It’s no secret that teacup dogs are rising in popularity. These pint-sized pups are cute, cuddly, and often less costly to keep and feed than their larger counterparts.
Teacup dogs come in all shapes and sizes, from Pomeranians to Chihuahuas to French Bulldogs and more! But while all teacup dogs are cute, not all teacup dogs are right for every owner.
So, whether you’re looking for a new best friend or just want to add some fun to your day, these 12 adorable teacup dogs are sure to make your heart melt.
What Are Teacup Dogs?
Teacup dogs are dogs that are often smaller than five pounds once fully grown.
The term “teacup dog” was first used in the late 1990s to describe very small dogs that were bred to be smaller than average, yet not so small that they could not function normally.
These little dogs have been around for a while, but it wasn’t until recently that they became popular among dog owners who wanted a dog they could carry around with them wherever they went.
Pop culture helped to make pocket-sized pups as popular as they are today, with celebrities showing up on the red carpet carrying their dogs in handbags or letting them lounge like stuffed animals on their laps.
When many of us think of teacup dogs, we often think of small designer dogs like Yorkipoos or Maltipoos. However, a teacup dog can be any variety of dog that is very small in size. And while the term “teacup” is used often to describe the minute size of different breeds, it’s a term that is not officially used or recognized by most major breed clubs.
But what exactly is a teacup dog?
A teacup dog is generally a dog that weighs less than five pounds once mature, though the term is increasingly being used more loosely to describe dogs that are simply smaller than that of their average counterpart.
Teacup dogs could also include pups that are the smallest of their litter (once known as runts), or dogs that have been bred down from already small toy breeds to be even smaller.
If you’re considering a teacup pup to call your own, it’s important to note that there is some controversy surrounding the notion of teacup dogs.
This is because very small dogs like teacup dogs are not always naturally supposed to be as small as they are bred to be. This can lead to a number of health issues in certain dogs, which in turn can lead to discomfort for both the dog and the dog owner, as well as costly vet bills throughout the dog’s life.
However, there are some teacup dogs that are naturally quite small, and oftentimes if you obtain a teacup dog or puppy from a reputable breeder your pint-sized pup can grow up just as healthy and happy as any of his littermates.
So, on that note, let’s talk about some of our favorite teacup dogs that are sure to melt your heart!
1. The Teacup Poodle
The teacup Poodle is the unofficial fourth size variety of his other Poodle counterparts.
The Teacup Poodle is a small breed of dog that has been bred down from the Standard Poodle. There are three recognized size varieties when it comes to the Poodle, including standard, miniature, and toy. Teacup is not a recognized size variety, though it is often used to describe a Poodle that is less than five pounds, as we mentioned above.
Though much smaller than their counterparts, Teacup Poodles still retain many of the same characteristics that make Poodles so popular and well-liked by dog lovers everywhere. They are highly intelligent, affectionate, playful, energetic, and long-lived. They make excellent companions for families with older, more gentle children, and they also do well with seniors, singles, and retirees.
2. The Teacup Pomeranian
Pomeranians are the smallest of the Spitz breeds, and teacup Pomeranians are even smaller.
The teacup Pomeranian is a very popular type of Pomeranian that is beloved for its small size and teddy bear-like appearance. On average, Pomeranians weigh between four and seven pounds.
The teacup Pomeranian is about one inch smaller in height than average and two pounds smaller in weight. The smallest members of this breed will weigh less than two pounds at full maturity and usually stand somewhere between six and nine inches tall at the shoulder.
These dogs are very affectionate and energetic. They are the smallest of the Spitz breeds and enjoy being around people and other pets when properly raised, trained, and socialized.
3. The Teacup Yorkie
The teacup Yorkie is famous for weighing between two and six pounds fully grown.
The Yorkshire Terrier is already a very small dog breed with a long, silky coat and curled tail. The teacup variety is almost pocket-sized, weighing between two and five pounds with a height of seven to ten inches.
These little dogs are very popular due to their cute appearance and small size. They are also known for being energetic and playful, which makes them ideal for families with older children. However, like all Yorkshire Terriers, Teacup Yorkies can be feisty vocal, and they require proper training and socialization at an early age to reduce behavioral problems.
4. The Teacup Maltese
The Teacup Maltese is a bred companion dog so it does best with owners who are home often.
The Teacup Maltese is a small, sweet-tempered dog that is easy to train and has a decent life span. They are already members of the Toy Group, which means they are considered one of the smallest breeds in the world. Like the Teacup Poodle and Teacup Yorkie, there is no such thing as an official Teacup Maltese.
However, the Teacup Maltese is typically a dog that is smaller than an average Maltese, weighing around four to five pounds and standing six to eight inches tall. They are best suited for owners that are able to be home often, as Maltese dogs were bred as companion dogs and can be prone to suffering from separation anxiety if left alone too often.
They do well with children, but Teacup Maltese dogs, like most teacup dogs, may not be suitable companions for small children as they can be prone to injury.
5. The Teacup Beagle
Also known as Pocket Beagles, Teacup Beagles are small, sweet, and adorable.
The Teacup Beagle, also known as a Pocket Beagle, has two variations. These teacup dogs can either be designer dogs created by crossing a small Beagle and a toy or teacup Poodle, or they can be a very small version of their average-sized counterparts.
The Teacup Beagle often weighs less than 10 pounds as an adult. He has shorter legs and floppy ears like an average-size Beagle with most of the same characteristics, especially when purebred.
If the Teacup Beagle is a crossbreed, it could have characteristics from both its parent breeds, so a potential owner should keep this in mind.
6. The Teacup Pomsky
Pomsky dogs are a cross between the Husky and the Pomeranian.
The Teacup Pomsky is a designer dog breed that is a cross between the Siberian Husky and the Pomeranian. The Teacup Pomsky is a smaller version of the Pomsky, which is already an established designer dog breed.
This designer dog breed has gained popularity over the years because of its unique appearance and friendly nature, as well as its extra small size. These teacup dogs come in various colors, including white, black, gray and brown. The Teacup Pomsky is also known as a toy Pom Husky or miniature husky pom mix, and can grow to be anywhere between four and nine pounds when fully mature.
7. The Teacup Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a naturally small dog, but bred down to teacup size he can weigh less than five pounds.
The Teacup Bichon Frise is a small breed of dog that has been bred down from its already small counterpart, the standard Bichon Frise.
Standard Bichons are famous for their cloud-white coat that is super curly and hypoallergenic. They are also excellent companions, getting along well with both children and other pets in the home. The Teacup Bichon Frise is just like its regular-sized cousin, though it’s often much smaller and weighs no more than five to seven pounds.
The temperament of a Teacup Bichon Frise will depend on how well socialized it has been during its early months but it is generally described as outgoing, playful, and friendly.
8. The Teacup Chihuahua
The Teacup Chihuahua is the smallest of the teacup dogs on our list.
Chihuahuas are already famous for being the smallest dog in the canine kingdom, so the Teacup Chihuahua takes the cake as the smallest of the Teacup dogs on our list. This small dog looks just like a smaller version of its larger counterpart and has many of the same characteristics when it comes to appearance and temperament.
While cute, Teacup Chihuahuas are controversial as they are already incredibly small to begin with and can be prone to more health issues if they are born smaller. Most Teacup Chihuahuas have been selectively bred to be much smaller than average, with the smallest of these dogs weighing less than two pounds at maturity. For this reason, they are often called “pocket” or “miniature” Chihuahuas.
9. The Teacup French Bulldog
Teacup French Bulldogs have all the same characteristics as the standard Frenchie in a compact size!
Like most teacup dogs on our list, the Teacup French Bulldog is a smaller version of the incredibly popular French Bulldog. The Teacup French Bulldog is a great companion for people who love small dogs but don’t want to compromise on the cute factor and fun personality of a full-sized Frenchie.
Though called teacup dogs, teacup French Bulldogs are some of the larger teacup pups on our list, weighing in at between 15 to 25 pounds. This is still smaller than the average Frenchie, which can weigh upwards of 30 pounds.
Teacup French Bulldogs are playful, energetic, and intelligent. They are very loyal and affectionate towards their owners, making them great companions for people living alone or with families who can spend time with them daily.
10. The Teacup Pug
Teacup pugs are especially small, sometimes weighing just three pounds.
The teacup pug is a miniature version of the traditional Pug dog, weighing around just three pounds once fully grown. Like many teacup dogs on our list, the Teacup Pug is usually bred by crossing a toy or teacup pug with a toy or miniature pug to ensure the size is smaller.
Teacup Pugs have all of the characteristics of their larger counterparts, including short legs and adorable, squished faces. They also have short fur that comes in a variety of colors from black to brown to fawn.
11. The Teacup Maltipoo
Maltipoos are a mix between a Poodle and a Maltese.
The Teacup Maltipoo is a small mixed breed dog that makes a wonderful lap dog or companion dog for dog owners who are going to be home often and are looking for a constant companion. This teacup dog is a cross between the Maltese and the Toy Poodle, as a teacup dog it often weighs less than five pounds once fully grown.
The Teacup Maltipoo is known for its affectionate nature and devotion to its owners. These dogs are watchful of their homes and family members and will bark when someone approaches the door. However, they are very sweet-natured and even-tempered, and they get along well with most anyone they meet.
12. The Teacup Dachshund
Dachshunds come in two size varieties, making the teacup dachshund the unofficial third size.
The Teacup Dachshund is a breed of dog developed over many years of selective breeding. The name comes from the German word Teckel meaning “Badger Dog”, and derives from the days in which Dachshunds were used to hunt badgers and dig them out of their dens.
The size of the modern Dachshund is largely due to the standards set by breeder Wilhelm Friedrich Loeffler in 1890. Modern Dachshunds come in two size varieties including standard and miniature. A miniature Dachshund often weighs around 11 pounds, but a teacup Dachshund is much smaller, weighing between five and nine pounds once fully grown.
The Teacup Dachshund is a very intelligent dog, which makes it fun to train if you have the time to work with them consistently. They do have some health issues that can affect them later on in life due to their unique build, however, so it is important for owners to learn about these problems before committing to a Dachshund regardless of its size.
What Are Some Of The Health Implications Of Teacup Dogs?
Smaller dogs are more fragile than average-sized dogs and they can also be prone to more health issues.
Teacup dogs are considered to be some of the most popular dog breeds in the world today, and it’s easy to see why based on our list above.
The demand for these puppies is growing every day and many people who want teacup dogs will do whatever it takes to get one. However, there are some health implications of teacup dogs that you need to think about before you decide to invest in one of these pint-sized pups.
Teacup Dogs Can Have A Higher Risk Of Degenerative Joint Disease
Improperly bred teacup dogs tend to have a higher rate of degenerative joint disease because of their very small size. This means they may have premature weakening of bones and joints that will be unable to support their body weight properly over time. This can lead to arthritis and other painful conditions that can make routine activities difficult for your dog as it gets older.
Teacup Dogs May Be More Likely To Suffer From Heart Disease And Cancer
Teacup dogs may also have a higher risk of suffering from heart disease and cancer due to their very small size. They may also be more prone to heart murmurs and breathing difficulties. This is especially true if your teacup dog is a flat-faced breed, (also known as a brachycephalic breed) like a Teacup French Bulldog or a Teacup Pug.
Teacup Dogs May Be More Susceptible To A Wide Range Of Other Health Issues Not Seen As Often In Their Average-Sized Counterparts
Due to their smaller size, teacup dogs can also be more prone to other health issues including collapsing trachea, seizures, respiratory issues, blindness, hypoglycemia, heart defects, digestive issues, and liver shunts. They are also much more fragile than their average-sized canine counterparts, which means falls from short distances or even slight impacts can cause serious injuries.
With that said, many of the above health issues in teacup dogs can be avoided simply by ensuring you go through a reputable source or breeder to obtain your pup.
What You Should Avoid When Looking For Teacup Dogs
Avoid backyard breeders, online sellers, and pet stores when looking for a teacup dog.
When people first begin looking for a teacup dog to call their own, they are often surprised to learn that a “Teacup” dog is not an official size variety recognized by all breeders or breed clubs.
This is primarily due to the fact that teacup dogs are relatively new, and they are not always ethically bred to ensure overall health. For this reason, it’s very important to take your time when looking for a teacup dog and to avoid going through backyard breeders, online sellers, or those who are quickly turning out smaller-than-average puppies for a premium price.
Below are a few red flags you should look for when looking for a healthy teacup dog.
Watch Out For Signs Of Puppy Mill Puppies
First and foremost, avoid buying any dog from puppy mills, backyard breeders, or online sellers, as discussed above. When you buy from a puppy mill, you’re supporting an illegal and cruel practice. Puppy mills breed their dogs constantly with no regard for their health or well-being. If you see signs of neglect at a breeder’s facility, including dirty kennels or sickly-looking animals, avoid buying from them at all costs. You should also avoid buying from pet stores, as you won’t be able to gather a good background on the puppy you are purchasing.
Watch Out For Breeders Selling Teacup Puppies At A Very High Price
It’s also best to avoid breeders that are breeding and selling teacup dogs at a higher price just because these dogs are small. Most quality breeders are aware that the smaller puppies in the litter come with health implications and will not breed them down on purpose for this reason.
If a breeder is purposefully breeding what they coin as “teacup dogs” make sure you research the breeder before buying and ask for certificates of health.
So, now that you know more about teacup dogs, would you consider getting one? And if so which of our teacup dogs above melted your heart?
Tell us in the comment section below!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.