Are they ever cute?
But, should you get a Teacup Yorkie, and then, you might also be wondering what makes a Teacup Yorkie a Teacup Yorkie?
Teacup Yorkie Puppies is a term used to describe abnormally small, or “teacup” sized dogs, and is often used in reference to very small Yorkshire Terriers.
A Yorkshire Terrier that matures to a weight between 4 and 7 pounds is what every reputable breeder consistently strives to attain in order to preserve the breed standard.
Generally, any dog weighing less than 4 pounds when fully grown is considered to be teacup-sized. Many people may not be aware that there are considerable health issues and risks associated with owning such a small-sized dog, including heart disease, luxating patella, hydrocephaly, hypoglycemia, open fontanels, and seizures because these tiny dogs are usually inbred, breeding runt to runt until they become so small that the puppies cannot survive at all.
“Teacupism” is a highly controversial breeding practice that is not encouraged by responsible breeders because it creates weak dogs with many health problems, including shortened lifespan.
And by the way, in case you’re wondering how much a Yorkie and Teacup Yorkie cost, you might enjoy this article: How Much Does a Yorkie and Teacup Yorkie Cost?
What Makes a Yorkshire Terrier a Teacup Yorkie?
Yorkies are known to be fashionable, show dogs that many people buy for their aesthetic appeal. To quench the demand for cute little Yorkies, breeders take breeding practices to another level and breed very small versions of Yorkies called Teacup Yorkies.
As the name suggests, Teacup Yorkies are mini versions of their standard counterparts. A normal, full-grown Yorkie weighs 7 pounds (five to 6 pounds on average), a Teacup Yorkie would grow up to 4 pounds max. If you are a fan of tiny dogs or prefer dogs in their puppy stages, Teacup Yorkies are for you. These adorable miniature versions of Yorkies will make your heart melt with their tiny button eyes and little furry paws.
Teacup Yorkies are a rare breed of dogs because it takes very special breeding practices to breed healthy ones. They go by several different names, including Toy Yorkies and micro Yorkie. You would be surprised to know that the demand for smaller teacup Yorkies has led to another even smaller breed of Yorkies called micro teacup Yorkies. But at the heart of selective breeding practices is the question of how far is it okay to go when meddling with nature? The size of a standard Yorkie allows normal and healthy body functions, but things get more complicated as Yorkies become shorter. So if you are looking to get yourself a teacup Yorkie, getting a glance at the entire picture is essential.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Yorkie Life Expectancy
Why Are Teacup Yorkies So Popular?
Like just about every other “fashion” pressure, these tiny dogs are bred to appeal with their cute, puppy-like features that will fit in almost anywhere, especially inside the expensive, designer handbag.
And in case you’re wondering how cute the Yorkie actually is, you might enjoy this video:
How did the mysterious current craze for ever-smaller dogs come about? Why are teacup-sized dogs such a hot commodity? Is it because we humans are ever so enamored with smaller and smaller electronics — smaller phones — smaller computers — so why not extra small dogs, too?
These tiny dogs are miniaturized versions of already small or toy-sized breeds, such as the Yorkshire Terrier, and are much smaller than any officially recognized dog breed, generally weighing no more than four pounds when they are full grown.
Perhaps it’s time we humans took a closer look at what the ultra-small fad is creating in the canine world, and choose instead to not be part of a practice that has far-reaching disastrous consequences.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Yorkshire Terrier Pregnancy Symptoms
Upsides and downsides Of Owning A Teacup Yorkie
Picking a pet can be a difficult decision. Living with a dog and taking care of it is very different from looking at someone else’s dog from afar. Every dog comes with its own share of unique struggles, and teacup Yorkies are no different. When it comes to teacup Yorkies, you should really do your research. To help you decide, we’ve made a list of pros and cons of having a teacup Yorkie as a pet.
Let’s begin with all the great things you should expect by welcoming this tiny ball of joy into your family.
- Teacup Yorkies are Hypoallergenic, meaning that they aren’t prone to allergies, unlike many dogs.
- It’s convenient to travel with them. Simply put, these tiny little pups are portable enough to fit your traveling adventures.
- They make for excellent support systems. These jolly little dogs can brighten your day no matter how rough it went.
It wasn’t hard making a strong case for a pet teacup Yorkie, but there are things you should reflect on before making a final decision.
- The most apparent concern is health issues and medical costs. Owing to their smaller size, teacup Yorkies have internal structures that can’t fully support them, and they are at risk of severe health conditions. Some of these include problems with the heart, liver, brain, and bones.
- Yorkies are sensitive to changes. Security isn’t usually why someone would buy a tiny teacup Yorkie, but Yorkies are naturally territorial and will bark at the slightest threat.
- It can be hard to train them. While Yorkies are one of the more intelligent dogs, if they have developed a habit that you don’t like, it can be a headache to train it out of them.
At the end of the day, it is your decision to make. Everything boils down to what you are looking for in a pet and whether a teacup Yorkie fits that profile.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: How to Prevent Urinary Infections in Yorkshire Terriers
Teacup Yorkie Temperament – Does The Teacup Yorkie Make A Good Family Dog?
Getting a pet is like adding a new member to your household. Your Yorkie isn’t going to spend all its days with you but instead socialize with the other members of your family. So it is essential to think about whether your new furry little friend will gel in with everyone else.
Yorkies are generally known for their high-energy, playful personality. But such a strong character also has its downsides. Because of their tiny size, teacup Yorkies have a heightened sensitivity to unfamiliar, potential threats. They are very easy to lash out and get aggressive when mishandled.
If you have children, you may want to assess the situation. Teacup Yorkies may be labeled a “toy Yorkie,” but that can’t be farther from reality. Because of their size, Yorkies can quickly become defensive, so it is crucial not to mishandle them. If the children at your home are mature enough to know how to handle Yorkies, you shouldn’t be worried. Teenagers, and generally kids over 8, do fine around tinier dogs. But if you suspect that your child may get too physical when they are playing with your Yorkie, you should think about getting a larger dog.
Mishandling a teacup Yorkie can do more than just set it off in an angry fit. Because this type of Yorkie is much smaller than a typical Yorkie, it is much more prone to physical injury. You may run into unfortunate playtime accidents that can become serious issues.
Yorkshire Terriers have a knack for barking, and as we mentioned before, teacup Yorkies are no different. They like being vocal and making full use of their voice, maybe because they compensate for their size. This may become a nuisance for your family members who may have different commitments and schedules than you. Whether it’s someone who wakes up later or someone who works from home, it is important to check in with your family.
Another thing you might want to factor in when bringing in a Yorkie is the other pets you may have. Yorkies tend to be possessive and territorial about their home. They won’t take the news of sharing the home with another animal very well.
There are ways you can help form a bond between your Yorkie and other pets. One key practice is introducing them to each other at young ages. Early life socialization is fundamental in building strong bonds and making your dog grow into a friendly adult. While your Yorkie will initially be jealous of your other pets, we can assure you that they will eventually accept the others as a family too. It won’t be long before your Yorkie befriends the other animal friends in your house.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Choosing a Yorkie Puppy or a Veteran Yorkie as Your Pet
What Does The Teacup Yorkie Look Like?
Teacup Yorkies are known for their looks, but what exactly should you expect to find in your search for a teacup Yorkie?
Teacup Yorkies are pretty much a shrunken down version of a normal Yorkie. Much like the silky, vibrant coats that are a trademark for Yorkshire Terriers, teacup Yorkies also champion a flawless coat. The shine and color of a coat do come down to several factors like health, nutrition, breed, and skin conditions, but here are some of the prominent color combinations:
- Blue and tan
- Black and Gold
- Black and tan
- Blue and Gold
While pure breeds of teacup Yorkies have pure color combinations mentioned above, they may have a black coat with brown spots around their ears, paws, and muzzles as puppies. This is entirely natural and you shouldn’t be worried if your dealer has a puppy with such markings.
Besides the regal color combinations, their coats also have some other defining characteristics. Yorkies’ coats can reach floor lengths if allowed to grow out fully—fun fact: the hair on Yorkie coats are pretty similar to human hair.
However, this brings its own set of challenges. Owning a Yorkie will make you realize that the silky and luscious locks you see in pictures don’t represent reality. Long hair can get entangled pretty quickly because of its length, and the process is accelerated by running around. Their hair is also not always as shiny as it’s shown to be either. Shiny coats require a lot of grooming and nourishment, and that can often be expensive.
Many owners of teacup Yorkies keep the hair cut short to avoid facing a lot of these issues. You’ll only come across Yorkies with full-length hair if they participate in some dog show, where the long, silky hair decorated with cute bows can be a great plus point.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: How to Stop Biting Habit in Yorkie
How To Feed a Teacup Yorkie and What To Feed Them?
You might be wondering how to feed such a tiny little creature. After all, they barely weigh 4 pounds and probably have small stomachs.
The simple idea behind feeding a teacup Yorkie is less but frequently. Food is like a fuel tank for them; they certainly run through it quickly while they might not have the greatest capacity. On average, you should be feeding them small portions about three to four times a week.
In general, Yorkshire Terriers are very susceptible to Hypoglycemia, which is characterized by sudden drops in blood glucose levels. This can lead to weakness, dizziness, and fainting. All of these issues are amplified in teacup Yorkies. Keeping this in mind, it is vital to give your Yorkie timely meals. Make sure you feed it before it goes to bed and as soon as it wakes up.
The food that you do give them needs to be well-researched. Yorkies have certain allergies and specific nutritional requirements that you need to be mindful of.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Making Your Home Safe for Yorkie
Are Teacup Yorkies Healthy Dogs?
Unfortunately, in the case of teacup Yorkies, beauty does come at a price. The miniature figures make them prone to a pandora’s box of health conditions. So if you’re looking to buy a teacup Yorkie, it’s critical to be prepared if things go wrong.
Here’s a list of some of the issues you must be aware of:
Like we mentioned before, Yorkshire terriers are very vulnerable to quick drops in blood sugar levels. This can prove to be fatal, especially when you’re dealing with teacup Yorkies.
If you feel like your dog is feeling down and lazy for no apparent reason, then the suspect is likely Hypoglycemia. We recommend that you keep a substance containing high levels of glucose nearby. If your dog doesn’t respond to this, we advise you to take it to a vet immediately.
Legg-calve Perthes disease
As the name suggests, this disease is associated with bone degeneration. Specifically, the femur bone head starts to degenerate and deteriorate, which causes inflammation at the back of the legs around the hip joint.
Some symptoms you should be on the lookout for are:
- Lameness (appears across a couple of months)
- Your dog starts to carry the affected limbs instead of putting weight on them
- Your Yokie feels pain in the joint area
- The root cause of this disease is still unknown, but researchers speculate that it has something to do with blood vessel supplies
Your vet will recommend certain painkillers to reduce the lameness your dog experiences and temporarily relieve it of the pain. But the eventual solution is only surgery. After surgery, your Yorkie will have to go through several weeks of physical therapy. Regular physical exercise is pivotal in the recovery process.
Getting a teacup Yorkie is an enriching experience. But unfortunately, Yorkies aren’t the most healthy, sturdy dogs out there, so you should be prepared physically and emotionally to go through tough times.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Teeth Cleaning to Prevent Gingivitis in Yorkies
What Is A Teacup Yorkie’s Average Lifespan?
As we discussed before, teacup Yorkies aren’t known for their physical strengths. And so their life expectancy is also shorter than most dogs and even their standard Yorkshire Terrier counterparts. A typical Yorkshire Terrier can live up to 15 years; the average life expectancy of a toy Yorkie is 7 to 9 years.
This can vary for your dog depending on the health conditions and whether those conditions were spotted on time. Like it’s said, a stitch in time saves nine.
This is the most challenging part of having a pet teacup Yorkie. You will undeniably fall in love with it, but your journey together will be shorter than most other journeys.
Let’s Talk More About the Teacup Yorkie’s Health Issues
Teacup Yorkies are not only prone to specific health conditions, but they are more vulnerable to the conscious dogs usually go through.
We brushed over the particular breeding practices breeders use, but it is important to understand what these are and how they contribute to teacup Yorkies’ health issues.
Breeders are looking for a small-sized litter, so they specifically choose the smallest Yorkies they have to get the most miniature puppies. This makes birthing risky for the mother and decreases the survival chances of the pups. But that’s not the end of the problems. In a lot of the cases, breeders are blinded by the fortune of creating tiny Yorkies with specific color combinations, and they only value these characteristics. This means they don’t account for the health conditions and problems that the adult Yorkies might have and pass down genetic diseases.
There is a long list of issues your Yorkie can face, including:
- Keratitis sicca
- Sensitive stomach
- Respiratory issues
- Digestive issues
- Liver shunt
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: What to do When Yorkie Pregnant
How Do You Groom A Teacup Yorkie?
Teacup Yorkies are one of the most high maintenance pets you can have. Taking care of a mini Yorkie includes everything from getting the right hair products to knowing their behavioral inclinations. While it can seem overwhelming and stressful, we assure you that you will become a pro with practice.
To simplify the process, we have compiled a set of the most important things you should know when grooming your Yorkie.
First off, you want to be very vigilant once your new canine friend finally comes to your house. There is only so much you can figure out about your dog’s specific needs and preferences by reading up articles. So make sure you are paying close attention to your Yorkie’s behaviors, eating patterns, sleeping patterns, etc. Once you settle into it and start to understand your dog’s needs, you will feel more comfortable and less worried.
The next thing you need to be mindful of is Baths. Yorkies are tiny and generally weak, which leaves them susceptible to catching colds. Especially when you are getting a newborn Yorkie or a young pup, you need to make sure they are dried up immediately because their coats have not grown enough to keep them warm. We would advise not bathing your dog until it is 4 to 8 weeks old. Alternatively, you can use baby wipes or a warm, damp towel to get them clean.
Thirdly, you should keep your Yorkie’s sleeping position well within its reach. As we mentioned before, teacup Yorkies are prone to bone illnesses because of how fragile they are. The more stress they have to apply on their joints and legs, the higher the chances are of a health condition developing. Keeping their sleeping bed in a place where your furry friend doesn’t have to jump off from can go a long way.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: 7 Things You Need to Know About the Yorkipoo and Teacup Yorkipoo
What Are The Training And Exercise Requirements For A Teacup Yorkshire Terrier?
Your teacup Yorkie is very playful, but that doesn’t cut out the need for a regular and consistent exercise regimen. Although it doesn’t need to be a very exerting exercise routine that a bigger dog like a German Shepard would have, physical exercise is important.
You should take your Yorkie out for a walk for 30 minutes almost every day or bring the exercise home with a dedicated playtime. Toys will be your friends here, and you can engage your dog with a game of fetch. Yorkies love physical activities, so it’s a great bonding opportunity for you and your dog.
When you take your teacup Yorkie out for a walk, make sure you keep a leash on it. Yorkies may be tiny, but they are far from scared. Your Yorkie won’t shy away from a fight even if the opponent is bigger than it. They can become hostile and aggressive, so be prepared to pull them out of a brawl.
Buying a Yorkie Puppy – Are Teacup Yorkies a Good Dog Breed?
If after reading all of this you are still enamored with the idea of purchasing such a tiny dog, please do your research thoroughly to make certain that you are not keeping a disreputable backyard or puppy mill breeder in business.
Always visit the kennel and meet the parents of the puppy and if the breeder is conscientious and trustworthy, they will also agree to you taking the puppy to your veterinarian for a health check-up before you hand over what will likely be a hefty purchase price.
Whenever in doubt, use our Yorkie weight chart. You can also request the breeder to weigh the puppy in front of you, and if they make excuses then perhaps you should consider buying from another breeder.
Of course, the kindest thing you can do for yourself and all those who may suffer as a result of the continuation of these types of inhumane breeding practices is to seriously reconsider getting that ultra small-sized Yorkshire Terrier and if you really must have something that fits inside a teacup, make it hot water with a teabag.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Training your Yorkshire Terrier the Right Way
Tips On How To Find The Healthiest Teacup Yorkshire Terrier Possible
There are many options for getting a teacup Yorkie. However, because of how much Yorkies cost, there’s a lot of fishy business going on in the industry, which you want to avoid.
If you are looking to get a Yorkie from a breeder, you need to research what characteristics do teacup Yorkies have. Because the term teacup Yorkie isn’t an official term recognized by the American Kennel Club, many scammers abuse customers’ innocence who don’t know better.
Teacup Yorkies are pretty expensive dogs, and they can cost you up to 2000 dollars! (a big dent in your wallet). But the cost is mostly owing to the quality and reputation of the breeder selling you the Yorkie. Breeding practices require great specialization to achieve the perfect blend of health and miniature of a teacup Yorkie. While we aren’t saying more money means healthier dogs, but if you want to avoid spending tons of money on health costs later down the line, it is better to bite the bullet and spend the additional dollars.
The other option you have, which can be much cheaper, is adoption. It is ideal for bringing home a six-month-old teacup Yorkie because a Yorkie younger than that is very fragile and sensitive to handle, and a Yorkie older can be hard to train to your system of rules.
In addition to saving money, adoption is a superb option. You are giving home, shelter, and acceptance to a dog that might not have gotten that otherwise.
Teacup Yorkies are adorable -there is no debating that fact. Just watching clips of tiny little Yorkies running around and doing everyday dog-related things is a great technique I use to cheer up my days (and procrastinate for hours on end!). But the tiny package that comes with loads of love also brings loads of challenges.
When you plan on getting a Yorkie, especially a miniature teacup Yorkie, it is essential to do your research and check in with the other family members. Yorkies are unique animals, and caring for them also requires special attention.
If you think a mini Yorkie is your cup of tea (pun intended!), then you should go for it. But be sure to get it from a safe and reliable source.