The teacup Yorkie (or fully teacup Yorkshire terrier) is basically a Yorkie that has been bred to be significantly smaller than the normal Yorkshire Terrier.
The Yorkshire Terrier is known to be one of the smallest terrier types of dog breeds. This breed was developed in Yorkshire, England in the 19th century. The ideal maximum size is about 7 pounds (3.2kg). Known to be a popular companion dog, the Yorkshire Terrier has been involved in the development process of other breeds, an example of such is the Silky Terrier.
The Yorkshire Terrier’s location of origin was Yorkshire, a country situated in northern England and (Lancashire) back in the mid-1900s. Several varieties of small terriers were brought to Yorkshire by workers from Scotland who came in search of work. The breeding of the Yorkshire Terrier was accomplished by the people in Yorkshire and Lancashire (mostly workers in cotton and woolen mills).
This breed emerged from three different dogs; a male, Old crab, a female Kitty, and another female whose name is unknown. The Paisley Terrier is a smaller version of the Skye Terrier that was bred to get a dog with a beautiful long silky coat. It is believed that the Maltese dog was also used.
All these dogs were originally bred from Scotch Terriers (Dogs from Scotland, not the Scottish Terrier known today) and for that reason, the name Yorkshire Terrier was given to them because they were improved significantly in Yorkshire.
Once upon a time back in the early times of this breed almost any and every dog with a docked tail, trimmed ears, silver-colored head and legs, and a long coat was accepted and admired as a Yorkshire Terrier.
It wasn’t until the late 1860s, when a popular Paisley type Yorkshire Terrier show dog named Huddersfield Ben, owned by Mary Ann Foster was seen at dog shows all over Great Britain. That was when the defined standard for the breed type of the Yorkshire Terrier was determined.
Appearance And Size
The teacup Yorkie isn’t exactly a specific breed but rather a much smaller variant of the Yorkshire Terrier. You can expect the Teacup Yorkie to look like a standard-sized Yorkie, only smaller.
They have a round skull with a short muzzle. Their nose is black and button-like and has medium-sized eyes. They have very small V-shaped ears that are upright on the top of their head.
Their body is very compact but also well proportioned. They have very short legs with their tail at medium length and it is slightly higher than their back. They always look alert, engaged and they have a spring in their steps.
Your average Yorkshire Terrier has an average weight of 7lbs meanwhile, the Teacup Yorkie weight much less. Though, a fully grown Teacup Yorkie weighs between 2-4 lbs.
As expected of a dog with such a small stature, it is safe to say one need not expect a height of about 5-7 inches.
The teacup Yorkie has different color variants. The common color variants are; Black and Tan, Black and Gold, Blue and Gold, Blue and Tan.
Just like the standard Yorkshire Terrier, the Teacup Yorkie has a glossy, fine and silky coat. They also have long straight coats that can be trimmed for a more presentable and neater appearance.
The hair at the top of their head is no exception as it also grows long and can be trimmed to prevent it from getting into the eyes of your dog. The Teacup Yorkie and Yorkshire Terriers in general shed very little and as such, they are hypoallergenic.
The Teacup Yorkie is a dog that needs absolute devotion, attention and care 24/7.
They do not shed though grooming is still necessary because this is a dog that likes to look their best. Their long straight coats will grow continuously throughout the year and should be trimmed as often as possible.
Since their coats grow excessively long and even longer than their height and all the way over their faces, it should be managed as it can get into their eyes. Their hair should be brushed on a daily basis in order to prevent matting and to keep it clean.
The Yorkshire Terriers are generally susceptible to dental problems so it is advised to keep their teeth clean and healthy by brushing them on a daily basis. Make sure to check the inside of their ears as wax and debris can accumulate there over time. To avoid overgrowth, their nails should be clipped at regular intervals.
Temperament And Personality
The Teacup Yorkie is the definition of a small body with a huge heart. They have great personalities and are embedded with every bit of the Terrier personality traits. They are known to be lively, affectionate, and confident.
They are also known to be demanding in nature. These little attention seekers are people-oriented but are wary of strangers. The teacup Yorkie is likely to have separation anxiety so don’t leave them alone for extended periods at a stretch.
Just like a true terrier, the teacup Yorkies have a feisty and bossy nature.
The Teacup Yorkies are said to have Little Dog syndrome; which makes them think they are bigger than they actually are. This causes anxiety and excitement.
Don’t be surprised if your teacup Yorkie is a handful as they are known to be mischievous. They love to hunt furies; this is due to their strong prey drive. Regardless of their fragile bodies, these dogs will still get themselves into situations that can prove harmful for them.
Yorkshire Terriers are territorial in nature and this can make them highly defensive whenever a stranger comes to the door.
They can be trained to be calm and bark less.
These little balls of energy are highly devoted to their families, they enjoy being the center of attention and entertainment to their families.
When introduced to a new environment, ensure to make it easy for them to move around and give them time to adjust as they can be nervous.
Health And Nutrition
The teacup Yorkie due to their size have a lot of requirement and also multiple health issues. It is advised to make your research so any symptoms that arise can be spotted.
They have a specialized diet and are prone to suffering from hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). Regular feeding schedules should be prepared at intervals during the day.
Your Yorkie should be fed at 3 – 4-hour intervals during the day and make sure not to skip even one meal. Ensure to feed them just before you put them to bed at night and first thing in the morning.
It is generally known that for small dogs, they need only 40 calories per pound of body weight. With that calculation in mind, a 4lbs Teacup Yorkie would need about 160 calories daily.
Just like humans, dogs also need a balanced diet; protein, dietary fats, minerals, and vitamins. Even if it costs extra, look for specialized or premium dog food to feed your Yorkie. Food with high amounts of carbs should be avoided at all costs because it can be harmful and cause obesity.
Common health issues faced by these dogs include hypoglycemia – low blood sugar in the dog should be controlled with a special diet as it could have fatal repercussions.
Yorkies also suffer from collapsed tracheas – Airflow becomes limited and causes chronic coughing and various other respiratory issues.
Liver shunts are another risk the Yorkies face due to their highly sensitive stomachs. It is a congenital birth defect that stops the liver from performing the function of filtering toxins in the blood.
As expected of a breed so small and delicate, they have fragile bones that can easily break.
The Yorkies also suffer from Periodontal issues, retinal dysplasia, luxating patella, Legg Perthes disease and pancreatitis.
A fairly healthy teacup yorkie can leave up to 14 years as the majority of them live to around 12 years.
Teacup Yorkshire Terriers as expected, do not have large or serious exercise requirements.
Due to their small frame, their tiny legs would be okay with 20 minutes of daily exercise preferably in form of a walk.
Take special care of your yorkie during walks as they can easily trip over during walks and this can cause damages to them.
Do not let the Yorkie get overly excited and begin to jump on and off surfaces as overexcitement can cause them to engage in dangerous activities that can hurt their fragile bones.
Instead of a collar, it is important to make use of a harness when walking your dog because a collar would apply too much pressure on their throat and it may cause their trachea to collapse.
All sorts of rough play should be prohibited as these dogs are very fragile in nature and should be cared for as such.
Should You Get a Teacup Yorkie?
A teacup Yorkshire Terrier is a sweet little dog that requires careful owners that can look after them and protect them from accidents that may occur.
To own a terrier comes with so many issues and it is advised to compromise and go for a slightly bigger version.
The teacup Yorkie is kind and loving and make wonderful companions for adults of different background, lifestyle, and age. They are cute and portable and can thrive well in apartments. They also need very little amounts of exercise sessions.
Taking care of a Yorkie also means having them in a child or pet free environment as they are very delicate and can also have issues with other pets.
If you want a dog that’s a more family oriented, it is advised to take a look at the Skye Terrier.
Sure, tiny dogs look absolutely adorable and are extremely appealing. It is absolutely human to want to own a Teacup Yorkie as it might give you the sensation that you’re rescuing such a tiny creature.
But these tiny dogs are plagued with all sorts of issues and every single time a teacup Yorkie is bought, a breeder would begin creating more teacup Yorkies in order to supply the demand for them.
Majority of the vets out there strongly advise against buying these dogs in order to prevent more from being bred.
Most people do not understand that the miniaturization of a dog can prove to be very harmful, but the challenges of being a Teacup Yorkie owner are more than people realize.
Buying A Teacup Yorkie
It is important to find a reputable breeder that will sell you a healthy dog. Due to the health issues these tiny dogs have, it is advisable to be very vigilant in selecting which breeder to buy from. Doing some research beforehand can help you find out which breeders are unreliable choices and which ones are not.
As breeders will breed two miniature dogs in other to get an even smaller offspring, it can be dangerous for the mother. It is very risky to breed any teacup breed.
If you ask a breeder to let you see the puppies with their mothers and they don’t let you, there’s a high probability that they are not to be trusted.
An observation of how the mother cares for her puppies will give you an insight into how the dog’s temperament might be later on. Just like humans, puppies with low-quality maternal care are more prone to having problematic behaviors later on as opposed to those with adequate maternal care.
To confirm that there are no genetic issues passed on to the puppies, breeders should be able to present health certificates for the parent dogs.
The cost of a teacup ranges between $1200 and $2000 depending on the breeder.