Teacup Chihuahua – Everything You Could Want to Know!

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

Turning everything miniature has become popular in today’s world.

We’ve come across all kinds of dog lovers. While some prefer larger dogs that will make them feel protected and safe, others want small designer dogs that they can easily carry around.

Some people desperately look for tinier dogs – such as the Teacup Chihuahua – and are willing to pay extravagant prices to get their hands on one.

So let’s start with the biggest myth first: Teacup Chihuahuasarenot a separate breed from regular Chihuahuas.

Teacup Chihuahuas are not a new breed. The name ‘Teacup Chihuahua’ is any regular chihuahua that’s smaller in size. These smaller dogs are sometimes referred to as designer dogs and are viewed by some as status symbols. There is no standard for size requirements for a ‘Teacup Chihuahua.’

Traditionally known as the ‘runt’ of the litter, the smallest dogs in the group are now called ‘micro,’ ‘mini,’ and ‘teacup’ by the breeders to makes these smaller dogs appear more attractive, exclusive, and desirable, and of course, more expensive.

One thing that’s not in one’s control is falling in love with these adorable little beings. That’s a major reason why you’d want a teacup chihuahua as your pet.

But before you go on and bring one home, it is important to know everything you can about teacup chihuahuas so that you can be prepared for this little dog as your pet. In this guide, we will cover everything you want to know about this designer breed and how you need to care for them.  

Day in the life of a teacup chihuahua!

Day in the life of a teacup chihuahua!

What Makes a Chihuahua a ‘Teacup’?

The size!

Unlike the regular Chihuahuas, the teacup or mini versions are much more recent arrival. While there are no standards set for a chihuahua’s size or weight to be considered a teacup version, the AKC does place a weight limit of 6lbs.

Since there are no thresholds with regards to their size, these dogs are considerably smaller than the regular ones and may fit in a teacup to match their description. Most breeders may find these dogs in the litter of regular Chihuahuas. This is a natural variation, and these dogs are also known as the litter runts, branding them as teacup is a marketing strategy.  

Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

On the other hand, some breeders pursue this tiny version of Chihuahuas by breeding teacup dogs together when they’re adults. But there are no set standards as to how small or lightweight a dog should be to fit into the teacup category.

Breeders use their own system and weight bands to categorizing puppies such as micro, mini, and teacup Chihuahuas. Unfortunately, a lot of breeders pursue breeding these small and undersized pups as a money-making business by making these smaller dogs appear desirable.

According to the Chihuahua Club of America, there has been a strong rejection of giving a formal and standardized definition to teacup Chihuahuas.  

Most Adorable Teacup Chihuahua Compilation Video Ever

Most Adorable Teacup Chihuahua Compilation Video Ever

History of the Teacup Chihuahua

To elaborate on the history of the teacup chihuahua, we first need to learn more about the actual breed, which is the standard Chihuahua itself. The breed is one of the old dog breeds. You can trace their roots back to ancient Mexico when the Toltecs people were engaged in breeding dogs with features like Chihuahua and called them Techichi. After being defeated by the Aztecs, the Techichi was refined into a smaller version that’s very much like the Chihuahua we have today.

The Techichi dogs became more common after the Aztecs fell to the Spanish Conquistadors during the 1500s. They were bred and sold at the marketplaces mainly as a source of food. When Spanish took over the Aztec, the Techichi breed seemed to perish forever. However, they stayed alive, especially in the remote regions around the villages. These were mainly Chihuahuas. Americans found the breed and became interested in these dogs and registered them as a distinct breed in 1908 by the American Kennel Club.

Chihuahuas remained in the limelight for their features and because of their appearance in movies such as Legally Blonde and Beverly Hills Chihuahua, especially as a ‘purse dog.’  

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The ‘mini’ or ‘teacup’ version of the breed is more of a modern concept that gained popularity and desire over the last decade or so. The hefty price tag they come with makes the teacup Chihuahua one of the most expensive dogs out there. Because of their unpredictability in size and weight, they are not registered as a separate breed.

Also, there are concerns related to the ethics of breeding of the teacup versions of dogs, which raises a long list of possible health problems.

Chihuahua Parents Info

Miniature Chihuahuas are not a hybrid breed because both parents are Chihuahuas. These are cheeky dogs and very much like terriers when it comes to personality and temperament. There are two main varieties – the long coat and the smooth coat.

Long-haired Chihuahuas require regular grooming. The miniature version of long-haired Chihuahua is a high-maintenance designer dog that maycost a lot to buy. Other than grooming, they tend to have a hyper yet friendly temperament and need little exercise as compared to the full-size regular Chihuahuas. They are also comfortable in living in smaller apartments and houses.  

Chihuahuas – regardless of their size – are both highly intelligent and alert dogs. While they can express aggression, the right training can keep them mild-mannered and behaved. Be warned; they will use their cuteness to their advantage.

I should mention that the Chihuahua breed tends to suffer from various health problems, so it is wise if you investigate and learn about the health status of both parents. Get in touch with a reputable breeder if you want to see the parents or check their health certificates. Authentic breeders carry out health screenings that could help you figure out more about the potential health problems.


Are Teacup Chihuahuas Good Pets?

Small dogs are often very adorable. They are tiny and don’t take a lot of space, and even when they’re fully grown, they may look like puppies. This is a very appealing factor when it comes to keeping teacup Chihuahuas as pets.

It is, however, important to realize that even though they may always look like puppies, they will grow up and evolve into a grownup, adult dog.

So is getting a teacup version of a Chihuahua guarantee that you can hold onto the puppy-phase with them forever?

Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. A miniature Chihuahua has a distinct personality and it may not all be good news. There are crucial facts about the Chihuahua breed that you must be aware of before investing in a miniature version. And most of it is related to the breed’s health concerns.

All in all, they could be an adorable pet if you are prepared to deal with health problems and somebehavioral issues.


Everything You Need to Know About Teacup Chihuahuas

Just because teacup Chihuahuas are small in size doesn’t mean they do not require immense care. It takes a lot of knowledge and a special kind of person to nurture this giant dog inside a tiny body. To become more familiar with this feisty little breed, here’s everything you need to know about teacup Chihuahuas:

Feeding

Feeding is a considerable concern when it comes to miniature Chihuahuas. Even a tiny quantity of chewing gum, chocolate, or any other toxic substance can be fatal becausethis breed is highly vulnerable to poisoning. You should always pick a very high-quality, age-appropriate food for your teacup Chihuahuas.

This breed is also susceptible to hypoglycemia. In this condition, the dog has a very rapid metabolic rate that could use up itscalorie reserves within hours. This results in a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, which can lead to weakness and other health consequences,whichis why Chihuahuas require food that’s dense in calories. Also, you must feed them at more frequent intervals as compared to other dogs’ feeding patterns. It is best to feed your little Chihuahua 3-4 times in a day.

In addition to calorie-dense foods, teacup Chihuahuas may also need a diet that’s rich in protein content. Despite their size, this little hound needs to maintain muscle with a high-protein diet. Moreover, foods that are also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin work well with teacup Chihuahuas. These elements help with keeping up their joint health and prevent bone-related problems.

Teacup Chihuahuas require healthy fats in their diet too. These are necessary for maintaining a healthy coat and skin. Food options that include antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetable is also a plus since it can help keep inflammatory disorders at bay.

While you should be cautious about your Chihuahuas food choices and pick only high-quality, calorie-dense foods, it is equally important to avoid overfeeding. Feed more frequently, but do not go overboard with the quantity.

Since most miniature Chihuahuas are under 5 lbs, half-a-cup of dog food should be enough. Divide it into several small meals for the day to keep up with frequent feeding. If you notice that your dog is gaining weight, reduce their food intake. These tiny versions tend to gain too much too soon. Regular overeating can cause obesity, which can exacerbate health problems.

Training

It is a false notion that you don’t have to train such tiny dogs, a mistake that many new dog owners make. The miniature version of Chihuahua is small in size but has a massive ego. Therefore, it is crucial to start training from the beginning to keep behavioral issues and temperament in control.

The tiny dogs can be bossy if you do not train them properly. Start with basic obedience training. It is crucial to teach them the rewards that come from following your commands. Chihuahuas may have a big ego, but they are very playful dogs. The key to training this tiny dog is to play to its weakness.

These dogs have an independent nature but are also devoted to their owners. Just like any other dog, they love the fun and attention during a training session. Teacup Chihuahuas are also very intelligent and alert little hounds. They respond well to positive techniques while training. Confront bossiness by showing them that good things come from following your lead.

Spoiling a teacup Chihuahua because of their adorable size and looks can be a big mistake because they won’t stay a puppy forever. Cute puppy antics can become undesirable behavior in adult dogs. Since they also have terrier elements to their personality, a gentle and consistent approach works best with them. Keeping a consistent strategy while also rewarding and praising them for good behavior should get you desirable training results.

Exercise

Teacup Chihuahuas do not require a lot of exercise if you let them play indoors. They can easily meet their exercise requirements by staying active inside the house because of their tiny size. However, it is crucial to be extremely careful when playing with teacup Chihuahuas. Their small bodies put them at risk of injuries—a little mishandling or carelessness when playing can be detrimental to their health.

They do, however, need some form of games or stimulation to keep them entertained and happy. But all of this needs to be done keeping in mind their fragile structures. If they are trodden on or kicked, you may end up causing serious injuries to your pet. You need to be particularly careful with little kids playing with these dogs.  

Their susceptibility to injuries – especially related to bone health – is a significant reason why they don’t need a lot of exercise. They are also at risk of hypoglycemia, which means they have an overactive metabolism. Strenuous or too much exercise can further elevate their metabolic rate, making the hypoglycemia condition worse. A little playtime indoors or a 15-minute casual walk outdoors should be enough for your teacup Chihuahuas.

Grooming

If you thought you could get away with no-grooming for these tiny dogs, you are wrong. But the level of grooming they require depends on their coat variety. Teacup Chihuahuas come in all shapes and coat varieties. If your little pooch has a smooth coat, a monthly bath and occasional brushing should be fine. If your teacup Chihuahua is a long-haired dog, brush them more regularly to avoid tangles. Bathing them twice a month will also keep their long hair dirt-free and soft.

Photo by nishizuka from Pexels

In addition to taking care of their skin and coat, you must take care of their dental health. Brushing your teacup’s teeth twice a week is recommended. Cleaning and inspecting the ears, trimming the nails, and taking care of their general hygiene would keep your dog healthier.

Socializing

Socializing is essential for Chihuahuas, especially the teacup version. According to research, smaller breeds, including Chihuahuas, are more likely to be aggressive towards or afraid of other dogs. Thus, it is imperative to give importance to their socialization.

If you’ve just got a Teacup Chihuahua puppy, you might want to consider attending puppy training classes with your new pet to get him more used to being with other dogs. Make sure they’re done with their primary vaccinations before you introduce them to other puppies and humans.

It is essential to keep in mind that these small dogs can be easily injured. Therefore, go for a training class that’s specifically for smaller dogs. Socializing is also necessary to temper your Chihuahua’s tendency to become highly suspicious of other pets and even human beings. Training through socialization helps with exerting control over the little giant that a Chihuahua is.

You can also take your little pup for a walk to parks where they get to interact with plenty of dogs and other animals. For kids, as much as they want to cuddle and play with your teacup Chihuahua, it is best to teach them to be gentle with this mini version.  

Additional Information

There’s more to this feisty little dog. Here are some quick facts to help you learn more about Chihuahuas:

  1. The regular Chihuahuas can live up to 20 years. The teacup version, however, suffers more health issues, which can considerably affect their life expectancy.
  2. As mentioned earlier, there is no recognized size or weight for a Chihuahua to be designated as a miniature or teacup version. However, breeders often regard smaller Chihuahuas that do not grow taller than 6 inches and are 5 lbs or lighter as a teacup or mini Chihuahuas.
  3. Teacup Chihuahuas can be of different variants. They can be smooth-haired or long-haired. The long-haired may have further varieties with regards to the texture of their coat.
  4. It is difficult for teacup Chihuahuas to retain heat because of their small body structure. Whether you have a short-haired dog or a long-haired dog, they are both prone to getting cold quickly.
  5. Just like the original breed, teacup Chihuahuas can come in a wide variety of colors, including fawn, black, white, or chocolate. Some are even available in a combination of colors like sable, mask, or brindle patterns.  
  6. Teacup Chihuahuas can be classified by their unique shape of the head as well. Some have a very distinct deer-like head shape while others have a rounded one.

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Teacup Chihuahua Temperament

Mini or not, Chihuahuas are adorable dogs. Their spunkiness is very endearing. In that tiny frame is trapped a super-sized personality that you just cannot ignore. But if you’ve ever had a Chihuahua before, or if you even know about this breed, you know they also have a reputation of being a little aggressive and nippy. They have a personality that’s similar to a terrier, especially in terms of their temperament. They don’t realize how small they are and can get a little aggressive towards bigger dogs and even humans.

Teacup Chihuahuas are no different. Primarily bred as companion dogs, Chihuahuas are devoted to their owners, but if not trained well, they can quickly develop behavioral problems. They can even develop ‘guarding’ behavior, which encourages them to snap and growl at anything or anyone they don’t feel safe around. Without proper training and control, this breed tends to show aggression to even people in the household, including the owner.

For their size, teacup Chihuahuas have a loud bark. They can easily alert the household if there’s a stranger in the house or if they notice something unusual. The downside is that despite the loud bark, they may not be able to scare anyone off. Loud barking can also be annoying for some neighbors.

While the temperament issues are quite common with this breed, you can overcome the problem by training them well, exerting enough control to show them who the boss is, and by ensuring enough socialization. Getting them used to meet new people and other animals can help you deal with the aggressive temperament while they’re still young.  

Despite the bossiness of the breed, the teacups are also extremely affectionate. They are highly energetic and playful. Unfortunately, these two traits also make them vulnerable to real concerns regarding their diminutive frame. Don’t be discouraged if you come across a dog with self-confidence that translates into arrogance. This isn’t the dog’s fault, but the owner’s who failed to train and socialize the puppy as they should’ve. Training and socialization are crucial to ensure that your dog doesn’t turn into a nasty yapper!  


Common Health Problems

Unfortunately, this adorable breed is prone to various health problems. Small breeds share most of these health issues as they’re associated with them being a little dog. Even standard-sized Chihuahuas have health problems because of their small size. One can easily imagine the problems with the miniature version.

Health problems of this breed are a significant concern for new owners. They are prone to injuries and mishandling this pooch can lead to serious damage. Injuries can also occur while playing if the kids handle the small dog carelessly. It is important to understand the fragile frame of the tiny teacup Chihuahuas.

Here we will discuss the most common health problems of teacup Chihuahuas that you need to know before getting one.

Incontinence

Toilet training is particularly very difficult for small breeds. They have a tiny bladder that holds very little before needing to be emptied, which means that you will need to provide for a lot of nature calls for your tiny Teacup Chihuahua in a day. Taking them out so often can be difficult, which means you will have to look for indoor solutions too, such as a litter box or doggy diapers.

Again, litter box training is mainly for cats and can be very difficult for a teacup Chihuahua. Accidents can become aggravating over time, and some people may find it very hard to live with themdaily. It is for this reason that people so often abandon their pets or relinquish them to animal shelters.  

Hypoglycemia

As mentioned earlier, hypoglycemia is a common health problem with Teacup Chihuahuas. Just like their overall structure, they have tiny tummies too. Their stomachs hold small amounts of food. Also, they have a fast metabolic rate, meaning that you need to feed them in controlled quantities regularly to prevent their blood sugar levels from dropping to a dangerously low point.

As an owner, you need to be enough time to cater to such needs. Feeding a Teacup Chihuahua or even a standard Chihuahua means a commitment. You must feed them 3-4 times during the day and sometimes even during the night.

Having a Teacup Chihuahua is like having a baby that needs a lot of attention.

Bone Fractures

One of the main reasons why teacup dogs are so popular is because of the way they look. They appear to be so delicate and dainty and are usually photographed in adorable ways to make them more appealing to the buyer. But being delicate also means that they have smaller and weaker bones that are prone to fracture.

Their fragile bones can easily break even if they jump from a sofa or a higher spot. This calls for careful handling, especially if you have kids.

They also have joint problems, mostly their knees. Their tiny size means they are much more fragile than other dogs. This breed cannot indulge in high-impact exercises or endure long hikes.

Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus, or the brain fluid – is a condition that occurs when the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid in your dog’s brain gets blocked. This leads to swelling. It can cause both severe pain and nausea and may become fatal for your little pooch.

Hydrocephalus is a common problem with the Chihuahua breed – both standard and teacup, mainly because of their size. Sometimes, it is also because of a genetic component. Therefore, you must stress on investigating your pup’s health screening and even learn more about the parents to avoid as many health problems as possible.

Since the size is one of the reasons why some dogs may go through this painful condition, being a teacup-sized dog makes the situation only worse.

Other Common Conditions

Being that small is a big problem for teacup Chihuahuas because they can be prone to many more health conditions. These dogs can acquire or inherit these conditions, specifically because they’re Chihuahuas.

Other than the health problems mentioned above, the tiny Chihuahuas are also most commonly associated with:

  • Luxating Patellas – more commonly known as slipping kneecaps
  • Atopy – the predisposition to significant allergic reactions
  • Tracheal collapse – loss of windpipe rigidity
  • Eye diseases
  • Urolithiasis
  • Legg Perthes Disease – deterioration of the top part of the thigh bone
  • Periodontal disease – disorders of gums, teeth, and jaw
  • Idiopathic epilepsy

Unless you do a great background check before buying this adorable little pet and give utmost care to this breed as required, be ready to deal with a bunch of health problems.


How Much Does a Chihuahua Cost?

Also known as designer dogs, these miniature dog versions are big business. Teacup Chihuahuas are no exception. Even though you’re taking a very tiny guy home, the amount you pay is going to be anything but small. These dogs come with a big price tag, so you can expect to pay far more for a Teacup version than you would for a standard Chihuahua.

Depending on the type of Teacup Chihuahua, the price bracket can be anything between $1200 to up to $12,000. And it is essential to know that it is just the tip of the iceberg. That’s only the purchase price of bringing your designer dog home. There’s a lot of costs that you’d have to deal with once the dog is home.

You will require a size-appropriate crate for your teacup Chihuahuas. You will need specialized toys to keep them entertained and safe at the same time. You can’t make them too excited, or they will be at risk of injury. You will also need to provide for regular vet checks, vaccinations, worming and flea treatments, and food.

Photo by Hana Brannigan from Pexels

Since these tiny dogs also require a specialized diet, you will need to invest in the best quality food available for Chihuahuas. And on top of that, if you do not have enough time to provide the care they need, you also need to factorize the cost of dog-sitting or doggy daycare to ensure their needs are met.

As these dogs grow, you may incur increased health costs and vet visits too. Keeping this in mind, opting for pet health insurance may be a good idea. However, that means an additional cost that you must take into consideration.


Living with a Chihuahua Dog

According to this survey, many small dog breeds are feisty and can act up. This is mainly because smaller dogs have attachment problems. They can be aggressive towards humans and other dogs out of a lack of confidence or fear. They also have a personality that can make them somewhat harder to train.

Other than the constant carousel of toilet breaks and meals, teacup Chihuahuas are high-maintenance dogs requiring both time and money to keep up with the care they deserve.

Life with a teacup Chihuahua can be quite different from what you think. They may look like an adorable little creature, but they require a lot of care, training, socialization, and love to adjust and behave well. If you are not ready to commit, these are not the best dogs for you.

While they are highly devoted and can be a great companion, people often invest in these expensive designer dogs to flaunt their lifestyle and money. But if that’s the motto behind your interest in this breed, it is better to steer clear and let them go to a more deserving family.


Conclusion – Is Chihuahua The Right Breed for You

Here are some pointers to help you figure out:

A Teacup Chihuahua may be a suitable pet for you, if you:

  • Have experience with handling a delicate or tiny breed dog or if you’re willing to take responsibility for properly caring for a miniature dog that a Teacup Chihuahua is.
  • Believe that socialization and training are necessary for optimally developing your dog’s personality and good habits.
  • Have enough time to play with and care for this breed.
  • Don’t have small children who cannot be taught how to handle a Chihuahua with care. 
  • Are getting a teacup Chihuahua because you want to give the dog a loving home instead of just flaunting them in your designer dog bag.

If you tick all the boxes above, this is the dog for you. If you are not sure about even one of these points, it is best to look for another suitable breed.

We hope all the information in this article helped you make a good decision and learn enough about teacup Chihuahuas. If you already have this breed or are still interested in buying one, we would love to know about your experience in the comments below.

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