The Pros & Cons of Teacup Chihuahuas

A very tiny Teacup Chihuahua gives very big kisses!Here are the strong points and weak points of Teacup Chihuahua… according to those who love ‘em (and some who don’t).

As if full-size Chihuahuas weren’t already small enough (think Taco Bell dog), there’s suddenly a rise in the popularity of Teacup Chihuahuas!

‘Regular’ Chihuahuas are already recognized as the world’s smallest dog (weighing in at just 2 to 4 pounds, on average).


The Big & Small Of It…

Tea Cup Chihuahuas are often perceived to be the smallest of dogs of all, but it’s important to make this distinction:

Along with ‘mini,’ ‘pocket’ and ‘tiny toy,’ ‘teacup’ is sometimes used to describe Chihuahuas and other dogs that are very small. These and similar terms are not officially used by any kennel club or reputable breeder, and are not breeds or specific types of Chihuahua. In particular, all Chihuahuas are toy dogs; there is no such thing as a ‘toy Chihuahua.’  Source



Are Teacup Chihuahuas the smallest of all dogs?…

Are Teacup Chihuahuas cute?…
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

One thing’s for sure:
Teacup Chihuahuas (like most teacup breeds) definitely have their fair share of fans and opponents!


A teacup chihuahua cartoon.

Fans & Owners of Teacup Chihuahuas

A Teacup Chihuahua. Surprisingly, I had a very hard time finding pro-Teacup Chihuahua sites (or books). The few that I did find were tied to breeders — whose intentions and breeding history appeared questionable.

So, in support of the Teacup Chihuahua owners out there, we offer a handful of Teacup Chihuahua memorabilia:



A Long, Hard Look At The Teacup Chihuahua

Not everyone is crazy about the tiny Teacup Chihuahua. Here are some examples:

Just so that everyone knows, there is no such thing as a teacup chihuahua. “teacup” chihuahuas are just bred from the runts of the litters of an already tiny dog. chihuahuas are unhealthy enough already because of inbreeding and poor breeding practises designed to make them look the way they do. Buying a teacup chihuahua is encouraging an industry that is cruel to animals. If you want a dog that small, get a hamster. Source

Very small dogs, however, are often runts. They are often unhealthy, or undernourished, or, if otherwise healthy, may suffer shortened life spans and health problems later in life due to extreme dwarfing. They are not normally suitable for breeding, and require special care. Source


Read the Chihuahua Club of America‘s interesting statement about Teacup Chihuahuas entitled “The Chihuahua Is A Chihuahua”.

To which I would add this…

Generally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with falling in love with the runt of the litter. In fact, we have always chosen the overshadowed or otherwise neglected “runt” of the litter when we hand-picked our last 3 dogs. It was a conscious effort on our part to do so.

I guess the difference lies in the degree to which problems might be inherent in a particular runt or “group of runts” for any given breed. (We’ve always chosen large breed dogs.)

See why there are so many abandoned chihuahuas:

Pro’s & Con’s of Chihuahuas

Here’s an interesting look at the Chihuahua in general. This mi
ght be a useful guide to help you decide whether a Chihuahua (or a Teacup Chihuahua) is right for you…

Chihuahuas… what’s good about them & what’s bad about them.

Keep in mind, with Teacup Chihuahua’s, the Pro’s and Con’s would likely be even more prominent, due to the Teacup’s smaller size, and everything that goes along with that.

Here’s a veterinarian’s take on the teacup breeds.


Chihuahua Dog Size Chart

Check out this canine size chart from ProuxChihuahuas which specifically addresses the role that a Chihuahua’s genetics play in determining its size:


More About Teacup Chihuahuas

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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Fun From Around the Web

  • Anonymous

    I recently lost a jack russel named Troy that we got from the humane society and I had him for 10 years he was the most gentlest dog ever and when he left me I was devastated . Yesterday my husband of 20 years bought me a teacup chi and she is the most sweetest little girl ever she is 6 weeks old and I have named her Bella. This is the first Chi I have ever been blessed with so if anyone has any tips or suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. I want to make sure I am the best mommy for her.

    • Lilli0792

      were did he get her from im really interested in tea cup chi and cant find any at a low price

  • Anonymous

    I disagree I have a Teacup chiquaqua. He is very healthy he loves to play and very active and yes he might weight 3 lbs but your dog is only going to be as healthy as you raise him you can raise any dog to be unhealthy or mean or nice and my chiiquaquas mother is also a teacup and she was able to breed just like any other dog!! and she is now 8 years old!!! they are just like any other dog and they need to be love and taken care off!!!

    • Acapu

      Breeding down dogs is serious stuff. Small breeds are almost always born with a hole in their hearts and if the dog is under developed enough at birth the hole may never close causing heart muscles to become enlarged, resulting in early death. Another problem with tiny dogs and mostly this breed is the head. People over the years have selectivly bred these dogs to have an apple shaped head because it is cute. Well the scull isn’t closing over the soft spot in the center of the scull on top of the head anymore after full maturity leaving the animal at risk of serious injury.Acapu

      • camarocutie

        I agree, I rescued my teacup from a puppy mill and her little soft spot is still open and very visible, we have to be extra careful with her and watch her closely esp. when children are around her because of the risk of them hurting her and not meaning to and ofcourse they can’t keep their hands off of her she’s such a sweetie. People don’t realize how hard it really is to raise a teacup, it’s really serious business, some days she won’t eat a bite and then her little stomach makes these awful loud noises and she’ll actually get up and run sometimes out of a dead sleep just to try and stop the stomach pain/cramps, I’ve taken her to the vet numerous times over this as well as other things. Her little legs are so fragile and frail they are tinier than pencils, so we have to even watch about taking her out for walks and she can’t really be around other dogs because she could get severely injured just trying to play, it’s a lot of work and worries to raise one to say the least, they are truly not suitable for just any household, I think breeders should really stress this to impulse buyers who want one just to ‘put in their purse’ or because they are just so cute etc. It’s really been hard but I do love her very much and I wouldn’t give her up for anything.

        • A C N

          I also agree, I brought a wee girl from a breeder, she was 1220grams as a adult.Her legs where so thin I always worried they may break, Her skull never closed, I had alot of trouble when it came to food as she was fussy and also had the stomach cramps. We lost her 5 weeks ago, We found she had a deformed heart and Kidneys and this is why she never grew. She was 4 years and 8 months.Around over dogs she would be frightened so I carried her alot for the fear she would get hurt

          • pommom1016

            The soft spot you see in a lot of “teacup” dogs is typically a result of breeders inducing labor too early. Some breeders will induce the mother dog to get her to go into labor early, so the puppies are smaller. For instance, the puppy make have been born eight weeks ago, but since they induced two weeks early, you are actually getting a puppy that is only developed to that six week mark. If you induce before certain body parts/functions are fully developed, it can lead to all sorts of issues.some breeders will also feed the pregnant dog garbage food or very little food so the puppies are born smaller.

            Basically,. there is no such thing as a teacup. The AKC only recognizes one standard size in Chihuahuas (the same goes for Poms and Yorkies). The term “teacup” or “pocket” is just a marketing scam to get you, the consumer, to pay more for what will most likely be an unhealthy puppy.

        • Emtom

          I just read your post about you dogs tummy. I had the same problem, lots of times mine won’t eat and for years I had taken him back and forth to the vets with a bad tummy. They would say feed him chicken and rice until he is better then put him back on his normal food. It turns out his ‘normal food’ was too rich (cesars) then I had him on a vet food, which was probiotic. Eventually I found burns dog food which is holistic has no colours, no dairy. it really is excellent food and I wished I had used it a long time ago. As he cannot eat other dog food, they arent meant for his tiny tummy, even if they say they are ie cesars ! Anyway he would do the same thing…running around from his bad tummy, sometimes even wimpering, it was so upsetting. so my advice put him on burns dog food ! i have not had any problems since ! good luck

          • Deb

            I have a rescue chihuahua, and he does the same thing from time to time, he is very small, and was suspected to be used for breeding and then dumped. His teeth were bad, and he was so small. anyway, he could NOT eat chicken, chicken upsets his stomach and it makes all kinds of awful noises and he does not eat for a day or so. Now he eats Halo Salmon based dog food, holistic and it has dried peas, carrots etc. and he does very well on it. I like holistic dog foods, they are the best!

  • Anonymous

    I am thinking of getting a teacup chi but have not seen parents or the place that the chi is. What should I ask of the breeder and bout shots

  • Krstn_mnty

    omg the tea cups are so adorable! i have one she love to play shes going to be a yearshe wont gow anymore she blenda with the teddy bears

  • Bmw3182000

    Look…for all you naysayers of teacup Chihuahuas, I have a 6 month old teacup named “Maggie Mae” who is the most delightful little critter ever! She is black with tan markings and is very loving, very WELL paper trained and very healthy!! We have two young children, four grown cats and a 6 year old “Shi-Poo”and everyone gets along just fine, She came from a very good breeder who took very good care of all her pups and the vet said she was very healthy. Maggie was not hard to train for paper or for traveling in my purse and I never used anything but the treat reward system. If you know what you are doing you CAN have much success with these tiny bundles of love!…just make sure your breeder is local and has a good reputation.

    • pommom1016

      If she sold you something she called a “teacup,” she wasn’t a good breeder.

  • Tdub29_22

    I have 2 tea cup chi and they are so much fun. I have a 3year old that we had a lot of trouble with at first we got him when he was 6wks and we had to feed him honey alot because he wouldnt eat and would almost starve we had him to the vet several times and thats what the vet told us to do. after that he was normal again and is so spoiled now he refuses to eat dog food has to have whatever we have to eat and also has to have tea once a day and must have ice in it. I also have 2 small children and he acts just like the kids do if he wants something he will look at it and look at u until u get him what he wants we named him gladiator hes fiesta colored. my 2nd one is 8wks old and shes light brown with a teddy bear nose i just got her 2days ago we resuced her from her owners shes so playful now that shes gotten food in her. I love these dogs they are fun but also can be hard to take care of health wise they are fragile. Good luck to all of you that have them they are precious

  • Pekespup

    I just got my first Teacup puppy. I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She is personallity plus.

    • Katiebaillargeon

      I love my teacup chihuahua too! I couldnt ask for a better or cuter dog! I hate how rude these people are trying to bash them!

      • Aubrey

        These people are not trying to do anything of the sort. You individuals do not understand that there is no such things as a teacup animal. In a few years when your dogs develop illness and health problems, I am sure you will change your mind. Please be educated about the situation at hand before commenting.

        • Guest

          Unfortunately, WE owners of the breed love our chihuahua’s. Teacup OR NOT! WE INDIVIDUALS know what we like.
          Why did you have to post something so damn negative?
          Why be a DEBBIE DOWNER? What you said was similar to kicking a person when they are down! OR, bullying!

          IF and when they develop health problems, WE deal with it when it happens.
          For some of us, they are OUR CHILDREN! We all don’t have babies OR CAN’T HAVE ANY!

          Your response to Aubry was UNNECESSARY AND DOWN RIGHT CRUEL…
          Since you are passing out advice, let me give you some. LEARN HOW TO PICK AND CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES.

  • Deustchsusie

    i have a teacup girl she’s a year and a half old and she has this ‘attacks’ which i dont know what it is or why she has them. She got full set of blood work done everything came back normal, but every 3 to 4 days she runs up on the couch and starts shaking like shes cold (but shes not) and shes very aggravated andher head bounces back and forth , she cant sit still, she goes up and down with her leggs and this lasts hours. Its driving me crazy because i dont know what to do for her. is it her stomach? She acts like shes wired on ‘uppers’. she wont eat, cant relax, wont sleep, whimpers sometimes. Does anyone know of what this might be

    • Alexandra Morgan

      I only just came across this posting tonight (10/5) and perhapd you already have your answer…it sounds to me as if your dog is having seizures. Many dogs have seizure disorder, and it can manifest in many ways. Please discuss this with your vet, and consider putting her on anti-seizure meds for a few weeks to see if it helps. If not, no harm done. ~Alexandra Morgan, professional dog trainer and rescuer,

    • Nicci82

      Possibly seizure OR ANXIETY….I would definitely talk to the vet about medication for when she begins to have one of these spells, if you haven’t already done so. Hope this helps

    • Dyanna Lang

      have her sugar checked c his r known for being diabetics also can bring; on seizures..:I have 3 and have raised toy breed mine weigh 2.5 lbs she’s 18 months old my other 2 r 8.5 weeks old weigh 1lb & 4 oz lol might b bigger than there cousin heir the blues..

  • Native_gurl5978

    I have a tea cup boy , he’s Soo adorable ….he’ll be 2 in august he’s a healthly lil guy . The only problem I had with him was his knee joints caz he jumped off the sofa and his knee joints came out of place :( it was heart breaking :( then I took him to the vet ..he was okay afterthat… I still have him too :) he’s a happy little one …Hes soo spoiled :) I just love him

    • FunTimesGuide

      …from my Droid


    I love my teacup! He is an amazing runner and he’s nothing short of extremely loving :) Positive training has been very effective and we couldn’t love him more!

  • Va_girl1966

    I have had the pleasure of owning and loving a lot of dogs in my life, Big and small.  But I never thought i would like to have a CHI  until Fate changed my mind. I lost my last dog may of 2011 and said no more dogs for me. Wrong a few weeks later a friend of mine brings me a little Teacup Chi Named “Lacy”  to say the least she is just a small bundle of love. Very sweet and loves everyone who comes to visit. She is so adorable and her best friend is my old tomcat  she has healed my heart and made my life worth living. Truly love my teacup chi.

  • michael ste


  • Juliehollis12

    I have a retriever and an a little worried that if I do decide to get one then to y won’t be impressed and may hurt it. Do they tend to get Along with other dogs?

  • Aubrey

    Please spell your words correctly next time.

  • ann haynes

    Teacups Weight a Pound or less…. what most of you have is a Miniature Chihuahua which is 1 to 3 pounds. Full size is over 3lbs or more.

  • Tammy

    My roommates mother’s full size chi had a litter of pups and I was given one. I did not choose the runt. I chose my lil Xanadu because of her temperament and intelligence. Both parents are full size I would even call them large in size chihuahuas. My Xanadu is now 4. Months old and has no health or appetite problems and she is barely over a pound. She wrestles with my roommates cats and loves meeting new people and animals. I understand her size is a defect. It is a defect the whole litter was infected with. I am tired of people assuming all tiny chi are from people breeding runts to produce mutant animals. Sometimes it just happens. I would Xanadu no matter what size she is or becomes. Is it convient? Yes, she loves to cuddle up in my hoodies front pocket or the hood itself when we go places. Her only downfall is her love for stealing the stealing the catnip filled mice from the cats and hiding it in back of her kennel. She gets near the catnip and she can’t sit still. It’s like puppy crack. How do I break her of her catnip addiction?

  • pommom1016

    Wow! That is super tiny. Honestly, your vet is probably the best person to give advice for that. We had our Pom (she weighs 3lbs now) spayed as a puppy and she did fine. Spaying today isn’t what it used to be, as far as risk is concerned. I would talk to your vet.