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Teacup Yorkies: The Reality about Tiny, Mini, Micro and Toy Yorkshire terriers

A lot of people want to have Teacup Yorkies these days.

Everyone is talking about these tiny Yorkies and Internet is full of cute pictures of micro Yorkies in cups..

Teacup yorkie - picture

But what is the truth about the term Teacup Yorkie?

What teacup Yorkies are and are they a separate breed or simply a smaller Yorkshire terriers?

What to watch out for if you have a teacup Yorkie at home and what is the life with this type of dogs?

These questions we will discuss below and we hope that we will show you why is it so important to think carefully before getting a teacup Yorkie.

Lets start with:

What is a Teacup Yorkie?

Nowadays the breeders are often asked if they have teacup Yorkie puppies for sale.

As you can guess by its name, the Teacup Yorkshire terrier is just miniature Yorkie.

And that’s it.

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.

The reality is that:

There is not such thing as teacup Yorkie puppy for there is simply not such a classification.

Officially and according to the official agencies that classify dog breeds, the Teacup Yorkie is neither a specific Yorkie type, nor a separate breed.

The Yorkshire Terriers’ official standard states that the adult dogs of this breed should be up to 7 pounds weight.

According to the standard:

Weight: Must not be more than seven pounds.

This was approved as official definition in 1966 ( April 12).

You can see the official AKC page to see the standards of the breed.

The show Yorkies are usually about 6 – 7 pounds.

Teacup Yorkie information and facts

We put this info into an awesome infographic here:

Teacup Yorkies - infographic


Share this image on your site:

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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 Yorkshire terrier 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.

What is a Toy Yorkie?

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 Yorkshire terrier, just because it is advertised as a toy-size or teacup dog.

Actually all Yorkshrie terriers are Toy Yorkies just because they are in the Toy Breed Group.

What about Teacup, Mini, Tiny, Miniature and Micro Yorkies?

Wow, with so many types of Yorkies out there, that must be the most complicated breed in the world..

But please don’t panic, you don’t need a Master degree in Yorkies 🙂

We will explain you in a moment.

As we already said there are some breeds which are classified to be in the Toy Group. And that the regular Yorkies are between 4 – 7 lbs in weight.

Well, 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.

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 for marketing purposes.

All this is true for the Mini Yorkies, Tiny Yorkies or Miniature Yorkies – all these are just marketing terms and nothing else.

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

Fraudulent “Breeders” sell teacup Yorkie puppies

Unfortunately this term is used by breeders, who do not have any scrupulous, trying to attract the attention of buyers who do not understand much about this breed,

so that they can get more money.

By hearing that they would be able to purchase a teacup puppy, the people will feel like they will get more special dog.

The same type of breeders can also claim they sell “standard” or “toy” Yorkshire terrier puppies the weight of which as adults will be 10-12 pounds.

However, we already said that the standard dogs of this breed should not be heavier than 7 lbs.

Well, there are also breeders who do not know enough about Yorkies but are breeding them and this leads to them not knowing that there are not teacup Yorkies.

We can clearly see that they will not have much of a knowledge about the Yorkies and neither would breed quality Yorkie puppies.

That’s why you should avoid these breeders..

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 Care

If the dog is with weight of about 3-4 pounds, it is thought to be very small one and will need special care.

There are several things that you can take care of if you have a tiny 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.

6.) Should the pet be so small, the children should be allowed to handle it only under strict supervision.

The nature of children is to be unintentionally clumsy and if the dog weights 3-4 pounds it will be really fragile and its bones can easily be broken.

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 and also handle it much more carefully, 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.

We will do our best to share as much information and tips as we can to help you make the life with your new puppy as easier as possible.

After you take your teacup Yorkie at home

During the first two weeks, you should carefully watch how your dog behaves and provide it with a healthy lifestyle,

which means that the puppy should get clean water, good food, regular bathroom visits and enough playtime.

The Yorkie puppies, until they reach age of 4 months, are exactly like the human babies.

They require lots of quiet time and rest in order for proper development.

Do not let the puppy wander across the entire house immediately after you bring it home, but place it in a warm and nice room and slowly introduce him to his new home.

Make sure that the puppy has easy access to fresh water at all times.

Provide the pet with cozy and comfortable bed, which is easy to reach.

Monitor the pet closely and make sure the dog is not alone of the bed, on sofas or chairs and stuff it can jump or fall from, because since its bones are really fragile accidents can easily happen.

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.

If this is the first time you have a puppy with so small size, do not forget to watch your feet at all times, because teacups Yorkies are small and you may easily fail to notice it.

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.

Many accidents have occurred because the owners simply had not seen the puppy coming.

If you have no breeding experience, do remember that the process is dangerous and difficult for teacup Yorkshire terriers for their small size and weight which make giving birth very hard to endure.

Should the breeder not be educated enough, the mothers’ death probability while giving birth is really high.

The miniature Yorkies often have incomplete or wrong bite which usually might be a reason for the so-called “tongue-out” position.

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 3 – 4 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.

You will not have to feed the puppy in the middle of the night.

Simply provide it with some food before retiring for the night (Nutri-Cal is also okay) and feed it right after you wake up.

Should your pet refuses to eat, contact your veterinarian immediately and ask for assistance.

If you want or have to change the diet of the dog, remember that the process should be gradually done for about 10-12 days.

Start with a mixture of 20% from the new food and 80% old food and switch it gradually by adding more of the new food every day and removing some of the old.

Diarrhea and stomach disorders may occur if the diet of the puppy is changed at once.

Should the puppy be under much stress or do not get enough daily calories, it can easily get low blood sugar level (Hypoglycemia), so if the dog refuses to eat, call the vet straight away.

Check your teacup Yorkshire terrier every day to ensure everything is fine.

The dog’s eyes have to be clean and nice (the area around them may be gently cleaned with baby wipe, if necessary).

Their stool must be solid and nice and the nose is supposed to be wet.

You must also check if the dog’s ears are clean.

Teacup Yorkie puppy Bathing

Puppies on about 4 to 8 weeks of age should better not be bathed fully but wiped with baby wipes or warm and wet towel.

After the procedure, the pup should be dried out completely because it can easily get cold.

The anus area should also be checked and it has to be clean. If it needs to be washed, use a little bit puppy shampoo and warm water.

As a whole, the teacup dogs are like the other puppies but require some more attention and time in order to be provided with everything necessary.

Do not forget, you should not take the pet outside (with the vet’s as an exception) until all of the shots had been done.

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.

Check out our article about the best shampoo for Yorkies here.

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.

Chris Christensen 20mm Original Prin Brush
Coastal - Safari - Dog Grooming Combs, No Color, 4 1/2"
Coastal Pet - Safari - Dog Dematting Comb
Miracle Coat Leave-in Lusterizer and Conditioner for Dogs - 32 oz
Chris Christensen 20mm Original Prin Brush
Coastal - Safari - Dog Grooming Combs, No Color, 4 1/2"
Coastal Pet - Safari - Dog Dematting Comb
Miracle Coat Leave-in Lusterizer and Conditioner for Dogs - 32 oz
Chris Christensen 20mm Original Prin Brush
Chris Christensen 20mm Original Prin Brush
Coastal - Safari - Dog Grooming Combs, No Color, 4 1/2"
Coastal - Safari - Dog Grooming Combs, No Color, 4 1/2"
Coastal Pet - Safari - Dog Dematting Comb
Coastal Pet - Safari - Dog Dematting Comb
Miracle Coat Leave-in Lusterizer and Conditioner for Dogs - 32 oz
Miracle Coat Leave-in Lusterizer and Conditioner for Dogs - 32 oz

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

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.

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.

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 problems:

Teacup Yorkie Hypoglycemia

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is among the teacup Yorkies’ most common problems, even more when the puppy is in its first 8 – 16 weeks.

You need to be careful in your nutrition style.

However, just because the Teacup Yorkie suffers from a high risk of hypoglycemia and it is so tiny, it does not mean you need to over feed it, which is even more risky.

It may be caused because there is not enough muscle mass, which is necessary for glucose storage and play part in the regulation of the levels of blood sugar.

This medical issue may lead to seizures, weakness, lethargy and may even be fatal.

This may be prevented with many things but the actions should not be postponed. If necessary, contact your vet as fast as possible.

First aid – wrap the puppy in clean towel and warm it up. Rub the pet’s gums with some corn syrup, honey or Nutri-Cal for this will provide some glucose to the blood.

The puppy should eat as fast as possible but if the condition is too severe, the vet should see the dog immediately.

No products found.

Other Teacup Yorkshire terrier Health problems

1.) 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.

2.) Anesthesia problems.

No matter what the surgery or intervention is settled for, the anesthesia might be extremely problematic for your dog.

There is some pre-anestethic 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.

3.) 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.

4.) 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.

5.) Shorter lifespan 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.

6.) 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.

7.) Ligaments and tendon injuries – which can lead to hip dysplasia, collapsed trachea, slipped kneecap or even broken bones.

8.) Chronic pelvic pain syndrome causes both: pain and constant limits in normal life, which are usually linked to bacterial infections and prostatitis issues.

9.) Immense risk to mothers during pregnancy.

10.) Hydrocephalus

May be not only inborn but also acquired. Leads to inordinate fluid accumulation in the brain.

11.) Open fontanels (which is actually a soft spot on the top of the dog’s head).

12.) Skin sores – Elbows and some other parts of the body can develop sores. Hair can also thin out at certain areas.

13.) Physiological problems  – Studies have found that those are directly linked to the small size of the teacups.

The world around these small beings in “enormous” and so is the noise and this is hard to perceive.

Note: 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.

Karo Light Corn Syrup, 16 fl oz
  • Red label - Light corn syrup
  • With real vanilla

Teacup Yorkie Lifespan

People consider that the mini Yorkies require more care, have health problems more frequently than the standard ones and live less.

The statistics say it’s true but there are, of course, healthy mini Yorkies who live long and happily.

There is not a guaranteed way to determine how long a given puppy would live.

The dog’s approximate lifespan may be estimated by taking into account many different factors.

These include the dog’s parents (and genes), whether the puppy was properly taken care of and how it grew and others.

Nobody can say for sure what will happen to the little pup during its journey into life but you should be careful in order to lower the risks of getting a puppy with poor health.

In order to ensure that, you have to be familiar with the mentioned above factors.

How long do teacup Yorkies live?

Generally, the teacup Yorkie life expectancy is 7 – 9 years.

The life expectancy of the Standard Yorkies is up to or more than 12 years.

However, again, these statistics are only general and they approximately estimate the lifespan of the Yorkie assuming the death will be natural.

If the pup has inborn injuries, genetic mismatches or suffers a specific incident it will live less than mentioned above.

Our recommendation is that you select a pup of no less than 6 months age.

Nevertheless, the choice is up to you.

That is the best age for a teacup Yorkshire terrier puppy to be taken home and then it should be easier to observe if any health problems are present and how the dog is growing.

The expectations are that the pup will reach its max weight at 1 year and the weight will change very little during the following year.


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.

The logical assumption will be that the teacup Yorkies cost much less than the standard ones.

However, the market is unpredictable and the trend is that the smaller Yorkies have higher price.

Well, we have to admit that the demand is high and the standard trend of the market is the price goes higher when the demand is higher.

It is hard to tell an exact price and it is not only a case with the Teacup, but with Yorkies in general.

The price is affected mostly by two factors and they are the breeder’s reputations and the puppy’s papers.

Breeder who can provide papers and health history will most certainly want a higher price.

You would want to set a budget to decide how much can you spend on the teacup Yorkie and this budged should include the vet bills and the initial cost.

You should prepare yourself for all possible problems we listed above.

We would say that it is worth giving more money for a puppy with proper documents and health history papers for this will lead to fewer expenses in the future.

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


Teacup Yorkie puppies are really popular and the demand for them is huge.

Many “breeders” are more than willing to satisfy this demand but the ethical aspect of the breeding of teacups is questioned by the shorter lifespan, the health consequences and the higher prices of these pets.

It is possible for two standard Yorkies who are healthy to have a teacup puppy because of genetics or premature birth.

However, one may think that it is ethically incorrect to consciously breed teacup puppies and sell them at high price as a different breed.

After you have decided that you want a puppy, don’t only choose it based on its appearance but consider its general health, too.

Last update on 2021-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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