Teacup Poodle: Dog Breed Guide

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This variation on the standard poodle may be small, but the teacup poodle lacks none of the intelligence, loyalty, and alertness of the standard-sized poodle. Teacup poodles are affectionate, easy to train, and moderately energetic, making them the perfect fit for families who want a companion pup without seriously high exercise and maintenance needs. However, there are some other factors that you need to keep in mind when adopting this dog.

Our dog breed guide below tells you everything you need to know about the teacup poodle. We’ll give you the rundown on what you can expect this pup to look like, basic care information, potential health problems, and whether or not this dog may be the best breed for your lifestyle. Read on to learn more about the loving teacup poodle!

A Quick Look at Teacup Poodles

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

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Weight/Height 6 lbs or less/9 inches or less
Coat Type Thick, short, and curly
Grooming Needs four out of five bones
Shedding one out of five bones
Temperament  Loyal, intelligent, affectionate
Good With Kids two out of five bones
Good With Other Animals three out of five bones
Intelligence four out of five bones
Easy to Train four out of five bones
Energy Level three out of five bones
Barking Habits four out of five bones
Lifespan 12 to 14 years

What Is the History of the Teacup Poodle?

Teacup poodle standing outside in a park

The teacup poodle is a newer type of poodle and has only recently found great popularity in the past twenty years. The term ‘teacup poodle’ started to be used more commonly by breeders around this time to attract lovers of smaller dogs that were even tinier than the ‘toy’ variety of the poodle.

The teacup poodle is selectively bred from toy poodles to achieve its small size, something that results in very small litters of one or two puppies each, and while the teacup poodle may come from a lineage of purebred poodles, the American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize this breed as a purebred. The teacup poodle doesn’t meet the breed standards for toy breed dogs with the AKC as it is much smaller than toy dogs.

Originally, the poodle originated in Germany around the early 14th century and was used as a hunting dog that retrieved waterfowl. The poodle is also the national dog of France and is widely known for being intelligent, loyal, and loving. Over time, smaller sizes of this pup began being bred, and the poodle became more popular as a companion or lap dog.

The miniature poodle originated in the early 20th century when American breeders started to create a more city-friendly poodle. The smallest puppies from toy poodle litters were used for breeding teacup poodles, achieving their small size.

However, despite this small stature, the teacup poodle has a lot to offer owners. They lack none of the intelligence of the standard-sized poodle, and they are alert, friendly, and easy to train. Teacup poodles form strong bonds with their owners and are playful and affectionate, but they may be prone to nervousness if not properly cared for or left alone for too long. Overall, the teacup poodle makes a perfect companion for someone who wants a small, loving, and energetic dog that doesn’t have very high exercise requirements.

What Do Teacup Poodles Look Like?

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Teacup poodles stand no more than 9 inches tall and weigh up to 6 pounds. They have round heads with a slight stop, much like standard-sized poodles, floppy ears, and a longer muzzle. Their eyes are typically small and dark, but very alert, and they will have a longer neck, square body, and straight back with long legs.

The coat of the teacup poodle is thicker, curly, and soft and will need to be brushed often to prevent tangles. Colors of teacup poodles include blue, black, brown, gray, silver, red, beige, white, café, and apricot, and your teacup poodle may have a sable or phantom pattern, but solid colors are the most common for this breed’s coat.

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What Size Is a Teacup Poodle?

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Teacup poodles are, as the name implies, pretty small dogs. This pup will stand no more than 9 inches tall and weigh less than 6 pounds. They can be quite fragile because of their small size, so you will need to pay extra attention to your dog while it is playing or moving around your home.

What Is a Teacup Poodle’s Coat Type?

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The teacup poodle has a coat much like the standard-size poodles. It is short, thick, and curly, and there isn’t a lot of shedding. You will need to brush your teacup poodle’s coat regularly to prevent matting and tangles, and your teacup poodle will likely need regular grooming and bathing to keep their hair out of their eyes and look their best. Teacup poodles are considered to be hypoallergenic, so they may be a beneficial breed for those with allergies.

What Is a Teacup Poodle’s Temperament?

The teacup poodle has a friendly disposition and is intelligent, alert, loyal, and loving. This pup tends to become very attached to their owners and will often be seen following them from room to room. However, they can also develop nervousness and separation anxiety because of how attached they become to their families; you can’t leave your teacup poodle alone for very long periods of time.

Teacup poodles are also very smart and can pick up tricks easily. They are eager to please and will love the time spent with you learning new commands. Teacup poodles are not known to have a high prey drive or act very aggressively toward other animals, though they may be quite vocal if they notice something suspicious around their home.

Are Teacup Poodles Affectionate?

Teacup poodles are very affectionate and will enjoy spending as much time with their owner as possible. You can expect your teacup poodle to enjoy cuddling on the couch, sleeping in the same room as you at nighttime, and wanting to play frequently throughout the day.

Are Teacup Poodles Good With Kids?

Because teacup poodles are quite small, they may not be the best choice for families with very young children or children that don’t know how to play gently with dogs. The small size of this breed makes them quite fragile, so rough play with children can lead to the dog becoming injured. Lots of yelling, excitement, and busy play from smaller children can also scare your teacup poodle, creating anxiety, nervousness, or barking issues.

That being said, families with older, calmer children and children that know how to properly play with animals can easily get along with this pup.

Are Teacup Poodles Good With Other Animals?

Teacup poodles are generally good with other animals as they are a friendly and social pup. However, large dogs may not make the best playing partners due to the risk of the smaller, more fragile teacup poodle getting injured or frightened by a larger animal’s playing methods.

Are Teacup Poodles Aggressive?

Teacup poodles are not known to be aggressive and don’t have a very high prey drive, unlike the standard-sized poodle. Your teacup poodle is unlikely to attack, nip, or act aggressively toward strangers, but they can develop these behaviors if they are very anxious, fearful, or bored.

To prevent anxiety from displaying as aggression, you should make sure that your teacup poodle doesn’t spend a lot of time alone and has designated playtimes and time spent relaxing by your side.

Do Teacup Poodles Bark a Lot?

Teacup poodle sitting with clothes on

Teacup poodles are, unfortunately, quite vocal, and you can expect this dog to bark at just about anything. Teacup poodles will bark when they are happy and playing, in addition to barking at things they find suspicious or untrustworthy around their home. They may also bark to draw your attention or to show their displeasure with something. You can train excessive barking habits down somewhat, but keep in mind that your teacup poodle is likely to be on the more vocal side, no matter what.

Are Teacup Poodles Intelligent?

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This dog breed is fairly intelligent, and teacup poodles can easily learn new tricks. They can be house trained relatively quickly in addition to learning more complex commands and skills. Plus, teacup poodles are easy to please and love a mental challenge, something that adds to their learning abilities.

Are Teacup Poodles Easy to Train?

Due to their higher intelligence, teacup poodles can be quite easy to train. They are loyal, affectionate, and eager to please their owners, all factors which help them pick up new skills quickly and learn basic obedience tasks. Your teacup poodle may even be up to the challenge of learning more advanced tricks depending on their intelligence and how quickly they learn.

Are Teacup Poodles Energetic?

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Teacup poodles have a moderate energy level and are a very playful breed. This pup will need two short walks per day that last around 15 minutes each and are likely to expend a lot of energy running around their home and playing with their toys and their families.

Are Teacup Poodles Good Apartment Dogs?

Teacup poodles can be great apartment dogs thanks to their smaller size and the fact that they don’t need a lot of space for exercise. As long as they have toys around their home and enough space to get their zoomies out from time to time, they will fit well into apartment living. However, you should keep in mind that this pup can be noisy from time to time, so training to curb needless barking is a must.

Are Teacup Poodles Good Watchdogs?

Teacup poodle puppy in front of white background

Though they aren’t the most intimidating-looking breed, teacup poodles are great watchdogs. This breed is alert and intelligent and won’t waste time barking to alert their owners if they see something suspicious. They are also fairly protective and loyal to their owners, which makes them easily fall into the watchdog role.

Are Teacup Poodles Good Service Dogs?

While teacup poodles may be intelligent and quickly learn many tricks and commands, they are not the best size for acting as service dogs. This breed is too small to help with guiding and mobility support-related tasks, and they are not typically able to fetch heavy items for their owners.

However, teacup poodles love being around their owners. So they are a good choice for a companion pup, making them eligible to act as a therapy dog or an emotional support animal.

How to Care for a Teacup Poodle

Teacup poodles are not the highest maintenance breed out there, but they do require a dedicated care routine to stay happy and healthy. You will need to spend lots of time with your teacup poodle, as this breed is prone to anxiety and loneliness without their owners, something that can easily translate into destructive behaviors. Your teacup poodle will need toys to play with during the day when you’re not around, in addition to receiving dedicated playtime with you each day and two short walks per day.

Make sure that you brush your teacup poodle a few times a week, as this helps to release any shed hair before it tangles and mats. You will likely need to take your teacup poodle to be groomed regularly to trim up their hair, give them a good bath, and ensure their coat is kept at a comfortable length.

To be safe, you might want to get doggy stairs if you have high couches and beds to ensure your dog doesn’t hurt themselves jumping off of elevated surfaces.

Additionally, your teacup poodle will need plenty of access to water and a diet of high-quality dry or wet food (this depends on dietary needs and your and your dog’s preference) split into two to three meals per day. Supplement meals with nutritional treats to keep your pup happy.

Do You Need to Groom a Teacup Poodle?

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Your teacup poodle will need to be brushed a few times a week and regularly receive professional grooming. The groomer will help release shed hair, untangle mats safely, and trim up their coat, so your dog is more comfortable.

Do Teacup Poodles Shed?

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Teacup poodles are low-shedding dogs and are often considered hypoallergenic. However, any hair shed from their coat gets trapped in the thick, curly texture, which is why regular brushing and grooming are essential to preventing tangles and keeping your pup’s coat looking (and feeling!) its best.

What Should a Teacup Poodle Eat?

Your teacup poodle should be eating a diet of high-quality dry or wet food and, depending on their size, should be consuming between half a cup and one full cup of food per day (approximately 250 calories). Depending on your dog’s size and dietary needs, you may need to feed them more or less, or you may need to invest in a specialty food. Speak with a veterinarian if you have any questions about your teacup poodle’s dietary needs.

What Health Problems Do Teacup Poodles Have?

Due to their small size, teacup poodles may be prone to certain health conditions that affect smaller dogs. These problems include hypoglycemia, heart defects, respiratory and digestive problems, seizures, collapsing trachea, and blindness. Genetically, your teacup poodle may be predisposed to dental disease and luxating patellas.

To ensure your teacup poodle stays in the best health, you should be taking them to regular vet visits and checking their behavior for any concerning symptoms such as limping, lethargy, or sudden changes in behavior.

How Long Do Teacup Poodles Live?

Teacup poodles are known to live between 12 and 14 years, though your dog may live longer or shorter than this predicated lifespan, depending on any preexisting health issues and their overall daily care. Regular vet visits and proper care for your dog is the best way to ensure they live a long, healthy, happy life.

Are Teacup Poodles Expensive?

Due to their smaller size, teacup poodles can be difficult to breed, and there are typically only one or two puppies bred per litter. This creates a relatively higher demand for this dog due to a lower supply and makes teacup poodles fairly expensive. You can expect to pay between $2,000 and $2,500 for this dog, and you may have to wait on a breeder’s waitlist for a while before purchasing a teacup poodle.

How to Find a Teacup Poodle Breeder

If you want to purchase a teacup poodle, you will most likely need to find a breeder to buy from. The best way to do this is to perform internet searches of local and national breeders that are reputable, follow proper breeding practices, and care for both the breeding dogs and the puppies humanely.

Make sure to avoid suspect breeding practices, very low-priced dogs (if something is too good to be true, it usually is), and anything that looks like a puppy mill, as dogs and puppies that come from these spaces are likely to have been poorly treated and have increased health issues.

Can You Adopt a Teacup Poodle?

For the most part, teacup poodles are a variation of the standard-sized poodle and are in great demand. It is unlikely that one will turn up at a shelter for adoption, but it is possible. Keep an eye out on local and national poodle rescue organizations to see if a teacup poodle comes through that you can adopt.

Are Teacup Poodles Purebred?

The teacup poodle is selectively bred from the toy poodle and doesn’t count as a purebred dog. It doesn’t meet the breed standards set by the American Kennel Club for toy poodles as it is much smaller than the requirements for the toy category. That being said, its parents may be purebred toy poodles, and the teacup poodle may come from either a line of purebred poodles or mixed breed poodles.

Can You Show Teacup Poodles?

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Because teacup poodles don’t meet the breed standard for toy-sized dogs with the American Kennel Club, they are not eligible to be shown through this organization. However, several other kennel clubs and organizations put on events and shows for teacup and toy dog breeds that your teacup poodle may be eligible to participate in.

Are Teacup Poodles Good for New Dog Owners?

The teacup poodle may be good for new dog owners in certain circumstances. This dog may be small, but they are a little bit higher maintenance, and their owner will need to make sure they are firmly the pack leader, or this dog can develop behavioral problems as a result of ‘small dog syndrome.

Anyone who wants to adopt a teacup poodle should remember that they will need regular brushing and grooming, a high-quality diet to ensure proper nutrition, and basic obedience training to curb unwanted behaviors. Owners should also be prepared to spend lots of quality time with their dog to prevent anxiousness and behavioral problems.

Is a Teacup Poodle the Right Dog for Me?

The teacup poodle is a fantastic addition to the right type of lifestyle and family, but you may still be wondering whether or not this is the right dog for you. Review our list of points below to help make your decision easier.

The teacup poodle is the right dog for you if:

  • You want a loyal, loving companion dog that will stay by your side when you are home and likely accompany you from room to room.
  • You want a smart, alert, and playful dog that doesn’t need an extreme amount of exercise to stay happy.
  • You need a small dog suited to apartment living, or you want a small companion dog that can also act as a helpful watchdog.

The teacup poodle isn’t the right dog for you if:

  • You work long hours and will be away from home for long periods, or you won’t be able to spend lots of quality time with your dog.
  • You want a dog that can exercise for long periods of time and spend time in the outdoors with you hiking or completing working tasks.
  • You want a dog that can be trained for service dog skills, such as guiding and mobility assistance.
  • You have young children, children that don’t know how to play with pets properly yet, or large dogs that may play roughly with the fragile teacup poodle.