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Teacup yorkies – Information, Care and Facts

Teacup yorkie - picture

The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most popular dog breed these days, described as a small and very cute, lovely and loving pet.

But what about the term Teacup Yorkie?

As you can guess by its name, the Teacup Yorkshire terrier is a regular Yorkshire Terrier, but it is smaller in size.

Due to this, some people call it doll Yorkie, too. Officially and according to the official agencies that classify dog breeds, the Teacup Yorkie is neither a specific Yorkie type, nor a separate breed.

Some people, who are not very familiar with the nature of Yorkies might even take a Teacup Yorkie for a small Yorkie that has either not grown up yet, or sick, which is why remain so tiny and delicate.

We also put this info into an awesome infographic here:

Teacup Yorkies - infographic


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What is the difference between Teacup yorkie and traditional Yorkie?

The regular Yorkie size is from 4 to 7 lbs (1.81 kg to 3.17 kg) and the Teacup does not reach even 4. Usually, it is somewhere between 1.5 and 3 lbs. These puppies, though, are not only smaller, but also exposed to many more risks as to their health and development. There are certain differences between the genetic code of a Teacup Yorkie and a traditional Yorkie. But for you, as a pet owner (or future pet owner), you will mostly need to be prepared for the healthy risk the Teacup Yorkie might get inside your home place with.

What is a Toy Yorkshire Terrier?

According to the classifications that AKC has, there is a Toy Breed Group, and because of its size, Yorkshire Terrier is technically such a breed. And because it is considered to be a toy breed, you should not pay extra money if you want to buy a terrier, just because it is advertised as a toy-size or teacup dog. It is actually a dog from this group.

More about the term “Teacup”

The information about teacup dogs might be a bit confusing at first. There are some breeds which are classified to be in the Toy Group and for the dog which is smaller than this may be referred as a teacup dog by breeders, media and the general public. That means that the dog appears to be smaller than the expected standard.

Unfortunately this term is used by breeders, who do not have any scrupulous, trying to attract the attention of buyers so that they can get more money. The term is variable, because there is not a limit for the specific size by the AKC.

For example, if you have a five-pound dog, it is technically not a teacup dog, as it is according to the rules of the breed registry, but yet some people would call it a teacup dog. When it is said that when Yorkies are fully grown they weigh around one to three pounds, when dogs are smaller, they are not actually an official breed or a variation of the breed.

But it is a fact, that smaller dogs than the minimum average weight do exist.

There is such a tendency in breeding industry to achieve even smaller dog than the minimum standards of the breed allow, and such dogs are usually labeled as teacup or toy dogs. But when breeding such a small dog, for sure you will have lots of health problems, which usually will not occur for a dog that is with the normal size of the breed.


Perhaps you might be wondering how is it possible to exist such undersized, small dogs, when they are not an official and recognized breed. The answer is simple, Yorkshire Terrier is actually an official and recognized breed, and still there is a chance for smaller dogs to be registered as a purebred when breeders are purposely trying to produce puppies that are smaller than the standard.

When breeders want to produce such small dogs, they choose for mating dam and sire, which are both undersized. And not only the parents should be with a size below the average, bloodlines, up to five generations back, are also checked.

In most of the cases, a larger female is paired with a smaller male. There is no guarantee what the size of the newborns will be, but the cases show that it is more likely to result in puppies, smaller than the standard size.

And when the breeder is specifically dealing with producing smaller dogs, he is able to build up a program how to do this. But this is highly unethical, because these tiny dogs suffer lots of healthy problems, and having such a dog is equally hard for the dog and for the owner.

Teacup Yorkie Health issues

It is small and delicate, so every change in its lifestyle, nutrition or environment might be a risk for its health. But Yorkies are also genetically predisposed to some specific diseases or chronic health conditions. Some of them appear since their birth, while others develop in time.
Anyway, below will get to know you with the most common Teacup Yorkie health issues:

  • Birth defects, which usually are either small kidneys, or portosystemic shunt. This can refer to a type of a condition that makes the vein that should pass through the liver pass around it. The result is diminished liver function, leading to other health problems. The symptoms begin to show early in a dog’s life, and include lack of growth, frequent disorientation and seizures.
  • Anesthesia problems. No matter what the surgery or intervention is settled for, the anaesthesia might be extremely problematic for your dog. There is some pre-anastethic blood work to discuss with your doctor in advance. And you need to know that some vets even exclude the surgery for a treatment of a Teacup Yorkie.
  • Hypoglycemia – most often during the first 8-16 weeks of age. You need to be careful in your nutrition style. However, just because the Teacup Yorkie suffers from a high risk of hypoglecimia and it is so tiny, it does not mean you need to over feed it, which is even more risky.
  • Rapid drop in blood sugar levels. This is very serious and can be fatal. You need to visit your vet on a regular basis, if your Teacup Yorkie has signs of such low blood sugar levels.
  • Seizures make the dog body stiff. The puppy suffers uncontrollable muscle spasms. He may be quiet or may whine. Seizures are a symptom of serious illness; visit your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Shorter life span most often due to heart disease. Heart diseases, on the other side, are common because the dogs are very emotional and they get stress by so many things. Providing normal life conditions for your Teacup Yorkie, though, will minimize the risk of a heart attack at an early age.
  • Fragile bone structure, which greatly increases the risk of injuries. This is why Teacup Yorkies must be all time and all day round watched and never let play around the garden alone.
  • Ligaments and tendon injuries – which can lead to hip dysplasia, collapsed trachea, slipped kneecap or even broken bones)
  • Chronic pelvic pain syndrome causes both: pain and constant limits in normal life, which are usually linked to bacterial infections and prostatitis issues
  • Immense risk to mothers during pregnancy.
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Open fontanels
  • Skin sores – Elbows and some other parts of the body can develop sores. Hair can also thin out at certain areas.

Because of the size, it should be known that this little dog should go on a walk with a harness, instead of a collar.

Because a Yorkie is a tiny dog, it eats little food, and when it does not get enough nutrients, there are signs to notice this, such as drowsiness, confusion, fainting. For a quick reaction, it is recommended to keep Karo syrup nearby on hand.

Teacup Yorkie Care

There are several things that you can take care of if you have a teacup Yorkie, so that you avoid some problems in the future:

  1.  Adapt your puppy to every new environment slowly and with your big love. Also, never forget that with the appearance of a new season, the Teacup Yorkie becomes delicate and you need take this under consideration, too.
  2. Protect the puppy from bigger dogs when you are in the park. Sometimes, even if they are friendly a harder game between them might cause injuries.
  3. Temperature – they are sensitive to temperature changes, so you need to use warm water, while bathing. Also provide a seasonal wardrobe for your Teacup Yorkie. Yes, it does need clothes and it is not a fashion trend, but a real need, because the breed has very low fat level under the skin, which lets it freeze fast.
  4. Make a small bed area for your Teacup Yorkie. Besides the proper nutrition, it’s the healthy sleep that actually makes the dog strong and healthy.
  5. Checkups – You need to be sure that you will bring your dog to regular checkups.

Life with a Teacup Yorkie

Teacup yorkie puppy - pictureWhen having such a dog, this means that you need to give it everyday love and care, because it is especially important for these little dogs. And because of their small size there are a few other things that you need to pay attention to.

About furniture – You will have to pay attention to your furniture and if you have something that could cause some kind of harm to the dog, you should not leave it without supervising.

You should be extra careful, because it is difficult to have such a small dog around you, and you should always walk slowly and look around, so that you avoid any accidents from happening.

How to feed a Teacup Yorkie?

There are many facts and information you can find in internet, when it comes to a suitable dog diet. But what we can say for sure and in general is that it needs frequent and regular feeding – on small portions and per 2-3 hours per day.  Fats are important for the dog, but if they are too much for the Teacup Yorkie it might get overweight, which will be risky for its growth.

Teacup Yorkie temperament and Behavior

If you are considering to get a yorkie you might be now worrying whether you can take care of such a delicate and fragile dog. And you should be. The thing is that unlike most dog breeds, Yorkshire terriers just do not fit everyone’s home, lifestyle or even temperament. Speaking of which, the Teacup Yorkie has very special temperament, you need to be aware of. These dogs, for instance, require you to love them deeply and all the time. Losing your attention, they might feel stressed and even depressed, which can lead to certain health issues.

But your personal attitude is not the only thing that might be a problem for them. If you have very little kids at home a Teacup Yorkie might not be the best idea. Kids are cheerful and loving, but they express this love by playing around, cuddling and hugging the animal all day long? This could be fine for a standard Yorkshire Terrier, but definitely not good for a Teacup Yorkie. It is dangerous and risky.

Just as the other small dogs, Yorkies actually do not realize that they are so small, so they do not have a problem with self-esteem. These dogs are usually quite active and adventurous. They are lovable, and they love getting a lot of attention of their owners.

Grooming tips for Teacup Yorkies

Indeed! Grooming is in general a special routine every dog owner is supposed to consider finely and attentively. But when it comes to a Teacup Yorkie, thing get even more important. We are here to give you some practical tips on Teacup Yorkie grooming:

  1. Choose high quality grooming tools. First of all, have a specially tailored shampoo that is delicate for the tender skin the Teacup Yorkie has and able to make dog’s hair silky and nourished. For the nourishment, apply moisturizing conditioner during or before bath, as well some leave-in product to protect the coat till the next bath.
  2. Brushing and combing once per day are essential, but you also need to remember that these chores are on mandatory after bathing, too. The thing is that bathing makes the hair and scalp sensitive and brushing restores the blood circulation fast.
  3. Never leave any product (except for the leave-in product, of course) not rinsed off. Even though most dogs don’t love bathing you need to be 100% sure the shampoo is off and if you have to, use more water for rinsing.
  4. Have a bath brush, too. This is not a brush that you use to make the dog’s haircut fine and stylish, but a tool to relax the dog during the bathing procedure. Plus – brushing the Teacup Yorkie, while it is in the bath is very calming and has a fine effect on skin, too, so you can actually protect it from dryness, dullness and even irritation.
  5. Invest in a set of wet wipe that are specially made for delicate dog skin. Use them daily on the eye zone area, where you will see excesses of tearing. Do not underestimate this routine, because it actually protects the dog from bacteria and infections.

Teacup Yorkies are incredible, but they need incredible attention and cares, too. If you are ready and truly willing to provide them, do not hesitate to have such a small, but so cute and loving pet in your home.


Now, when you know most of the things for caring for the Teacup Yorkie (don’t rush, though, we’ve got some more to tell you…), you might also wonder how much it costs. It is hard to tell an exact price and it is not only a case with the Teacup, but with Yorkies in general.

The thing is that documents that come with the dog are essential for the price formation. And when it comes to a Teacup Yorkie you really need them, because they will show that this is really a Teacup Yorkie, but not a young or a sick Yorkshire Terrier.

Speaking of which, you also need to require documents for the medical history of the dog. And as you can guess the price will increase with these papers.

Here you can find more about the Teacup yorkie price and a few tips you should know before buying your puppy.

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