Teacup Yorkshire Terrier
- Not AKC Recognized
- Lifespan: up to 13 years
- Size: extra small
- Energy: medium to high
- Recommended Crate Size: 18" - 22" dog crate*
Table of Contents
Have you ever seen something so cute and tiny? The Teacup Yorkshire Terrier, endearingly known as the “Teacup Yorkie” is an absolutely adorable and precious pup. You just want to drink them up. And...you almost can because they fit right into a teacup.
Spirited and happy go lucky, the Teacup Yorkie is the epitome of perfection when it comes to petite pint-sized pups. They are lively indeed but also all about snuggling up in your lap or curling up with you on the couch.
Bubbling with personality and oozing with cuteness, the Teacup Yorkie aces the best of the best in tiny breeds. If getting a Teacup Yorkie is on your bucket list, read on to see what owning one will likely entail.
The Teacup Yorkie originates totally from the Yorkshire Terrier and is, by all rights, considered to be a small breed dog. They are not recognized as a breed of their own and fall under the small size Yorkshire Terrier.
This is a bit of a problem when it comes to the lack of regulations where breeding is concerned and has led to the extremely high price tag that is often placed on buying a Teacup.
The Yorkie debuted in England as far back as 1861. When the Scottish people came to Yorkshire, England in search of work, they brought along with them their Terrier dogs such as the Paisley, Skye, and even the Maltese.
It is believed that the Yorkshire Terrier is a mix of the Terriers and the Maltese, achieved by cotton industry workers during the era. Being Terriers, they were great ratters.
It was in the 1860s the Paisley Yorkshire Terrier dog show dawned a star named Huddersfield Ben. He was considered to be the first Yorkshire and was wildly popular.
Yorkshire Terriers came to America during the 1860s in the Victorian Era. They were an instant sensation and still are today. The first Yorkie was recognized into the AKC is 1885. In the past 30 years, however, the craze is to have the tiniest Yorkshire Terrier possible.
The Teacup version came about in the common method of creation for Teacups, Toys, and Miniatures. The two smallest of the breed were mated repetitively until finally, the tiny Teacup breed was born.
Due to the fact the Teacup is the smallest of the smallest, he is quite fragile, especially as a young puppy and can inherit a lot of health risks. Quality, ethical breeders are a must.
If you are looking into getting a Teacup Yorkie, you must do your homework so you increase your chances of getting a good, healthy one.
It has been noted that because Toy, Miniature, and even Standard Yorkshire Terriers are quite small at birth, some sketchy breeders pass them off as being Teacups, much to the pet parent’s chagrin as the dog develops much larger than anticipated.
The Yorkie is such a popular breed in America, New Yorkers are trying to establish September 14 as “National Yorkie Day”. If successful, the day will include Teacups in the celebration as well.
Weighing in at around 2-4 pounds as full-grown adults, the Teacup Yorkshire Terrier is a teensy version of the Yorkshire Terrier from which he came.
While Standard Yorkies weigh between 4-7 pounds, a Teacup must not weigh over 4 pounds, full size. Teacups stand about 5-6 inches tall.
Teacup Yorkies have small heads and medium-sized proportioned muzzles. They have V-shaped ears which stand erect and a long tail which is often docked to be a medium length.
The Teacup Yorkie has a flowing, fine, silk-like coat that is long to moderately long. It is usually tan and black in color at birth and as a puppy although it may also range in color a bit such as gray and gold.
As puppies get older, their coat color usually changes to the traditional steel blue and gold, black and tan, or black and gold.
All sizes of Yorkies, including the Teacup version, are elegant looking. They are sleek, shiny, and beckon to be petted and loved.
Because the Teacup Yorkie is so small throughout his entire life, it is imperative that he be on a strict feeding schedule. Of course, the frequency and amount they are to be fed will be determined much in part by their age.
It is highly advisable for you to speak to his veterinarian about the recommended size and amount initially and as he grows.
Teacups can suffer from blood sugar issues like Hypoglycemia. It is important that they don’t go too long in between meals for this reason. Any interval of fasting over 8 hours is possibly too much.
Be sure to talk to your vet about this and also note if your Teacup is acting contrary to the breed’s general temperament characteristics as that might be an indication of feeding or health problems.
A young puppy may even need to eat a small amount every two to four hours. It is vital that you feed such a tiny dog optimally balanced, high-quality dog food that provides maximized nutrition in the small quantities he will get.
The reverse is often the case too. Because Teacups are tiny, they can eat too much for their size, especially if given many treats. Obesity can give way to a myriad of other health conditions so beware.
As always, be sure your dog has plenty of fresh water accessible to him at all times. If your Teacup isn’t drinking enough, you will need to encourage him to do so.
Although your Teacup Yorkie is likely to hide and balk or pout when it’s time to go get groomed, he will also probably get depressed if you wait too long in between grooming sessions. Proper and regular grooming is imperative for their health and for their happiness.
Their moderately long silky coats can easily get out of hand with mats and tangles if you don’t have them trimmed every 4-6 weeks or as needed. Plus, they will have a much neater appearance once groomed. They know it too and love to show off their new “do”.
As far as “at home” grooming of their coats goes, brush and bath them regularly. A gentle shampoo for sensitive skin is recommended.
Trimming Teacup’s nails is a must. They are inside dogs and don’t usually wear down their nails much. Their ears will need to be kept clean and dry too.
Teacup Yorkshire Terriers to require some exercise, but not a lot. Since they are tiny, a short walk can provide an amply workout for them. Their ancestors were working dogs so they do have plenty of energy though.
They often unleash their energy but jumping around and entertaining themselves but that can never take the place of dedicated exercise like a guided walk.
Be very careful when walking your Teacup. Know the area and beware of any large or aggressive dogs. The Teacup will not back down so it is your job to make sure any confrontation is avoided.
Also be careful of his tiny neck and that you don’t pull him or that he doesn’t try to pull you. Such a situation could severely damage his fragile neck.
The appropriate dog crate size for the Teacup Yorkshire Terrier is 12", but conventional sizes means that an 18" - 22" dog crate* with a divider will be an excellent solution.
Bred to be pint-sized pampered pups, the Teacup Yorkie has a mind all his own. Like his larger Yorkshire Terriers, he thinks he is ginormous. And, in personality, he is!
The big pup in a teeny pup’s body loves to be actively involved in his surroundings. If someone is dancing, he dances too. If other dogs are playing, he’ll jump right in, no matter their size. He is curious, energetic, protective, and eats up any attention he can get.
There’s a dark side to Teacup Yorkies too. They can be quite jealous, overly so at times. Since they are bred from working dog roots, they must have a job to do and although they don’t serve so much as ratters anymore, they certainly feel it is their duty to protect their families and the home. Jealousy and protectiveness can be a volatile mix, especially when you only weigh a couple of pounds.
You may not have ever dreamed you’d have a four-pound watchdog. If you bring a Teacup Yorkie into your life, that is exactly what you may get. They are known to bark and yap ferociously at any sign of an intruder (which might just be the postman or a neighbor).
They can be quite bossy with other dogs and don’t hesitate to scrap which is a very dangerous thing to do when you weigh about as much as a shoe and fit inside a teacup.
Then there is the loving and submissive side of Teacups. They can’t get enough of being held and want to go with you anywhere you go. Fortunately, there’s clothing made with tiny dog pockets and he will also fit right into your purse or can slip into your coat. Do be careful though. Dropping a Teacup Yorkie could be his untimely demise.
Keep in mind that during his first three months, your Teacup will be busy developing his little personality. Be patient with him and give him room to bloom. This is the prime time to socialize him. Make sure he is around children and other dogs and cats if possible but keep a close guard on him.
Overflowing with courage, the Teacup Yorkies make good companion dogs and excellent therapy dogs as well. They are very bright and catch on quickly. They are also known to adapt well to many various surroundings and situations.
While Yorkies, if properly trained to tone down their aggressive tendencies, can peacefully live with other dogs and cats in the family, it’s not advisable to let them get too close to small critters such as gerbils or hamsters lest their ancestral ratting instincts suddenly kick back in.
Although they are very adaptable, these Teacups are creatures of habit as well. They love to hear words and phrases like, “Go get in bed”. They will amaze you in how many words and phrases they actually understand.
You will know they do when they obediently go get in the bed or hide under the bed because you asked, “Ready to go to the beauty shop?”
A Teacup Yorkie is bred down by mating the smallest of the litters. That isn’t optimal for great health. The fact that they are both miniature and hybrid is not a plus, health-wise.
While Yorkshire Terriers of the Standard type enjoy a life expectancy of 13-16 years, the Teacup generally does not. Here are some medical issues they may have that owners should watch out for:
Digestive issues are common in Yorkies, especially for the smaller sized ones, such as Teacup versions. Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is a condition fairly common to the breed that causes him to dehydrate very rapidly. Severe vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea are other symptoms. Immediate medical help is required.
Pancreatitis is another ailment that a Teacup might encounter. Vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are present with this hereditary issue. Seek medical attention immediately if any of these symptoms occur. Causes besides heredity include a high-fat diet, a bad diet, and toxicity.
Legg-Perthes Disease is not uncommon with Teacup Yorkies and Yorkies in general. It is considered to be one of the most prevalent hereditary risks in the breed.
The disease entails the head of the femur bone growing weak because of a lack of blood supply in that area. The hip joint gives out and becomes deformed as a result and degeneration begin to appear shortly after. If your Teacup is limping or whining when he is walking, be sure to see his veterinarian as soon as possible.
Skin allergies, liver shunts, eye conditions, blood sugar problems, and dental issues are other things to watch out for. Because of his tiny size, do not put off getting any suspicious symptom checked out right away.
Also, if your dog has suffered a fall or has had a rough encounter with another animal or even a child, take him right in to be seen and perhaps x-rayed.
Teacup Yorkshire Terriers can be extremely easy to train...or not. It all depends on their individual temperament and the mood they happen to be in at the time.
They were bred, originally, to be workers, ratting and performing various other jobs so they are trainable indeed. But they are also highly independent and can be stubborn at times.
Praise goes a long way with this breed. They adore their pet parents and family and are eager to please. Treats are always a way to gain their cooperation but do be careful not to interfere with the teensy diet they have and don’t feed them until their tummies are bloating.
Keep training time fun...and short. They are active dogs that don’t like to sit and think about performing or anything else for that matter. They would rather have action. Don’t let their short attention span fool you though. They are smart, for sure.
Housebreaking can be a challenge. They have short attention spans and tiny bladders so they may take a break from playing just long enough to pee on the floor and then, it’s right back to play.
Much patience and persistence are required and if they are going to be left alone for any length of time, you may want to consider using a litter box for backup.
Is a Teacup Yorkie a Good Fit for You?
It seems that everyone wants a Teacup Yorkie. Why wouldn’t they? Teacup Yorkies are so darn cute and are so small, they can be taken just about anywhere.
It seems Yorkies, as a whole, are loved greatly. They are number seven in popularity among all the breeds.
Teacup Yorkies are enthusiastic and energetic. They are also loving, devoted, attached, and sensitive. They offer the best in what pet parents are often looking for. But, is the Teacup Yorkie right for you and your family?
If you have very young or very rambunctious children, you might want to second-think bringing such a fragile, yet sometimes overly confident, little pup into the family.
He doesn’t know his own weaknesses and could easily get hurt. The same is true if you have other pets that might pose a problem.
In the event that you are going to be away an awful lot, the Teacup may not be a good match. Along with being highly attached, they are quite small to be left alone for an extended period of time.
Many suffer from blood sugar issues that require them to eat frequently and their bladders are not equipped to hold urine for too long. It is best that someone be home to monitor this little guy as much as possible.
But, if you don’t have young children or other pets that could pose problems and are home much of the time or are able to take your Teacup Yorkie with you, this adorable pup would love to join your family.
They are outstanding companions, make-shift guard dogs, and will brighten up your life in ways you never thought possible. So, put the thought in your cup and sip on it. If you believe a Teacup Yorkie is a good match for you, count yourself fortunate. You are in for a real treat!
* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.