The Truth About Teacup Poodles and the Hidden Cost of Cuteness
Sometimes called a mini Toy Poodle or a pocket Poodle, the Teacup Poodle is a tiny genius capable of learning hundreds of words! When you shrink down one of the world’s smartest dog breeds, you get little Poodles with enormous personalities, high intelligence, and adorable looks. It’s pretty clear why so many people are obsessed with the teeny tiny Teacup Poodle. But are Teacup Poodles all they’re cracked up to be? Are there any issues with the breed?
Let’s dive into the basic facts of life with a Teacup Poodle, and get into the ins and outs of the ethics of breeding these dogs. Life isn’t all sunshine and roses with this super cute dog breed, and we’ll explain why some individuals suffer from serious health problems.
But wait! Before we move on, let’s clear something up: Teacup Poodles and Toy Poodles are the same breed! All Teacup Poodles are Toy Poodles, but not all Toy Poodles are Teacup Poodles. “Teacup” simply describes an extra-small Toy Poodle, not an entirely different variety of the Poodle breed.
Meet 9 Teacup Poodles from Instagram
Most Teacup Poodles aren’t actually small enough to fit into a teacup…unless it’s a large teacup, that is! Toy Poodles are only considered Teacup Poodles if they are less than 9 inches tall and less than 6 pounds, but some can be as small as around 2.5 pounds. Like all Poodles, Teacups come in a variety of colors but always have beautiful curly coats.
Sunny is a super cute red Teacup Poodle from Los Angeles, California who loves to go on adventures despite being a little shy. As long as Sunny is with his humans, he has the confidence to try new things, but his sensitive nature makes him more of a homebody.
Duffy is an impeccably groomed white Teacup Poodle from Japan. At nine years old, Duffy has done a lot of adventuring and has visited 32 of the 47 Japanese prefectures! Duffy is so tiny, he fits right into a lineup of stuffed animals.
Coming to us from the UK is Rodney, an adorable light brown Teacup Poodle who knows how to rock a sweater! Rodney is so tiny that people often think he’s a puppy, but he’s a fully-grown adult Teacup Poodle.
Yacht is a 4.5-pound Teacup Poodle from Nashville, Tennessee whose cheerful and affectionate personality lights up a room! Yacht’s fluffy fur helps to make him look bigger than he is, but he really weighs less than your average bag of flour.
Five-year-old Milu is a super cute black Teacup Poodle from Singapore who weighs just 5 pounds. Milu has a human baby in his family who outgrew him in just days, but Milo doesn’t mind being the smallest in the family—he has plenty of personality to make up for it!
Teacup Poodles like Liya are so small that you can easily hold them in one hand! Miss Liya is a two-year-old, 4-pound white Teacup Poodle living in Austria where she goes almost everywhere with her mom!
Gus is now a full-grown adult Teacup Poodle, but look how tiny he was as a puppy! Gus is a deep red Teacup Poodle, and his fur has stayed that gorgeous dark tone into adulthood. Confident and social, Gus loves everyone he meets, human or dog!
8. Goma & Mochi
Siblings living in Vancouver, Goma and Mochi are two almost identical Teacup parti Poodles who spend every second together! Just 4 and 3.3 pounds, Goma and Mochi are extra-petite and are perfectly lap-dog-sized.
Teacup Poodle Basic Info
No matter how cute a dog is, it’s really important to learn as much as you can about them before you commit. Teacup Poodles are adorable, but there’s more to owning one than you might think. How big do Teacup Poodles get? Are there any health issues you should know about? What’s the best way to find a reputable Teacup Poodle breeder? How does the Teacup Poodle compare to the three official sizes of Poodle?
Teacup Poodle Temperament
Teacup Poodles are confident, surprisingly independent little dogs with opinionated personalities. Very loving with their families, some Teacup Poodles can be a little wary of strangers, which can turn into reactivity. Intelligent and easy to train, Teacup Poodles do a lot of thinking and benefit from daily games, puzzles, and training to keep them occupied mentally. Bored Teacup Poodles can become frustrated and destructive, and may become difficult to train.
Teacup Poodles may act self-assured, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know how small they are. Some Teacup Poodles can be a little nervous or skittish, especially in new situations or with new people and dogs. They may also be vocal and mouthy to get their point across, particularly if they feel vulnerable. While they can be good family pets, Teacup Poodles are not always the right dog for small children who may accidentally hurt or scare such a small dog.
Athletic and energetic, Teacup Poodles are often playful and social. Once they’ve expended their energy, many Teacups are snuggly, affectionate, and human-oriented pups who will be your shadow.
Teacup Poodle Size
Teacup Poodles are just extra-small Toy Poodles, but there are some “qualifications” that Teacups need to meet. Teacup Poodles should be 9 inches tall or less and weigh no more than 6 pounds.
But how big do Toy Poodles get, usually? How big is a Toy Poodle dog compared to a Teacup Poodle? It might surprise you to know that Toy Poodles aren’t much bigger than Teacups while Miniature Poodles tower over them at 15 inches tall. Here’s a chart to compare the size of a Teacup Poodle to the three official sizes: Toy, Miniature, and Standard.
|9 inches (or less)
|10 inches (or less)
|15 inches (or less)
|15 inches (or more)
|< 6 pounds
Teacup Poodle Health
In addition to several health issues common in all Poodles—like Legg-Calve-Perthes, luxating patellas, and von Willebrand’s disease—Teacup Poodles may inherit some problems related to either poor breeding or their incredibly small size. Some issues to look out for if you own a Teacup Poodle include:
- Dental disease
- Eye and vision problems
- Collapsed trachea
- GI and stomach issues
- Heart disease
Where To Find Teacup Poodle Puppies for Sale
Teacup Poodles are just Toy Poodles that have been bred down in size. To breed Teacup Toy Poodles, breeders choose extra-small Toy Poodle parents to hopefully produce extra-small Toy Poodle puppies—it may take a few generations but ethical breeders do this simply by choosing the smallest and healthiest Toy Poodle parents available.
Unfortunately, not all Teacup Poodle breeders are ethical. A highly sought-after variety of Poodle, some people choose to breed Teacups purely for profit and will go to extremes to produce the smallest Teacup Poodle puppies possible. This might include breeding a Toy Poodle mixed with another small breed, like a Chihuahua, or even choosing to breed unhealthy dogs whose growth has been affected.
Because Teacup Poodles are not an official type of Poodle, it can be difficult to find an ethical breeder, and you may instead want to look for a Toy Poodle breeder. If your heart is set on a Teacup, the best place to start is by following Teacup Poodle owners on Instagram, getting to know Teacup Poodle owners, and meeting enthusiasts who can give you first-hand recommendations.
Some red flags to look out for while searching for a Teacup Poodle breeder include advertisements with terms like “micro Teacup Poodle” and “miniature Teacup Poodle,” and abnormally low or abnormally high prices.
It’s also possible to find Teacup Mini Poodles available for adoption. Local shelters and rescues often have Poodles and Poodle mixes available, and you can easily find adoptable Poodles from breed-specific rescues and on rescue databases like Petfinder.
Teacup Poodle FAQ
Do you have more questions about the tiny Teacup Poodle? We’ve got answers to your questions and interesting facts about the world’s littlest type of Poodle.
What is a Teacup Poodle?
Teacup Poodles are an unofficial type of Poodles that have been selectively bred to be extra small. In actuality, Tea Cup Poodles are just smaller-sized Toy Poodles—so you could also call them mini Toy Poodles.
How big does a Toy Poodle get? Let’s quickly compare Teacup Poodle vs Toy Poodle size and weight:
To create Teacups, Poodle breeders select breeding pairs for their petite features and continue to choose the smallest Toy Poodle adults to continue their breeding programs. Unfortunately, some breeders may choose to use runts or unhealthy parent dogs because of their unusually small size, which can produce unhealthy puppies. Ethical breeders only choose healthy dogs to breed, even if they are not the smallest dog they can find.
Do Teacup Poodles shed?
No, or very little. Some Teacup Poodles may shed a very small amount, but they are considered one of the lowest-shedding breeds in the world.
Are Teacup Poodles hypoallergenic?
Yes, sort of. There is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog breed. All dog breeds carry approximately the same amount of the protein responsible for triggering allergies in humans. Humans come in contact with these proteins through their dogs’ saliva, urine, and dander.
Low-shedding dogs like Teacup Poodles drop less fur and less dander than shedding breeds, but they still produce the same dander as other dogs. Brushing, petting, scratching, and movement can release this dander, so you can still be exposed to dander if you have a low-shedding dog.
Regular brushing outdoors, baths, and bringing your Teacup Poodle to a professional groomer can all help cut down on dander in your home.
What is the average Teacup Poodle lifespan?
The average life expectancy for a Teacup Poodle is around 12–15 years. This is a relatively short lifespan when you consider that the average Toy Poodle lives 10–18 years. Due to selective breeding for size, Teacup Poodles are often less healthy and therefore more short-lived than their slightly larger Toy counterparts.
While smaller dogs typically live longer, some Teacup Poodles have been bred so small that their size is a detriment to their health. Additionally, many Teacups are bred without following sufficient standards of health and genetic testing, producing persistent genetic disorders within the breed.
What is the average Teacup Poodle price?
So, how much is a Teacup Poodle if you buy it from an ethical and reputable breeder? A reasonable price for a well-bred Teacup Poodle is between $1,500—$3,500, but there are unfortunately unethical breeders who will either sell puppies for severely reduced prices, or enormously high prices. If you see Teacup Poodle puppies for sale for $500 or $6,000+, steer clear.
Are Teacup Poodles easy to train?
Often, yes! Teacup Poodles—like all Poodles—are highly intelligent, often eager to please, and are quick learners. Teacup Poodles can excel in obedience training and agility, despite their small stature.
How much daily exercise do Teacup Poodles need?
Teacup Poodles need about 1 hour of daily exercise to keep them fit and happy. In addition to physical exercise, Teacup Poodles need daily mental stimulation—games, training, toys, puzzles, and walks where they are allowed to sniff are all great sources of mental stimulation.
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