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The teacup Chihuahua is the smallest Chihuahua of its kind, it’s a purebred Chihuahua. True to their name, they are the size of teacups.The are also known as “Micro Chihuahuas”, “Mini Chihuahua”, “Toy Chihuahua” and “Pocket Chihuahua”.
The Teacup Chi is a dog solely bred for the purpose of companionship, due to its tiny size and absence of athletic abilities. They are known to have an entertaining personality, making them appealing to dog lovers.
History of the Teacup Chihuahua
The United States recorded it’s first appearance of the Teacup Chihuahua when well-known dog judge, James Watson, travelled to Mexico to investigate reports of this infamous bold toy-dog breed. He purchased the first Chihuahua known to the U.S and named it Manzanita which means “little apple” then went back to the United States with his new feisty friend.
This dog was first recognized in the 1960s by the American Kennel Club, and in that decade,it made the top 10 breed list. Even today, they remain extremely popular as they are number 2 on the top of the small dog breeds in the world. However, they are not officially recognized by any kennel club as an independent breed. They are unofficially called the teacup Chihuahuas because breeders feel it’s a better alternative to calling them undersized or tiny puppy runts
Fun facts about the Teacup Chihuahua
Chihuahua means “between two waters”.
They are portable and can be taken everywhere without stress.
They meet the requirements of airlines and are happy to sit in tight, cramped spaces will the conditions improve
They can literally fit inside a teacup.
Their personalities compensate for their size.
They rank number 24 out of 178 breed listed on the AKC’s “ most popular dog in America”.
Their life expectancy is one of the highest in the canine kingdom.
Chihuahuas have a natural instinct to burrow.
There is no recognized for a Chihuahua to be regarded as a teacup.
Appearance and Size
Even at the fully-grown stage, a micro teacup Chihuahua has an average weight of 3lbs and as an adult can weigh 5lbs and grows to be 6 inches tall. The male teacups are somewhat larger than the female teacups, some teacups fall prey to large raptors and other carnivores and must be watched constantly and closely when outdoors. Teacup Chihuahuas can be long-haired or smooth-haired with a soft texture and may be smooth or wavy.
Their coats come in a variety of colors such as white, black, fawn, cream, gold, and chocolate and some may have hints of different colors like white with black or white with fawn. They have a small frame with an apple-like head. They have large round eyes and their ears large and erect ears that respond to their environment, for example, they may put their ears flat and to the back when they are feeling threatened or want to show aggression.
The grooming of this breed is dependent on their coat length. Short haired Chis can be brushed once a week while long hair coats should be brushed 3 times daily to avoid matting and tangling of the coat. Clipping their nails and brushing their teeth is vital to avoid crowding of the teeth which leads to decay. They can be bath once in two weeks as over bathing them will wash out their natural oils leaving their skin dry and itchy .
These dogs shed their coats often, especially in the spring, regardless of the length of their coats. To minimize hair loss, brush your teacup Chihuahua 3-4 times a week.
It’s no secret that this breed is hot-headed and bold, they have a lot of attitude and vigor for a pint-sized dog, they are alert. Chihuahuas are balls of energy, loyal, affectionate, and playful, they can also be quite sassy and protective.
These dogs can be referred to as only child dogs as they love to be the center of attention and can easily become jealous of young children and attack. Chis tend to show aggression and hostility towards other animals and can attack larger breeds, which can end very badly for a 3-pound dog. They do not realize how small they are and can get quite aggressive.
It’s not a good idea to have other dogs in the same house as your teacup chihuahua unless they are of the same breed. If you have kids in your house, it’s best to start the socialization process while your teacup is still a pup to get your dog used to people.
You may also attend puppy training classes where they can familiarize themselves with being with other dogs and humans, have it in mind that you would need to select a puppy training class that is specifically for smaller dogs, you can start this once your teacup Chihuahua has received its primary vaccinations.
They are known to have a bark too loud for their size which makes it easier to alert you to an intruder in the home even if the teacup can’t scare them off, the downside being the excessive barking may be annoying to you and your neighbors.
Chihuahuas tend to bond with one person the most in the household, they can also be jealous and overprotective of their owners.
The smaller the breed, the bigger the health issues. Because both parents are already small, the result of their breeding would be an even weaker pup.
Unfortunately, the odds are against this breed as it’s miniature size causes some health issues for this breed, issues such as bladder problems, cranial soft spots, hydrocephalus, heart disease, cleft palate, corneal dystrophy, hypoglycemia and bone fractures among many others and even though a study carried out in 2004 and in 2013 shows that they have a life span between 7-12 years, the health issues they face may mean a shorter life for the teacup chihuahua.
Heart Disease is the most common health issue for this breed, they are prone to cardiac issues like Mitral valve disease, it is important to keep them fit and healthy as obesity to lead to heart failure.
Corneal Dystrophy is the development of a clear film on the eyelid which could cause vision impairment.
Hypoglycemia is a lot more common in teacup Chis. If a teacup misses a single meal, they are at risk of going into shock as the glucose may be cut off from their brain making them extremely weak. Their small size makes them vulnerable to this.
Due to their delicate frame, their bones are easily broken even jumping down the sofa may be too much for their fragile bones and can lead to fracture. If they are kicked and trodden on, it can cause serious injury.
Cranial soft spots; this can occur when the development of the skull stops before the fontanels have closed leaving the brain exposed to injury
Hydrocephalus occurs when the cerebrospinal fluid around the dog’s brain gets blocked which may lead to swelling, this causes pain and nausea and can be fatal.
Cleft palate: this is a malformation of the roof of the mouth, it is most common in short-nosed breeds and leads to coughing, slow growth and even pneumonia ( an infection that flames the air sacs in one or both lungs filling it with fluids)
Patellar luxation, also called loose knees, this is caused by their fragile bones.
Other health problems that can be inherited or acquired are eye disease, atrophy ( predisposition to an allergic reaction), tracheal collapse (loss of rigidity in the windpipe), periodontal disease (a disorder of the teeth, jaw, and gum), and idiopathic epilepsy.
All Chihuahuas do not fare well in cold weather, so your Teacup Chihuahuas should be wearing a dog coat when going outside, especially during the winter also they should stay away from the rain. It’s best to have a warm temperature inside your home all year for the sake of your Mini Chi, you might consider adding an extra blanket in her crate during night time to prevent her shaking or shivering in the morning.
Small dogs require 40 calories per pound of their body weight, the teacup only requires 150 calories per day which can be split into two meals a day (75 calories per meal), being a small dog they have tiny stomach and tiny energy needs so it’s not surprising that they would eat such small amount of food. Dry Kibble is recommended for dogs of their size as it meets their protein, energy, and fat requirements.
You have to be very card what you feed your teacup Chihuahua, even the smallest amount of chocolate, chewing gum could be fatal. They are vulnerable to poisoning.
Due to their tiny size, they are often born by cesarean section by an experienced veterinarian, their mini bodies and apple-like head makes the natural birthing process strenuous for the mother and the puppy. However, smaller dogs give birth to smaller litters. The average litter for a teacup chi is 1-3 pups. A teacup is greatly affected by genetics, if its parents or grandparents were antisocial, they are a great chance that the chi may be antisocial as well and it may take a long time to fix.
Training and exercise
This little dog tends to act like they have more energy than they actually do and can very easily overtire themselves and push their limits which is not good for their health. Patience is key with this breed as they are a little stubborn and can get bored very easily, they might not be the smartest but that doesn’t mean training of this breed is impossible.
They can be rewarded with toys, treats and praise as positive reinforcement goes a long way in the training of this pup, like all dogs, they are best trained when they are puppies and it would be harder to do so when they are adults. Their tiny bladders hold very little hence they have to relieve themselves often, some teacups find it difficult to master restraint and can have difficulty holding on for any length of time, most times, they have “little accidents”.
To prevent these accidents, they require indoor solutions like doggy diapers or a litter box.
Teacup Chihuahuas are very easy to care for and require less exercise than your regular dog. A 10 – 20 minute-walk twice a day or a game of tug is enough for this breed. Providing them with plenty of toys helps them exercise on their own and is a great bonding opportunity between dog and owner. They are active and enjoy being outdoors, their playing sessions should be stimulating and short, not more than 15 minutes.
They often bark at strangers and unfamiliar objects however this is a behavior that can be subdued by familiarizing them with new things at an early age.
Why you should get a Teacup Chihuahua
There are endless reasons to get a teacup Chi, their attentiveness combined with minimal exercise requirements make them the perfect dog for the elderly or busy individuals.
They are perfect for apartment living as they do not require much space, they can deal with suburban and county living as they adapt very easily. For a dog of their size, they are a very protective breed and would put their lives on the line to guard their family.
Where to get a Teacup Chihuahua
Cuteness comes at a price, the teacup Chihuahua is quite expensive and it’s price differs, some breeders take advantage of the size of the teacup, therefore, price ranges from $500 to $2,000 and this is just the beginning of a long and expensive journey with this breed. Before buying this puppy, specialists advise you to ask for an ophthalmologist evaluation, a patella evaluation, and a cardiac exam.
It is vital to look for a reputable breeder that has all the necessary documents your future dog should have including the health tests while bearing in mind that as a puppy, it is impossible to know what size she’ll grow to be in her adult years.