As usual, when ‘teacup’ is attached to any type of animal, you know you are in for cuteness overload—this is no different when it comes to dogs. Teacup dogs are tiny breeds of dog which (unofficially) weighs four pounds or less and measures 17” or shorter in length as an adult, but there are no official measurement requirements, as ‘teacup’ is itself an unofficial term describing particularly small dogs.
As mentioned above, ‘teacup’ is not an official term, but rather a marketing term which is used to sell especially undersized puppies from certain breeds. In some cases, the small size is specifically bred for. The small size of these puppies can results in health problems, and the marketing of smaller-than-normal puppies (or breeding them) is highly frowned upon as it can lead to an unhealthy puppy.
It is important to note that if a breeder is marketing puppies as ‘teacup’ then it is likely that they are not a reputable breeder, as they are not conducting themselves in a manner which is considerate of the breed.
Teacup varieties of the below breeds are the most popular among teacup dog lovers.
Shih Tzu: The Shih Tzu is a toy dog breed which usually weighs 10-20 pounds. Believed to have originally created in Tibet, it was later developed into the current Shih Tzu in China. Though the temperament of dogs of this breed varies from dog to dog, they are generally affectionate and outgoing. It is a great companion dog, and is friendly with strangers.
Yorkshire Terrier: Originating from Yorkshire England (as the name suggests), the Yorkshire Terrier was developed as a working dog for catching rats in mines, but were also used for hunting for badgers and foxes. The ‘Yorkie’ is highly protective, curious, and active breed, so they are not the ideal pet for homes with small children.
Poodle: The poodle comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from the full size (standard) poodle down to the toy version. The toy poodle is usually between 6-9 pounds, and this is the variety that produces the teacup poodle. The poodle is a highly intelligent dog, and is one of the most easily trained dog breeds. They are a sporting dog developed originally for retrieving game from water.
Pomeranian: The Pomeranian is a Spitz-type breed originally from Germany and Poland. They are a friendly dog breed towards people, but can act aggressively towards other dogs. They do tend to bark more than average, so keep that in mind if you are considering the breed as a pet.
Maltese: Originating from Italy, the Maltese are bred as companion dogs, and are very playful and energetic, even in old age. Similar to other small breeds, they are not the ideal pet for households with small children.
Silky Terrier: The Silky Terrier claims ancestry from the Yorkshire Terrier, and was developed in Australia. Its full name is the Australian Silky Terrier, and is one of the small number of Australian dog breeds. It is an alert and highly active breed, but can make great apartment dogs, as long as they get enough exercise.