Top 6 Teacup Dog Breeds – How to Choose the Right for You

Teacup Dog Breeds

Teacup dog breeds are simply adorable. They are so cute that you must not be a dog lover in order to want to play with them. However, this does not mean that they do not need responsible owners. To be more exact, they are not toys, but real animals that need attention, care, and a comfortable environment.

Once you adopt or buy a puppy or an adult dog, you make it part of the family. This means that you must ensure everything it needs in order to be healthy and happy. Though these pets are small, they can develop aggressive behavior if they are not trained properly.

This article aims to reveal valuable data regarding this new generation of dogs. The main purpose is to put emphasis not only on their cuteness but also on what pet lovers need to know in order to be able to look after them. There are certain myths regarding the tiny breeds that need to be pointed out in order to prevent misconceptions that can lead to serious problems.

Unfortunately, there are many people who wish to own one simply because they look cute, without actually being aware of the behavioral traits, and end up being disappointed. In order to prevent this from happening, make sure you check out the information presented below.

The first thing you need to know about teacup is the fact that it does not define a breed, but it is a term used to define a very small dog. To be more precise, a pet that weighs about 7 to 14 lbs when it reaches adulthood can be considered a small dog.

An important thing that needs to be pointed out is the fact that these tiny dog breeds are completely healthy. If you take care of them properly, just like in the case of larger dogs, nothing bad will happen to them.

Teacup dog

It is obvious that their small size makes them more delicate. This means that they require certain care, and you need to be gentle when you feed and clean them. Their delicate nature makes them similar to babies, thus they tend to be frail until they receive their first vaccinations.

In order to prevent disease, it is important to keep them warm and away from crowded places, like dog parks. Feeding is also a bit different. As the belly is relatively tiny, you need to feed them small amounts of food every few hours. With proper care, a toy dog can live between 10 to 12 years.

1. Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas puppy

Chihuahuas are small dogs with big hearts. They can be fierce watchdogs as they are always eager to be your bodyguard. A thing you need to know about this breed is that showroom dogs weigh around 6 pounds while those that are kept as pets usually get to weigh around 10 pounds.

When it comes to socializing with other people, Chihuahuas are a bit shy, especially if they are not used to meeting new faces. They can turn from timid to passive-aggressive within minutes, thus it is a good idea to get accustomed to friends and family from a young age.

These pets are fast learners, so several training sessions of no more than 15 minutes daily should be sufficient. They are also very loyal and turn all their attention toward the person who they acknowledge as a leader. As a result, they tend to be overprotective. However, this behavior, though cute, must not be encouraged in order to avoid future accidents.

Chihuahuas can be quite powerful and seem not to acknowledge their small size. Consequently, they tend to start conflicts with larger dogs so, to prevent such a confrontation, it is always better to keep the dog close to you when you leave home.

Since you can’t always carry them around in your purse, it’s best to have a dog leash with a retractable design – this way you can pull them back before something bad happens. Just be gentle with handling the leash – they are so small!

Also, keep in mind that their huge love for their owner can make them aggressive with small children.

TRAINING + + + + Obedient and fast learners
HEALTH + + + + Joint problems
MAINTENANCE + + + Easy to bathe and keep clean
SOCIABILITY + + + Possessive and can start conflicts
RELATIONSHIP WITH CHILDREN + Aggressive, and this can lead to biting


Though most Chihuahuas have short hair, it is important to know that there are also dogs with long hair. They require constant grooming and brushing, otherwise, the coat can become matted. The small size can frustrate a hyperactive pet, and this can result in destructive chewing and uncontrolled barking.

This behavior can also be triggered when they are separated from their owner for a longer period of time. The potted houseplants are usually their main target to relieve their anxiety.

It is also important to know that these pets are cold-sensitive, so they need a sweater when they are taken outside.

There are various health hazards that can threaten the life of the Chihuahua. Hypoglycemia is a common problem in almost all small breeds because frail bodies cannot regulate blood sugar properly. The major symptoms you need to be aware of our lack of energy and uncontrolled shivering. Patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, and leg-calve-Perthes syndrome are common joint conditions that are painful and can lead to surgery.

Regular visits to the veterinarian can identify such problems and treat them before they become too serious. Chihuahuas can also have problems with their teeth caused by tartar and plaque, and the bacteria associated can damage the heart, kidney, and liver if left untreated.

2. Maltese


Maltese are the perfect watchdogs. They are always alert and will let you know if there is somebody at the door before you hear a knock. The average pet can weigh between 3 to 10 pounds. Though they tend to be very active, their small size makes them feel comfortable even in a flat. These are loving dogs and get along well with people.

However, they are not very keen on interacting with other animals, and they sometimes see other pets as threats. If they are not socialized with children from an early age, they can become aggressive. The good news is that they are fast learners and love to see their owners happy.

If you like competitions, you need to know that Maltese are very agile and eager to perform tricks. Just like in the case of Chihuahuas, these pets do not seem to be aware of their small size. They are excitable and find no limitations when they want to achieve something.

Furthermore, they can even challenge a dog that is larger than them. As a result, you must always use a harness when you go for a walk, or to the dog park. Though training can help you with this problem, it is better to keep a close eye on your pet when you are outside, especially when there are other dogs or children around, in order to prevent accidents.

TRAINING + + + + Fast learners that love to please
HEALTH + + + Eyes and joint problems
MAINTENANCE + Regular grooming
SOCIABILITY + + + Can start conflicts with other dogs
RELATIONSHIP WITH CHILDREN + Can perceive them as threats


Maltese love to please their owners, but sometimes they can become stubborn during training sessions. This means that you need to be patient and repeat the commands in order to prevent imminent destruction.

When it comes to maintenance, you need to know that this breed requires constant care. To be more exact, grooming is necessary on a regular basis, and this can turn out to be a bit expensive. If you do not want to ruin your budget, you can brush your hair weekly and clean the area around the eyes daily.

Just like Chihuahuas, these tiny dogs can become aggressive when their owner is not near. As they can be pretty destructive, they can end up chewing the furniture while they are home alone.

A common medical problem is a hypoglycemia due to improperly regulated blood sugar. Joint problems also occur frequently. Luxating patella is a condition that affects the knee, causing it to pop out of its place. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a disease located in the eye and leads to blindness. This is genetic and, unfortunately, there is no available treatment.

A liver shunt is another disorder common to this breed. If you notice symptoms like failure to grow or unresponsiveness, you need to ask for professional help immediately. The teeth and gums can also be sensitive, so cleaning is required on a regular basis.

3. Yorkies


Yorkies are great companions, but also reliable watchdogs. They are always attentive to spot if somebody is at the door and responds with barking. This breed weighs only 7 pounds or less, so it is perfect for people who live in a house or a flat. They are very social and enjoy interacting with other people.

However, if they are not trained properly, they can turn from adorable to naughty pretty fast, and this can lead even to biting. As they want to see their owner happy, it is a good idea to associate praises with obedience training. Yorkies are loyal and love to spend every moment with you. As a result, you need to be ready to have a permanent companion, no matter where you go. Even so, the good news is that they are gentle and look adorable so it is impossible to get mad at them.

TRAINING + + + + Cope well with praises
HEALTH + + + Breathing and liver problems
MAINTENANCE + Frequent grooming
SOCIABILITY + + + + Friendly
RELATIONSHIP WITH CHILDREN + Nervous and can snap them


Yorkies have long hair that requires regular grooming to keep the fur shiny. So you need to brush their coat and trim it weekly but if you want to achieve a tidy look and keep it adorable you should visit a professional groomer from time to time.

If you want to keep the hair long, then you should get some dog hair bows – these will keep the hair out of their eyes and will look adorable on the dog.

Though they are obedient dogs, they require time to get accustomed to living in the house without destroying anything. Separation anxiety is also common, and this can lead to frustration. In order to draw the owner’s attention, they can bark uncontrollably and chew potted houseplants. As a result, you need to allocate sufficient time to play daily with your pet.

However, these need to be done by a professional groomer in order to achieve a tidy look and keep it adorable. Though they are obedient dogs, they require time to get accustomed to living in the house without destroying anything. Separation anxiety is also common, and this can lead to frustration.

In order to draw the owner’s attention, they can bark uncontrollably and chew potted houseplants. As a result, you need to allocate sufficient time to play daily with your pet.

Yorkies are known to have fragile bones. This means that you must be careful to prevent them from falling, otherwise, they can end up with a broken paw. It is also important to know that they do not tolerate anesthesia very well as it can cause organ failure that leads to death. Hypoglycemia is another problem common to small breeds but can be prevented if you provide a healthy and balanced diet.

Trachea collapse is another life-threatening problem. While some veterinarians say that it has genetic roots, others blame using collars while grooming these hyperactive dogs. The best way to prevent it is to use a harness. A liver shunt is a genetic disorder that can be treated if you notice the symptoms on time: poor muscle development, awkward behavior, and seizures.

4. Toy Poodles

Toy Poodles

Toy poodles will not only love you but will also protect you. They can be great alarms if there is somebody at the door, or a cat crossing your yard. They do not weigh more than 9 pounds and are quite lazy, thus they are the perfect companion for people who live in an apartment. Poodles are very smart, but also cautious. As a result, they need to know a person before being friendly.

However, if you socialize with them from a young age, they have no problem accepting new people. Training runs smoothly if you avoid shouting or getting angry. The best way to teach a Toy Poodle new tricks is to be patient. These dogs are also extremely loyal and enjoy following you around the house. The best thing is that they are not shedding, so you do not need to worry about having fur on your furniture.

TRAINING + + + + Very intelligent
HEALTH + + + Eyes and knee problems
MAINTENANCE + Regular grooming
SOCIABILITY + + + + Can start conflicts with other dogs
RELATIONSHIP WITH CHILDREN + Attack when they feel cornered


Toy Poodles are colorful dogs. Their fur can be black, white, apricot, blue, silver, or cream, but also red or cafe au lait. Some of them are only partly colored with markings on their fur or can be found in different color combinations.

In order to have a shiny coat, it is important to groom it on a regular basis. As brushing and trimming are needed it is a good idea to go to a local groomer in order to achieve the best results. Here are some informative facts about the Poodle for you to see.

Toy Poodles are intelligent animals and can easily develop undesirable traits if they are not properly trained. In order to encourage socialization, it is a good idea to introduce them to people and other pets from a young age. This can diminish timidity and snap caused by fear.

Toy Poodles are small dogs with frail bones. They can easily get injured and falling or mishandling can lead to broken paws. Just like in the case of all the other toy dogs, hypoglycemia is a reality, thus it is important to have your dog checked regularly. Entropion, cataracts, and trichiasis are three eye problems that can cause irritation that can lead to aggressive behavior.

Fortunately, they can both be corrected through surgery. Progressive retinal atrophy, on the other hand, cannot be treated and leads to blindness. Kidney stones are not only painful but can also generate some unpleasant symptoms like vomiting, restlessness, and blood in the urine.

5. Pomeranian


Pomeranians are loyal and active companions. Though they weigh no more than 7 pounds, they have a strong personality, and this makes them fearless watchdogs. They are simply adorable and would do anything for the family members. As they are very curious, it is a good idea to keep sensitive household items away from them.

It can also be said that they have a large personality trapped in a small body. If they do not like something, they fight back, and this happens even when they meet larger dogs. However, if they are properly socialized from a young age, they are more docile when they grow up.

TRAINING + + + Eager to learn new things
HEALTH + + + Hips and weight problems
MAINTENANCE + + Shed a lot
SOCIABILITY + + + Friendly
RELATIONSHIP WITH CHILDREN + Attack when they feel cornered


A great characteristic of Pomeranians is their look. Their tiny years make them look like a fox, and their fluffy hair is simply adorable. The nose can have the color of the coat, or it can be black. They are excellent companions for busy people because they can have a great time on their own.

However, you need to take time to take them for a walk as they are filled with energy and enjoy each moment spent outside. It is a good idea to let them explore, as they feel attracted by new smells and new places. These amazing qualities make them an excellent option for novice owners.

A common health problem of this breed is hip dysplasia. This is a genetic condition, thus there is not much to do to prevent it. However, there are medications that can help your pet feel better. If you notice any walking difficulties, it is important to go to the veterinarian for future guidance.

Another problem specific to Pomeranians is the excessive appetite. If it eats too much, a dog can become overweight and this leads to other serious illnesses, just like in the case of humans. If you notice that your dog eats excessively and starts to gain weight you need to limit its treats, provide healthy food, set up regular meals, and exercise a lot.

6. Shih-Tzu

Shih Tzu dog breed

Shih-Tzu are great watchdogs and are always alert, especially if they hear somebody near the house. They are cute and small and can weigh up to 16 pounds. They can live in an apartment with no problem, as long as they are taken for daily walks and exercises. They are friendly dogs, as long as they are socialized from an early age.

In order to be calm and tempered, they need to get accustomed first to the places and smells. Training can be a bit problematic because Shih-Tzu can be quite willful. In order to achieve the desired results, you need to be patient and repeat each command as many times as it is needed.

TRAINING + + + Willing to learn new things, but willful
HEALTH + + + Hips, eyes and joint problems
MAINTENANCE + Regular grooming
SOCIABILITY + + + + Friendly
RELATIONSHIP WITH CHILDREN + Attack when they feel cornered


Shih-Tzu is very attached to its owners. If they are left alone, they would do anything to draw attention, like uncontrolled barking, furniture chewing, or accidents on the carpet. Grooming also takes a lot of time and care. Regular brushing is required in order to prevent the hair to become matte.

Besides, you also need to keep their teeth, nails, and ears clean. Though they are small, they do not cope well with staying too much time indoors. They require exercise and training in order to be happy. As they can result to be a bit temperamental, it is important to be able to control them from a young age.

Shih-Tzu can suffer from serious health problems. Breathing difficulty is one of them and it is caused by cartilage that makes inhaling air laborious. If it is not treated it can lead to chest flattening and heart enlarging. They can also be heat sensitive, thus it is absolutely forbidden to let them alone in the car. Skin problems are common, so regular grooming is mandatory in order to prevent allergies, flea infestation, dry skin, and tick bites.

For more information on this cute dog, read our article on the Shi-Tzu and be enamored with its playful nature.

Dry eyes and cherry eyes are easy to spot and can be treated easily. Though sometimes surgical intervention is required, it is not life-threatening. Our article on the treatment and prevention of cherry eyes is an eye-opener, so check it out. Patellar luxation occurs when the kneecaps pop out of their place. Hip Dysplasia is a genetic illness that can lead to arthritis if it is not treated on time.

It can be concluded that owning a toy pet implies lots of responsibilities. Unlike some people may think, they are dogs with a temperament that is in direct opposition to their height. This means that you need to be able to look after and train it properly in order to avoid biting and aggression.

Another thing that needs to be pointed out is the fact that they must not be mistaken for toys. They are true and loyal companions that will love you and protect you no matter what. As all these small breeds do not cope very well with children, it is mandatory to consider all the family members before making a purchase or adoption.