A teacup Bichon Frise is the smallest version of the Bichon Frise you can own. Teacups are specially bred to be tiny while still carrying many of the distinctive traits Bichons have. Despite being small, they are friendly, charming and make wonderful family pets.
Get to know more about the teacup Bichon Frise – what it looks like, its temperament and behavior as well as where you can get one of your own in this helpful guide.
What Is a Teacup Bichon Frise?
A teacup Bichon Frise is a miniature variety of the Bichon Frise breed. A regular Bichon Frise is already a small dog under a foot tall, but a Bichon Frise is even smaller. Teacup Bichon Frises have become popular over the years because of their cute looks.
Small teacup dogs occupy less space and require minimal maintenance compared to bigger dogs. This makes them ideal for homeowners who live in small city apartments or don’t have the capacity to care for a large dog.
How Do Breeders Produce Such a Small Version of Bichon Frise?
Breeders create a teacup version of the Bichon Frise using three main methods.
The first method is that they breed a regular-sized Bichon with a smaller dog breed. Dogs inherit traits from their parents so this mixed-breed will often result in a miniature version. Breeders sometimes mix a Bichon Frise with a Shih Tzu or a Maltese. Sometimes they are bred with a Poodle, resulting in what is dubbed as a “Poochon.”
The second method is when breeders introduce the dwarfism gene to the dog’s lineage. One of the parents will need to carry this gene to pass onto the resulting puppies. This increases the chances of them becoming small. But this is still a gamble as there’s no guarantee that the dwarfism gene will affect any of the puppies.
The third method is when breeders simply choose the runts of a litter and breed them. This method will result in a teacup Bichon Frise litter.
Are Teacup Bichon Frises Healthy Dogs?
Like all dogs, a Bichon Frise is prone to certain health issues. This breed can develop bladder stones, suffer from skin allergies, Cushing’s disease, and Otitis.
However, when breeders create a teacup Bichon Frise, this opens them up to a whole host of other health issues, depending on how the teacup dog was achieved.
All three ways of breeding for a teacup mentioned above has its pros and cons. But the last two methods are extra dangerous to the animal’s future health.
For instance, scrupulous breeders will sometimes introduce the dwarfism gene to an otherwise healthy line which results in health issues for the litter. Dogs born with the dwarfism gene can suffer from arthritis, lameness as well as various hormone issues.
Meanwhile, breeding from runts also has its complications for the litter. Runts are usually small because they are sickly or have an existing disorder. Breeding exclusively from runts will mean the litter will also inherit the health issues of the parents.
This is one of the reasons why owning and selling “teacup dogs” is so controversial. There are people who feel teacup dogs shouldn’t exist because there’s no foolproof and safe way for them to be bred. Usually, it results in health problems for the animals.
How Long Do Teacup Bichon Frises Live?
A teacup Bichon Frise could live for as long as 12-15 years like a regular Bichon Frise. However, they require a bit more care and attention because of their small size.
Their tiny size means they can get seriously injured by just jumping down from the couch, going down the stairs, or being accidentally stepped on. Even a little roughhousing from children or other pets could seriously injure them.
What Does The Teacup Bichon Frise Look Like?
A teacup Bichon Frise has a double coat. The topcoat is curly while the undercoat is thick and soft. Unlike other breeds with silky soft fur, a Bichon’s coat is coarse and it should spring back into place after they’re petted.
As for coat colors, they come in certain shades with white being the most common. Other breed standard colors recognized by the AKC include white & apricot, white & buff, and white & cream.
There are also gray, brown, and apricot Bichons but these are not considered by the AKC as breed standard colors. You can find photos of Bichons in various coat colors below:
An all-white teacup Bichon Frise is one of the most common coat colors you’ll find in this breed. The coat should be a pure white coat with hardly any hint of buff or cream.
This is also an all-white teacup Bichon Frise. Usually, if they have a combination color like cream or buff, it won’t occupy more than 10% of the Bichons coat.
Here’s an adorable apricot-colored teacup Bichon Frise. You can see hints of buff white on the face area as well as chest.
Size & Weight of Teacup Bichon Frise
A teacup Bichon Frise weighs less than 5 pounds. Their size would be small enough to be picked up with one adult hand comfortably. Sometimes you see them in fancy photos being placed inside an actual teacup to indicate just how small they really are.
In comparison, a regular Bichon Frise adult measures 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall and weighs 7 to 18 pounds.
Teacup Bichon Frise Temperament: Do They Make Good Family Dogs?
Yes, the teacup Bichon Frise makes for an excellent family dog thanks to their friendly temperament. They are playful yet very gentle dogs, so they fit perfectly in family homes.
One thing to note however, is that a teacup Bichon is fragile because of their size. Hence, it’s always advisable to keep them away from really young children who cannot understand a teacup dog needs to be handled with care.
Teacup Bichons are active dogs. But because of their small size, they won’t need a lot of room to exercise or run around. A small apartment or studio would be enough room for them.
They are also vocal and usually bark to welcome people. This barking is often mistaken as aggression by people who aren’t familiar with the breed.
Another thing to note is that Bichons were bred to be companion dogs, so they need constant companionship from their owners or fellow dogs. They don’t do well when left alone for a long time and when abandoned, they can suffer anxiety issues.
Teacup Bichon Frise Puppy Price & Expenses: Can You Afford a Teacup Bichon Frise?
Several factors are affecting the price of a teacup Bichon such as the breed (if they are pure or mixed), parental history, and gender.
For a teacup Bichon Frise, you would think they would be cheaper because of their size, but it isn’t the case. Because they are a desirable “designer breed,” they are priced much higher than their regular-sized counterparts. Prices for a teacup Bichon Frise start at around $3,500.
Don’t be surprised if you’re given a higher quote than that though. Again, the price will be affected by the three factors mentioned above. There are also additional costs to consider like vet visits, grooming, and more.
Places to Find Teacup Bichon Frise Puppies for Sale or Adoption
Finding healthy, purebred teacup Bichon Frise might be challenging, but they are out there. You just need a bit of diligence when it comes to finding them.
Aside from looking for teacup Bichon Frise breeders online, it’s recommended to check locally as well so you can visit the breeder and see the puppy ahead of time if possible. This will help you ask questions directly to the breeder and gauge whether the puppies are healthy or not.
When buying from a breeder, always ask to see the parents or the puppies before committing. Never buy from a puppy mill or a pet store since they would often do anything to turn a quick buck without any regard for the dog’s health at all.
Also, if a purebred teacup Bichon isn’t available to buy, I would recommend picking a small, mixed Bichon pup instead of a purebred.
You can check out the following places to buy a teacup Bichon Frise:
- AKC Marketplace – Bichon Frise Puppies for Sale
- Bichon Frise Club of America – Breeder Directory (Contains a list of possible breeders you can contact)
Again, make sure to double-check and get in touch with the breeders directly. You can also ask fellow Bichon Frise owners if they are willing to share where they got their own dogs.
Another option to get your own teacup Bichon Frise is through rescue and adoption. While there’s no guarantee you will get a teacup, it is worth looking into. Not only will the price of your puppy or Bichon be cheaper, but you’ll also help give a dog a new home.
You can check out the following places to adopt or rescue a teacup Bichon Frise:
- Adopt-a-Pet.com – Adopt a Bichon Frise
- Bichon Rescue
- Bichon Frise Rescue Alert Network on Facebook
- Rescue Me! – Bichon Frise Rescue
- Small Paws Rescue
- Bichon Frise Rescue UK
How to Care for Your Teacup Bichon Frise
A teacup Bichon Frise requires special care due to its size. But in other aspects, it’s similar to taking care of a regular Bichon.
When feeding your teacup, it’s important to remember they don’t and can’t eat as much food as a regular dog. Teacups are tiny so it means they have small stomachs too and a faster metabolism.
A teacup Bichon Frise should be fed 3-6 times a day but the quantity should be controlled. A good tablespoon full is enough for the feeding. It’s also advisable for owners to consider “free feeding” their teacups.
Small breeds tend to be nibblers and would prefer to only grab food when they are actually hungry. Hence, most owners find it easier to just have their dog’s food available for them to eat whenever they’re hungry.
If you have a teacup under 3-4 months old, you might also want to add wet or raw food like hamburger meat or canned food along with their dry food meals.
A teacup Bichon Frise may look like it would require a lot of grooming because of their double coat, but they actually don’t need that much.
Grooming is only necessary once a month if you want to maintain that adorable and typical Bichon haircut. What’s more, like Poodles, Bichons don’t shed a lot. You won’t need to worry about having fur all over your space.
Here’s an adorable video showcasing a Bichon Frise puppy getting groomed.
Exercise & Training
A teacup Bichon Frise doesn’t need a lot of exercises. While by nature they are active and playful dogs, because they’re small, they already have a large playground in a small apartment or studio. They will still require mental stimulation though, so take time to train them or teach them tricks.
Teacups need extra attention when it comes to their health and veterinary care. As mentioned before, they can easily get injured with rough play, climbing steep stairs or jumping off couches, etc.
Aside from that, this tiny breed can be prone to various health issues. It’s important to visit the vet at least 2-3 times a year. And if you suspect something’s wrong, don’t hesitate to have your teacup examined right away.
How to Differentiate Between a Toy Poodle and Teacup Bichon Frise?
A white toy Poodle might look similar to the teacup Bichon Frise at first glance but look closer, and they are two very distinct breeds. Let’s talk about what they do have in common.
Both dogs are generally small. Although a regular-sized Bichon will be slightly longer compared to a regular Poodle. There are also teacup versions of a Poodle and a Bichon available.
In terms of differences, a Poodle will have tightly-knit, corded curls that are longer on their heads and ears. When traditionally groomed, they are often seen sporting a pompom on their tail.
A Bichon Frise has a double coat with a curly but coarse overcoat and a soft undercoat. Toy Poodles often have an erect tail, standing proudly on their back whereas a Bichon Frise will have its tail curling slightly over its back.
For coat colors, a Poodle has far more variety compared to the teacup Bichon Frise. Aside from white, a Poodle can also sport apricot, cream, silver, blue, gray, brown, or café au-lait colors. A teacup Bichon is usually white, cream white, or apricot.
Their faces are also completely different. A toy Poodle has oval dark eyes bearing an intelligent expression whereas a Bichon Frise has round, dark eyes signaling an alert expression.
One more thing, their temperaments are also slightly different. The toy Poodle will be more independent compared to the Bichon Frise. They might have cute looks but Poodles were once bred to be hunting dogs while Bichons were bred purely to be companion dogs.
Do Teacup Bichon Frises Bite?
Like all dogs, a teacup Bichon Frise can still bite – sometimes playfully; at other times, for real. A teacup biting might not seem like a big deal for some owners since they’re tiny but they still have sharp teeth inside their mouths.
As puppies, they can be prone to nipping as all puppies tend to do. In order to curb down biting behavior, you need to train your puppy not to nip at your hands or clothes. They also need to get used to being handled, so they won’t nip anyone trying to pick them up.
Can Teacup Bichon Frises Have Babies?
Yes, teacup Bichon Frises can get pregnant and have babies. However, with their small size, a pregnancy might pose a health risk to them during delivery.
Even if the father is also a teacup and there’s a possibility they might sire teacup-sized pups, it will still be dangerous, healthwise, for teacups to deliver a baby.
A teacup Bichon Frise is a remarkable and unique dog to have in your home. It has all the great qualities of a Bichon Frise – it is friendly, great as a family dog and quite laid back.
This friendly temperament makes them amazing companion dogs for people who want a pet they can cuddle and play with without having too much prey drive.
Owning a teacup Bichon Frise means you should be ready to give it a tad more attention compared to a regular-sized dog.
Things like making sure it doesn’t get stepped on or handled too roughly, doesn’t jump off a high couch or even ensuring it won’t choke on its food are all things a teacup owner should know before committing to this designer breed.
If you already have experience or are willing to learn what it takes to own a teacup Bichon Frise of your own, then you’ll definitely have a great time with this beautiful little pup in your home.