Last Updated on May 15, 2023
Teacup dogs are teeny, tiny versions of large dog breeds. Most aren’t recognized by the AKC as their own official breeds.
Rather, they’re just smaller than the usual breed standard. But that doesn’t mean that they’re smaller in personality!
Most teacup dogs are under about 7 pounds, but they still retain all the traits that their larger cousins have.
Teacups came around because people wanted a smaller, pocket-sized version of some of the more popular breeds out there.
So breeders combined the smallest dogs in their litters to get truly tiny friends.
True Teacup Dog Breed
Almost any dog can be bred smaller than the standard, but usually, only dogs that are already tiny are bred into teacup sizes.
For instance, a Great Dane is never going to be a teacup size, but a miniature poodle can certainly become smaller through breeding.
Some of the most popular teacup breeds include Chihuahuas, Maltese, Poodles, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, and Yorkies.
1. Teacup Chihuahua
If you thought a Chihuahua is a small dog, just wait until you see the tiny teacup chihuahua.
When they’re full-grown, they can be five pounds or under! They still retain that bold, spitfire Chihuahua personality, just in a tiny package.
The Chihuahua is already the smallest dog breed, and teacup chihuahuas are some of the smallest teacup breeds you’ll find.
If you have your heart set on the tiniest dog possible, this may be the breed for you.
If you want to learn more about this itty-bitty canine, check out our guide to Teacup Chihuahuas.
2. Teacup Maltese
The Maltese have been turning heads with its glorious white coat for centuries. The miniaturized version continues this tradition but in a teeny tiny package.
These dogs love their people and aren’t afraid to defend their family, even though they may weigh anywhere from just 2-5 pounds.
Most are usually less than 7 inches tall, as well, which makes them just a little handful of pup. Watch out, though.
While they may be small, that hair still needs a lot of maintenance. Many people opt to have their dog’s hair trimmed to make things easier.
These dogs are best for an adult-only family since their size makes them quite delicate. We have a whole guide on Teacup Malteses if you want to learn more.
3. Teacup Poodle
If you thought three sizes were enough for the playful Poodle, get ready because now there’s a fourth size: the Teacup Poodle.
Teacup Poodles are extra small toy Poodles, which is the only difference between the two.
Teacup sizes aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club as an official breed, but Poodle lovers consider any pup under 9 inches and less than 6 pounds to be a teacup.
Other than their size, they retain that curly, hypoallergenic coat, that playful personality, and that high energy level of their bigger poodle cousins.
They retain that athletic, incredible intelligence of the larger breeds.
Many people assume that because of their fancy haircuts, that these dogs are fussy, but that’s not true. They love to play in the mud and fetch a ball as much as the next dog.
4. Teacup Pomeranian
The Teacup Pomeranian defines personality plus. They’re playful, bold, lively, obedient, and affectionate.
They weigh just 3-7 pounds and are generally under 7 inches tall. The pom is considered a toy breed by the AKC, while the teacup size isn’t officially recognized.
These dogs are incredibly popular (they’re one of the most popular toy breeds) and undeniably cute. With their foxy faces and glorious coats, they tend to draw a lot of attention wherever they go.
These tiny pups are easy to train and don’t need too much exercise, so if you live in an apartment, they might be ideal for you.
5. Teacup Shih Tzu
Teacup Shih Tzus stay under seven pounds and under eight inches tall, but that tiny stature doesn’t take away any of the characteristic Shih Tzu personality. These dogs are lively, alert, noble, and affectionate.
They also have an incredible coat that really makes them stand out. It’s long, silky, and topped off with an elegant tail that curls over their back.
This is one of the more popular breeds out there, and it’s easy to see why people love this pooch. They’re perfect for apartment living and make an exceptional companion.
6. Teacup Yorkie
When it comes to tiny dogs, the Teacup Yorkie may be the king.
Owners claim they’re the cutest of all the small dog breeds, and you see them everywhere these days because they’ve become incredibly popular.
Teacups are smaller versions of their standard-sized cousins, staying under 3 pounds and 6 inches tall, and they make the ultimate lap dog because they love to be snuggled up with their owners.
But they aren’t just pretty face. They still have that bold, brave, bossy, and adorably stubborn personality of all Yorkies.
Honorable Mentions – The “Mini” Breeds
These mini breeds aren’t always as small as the ones mentioned above, and they’re a bit less popular right now. But they’re all just as adorable.
1. Teacup Pug
The Teacup Pug, adorably known as the Pocket Pug, is a miniature version of the popular little flat-faced doggies.
It’s easy to see why dog owners rave about their pocket pugs. Their small stature contains a big personality.
Some breeders combine a Teacup Pug with a Teacup Chihuahua to give you the Chug. These tiny dogs have a short snout and curly tail mixed with the chihuahua’s characteristic style.
2. Teacup Beagle or Pocket Beagle
Breeders have been breeding smaller beagles for years, but it wasn’t until recently that they decided to make them extra tiny.
They aren’t as small as other teacup dogs, weighing around 20 pounds and standing under 13 inches tall. But that’s still a lot smaller than the standard size.
3. Teacup Dachshund
They usually weigh under 8 pounds and under 7 inches. That tiny stature really amps up the cuteness factor. But despite that small size, they have plenty of charm and independent nature.
4. Teacup Brussels Griffon
The Brussels Griffon, or Griffon Bruxellois, is a loyal, alert, and curious companion. He’s already a small dog at under 12 pounds, but teacup versions are even smaller, often weighing under 7 pounds.
These dogs have a lot of personalities, with a sensitive heart and comical self-importance. They usually stand under 7 inches at the shoulder.
5. Micro Pekingese
The royal peke is an independent, courageous, bold dog with a characteristic, flowing coat.
Known as the lion dog, the teacup is just a smaller version of the full-sized lapdog. They are often under 6 inches tall and under 9 pounds.
Pekingese come from China originally and were a favorite of the ruling classes there.
Perhaps because they were bred to be the companion of royalty, they tend to be one-person dogs and believe that they deserve only the best.
6. Mini Bichon Frise
The lovely Teacup Bichon Frise has a powder puff of gorgeous white hair. These dogs are mischievous, sweet, and loving.
While the standard size is a tiny 7-12 pounds and under 11 inches tall, the teacup version is under 9 inches and 7 pounds. That’s pretty tiny!
Even though they may look like a child’s toy, these sensitive dogs do better in an adult house because they don’t like a lot of noise or roughhousing.
7. Teacup Boston Terrier
The Teacup Boston Terrier is a miniature version of the standard dog.
Though it isn’t officially recognized as a separate breed by the AKC, lots of breeders out there are combining the teeniest dogs in their litters to make these tiny puppers.
Most weigh under 10 pounds and are under 12 inches tall, so slightly larger than many of the teacup dogs on this list. With their big brown eyes and bat-like ears, they’re sure to turn heads.
Other teacup dogs that are mixed breeds
1. Cavoodle or Cavapoo (Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Mix)
The Cavoodle or Cavapoo is a mix of a Cavalier King Charles and a miniature or toy Poodle. While they’re already a pretty small dog, they’ve been bred even smaller to make a tiny teacup version.
It’s hard to predict what they’ll look like exactly or what their personality will be like since they can take on traits from either breed parent, but they’ll usually be under 13 pounds and shorter than a foot tall.
2. Maltipoo (Maltese and Poodle Mix)
The Maltipoo is a mixed breed that is affectionate, does well in apartments, is easy to train, and makes an excellent little watchdog.
While these pups are already pretty darn petite, some breeders are aiming to make them even smaller.
Typically, Maltipoos are anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds and grow about 8 to 14 inches tall when fully grown. But sometimes you’ll see them around or even under 5 pounds and under 8 inches tall.
If you want to know more, head to our comprehensive Maltipoo guide.
3. Morkie (Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier Mix)
Morkies have long, gorgeous coats thanks to their Maltese and Yorkshire terrier parents. They also love their people and want all the attention they can get.
They also love other dogs, but just make sure that everyone plays nicely together before letting them romp around.
These little fluff balls usually weigh between 7 to 13 pounds and grow up to 8 inches tall at the shoulder, which is pretty small, but you can certainly find them in teacup sizes, as well.
We have an entire Morkie guide dedicated to this stubborn, loyal pup if you want to know more.
4. Pomsky (Pomeranian and Siberian Husky Mix)
If you’re looking for a teacup dog but you live in a place that gets very, very cold and you’re worried about your dog’s ability to thrive in low temps, check out the Teacup Pomsky.
A designer breed that combines the pomeranian and the Siberian husky, these adorable dogs have thick coats.
Not only are they better in cooler weather, but they’re so adorable that they’ve become one of the most popular breeds out there in recent years.
These dogs are trainable, but sometimes stubborn, can be a bit vocal, and adorable jesters who like to be silly. They also tend to latch onto one person.
While they typically weigh up to 38 pounds, most are smaller. Some breeders are even aiming to get them as tiny as 10 pounds or less.
Watch out for these tiny versions, however. Many of them are bred by irresponsible breeders.
To learn more about Pomsky, our guide has lots of good information.
5. Yorkiepoo (Yorkshire Terrier and Toy Poodle Mix)
The fun-loving yorkiepoo is pretty hard to resist, with their adorable looks and intelligent, playful personality.
These dogs blend traits from the Yorkshire terrier and the toy or miniature poodle into one tiny package.
They can weigh anywhere from 3-14 pounds and grow about 7 to 15 inches tall. They love being around their people and aren’t too demanding. Just be sure to socialize them well when they’re young.
Head on over to our guide on Yorkie Poos for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Do teacup puppies stay small forever?
One of the great things about teacup dogs is that they stay puppies forever. While toy dogs are tiny, teacups stay the size of a newborn puppy of a larger breed forever.
Most never get above 5 pounds and more than half a foot tall.
For puppy lovers, this incredibly small size is a huge draw.
How much do teacup puppies cost?
If you’ve done any shopping, you’ve probably realized that teacup dogs can be exceptionally expensive.
There are two reasons for this. The first is that they are in high demand. Lots of people want a tiny pocket companion.
The second is that they can be difficult to breed and litters are small. Because they are so tiny, they tend to have health problems, which include problems giving birth.
Some breeds, like toy French Bulldogs, can only be born by cesarean section.
How long do teacup dogs live?
Teacup dogs almost always have more health issues than larger dogs.
It’s just the nature of trying to force a dog into a smaller and smaller body. Often, teacup dogs are bred by breeding the runts of separate litters together.
Runts are often less healthy than their older siblings, which can introduce all kinds of problems.
Common health issues are breathing problems like collapsed trachea, seizures, digestive issues, sight problems, liver shunts, hypoglycemia, and heart defects.
They also tend to have more dental issues and bone problems.
On top of that, they’re usually more fragile. They can get injured easily if someone steps on them or if they jump off a high bed.
In general, the smaller the dog, the more problems you might encounter.
For that reason, they generally have a shortened lifespan. While many of them, if properly cared for, can live up to 15 years, most live under 10.
Are teacup dogs subject to irresponsible breeding?
Unfortunately, because they’re so popular and command a high price, teacup dogs are subject to irresponsible breeding.
There are people out there who want to make money off of their tiny puppers, so they breed without taking the dog’s health into consideration.
Some animal welfare experts also feel that breeding dogs this tiny is cruel.
Not only is the pregnancy and birth risky for the mother and the pups, but with so many health issues, breeders care dooming many adorable pups to a life of discomfort or health problems.
Not all breeders are bad, though, and there are many reputable breeders who are working hard to breed small dogs that are healthy.
What should you take note of to ensure a breeder is reputable
It’s vital that you look for a good breeder if you want to buy a teacup pup. First of all, look for a breeder that has many reviews online from buyers.
Also, keep an eye out for a breeder who is willing to let you visit their home and see the parent dogs.
A good breeder will give you references, including a reference to their veterinarian, and they will offer health records, certifications, and a health guarantee.
They will also offer to take the dog back, at any age, for any reason, if you can no longer keep them.
Finally, avoid a breeder who sells multiple breeds, who has a PayPal option on their website, and who isn’t transparent.
Which teacup dog breed is the best?
Teacup dogs might not be ideal for the first-time owner because they come with a unique set of challenges.
That said, if you want an apartment-sized dog and you don’t have any kids, you might find that the teacup pups are the perfect companion for you.
And hey! The smaller size means you’ll be spending less money on dog food and less time taking them for a long walk in the freezing cold of winter, right?!
Which breed do you like best? Do you have a teacup breed? Let us know!
Cess is the Head of Content Writing at K9 Web and a passionate dog care expert with over 5 years of experience in the Pet Industry. With a background in animal science, dog training, and behavior consulting, her hands-on experience and extensive knowledge make her a trusted source for dog owners.
When not writing or leading the K9 Web content team, Cess can be found volunteering at local shelters and participating in dog-related events.