Teacup Chihuahua - Facts, Pros and Cons
In the Chihuahua world, there are two known kinds of this breed. While we have familiarized ourselves with the Apple Head and a Deer Head Chihuahuas, we have not mentioned in detail the Teacup Chihuahuas that exist in both those variables. These tiny dogs have become more and more popular over the years and have been given a chance to shine independently. Even though they are not a new breed, they are a relatively new type that has entered the scene. The teacup-sized dogs have been more and more popular for the past two decades, and we are positive they will continue with their popularity for many years to come. Even though they might be the most adorable thing you have ever seen at first glance, they do come with their own troubles. This is why we will go into detail about what you might expect if you choose to adopt or buy a Teacup Chihuahua.
What is a Teacup Chihuahua?
The question for the ages. This tiny, sassy end, definitely feisty type of a Chihuahua, is so delicate. While we all know how fragile the regular Chihuahua is, these puppies are much more susceptible to the outside world than their bigger counterparts. Usually, the Teacup Chihuahua is around 6 inches tall by reaching adulthood and weighing about 3 lbs. That being said, there is no actual norm when it comes to the height and weight of this breed. They range from slightly smaller than a regular Chihuahua to much smaller in comparison. This can vary based on the size of the puppy's parents, but it isn't a strict rule. A Teacup Chihuahua might be thought of as a separate breed, but it is not. It is just a variable of Chihuahuas, and same as the Deer Heads, it does not meet the standard of this breed.
The Appearance of a Teacup Chihuahua.
Since no standard has been set for this breed, we cannot say for certain what size actually falls into this category. There have been many arguments regarding this issue among breeders, and a solution has yet to be found.
While a standard Chihuahua can weigh anywhere from 4 to 6 pounds, the Deer Head Chihuahua, even more, their size ranges anywhere from 6-in to 15, the Teacup Chihuahua would be considered anything smaller than the norm set by the AKC (American Kennel Club). What defines them is if they weigh under 4 pounds and are smaller than 6 inches in height. This being said, what actually falls under a teacup Chihuahua depends on who you ask since many have different opinions.
Like regular-sized Chihuahuas, the Teacup Chihuahua can also be smooth-haired or long-haired. Because of this, some clubs considered these two types to be a different breed, but in reality, they are one and the same.
Usually, this type cannot enter confirmation shows because they do not fall under the traditional standard of the breed. However, smaller dogs are preferred and accepted in some areas.
Even though the puppy's parent might be a teacup, that does not mean that the offspring will be Teacup sized as well. Another essential thing to mention is that these Chihuahuas can come in any color combination. This is considered a hereditary trait, and it can be passed on even from grandparents. However, the merle (marble) pattern has been rising in popularity for the past couple of years. If you decide to get a Chi with this fur pattern, be prepared to pay slightly more than an average.
Teacup Chihuahua Characteristics.
Considering their size, you might think that the Teacup Chihuahua has a milder temper. However, this is far from the truth. Their traits are almost the same as with their counterparts. This being said, there are some differences in their demeanor. This is why we will provide you with some details before fully diving into the Teacups' temperament, sociability, health, and the rest of the information concerning this breed.
- Loyalty - As we have mentioned before, Chihuahuas are fiercely loyal to their owners. Unlike their other counterparts, the Teacup Chihuahua is usually devoted to just one person. This being said, they can grow to love many people, other pets, and even kids with time and patience.
- Trainability - While the temperament is not amicable and this type is very susceptible to health issues that would make training even harder, you should consider spending quality time with your dog instead of regular chihuahuas going to a professional. This will allow you to bond more with your puppy and feed them the basics of acceptable behavior from an early age.
- Sociability – No matter the size, Chihuahuas should always be socialized early, starting with puppyhood. This is the same with any variable of the breed. However, Teacup Chihuahuas have a slightly worse temper than their larger counterparts, so socializing might be somewhat more complicated. This should not discourage you because it only takes his patience and dedication. They have proven time and time again that they can be great hosts and pets when given a chance.
- Behavior - Even though they are known as feisty, even bordering on very aggressive little dogs are far less fussy than you might think. They can self-engage for hours and are provided with enough material. If socialized well, they can tolerate other humans, pets, and children. But unlike their larger counterparts, this will be a more challenging task to achieve. Their overall behavior is more of a loner type because they are usually terrified of anyone other than the one owner they commit to. Arm yourself with patience and love, and in time, you should see the results you wish for.
- Popularity - Their popularity has risen over the years and continues to do so even now. Smaller dogs are becoming more and more popular due to their size and the ease of maneuvering them. People prefer dogs who don't pull on the leash and can be carried wherever they go. Teacup Chihuahuas being the smallest breed in the world, fall into these traits perfectly. However, many people who choose to buy or adopt a Chi do so because they tend to like the ability to carry them around on display.
Temperament and Personality of a Teacup Chihuahua.
They're known for their terrier-like temperament and confidence. This is similar to all smaller dogs in terms of character and behavior. The Teacup Chihuahua can be very loud and is prone to barking at everything and anyone. Suppose you want a quiet dog that doesn't get rattled easily. In that case, you might want to reconsider buying or adopting a Chihuahua.
As mentioned before, they tend to be single-person dogs. What this means is that they usually bond with only one person and simply in the war everyone else. While they do not like strangers and can be very suspicious of them, even aggressive, sometimes their need for affection derails their need to protect. The Teacup Chihuahua might not find it easy to make friends, but if given enough time, they will overcome this.
These dogs can easily be scared if not socialized on time. What you should do is introduce them to as many people, animals, even children when they are still puppies. If this is not done, they can easily be overwhelmed when meeting and seeing new faces for the first time, which will cause them to become fearful and oppressive.
Teacup Chihuahua Training and Exercise.
While they might not be the most intelligent dogs, they can learn many things. Because of their size, potty training a Teacup Chihuahua might prove difficult. This isn't connected to them not wanting to go outside. It is just because their bladders are so tiny due to their size that they need to go to the bathroom more frequently than there are other counterparts.
Sometimes, you will need to take them outside every half hour, even in adulthood. However, you can teach them to go to the bathroom at a designated spot in your home if you do not want to commit to frequent walks. If you live in a house, you can opt for doggie doors if you have a backyard. This will allow your Teacup Chihuahua to go outside and do their business as much as they need to. If this is the way you want to go, make sure that the door is appropriately sized for your tiny Chi. Otherwise, they might find it challenging to go outside anytime.
Their exercise needs are few because they can get hurt easily. Due to this, you might not need to take them out for long walks. The Teacup Chihuahua isn't the proper breed if you want a dog that will run with you, play fetch, or do any other outdoor activity that you can think of.
Because they tend to bond with one person, you might want to consider training them yourself if that is you. This will prove beneficial to your puppy and yourself, and it will deepen the connection you have.
How to Socialize a Teacup Chihuahua?
As with all Chihuahuas, socialization is vital. Like all Chis, the Teacups can be intolerant towards other dogs and children. They can be a bit aloof and aren't always the friendliest canines out there. If their owner is in trouble, they will be protectively aggressive, and this might be considered a standard with this breed. This protectiveness can also be caused by visitors, which is why having as many guests over your home as your dog is still a puppy is crucial. Your Chi should get used to having other people in their home and space; otherwise, it will be disastrous as they get older. Fear is often a trigger that causes your dog to not get along with other canines, people, or children. Many Teacup Chihuahuas tend to get terrified of being stepped on or hurt by larger dogs or children since they are very sensitive. To prevent this, they may start acting ''big''. This is bad because it can lead to anti-social behaviors such as barking, snapping, and not getting along with other dogs. Socialization can somewhat discourage this type of behavior because it gives your dog a chance to gain enough confidence to freely interact with others. Social studies have proven that confident dogs usually aren't scared and often go into conflict.
Teacup Chihuahua Health Issues.
As with many smaller breeds, health is always a big issue. These puppies have quite a few health issues they can exhibit throughout their lifetime. Due to their size, getting injured isn't uncommon. They are very delicate dogs and are prone to get hurt more than their larger counterparts. While many of the diseases we will mention can be prevented through good breeding, dog size plays a vital role in their sensitivity.
Purchasing a Teacup Chihuahua Puppy puppy from a reputable breeder is vital. You will be able to get her hands on the parents' health history and what you might expect with your puppy. However, you might not get these essential details if you decide to adopt a Teacup Chihuahua. Some genetic conditions are hereditary, and before breeding a puppy, you should test your Chihuahua for them. If the breeder didn't test the parents, they probably don't concern themselves with the overall health of the puppies.
Some of the most common health problems with Teacup Chihuahuas are:
- Hypoglycemia - commonly known as low blood sugar, is very prevalent in Chihuahuas. However, it is more common in Teacups due to their size. Having meals five to six times a day is vital for a dog as small as this. Just be careful not to overfeed them as it can cause obesity.
- Patellar Luxation - This issue is tied to the kneecaps slipping out of their position. While it can be caused by an injury during playing, it can also be hereditary.
- Pulmonic Stenosis - Being one of the top hereditary health issues, getting tested on time is vital for dogs like Teacup Chihuahuas. This issue is not visible to the human eye, but it causes the heart to work harder due to the pulmonic valve not pumping enough blood. It is widespread and can lead to heart failure.
- Collapsed Trachea - this health issue is more common in some breeds than others. Because researchers could not find the exact cause of why this is happening, they consider it hereditary. If a trachea collapses, your puppy's breathing can stop, and if not caught on time, it often leads to their death.
- Neurological conditions - Not uncommon in Teacup Chihuahuas, these diseases can often lead to Chi's skull not developing correctly, which can further cause other problems. Many of these issues are genetic. However, even though these issues are congenital or hereditary, the cause is still unknown. The parents cannot be tested before breeding. While the parents may be completely healthy, the puppies can experience neurological problems.
Even though many more health issues can be experienced throughout your dog's life, these are the most deadly and impactful ones.
Teacup Chihuahua Grooming - What to Expect?
As we've mentioned before, there are two different kinds of teacup chihuahuas based on their appearance. They can either be long-haired or short-haired.
While long-haired Chis do not have to be brushed often, you should try and gently brush through their coat at least 2 times a week to avoid tangles and matting of the fur. They don't require their hair to be trimmed, making them very low maintenance compared to other long-haired breeds.
The short-haired type typically sheds more and should be brushed three or 4 times a week. Using a rubber grooming mitt would be the best option as it is gentle and won't tug or damage your Chi's hair and skin.
Bathing should be done when necessary, no more than once a month, if they don't get dirty playing outside.
The Teacup Chihuahuas shed all year round. However, they might shed more during spring and fall, depending on your climate. If this happens, you might want to consider brushing them more frequently.
While bathing may not be needed frequently, their ears should be occasionally cleaned. Even though they are not prone to ear infections, they can get a buildup of debris and Vax. This is why you should use a cotton ball and clean their ears every so often. Their nails should also be trimmed regularly unless they can spend them walking on concrete. You should always be very careful as their nails are tiny and the nerve endings are very sensitive. Making sure you do not hurt your Teacup Chihuahua is crucial. However, suppose you are afraid of cutting or injuring your puppy. In that case, you can ask a groomer or a veterinarian to do this for you.
Even though they do not have many dental problems, brushing their teeth should also be on your list.
Nutrition of your Teacup Chihuahua
It is important to emphasize that teacup chihuahuas are very fussy eaters. They know exactly what to do like and don't like when it comes to their food. This is why you will probably spend a lot of time preparing different meals. Due to their size, eating kibble can be very challenging for a Teacup Chihuahua. You might want to add some low sodium chicken broth to their dry food to overcome this.
Your diet should consist of 40% protein in any shape of meat such as chicken, beef, lamb, or fish. Because they are prone to hypoglycemia, you should feed them more frequently to keep their blood sugar up. The Teacup Chihuahuas are as prone to obesity as their counterparts. This is why you should constantly monitor how much food intake they are getting. It is recommended that your dog eats at approximately the same time every day, meaning you should start from early morning and then split it into 4 to 5 meals a day. According to researchers, it requires about 4 to 6 hours for the food to be fully digested, so you know how long you should wait in between meals.
How Much Do Teacup Chihuahuas Cost?
It may come as a surprise that the Teacup Chihuahuas Puppies are actually more expensive than their regular-sized ones. While an apple head or a deer head chihuahua can cost anywhere between £300 to $1,000, a teacup Chihuahua can cost even up to 2000 dollars. This type is quite an expensive dog to own. The first year of your puppy's life will cost you around $2,600, including vaccinations, medical exams, grooming, clothing, and everything else that comes with owning Chi.
This whole being said, you cannot know the actual size of a teacup Chihuahua before it reaches maturity. Due to this, you may be paying for a regular-sized Chi and not even know it. While reputable breeders will not take advantage of buyers by upping their prices, those money-hungry unethical ones will definitely try to rip you off. Make sure you get your dog's pedigree and the parents' health history. Remember that even though the parents are considered Teacup Chihuahuas, their puppies don't necessarily have to be.
At the End of the Day.
Due to their size, Teacup Chihuahuas are considered adorable. However, they are also very sensitive and delicate. They are prone to certain health conditions, usually caused by their size and genetics. They need to be trained and socialized, and you'll have to be prepared to provide them with your time, devotion, and love for your puppy to flourish. If you are adamant about owning a Teacup Chihuahua but are suspicious of what their size might be when they are fully grown, we also recommend that you adopt one. If you decide to adopt, make sure they are at least a year old or a year and a half old because that's when they reach maturity and stop growing. As with any Chihuahua, this one will also prove to be quite a challenge. However, what you get in return is tremendous loyalty and love that can hardly be compared to any other breed.