkie. They are just small yorkies that have been selectively bred in order to be smaller. Because of their smaller size, they are much more delicate and frailer.
Teacup Yorkies can occur naturally, as sometimes there is a runt in the litter that is much smaller than its siblings. However, teacups are most often selectively bred, or a result of malnutrition stunting growth. Breeders that advertise teacups are not likely to be reputable, since the breeding of these dogs is controversial.
Yorkies have a wonderfully fun, but occasionally stubborn personality. They can be feisty at times and will go out of their way to make sure you know what they want, perhaps with a few barks. However at the end of the day, the Teacup Yorkie loves to snuggle up with their owner and relax.
Teacup Yorkies are a purebred dog, not a mixed breed. They have been selectively bred in order to produce a small, teacup puppy. Other breeds such as the miniature German Shepherd were also selectively bred to be smaller.
The breeding of a Teacup Yorkie can be a controversial topic.
Some breeders unintentionally have a smaller Yorkie puppy as part of a litter of normal-sized puppies. The runt usually grows up to be smaller than its siblings.
However, some breeders will take these runts and intentionally breed them in order to produce even smaller puppies. Unethical breeders even starve their puppies to ensure they do not get enough nutrition in order to make sure they stay small.
Taking a toy-sized dog and trying to make it even smaller can cause many health issues.
Making this dog small enough to actually fit into a teacup may seem very cute, but it can also come with some serious health problems. Their bones are often much more fragile, and smaller things can impact them much more easily (e.g. jumping on and off the sofa).
Low blood sugar levels are a common issue in this breed too, as well as dental issues.
It is not healthy or safe to breed Teacup Yorkies that are smaller than four pounds. Their bodies are much more fragile than a standard terrier and cannot withstand the needs of carrying and delivering puppies. It takes a great toll on them and they are more at risk for birthing complications.
For these reasons, reputable breeders will not actively breed for or advertise teacup breeds.
They may have a runt that will grow up smaller than the rest of their littermates. But they will disclose it, rather than trying to sell a Teacup Yorkie for more money.
Fun Breed Facts
- Teacup Yorkies have a high prey drive and are great at keeping rodents away. Despite the fact that these dogs are nearly the size of a mouse themselves, they are true terriers.
- A Great Dane is approximately 60 times larger than a Teacup Yorkie. On average, a Teacup weighs 2 to 4 pounds vs 100 to 200 pounds for a Great Dane.
- Although not many people keep their dog in a handbag, this breed is small enough to be carried in one.
- Teacup breeds are considered designer dogs and can cost up to $3,000. They cost more than a standard Terrier, despite being at risk of more health problems.
- Teacup Yorkies are recognized by the American Kennel Club as just Yorkshire Terriers because they do not have a minimum size requirement. They are classified as a toy breed.
- Most pet owners choose to hire a stylist for this breed to keep their hair trimmed short. When left uncut, their hair is able to grow long and silky, which gives them a hair-like appearance.
Teacup Yorkie Appearance
Teacups look very similar to their standard sized siblings
Both breeds come in the same colors, either blue and gold or black and gold, with most being nearly all black as puppies. Also, both dogs have long silky hair that needs to be properly maintained in order to remain free of debris and knotting.
Regular trips to the grooming salon are highly recommended in order to keep their coat healthy. Many owners choose to give their Yorkies a “puppy cut” in order to have more manageable coat lengths with less maintenance. The puppy cut is a grooming technique in which the groomer will trim the dog’s hair shorter, typically around 1-1.5 inches, and shave the body down while the face and legs have a bit more hair.
If you want to keep their coat long, Teacup yorkies can be high maintenance and will require daily grooming.
Both dogs also have small, brown puppy-dog eyes that love to beg for treats. They have pointed ears that typically stand upwards too.
However, teacup and standard Yorkies do differ slightly in appearance. Teacup Yorkies tend to have a frailer appearance because they are such a small breed.
How Big Do Teacup Yorkies Get?
The Teacup Yorkie is only two to four pounds, whereas the standard is typically much larger at four and seven pounds. Neither dog should exceed seven pounds due to the breed standard. The breed standard does not have a minimum weight, but ethical breeders will not breed dogs under four pounds.
They are on average about two pounds less than a full size Yorkie. It may not seem like it, but when two pounds is half your body weight, it is quite the difference.
Teacup Yorkies are also much smaller and stand between five to seven inches tall. A standard Yorkshire Terrier is approximately eight to nine inches tall.
|Size||2-4 pounds||4-7 pounds|
|Height||5-7 inches||8-9 inches|
Teacup Yorkies are similar in size to a typical Chihuahua, which weighs on average two to six pounds. In comparison to a larger dog breed, the average weight of a Great Dane is about sixty times more. Having a teacup Yorkie and a Great Dane beside each other is a good way to contrast just how small a teacup dog is.
|Ease of Training||★★★★★(3)|
Considering Teacup Yorkies are born into a litter of normal pups, their temperament and personality should be the same. This is because many of them are either runts or are bred to keep the same personality and temperament, but just in a smaller body.
Yorkies are brave, loyal, and more than willing to chase after rodents that are nearly their own size. They have big personalities and love attention.
Teacup Yorkies can be described as talkative and snuggly. They love to entertain and play with their owners but are just as happy to sit next to you on the couch while you watch a show or movie.
They are not shy in letting you know when they need some attention, and will use their bark to get the message across. Just like the Teacup Pomeranian, they will likely let you know when the mailman is outside, or anything else for that matter.
The Teacup Yorkie is a playful breed that loves to be praised by its owner, so training these pocket-pups is not too difficult. They do benefit from positive reinforcement training, but it is a good idea to limit the treat intake since they are such small dogs.
Owners of this breed typically say that they are a loveable little dog that enjoys spending time with them whenever possible. They love licking their owners faces and being carried from place to place.
How Much Is A Teacup Yorkie?
Teacup Yorkies have a large price range, but typically cost between $1,000 and $3,000. Some breeders may even try to sell their puppies for as much as $5,000. A $5,000 puppy is likely one that comes from a show-winning bloodline and is just a pick of the litter.
Breeders advertising teacup puppies will need researching and investigating.
Ethical breeders will not advertise teacup puppies as a designer breed. They are aware of the health consequences when breeding smaller dogs, like fragility and digestive problems, and will normally sell them as runts.
Teacup Yorkies that are being advertised as teacups are likely not from a reputable breeder.
The breed standard for Yorkies does not have a minimum size, only a maximum weight of seven pounds.
Most breeders do not take the risks of breeding a dog under four pounds to ensure safer pregnancies. This also reduces the likelihood of health issues that occur with a smaller-sized dog.
Breeding dogs of teacup varieties is risky due to the fact that because this breed is so small.
In addition to birthing troubles, this tiny pup is more at risk for other health risks such as digestive issues, hypoglycemia, and heart troubles.
Health Issues & Risks
The Teacup Yorkie’s health is very different from a standard Terrier. It is common for teacups to live for just 7 to 9 years. This is a big contrast to the 13 to 16-year lifespan for a standard Yorkshire Terrier. As a result, their day to day lives are different too.
They are more likely to encounter health problems as a result of their small size:
- Frail bones.
- Dental issues.
- Digestive problems.
Terriers are prone to some digestive problems in general. Unfortunately, the smaller the Teacup Yorkie the more difficult these problems become. Gastrointestinal upset can cause other issues like dehydration or malnutrition in addition to an upset stomach.
It is important to ensure that they are fed a healthy, balanced diet that does not cause gastrointestinal upset.
It is also very important to make sure these teacup-sized dogs are not jumping from heights as they are prone to patella luxation. This helps to decrease the risk of any broken bones. They should also not be roughhoused during play as their bones are very frail.
The stubborn personality of this teddybear-like dog can also attribute to their high maintenance.
They are usually stubborn when it comes to doing things they don’t enjoy, like taking a bath or going to the vet. They can also be stubborn when it comes to training as well. This pup is smart, and likes to be as involved as possible with its owners, however when trying to train new tricks they can be persistent in not listening. This makes teaching them a bit of a chore.
Feeding A Teacup Yorkie
There are differing opinions about feeding teacup puppies. Some recommend allowing young puppies to be free-fed dry food in order to keep up with their metabolism. Others warn against it to avoid overeating and obesity.
Free feeding is when food is left out throughout the day, so that the dog can choose to eat whenever they would like.
It is true that teacup terriers can be prone to overeating, but if they are introduced to free-choice food at a young age they are much less likely to do so.
Instead of free feeding, it is best to feed your teacup Yorkie four meals a day. This allows them to eat small amounts at a time, while making sure they are receiving enough nutrition.
With young puppies, and older dogs if they have pre-existing medical conditions, feeding four times a day is a good idea. If they’re fit and health three times a day is fine.
|08:00 am||1/8 of a cup|
|11:00 am||1/8 of a cup|
|02:00 pm||1/8 of a cup|
|05:00 am||1/8 of a cup|
It is not recommended to do less than four meals a day.
Teacup breeds like this one are more likely to experience Hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar. This is most common in younger puppies, from a few weeks old to around four months, however it can occur in older dogs as well. Feeding them multiple, small meals a day allows them to maintain their blood sugar.
Some owners prefer wet food, but with this breed being prone to dental problems, it is not good to keep them on wet food long term. It can contribute to issues such as periodontal disease and is more expensive to feed.
If they are struggling to eat kibble, you can add some water to make it easier for their small mouths to eat.
The Teacup Yorkie has been bred to be smaller than the average Terrier. Teacup breeds are tiny, weighing in at just four pounds.
This pocket-sized puppy is as adorable as a teddy bear dog, but it is not the right fit for anyone. Miniature breeds like the Mini German Shepherd is a slightly larger size that may work better for your lifestyle.
It needs a special owner that can appreciate its cuteness while still being able to care for it. It needs a person who is careful about play, diet and makes sure they have constant supervision.
Teacup Yorkies have a strong voice and enjoy when it’s time to curl up on the couch at the end of the day. Someone that is not home often or wants a pet that can tag along for miles of hiking may not be a good match.
If you are the right person for the Teacup Yorkie, then you will be greatly rewarded with a pocket sized pup that has the personality of a dog ten times its size!
Let us know what you think about this teacup breed in the comments below.