There are a few teacup dog breeds out there that are known for being tiny. There’s the Teacup Yorkie, The Teacup Poodle and the Teacup Maltese. But at less than six inches in height and less than 3 lbs in weight, the Teacup Chihuahua is one of the smallest breeds out there! Created by breeding the smallest Chihuahuas from each standard sized litter, the Teacup Chihuahua has the same sassy and entertaining personality as their cousins. These pups can make the perfect travel companion and have low care needs so are great for first time owners.
A super popular breed that will keep you on your toes, read on below to find out everything you need to about this tiny dog and whether they might be the right addition to your home!
History Of The Teacup Chihuahua
An excellent companion that can fit right into your handbag, the Teacup Chihuahua is the perfect dog for many. Thanks to the standard Chihuahua’s favorability in the media and with celebrities, it is no wonder that the breed is constantly gaining popularity.
The Teacup Chihuahua is not a separate breed to the standard Chihuahua and therefore they have the exact same history. The standard was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904 and are also recognized as the first official dog by the Chihuahua Club of America. Currently, they rank 33rd out of the 193 recognized dog breeds.
The Teacup is not officially recognized by any Kennel Club as an independent breed and is just a name used by breeders to describe a micro or mini sized Chihuahua. As we mentioned above, these dogs are bred by selectively breeding the smallest pup from a Chihuahua litter.
It is thought that the Chihuahua descended from the Techichi breed in the 9th century. This breed had strong ties to the Mayans from central America, with the Mayans believing that the Techichi breed were guardians of the afterlife.
The Chihuahua dog as we know it today didn’t appear until around 1850 in Mexico. The breed is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua. These dogs came to the United States in around 1884.
Characteristics Of The Teacup Chihuahua
Teacup Chihuahua puppies are normally born in litter sizes of between one and three pups. Due to their tiny size, they are often born by caesarian section by a veterinarian. These Teacup dogs can be quite expensive and can range in price from $500 to $2,000. Because of their popularity, you should always check you are buying from a reputable breeder.
The Teacup Chihuahua looks exactly like the Standard Chihuahua, expect for their tiny size! These dogs weigh less than 3 lbs and stand less than 6 inches tall, yet they still have all the cute features of a Chihuahua, including the apple head and big eyes. Their ears are large and sit on top of their head erect.
The Teacup Chihuahua can have one of two coats — a long coat or a short coat. The short coat is the original coat of the Chihuahua breed and the longer coat was introduced later on, possibly after the Chihuahua crossbred with other small long haired dogs.
Short coated Chihuahuas have a smooth and shiny coat that is easy to maintain, while long coated Chihuahuas have wavy to straight hair that can be a little more difficult to maintain. We will go into more detail about grooming later on.
The Chihuahua coat is a single coat which means this dog can feel the cold. This is especially true of the Teacup because they are so tiny. They will often shiver, so this is something to think about if you live in a cold climate!
Just like the standard size Chihuahua, the Toy Chihuahua can come in a range of different colors. This includes black, chocolate, sable, white, gold, tan, fawn, red, brown, cream, merle and silver. These coats can either be a single color or they may have lots of different markings.
The Teacup Chihuahua has the same personality as the standard sized version. They are pup that loves their people and loves their attention! These lapdogs will be happiest when they are by your side and really don’t like to be left alone. They can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for too long, so if you are regularly out for many hours at a time then you may want to reconsider getting one of these pups. Luckily, these tiny dogs are small enough to fit in your purse so they can also travel with you!
Chihuahuas are a fun-loving breed that do like to play. They can be feisty at times, which is normally due to their possessiveness and protectiveness over their owners and their belongings. With training and socialization from a young age, however, this can be fixed.
Thanks to their small size, they can also sometimes come across as a little aggressive. However, they’re not really aggressive and do not have a prey drive. They just want to protect themselves, especially against larger dogs! Again, with the right socialization this can be trained out of them.
Unfortunately, the Teacup Chihuahua doesn’t have as long a life expectancy as the standard Chihuahua. While a standard can live up to 18 years, the Teacup lives on average between 7 and 12 years.
Known Health Issues
Although normally a healthy breed with a relatively long life expectancy, the Teacup Chihuahua is prone to the same health problems that other sizes of Chihuahua are prone to.
- Patellar Luxation — this is a common condition in smaller dogs and is caused when the patella is not properly aligned. This can cause lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait, sort of like a skip or a hop.
- Hypoglycaemia — this is low blood sugar. To help combat this, you should feed your Chihuahua a few times a day to help keep their blood sugar levels up.
- Heart Disease — this is something that the Teacup is very prone to. Ensuring they get enough exercise and don’t become obese can help to prevent heart disease.
- Corneal Dystrophy — this is the development of a clear film on the eyelid which may eventually lead to vision impairment. It can be treated with eye drops, antibiotics or even eye surgery.
- Cold Weather — thanks to their tiny bodies, they can be very susceptible to the cold. Make sure they have a sweater to wear if you live in a cooler climate.
Regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog will ensure you can catch any of these issues before they become untreatable.
Remember — buy from a reputable breeder and the chances your dog will suffer any health conditions will be greatly reduced.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Teacup Chihuahua dog, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these dogs on a day to day basis is really like. Fortunately, they have low care needs and are great for first time dog owners! Below we will cover their food and diet, their exercise requirements and their grooming needs.
Food And Diet
Dogs the size of the Toy Chihuahua require around 40 calories of food a day per pound of body weight. This is roughly around 150 calories of food a day, which equates to around 1 cup of food. Of course, you should always check the back of the food packet to see how much of a certain food you should be feeding your pup based on their weight.
Always ensure you are feeding your Teacup a food that meets all their nutritional requirements. We also recommended feeding them a kibble that is especially formulated for small or toy dog breeds.
The Chihuahua can be known to gain weight easily so make sure you do not overfeed them and keep the treats to a minimum. It is best to split their food into at least two meals a day also, to help combat hypoglycaemia.
Best Dog Food For The Teacup ChihuahuaBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend this dry dog food from Nutro for your Teacup Chihuahua. This food is specially formulated for small and Toy breeds and the kibble pieces are small so your dog can easily chew and swallow them.
There are a range of proteins in this food too, including chicken, lamb and salmon, that ensure your dog keeps strong and lean muscles way into their adult years. Added fruits and vegetables also gives your pup a shiny and healthy coat and aid digestion. Even better, this food doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
The Teacup Chihuahua is an active breed with high energy levels despite their small size. However, due to their size, this energy can be misleading and they can often end up overexerting themselves and tiring themselves out! For this reason, you should try to exercise them for only around 20 minutes a day. Any more than this and it can be unhealthy for their bodies.
The Chihuahua is a playful breed and you should definitely give them some toys to keep them entertained. Playing with them is also a great way to bond with them and show them that you love them. Plus, they love the attention!
Due to their love of attention, the Teacup Chihuahua can make a great family member and the perfect companion dog. However, despite loving their owners and wanting to be with them at all times, they do not like strangers. They can become yappy and begin barking as they may feel threatened, which is why socialization is important from a young age. This can make them a great guard dog or watchdog though!
These tiny dogs can also be very wary of other animals, especially other dogs. This is normally due to their size and is because they will feel threatened, which is understandable! Again, socialization is imperative so they learn how to act around other pets.
Despite this, the Teacup Chihuahua is great with children! You will need to supervise small children with this teacup breed because these dogs are delicate thanks to their small size, but they love to play and will want to join in all the fun.
Chihuahua’s do not need a lot of space and are therefore excellent for those who live in small apartments or smaller homes. They also don’t have high exercise needs, so a large yard is not necessary. Thanks to their low care needs, the Chihuahua is often recommended as a first dog for families and they will be happy as long as you can dedicate time to them for training and lots of time for attention!
Both the Chihuahua and the Teacup Chihuahua, as we’ve mentioned above, can be a little stubborn and so patience and perseverance from you is very important when training these dogs. These small dogs respond best to reward based training and positive reinforcement training. This includes verbal praise as well as treats. You should never get angry or annoyed with your Teacup Chihuahua because this will make them not want to learn.
Socialization is very important for the Teacup Chihuahua because these dogs can be very wary of strangers and other animals, particularly due to their size. Very protective, the Teacup can feel threatened by others and may turning to barking to express this.
This doesn’t mean that the Chihuahua can’t get on with other pets, but they will need to be introduced properly because otherwise they can try to assert their dominance over other dogs.
Introduce your Teacup Chihuahua to different sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals in a safe and controlled way to ensure they learn there is nothing to be afraid of. This will help them to develop into well-rounded and good mannered pups!
The Teacup Chihuahua does not have high grooming needs, and will slightly depend on their coat. Long-coated pups will need to be groomed more often that the shorthaired Chihuahua, but this still only needs to be between two to three times a week. If you don’t brush your long-haired Chihuahua often enough then their fur can become matted and tangled and trap dirt.
You can bathe your Teacup Chihuahua every 1 to 2 months. Make sure you only use a dog shampoo so their skin does not become irritated. You should also try to stay on top of clipping their nails and you should regularly brush their teeth. This can help with dental decay and disease.
Teacup Chihuahua FAQ’s
Are Chihuahuas good with children?
Chihuahuas are great with children and can make an excellent family pet! These dogs love humans, both adults and children, so this should not be an issue. They are also an energetic dog and can therefore make the perfect playmate for kids!
Thanks to their small size, the Chihuahua is a delicate breed and therefore very small children should be supervised around these tiny dogs. They may end up hurting them without meaning to!
How much does a Teacup Chihuahua cost?
A Teacup Chihuahua can set you back between $500 and $2,000, although it can be more. This price is normally due to the difficulty many breeders have with breeding them, along with their popularity.
You should always check that you are buying from a responsible breeder who can show you health clearances for both parent breeds. Unfortunately, with Teacup Chihuahuas being so popular, it is not uncommon to find irresponsible breeders or puppy mills.
If buying is out of your price range or you would prefer to adopt, you should always check your local shelter. Again, due to their popularity, Teacup Chihuahuas are often found in rescue centers so you may find one that is looking for their forever home!
Bred from the smallest Chihuahuas in a littler, the Teacup Chihuahua is an adorable breed of dog that is small enough to fit in your purse. Perfect for those who don’t have a lot of space, these little dogs still have an excellent personality and will keep you entertained! With low care needs, the Teacup Chihuahua is a great first pet for those with no previous experience with a dog.
Although these dogs need lots of attention and do not like to be left alone and also require socialization and training from a young age, as long as you’ve got lots of love to give and time to spend with them they can be the perfect pup. What do you think — is a Teacup Chihuahua for you?