Teacup Dog Takeover
Let’s be honest—tiny usually means cute. And if it’s a puppy too? Forget it! Teacup pups are what Instagram was made for—and they’re great for dog lovers who can only have a small breed for a variety of reasons (their residence is small, they want to be able to take their dog anywhere, etc.).
Teacup dogs are not actually a ‘breed’ per se, and the AKC does not recognize ‘teacup’ as a standard breed denominator. A canine that weighs 7-14 lbs. as an adult can be classified as a small breed dog, whereas dogs classified as teacup are generally 2-5 lbs. in weight at full adulthood, and under 17 inches in length. Toy breeds actually refer to all dogs under 15 lbs., so this could include teacup as well as smaller breed dogs. For example, there are Chihuahuas that are a toy breed, then a teacup Chihuahua which is an even smaller dog.
Some of the most popular teacup dogs:
Pomeranian: Originally, Pomeranians weighed as much as 30 pounds and functioned as working dogs, but over centuries, they’ve been bred much smaller. Their sweet, gregarious personalities go quite well with their puffy look. The teacup sized Pom can weigh as little as 2 pounds.
Yorkshire Terrier: Yorkies are no slouch! They will take any foe to task, despite their small size. Teacup Yorkshires can weigh as little as 2 pounds.
Chihuahua: Chihuahuas were already tiny to begin with, so a teacup is a pretty fragile puppy! Their personalities are much bigger than their little selves, so you’ve been warned. Teacup Chihuahuas can be as small as 4 pounds.
Poodles: Teacup Poodles come in all the breed’s standard fur tones: black, white, apricot, blue, silver, cream, golden. The teacup poodle is 9 inches or smaller, and under 6 pounds in weight. They’re smart, loyal, and very proud.
Maltese: The teacup Maltese weighs in at an average of 3lbs, and is a gentle, sweet dog. The silky, graceful, long white fur is their trademark, and it’s recommended that this lapdog gets some exercise, no matter how tiny he or she may be.
Tiny ≠ Easy
Small, But Mighty: Owners may notice their tiny dog has quite a huge personality; one that can overrun the place if left to their own devices. Without proper discipline, teacup and small breed dogs can develop aggressive behavior and, dare we say, an ‘attitude problem.’ Just because they’re pocket-sized doesn’t mean they don’t need to be socialized properly and trained.
Easy Does It: Owners note that the smaller the pup, the gentler you have to be (and the less you have to feed it). Teacup dogs are sometimes frail as puppies, so it’s best to keep them out of public spaces until their first round of vaccinations. If you take note of their predisposition to health conditions, these fragile little pups can grow up to be strong adults, often living to 12 years.
Know the Source: Buying a dog from an irresponsible breeder can not only lead to health complications but contributes to a pretty nasty industry.