If you’ve ever wondered what a “teacup Yorkie” or “mini Yorkie” is compared to just a regular Yorkie, the main difference is the weight of the dog.
How Big will Teacup Yorkies Grow? And How Big is the Mini Yorkie?
These miniature (mini Yorkie) dogs only weigh around 2-3 pounds when fully grown (usually between 12-18 months of age), compared to the standard Yorkshire Terrier, which is between 4-7 pounds. If you’re not very familiar with Yorkies (or other dogs belonging in the toy group), then you might be surprised to learn that Yorkshire Terriers do not have a “teacup” classification, although many unskilled—and usually unethical—breeders would have you believe otherwise.
Breed Standards of Teacup Yorkies
For a purebred Yorkie, The American Kennel Club requires that the breed standard fall within the range of 4-7 pounds as an adult. Anything outside of this limit generally spells bad news for the dog in terms of health issues. Breeders who advertise “teacup Yorkies” are typically selling dogs that will not exceed 3 pounds and stand no more than 5 or 6 inches tall, which would not be accepted by the AKC.
If the breeder is a reputable one with respected breeding practices, then your Yorkie should fall within the 4-7 pound weight range. That being said, each breeder has their own specific guidelines about how they will respond to a puppy that does not conform to breed standard (which can occur when larger dogs are bred together, or if there is a mixed heritage somewhere in the line)
Breeders who use the tagline “teacup” often just want to charge a higher price for a puppy, but in actuality, you should pay less for this undersized dog because it does not conform to breed standards and will inevitably cost you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in vet bills. Online breeders attempt to play on the emotions of buyers with the undersized dogs and sometimes charge two or even three times the amount more for these dogs than the standard size Yorkie.
To ensure that your dog will conform to breed standards, be wary of breeders promising dogs that “have papers” without producing them firsthand. Often, these papers don’t exist, or they are for a registry that is questionable in terms of authenticity. If you are searching for purebred Yorkie, it’s best to find a reputable breeder approved by the AKC.
Here’s a Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: What is a Teacup Yorkie? Should You Get a Teacup Yorkie? Everything You Need to Know
Estimating the Size of a Teacup Yorkie and Mini Yorkie
If you are concerned that your Yorkie is not the correct size, consult the breeder.
Most breeders are able to give a fairly accurate estimate shortly after the puppy’s birth as to their estimated adult weight. This Toy Yorkie Puppy Growth / Weight Chart gives a fairly accurate estimate of how large a dog will be based on their birth weight.
So before you purchase your pup, be sure to consult a chart like the one above to determine if your dog will fall within the appropriate weight range once he is full-grown.
Under and over-sized Yorkies (Full Grown Teacup Yorkie)
If your Yorkie is under or over-sized based on his age, the first course of action would be to ask your veterinarian if your Yorkie is in good health. It is very easy for toy breed dogs (especially those that don’t get a lot of exercise) to become overweight. If this is the case, your vet will give you tips (and possibly a recommendation of certain dog food) to get your Yorkie on the right track.
If, however, your Yorkie is in good health and still over the standard 7 lbs, then it is a possibility that your Yorkie has a mixed heritage somewhere in the line. The first step would be to consult the breeder and express your concerns. Many breeders have health guarantees (although these usually concern the death of the dog in case of genetic disease).
If your Yorkie is undersized, however, there may be severe health issues present. While they seem adorable and cute, Yorkies bred for this dangerously small “teacup” size are vulnerable to birth defects such as a portosystemic shunt (a circulatory problem of the liver) which usually doesn’t present until after 6 months of age—after your breeder is long gone with your cash in hand.
This genetic defect can have symptoms such as the inability to gain weight and vomiting, but it can also lead to symptoms usually associated with liver failure such as seizures, depression, and confusion. Small kidneys may also be an issue with undersized Yorkies, which can lead to kidney stones or even diabetes.
While the health issues listed above are often treatable, they are very expensive to deal with, especially when surgery is required. And speaking of surgery, broken bones is one of the most common injuries that occur in teacup-Yorkie-sized dogs. Since the animal is simply not meant to be that small in size, their fragile bones can often not stand activities that healthy dogs enjoy such as running, jumping, and playing.
Here’s a Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: How Much Does a Yorkie and Teacup Yorkie Cost?
How Long Do Teacup Yorkies Live?
When you’re getting a dog as a companion, you have to consider how long they will live. The average lifespan varies for every dog breed. For Teacup Yorkies, the standard lifetime is around 7 to 10 years. However, your Miniature Yorkie may live as long as 12 or even 14 years. The shortest lifespan for this dog is three years, but the specifics depend on genetic factors.
Often illnesses are transmitted to a puppy from its parents. Depending on the breeding techniques used in consecutive litters, these genetic dispositions may worsen. And ultimately lead to shorter lifespans in your dog. That is why it is vital to know how long your breeder has been in the business and the effort they put into researching medical history and genetics.
But it isn’t always about diseases. Natural traumas also impact your dog’s lifespan. You have to understand that a Teacup Yorkie’s tiny body and smaller limbs make it extremely delicate. The breed is naturally susceptible to certain diseases regardless of breeding practices. These include hypoglycemia, liver shunts, and dental issues. If you’ve ever wondered “How big will teacup Yorkies grow?” The answer varies depending on these genetic factors.
However, just because there is a substantial risk doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to prevent these concerns. For example, a special diet with controlled portion sizes can help your Teacup Yorkie avoid blood pressure issues. And regularly brushing their teeth from a young age goes a long way to prevent broken teeth and cavities.
Other illnesses to look out for include a collapsed trachea. If your Yorkie isn’t getting enough airflow, they will show symptoms like chronic coughing. You should take them to the vet immediately because respiratory concerns have serious long-term implications.
Here’s a Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Signs a Yorkshire Terrier is in Heat
Why Do Teacup Yorkies (mini Yorkies) Require Special Care?
Now that we’ve established that Teacup Yorkies are fragile and need extra care, it’s important to understand what you can do to help them. When you bring your tiny dog home, you can’t leave them alone in an open and unusual space. The Teacup Yorkie will quickly become overwhelmed and anxious. Unsure of what to do or how to proceed, they will start barking incessantly.
As a dog parent, it is your job to remain calm and patiently help them move past this phase. The worst thing you can do at this point is to get frustrated or angry. Instead, show them love and affection. One strategy to make the transition easier for your Teacup Yorkie is to design a small and cozy space it can fit into. Like children, smaller dogs prefer spaces that don’t intimidate them. The height and size of the bed should allow easy access for your puppy.
Another issue to keep in mind is that Teacup Yorkies have incredibly fragile bones. As a result, small mishaps like falling off a sofa, running into a desk, or jerky movements can cause breakage or fractures.
As a pet parent, your Yorkie’s health is your responsibility. That means you need to supervise them constantly. Once your Teacup Yorkie is fully trained, you can leave them unattended for a few minutes at a time in enclosed spaces. But apart from that, you will have to arrange a sitter when you have to go to work or other engagements.
When you’ve recently acquired a tiny dog, it’s easy to forget how small they are. But a Teacup Yorkie is barely one foot long. They’re also incredibly active and affectionate, so they will try to play with you by pulling on your leg. A Yorkie may even run towards its owner when they return home. You have to be extremely vigilant and in full control of your response at moments like these. Because accidentally kicking or stepping on your dog can irreparably damage them.
Here’s a Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Taking Care of Newborn Yorkie and Teacup Yorkie Puppies
Do you have an undersized or an oversized Teacup Yorkie?
People often want to know, “how big do Yorkies grow”? Even with a Teacup Yorkie, there are specific size standards your dog should meet. If you overfeed your pet or they don’t get enough exercise, they can become overweight. On the other hand, an undersized Teacup Yorkie may not be getting enough nutrition.
In either case, you should take your Miniature Yorkie to a competent vet who will recommend appropriate changes to its diet and exercise. If you have an undersized or an oversized Teacup Yorkie, there is no need to panic. Small lifestyle changes can help you get back on track.
What if your Teacup Yorkie or Yorkie is Underweight?
There are many reasons why your Yorkie may be underweight. It isn’t always a case of nutrition. In some cases, the weight can indicate underlying health concerns. When breeders make bad selections in parent Yorkies, it can lead to seizures, low blood pressure, heart problems, dental issues, and luxating patella.
The worse a Teacup Yorkie’s health is, the lower their life expectancy becomes. However, most of these problems can be treated with the right medical help. You’ll need a good vet and will have to spend quite a bit on this dog breed. Part of the reason Teacup Yorkies are regarded as an expensive dog breed is because of repeat medical treatments that can be costly.
Here’s a Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Common Yorkie Health Problems
What Do You Need For A Teacup Yorkie?
Before you get your mini Yorkie, you need to prepare for their arrival. With the right research and information, you can predict and preemptively deal with all concerns. So, what does this entail?
Concern About Weak Bones in the Mini Yorkie
A big concern with Teacup Yorkies is their weak bones that are easy to snap and break. That means falling off a high surface, running down the stairs, or jumping off a sofa can damage them irreparably.
The solution to Yorkie Weak Bones
But this is an easily solvable problem. Before you bring your Teacup Yorkie home, babyproof your house. You should cover any sharp corners or edges and set up a separate small enclosure for your puppy. Cover it in cushions and soft materials to keep your dog protected.
Concern About Yorkie and mini Yorkie Weak Knees
Since Teacup Yorkies have small and weak knees, they are prone to a bone condition called Patellar Luxation. If you want to avoid poor bone formation as a result of this illness, you should feed your puppy appropriate supplements.
Solution About Yorkie Weak Knees
One option is the Doggie Dailies Glucosamine, which has nutrients such as glucosamine and chondroitin as well as essential enzymes. Together these active ingredients make your puppy’s joints stronger and can even repair cartilage. With powerful ligaments and reduced inflammation, your Teacup Yorkie can jump around easily and without any pain.
Additionally, since this supplement is available in a soft chew form, you can add it to your dog’s food or feed it to them directly. These yummy nutrients can even make excellent training treats.
Concern About Yorkie Hypoglycemia in the mini Yorkie
Hypoglycemia occurs when your Teacup Yorkie isn’t eating enough food. Without the proper nutrients, its tiny body will react badly. Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, and even death. So, what do you do if your dog is a fussy eater?
This is where you need supplements like the TOMLIN high-calorie nutritional gel that helps your Teacup Yorkie get all the necessary nutrients. How much should you feed them? Experts suggest that 40 calories per pound of weight is the ideal food quantity for tiny dogs. After all, you don’t want to risk overfeeding them because that road leads to obesity.
Can Teacup Yorkies Have Babies?
Since Teacup Yorkies are so popular, you may be wondering if you can breed your dog once it’s older. After all, with these many health risks affecting their day to day lives, is it even possible for this breed to have babies?
It is a valid question. A Miniature Yorkie has very fragile bones, so it is dangerous for them to give birth. That is why they have small litters of two to three puppies. Their tiny physical structure prevents them from breeding like other dogs. As a pet parent, you should not try this at home. Experts recommend getting them spayed as soon as possible.
When it comes to Teacup Yorkies’ birth, professional breeders actually don’t pair these dogs together. Instead, they select the smallest puppies from the litters of regular Yorkies to breed with each other. The result is a puppy that is smaller than either of its parents. The birth process for tiny dogs is complicated, and the mothers need intense medical attention after it is over.
Most births take place at a hospital, so a vet is present at all times. They give the mother Yorkie regular checkups, sometimes multiple times in a single day, as well as supplements and special food. When you’re buying a Teacup Yorkie, make sure your breeder has ethical practices that include reliable health care for the mother Yorkie.
What Is A Teacup Yorkie Price? (You can read a full article on Yorkie prices here)
The price of a Teacup Yorkie varies from breeder to breeder. Typically you can expect to pay around 1200 to 1500 dollars. The difference often comes down to the specific genetics, ancestry, and breeding practices of the AKC breeder. You should never buy from an unlicensed breeder or a puppy mill since they have unethical practices that harm dogs.
Your first choice should always be to adopt a Yorkie from a rescue or shelter. You have to spend very little money and can give a desperate dog a loving home. But finding Teacup Yorkies in shelters is rare.
Teacup Yorkies VS Normal Yorkie VS Toy Yorkie Size – What’s The Difference?
All Yorkies are toy-sized dogs, which means they weigh less than seven pounds. Within this category, you have Normal and Teacup Yorkies. A typical Yorkie weighs a maximum of 7 pounds and is no longer than 9 inches. The smallest dogs from these litters are bred together to create Teacup Yorkies. These dogs have an average weight of 2 to 4 pounds, making them miniature dogs in a tiny dog world.
Is A Teacup Yorkie A Good Pet?
Teacup Yorkies are loving and affectionate pets. They require very little space and are fun to be around. While their health issues may seem stressful, the right diet, supplements, and care can easily keep your dog healthy and in good shape.
If you are on the lookout for the tiniest dog available, then the standard Yorkie is probably your best bet: born only weighing a few ounces, even when the Teacup Yorkie is full-grown they rank among one of the smallest breeds of dogs in the world. A full-grown Yorkie can easily travel in a dog tote carried on your shoulder so you can take your pup around town with you, or if you travel often, they are even small enough to fit a special dog carrier that will slide under the seat in front of you on an airplane.