Are Teacup Pugs Real? The Tiniest Canine Clowns Explained

Cute teacup Pug closeup

Pugs are humorous and great companions. Some even consider this breed as the most ideal house dog because they only need light playtime and are delightful at home. They are compact but muscular dogs with distinct wrinkled brows that give the illusion that they are human-like.

Since standard Pugs are already compact, is it possible that they get even tinier than their regular size? Can there be teacup Pugs?

As shocking as it may sound, teacup Pugs are real! But the big question is: Do they really fit in a teacup?

If you’re interested in knowing the answer to this and learning more about this tiny Pug variety, you came to the right place. This article will provide you with up to date information about these tiny clowns of the canine world.

Read on and find out whether they’re the right dog for you!

What Is a Teacup Pug? Do Teacup Pugs Really Exist?

Teacup Pugs are tiny versions of the already small Pug breed. They’re pretty much in high demand, but unfortunately, they are not officially recognized as purebred Pugs by any major dog breed clubs. Instead, they are described as a designer breed.

Typically described to weigh about three pounds, teacup Pugs are known to the world for their uniquely cute features and sweet nature.

Although enchanting, there are a lot of things that you need to know first before you attempt to contact a reputable breeder and purchase one.

The appearance, genetic makeup, lifespan, and all other information you may need to use as a guide to fully understand teacup Pugs will be discussed more below.

What Does the Teacup Pug Look Like?

Like every other normal Pug, teacup Pugs have distinctive features that nobody can miss even from a mile away. They have the same compact, mini-muscular, square frame, but just a lot tinier.

Their distinct short and flat facial features include their deep facial folds, large round heads, big dark eyes, and wrinkled brows.

Obviously, the name ‘teacup’ Pug roots from the fact that they only weigh around two to five pounds. Interestingly, teacup Pugs can also come in a variety of coat colors!

For Pug enthusiasts, it is common knowledge that the only purebred Pug colors recognized by different kennel clubs are black and fawn. These two colors are also exhibited by teacup puppies, but other shades and color combinations exist.

Here are the various coat colors you can choose from these tiny bundles of joy:

Fawn Teacup Pug

Fawn teacup Pugs are the most common and popular coat color among dog owners. Also, it’s usually the first shade that comes to mind when Pugs are being talked about. All teacup Pugs with fawn coats have a much visible black ‘mask’ on their flat muzzles.

Black Teacup Pug

Black teacup Pugs will either have a shiny jet-black color on their coat or a ‘mismark,’ which are white spots that can appear on their paws and chests.

This coat color has recently been getting more popular since they shed way less than fawn-colored ones due to having a single coat instead of the regular double-coat.

Brindle Teacup Pug

The Brindle coat pattern is described as an interlocking of dark and light colors. Although this coat can be very common among other dog breeds like Chihuahua, Pit Bull, and American Bulldog, brindle teacup Pugs are quite difficult to achieve.

This rare variety requires selective breeding and some of the brindle markings make teacup Pugs look more like a striped dog.

White Teacup Pug

White is the rarest coat a Pug can have, and this is probably because white is seen as a problematic color that comes with many health issues. Due to a lack of melanin in their bodies, they’re also referred to as the albino teacup Pugs.

Do these coat colors change over time? Yes! It’s normal for a teacup Pug to change coat color as they mature. The most common changes in their appearance as they go from pup to adulthood are:

  • Their mask and ears may darken into a more solid black;
  • Their coat may either remain the same, lighten, or darken;
  • Some non-black teacup Pugs may develop a ‘trace’ which is a line marking down their back that’s of a darker color than their regular coat;
  • Similar to other dogs, they can have dark blue eyes at birth that will darken into a brown tone by week seven. Their natural brown eyes can range from a medium to dark brown. Some may develop a rich brown color that they can almost appear as black eyes.

If you’re wondering whether these coats and other changes mentioned above can affect their behavior and personality traits, well, definitely not! Their behavioral quirks, personality, and high energy level won’t change or differ due to their appearances.

Regardless of how they look, teacup Pugs will have their own unique and charming traits.

Miniature Pug vs. Teacup Pug: What’s the Difference?

Are you confused between teacup Pugs and miniature Pugs? Most websites would use these words interchangeably, but are they right? Pug enthusiasts confuse the two as the same variety, but they are quite different from one another.

Let’s discuss this further by comparing their similarities and differences.

Miniature Pug

Miniature Pugs are created by crossing a Pug to a Chihuahua. It’s easy to tell whether your Pug is a miniature one or a teacup Pug because of their slightly thinner legs and longer snouts that resemble the Chihuahua’s traits.

This designer dog is called many names such as miniature Pugs, mini-Pug, Chug, Chi-Pug, and the Pughuahua. But you know what they’re not? They’re not teacup Pugs!

This toy dog, although smaller than a regular Pug, is heavier than teacups. When full-grown, they can stand at about 6 to 12 inches tall and weigh about 10 to 20 pounds. Their clownish trait can also be reduced to a certain level if they get more sassy traits from their Chihuahua parent.

Teacup Pug

Although not a separate breed recognized by any kennel clubs, teacup Pug is a hybrid mix of small Pugs. In fact, they’re either a mix of a regular Pug to a smaller sized-one or a mix between two runts of the litters.

Since they’re a cross between two Pugs, they will look vastly different from a miniature Pug since Chugs do inherit traits from their Chihuahua parent as well.

However, you have to be aware that Chugs can look so much like a teacup Pug at birth, so some breeders sell them saying that they are teacups.

Also, the average full-grown size of a teacup Pug can weigh only about two to five pounds due to its dwarf-like stature. Apart from their really tiny size, there’s not much of a difference between a standard-sized Pug to this runt-sized teacup Pug.

How Big Do Teacup Pugs Get When Fully Grown?

It’s true that teacup Pugs can fit comfortably in a teacup. They are visibly tinier at birth than regular-sized Pugs, and most will stay as dwarf-sized even when they reach their maturity.

In fact, fully-grown teacup Pugs can be as small as six inches tall and they weigh about three to five pounds. They are relatively smaller than regular-sized Pugs, weighing between 13 and 20 pounds and standing at about 10 to 14 inches.

The teacup Pugs weight classification is even smaller than that of any toy group dogs recognized by kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC).

So, how do teacup Pugs get this small? It’s all because of the dwarfism gene that keeps their small stature permanent.

History and Origin: Where Do Teacup Pugs Come From?

Pugs are actually a result of selective breeding; that’s why they have an extremely flat face. This feature contributes to the likelihood that they develop breathing difficulties and eye injuries. And just like standard Pugs, teacups also inherited this predisposition to some health issues.

As mentioned earlier, teacup Pugs are created from either breeding a standard-sized Pug to a smaller-sized one or breeding two runts of the litters together. This is the reason why most teacup Pugs have a genetic and hereditary condition called dwarfism.

Although teacup Pugs can naturally occur and are referred to as runts of the litter, it’s more common that they’re products of breed manipulation. This technique is highly discouraged among reputable breeders because everyone knows that it can be dangerous for any animal.

As for the exact year where they first existed, there are no documents that can prove or explain such. The hunch of many canine scholars is that they have been long existing naturally, but breeders only started purposefully producing them at the turn of the century.

Why Is Breeding Teacu­­­p Pugs Controversial?

Teacup Pug puppy eating goat milk

Although breeding a teacup-sized dog is slowly becoming a trend, it’s also considered controversial among canine circles due to the questionable breeding practices applied in producing them.

Breeding two undersized Pugs will greatly increase any chance of complications. For instance, there will be an extra risk for female Pugs when they whelp about a couple of puppies given their already small size.

Some unethical breeders are also facing issues of fraud due to producing mini-Pugs and labeling them as teacups. Although there’s nothing wrong with Chugs, they should be sold off the way they are.

There are also some teacups that are products of abusive breeding. This happens when breeders deliberately stunt a Pug puppy’s growth by starvation and other revolting methods.

Many animal rights groups are still fighting to eradicate this illegal business, but unfortunately, they are still thriving because many pet owners patronize them.

Are Teacup Pugs Recognized by Kennel Clubs?

No teacup variation of any breed is recognized and accepted by kennel clubs and other major dog breed clubs.

The smallest group of breeds that are officially recognized by kennel clubs such as the Kennel Club (KC), Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), and American Kennel Club (AKC) are the toy group, which the normal-sized Pug belongs to.

According to these kennel clubs, the Chihuahua is the tiniest dog breed that they recognize, weighing only six pounds. Teacup Pugs and other smaller variations are bred to weigh less than five pounds, so they don’t really qualify for their size requirements.

If you’re planning to enter a kennel club competition for small-sized dogs, your teacup Pug will surely get disqualified.

Remember that teacup Pugs were primarily created for the convenience they bring to their pet owners and are not meant to pass kennel clubs standards. Despite this, their sweet nature and good humor will not change.

Teacup Pug Temperament: Do They Make Good Family Pets?

Despite the teacup Pug’s numerous major health risks, what is it exactly that makes them in demand in the dog market? Simple. Their temperament.

Teacup Pugs really make good family pets. They’re perfect for families that live in small apartments since they obviously take up such an extremely small space. They also don’t need much exercise because they can get tired easily.

If you’re interested to see how it’s like to live and play with a teacup Pug, here’s a short video that you can watch:

Micro teacup pug for sale

Like all Pugs, they’re very playful, sweet-natured, loyal, and have great attitudes.

They can also be easily trained; however, it’s good to show them clearly who’s in control because they can also develop a guarding behavior on the things that they brand as theirs such as toys and food.

For overall temperament and behavior, they are very versatile and they can live easily anywhere. Also, note that their temperament can vary based on their sexuality, whether they’re a male or female Pug.

In any case, you can have a happy teacup Pug as long as you regularly feed them, engage them in exercise playtime, and give them enough love and attention.

Male vs. Female Pug: What’s The Difference?

Teacup Pug Lifespan and Health Issues: Are They Healthy Dogs?

As adorable as they may look, the size of a teacup Pug poses a major risk to their health. This is why their average lifespan is only between 6 to 10 years.

I would suggest that before you get yourself a teacup Pug, you get to know all of these possible health issues that can come with them:

  • Entropion: It is common for all Pug varieties to develop an inward rolling of the inner part of their lower eyelid. At worst, the damage to their corneas can lead to blindness.
  • Corneal Ulcers: This health condition can be very painful due to the deep corneal erosions, yet they’re not generally visible and may require special tests and equipment to get diagnosed.
  • Hyperthyroidism: One common symptom of this is their slowing metabolism that virtually impacts every other organ in their body. This causes slow heart rates, high blood cholesterol, and even gain fat deposits into the corneas of their eyes.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Although rare, teacup Pugs can still be prone to this genetic disease that involves an abnormal hip and joint socket.
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta: This brittle bone disease is common among Pugs, impairing their ability to create a collagen protein that is vital for their bone’s elasticity.
  • Patella Luxation: This is another size-related health problem that affects a teacup Pug’s ability to walk. If not treated, this makes them more prone to arthritis.
  • Pug Myelopathy: Unique to pugs, this spinal condition can gradually progress to paralysis of their rear limbs due to complex lesions.
  • Hypoglycemia: With poor blood sugar levels, hypoglycemia can be considered an underlying health issue for Pugs that can cause further medical problems to ensue.
  • Breathing Difficulties: Pugs naturally have breathing difficulties for having brachycephaly or ‘shortened head’ but respiratory problems can be worse for their teacup variation.
  • Skin Problems: Since they have deep folds and wrinkles around their face, it’s common that bacteria can grow from such moist environments. They also have trouble keeping themselves warm in cold areas.
  • Teeth Problems: Get your teacup Pug’s baby teeth removed by your vet because they tend to not fall out naturally. Due to their shortened jaws, their teeth can be overcrowded and cause your dog to develop dental and gum problems.

As you can see, teacup Pug comes with a long list of major health risks that can easily cost you thousands of dollars for medical bills. This is why you should be aware of these possible health issues before you decide to get one.

How Much Does a Teacup Pug Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses

Since more and more pet owners are interested in buying a teacup Pug, their prices can go over a whopping $4,000.

Again, since they’re in such high demand and difficult to breed, you must make sure you get an authentic teacup Pug puppy and not a Chug or any runt dog that is similarly advertised as ‘dwarf Pugs for sale.’

Keep in mind that most miniature Chugs can look more like a Pug at birth and will eventually show more of their Chihuahua physical traits as they mature. This is why it can be easy for any new buyer to get doped by illegal breeders.

As for other expenses, caring for a teacup Pug can actually cost you way less in the long run given their small stature.

For the first year, you need to save up about $700 for the initial costs including spaying, vaccination, an initial wellness check, and home set-up necessities. Other ongoing expenses like food, grooming, medications, and annual veterinary care can go up to $500.

However, you should also expect high veterinary bills that can cost you thousands of dollars if ever they catch any major health problem because their small size also makes it more difficult for vets to treat.

RELATED: How Much Does a Pug Cost? (2023 Price Guide)

Places to Find Teacup Pug Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Teacup Pug puppy yawning

It can be quite difficult to find reputable teacup Pug breeders, so here’s a list you can check out if you’re looking for one:

  • Sally Teacup Pug Puppies – This breeder prides themselves on providing interested clients with excellent 24/7 customer service and support. Their puppies come with a two to four-year health guarantee with their health record, veterinary well check sheet, sample dog food, chew bone, and full puppy care instructions.
  • Posh Pocket Pups – This is an online boutique that can deliver you true and high quality micro teacup pups. They also offer a one-year puppy health guarantee that ensures you either get a new teacup Pug or get a full refund if your teacup Pup develops any health problem in their first year of your care.

Aside from purchasing your puppy from reputable breeders that can cost you almost thousands of dollars, it’s also possible that you choose to adopt a teacup Pug from rescue shelters such as this one.

  • The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association – This association is run by volunteers who help rescue Pugs and teacup Pugs alike. There are times that they have available teacup Pugs that are up for adoption. It’s good that you try to reach them in case there’d be any availability in the future.

4 Tips for Caring for Small Sized Dogs Like the Teacup Pug

Small-sized dogs such as the teacup Pug can be both easy and difficult to care for. What does this mean?

Well, since they’re small, they wouldn’t really require much grooming and exercising, but their fragile stature makes caring for them also equally difficult for some teacup Pug owners.

Here are four tips that can teach you ways to care for your new small-sized dog like the teacup Pug:

  • Plan their fiber-rich diet. Teacup Pugs should be fed a diet that’s rich in fiber. Veggies, fruits, eggs, and chickens are the best options when choosing their food. Look for ingredients that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and contain Karo syrup, which is an ingredient that helps prevent low blood sugar.
  • 30-minute short walk daily. Ensure that you take your teacup Pug for daily 30-minute short walks, around six miles a week. Keep in mind that since they’re really small, they won’t be able to handle long walks, and properly harness them to keep them from running off and getting hurt unnecessarily.
  • Give them additional attention. Teacup doggies require more attention than their bigger counterparts. Spend more time playing with them and make sure that you give them enough love and attention by giving them treats or holding them closer to you more often.
  • If you have children, be cautious about the way your teacup is being handled. With their fragile nature, it can be quite difficult to care for them since they will require more attention than larger dogs. Children under eight years of age can also pose a big problem so be cautious of children when handling teacup Pugs as they can easily suffer from bone breakage.

Commonly Asked Questions

Teacup Pug puppy touching a woman's finger

Are Teacup Pugs Hypoallergenic?

No. Kennel clubs do not classify miniature Pugs and teacup Pugs as hypoallergenic.

However, their risk for allergic reaction can easily be reduced by making sure you’re on top of your teacup Pug’s grooming routine, like brushing him weekly and bathing them at least once every three months.

Do Teacup Pugs Shed?

Teacup Pugs shed heavily. As year-round shedders, they can leave pieces of their coat that can go anywhere from your clothes, floors, and other places they went to. This can be reduced by feeding them healthy foods and regular grooming.

Do Teacup Pugs Bark a Lot?

Another issue with teacup Pugs is their excessive barking, but you can train them to minimize this habit early on in their life.

This is not much of an issue though since they’re really small and their barks aren’t really that annoying. However, some owners may still find this behavior irritating.

Do Teacup Pugs Stay Small Forever?

Yes! At most, they can weigh up to five pounds. Teacup Pugs are bred to get this extreme trait of staying small forever even as they go through adulthood.

And since they’re extremely small, they will require owners to take extra caution especially around children who can easily injure them.

Final Thoughts: Is the Teacup Pug Right for You?

Teacup Pugs are real and they are too fragile for this world. Whether they’re the right dog for you is a very difficult question to answer.

For one, an animal rights activist won’t support this risky breeding of dwarf Pugs. They have such a long list of possible major health risks and caring for them can take a toll on you since they require much attention and eyeing. They can also get very expensive!

But if you’re still planning to get one, it would be good to make yourself familiar with how you should care for them and the other expenses that can come with them.

Also, only get a teacup Pug from a reputable breeder to ensure that they can live healthy during most of their lifespan.

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