The term Teacup Yorkshire (or Miniature Yorkshire Terrier or Toy Yorkshire Terrier as you’ll often also come across) is used to refer to Yorkshire Terriers that, just as the name implies, are very small in size and weight.
To be able to properly differentiate between a normal Yorkshire Terrier and a Teacup Yorkshire, keep in mind the fact that the normal breed standard weight for a fully grown Yorkshire Terrier is anywhere between 4-7 lbs (1.81-3.17kg), with 7 lbs being the maximum weight for a Yorkshire Terrier standard.
Meanwhile, a fully grown Teacup Yorkshire weighs less than 4 lbs (usually between 1-3 lbs).
And, if you’re not really familiar with average dog sizes and weights, anything below 4 lbs is really on the tiny side when we’re talking about a fully grown dog.
So, this means that the Teacup Yorkshire is not (and doesn’t look like it will ever be, if you take the amount of controversy about this breeding practice into consideration) recognized by the American Kennel Club as a specific breed of its own or as a variation of the Yorkshire Terrier breed because of its unusually small size and weight that doesn’t meet those of a normal Yorkshire Terrier.
The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America has taken somewhat of a similar stance to the AKC by banning the use of terms such as “Teacup”, “Doll Faced” and other similar terms when referring to Yorkshire Terriers by its members.
The Teacup Yorkie is really just a smaller version of a Yorkshire Terrier as a result of specific breeding practices, nothing more.
Sometimes though, Teacup Yorkies are born this way by means of nature and not specific breeding practices.
Since Teacup Yorkshires have become a very popular “breed” in the last few years, and their popularity doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon because their very small size is a very marketable selling point, just know that (and as is the case with anything in life when it gets too popular) you’ll often run into ethical breeders just as you will often run into non-ethical ones that use inhumane breeding practices, don’t tell you about the genetic defects your Teacup Yorkie was born with and only want to cheat you out of your money.
As long as you do your homework on this one and make sure that the breeder you’re doing business with only uses humane methods and ethical breeding practices, you should be good to go.
One example of where you might do your due diligence is by asking about the Teacup Terrier’s estimated weight when it becomes an adult before buying it from a breeder.
Some breeders may use the term “Teacup Terrier” for a Yorkshire Terrier for sale that will weigh 4 lbs, while another breeder might use the same term to describe a Terrier that will weigh 2 pounds.
To the breeder, both are the same because they both weigh less than 4 lbs, but these two cases are obviously not the same to you.
Teacup Yorkie Health Issues
Having an extra small dog may sound like a really cute thing to do in life, but you have to be aware of the risks that come along with it.
One of the biggest problems that come with owning a Teacup Yorkie is the many health issues it might face because of its abnormally low weight, which comes as a result of mating an undersized dam and sire.
Some of these most notable health risks are:
- Birth defects (small kidneys and portosystemic shunt)
- Anesthesia problems
- Teething problems
- Hypoglycemia, especially during the first 8-16 weeks of age
- Rapid drop in blood sugar levels that can be fatal
- Fragile bone structure, which greatly increases the risk of injuries
- Ligaments and tendon injuries (which leads to hip dysplasia, slipped kneecap, collapsed trachea, sprained or broken bones)
- Shorter life span due to heart disease
- Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
- Open fontanels
- Immense risk to mothers during pregnancy
Besides the fact that it’s very unethical of breeders to bring puppies into this world only to be plagued with these health problems, it’s also very costly to you as the Teacup Yorkie owner because veterinary bills don’t pay themselves!
Teacup Yorkie Care
Having a Teacup Yorkie at home is like having a one month old baby in the sense that you have to be extra careful with everything you do and everything that’s happening around them at all times.
What might be a reason for a small cry in a normal Yorkshire Terrier dog (such as physical play with other dogs or being hit with the door by mistake) might lead to serious injuries, and even death, in a Teacup Yorkie.
This makes your life a whole lot more difficult and stressful because you now have to pay extra attention to a whole lot of things you didn’t have to in the past, and this will make you increasingly anxious over time.
You’ll also have to be extra careful when it comes to seasonal changes and temperature transitions, because your Teacup Yorkshire will be very sensitive to temperature changes.
While a large, healthy dog can handle fast temperature transitions from hot to cold weather (or vice versa), Teacup Yorkshires get affected by them real bad because of the very low fat levels they have in their bodies, which means less and less control over body temperature.
This means that you have to pay special attention to things like keeping the temperature stable for them before, while and after they take a bath, keeping them properly dressed and warm during cold winter times and keeping them properly hydrated and away from the strong sunlight which could harm their tiny bodies during hot summer days.
Also, and due to the very low level of fat that Teacup Yorkshires have under their skin, they are much more likely to develop sores in different places around their body.
That’s because the layer of fat that other normal sized dogs have acts as protection against any knocks that life has to offer.
When walking your Teacup Yorkshire around the neighborhood or dog park (or anywhere else you prefer for that matter), it’s best that you use a special harness instead of a dog collar because of the fragile bone structure Teacup Yorkshires have and the risk of collapsing their trachea.
You also want to make sure you have a safe designated area with a bed or kennel for your Teacup Yorkie to sleep in, because believe it or not, someone in your household can easily miss noticing it lying on the couch and can sit on it by mistake.
As for grooming issues, the Teacup Yorkshire needs to be groomed a few times each and every week in order to keep their fur condition in tip top shape.
If you slack on the grooming schedule, their fur will become a real mess.
Teacup Yorkie Feeding
Teacup Yorkshire puppies have to be given extra care and attention when it comes to their diet and feeding schedule, which mostly means a much more frequent feeding schedule (every 2-3 hours), because:
- They don’t have the capabilities within their bodies to store fat levels like normal sized dogs are able to
- They are much more prone to hypoglycemia than normal sized dogs
Teacup Yorkie Potty Accidents
Because of its super small size and hence its super small sized bladder, the Teacup Yorkie may be subject to much more “potty accidents” than the normal Yorkshire Terrier because it can’t “hold it in” any longer.
This problem will become much more noticeable if your Teacup Yorkie wasn’t properly house-trained as well (that’s if you can successfully potty train them in the first place, which in and of itself is hard enough to do).
Teacup Yorkie Cost
If you think about it from a logical stand point, you and I would say that a Teacup Yorkie should cost significantly less than a full grown Yorkshire Terrier because of the difference in size.
However, that’s not the case here.
First off, any insurance you get for your Teacup Yorkie will cost you significantly higher than that you get for a standard breed Yorkshire Terrier.
Then you have the whole veterinary bills issue, where your trips to the veterinary will be much more frequent if you have a Teacup Yorkie than if you had a standard breed Yorkshire Terrier, because of the many health risks we discussed above and the frequent checkups you have to have done on them.
Teacup Yorkie Temperament
When it comes to the character and temperament of the Mini Yorkshire puppy, the apple doesn’t seem to have fallen far from the tree, meaning that the similarities with the normal breed standard Yorkshire Terrier are there.
Just like it’s larger counterpart, the Teacup Yorkshire is very active and likes to keep on moving and going places.
The problem is, they can sometimes get themselves into trouble that their bodies can’t handle, so the responsibility is two-fold on you to make sure they’re safe and sound at all times.
Remember, we’re talking about a tiny dog here with an extremely fragile bone structure, so don’t take this lightly!
These puppies also require a whole lot of attention and social interaction with their owners, which means that if you simply don’t have the time to properly dedicate to spending with them day in day out, then don’t bother buying one in the first place.
That will only lead to the Teacup Yorkshire exhibiting behavioral problems like whining and barking, which is definitely not something you want to happen.
Words Of Caution About Teacup Yorkies
Before you go ahead and get a Mini Yorkshire for your household, you have to be very sure that the circumstances are right and safe for both your family and the puppy.
For example, if you have kids at home, don’t even think about getting a tiny Yorkshire Terrier.
These puppies are way too fragile to come in contact with young kids that don’t know how to properly handle and take care of them.
Even the slightest bit of improper contact or dropping them by mistake could lead to a serious break in their bones, or even death.
Other Names For Teacup Yorkies
The Teacup Yorkshire also goes by other names, such as:
- Teacup Yorkie
- Miniature Yorkshire Terrier
- Teacup Yorkshire Terrier
- Mini Yorkie
- Micro Yorkie
- Toy Yorkie
- Tiny Yorkie