I love teacup breeds and enjoy educating others about these dogs.
What Is a Teacup Dog?
There are many differing opinions on the subject, some of which are completely opposite of each other, but the general idea is that a teacup dog is a dog which is small enough that, at birth, can fit into the interior of a teacup. So, in other words, a really, really small dog.
The different opinions on the matter are ones that state that teacup dogs in fact don't even exist; they are instead just a different name for the already established miniature dogs, toy dogs, and pocket-size dogs. It is believed that the name teacup dogs is just a marketing ploy to sell more of the toy dogs, which have recently started to become unpopular.
In earlier centuries, toy dogs were seen as a status symbols. The average temperature of a toy dog, or teacup dog for that matter, is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so many kings and lords would have these tiny dogs as a means to stay warm in the winter. And, of course, they were expensive.
The truth is that it's half and half. Half of the teacup dogs you see advertised today are just normal toy dogs or, in some cases, a runt version of the normal breed. The other half, however, are actually teacup dogs. So how do you know the difference?
You just need to have the right information.
Yes, teacup Beagles are a breed of teacup dog, albeit they are a tad controversial. But they do exist; you can, if you really want to, get a mini Beagle walking around your house. You should, however, know a few things about them first.
1. Breeding. Teacup Beagles are bred in two unique ways.
- The first technique is called Inbreeding, or inbreeding continuously. What this means is that runts of two litters of Beagles will be bred together in hopes that their litter will be much smaller; then this process will be repeated with the new litter and so on and so on, until a litter with 'teacup' Beagles exists. The major downfall with this technique is health issues—by breeding the runts, the unhealthiest and weakest puppies of the litter, you are going against nature itself. The chances of passing down bad traits is much higher with inbreeding.
- The second technique isn't as common and is harder to pull off. It is called cross breeding and it is when you take a beagle and cross breed it with a much smaller dog; for example if you bred a beagle with a Pomeranian, you are likely to have a litter that is much smaller than a beagle but bigger than a Pomeranian. This is more of a science and isn't as sure of a process as inbreeding, although it has been found that, if successful, there are much fewer health problems.
- Beagles will eat a lot. Be wary of what kind of food you have laying around the house.
- Love to walk; need a lot of exercise.
- Don't like cats (what dog does?)
- Difficult to house train, but if trained properly, they are amazing pets.
Teacup Boston Terrier
The teacup Boston Terrier also exists as a teacup dog breed. It is bred the same way the teacup Beagle is bred—which was mentioned above. They are usually a smaller teacup dog than the Beagle, as well as a much healthier and longer-lived dog. This unusual strength and durability makes them one of the most popular teacup dogs.
- Very intelligent.
- May become very stubborn if not trained at an early age.
- They are a very malleable dog; train them and they can be whatever you want them to be. Guard dog, solitary companion, it's all possible.
- If not housebroken properly, they may develop what is called the Napoleon Complex. This entails that they may think they are bigger then they actually are, resulting in some unnecessary fights.
- Tend to bark at anything.
Remember what I was saying earlier about the differing opinions on if teacup dogs exist? Well here is a prime example of where that line is drawn. The Maltese is a very, very small dog; it falls under the toy breed that only a few dogs exhibit. It doesn't ever reach a weight of over 10 pounds, and it's rarely taller than your ankles. It is naturally more prone to health problems than other dogs; it's life expectancy is actually a few years less than average.
What is a teacup dog again?
You can call the Maltese breed anything you'd like, but the truth is they are both a teacup dog and a toy dog. The name is interchangeable; if you want a really small dog to keep you company, a dog that won't shed as much as normal dogs, but a dog that is likley to be more prone to health problems, then the teacup or toy Maltese is for you.
- Very playful.
- A very teachable dog.
- Like to please their master.
- A very trusting dog that will never run away.
- May bark excessively if not trained properly.
- Need a lot of socialization.
- A spirited animal.
The teacup Pomeranian is just like the teacup Maltese in that there is gray area in how you want to classify them. A Pomeranian, like the Maltese, is already a very small dog. It's physical specifications—if you want to call them that—fall right under what a teacup dog would be. They are very small, not very tall, and very light dogs. They, in fact, have many of the same traits a teacup dog usually has.
The big difference between a teacup Pomeranian and other teacup dogs is that they don't require any special breeding, like, say, the teacup Beagle and teacup Boston Terrier. They are bred naturally small; or, you could say, they are a naturally bred teacup dog.
- Are eager to learn at an early age.
- Need to train carefully; may develop bad habits.
- Are very attentive to their surroundings.
- Be stern and strict when training them.
- Need a lot of grooming.
Other Teacup Dogs
Do your teacup dogs exist? Are they a marketing ploy? The answer is up to you. The truth of the matter is that some teacup dogs that are advertised will in fact not be a teacup dog. This doesn't mean the dog isn't small, or has all the teacup dog specifications. It just means it's a toy or miniature dog, and not some new breed that has just come out of the woodwork.
Let me phrase that better. Perhaps it's better to think of teacup dogs this way. Teacup dogs are dogs that have existed for hundreds of years, sometimes by a different name, but they have always been the same physical being.
Some other teacup dogs are:
Carrie Cederholm on December 18, 2018:
Very bad article. Extreme traits are the result of inbreeding which results in poor quality examples of the breeds.
The AKC does not recognize "tea cup" breeds for that very reason.
Anna on February 26, 2013:
I want A teacup
kelly on January 05, 2013:
my friend got a tea cup yourkie and a normal yorkie the teacup one grew bigger !!!!
Jazzi480 on January 27, 2011:
Teacup is not a reconized size in ANY breed standard. Undersized dogs should never be bred. Breeding undersized toy breeds is dangerous for the dam and the puppies. Runts have many health issues if they even survive, hypoglycemia,unable to regulate body temperature just to name a couple. If you are looking for a toy breed then talk to a reputable toy breeder. Someone selling "teacup" is only looking to take your money and not trying to produce healthy, happy puppies nor are they operating in the best interest of the dam or the breed! There are many Toy breeds out there so do your homework and purchase a healthy puppy from someone that breeds to improve the quality of their chosen breed!
Lucy A. Green Ables on January 26, 2011:
I have a friend who wants a teacup Maltese. I told her they have dwarfism and have mny sicknesses but nothing can change her mind ;( please give me more facts about teacups so I can convince her!!!! Thanks
Marliza on January 25, 2011:
There are no such thing as tea cup dogs, I know this because I am a professional vet in California. Most breeders do this to their dogs, the breeder puts chemicals and make the girl dog starve so she becomes so thin and small, then they put this medicine (drug) so they could produce puppies in an early age so they become so tiny. The teacup newborn holds many viruses, and may die in just 2. Months of life, I recommend you people who want teacups do not get one, you could just get a standard. Thanks for reading
sactodawg on November 20, 2010:
Do your research people. Most, and I do mean MOST, people breeding dogs are unscrupulous.
If you wish to choose a companion, Rescue is ALWAYS the best option. Give a pup a chance. However, if you are deadset on a specific type of dog, research it very thoroughly.
Inbreeding, or Line Breeding, is DANGEROUS. Even an uncle a generation up can have an effect on immunity and genetics. Just take a look at how much cancer we have in our pets now. Do not take a chance on making that worse. You will hear how knowledgable these people are, and how safe these breeding practices are, but they ARE NOT!
Teacups are bred from the smallest of litters, unless the dog is the correct weight and size for the breed such as teacup poodles. Sometimes, not all times, SOMETIMES breeding the runts, places more health and genetic problems back into the line. BAD,, ALL BAD! And just for profit.
Don't be Fooled.
alexandruv on November 19, 2010:
Wow, interesting article. I had no idea about this teacup naming :) Cool.
Tirzah Laughs from USA on October 22, 2010:
I think it's more the continuation of the word 'teacup' as a designation. There is no such thing as a teacup breed of anything. A so-called teacup is usually a runt or a runt bred from two runts to be of an unusually small size.
Most dislike the use of the word teacup because it implies these are separate from the regular miniatures. Then breeders charge more for a dog that is undersized or on the smallest end of the size chart. No professional breeder of yorkies or Chi's would call them teacups because no such thing exists. It is either a yorkie or it isn't one.
vanchen (author) from British Columbia on September 22, 2010:
That was the point I was trying to make about he pomeranian, yorkie and the other small dogs - they are already small enough to be considered teacup size.
Whitney from Georgia on September 22, 2010:
There's no such thing as a teacup yorkie, chihuahua, shih tzu, or pomeranian.
These breeds average between 2-10 pounds, so a 2 pound yorkie is an average regular ole yorkie. a half pound yorkie would be considered a teacup, and that just doesn't exist. When breed standards range so low, there's just not such thing as teacup.
The term teacup is applied to dogs by backyard breeders so that they can jack up the price of their puppies.
By the way, the average dog temperature no matter 'teacup' or not is between 100.5 to 102.5. So a 'teacup' anything isn't going to do any different than a regular dog of any size- small or large.
Also, keep in mind that, it's not the information that you've provided that will help determine whether a dog is a 'teacup' but information on the breed that it's supposed to be a miniature of. Knowing the breed's standards will help determine a smaller breed, but even still runts and 'teacups'
can't really be differentiated as they're the same thing.
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How to care for Teacup dogs
When you bring home your new Teacup puppy, there is a huge amount of work that you must do in order to properly care for your new pet. Unfortunately, there are some people who think that owning a Teacup dog is simply an easy task.
They think that it will be as easy as feeding them, giving them water and providing them with their daily routine. However, there are a few things that you must learn in order to properly care for your Teacup puppy.
The first thing that you must do when caring for your Teacup puppy is to keep them warm. As a small dog, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to being cold.
This is because their body does not have the ability to produce sweat in the same way that larger dogs do.
Therefore, you need to make sure that you take your Teacup puppy outside on a regular basis to allow them to go outside and get some sunshine.
Teacup Puppies Need to Stay Hydrated Always
You need to maintain Teacup puppies well-hydrated. Water is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle for Teacups. You should always provide them with clean fresh water, so that they can drink as much as they need to stay healthy.
If you don’t supply them with enough water, they could develop kidney problems or other health conditions.
Play with Your Teacup Puppy
The third thing that you should do is to play with your Teacup puppy on a regular basis. This is especially helpful if you are traveling. Not only will this keep them happy during your trip, but it will also help to keep them active.
There is no better way to keep them healthy than by having them play with you on a daily basis. They will be happy and be able to be socialized with other dogs once you introduce them to some of your family members.
Maintain a Proper Diet
Another tip on how to care for Teacup puppies is by maintaining a good diet for your little pup. The food you provide to your pup should consist of high-quality meat, vegetables and fruits. By providing your dog with high quality foods, they will grow strong and healthy.
Regular Grooming is Required
The last tip in caring for your Teacup puppy is by grooming them regularly. If you wait to groom them, they will get stressed out and this could cause behavioral problems.
Always make sure that you are able to find the time in your schedule to groom your dog because it is beneficial for both of you.
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Best Small Dogs For Kids
Kids love a dog that has a friendly, comical as well as a happy-go-lucky personality. The Beagle has those traits and is one family dog breeds for kids. Another beautiful thing about this canine is that its short coat is easy to groom, and children (with guidance) can do the grooming with ease. Due to its pack animal instincts, the Beagle will get along with kids, hence making it one of the favorite canines for kids.
The dog has a remarkable nose that possesses a fantastic sense of smell, and this trait makes the Beagle a good hunting dog. Even as a pet, the Beagle is one of the best dog breeds that can hunt and track game such as rabbits. The dog has an even temper and gentle disposition, making it a poor guard dog. Nonetheless, the breed is an excellent pet companion for kids and families.
#2. Yorkshire Terrier
This breed is one of the world’s most glamorous small dogs, and you can see them as a pet to celebrities. The dog is an attention-getter due to its cute looks, perky topknot, and coat that is long as well as silky. The combination of being a small size canine and adventurous spirit is one of the things that endear people to these little dogs. The Yorkshire Terrier’s personality has many facets. Sometimes the dog can be self-assured and smart it can be perky, outgoing, mischievous, adventurous, and affectionate.
Like some the small to medium dog breeds, their personality is influenced by its bloodline. From the dog’s Terrier heritage, it will bark at strangers for being suspicious. The breed acts aggressively against strange dogs and other animals. Finally, this canine tends to yap a lot loudly. Training will moderate the yapping. Spending time and attention to this dog is a must since it cannot stand being alone.
#3. Boston Terrier
People dub this dog as the “American Gentleman” and are one of the best dog breeds for families with kids. The canine’s original purpose is to be a pet companion, a role that even today still fulfills and excel. The Boston Terrier is a gentle pet, yet can be silly and a friendly animal. This canine is brilliant and easy to train. Training is a necessity for the canine to curb its rambunctious antics that often go too far.
Like most dogs, the Beagle has an active mind and a playful demeanor. The breed also likes to stay by their owners’ side whether they are an adult or child. Grooming the dog is easy, making it one of the ideal small canines for families with a busy lifestyle. Finally, the Boston Terrier needs indoor and outdoor physical exercises along with mental stimulation. The dog is a suitable playmate for children, but younger kids need supervision during playtime.
#4. Shih Tzu
Some small to medium dog breeds originally bred to be pet companions of nobles and rulers. The Shih Tzu is one example of these breeds. Today they are the best small family dogs for kids of any social standing. The Shih Tzu is a dog that likes to play and run a lot. Sometimes it can be calm, gentle, and relatively in their demeanor. Exercises for the canine are minimal, though training this breed can be hard work due to the breed’s stubborn nature.
Small dog breeds can easily get hurt the Shih Tzu, on the other hand, is sturdier. The dog is famous due to its non-allergenic coat of hair. If your child has an allergy to dog hair, then the Shih Tzu is an excellent alternative dog pet for them. Due to the canine’s long hair, it needs lots of grooming. An alternative to the long hair problem is to trim the dog’s coat for easy grooming.
#5. Bichon Frise
The best pets for kids are usually those that want attention from their owners, and Bichon Frise is one example. They are one of the most child-friendly dog breeds with their affectionate, playful, and gentle manner. The dog is also hypoallergenic, meaning that the canine doesn’t shed despite its thick coat. People who suffer from an allergy can have them as a pet since it will not agitate their condition. The coat’s thickness requires some regular grooming to keep it clean and tidy.
The dog is an intelligent pet, and training is easy and fun, but bear in mind that the canine’s feelings are sensitive. These doggies will respond to positive training methods, along with lots of encouragement. Avoid harsh punishments for the dog if it fails, but instead, encourage it to do better next time.
Poodles are some of the best pets for children. They have a playful nature, eagerness to please their families and fondness for humans. The canine is one best dog breeds that have a keen intelligence, unlike other dog breeds. As a result, training the dog is easy and fun. A Poodle will excel at performance sports like hunt tests, obedience, and agility. Your kids can bond with a Poodle over performance sports. Training is also necessary to curb the dog’s tendency to take the part of the alpha dog, making it a bossy pet, as well as instilling good manners. Since the Poodle is a people-pet, you should not leave it alone for long periods.
The Poodle comes in Standard, Miniature, and Toy sizes. Regardless of the dog’s size, it needs exercise and mental stimulation to prevent it from being destructive. Poodles are excellent pets for kids, but be aware that this breed needs constant grooming every 3 to 6 weeks to keep its coat neat and beautiful.
#7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
When choosing a pet for children, you can consider dog adoption and find gentle breeds like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are adaptable to an apartment room or a house with a backyard to keep it happy. If this is the kind of pet you want for your children, this breed is your best choice. Besides its adaptability, they are naturally suitable for kids and an excellent pet for any family. The canine is affectionate, gentle, and playful to anyone (as well as other pets) aside from its family.
The dog fits in with active families and children that like to play. As a pet, it doesn’t frequently bark as well as loudly and usually behaves. Their affectionate nature makes ill-suited to be watchdog though it can be wary of strangers.
Many family dog breeds have a long history of being favorite pets and lapdogs, and the Maltese have an impressive record of being a pet companion for at least 1000 years. The Maltese are a sweet and intelligent dog who is also courageous and gentle. You could mistake the dog for having a snobbish and arrogant manner due to its looks. But the Maltese are an excellent pet companion, and you can find the dog serving as a therapy dog.
Whether your family is living in a condo, apartment, or house, the Maltese fits right in and can act as a watchdog. Since the breed is fond of the company, it will suffer from separation anxiety from being alone. The result is that the dog becomes destructive and will bark loudly. Pampering the Maltese will result in being too protective and will bite humans or pets. Daily grooming is a must for the dog’s coat hairs. Depending on your preference, you can keep the canine’s hypoallergenic hair short or let it grow long. While the Maltese are the best dog for kids, it is not suitable for very young children or toddlers.
#9. French Bulldog
The best dogs for families should also be physically active and energetic, but even canines that are couch potatoes can be great pets too. The French Bulldog falls in the latter category. Even though they require little exercise, the dog loves to be the center of attention and is content with daily walks to keep in shape. These dogs are gentle with children, happy, loyal, and friendly. Unlike its Bulldog cousins, the dog’s looks are adorable.
This breed tends to be idiosyncratic due to its humor and mischievous personality. Despite the canine’s peculiarities, it is an alert and excellent watchdog. Due to its short hair, grooming it is easy and only needs an occasional brushing.
#10. Shetland Sheepdog
Some family dog breeds started as guard or game dogs. Take the Shetland Sheepdogs as an example they defend their owner’s property, and they can herd flocks of sheep. Today these dogs make excellent pet companions and are good guard dogs. The Sheltie is gentle and loyal though it has a broad range of temperament. Sometimes the dog can be boisterous, then calm or sedate, then outgoing. Sheltie’s are highly intelligent, which makes them a great family dog.
A Sheltie’s protective nature makes it an excellent watchdog and will bark it senses something wrong. Lack of training, however, will turn the dog’s barking into irritation or nuisance. Shelties love their families along with their kids, but to strangers, they are shy. Socialization can deal with the shyness and teach the dog to discriminate imagined threats to real ones. The canine can live in an apartment. The dog is a heavy shedder, so be ready to clean up its shed hair.
If you want a lapdog that can be an excellent playmate for kids, the Havanese is one of the Toy dogs that fulfill those criteria. Many families prefer this breed due to their affectionate nature and even-temper.
The Havanese’s attachment to families means that you can’t leave it alone for an extended period. Intelligence is another trait of this dog. Training is an easy job when it comes to this dog, thanks to its intelligence. The training exercise is the perfect means of having the dog and children bond together.
At a casual glance, the Havanese has a wavy coat that looks like it sheds a lot of hair. Surprisingly despite the dog’s thick-haired coat, it is non-shedding or sheds very little hair. This fact means that cleaning up the dog’s hair is an easy chore. A bonus to the canine’s thick wavy coat is its hypoallergenic properties. A dog’s hypoallergenic coat means that it will not affect a person who has allergies. This trait makes the Havanese a perfect pet for those with allergies.
Sometimes little dogs often have a “small dog, big attitude” vibe to them and the Pug is one good example of such a dog. The dog has a tough and rough look, but it is also friendly. They are one of those small dogs good with kids.
The canine’s joyful, loving, and playful nature makes it an ideal playmate for children. Those very same traits make the Pug friendly to not just’s family, also ut strangely.
The Pug feels comfortable in an indoor or outdoor home, be it an apartment or house with a backyard. The canine’s coat has little hair, so grooming it shouldn’t be a hard task. However, the dog will shed hair a lot. You will need to give the Pug an exercise like a daily walk to keep it in shape. Too much feeding, along with little or no activities, can cause obesity in a Pug.
#13. Miniature Schnauzer
Some of the best small dogs for kids look like, while other dog breeds like the Miniature Schnauzer look like grown-ups. The Miniature Schnauzer’s bushy eyebrows and walrus mustache do give the dog a dignified gentleman look. The dog’s looks are not the only thing that is attractive about the breed.
The canine has an extroverted mindset as well as being affectionate, humorous, enthusiastic, and intelligent. Despite being a lapdog, the Miniature Schnauzer likes to the center of attention.
The breed is originally a ratter (a dog that chases rats), but nowadays, the canine is a family pet. The Miniature Schnauzer requires exercise and likes big spaces like those in a suburban or farm. The dog will alert its family to strangers making it an excellent watchdog. When it comes to agility and obedience competitions, the dog is an expert, but it still needs training as well as discipline.
#14. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
This dog looks tough on the outside due to its strong-looking muscular body and powerful stance. In reality, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a gentle dog. The dog loves the company of people and spends time with them doing activities. A vigorous daily walk will suffice as an exercise.
However, the dog can do other activities. Flyball, therapy with agility and obedience exercises are suitable for an energetic dog like this bulbreedseed.
As a companion pet, these babies must not be left alone since it will suffer separation anxiety. Due to the breed’s origin as a fighting dog, they tend to act aggressively towards other dogs and other animals. Socialization training will make the dog more accepting of other animals. This canine needs a consistent and confident owner, not a timid one. The dog’s coat requires weekly brushing, and it sheds a lot of hair only once a year.
The breed’s other name is “Dutch Barge Dog” since it used to be a guardian and companion on the small boats as well as barges in Holland. The Keeshond is a people-oriented animal, loves to play with kids (with supervision) accepts other pets. This canine makes for a great competitor in agility, obedience, and conformation competitions. When it comes to family activities, the Keeshond should always be included.
Dachshunds are playful, loveable, active, and responsive to training. They are bred to run after vermins thus, they require regular play sessions and exercise. They may not do well with other small pets as they go for occasional adventures whenever they take up a scent.
The Doxie or Weiner dogs are known for their trademark low-slung bodies, floppy ears, and pointed snouts. They are one of the most recognizable breeds around. Some of them have short hair, and others have long wiry coats. But almost all of them share the same vigorous and kid-friendly personalities, which make them one of the small dogs for a family with kids.
This dog breed is known to have a hearty constitution and active little bodies. While they have tiny structures, they are far less dainty than they look. Paps have fluttery and wing-shaped ears that make them appear delicate. On the other hand, they eagerly take to training and socializers, making them an ideal small dog for families.
These dogs are high-spirited, good-natured, and great with children. Likewise, they are eager to join family fun and be the center of attention. Papillons are suitable for families with older kids. Very young children may not know how to handle these dogs’ delicate frames yet.
These bubbly canines have a glorious fluffy coat, foxy face, and perky ears. Their adorable features make them one of the most popular toy dog breeds. They sport a lovely constant smiling face and a dynamic personality. Aside from being a wonderful purse pup, they are also brilliant, vigilant, and wonderful around children.
If raised well with kids, they will do very well, but if they live in an environment without kids, they may also be reserved. Likewise, it is important to remind kids that dogs the size of Pomeranians are not as sturdy as their larger cousins thus, playtime should still be supervised by adults.
#19. Border Terrier
This popular breed is well-known for its upbeat and spirited attitude. They come in with wiry coats and intelligent eyes. They are highly-trainable and are always eager to please. These canines have lots of powerful energy to hunt and dig despite their small frames. They can even keep up with their hunting owners who are on horseback during a hunt.
They are bred in the countryside, thus in England and Scotland therefore, they love outdoorsy playtime and roughhousing with the kids. These canines do well around other pets when raised with them in a home. However, you should still watch over their strong prey drive and keep small critter pets away. Though they make an excellent companion for kids, they can be quite rambunctious when young unintentionally can hurt small children. Likewise, they are also obedient and well-mannered. These dogs are entirely affectionate and loyal to their owners.
#20. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Corgis have these permanently smiling faces that are indicative of their happy headspace. These furballs have a solid combination of alertness and loyalty. They make excellent watchdogs, but they are also great with kids of all ages.
These canines love outdoor playtime and roughhousing with their tiny human friends. Early socialization and training will make your Corgis the best family pets you’ll ever have. Fur parents swear that having a Corgi is like having another affectionate kid at home instead of a dog!
Having a dog at home is like having an additional kid around. Choosing a pet that will do great with kids young and small is a tough challenge for parents. We highly recommend that you scour rescue shelters and consider dog adoption if you are thinking of welcoming a fur baby to your family.
These small canine breeds on our list could be the next one to steal your hearts out! Do you have a tiny fur baby at home? Which one is your favorite breed?