There’s no doubt that you’ve seen Teacup Yorkies around. They’re a favorite among the celebrity elite and can often be seen hanging out in purses or tiny carriers. While they are, without a doubt, a product of the designer dog trend, these Teacup Yorkie pups have a lot more to offer than just adorable looks.
Teacup Yorkshire terriers are very lovable and surprisingly intelligent. They have unique personalities, making them a desired breed the world over.
That said, these dogs aren’t for everyone. With small stature comes big needs. If you’re interested in getting a Teacup Yorkie, it’s important to understand how they will fit into your life. Unlike larger breeds, these dogs are quite dependent on their owners.
The History of Teacup Yorkies
Before we get into the history of the Toy Yorkie, let’s take a look at where the Yorkshire Terrier breed as a whole came from. These dogs were first recorded in England. During the 18th century, breeders combined several bloodlines to create the Yorkshire Terrier. While there isn’t a ton of information about the exact breeding methods that resulted in the breed we know today, it’s believed that Maltese dogs, Skye Terriers, and Paisley Terriers played a role.
Back in those days, there weren’t any standards to unify the breed. That changed when Mary Ann Foster established those standards in the 1860s. Eventually, these dogs made their way across the pond and spread throughout the world. Originally, they were bred as working dogs. Their jobs varied quite a bit, but they were generally used to get rid of burrowing vermin.
The Birth of the Toy Breed
It’s not known exactly when these tiny Yorkies were first bred into existence. However, it’s generally agreed that they came to be sometime around the 1990s. This is when the designer dog breeding trend really took off. Many purebred canines were selectively bred to create tiny toy breeds. This includes the Poodle, the Chihuahua, and of course, the Yorkshire Terrier.
Recognition by Kennel Clubs
The Standard Yorkshire Terrier breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. However, the Teacup Yorkshire Terrier is not recognized by the AKC at all.
Types of Teacup Yorkie Puppies
Because there are no breed standards for Toy Yorkies, you will encounter a lot of variety among breeders. It’s always important to stick with reputable breeders. However, it’s paramount if you’re seeking teacup puppies.
Breeding Teacup Yorkshire Terrier puppies involves the practice of selective breeding. It’s a dangerous process. Mothers can only carry one or two pups per litter. Even still, she will need regular checkups with a vet to avoid complications. Teacup Yorkies are almost always born via cesarian section due to the risks involved with giving birth.
Unfortunately, the growing demand for these dogs has resulted in many unscrupulous breeding techniques. You need to stick with reputable and ethical breeders that will go the extra mile to ensure that both mother and pup are taken care of.
Teacup Yorkshire Terrier Temperament
Teacup Yorkies are fun dogs to care for. What they lack in size they make up for in personality. They are playful creatures who will show tons of affection towards their owners. You won’t have a problem getting these dogs to cuddle on your lap. However, they’ll also be just as happy exploring and chasing a ball around the house.
That said, they tend to be timid around other people and animals. While you can socialize early to avoid potential behavior problems, but you’re still going to have to deal with nervousness and anxiety. These dogs are very vulnerable and they are fully aware of that fact.
They don’t do well with other animals in the house and especially don’t like small children around. They are best for an adult owner or couple with no kids.
Toy Yorkies do suffer from “small dog syndrome.” They are notorious for barking at every little thing that they can. The same can be said for standard and miniature Yorkshire Terriers. However, it seems to be more prominent among teacup varieties. This behavior all stems from nervousness. Again, you can combat that with good socialization. However, eliminating triggers as much as possible is your best bet.
Training and Intelligence
Don’t let their general nervousness fool you. These are smart dogs! They were originally bred as working dogs, so they need regular mental stimulation to stay happy. Interactive toys and plenty of balls to chase can help keep them stimulated.
Thanks to their intelligence, they’re surprisingly easy to train. Small dogs have a reputation for being stubborn and difficult during the potty training phase. However, that doesn’t apply to Teacup Yorkies. They respond best to positive reinforcement and affection from their owners. Many owners also see success with clickers. Click trainers do double-duty. They can help with obedience training and tricks while also giving your dog some mental challenges to overcome.
Teacup Yorkie Characteristics
Toy dog breeds and micro Teacup Yorkies are known for being fashion accessories. That’s just the reality of the designer dog craze. Unfortunately, this has led to some questionable breeding methods. If you’re looking to get a true Teacup Yorkie, you need to pay close attention to their physical traits to make sure that you’re getting the real thing.
Size and Weight
So, how small is a Teacup Yorkie? Well, a full-grown pup will weigh 2 to 4 pounds! They stand tall at just 5 inches.
These pups are very small and can often fit in the palm of your hand. This does come with some health and safety concerns, which we’ll get into a bit later.
Aside from their small stature, Teacup Yorkies look the same as their larger counterparts. They have small lean bodies covered in thick fur. Their heads are relatively boxy and their snouts are shallow compared to other dog breeds. On the top of their head, they have perky ears that are always standing at attention. On their back end, they can have either long tails or short stubby ones. Typically, teacup varieties have longer tails that curl upwards.
Coat and Color
The coat is the most identifiable feature of a Yorkshire Terrier. For standard and toy varieties, the coat is predominantly black. Splashes of tan on the face, belly, legs, and ears create a very distinct pattern that you can’t miss. These dogs do have a rare recessive white gene. It results in a pale-colored pooch. This coloration is incredibly rare and often fetches a very high price tag for breeders.
The interesting thing about the Teacup Yorkie’s silky coat is that it grows pretty fast. These dogs can quickly get overwhelmed by their fur. It’ll grow past their eyes, over their toes, and become unmanageable. Thus, regular grooming appointments are a must.
A Toy Yorkie from a reputable breeder can live between 12 and 15 years. That said, these dogs do require some special care to stay healthy. They’re not the best option for novice dog owners. Those who attempt to raise a Teacup Yorkie without experience or knowledge often lose their dogs much sooner than they have to.
Potential Health Problems
Unfortunately, Teacup Yorkies are susceptible to a myriad of problems. Breeders will often prioritize looks over good health. They are designer dogs after all! Here are some of the most common health issues you need to be wary of.
The bones of a Toy Yorkie are very fragile. Thus, these pups can’t do a lot of the things that other dogs can. Activities, like running up and down stairs or jumping off a couch, can spell disaster. You have to stay vigilant about keeping them away from potential hazards. With their energetic attitudes and small size, broken bones are far too common with this breed.
Another common issue is patellar luxation. Their tiny kneecaps can develop incorrectly, making it easy to dislocate. This issue can lead to severe mobility issues and pain.
Yorkshire Terriers are notorious for developing dental problems. In addition to standard periodontal disease, they may not lose all of their baby teeth or encounter developmental issues. Most pups lose half their teeth at some point during their lives. It’s important to get regular checkups from your vet to ensure that you’re addressing dental issues as they come up.
Low Blood Sugar
Toy Yorkies need to eat regularly throughout the day. Otherwise, they can develop hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can cause serious health problems. This includes seizures and death.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Finally, these dogs are known to suffer from Progressive Retinal Atrophy. It’s an ocular condition that causes the tissue in their eyes to degrade over time. Eventually, the condition can lead to full blindness. There is no cure, but some vets will recommend vitamins and supplements to help delay the progression of the disease.
Feeding a Teacup Yorkie can be tricky. Not only do you need to find the right food, but you need to make sure that they are eating multiple times throughout the day.
When it comes to the type of food you provide, stick with something high quality. Some owners like to exclusively feed wet canned food. While wet food is great for dogs with existing dental problems, it’s not doing your Toy Yorkie any favors. Dry kibble helps to scrub the teeth, which can ultimately help prevent tooth decay.
A protein-rich food that’s specifically designed for small breeds is essential. The pieces need to be small enough for your dog to chew safely. These dogs can have sensitive stomachs, so avoid foods with unnecessary fillers or additives.
Teacup Yorkies should be fed approximately 400 calories a day. This usually amounts to a cup of dry kibble. Though, this depends on the calorie density of the food you choose.
These calories should be split up into many small meals. Teacup Yorkies need to eat every three to four hours to avoid low blood sugar issues.
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We recommend the toy breed dry dog food formula from Nutro. It’s specifically made for tiny dogs like the Teacup Yorkie. The pieces are very manageable. This recipe is also formulated to help with dental problems and skin issues. It has plenty of antioxidants and omega fatty acids. Plus, there’s a good amount of protein. 27 percent of the recipe is crude protein from chicken meat, which is a bit plus.
Teacup Yorkies don’t require a ton of exercise. Only 20 minutes a day will do. You can take your dog on walks and occasionally supplement with playful activities. Just be careful that your dog isn’t overdoing things and putting themselves at risk for injury.
When you walk your Toy Yorkie, use a harness rather than a collar. Excessive pressure on their throat could lead to a collapsed trachea. Always exercise caution and never pull on the leash too hard. The same goes for rough play. These are delicate dogs! So, keep things light.
Grooming a Teacup Yorkie
Proper grooming is essential with a Teacup Yorkie. As we mentioned earlier, their coats can grow quite long. The fur can extend past their eyes, making it difficult to see. That can be solved with a light trimming every few weeks.
Regular brushing is also important. Brushing will help to keep mats and tangles at bay. Not only that, but brushing helps to bring out the shine in their silky coats.
As with all dogs, ear cleanings and nail clipping should be done. Be careful with these tasks, as the improper technique could cause injury. You can go to a licensed groomer or veterinarian for help if you’re not confident with your skills.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do Teacup Yorkies cost?
These designer dogs can cost between $800 and $10,000. That’s a pretty big price range! The exact price that breeders will charge largely depends on local availability and pedigree. In most areas, adopting one of these pups will usually set you back between $1,200 and $1,500.
Are Teacup Yorkies good with kids?
Teacup Yorkies are not good with kids. They are far too nervous to deal with the boisterous personalities of children. Furthermore, their delicate bodies make them prone to injuries.
Do Teacup Yorkies make good family dogs?
Teacup Yorkies don’t do well with large families and a lot of kids. However, they can thrive in households with only adults.
Are Teacup Yorkies hypoallergenic?
Contrary to popular belief, these little dogs aren’t hypoallergenic. They don’t release as much dander as some other breeds, but they still do have allergens.
Do Teacup Yorkies shed?
Toy Yorkies shed. However, it’s minimal. Usually, shedding only occurs around grooming and bathing time.
How big do Teacup Yorkies get?
Most Teacup Yorkies only get to be about 5 inches tall. They are very light, weighing between 2 and 4 pounds.
Teacup Yorkies are so much more than a designer fashion accessory. They’re sweet and lovable dogs that make wonderful companions for adults. With their special care requirements, you must consider your home and lifestyle before adopting a Teacup Yorkie. They’re very prone to injury and illness. But if you’re willing to accommodate them, your new puppy will bring you years of joy.