Teacup Chihuahua: Dog Breed Guide

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The chihuahua is well-known as a feisty breed, and many individuals love the small size of this pup. However, if you are looking for a toy-sized breed that packs the spunk of a full-sized chihuahua into a smaller body, then the teacup chihuahua is the breed for you.

This loyal, energetic, and affectionate pup has a mighty personality despite its small size and can be perfect for individuals looking for a loving companion dog that fits in well with apartment living.

In this dog breed guide, we will help you understand more about teacup chihuahuas including what to expect when taking care of them, the history of this tiny breed, and which family types or individuals they may be the best suited to living with.

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A Quick Look at Teacup Chihuahuas

The quick facts below about teacup chihuahuas can help introduce you to this breed and help you to understand some basics about their appearance, temperament, and care needs.

Weight/Height Approximately 3lbs/6 inches
Coat Type Smooth and short or long and straight to wiry
Grooming Needs two out of five bones
Shedding two out of five bones
Temperament  Energetic, sassy, loyal
Good With Kids one out of five bones
Good With Other Animals three out of five bones
Intelligence two out of five bones
Easy to Train one out of five bones
Energy Level four out of five bones
Barking Habits five out of five bones
Lifespan Between 7 and 12 years


What Is the History of the Teacup Chihuahua?

teacup chihuahua in woman’s hand

The teacup chihuahua is a purebred dog that has the same history as the standard-sized chihuahua – the size of this pup is not created via crossbreeding or mixing the standard-sized chihuahua with other others. Teacup chihuahuas came to be by selectively breeding the smallest standard-sized chihuahuas until the toy-sized version of this pup was created.

It is not exactly known when teacup chihuahuas became a popular version of the standard-chihuahua breed, but it is important to note that the chihuahua was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.

Further back, the history of the chihuahua starts in Central America and the Mexican area of Chihuahua, hence this dog’s name. The chihuahua breed is thought to have come about in popularity during the 1800s, and a distant ancestor of this breed is commonly believed to be the ancient Techichi dog. Many DNA specialists suspect that the Techichi breed was crossed with the Chinese-crested dog to create the breed that we know as chihuahua today.

In recent times, the standard-sized chihuahua and its toy counterpart are gaining popularity. This pup is found represented everywhere from tv shows to books and movies, and all sizes of this breed are known for their fiercely loyal personality, sassy nature, and affectionate behavior towards their family.

What Do Teacup Chihuahuas Look Like?

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Teacup chihuahuas look almost exactly the same as the standard-sized chihuahua, save for their small stature. This breed has the same apple-shaped head, large eyes, and larger, pointed ears that typically stand straight on top of their head.

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Teacup chihuahuas may also have long or short coats depending on their lineage; short-haired chihuahuas are more common, but long-haired ones do exist and can have straight or wiry hair.

In terms of coloration, teacup chihuahuas have a variety of coat colors to their breed. You can find this pup in white, black, cream, fawn, gold, or chocolate.

What Size Is a Teacup Chihuahua?

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Teacup chihuahuas live up to their name and are a very small breed of dog. This pup will not grow larger than three pounds in weight and around six inches in height, though most teacup chihuahuas are a bite smaller than this.

What Is a Teacup Chihuahua’s Coat Type?

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The teacup chihuahua has either a short or long-haired single-layered coat. If their coat is short, it will be smooth and shiny, while long-haired teacup chihuahuas tend to have straight or wiry hair depending on their parentage.

Because teacup chihuahuas are single-coated instead of double, they feel the cold easily and will likely need a sweater or coat on when walking around in cold weather.

What Is a Teacup Chihuahua’s Temperament?

The teacup chihuahua offers its family all the sass and feistiness that you could expect to receive in a standard-sized chihuahua. This pup is energetic and loves to play; it is important they get enough exercise and have toys to entertain them, otherwise, they may become overly hyper and destructive.

Teacup chihuahuas are very loyal to their families and will typically have one or two people that they enjoy spending time with above all others. You can also expect your teacup chihuahua to be quite attentive and alert; they are protective of their families and are in no way lacking courage, so you can expect your pup to fiercely stay by your side whenever you are out on walks, playing around in parks, or spending time around your home.

It is important to note that the feistiness of the teacup chihuahua can occasionally manifest in aggression, barking, and a short temper. This behavior can be mostly trained away, however, and proper exercise and care of your dog will keep these behaviors to a minimum.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Affectionate?

Contrary to popular belief about chihuahuas, this pup can be quite affectionate. They are loyal to their owners and enjoy snuggling up to their favorite person, in addition to spending time outside playing or walking with their families. Teacup chihuahuas are also the perfect size for sitting on your lap, and they take advantage of this by spending time there with you often.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Good With Kids?

Teacup chihuahuas may be good with kids in certain circumstances. This pup is not recommended for very young children or those children that haven’t learned how to play gently with dogs yet; teacup chihuahuas are fairly fragile because of their small size and can easily be harmed or injured due to rough behavior from children.

Additionally, teacup chihuahuas may be threatened by children who approach them too enthusiastically or quickly, and bark at the child or nip at them out of fear. This can result in injury to the child, which makes it a better idea to hold off on adopting this breed if you currently have a baby or very young children.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Good With Other Animals?

Teacup chihuahuas can be good with other animals, but this is highly dependent on the temperament of your teacup chihuahua and the attitude of the other animal. Very large dogs may not be a good choice for a companion when it comes to your teacup chihuahua, as there is a higher risk of the smaller dog being injured or attacking the larger dog out of fear.

That being said, smaller dogs and cats can often make fairly good companions for the teacup chihuahua, who generally learns to get along with their housemates without much trouble.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Aggressive?

Teacup chihuahuas, and chihuahuas in general, are known for their sassiness and attitude, which can sometimes be perceived as extra aggression. It’s true that this pup tends to bark a lot and is very protective over its family, but they are not particularly aggressive; they don’t have a strong prey drive and they will not attack unprompted.

Most of the barking and nipping that this breed displays is a result of fear or behavioral issues that may stem from not being exercised or mentally stimulated enough.

That being said, teacup chihuahuas can and will go after much larger animals than themselves, often resulting in their own injury. It is important to train your dog, care for them properly, and keep a close eye on them in public to stop them from injuring themselves or others.

Do Teacup Chihuahuas Bark a Lot?

teacup chihuahua running outdoors

Unfortunately, teacup chihuahuas can be quite loud dogs, and this pup will bark at almost anything. They are protective of their owners and will bark at things they perceive as threats, in addition to barking to show their excitement, happiness, and when playing with other dogs or their families.

You can try and train barking behavior a bit, but you will likely not be able to stop your teacup chihuahua from barking occasionally throughout the day, as it is just their nature.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Intelligent?

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Teacup chihuahuas, despite their good heart and loyal nature, are not the most intelligent dogs out there. They can be potty trained and learn basic tricks, but for the most part, this sassy pup displays average intelligence throughout their daily lives. However, some dogs may be smarter than this, depending on their temperament and lineage.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Easy to Train?

Teacup chihuahuas can be difficult to train, thanks to their stubborn nature and often average intelligence. They can be trained to use the bathroom outdoors and many can learn basic tricks, but it will take a lot of patience on both you and your dog’s part to reach this point.

When training your teacup chihuahua, it may be helpful to teach in short ten-to-fifteen-minute lessons throughout the day to relieve the stress of long train sessions and to reinforce new behaviors.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Energetic?

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The teacup chihuahua is quite an energetic breed and benefits from lots of time spent outside walking and playing. Your pup will need plenty of toys to keep them entertained when they are at home, especially when they need to stay home alone while you’re out, and will require several short walks each day.

Plus, it is a good idea to let your teacup chihuahua run around in a park or a safe area with other small dogs regularly to help them socialize and get any remaining pent-up energy out; improper exercise of your dog can result in destructive and aggressive behaviors due to their energetic nature.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Good Apartment Dogs?

Teacup chihuahuas fit well in apartments due to their smaller size. However, even if you are living in a small space with your pup, you need to ensure that they receive lots of exercise, have plenty of toys to play with, and are well-taken care of, as this will reduce any loud barking tendencies that can disturb your neighbors.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Good Watchdogs?

small brown chihuahua being held up

Surprisingly, the teacup chihuahua is a good watchdog despite its small size. This breed is loyal and protective, and they will waste no time barking at any suspicious intruder around their property. They are also quite courageous and will stand by their family’s side to ensure that their loved ones stay safe.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Good Service Dogs?

Teacup chihuahuas don’t make for good service dogs for a number of reasons. This pup is too small to perform significant service tasks for individuals in need, and they are not very easily trained to help out individuals like some other popular service dog breeds, such as golden retrievers or German shepherds.

However, your teacup chihuahua could make a helpful emotional support animal, as all this requires is their companionship – something that this breed loves to give to their owners.

How to Care for a Teacup Chihuahua

Like most other dog breeds, teacup chihuahuas need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation in the form of toys and socializing with other dogs in addition to quality food and designated spaces to sleep or rest in around your home.

Because of the teacup chihuahua’s small size, you will likely also need to ensure that your pup doesn’t make its way up high objects or jump down from tall things, as they can easily injure themselves like this. It is a good idea to invest in dog steps that lead up to couches or beds in order to stop your dog from jumping up and down more than necessary.

Make sure you keep in mind that your teacup chihuahua will likely need more potty breaks than other dogs, as their small size also means that they have a fairly small bladder. Take your dog out on two to three short walks per day, in addition to using toys to keep them entertained when you are not around. Also, make sure not to leave your teacup chihuahua alone for more than eight to ten hours at a time, as this can be detrimental to their happiness.

Do You Need to Groom a Teacup Chihuahua?

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For most teacup chihuahuas with a short-haired coat, you will not need to groom them beyond a simple brushing every so often to help with shedding. You may also need to give baths from time to time in order to keep them clean.

With long-haired teacup chihuahuas, brushing and bathing will need to be a more regular occurrence to keep their fur free of tangles, and you might want to visit a professional groomer occasionally to keep your pup’s fur trimmed up nicely.

Do Teacup Chihuahuas Shed?

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Teacup chihuahuas don’t shed as much as other dogs thanks to their usually short, smooth, and single-layered coats, but they will typically experience a shedding season twice a year in which the fur coming off of them increases.

Also, long-haired teacup chihuahuas may shed more or have more noticeable shedding due to the length of their fur, but even then, the shedding of this breed is considered less than average.

What Should a Teacup Chihuahua Eat?

Because the teacup chihuahua is such a small dog, they don’t need a lot of food each day. This pup should eat about half a cup of high-quality dry food a day (spread out over two meals) which can be supplemented with treats as long as you aren’t overfeeding your dog.

It is a good idea to look for a kibble or dry food that is designed with smaller dog breeds in mind so they can more easily eat it and gain the right nutrients from their meals.

Make sure to check with a veterinarian if you have any questions about what to feed your teacup chihuahua and how much they should be eating daily.

What Health Problems Do Teacup Chihuahuas Have?

The smaller size of the teacup chihuahua can often encourage certain health issues that aren’t present in the standard-sized breed. All toy breeds, regardless of lineage, are at an increased risk of heart disease, and teacup chihuahuas are no exception to this.

Teacup chihuahuas are also at a higher risk of hypoglycemia due to their small stomachs, incontinence due to smaller or weaker bladders, and bone fractures. Genetic diseases or health issues that teacup chihuahuas might face include luxating patella problems, eye diseases, and periodontal disease.

Make sure to take good care of your teacup chihuahua and visit your local veterinarian frequently in order to catch any health problems before they become a serious issue for your pup and interfere with their enjoyment of life.

How Long Do Teacup Chihuahuas Live?

For the most part, smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs. You can expect your teacup chihuahua to live anywhere between seven and twelve years, though some do live longer than that depending on the care they receive throughout their lives and any health problems they may have.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Expensive?

Teacup chihuahuas can be quite expensive due to the fact that this is both a purebred dog and a toy-sized breed. Most, if not all, teacup chihuahuas will need to come from a reputable breeder, and this can cost between $1,500 and $5,000 depending on the coloration of the pup’s coat, the registration of the breeder, and the puppy’s lineage.

How to Find a Teacup Chihuahua Breeder?

If you are set on purchasing a teacup chihuahua puppy from a breeder, then you can start by conducting an internet search of local or national organizations that safely breed this pup.

It is a good idea to request a tour of the area where you will be picking your teacup chihuahua puppy up in addition to looking into the official registrations of the breeder you select, as this will help ensure that you purchase from a breeder that uses ethical methods with the dogs’ health in mind.

Can You Adopt a Teacup Chihuahua?

It is possible to adopt a teacup chihuahua from a rescue or other local pet shelter organization, but they may be more difficult to find. Teacup chihuahuas are purebred dogs and generally need to be purchased from a breeder; they are unlikely to turn up in shelters but it does happen.

You should keep in mind that local and national organizations that rescue and rehome older teacup chihuahuas are also a great place to find a loving pup that needs a home without paying a breeder for a puppy.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Purebred?

Teacup chihuahuas are a purebred dog. It is important to note that this dog is not a separate breed from the purebred, standard-sized chihuahua; they are simply a smaller version of this breed. Selective breeding of smaller full-sized chihuahuas was carried out to eventually result in the toy size of the teacup chihuahua.

Can You Show Teacup Chihuahuas?

long-haired toy chihuahua on grass

Teacup chihuahuas are purebred dogs and the American Kennel Club recognizes the breed of chihuahua as eligible to participate in shows. There is a weight limit on chihuahuas which results in all dogs entering into shows being placed in the ‘toy’ category, regardless of whether the dog is technically a teacup chihuahua or a standard-sized one. You can read more information on this here.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Good for New Dog Owners?

Teacup chihuahuas may be a good choice for new dog owners, as long as you are aware that they are slightly more high maintenance than the standard-sized chihuahua. Dog owners with experience caring for smaller breeds may be happier with this pup, as proper exercise, feeding schedules, and sometimes healthcare is needed to ensure this tiny dog stays healthy and happy is often needed.

However, first-time owners that are prepared to dedicate a lot of time to their pup and understand the particular care needs of the teacup chihuahua should have no problem bringing this breed into their family.

Is a Teacup Chihuahua the Right Dog for Me?

When considering whether or not the teacup chihuahua is the right breed for you, you should take into account these important factors.

The teacup chihuahua might be the right dog for you if:

  • You want a loyal, protective pup that will show you much affection, and has no problem snuggling up with you on the couch for an evening or taking a leisurely evening stroll each night.
  • You want a playful dog that has an energetic nature and is sure to keep you on your toes with its sassy and entertaining behaviors.
  • You live in an apartment or other smaller space and want to incorporate a smaller dog breed into your lifestyle.
  • You want a dog that has relatively lower grooming and maintenance needs in addition to lower shedding amounts.

On the other hand, the teacup chihuahua might not be the breed for you if:

  • You have small children or large dogs that may play roughly with your teacup chihuahua and injure it or become injured themselves.
  • You have lots of high places in your home that may require your dog to jump up and down frequently; this is likely to injure your teacup chihuahua as they go about their daily life.
  • You won’t be able to take them on two to three short walks a day or provide them with the necessary exercise needed to keep them happy and healthy.
  • You want a quiet, calmer dog that can easily be trained to complete service tasks or obedience skills. Teacup chihuahuas can be trained, but it takes quite a bit of patience to achieve this.

Take care to review these factors before deciding to adopt a teacup chihuahua into your family. You want to make sure that the breed of dog you select fits your lifestyle and that you can properly care for them, ensuring that both you and your future dog are the happiest they can be.