Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: A Comprehensive Guide

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel around beautiful flowers

Owning a standard-sized Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be quite frustrating especially for novice pet owners or those who don’t have a wide living space. Fortunately, this dilemma has been immediately addressed by a number of breeders by producing a teacup variety for the breed.

Since this breed has a colorful royal history, they have been breaking the internet since the first teacup size was born. People patiently seek them and reserve puppies from breeders even though they have to wait for a long time.

This guide is perfect for you if you are one of these teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel fanciers. I covered everything you need to know about this canine companion, so your relationship with them will be more fun and effortless.

What Is a Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

A Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a minuscule version of the breed which is currently number 18 in American Kennel Club’s popularity ranking. They are also called Teacup Cavies or Teacup Cavs by a number of breeders and are known to be excellent lap dogs.

Aside from lounging with the family, this teacup dog is also very athletic, like a sporting Spaniel. They love chasing birds, squirrels, rabbits, and other small prey when they aren’t on a leash.

I strongly suggest keeping them within your line of sight because their hunting instincts may coax them to follow an animal or an interesting trail. If you really want them to run around off-leash, a fenced yard is necessary.

What Does the Teacup King Charles Spaniel Look Like?

The teacup King Charles Spaniel is pretty similar to that of the regular variety except for their size. They look elegant and royal just as you can expect from a breed who once won the heart of the former king of England.

Here are the specifics of their appearance according to the AKC:

  • Skull: It is a bit rounded but appears flat because of the ears’ high placement.
  • Eyes: Relatively large and has a cushioning underneath which creates a softer expression. The color is preferably dark brown.
  • Ears: Long and set high with smooth featherings. They fan forward when the pup is alert.
  • Nose: Nostrils are well-developed and nose pigment is uniformly black.
  • Neck: Looks elegant with its slight arch. It’s long but not throaty.
  • Body: Composed of a moderately deep chest and well-sprung ribs that don’t look barrelled.
  • Tail: Happily carried but does not extend above the back’s level.
  • Coat: Length is moderate and it may be slightly wavy. The chest, ears, tail, and legs have long featherings that are silky but not curly at all.

As for the colors, their monikers are interesting because they are based on famous royal figures. Check out the examples below.

Blenheim Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A Blenheim teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is famous for its white and chestnut color. They are called such because in the 1800s, the Duke of Marlborough, a lover of King Spaniels, went into the Battle of Blenheim and won.

For a closer look at their coat color, check out this video:

Alabama Toys and Teacups Cavalier King Charles Puppies

King Charles Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

I know the name of this dog sounds redundant, but that’s really how they are named.

Their exact color is jet black with tan markings on their cheeks, over their eyes, inside their ears, on their chest, under their tail, and on their legs. Among all the colors, they look the most regal and noble.

Prince Charles Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Prince Charles Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is a stunning tri-color puppy. Their base is white, and they have black markings that are equally distributed on their ears and around their eyes.

The third color which completes their coat is a distinct tan shade found on their cheeks, above their eyes, and inside their ears.

Ruby Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A Ruby teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is simply an all-red puppy. They cannot have any huge white marks on their coat as this is considered faulty.

History and Origin: Where Do Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Come From?

Historically speaking, the breed was created due to the initiative of Roswell Eldridge in 1926 to restore the appearance of the century-old Spaniel dogs who are well-loved by King Charles II.

Eldrige posted an advertisement on a dog show catalog challenging British breeders to produce a male and a female pup with long muzzles and faces in the span of five years for the price of 25 pounds sterling.

In the third year of the competition, the restored type of King Charles Spaniel was labeled as Cavalier to show its distinction from the original.

A male dog named Ann’s Son was also declared as the winner and has since been used as the standard for the new breed.

In terms of their teacup size, there are three breeding methods that breeders often practice. They are the following:

Mixing Spaniels With Smaller Breeds

A number of breeders mix King Charles Spaniels to dogs with smaller varieties to achieve the teacup size.

This doesn’t pose too much health risk compared to the other methods, but the offsprings aren’t exactly 100% Spaniel-looking. They possess both the physical traits of the breeds used to produce them.

Below are some of the famous tiny Spaniel mixes:

  • Mini Cavapoo: A mix of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Mini Poodle
  • Mini Cavamo: A mix of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and an American Eskimo
  • Chilier: A mix between a Chihuahua and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Purposefully Breeding Dogs with Dwarfism

Another way to produce teacup King Charles Spaniels is through using dogs who carry the dwarfism gene. This gene stunts growth which results in an altered canine appearance.

Even though this is rarely used by breeders in creating a teacup pup, I still would like to reiterate that using this breeding process is not ethical and can result in various problems. Here are some of them:

  • A compromised immune system
  • Behavioral problems
  • Developmental impediments
  • Shorter life span

Using Runts

Occasionally, breeders produce Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies who are smaller than the standard size. These are called runts and they come with tons of health issues due to their small build.

For a breeder who is only driven by profit, they don’t really mind if they are using problematic breeding stocks. They ignorantly mate a runt to another to develop micro dogs which they market as teacups.

As a result, many pet owners obtain runts who are immuno-compromised and are predisposed to a list of medical conditions.

Why Is Breeding Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Controversial?

Two teacup dogs of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The controversy involving teacup dogs does not only include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel but almost all dogs who are bred for their size.

As is with breeding solely for color, mating two dogs to achieve a certain height or weight is not exactly ethical if we are to consider the views of many canine scholars.

Some breeders are purposely starving their dogs just so they become smaller, while others advertise dogs with dwarfism genes as rare teacup pups.

Does this mean I am discouraging you from buying a teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

Not exactly. What I am trying to say is that you have to be very cautious in finding a breeder because not all of them are professionals. Some don’t have their puppies tested for genetic disorders, so you are given dogs with severe health problems.

Before you buy a teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or any teacup dog for that matter, check the background of the breeder and ask as many questions as you can to test if they are really knowledgeable about the puppy variety that they are selling.

How Big Do Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Get When Fully Grown?

Ah, if this isn’t the top question being asked about this breed!

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are only five to 10 inches tall, while standard-sized puppies are 12 to 13 inches.

In terms of weight, both male and female teacup Cavs weigh less than 10 pounds. This is significantly lighter than that of the standard which is around 13 to 18 pounds.

This size difference may be inconsequential for those who aren’t into pets, but for those who fancy owning Cavalier King Charles Spaniels but are living in apartments, this is quite a big deal.

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Temperament: Do They Make Good Family Pets?

Generally speaking, teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are excellent family pets because they are sweet-tempered and playful.

However, if you want a more detailed description of their behavior, it is best to check out the specifications below:

  • They love cuddling with their favorite humans and snuggling with soft pillows.
  • They are clingy to their owners to the point that they develop separation anxiety when they aren’t around for too long.
  • They are practically polite to everyone, even with dogs and other animals.
  • They can be timid if not socialized early.
  • They are very independent dogs, but they are also people pleasers.
  • They tend to be destructive if not engaged in various activities to keep them busy.

Although teacup King Charles Spaniels often manifest these behaviors, it is best to keep in mind that every dog is unique and how they act is often associated with the training they received early in life.

READ MORE:
Male vs. Female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Which Is Better?

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lifespan and Health Issues

Woman with her cute teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy

Teacup Cavies can live up to 9 to 14 years, depending on how they are being taken care of and how they were bred. You see, most of these pups are created from runts, so I can’t really vouch that they can be with you for a very long time.

If you still insist on buying them, you have to watch out for the following medical conditions that affect their kind:

  • Otitis Externa: This occurs when the lining of your pup’s ear canal is inflamed. The common signs of this ear issue are headshaking, skin redness, odor, and scaly skin.
  • Conjunctivitis: This is an inflammation in the lining of your teacup dog’s eyes caused by allergies, birth defects, injury, tumors, and others.
  • Gastritis: This condition manifests through anorexia and vomiting and can be diagnosed through abdominal x-rays and ultrasound.
  • Syringomyelia: When teacup dogs inherit this condition, their skull becomes too small for their brain which prevents the spinal fluid from flowing. As a result, pocket fluids are stocked in their spinal cord and they experience extreme pain.

RELATED:
The Actual Lifespan of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

7 Tips for Taking Care of Small Sized Dogs Like the Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Here you’ll find the best ways to take care of your teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or any small-sized dog. I know you’re grateful, but don’t mention it!

  1. These teacup pups have small tummies but fast metabolism so they need to eat every four to five hours.
  2. Buy them a playpen that they can consider as their safe space when they are not being supervised by anyone.
  3. Make sure that their playpen is set up in areas that are near air vents so they can get enough air.
  4. Let them take their naps because they really need it! Their small bodies can only do so much.
  5. Don’t let them run around the vet’s clinic because they may acquire certain diseases or viruses. Just tuck them in your arms.
  6. Keep them away from huge dogs or animals that can mistake them as prey.
  7. As much as possible, keep them away from children. Some kids may accidentally injure them since their bones are really fragile.

How Much Does a Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel costs around $2,000 to $14,000. They aren’t cheap despite their size, so I highly recommend that you carefully weigh the pros and cons of owning them before investing this large sum of money.

Also, you have to shed some cash for some essential items that they will be needing. Refer to the table below for the average cost of these potential expenses.

Type of ExpenseAverage Cost
High-Quality Dog Food$85
Leash and Collar$20
Food and Water Bowl$11
Chew Toys$23
Training Treats$25
Dog Crate$44
Dog Bed$40
Playpen$40
Brush$15
Shampoo$10
Urine Cleaner$25
Poop Scooper$20
Total$358

RELATED:
How Much Does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

Places to Find Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies for sale

There aren’t that many breeders who offer the teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel so your best option is to approach breeders of the standard-sized puppies.

Here are some breeders I can recommend:

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club – This club offers a list of professional breeders from every state which you can contact through phone or email if you are interested in a teacup puppy.
  • Cavalier Corral – This breeding facility is owned by a professional breeder and a dog trainer so if you would like to have your puppy trained as well, look no further. They are located in Rudolph, Ohio.
  • Blue Rose Cavaliers – This breeder is located in the Nebraska Panhandle and has been producing puppies since 2015. You can ask them to deliver your dog to your doorstep because they offer that kind of service, too.

If you are more interested in adopting, you made an awesome choice! Not only will you save a hefty amount of money, but you will also be able to give a neglected pup a new home.

  • Cavalier Rescue USA – This is a national organization dedicated to rehoming unwanted Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, including the teacup size.
  • Bliss Cavalier Rescue – This is a non-profit rescue that is run by experienced Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owners. They do phone interviews to assess if you are ready to adopt so give them a call.
  • Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue – This organization is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming English Toy Spaniels and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. You can fill out an application form on their website to start the adoption process.

RELATED:
17 Places to Find Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppies for Sale: From Best to Worst

Related Questions

How Many Sizes of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Are There?

As of today, there are only two sizes of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and they are the standard and teacup size.

Unfortunately, most kennel clubs do not recognize the latter because of the questionable breeding practices employed to produce them.

Do Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Bark a Lot?

Teacup King Charles Spaniels are docile dogs so they don’t really bark a lot. However, if you leave them for a long time, they may whine and bark excessively and even be destructive.

Are Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels High Maintenance?

Even though they are small, teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are fairly high maintenance due to their coat. They need to be brushed daily so the feathering on most parts of their body won’t get matted.

READ MORE:
How Much Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Shed?

Can Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Have Babies?

It is possible for teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to give birth, but it is extremely dangerous for them due to their size. The mother is at risk of many complications during birth, while the puppies may turn out blind or epileptic.

Final Thoughts: Is the Teacup King Charles Spaniel Right for You?

I bet by now, you have already decided as to whether this tiny puppy is fit for your lifestyle. Still, I want to remind you to tread carefully when finding and choosing a breeder because some of them are only after profit.

Teacup King Charles Spaniels are easy to love, but they may mercilessly break your heart with their tendency to be unhealthy.

Ensure that the breeder you have business with can provide you with a genetic analysis of the pup’s parents before you click that cash transfer button.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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