Many people want a small dog so they can pick them up and cuddle them easier, and teacups are the smallest of the small. If you’re looking for a tiny dog that is easy to travel with and control, then a teacup dog might be what you’re looking for. However, teacups are hard to come by, and there’s a lot of misinformation about them. So, before you buy a special teacup puppy, make sure you know all the facts first.
Why are These Small Dog Breeds Called “Teacups”?
Teacup dogs weigh less than 4 pounds and stand less than 17 inches tall. So, they’re much smaller than any other small breed. In fact, these dogs aren’t even official breeds. The American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize any teacup breeds because they’re just smaller versions of breeds that already exist.
These dogs are simply bred using two “runts” of the litter. They take two dogs that are already below average size and breed them to make an even smaller dog. Of course, these breeds are adorable, but as you can imagine, they also come with added health risks.
Surprisingly, teacup dogs are difficult to care for. Their small size means they have to eat several meals throughout the day and they need more frequent bathroom breaks. They are also very fragile, which means even one fall could cause significant pain or damage. They have a higher risk of broken bones and they’re more likely to become food for predators when outside.
On top of all the other concerns, teacup dogs are extremely expensive. People pay so much extra money for a dog that isn’t as healthy as their larger counterparts. So, if you had your heart set on a teacup puppy, they might not be the best option. Bringing home the normal sizes of these breeds will be much easier for you and much safer for the dog.
Best Teacup Dog Breeds
There are many small dog breeds that claim to be “teacups,” but there are really only 6 dogs that fit the description. Other popular options like teacup Beagles or teacup Dachshunds fall a little above the size requirements for a teacup dog.
#1 – Pomeranian
Pomeranians are already tiny on a normal basis, so teacup Pomeranians are the smallest little fluff balls you can imagine. Today, Pomeranians are primarily known for being lapdogs who have sudden bursts of energy. They have been bred smaller and smaller as the years went on. This breed used to be a working dog at around 30 pounds, but humans seemed to think they were more adorable in tiny forms. As cute as they are, Pomeranians are very vocal, so they need lots of training to correct their bad habits. Unfortunately, they can be stubborn and they might try to train you instead.
#2 – Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are another one of the smallest breeds out there, so it’s interesting to imagine them even smaller. When you think of a “purse dog,” Chihuahuas fit the description better than any other breed. Unfortunately, these pups can be extremely nervous though. They’re known for shaking frequently, even if it’s not cold outside. They can be especially fearful around unfamiliar people or dogs, so proper socialization is essential. Like Pomeranians, they could become quite vocal too, which is why training is essential just like with every other dog. Thankfully, Chihuahuas are known to be one of the longest living dog breeds as long as you’re gentle with them.
#3 – Poodle
Poodles come in all shapes and sizes, and if the Toy Poodle wasn’t small enough for you, then a teacup Poodle likely will be. Regardless of a Poodle’s size, they are a highly intelligent breed. They are great family dogs, and they can adapt to new situations quickly. They’re often much easier to train than other small dog breeds too. Their soft, curly hair needs regular grooming though because it can get matted very easily. Brushing them in between grooming appointments is the key to keeping them soft and healthy.
#4 – Maltese
Maltese are one of the oldest breeds out there, and they’re known for their silky white hair. In dog shows, these dogs are often seen with a floor-length coat, but as a companion dog, it’s much easier to keep their coats short. They are good family dogs who are friendly around most people and dogs. However, they can sometimes be wary of strangers, which makes them alert and protective. They love to cuddle, but they also need plenty of time to run around and play as well.
#5 – Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are another small popular breed due to their lovable personalities. They are playful, friendly, and adaptable. Yet, teacup Yorkies can sometimes be hesitant around strangers, which could cause them to bark frequently. These little dogs have a lot of energy packed into a small body, so they need plenty of walks and playtime throughout the day. Yet, they don’t need much space, so they are just fine living in an apartment. They can be intelligent, but their stubbornness might overshadow their learning capabilities.
#6 – Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus aren’t always the smallest dog breed because they love to eat, so obesity is a common concern. Yet, they can still have teacup versions that fit well within the teacup dog requirements. Shih Tzus are great cuddle buddies because they’re often laidback and don’t require an excess amount of exercise. These dogs are often seen with bows in their hair, which makes them some of the cutest teacup dogs. They love people, but they can sometimes be hesitant around unfamiliar dogs. You also need to be careful not to overwork them because their flat faces make them more prone to breathing problems.
Is a Teacup Dog Right for You?
Dog breeds that are small enough to fit in teacups might look adorable, but in most cases, they probably aren’t the right dog for you. Teacup dogs have additional health problems, risks, and costs. Plus, you can’t leave them alone for more than a few hours at a time. So, if you’re considering one of these teacups, you might want to ask yourself if you have time and money for a dog that small.
When in doubt, turn to a regular sized dog. They’ll have the same personality as a teacup dog but without the added risk. Plus, you’ll still be able to hold them and cuddle with them just like you would with a teacup dog. It might seem special to have a dog that never grows out of their puppy size, but it’s important to consider how that change in size can affect a dog’s life. When choosing a dog, you should always put your future dog’s health above your own desires.