Teacup Chihuahua: 15 Things You Need to Know About

Teacup Chihuahua sitting in a cup_1

Dogs are undoubtedly people’s favorite pets, and they are available for anyone in various breeds and sizes. While some people adore big-sized dogs like the Great Dane, others love portable and pocket-sized super small dogs.

The Teacup Chihuahua, arguably the smallest dog in the world, is thriving more and more for a good decade now.

But we should know that not everything about this particular dog breed is what it seems, and potential owners must gear up for some of the consequences that come with owning a teacup Chihuahua.

If you’re considering getting a teacup Chihuahua for yourself and family but aren’t really sure if this little pooch is right for you, this guide will help you with the essential things you need to know.

Keep reading to learn about what makes this dog breed special and hopefully make an informed decision at the end of this article.

Let’s get started.

What Is a Teacup Chihuahua?

Teacup Chihuahua is a Chihuahua that is smaller than regular Chihuahuas in the litter. They are usually called runts – the smallest dogs in the litter. Although they’re sometimes referred to as a distinct or new type of Chihuahua breed, they’re actually real and not a new breed.

The term “Teacup” is used by breeders to describe any tiny Chihuahua. Apart from this, there are other names breeders use to describe these cute little dogs, they include:

  • Pocket-sized Chihuahua
  • Mini Chihuahua
  • Micro Chihuahua
  • Tiny Chihuahua
  • Miniature Chihuahua
  • Toy Chihuahua

However, many official breed organizations, including the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Chihuahua Club of America (CCA), condemn using these size-specific terms.

They find these terms misleading, and they fear it could trick unsuspecting buyers into spending more money than the actual price tags.

How Do Breeders Produce Such a Small Version of Chihuahua?

Chihuahuas are commonly known as the smallest dogs in the world. But we even have miniature Chihuahuas, and they usually come from the litter, which is typically made up of two to five puppies. People often call these smaller sized puppies “Runts.”

Breeders found a way to produce the tiniest Chihuahuas by breeding two runts together. As a result, more miniature dogs are produced and relabeled as teacup dogs in order to sell them for more money.

However, veterinarians find it unethical to continue to breed these smaller puppies because of their serious health issues. Not only that, but they are also very difficult to treat due to their extremely small size.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Healthy Dogs?

Unfortunately, breeding two runts together will not only produce a smaller dog but a weaker one.

The life expectancy of teacup Chihuahuas is 15 to 20 years, but their common health problems coupled with the effects of their breeding process aggravate their condition. Therefore, they need more trips to see the veterinarian for serious medical care.

Teacup Chihuahuas are prone to the following health issues:

  • Heart diseases such as pulmonic stenosis
  • Respiratory and congenital problems such as chronic bronchitis, collapsed trachea, and hydrocephalus
  • Bone fractures and skin infections
  • Eye infection or injury
  • Joint problems such as rheumatism, patellar luxation, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Epiphora
  • Epilepsy or seizures
  • Molera or cranial soft spot
  • Liver shunt
  • Diabetes
  • Eye diseases such as corneal eye disease
  • Urolithiasis

Tiny Chihuahuas are also very sensitive to low temperatures; thus, you’ll see them shaking during cold weather. You will need to get them clothes and blankets in order to keep them warm in the winter.

It’s very imperative to keep them from suffering during cold even if it means getting a higher electricity bill when you turn on your heater. If you don’t do this, you may end up spending more on treating complications of hypothermia.

Why Is Breeding Teacup Chihuahua Considered Controversial?

While some dog owners like their dogs to be very large, others prefer their pooches to fit inside a teacup. The trend of pint-sized pooches is now a thriving one, and we can largely hold fashion-forward celebrities responsible.

Even despite celebrities’ heavy influence on the popularity of these teacup dogs, not everyone agrees with the fact that “smaller is better,” including many veterinarians. Their strong stance on this is because they believe size really matters when it comes to dogs and their health.

That’s why breeding teacup Chihuahuas has been a constant controversial trend amongst dog owners, breeders, and veterinarians worldwide.

It’s pretty clear that many novice dog lovers do not know how teacup puppies are produced. If they really do, they would have a different perspective on this controversy.

In reality, these miniature Chihuahuas are purposely bred for their small size. As earlier explained above, breeders usually breed runts of litters to produce the tiniest pooches. Because of the health issues and birth defects associated with these dogs, veterinarians continually oppose breeders.

It’s clear that if the breeding of these dogs is not stopped, they will continue to pass on unhealthy genes.

Some dog experts, especially veterinarians, consider this to be unethical because of their experience treating teacup dogs every day. Moreover, they find it very difficult to treat them due to their super small size.

Teacup Chihuahua vs. Other Varieties of Chihuahua: What’s the Difference?

As we all know, the most visible difference between Teacup Chihuahuas and other varieties of Chihuahuas is their size. Other than this, we have a few other notable differences that will be discussed below.

Teacup Chihuahuas are discovered to be more sensitive than other varieties of Chihuahuas; therefore, they are not ideal for every family.

Apart from their higher sensitivity, they also have shorter tempers, so they are likely to have more aggression issues than standard Chihuahuas. As a result, they would have a hard time bonding with young kids and other pets in the house.

Furthermore, it requires more time and effort to take care of a Teacup Chihuahua than other varieties of Chihuahuas. This is mainly because of this dog’s unusual size, so you’re left with no choice than to assume extra responsibilities.

You’ll need to take them on frequent trips to the veterinarian as they may be at a higher risk of health issues.

What Does the Teacup Chihuahua Look Like?

Like the regular Chihuahua dogs, teacup Chihuahuas also have two distinct varieties: the smooth short-haired coats and the long-haired long coats.

Their coats come in different color combinations ranging from solid or splashed to marked. The most common coat colors of these miniature dogs are brown, fawn, black, red, cream, chocolate, tan, grey, and white.

Moreover, they can also have brindle markings, with different-colored spots, stripe, or streaks defined on the coat. Others possess sable fur, which appears differently on the tip of the hair.

Another division of their appearance is the shape of their heads. They also have two distinct types of head: Deer Head and Apple Head. The apple head is more common than the deer head as a result of their superior lineage.

The deer head type has a longer face similar to that of a young deer, with more space between both eyes. Conversely, the apple head tiny pooch has a round head with eyes nearer to the nose.

In spite of their head shape, their dark eyes are round and set above a short and jagged muzzle. There are also big and erect ears on top of their heads, which may turn floppy when relaxed.

Teacup Chihuahua Temperament: Does The Teacup Chihuahua Make a Good Family Dog?

Like the regular Chihuahua, the teacup Chihuahua can be a very good family pooch for families with older, politer, and gentle kids. They don’t really tolerate young kids, so they are better off with older ones.

These tiny dogs are so lively and adorable, and they make perfect companions for older families when properly socialized and trained.

However, if you’re looking to get a teacup Chihuahua, you should first consider your family and lifestyle before making a decision. One of the things you need to examine before committing to a teacup Chihuahua is whether your environment is right for this miniature dog or not.

Teacup Chihuahuas are adaptable miniature dogs who will thrive mostly indoors, especially home environments. Because of their small size, they are very difficult to housebreak. But you should make sure it’s done with patience and careful supervision.

Do you really want to know why these tiny puppies are not so good for families with infants or toddlers? It’s simply because small kids are more likely to handle them roughly.

Teacup Chihuahuas are fragile, so they’re at greater risk of breaking bones if they played with roughly or dropped easily. Since they are also short-tempered, less patient, and easily frightened, they tend to go aggressive towards innocent kids.

That’s why a teacup Chihuahua is ultimately ideal for a home with older and more respectful children as well as seniors, singles, or couples looking for a companion who loves to play a lot.

If you’re looking for a fun-loving and affectionate teacup dog, then you should get yourself a teacup Chihuahua.

Although they love to be the center of attention, they would eventually snuggle up to you all the time. They are very loyal and easily attached to their favorite person, especially their owners.

Like the regular ones, the teacup Chihuahuas are lively and confident dogs. You’ll often hear them barking whenever they feel threatened, excited, or when they just want to catch your attention.

If you are not really okay with this habit, you have to train and socialize your teacup Chihuahua at an early age.

Try as much as possible to socialize these little dogs even if it means taking them out and introducing them to new experiences. When you make sure that new experiences are positive, they become happier and more fun to be with.

It’s surprising that these super small dogs do not act like their size. They’re so alert, courageous, and protective. Whenever they sense any danger or threat, they bark to warn you with immediate alacrity.

Teacup Chihuahuas are so adorable, even when yapping.

How Many Colors Available for Teacup Chihuahua?

One of the most amazing things about teacup Chihuahua is that this tiny dog breed has a large variety of colors. There are quite a lot of Chihuahua colors, but the list of colors below highlights the common samples.

Fawn teacup Chihuahua
Fawn: Most times, this is the typical color one would often see in a teacup Chihuahua’s coat. Also, this color is fashionable. It’s the first that comes to mind of most people when talking of teacup Chihuahuas.
Photo from @zephyrchihuahua (IG)Opens in a new tab.
Sable fawn teacup Chihuahua
Sable Fawn: This is a variation of the fawn color. Sable fawn color is what you see when the pooch’s undercoat is lighter in color in comparison to the top layers of its hair. The sable color is blue, brown, black, and chocolate.
Photo from @princessssnala (IG)Opens in a new tab.
Cream teacup Chihuahua
Cream: If this color is not carefully observed, it might be mistaken for white in the observer’s eye. But sometimes we actually have white color markings on the cream-colored coat.
Photo from @puppy.bela (IG)Opens in a new tab.
Black and white teacup Chihuahua
Black and White: This teacup Chihuahua has only two colors, as the name suggests. Black is the main color, while the face, chest, and legs are all white.
Photo from @cola_teacup_chihuahua (IG)Opens in a new tab.
Black and tan teacup Chihuahua
Black and Tan: Apart from the dog’s cheeks, chest, legs, upper eye region, and the tail’s underside, the rest of the coat is all black.
Photo from @cappuccino_vs_the_world (IG)Opens in a new tab.
Fawn and white teacup Chihuahua
Fawn and White: The coat is full cream except for the head, neck, chest, and feet areas, which has white markings.
Photo from @sweetl3mon (IG)Opens in a new tab.
Blue and white teacup Chihuahua
Blue and White: The whole coat is mostly blue except the face, chest, and legs, which is in white color.
Photo from @thelittlestpetshop (IG)Opens in a new tab.
Chocolate and white teacup Chihuahua
Chocolate and White: The chocolate can be solid or mixed with white markings around the pooch’s face, chest, and legs.
Photo from @poppy_thechi (IG)Opens in a new tab.
Black and tan with white teacup Chihuahua
Black and Tan with White: The dog is blue throughout except for the face and the underside of the tail, which are white while the eyes, back, and legs are tan.
Photo from @chiwaweenie (IG)Opens in a new tab.

While the above colors are quite common amongst teacup Chihuahuas, we have some that may be very difficult to find. Lavender or lilac color is very rare to find in teacup Chihuahuas.

This is because it is very hard to breed and reproduce. It’s even possible not to get lavender puppies if you mate two lavender dogs.

The rarest color of all is the pure white teacup Chihuahua. A pure white Chihuahua breed will have no trace of black pigment to his skin. The only colored areas are the toenails and nose, which are black while the nose and eye are either beige or pink in color.

Size & Weight of Teacup Chihuahua

A teacup Chihuahua does not have a standardized measurement. But in specific terms, the height of the tiny pooch is between 6 to 9 inches. We also have some Chihuahuas, which are 12 to 15 inches tall, but it is arguable if they could be labeled as teacup Chihuahua.

The typical teacup Chihuahua weighs 3 to 6 pounds. Some Chihuahuas are smaller in size, but they may not be as strong and healthy as others.

According to the Guinness World Records database, the smallest dog in the world is female Chihuahua Miracle Milly. She measures 3.8 inches tall and weighs roughly 1 pound.

This means teacup Chihuahuas can be smaller in weight than expected. We can actually attribute this product to different breeding methods utilized by breeders today.

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Teacup Chihuahua?

A regular Chihuahua has an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years. It’s even possible for some Chihuahuas to live longer than 20 years if their health is good.

Unfortunately, as the Chihuahua size decreases, their lifespan is more likely to be less than average. Some people say size does not really matter, but it does in this case. If a teacup Chihuahua is bred from two runts, his lifespan maybe even shorter.

You may be wondering, “Is it possible to extend the lifespan of Chihuahuas?” Yes, you can actually extend their lifespan. But they will need extra care to live longer and healthier. You should take them on regular vet visits to keep their health issues in check.

Generally, most dogs have a short life expectancy, but when compared to a Chihuahua lifespan, the Chihuahua can have a long life.

How to Care for Your Teacup Chihuahua’s Basic Needs?

Before choosing to get a teacup Chihuahua, you should put certain factors into consideration. Well, most people choose teacup Chihuahuas only because of their size, and this should not be the case. Taking care of this tiny puppy can be more complicated than you can imagine.

Now, let’s take a look at some important elements in caring for a teacup Chihuahua.

Feeding

You have to be very careful when feeding your teacup Chihuahua because they’re quite sensitive to little things. He may be at risk of multiple health problems if you give him harmful foods.

You should never allow your pooch to ingest any chocolate or chewing gum, no matter how small it can be. Even a small amount of chocolate will be fatal. These tiny dogs are extremely susceptible to poisoning.

Teacup Chihuahuas need to be fed premium-quality food that is appropriate for small breeds. These types of food will cover your pooch’s nutritional needs and will be easily chewable.

Make sure you give your tiny dog a quarter-cup to a half-cup of dog food daily. These miniature dogs are also prone to obesity, so you shouldn’t go beyond their feeding limit. Also, decrease their carb intake to prevent obesity.

A growing teacup Chihuahua puppy will only need around 50 calories per pound of body weight. The number of calories should be reduced for adult miniature Chihuahuas to 40 calories per pound of body weight.

Teacup Chihuahuas face serious dental health problems as they suffer from crowding of their teeth, which aids decay. To help them improve this condition, you should constantly give your tiny pooch healthy diet and prevent him from taking sweet foods with a high carbohydrate or sugar content.

Grooming

Teacup Chihuahuas look best when they’re frequently groomed. They are light shedders, especially ones with smooth-coat. They shed twice in a year – mostly in the spring and during fall.

You should brush your dog’s coat twice in a month to keep his hair clean and shiny. If your teacup Chihuahua is a long-haired one, you need to brush them once in a week. But if you can still notice consistent shedding, you need to increase your brushing sessions’ frequency.

Ensure you bathe your smooth-coat pooch once a week. The long-haired ones also need two baths per week.

Chihuahuas are prone to suffering from dental problems due to their small mouths. So make sure you brush their teeth every day to keep them clean and pearly-white. Doing this will also help to reduce the risk of oral disease.

You also need to trim your pooch’s nails regularly in order to a greater experience when carrying him in your arms.

Exercise

Like the regular Chihuahuas, teacup Chihuahuas need very little exercise. Nevertheless, you should make sure your teacup Chihuahua gets 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day to keep him physically and mentally active. Keep in mind that regular exercise will help reduce the risk of obesity.

You can also take them on short walks and organize indoor games like treasure hunts. These tiny dogs love having so much fun, even in the sun. But you should supervise and watch over them strictly because their bones are very fragile and easy to break.

Make sure their environment is free of harmful things that can cause serious injury. Since they are not large dogs, the exercise needs to be tailored to meet their needs.

Training

Teacup Chihuahuas can be quite stubborn, but they’re devoted to their owners. They tend to enjoy the attention every training session brings.

These tiny pooches are alert, intelligent, and responsive to positive training methods. It’s important to establish yourself as the loving alpha of the pack from the outset.

Let them know you’re in charge because some have traits of aggressiveness. Don’t try to apply force or punish them; they don’t respond well to punishments.

Use a gentle approach by rewarding your pet with treats or praise when he responds well to training. Positive techniques will help him stay on good behavior. Nevertheless, you should avoid spoiling him as he can grow to be an adult with bad habits.

Teacup Chihuahuas are often house-trained because they are indoor dogs. Make sure to include potty-training in their training activities. Because of their small size, they have great difficulty holding onto wee and poo for longer periods. So they’ll definitely have toilet breaks frequently.

Training strong-willed dogs will be very difficult when they’re older, so start training your miniature pet from an early age. Try as much as possible to socialize your dog to prevent them from being aggressive towards strangers and other pets.

Wellness Visits

It is very imperative to take your little pooch on wellness visits regularly.

Because of their size, teacup Chihuahuas face a lot of health problems. So they might need to see the veterinarian every two weeks for proper medical examination.

However, don’t hesitate to wait for another wellness examination if you notice any strange signs or symptoms. Visit your vet immediately.

Be prepared to answer some questions the vet will ask you about your dog’s diet, habits, thirst, exercise, breathing, lifestyle, elimination patterns, and general health.

Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your dog. Then you’ll be given recommendations for specific preventive medicine treatments. Make sure you adhere to every advice and recommendations given to ensure your pet live healthier and longer. 

Your Love & Affection

Chihuahuas naturally like to be the center of attention. So you should give them the attention they seek. Show them love and affection. They can be quite jealous when other people or pets approach their favorite person, so you should treat them wisely.

If you have kids in your home, teach them to be nice and tolerant towards these little pooches.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Teacup Chihuahua

Teacup Chihuahuas are absolutely adorable and intelligent, but they are not perfect dogs. Many of their owners get them due to all loveable traits they hear about and see in them. But there are actually some potential problems in owning these tiny puppies.

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons to owning a teacup Chihuahua.

Pros of Having a Teacup Chihuahua as your pet:

  • Teacup Chihuahuas are very loyal and good watchdogs.
  • They are easy to groom.
  • They come in different coats and colors.
  • They don’t need much exercise.
  • Teacup Chis are so funny and entertaining.
  • They make great indoor dogs.
  • They are excellent travel companions due to their small size.
  • They tend to have a long lifespan.

Cons of Having a Teacup Chihuahua as your pet:

  • Teacup Chihuahuas have several health issues due to their small size.
  • They are physically fragile and prone to serious injury.
  • They may tend to bark a lot.
  • They can be territorial.
  • Teacup Chis do not cope in cold temperatures.
  • They can be jealous of other household pets.
  • They are difficult to housebreak.
  • Most teacup Chihuahuas are not appropriate for families with young kids because of their intolerant behavior.

Teacup Chihuahua Puppy Price & Expenses: Can You Afford a Teacup Chihuahua?

Let’s face it! Teacup Chihuahuas come at a high price, depending on the breeder. So if you’re looking to buy one, the price ranges from $1,200 to $5,000. However, the cost drops when you choose to adopt.

If you see a breeder selling a teacup Chihuahua for under $300, you should be very cautious as they could be trying to scam you. Make sure to find a reputable breeder so that you can get what you’re looking for.

Before buying this tiny puppy, you should consider other expenses, such as customized accessories. These accessories may include a customized collar, bed, carrier, and harness.

Where to Find Teacup Chihuahua Puppies for Sale?

You need to be careful when buying this breed because there are unethical breeders who care more about the money than a good and healthy puppy.

So I’ve come up with a list of reputable sources where you can find healthy and well-bred puppies.

Should You Adopt or Buy Your Teacup Chihuahua? Tips on How to Find a Healthy Teacup Chihuahua

You should be extra careful when getting a teacup Chihuahua as they’re already prone to so many health issues. It’s imperative to go through reputable sources and even trust them if you’re going to buy from them.

Some specific breeders and rescues specialize in teacup Chihuahuas, so there are chances you find the dog of your exact features from them.

Apart from saving money, there are other amazing benefits to adopting a dog from a rescue. You also get the chance to take home a pooch that’s already trained and socialized.

However, if you have decided to buy a teacup Chihuahua puppy from a breeder, you need to do a lot of research so that you don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Keep in mind that a responsible and reputable breeder will ensure their puppies are bred as healthy and possible with fewer health concerns. They should also be able to provide you with health certificates of the puppies’ parents, indicating that they’re genetically strong and healthy.

You can find teacup Chihuahuas for adoption in the websites below:

My Final Thoughts on Teacup Chihuahua

Teacup Chihuahuas are wonderful indoor pets, and they need an owner who can understand their nature. They are attention-seekers, so owners should keep this in mind in order to keep them in their best behavior.

If you’re going to get one of these breeds, make sure you pay close attention to their health issues. Maintain a good and healthy diet plan as recommended by your vet so they can live longer.

Truth be told, these beautiful pooches are one of the best companion dogs out there. If you show them love and affection, you’ll definitely get lots in return as they create a lively and funny atmosphere in your home.

Some Adorable Teacup Chihuahua Videos

References

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially 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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