One look at his pictures and you can easily see why the Teacup Chihuahua has become so popular.
You’ll be most likely be blown away by his small size and inquisitive nature.
However, you have to appreciate the fact that there’s a lot of controversy surrounding Teacup dogs like the Teacup Chihuahua.
So, read on to learn more about these dogs before you go ahead and add one to your family.
What Are Teacup Chihuahuas?
Chihuahuas are amongst the smallest breeds of dogs in the world. Their small size makes them popular family pets especially for apartment or urban life.
Teacup Chihuahuas are those that are born together with standard-sized Chihuahuas, but are considerably smaller than other puppies in the same litter.
? You may come across the Teacup Chihuahua being referred to as a new dog breed, but it is actually not a separate breed.
The term “Teacup Chihuahua” refers to a Chihuahua that is relatively smaller than the regular-sized dogs of the same breed. There will definitely be differences in size in any dog breed and the smallest members of the group were formerly known as “runts”.
By using fancy names such as “Teacup Chihuahua”, “Mini Chihuahua” or “Pocket Chihuahua” to refer to small members of the breed, breeders have succeeded in making these tinier dogs look special and more desirable.
It is easy to fall for these cute little dogs, but is the Teacup Chihuahua a good match for you?
Here is a comprehensive guide to the Teacup Chihuahua to help you determine whether you should choose one as your family dog. So keep reading!
Learn About Other Teacup Breeds: Teacup Maltese, Teacup Pomeranian, Teacup Yorkie
The History of the Teacup Chihuahua
The exact origins of the Chihuahua are a matter of some debate, but it is widely believed that it is a very old breed.
They got their name from a region of Mexico, but this might not be their exact place of origin.
Evidence suggests that the ancient Toltec people who occupied central Mexico more than a thousand years ago developed a similar but larger dog known as the Techichi.
The Techichi was further refined by the Aztecs to make it smaller and/or lighter.
These dogs were discovered by American explorers sometime in the 1800’s who named them after the area where they were initially found.
The first Chihuahua was named Midget and was registered by the AKC in 1904.
The popularity of these dogs increased considerably in the 1940’s and 1950’s. They became even more popular in the 2000’s thanks to appearances in movies such as Legally Blonde and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Teacup Chihuahuas are a fairly recent arrival in the canine world, and they are becoming more and more popular.
Over the last ten years or so, some dog breeders have been intentionally using only the smaller dogs for breeding.
? It is not an officially recognized version of the Chihuahua breed and its size can vary. There are also concerns about the ethical implications of breeding smaller members of a litter.
Since the Teacup Chihuahua is not a crossbreed, both parents should be Chihuahuas – which is a sassy little breed.
The General Appearance of a Teacup Chihuahua
The Teacup Chihuahua is an elegant, little dog. He has a saucy, curious expression.
His ears seem large in line with his body. They stand straight when the pup is alert and roughly at a 45-degree angle to the head when the dog is relaxed.
They have round eyes that are set wide apart.
The nose (muzzle) is short while his bottom and top teeth meet in a scissors-like bite.
Their tail is long and curved. You’ll find various descriptions of their face, including apple, bear, baby and cub.
The Teacup Chihuahua comes in different colors, including solid black, plain white, spotted, and other colors such as tan or fawn, chocolate, blue or silver, tricolor chocolate, black or blue with tan or white patterns.
Each of these other colors will vary in shade and tone. These dogs can also have spots, blazes, stars or a white abdomen.
As we’ve mentioned above, the Teacup Chihuahua comes in two coat varieties: long and smooth.
In long coated Chihuahuas, the coat will be very soft and either wavy or straight and sometimes flowing. Long coated Chihuahuas have a double coat.
In smooth coated Chihuahuas, the coat will be soft (neither wiry nor harsh) and glossy. Some smooth-coated Chihuahuas have a double coat.
How Big Is a Full Grown Teacup Chihuahua?
According to the AKC, show Chihuahuas should weigh no more than 6 pounds. However, some pet Chihuahuas actually weigh more than this.
At the same time, the breed standard doesn’t state the minimum weight of a Chihuahua.
So without a specific figure, it can be difficult to determine how big a Teacup Chihuahua or Miniature Chihuahua should be.
Teacup Chihuahua Size And Weight:
While no organization stipulates the minimum weight of a Teacup or Pocket Chihuahua, we know that the term “Teacup” basically refers to a small Chihuahua.
Obviously, in any breed, there are size variations and some dogs are smaller than others even within the same litter.
? A regular-size Chihuahua breeder might find a smaller puppy in their litter, and decide to call it a Teacup Chihuahua instead of a runt.
Other breeders deliberately create smaller Chihuahuas by selecting smaller-than-average pups and then use them for breeding.
A wide range of other names are used to describe Chihuahuas, including micro, mini, and miniature and so on.
Some breeders will also prefer the term “pocket” or “Teacup” to refer to the smallest pups in the litter. All of these names are used for marketing purposes and are not standard names for the breed.
A general rule of the thumb is the smaller the pup, the more fragile it is. The larger the pup the more suitable it is for a family with small kids.
? Keep in mind that it is easy for a young child to accidentally mishandle a small pup by squeezing it, sitting on it, dropping it or stepping on it.
The smaller the pup the more likely he is to be anxious and overwhelmed by voices, noises or movements around the house.
If you have small kids at home, a toy, miniature, micro or Teacup Chihuahua might not be the best pup for your family.
The Behavior and Temperament of a Teacup Chihuahua
Considered an excellent family dog, the Chihuahua is a courageous, happy, and active dog. They are very loving and affectionate towards their family members.
The Chihuahua is also a very lively dog, with tons of energy. He is the perfect pup for adventurous singles and active families.
Being extremely intelligent, the Chihuahua needs a firm and committed owner who is ready to put in the effort to train this dog.
Although the Chihuahua is quick to learn, he can also be stubborn at times and can become fairly headstrong without a positive and consistent approach to dog training.
As with other smaller breeds, the Chihuahua can develop behavioral problems if not handled with care. These problems can include aggression towards people and other animals.
? The Teacup Chihuahua can also become particularly nervous if the owner treats them as small or fragile dogs by babying them or carrying them around at all times.
You can avoid this by treating your Teacup Chihuahua puppy as you would with any other dog breed. Simply because he is a smaller dog doesn’t mean that you should treat them any differently.
Their alertness along with their minimal exercise demands means that the Teacup Chihuahua is a great lap dog.
Behavior with Children:
Due to their loyalty, the Teacup Chihuahua can thrive in homes with elderly people.
Most of these dogs are known to bond well with grown-up members of the family and ultimately become possessive of them.
Since they have very sharp teeth, they might inadvertently bite small kids while playing with them. Young children may also mishandle your puppy.
Therefore, any interaction between them should be supervised by an adult. This means that the Teacup Chihuahua, just like other smaller dogs, is not ideal for households with young kids.
If your Chihuahua puppy is treated like he is fragile or is allowed to make the rules of the house, he can become aggressive towards children, strangers or other animals.
Proper socialization is extremely important when it comes to the Teacup Chihuahua.
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Do These Dogs Bark?
Teacup Chihuahuas can become very protective and will do everything in their power to defend their owners.
You will often find them barking at strangers or strange objects. Fortunately, barking or yapping is an issue that can be curbed by exposing them to new people and objects from a young age.
Early socialization is vital to all dogs, especially the Teacup Chihuahua. Early socialization can help prevent unnecessary yapping and barking.
This dog can adapt quickly to most living environments owning to their small size. They fit in well with sub-urban or apartment living.
They can cope equally well with country living, but don’t be surprised to find them barking at small animals. These dogs are brave and will sometimes pick fights with other dogs ten times their size!
Keep in mind that since they are very small size, Teacup Chihuahuas require proper training and housebreaking from an early age. This will also help prevent small dog syndrome, which can turn your already sassy pup into a nightmare for you and your neighbors.
Love, affection and consistency are all necessary to keep your little dog safe and out of harm’s way.
Housetraining can be a real test of your patience, but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re the type that gets frustrated easily, however, then the Teacup Chihuahua is not the dog for you!
? Remember Teacup Chihuahua puppies have very small bladders, which implies that they need to eliminate frequently.
These dogs also seem to have trouble controlling themselves, so housetraining can be a protracted process which might not bring the desired results as quickly as you may expect.
The best way to housetrain such little dogs is to select a spot inside the house where your pup can do his business.
Submissive urination is common in Chihuahuas due to their high energy levels and tendencies toward excitement.
Cowering, sniffing the ground, lowering the body, licking lips and raising their front paws are common signs that your puppy might want to go eliminate.
Remember to take your puppy to the designated area to potty after play sessions, naps and meals. Praise and give him a treat after he has eliminated at the appropriate spot.
Also, train your Teacup Chihuahua to understand and obey various commands. Your Chihuahua puppy will be very clever and should respond well to basic commands and training from around 8 weeks to 12 months of age.
As with all dogs, it is extremely important to start training your Teacup Chihuahua puppy as soon as your bring him home.
For the best results, use plenty of treats and praise words to teach your puppy to obey basic commands and to prevent behavioral issues from developing.
ALSO READ: 13 Common Dog Training Mistakes You Ought to Avoid
The Teacup breed has minimal exercise demands.
This little pooch is known to be highly energetic and sometimes they can tire themselves easily. They often push themselves to their limits, which might be detrimental to their health.
Generally speaking, Teacup Chihuahuas require around 20 minutes of physical activity each day. This should include daily walks and playtime.
Play can help you meet most of your pup’s exercise needs, but it is also advisable to take him for short walks each day to promote a healthy digestive system.
Since the Chihuahua is an intelligent breed, prepare for quality playtime with lots of toys.
Toys can be a great form of exercise for you and your pup. Moreover, it can help strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Use a harness rather than a collar when taking your puppy for walks because these little dogs have fragile necks. Moreover, dress your pooch in a warm sweater since the Chihuahua is vulnerable to the effects of cold weather.
Keep in mind that your dog’s exercise requirements are dependent on his age, health and activity level. To be confident that you are on the right track, talk to your vet first.
Shorthaired Chihuahuas tend to shed as much as their long-haired counterparts.
All Chihuahuas shed throughout the year, but shedding is heaviest in the spring and fall. One advantage of the longhaired Chihuahua is that it is much easier to find the hairs as they spread around the house.
However, regardless of the type of Chihuahua you get, brushing is very important to help keep the coat clean and healthy.
? Short-haired Chihuahua dogs should be brushed at least once a week. On the other hand, long haired Chis require brushing three times per week.
Brush your dog’s teeth each day. Smaller breeds like the Teacup Chihuahua are vulnerable to tooth and gum disease.
You can prevent this by brushing your pup’s teeth with a small toothbrush and toothpaste formulated for dogs each day.
Take your Mini Chihuahua to a professional dog groomer at least once a month for nail trimming and baths. Chihuahua dogs have a vein cutting across their nails that can bleed easily if cut, so it is best to entrust the job to a professional dog groomer.
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Food and Diet
As a small dog breed, the Chihuahua dogs have very small stomachs and minimal energy needs. Therefore, these dogs will normally require small quantities of food several times per day.
It is recommended to feed them high quality dog food that is formulated for small dog breeds. These foods are normally designed to meet the protein, fat and energy requirements of smaller dog breeds.
Keep in mind that Teacup Chihuahua puppies are prone to hypoglycemia, so make sure your puppy eats small regular meals each day to ensure his blood sugar level remains consistent.
Once your puppy reaches maturity, you can feed him two times per day. Also make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.
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What is the Life Expectancy of a Teacup Chihuahua?
Fortunately, Teacup Chihuahuas are known for their longevity.
This fact is likely to raise some eyebrows considering how vulnerable Teacup dogs are to health issues. However, compared to the average lifespan of other breeds, Teacup Chis tend to live quite long lives.
They have an average lifespan of around 12 to 20 years. Of course, there are no guarantees that your puppy will live this long.
A lot of effort will be needed when it comes to feeding your dog a proper diet and taking your dog for regular vet checkups.
Teacup Chihuahua Health Problems
If you are seriously considering owning a Teacup Chihuahua, make sure you buy one from a reputable breeder.
That way, you’ll get a dog that is quite smaller than the breed standard, but one that is unlikely to have any serious health problems. At the same time, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your puppy’s health.
First of all, you should familiarize yourself with the health problems that your Chihuahua puppy is likely to suffer from. These include the fowling:
Hydrocephalus: this is a common health issue among toy dogs like the Teacup Chihuahua. Dogs with this condition are lethargic and show abnormalities such as an unusually large head and slowed growth compared to other puppies in the litter.
Collapsed trachea: this condition also affects other small dog breeds such as the Toy Poodle, Maltese Pug, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian and the Yorkshire Terrier. It is characterized by the weakening or malformation of the dog’s cartilaginous rings in the trachea.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar): signs and symptoms include drowsiness, muscle spasms, fainting, uncoordinated walking, and unfocused eyes. This health issue can be resolved by using sugar supplements such as honey, Karo syrup and Nutri-Cal.
Molera: this is a soft spot in the skull of the Apple Head Chihuahua. A Teacup Chihuahua can inherit this condition. While Molera is not a sign of ill health, proper care should be taken to avoid head injuries.
Other health issues to watch out for include:
• Chronic bronchitis.
• Shortened lifespan.
• Heart disorders such as pulmonic stenosis and heart murmurs.
• Eye infections.
Fortunately, the health issues of a Teacup Chihuahua are not difficult to prevent or mitigate.
One thing that you can avoid is the health problems that your dog may inherit from his parents. You can do this by using the Embark Dog Dna Test to ensure you’re getting a healthy puppy.
Other health problems can be solved by simple methods and your vet can help deal with the more serious ones.
How Much Does a Teacup Chihuahua Cost?
With the “Teacup” label, there has been a sudden increase in the demand for Teacup Chihuahuas leading to an increase in their price.
Teacup Chihuahua puppies cost around $1,200 to $5,000 each depending on the location and the breeder.
If you come across a breeder offering a Mini Chihuahua for anything below that they are most likely trying to rip you off.
Other costs to consider when you’re considering owning a tiny Chihuahua included various dog accessories. Due to the dog’s size, you will also need to get a harness, carrier and bed.
Finding Reputable Teacup Chihuahua Breeders
To be on the safe side, visit your breeder to learn as much as you can about the puppy you’re considering bringing home. That way, you’ll get a chance to meet the puppy first and understand his behavior and temperament.
Ask questions about the health history of the parents and the Teacup Chihuahua puppies for sale you’re considering.
Good breeders should be happy to provide you with all the information you need.
Do take care not to buy your pup from unethical breeders who do not take care of the puppies they bring into the world.
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Teacup Chihuahua For Adoption
If you don’t mind getting an older Teacup Chi, you can consider adoption.
Some people abandon their pups due to the costs and time involved in taking proper care of them.
You can go online and find reputable websites that have Teacup Chihuahua dogs listed for adoption.
You may also want to visit animal shelters or rescue groups in your state and find out if they have these dogs in need of a forever home.
Another benefit of rescuing a mature Micro Chihuahua is that you are able to get a dog that has already been trained. This can save you a lot of time and money.
Apart from the usual dog-related issues, owning a Teacup Chihuahua can be truly rewarding.
With their tiny size and fun-loving nature, the tiny Chihuahua is a great dog to have around.
Just remember the Teacup Chihuahua requires a lot of care. However, once you know how to take care of them, he can bring a lot of joy and brighten up your life!