Are you looking for a Yorkshire Terrier but even smaller? Look no further than their miniature cousins, the Teacup Yorkie.
Affectionately known as a Teacup Yorkshire Terrier they are the world’s smallest dog.
This dog is named after their unique ability to happily sit in a teacup!
Tiny yorkies first became popular in the 1990s as a fashion-breed, but they are so much more.
Want to know what it’s like to own one of these dogs? How much they cost and where to find a reputable breeder?
Read on to find out everything you need to know…
Teacup Yorkie Dog Overview
Teacup Yorkies are very small Yorkshire Terriers that have been selectively bred.
The Yorkshire Terrier was first seen in England in the 19th Century and the Teacup Yorkie was first seen in the 20th Century.
Their original bloodline is unknown, however, it’s thought three purebred dogs were bred into the line:
- Paisley Terriers
- Skye Terriers
When this dog first appeared there was not a breed standard. So any dog that resembled the shape of a Yorkie was considered to be a Yorkshire Terrier.
However, in 1860 a woman named Mary Ann Foster had a Paisley Terrier named Huddersfield Ben. This dog went on to be defined as the first Yorkshire Terrier and is widely known as the father of the breed.
The Yorkshire Terrier was first seen in America in 1872.
Standard sized Yorkies were first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1885, however Teacup Yorkshire Terriers is not officially recognized.
It is a mystery as to when the first Teacup Yorkie appeared, but we do know that they have been selectively bred for generations from standard sized Yorkshire Terriers.
Their small and delicate size means they are not a great pet for families and homes with children, but they are perfect for any adult.
Beloved by all who meet them, these dogs have become a staple of the dog community, taking social media by storm.
Why We Love The Teacup Yorkie
- They are guaranteed to love you with all their tiny hearts and make very loyal companions.
- Their gorgeous coat can be styled and cut in various ways, giving them a unique appearance.
- They don’t need lots of exercise, and so are happy to live in an apartment.
- It is very easy to care for them so they so can easily fit in to your daily routine.
- Many celebrities own this breed including Justin and Hailey Bieber, Whitney Houston, Birdman and Lil Wayne.
Teacup Yorkie Facts
2 – 5 pounds
4 – 5 inches
$1,000 – $1,500
10 to 15 years
How Much Is A Teacup Yorkie Puppy?
The average price of a teacup puppy is $1,500. Some puppies can cost as much as $10,000 if they have been bred from a well-known line of Kennel Club Registered Yorkshire Terriers.
A Teacup Yorkie’s price is typically based on the pedigree and show quality of their parents.
They are some of the smallest puppies in the world and don’t grow much. The main change that occurs is their coat color lightens to create a more blue or silver color along their backs.
These puppies are bred from two smaller purebred Yorkshire Terriers in the hope of smaller puppies. This is known as selective breeding and is very common in other miniature breeds.
Yorkie mothers can only carry one or two puppies in each litter and even this can be very risky for their health.
Consequently if you are looking to purchase one of these dogs, you should choose someone with a reputation as an ethical breeder.
Many kennel clubs avoid officially recognizing these puppies as they are concerned that selective breeding can be unhealthy.
This makes it difficult to find a reputable breeder because there isn’t an official breeder list.
Importance of Finding a Good Breeder
Unfortunately, because of their designer breed status, they have found their way into the Puppy Mill market.
Their small size and cute appearance combined with their high price tag makes them a favorite for backyard breeders and puppy mills.
When purchasing a teacup yorkie puppy make sure you avoid responding to adverts on websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or GumTree.
You should never adopt a puppy before eight weeks of age.
With such a small breed it is important to get confirmation of their age before adoption. Puppies need to learn essential skills from their mom and be socialized with litter mates before 8 weeks of age.
Speaking to others who have teacup dogs and getting recommendations is a good place to start finding a breeder. Always take multiple visits to the breeder and ask to see the mother with the puppies.
Alternatively you can try to adopt a Teacup Yorkshire Terrier.
Places To Adopt A Teacup Yorkie Rescue
Unfortunately, as these dogs have become a fashion trend there is a tendency for owners to abandon them.
There are many reputable and dedicated organizations across the states that rehome this dog:
- Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue
- Save a Yorkie Rescue
Make sure you are committed before adopting as this breed can live to 15 years and more.
Teacup Yorkie Pictures, Color and Size
The easiest way to identify this dog is by their tiny size and color.
Yorkies are typically a tan dog with a black saddle, however, they can also have blue or silver coloring.
White Teacup Yorkies exist but they are extremely rare. Their white color is caused by an extremely rare and recessive white gene that causes paler coloring.
Another defining feature is their glossy and silky coat.
This dog has a long, straight coat that is soft to the touch and falls straight onto their back.
One common misconception is they are hypoallergenic, this is unfortunately not true.
They shed less than other breeds, and do not release as much as dander, however they are not hypoallergenic.
How Big Do Teacup Yorkies Get?
Weighing just 4lb and standing between 4 to 5 inches tall they are truly teacup sized. They are particularly small in size and are classed in the Toy Group.
Teacup Yorkie Personality and Temperament
- Barking and Aggression
Though small in size these dogs pack a punch with their personality and are very affectionate.
Just like their standard sized cousins, they are very sassy in nature, albeit curious and loving.
They have retained many traits common to terriers and can be feisty and excitable dogs.
Although now companion dogs, Yorkies were originally bred as working dogs. As a result they love to be busy, be that chasing a ball or getting a belly rub.
Despite their tiny size, Yorkies are known for their big hearts.
They are very loving dogs, and their favorite place to be is on their owner’s lap.
Are Teacup Yorkies Good Pets?
Despite their tiny size this dog has a big heart and has been loving companions for hundreds of years. However, they don’t always make good pets.
Here are some characteristics that you should be aware of before adopting:
- Barking can become an issue with this breed. They can bark excessively at other animals and strangers.
- They are very sprightly will have a prey drive like other terriers. Given the chance they are likely to try and chase a squirrel.
- Due to their small stature they struggle in a home with other animals or dogs. They often feel threatened or become nervous, and generally prefer the company of people.
- Although these dogs are very loyal companions, they are more likely to be prone to separation anxiety.
Are They Good As A Family Dog?
No. These dogs do not do well with other pets or small children. They are best suited to families that are adult only.
They are not a sturdy dog and will not cope well with small children who could injure them by accident in play.
Their smaller size and fragile nature also mean they struggle to climb stairs.
This is great for older family members that do not exercise much and live with limited access to outdoor space.
Although affectionate towards people, they tend to shy away from other dogs and pets due to their smaller size, preferring to be beside their human for comfort.
Teacup Yorkies are not recommended for homes with other non-human animals.
Do They Bark A Lot?
Teacup Yorkies are known barkers.
They make their presence known to anyone or anything they don’t like.
They are tenacious dogs that bark at everything from a passing car to the mailman or guests in your house. This tendency can be mediated with socialization as a puppy, as well as training and exercise.
Like other small designer breeds, this breed is known for their tendency to develop small dog syndrome.
The smaller size of the Teacup Yorkie can make them incredibly nervous dogs. This can be combatted somewhat with socialization, however, remember to take it at your dog’s pace.
Teacup Yorkie Care Guide, Diet and Exercise
|Daily Food Consumption|
|Cups of Kibble|
These dogs should be fed every three to four hours. Little and often is the best diet.
A Teacup Yorkie should rarely skip a meal; if their appetite is off, it may be a sign of an illness and a veterinarian should be consulted.
You do not need to wake them during the night to feed them, just make sure that they have dinner before they sleep and breakfast once they wake.
These dogs need a maximum of one cup of dog food daily that should be split into four or five meals.
Purchase a brand of food specifically designed for smaller dogs, as the kibble will be smaller and better sized for their tiny mouths.
Teacup Yorkies are known to have very sensitive stomachs so it is important to carefully monitor how what they eat affects their behavior.
When your dog first comes home be sure to feed them some of the food that they were eating at the breeder’s house and then slowly move them onto the brand of food you have selected for them.
|Daily Exercise Requirements|
Teacup Yorkies have very small exercise requirements – due to their smaller size.
Their little legs don’t require more than about 20 minutes of exercise daily. Although this can and should be a walk, Teacup Yorkshire Terriers exercise requirements are so small that this can be substituted through play occasionally.
When walking your dog it is important to use a harness as opposed to a collar. Due to their smaller size too much pressure on their throat may cause their trachea to collapse.
This condition is already prevalent in smaller breeds and is even more pronounced in teacup dogs.
They are also very fragile in nature so any sort of rough play (e.g. wrestling) should be prohibited.
How To Train This Dog
When you bring your Teacup Yorkie home it is best to allow them to explore one room at a time.
Due to their smaller size they are easily spooked. It is best to restrict their access to the house at first and slowly introduce them to new spaces as they get more comfortable.
Teacup Yorkies are usually very easy to train.
This comes from their natural drive to work; they are born people pleasers and love to work.
They are play, praise and food oriented dogs, which makes teaching them very easy.
Be patient with your dog, although they love to learn, the world can be pretty confusing when you are only five inches tall.
Offer verbal reassurance when they are displaying the right behavior and be sure to keep your training sessions short. No more than 15 minutes a time every few hours.
Grooming A Teacup Dog
The Teacup Yorkie’s coat will require a lot of maintenance.
Their long-haired coat requires daily brushing to keep their hair from getting knotted.
Brush with a pin comb to really comb through the hairs and encourage the coat to shine.
Due to their long hair, Teacup Yorkies may have trouble seeing if their hair covers their eyes. You may wish to give this hair a trim or ask your groomer to do so.
Alternatively, the coat can be clipped by a groomer for a much lower maintenance dog. This shorter clipped coat requires less regular brushing, but, still requires a proper groom every few days.
To really maintain the coat, small amounts of coconut oil can be applied periodically.
Nail clipping and ear cleaning should be done once monthly by an experienced groomer or veterinarian. Never attempt to do this if you do not know how.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Teacup Yorkie?
This breed is able to live a happy and healthy life for between 12 and 15 years.
As Teacup Dogs are fragile their bones can break easily as a result of this running up and down stairs, or jumping off the couch. If you’re going to allow your dog on the furniture be sure to lift them.
Teacup Yorkies have a lot of dental issues, they struggle to lose their baby teeth, and then struggle to fit all the adult teeth required in their tiny mouths.
It is not uncommon for Yorkshire Terriers to have lost half their teeth by the time they are 12 years old.
Patellar Luxation is extremely common in teacup dogs. Their smaller knees mean the bones are more likely to be incorrectly formed.
There is also a history of them developing progressive retinal atrophy. This is a genetic condition that may cause your dog to go blind.
No health section about Teacup breeds would be complete without referring to their propensity to develop hypoglycemia. If this is improperly monitored, it can cause seizures and even death.
If you are looking for a tiny companion to give you lots of love, then a Teacup Yorkie could be perfect!
These very sweet little dogs need a careful owner who can make sure that they are very well looked after and protected from any potential accidents.
This means a pet and child free home, as well as minimal access to stairs and anything else they could injure themselves on.
If you are looking for a slightly more robust or family-oriented dog, look at a Skye Terrier.
Teacup Yorkies are kind, loving dogs, who make wonderful companions for adults of all ages, background and lifestyles. Cute and compact, they do well in apartments and need little exercise.
Do you have an adorable Yorkie puppy at home? Are you thinking about getting one? Let us know what you think of these incredible dogs.