Teacup Chihuahuas – Separating The Facts From The Fiction

Whether you currently own a Chihuahua or are thinking of owning one, you've probably heard people refer to some of them as "teacups" or similar names. Typically, owners and breeders may refer to their ultra-small Chihuahuas using terms such as these. This can undoubtedly be confusing giving the fact that the American Kennel Club (AKC) only recognizes two varieties - the smooth and long-coat. So, what's the deal with names like teacup? Keep reading and we'll dive a little deeper into this subject, revealing the truth behind the teacup Chihuahua.

Teacup Chihuahua

Teacup Chihuahua in a Cup

If you previously thought a teacup Chihuahua was a certain breed, you aren't alone. There's a growing misconception regarding this terminology that confuses most of the general public. Since the term is used so frequently and by so many people, it's almost taken a life of its own, spreading like wildfire. As a result, people looking to add a new Chihuahua to their family may ask breeders or pet stores if they have any of the "teacup" breed. Instead of correcting them, the breeder will go along with the charade and try to complete a sale.

Confusing Names Used To Describe Chihuahuas

As a result of the poor information that's been floating around, numerous improper names are being used to describe Chihuahuas. This may not seem like a big issue, but it creates an ethical grey area for breeders and sellers who know the truth about Chihuahuas. For instance, if a potential customer comes to a breeder asking them for a teacup Chihuahua, the breeder may respond by saying she has them, but only for a price greater than the non-teacups. Basically, terms such as these can be used to mark up the price on Chihuahuas; therefore, making it more profitable for the breeders.

Here are some of the most common unofficial names used to describe Chihuahuas:

  • Teacup
  • Toy (ALL Chihuahuas are considered a Toy breed)
  • Tiny
  • Mini
  • Miniature
  • Pocket-sized
  • Micro
Brown Teacup Chihuahua

Brown Teacup Chihuahua

Teacup Chihuahuas - The Facts

While we don't know who the first person was to describe a Chihuahua as a teacup, the term picked up popularity and spread throughout the early 90s. It's important to note, however, that no major canine association has ever used the term to describe or otherwise categorize Chihuahuas. Either one or more owners likely referred to their unusually small Chihuahuas as teacups, thus starting the craze that's still going on today. When people hear the word teacup, they immediately assume it's a certain breed of Chihuahua, but unfortunately it's just some term that many people use to describe them.

The only people who benefit from confusing terms like teacup, toy and micro are the Chihuahua breeders. Now don't get me wrong - there are some breeders who will explain to the customer that teacups are just a term and not an officially recognized breed. Others, however, will use the public's ignorance as a tool to sell their small Chihuahuas at a higher price. For instance, someone sees or hears about a tiny teacup Chihuahua through and friend, so they scan through the newspapers in search of one. Because teacup Chihuahuas aren't an official breed, chances are they will have a hard time finding one. However, they may stumble upon a breeder offering them for a higher price than your typical Chihuahuas. The customer will likely agree to the price simply because they can't find these teacup Chihuahuas elsewhere.

The term "teacup Chihuahua" has been used so much that's almost become an unofficial way of referring to small Chihuahuas. When a breeder or pet shop refers to their Chihuahuas as teacups, they are either doing it to try and get more money for them, or they are just as confused about the terminology as everyone else. In any case, it's the breeder's responsibility to label their Chihuahuas correctly and not deceive their customers in any way, shape or form.

Teacup Chihuahua Puppy

Teacup Chihuahua Puppy

What You Should Know About Owning a Teacup Chihuahua

Because of the increased demand for so-called teacup Chihuahuas in recent years, breeders and pet shops are encouraged to try and breed their Chihuahuas to be as small as possible simply because they can make more money off them. The problem in doing so, however, is that small Chihuahuas are more susceptible to health problems such as hypoglycemia, diabetes, patellar luxation, heart disease, bone fractures, joint problems, etc. Does that mean you shouldn't get a teacup Chihuahua? It's really a personal choice that only you can make, but I would advise against purchasing one from breeders because of the fact that it encourages them to continue breeding them this size.

If you decide to own an unusually small Chihuahua, be sure you're willing to invest your time, energy and money into keeping them healthy. This means you'll have to take them to the vet for regular checkups to ensure nothing is seriously wrong, as well as treat any current conditions they are experiencing. It's all too common for people to make the decision to own a small Chihuahua without realizing just how much extra work goes into caring for them.

Something else that you'll need to be aware of with small Chihuahuas is that they are more likely to suffer from fractures and broken bones than normal-sized Chihuahuas. If you accidentally roll over on them in the bed, sit on them while they are laying on the couch (trust me, this happens) or even pick them up the wrong way, they may experience a bone fracture. Be extremely gentle and carefully around your new Chihuahua to prevent such catastrophes from happening. In addition, you'll need to keep larger pet dogs and cats away from your Chihuahua, as they may accidentally cause injury to your Chihuahua as well.

Hopefully this article will give you a better understanding on what teacup Chihuahuas are and what goes into owning one. Personally, I think small Chihuahuas are just as loving, affectionate and fun as normal-sized ones. However, they do require a bit more care and maintenance, so take this into account if you are thinking of owning a new Chihuahua.

Video of Cooper The Teacup Chihuahua

Here's a video I found on YouTube of an teacup Chihuahua named Cooper. This adorable black and white Chihuahua is full of spunk and ready to pounce at anything coming his way. Too cute!



33 Responses to “Teacup Chihuahuas – Separating The Facts From The Fiction”

  1. Shirley Sadler says:

    I am getting a teacup tomorrow she told me to give her sugar every once in a while for Pixie almost died due to sugar getting low… said she is not a diabetic

  2. Evelyn says:

    I own a 2.1 pound teacup does anyone know where I can get clothes harness assesories even a very small doggie stroller

    • Merry says:

      We own a 2 lb chihuahau and use a kitten collar with a bell so we know where she is and I found a rat harness that fits perfectly for walks

  3. Tay says:

    What shots do i have to have for my mini. I’m don’t wanna be taken advantage of ad they already cost a bundle

  4. Marleene salley says:

    I’ve raised Chihuahuas all my life 30+ years and short-haired Chihuahuas are just COLD. We have our three Chihuahuas on electric blankets. An electric throw on the couch with a cover where she sleeps when we’re home and at nice, we turn our furnace down low and then turn our queen size electric blanket on high where our Chihuahuas sleep.
    If you treat them with love, caring, etc., they’ll return their love. When they bite, it’s because you’ve hit them. I take warm water and squirt them when they bark or try biting. All my Chihuahuas turned out to be lovers and cry so loud if we’re out only for an hour. Love them!!!

    • Carol mathews says:

      I am a disabled 58 year female who would love to take in a tiny chihuahuas I have no children to hurt the puppy I am on a fixed income but would give it all the love I could the little on would be treated with lots of love . Thank you for your time.
      Carol Mathews

      • Barbara Sanchez says:

        I also am looking for a Teacup chihuahua puppie. I have no clue where to find one to care for n love. I’m also disabled n lonely would love a puppy. If u find one pls let me know ok maybe we can help each other find one. Thanks.

    • Jack says:

      Great info for a puppy on biting!!!! Never tried water on my other 2 because I probably didn’t know any better and 1 of them does nip once in a while when somebody leaves the house!!!!!
      Any and all tid-bits welcomed—my new little girl turns nine weeks tomorrow and she weighs 14 ops. Does that sound about right for a “tiny” chi?

      Thanks again,

  5. Arthur says:

    My neighbour has one and leaves it outside all the time this can’t be good for the animal

  6. Arthur says:

    Can you please help my neighbour has one and leaves it outside all the time this can’t be good for the animal

    • Rebecca says:

      did you get an answer? I have the same problem. He’s in a cage almost 24/7 unless he’s out running around. arg.

  7. Christy says:

    I got a “teacup” two years ago. He had certain issues with his teeth, legs and than this past week it was his brain. He started walking in circles and couldn’t focus. We thought it was a ear infection and vet gave me meds for the weekend. To no avail he didn’t improve. We had to put our sweet baby down yesterday. I’m telling this story because I was told his genetics is what the result of it. Please be careful of breeding people and inbreeding. I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel the emptiness that I feel.

    • Pamela Cain says:

      So sorry to here about your baby, I know what that’s like when I was 21 I had a teacup full grown she weight 11.5 oz she lived 13 yrs and developed breast cancer other than that she was healthy, my Manchester was 16 when he died cancer of the sinus cavity . I have a toy now she’s 7 and in good health, my vet told me that with the Chihuahua cancer is a common issue!

  8. cathy katkus says:

    I agree with the information about the “tea cup” chihuahua. I have a small long haired chi 3lbs 7oz. She 13 years old and very cute. Because she is show quality and a former show dog, most people do not think she is a chi. Also because of her size people want to know if she is a “tea cup” chi. I always say there is no such thing, and if a breeder says they have “tea cup” chis, that should be a clue not to go with that breeder. As they are unethical. The breed standard is a range up to 6lbs,with 2-4 lbs being average range. The smaller the dog the more the health concerns. Please read about the chi standard and stay away from any “breeder” who uses the term “tea cup”. I would also say do not buy from a breeder who doesn’t show their dogs. Breeding should be to improve the breed. As one judge put it “why do we do this it is for the love of the and improve the breed” Therefore it is a must for a breeder to show.

  9. Mirrrr says:

    So just a quick question
    Does anyone know by chance what two different types or kinds of chihuahuas are bred to make these type (teacup, micro, mini, etc.) of chihuahuas?

  10. Jon kizzee says:

    How much do these cost

    • Kitty says:

      Hi, These certain Chihuahuas cost around $500 to $600 dollars, even know I got mine from a friend for $100

    • Quantum Mechanic says:

      Just look on the buy-and-sell like kijiji or craig’s list.

      These little dogs are always available because most people end up realizing that they are 1/1000 as cool as every other dog. Shelters are full of them.

  11. Nancy says:

    I am interested in a girl preferably beige and white. Other wise black and white mostly white. Not al all interested in a black puppy

  12. Nancy says:

    Please let me know here U R located and how much R UR babies. I would be interested in a girl

  13. Katrina Wilson says:

    I got my puppy sat called it Harley Davidson.didn’t know about debic he shakes alot does this mean something wrong with him?

    • Kitty says:

      If your baby is a Chihuahua, it can be normal or it could mean many things like there scared, or nervous, so if you have other pets i’d keep them away from your dog and see if that helps or keep the dog in one place like don’t travel with the dog

  14. Hayllie says:

    I was surprised at a softball game with mu uncles chihuahua. she is 3-4 months old vet checked and vaccinated and shots. she will only grow up to 4 pounds. we are all truly in love with her. we spoil her but we do have a havenese that annoys her which we also recently got. thank you for the article but what is the lifespan for these types of chihuahua?

  15. morgan says:

    i love this website the chihuahuas are beautiful

  16. labrador says:

    I can’t find pictures of her on your Facebook which Brian shaw are you? Thank you!

  17. michelle says:

    Hello My name is Michelle and this is to Briani am very much interested in getting a
    Chihuahua (toy) chihuahua that is….if you will. If you at any point in your life must get rid of her please please keep me in mind.
    I love love love love dogs. I use to just have nothing but big dogs… but since I’ve gotten my very first yorkie back in 2001 I just fell completely in love with these little animals..I also had a Chihuahua and she died on me…I was completely upset for 2 years and I have a picture of her on my bedside stand…I miss her so so very much. But I just wanted to share this with you. Thanks

  18. Jane Williams says:

    I have a rescued 12 lbs chi/jack Russell? and a sweet 5 lb fawn colored chi…I would love more!So much love! I read so much conflicting info about weight and sizes. What are typical ranges and what is typical runt sizes? I would really love a < 3 lbs one next. And Brian sounds like your chi is lucky to have found you!

  19. BRIAN says:

    i am an owner of a house i rent out in western canada. a lady and three daughters lived at my house for a few months and did a “midnight move” on me. they left behind a small beige chihuahua named chi-chi. they moved out of province and i tried to figure out what to do with this tiny animal. i called the spca and they informed me they were too full and they would have to destroy it in a week if a home was not found. being a animal lover this upset me alot, i phoned around to some friends but all were unable to take in this cute little dog. i decided to take her myself and to do what ever it takes to give this adorable dog a great life. i have owned her for almost 2 years now and me and her are now best friends. im the biggest guy in my area with the smallest dog!! everybody wants to meet her! she has many other dog friends now and many people who drop by our house just to see her. i can honestly say this small chihuahua has changed my life completely and i would recommend this type of breed to anybody. she is the best thing to happen to me. thought id share this with the world…. i love you chi-chi aka cheech if you would like to see pictures of my cheech im on facebook. add me brian shaw briscoe

  20. Lesli says:

    I just got my baby on Saturday. He was rescued from the animal shelter (we won’t get any animals from breeders!) and I’m just in love with him!!!
    He is about 2 pounds and full of life and love!
    His name is Duncan McCloud and just lovable.
    I purchased health insurance for him and my family and I are just spoiling him soo much!!
    I’m happy I got him! He looked way too sad in the shelter!
    I’m very happy with my baby!!

  21. rosie greathead says:

    so true.glad u have put this out to the public. rosie a chihuahua breeder

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