Over the last couple of years, we observe a tendency that the smaller representatives of our favorite Yorkshire terriers are on higher demand.
We are not sure if this is becoming kind of a trend or just people are finding the smaller Yorkies much more practical and convenient to share their home with but the increasing demand for smaller Yorkshire terriers is a fact.
Teacup, mini or micro Yorkies – undoubtedly the cutest representatives of our breed.
But what exactly is a teacup Yorkie and what it stands for? Are they pure Yorkshire terriers or a separate breed?
What is it to live with a teacup Yorkie and what we should pay attention to when having one at home?
That is what we are going to talk about in this article and hopefully make you think twice before choosing a teacup Yorkshire terrier.
In the following article, we’ll give you as much information as possible to make you familiar with those tiny creatures.
If you have already taken the decision to bring a teacup Yorkie at home, we strongly suggest buying one of the books below which are a complete guide of rising and living with the smaller representatives of our breed:
What is a teacup Yorkie?
One of the most frequently asked questions that breeders get nowadays is “Do you have any teacup Yorkshire Terrier puppies for sale?”
The simple truth is that none of them has a “teacup” Yorkie puppy because no such classification exists. Let us clarify.
The official breed standard for the Yorkshire Terrier calls for adult Yorkies to have a weight of no more than 7 (seven) pounds.
To be exact, the breed standard states: “Weight: Must not exceed seven pounds.”
This definition was approved on April 12, 1966. To review the breed standard for Yorkshire terriers, check at the official American Kennel Club page.
Why then, you may ask, do so many breeders advertise their puppies as teacup Yorkies? There are only two reasons:
Fraudulent advertising for teacup Yorkie puppies
Some unscrupulous breeders advertise teacup Yorkie puppies to take advantage of those people who are not very familiar with Yorkies.
By telling someone that they are getting a “teacup” Yorkie, they make the buyer feel that they are getting something – as if one gets much more special than a Yorkie at all.
Beware, many of these people also advertise “toy” and or “standard” Yorkie puppies with adult weights up to 10 or 12 pounds.
As stated above, a standard Yorkshire terrier must weigh no more than 7 pounds.
Ignorance about Teacup Yorkshire terrier puppies
Sadly, there are people out there breeding Yorkshire terrier puppies who simply aren’t knowledgeable enough about them to know that there is no such thing as a “teacup” Yorkie.
One can only imagine their general breed knowledge and the quality of their Yorkie puppies for sale.
We were told of a breeder recently who allegedly has adult Yorkies weighing less than two pounds all the time.
The person writing wanted to know if we know that breeder and if we can recommend someone who can offer puppies of that size.
We must point out that as of 2002, the smallest dog in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was a Chihuahua who weighed just under 2 pounds at 1 lb. 14 oz.
For someone to claim that they regularly have adult dogs weighing less than 2 pounds is a stretch, to say the least.
One must also be cautious regarding the time at which weight is taken. A breeder could happily tell you that a dog weights only 4 pounds.
If that weight is taken at 12 weeks of age, however, that Yorkie puppy will probably weigh about 8 pounds as a fully grown adult.
On average, Yorkshire terriers weigh between 5 and 7 pounds as adults. There are, of course, smaller Yorkie puppies born that will weightless.
Most Yorkshire terriers that you see participating in the show ring tend to be 6 to 7 pounds.
A dog weighing 3 to 4 pounds is considered very small and requires special care. Dogs this small should not be handled by children except under strictly controlled conditions.
Children are clumsy by nature – not intentionally and dogs weighing less than 4 pounds are fragile, with easily broken bones.
Teacup Yorkies from our point of view
After all of the above beings said it is clear that neither the AKC nor the rest of the official organizations recognize a definition such as a “Teacup Yorkie”.
Although there is no such category in the breed’s standard, the terms “teacup”, “mini”, “micro” or “miniature” Yorkies indicates a size that is much smaller than the one specified in the standard.
Here it is important to note that those terms are most probably given by the media or some unethical breeders who purposely breed Yorkshire terriers weighting below the accepted standard.
For the rest of the article, we will refer to the term “teacup” when we want to mention Yorkshire terriers weighing less than 4 pounds.
We use the word Teacup to explain the potential size of a pup. We could call it a Tiny, Teeny Weeny, Bitszy, Dwarf, Miniature, Diminutive, or some other adjective that would describe a tiny dog, but we like the word Teacup.
Teacup Yorkie puppies care tips
You already know that mini Yorkies weigh less than 4 pounds which is much less than the standard.
Undoubtedly representatives with such weight will need special care and a different approach than the regular ones.
We will try to give you as many tips and helpful information in order to make your life easier and give you an idea of what is involved when getting a new teacup baby at home.
Taking the teacup Yorkie puppy at home
- In the first two weeks, we will ask you to monitor your puppy’s behavior closely and make sure your sweetie is doing what every healthy doggie does: eat food, drink water, play and goes to the bathroom regularly.
- The most important thing to remember is that a mini Yorkie puppy is exactly like a human baby until it’s about 4 months old.
- It needs to get a lot of rest and quiet time so it can develop and be your best friend for life.
- When bringing your new puppy home, we recommend not to give it access to the whole house right away, rather, you should designate a room where it is nice and warm, and let your new friend get used to his new home slowly.
- In that room, make sure your micro friend has fresh drinking water available all the time and has access to it whenever it feels thirsty.
- Offer it a comfortable cozy bed he can climb on and off of easily.
- Make sure you always keep an eye on the little friend and don’t leave him alone on sofas, beds, chairs and everything that he can jump from. The bones of teacup Yorkies are very fragile and it is very easy to have an unpleasant accident.
- For those of you who never had a dog with a similar size, you will need to acquire the habit of always watching your feet. Teacup Yorkie’s small size is sometimes very difficult to notice and we know quite a few accidents when people step or kick their little toy just because they didn’t see it coming around.
- People with no or little experience in breeding must be aware that this process is extremely difficult and dangerous for the teacups. The weight and size of those doggies make it very difficult to endure giving birth. The probability of death of the mother during childbirth is very high if it is not handled by professional and educated people.
- Very often the bite of mini Yorkies is wrong or there is incompleteness. Even though the “tongue – out” expression is very cute, it has a lot to do with this.
- TRAINING! As I always keep repeating – trained dogs are the happiest dogs. And I know that most people have no idea where to start with the training or what steps to take in order to have success with their puppy. For years now I’ve been training my dogs based on everything I have learned from the amazing course of Adrienne Farricelli. In order to train a puppy, you first need to establish a strong relationship between you two! I strongly recommend everyone who is about to take a new dog at home to take the time and learn about training and behavior. That will make life with your new friend much easier and happier!
Feeding a teacup Yorkie puppy
Puppies at this age should eat every 3-4 hrs. Since they are so small they don’t need to eat much but you must make sure they don’t skip a meal.
If for some reason your baby doesn’t want to eat, it is important that you speak with your vet right away so he can suggest to you what to do.
And no, you don’t need to wake up in the middle of the night to feed your little baby.
Just make sure it ate a bit before you go to bed (you can also give a bit of “Nutri-Cal”) and then feed your puppy first thing in the morning.
If for some reason you want to change your puppy’s diet, it is important to do it during the course of about 10 days when you start with 80 % old food 20% new food and every day add more of the new and less of the old.
Changing the puppy’s diet at once can cause stomach disorders and diarrhea. Not good.
Again, if the puppy doesn’t eat, do not wait, puppies so small can get Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) very easily if they don’t get enough calories or if they are under too much stress.
Check your teacup Yorkshire terrier on a daily basis to make sure everything is OK
- The eyes should be nice and clean, if needed, use a baby wipe to clean gently around the eye.
- The nose should be slightly wet and the stool should be nice and solid.
- His ears should also be looked at to make sure they are clean.
Bathing a teacup Yorkie baby
If you take the puppy at the age of 4 -8 weeks or so it is recommended not give him a full bath, instead, use a warm, wet towel or baby wipes to clean.
Make sure the puppy is completely dry when you’re done as they are easy to get cold.
An important spot to check is the butt-hole. Make sure it is nice and clean, and if needed wash with warm water and a bit of puppy shampoo. You can read about the best Yorkie shampoo HERE.
Altogether, tea-cup puppies are exactly like any other puppies, all they need is a little bit more time and attention to make sure they get everything they need.
Remember- you are not allowed to take your dog out in public except for the vet until it gets all of its shots.
What kind of health problems do teacup Yorkies have?
Except for the extra cares and attention someone needs to give a teacup Yorkie compared to a standard one the other huge difference between them is the many health problems minis are prone to.
Teacup Yorkies and Hypoglycemia
One of the most common health problems in teacup Yorkshire terriers is hypoglycemia or low blood sugar especially during the first 8 to 16 weeks after birth.
This may be due to the lack of the necessary muscle mass to store glucose and regulate blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia can cause weakness, seizures, lethargy and even death on the fragile micro Yorkies.
There are many things we can do to prevent that, but we must take action fast. So be sure to have the numbers of your vet handy in case you need to call.
For first-aid – use a clean towel to wrap around the puppy and make sure he is warm. Rub a bit of honey, corn syrup or some Nutri-Cal on the gums to get some glucose in his blood.
Try to get the puppy to eat ASAP. If the attack is very strong take him immediately to see a vet.
Other Common Teacup Yorkie Health Issues
- Collapsed trachea – characterized by a gradual weakening of the tracheal wall
- Genetic defects that are characterized by malformations
- Open fontanels (soft spot) on the top of the head
- Legg – Perthes disease – a hip disorder caused by impaired blood flow to the head of the femur
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Problems with anesthesia
- Chronic diarrhea and vomiting
- Congenital defects resulting in small kidneys and portosystemic shunt
- Heart diseases are usually the main reason for teacup Yorkie’s shorter lifespan. Due to the fact that mini Yorkies get stressed and emotional very easily the risk of heart diseases increases.
- Sudden drops of blood sugar levels – this is extremely dangerous and could even be fatal.
- Occasional seizures – usually doggies feel some kind of discomfort before it at they could try to hide somewhere staying quiet or whimper to notify you
- A breakable bone structure which leads to patella luxation and other unpredicted injuries. Teacup Yorkies must be handled with extra care and never be left alone on higher surfaces.
- Hydrocephalus – could be inborn or acquired. It causes inordinate accumulation of fluid inside the brain
- Physiological problems which studies show are directly connected to teacup’s small size. Imagine how being so small doggies perceive the surrounding “enormous” world and noise around them.
- Skin problems (sores)
Teacup Yorkshire Terrier Lifespan
Many people and breeders believe that mini Yorkies live less, get sick more often and generally need more care.
And according to the statistics, this is true but it doesn’t mean that there are no exceptions or that there are no mini Yorkies that have a healthy life with a longer lifespan.
The fact is that someone cannot determine for sure how long this or that puppy will live.
There are many factors that need to be taken into account in order to guess an approximate lifespan of a given puppy.
Some of them are parents of the pup (and their genes), how the puppy grew and did it have the proper cares, its ex-terrier data and so on.
To be honest, nobody knows how Mother Nature will treat the little sweetie in its life journey but you must be really careful and selective if you want to minimize the chance of getting an unhealthy pup.
The best way to do that is getting very well familiar with all the factors that we’ve mentioned above.
Generally, the lifespan statistics look like this:
- The life expectancy of teacup Yorkies is about 7 to 9 years
- Standard Yorkies are expected to live up to 12 years or more
Again, we must mention that those are general statistics and they indicate the duration of Yorkie’s life assuming a natural death.
Doggies with genetic mismatches, inborn injuries or those who are a victim of certain accidents are unfortunately not included in the numbers above.
After all, the final choice is yours. We advise you to choose a puppy which is at least the age of 6 months.
This is probably the optimal age to get a teacup Yorkie pup at home. By that time, it will be easier to identify how is it growing and if there are any visible health problems already.
Furthermore, at the age of 1 year, the sweetie is expected to almost have its mature weight which will slightly change over the next year.
Teacup Yorkie Price
After all, being said it would be logical to say that the prices of teacup Yorkies are much cheaper than the price of standard Yorkshire terriers.
Surprisingly, the market is following its own trend and logic and if we have to say it in short, the smaller the Yorkie is, the higher the price is.
For sure there is one logical point of view and that is the high demand. And following the standard market trends – the higher the demand, the higher the price goes.
It is difficult to give an exact price or even an average because there are too many factors affecting it but you can see advertisements from $1 200 to $2 000 and above.
For sure there are two main factors that mostly affect the price. The first one is the reputation of the breeder and the second more important is the papers of the little doll.
As you may guess, if a breeder is able to provide proper papers together with a health history of the pup then he may really ask for a high price.
When setting up a budget for a teacup Yorkie, do not forget to include all the veterinary bills that will be followed by the initial purchase.
After the long list, we have written above you should keep in mind that those are all possible health issues you have to be prepared for.
Getting back to the documents and health history of the pup you are buying, it is surely worth spending some more bucks in order to buy a pup with proper papers.
That will save you a lot more in the long run, believe us.
There is a huge demand for teacup Yorkshire terrier puppies, and there are certainly many “breeders” who satisfy it.
However, the serious health consequences and the short lifespan accompanied by the high prices of the mini Yorkies raised questions about the ethical aspect of breeding these dogs.
However, it is true that sometimes two healthy standard Yorkies can have a puppy that will be a teacup, due to premature birth or genetics.
Nevertheless, the conscious breeding of such puppies, and selling them as a separate breed, at a higher price, can be considered ethically incorrect.
When choosing a puppy for your home, it is important not only to look at the appearance of the dog but also take into account the general state of health.
That way you will not only save a lot of money in veterinary bills but also some really sad emotions and feelings watching your best friend suffering.
In fact, responsible breeders do not breed Yorkshire terriers, which weigh less than 4.4 pounds (2 kg.).
Last update on 2018-08-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API