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The Ultimate Guide To Teacup Poodle Breed 

Last Updated - September 25, 2022

The chances are you have seen Teacup Poodle on the gram or TikTok, as they are irresistibly cute and funny. Teacup Poodle is one of the tiniest dog breeds out there, and if you are a Poodle lover, you may just be in luck! This teddy bear-like, tiny, miniature Teacup Poodle is one of the smallest of all the Poodles. They are just like a standard-sized Poodle but much smaller; in fact, Teacup Poodles stay small!

Fun, loving, and loyal, these sassy little teddy bears make great companions to just about anyone as they are easy to care for and take up almost no space. Additionally, they are hypoallergenic and don't require much exercise! Could there be a more perfect little pup?

Could this cute little fuzz ball be for you? Let's find out.

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability

Apartment Living

How easily a dog deals with living in an apartment. Despite the dog's size, you should also consider energy level, calmness, and friendliness.

Being Alone

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to panic and separation anxiety when left alone. When left alone, they can become very destructive, bark, whine, chew and cause mayhem. These breeds do best in a home with a family member around during the day, can go to work with their owner, or recommend attending doggy day care if the owner is not home during the day.

Sensitivity Level

Low sensitivity dogs are easygoing, tolerant, and resilient. They can handle a noisy and chaotic household, a loud or assertive owner, and tolerate an inconsistent or variable routine.

Tolerate Cold Climate

Short coat and little to no coat breeds are vulnerable to cold climates. These breeds will have a low cold tolerance and need to live inside in a cool climate and should have a jacket or sweater on for chilly walks.

Tolerate Warm Climate

Breeds with a thick and double coat are vulnerable to overheating. Breeds with a short nose and flat face are also vulnerable as they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. If these breeds of dog live in a warm and humid environment, you will need to be extra cautious about taking them outdoor in the heat.

Friendliness

Cat Friendly

Friendliness towards cats and humans is very different. Some breeds are gentle and accept cats readily as part of the family. Some breeds will chase, fight, or rough play with a cat and cause severe injury. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation.

Dog Friendly

Friendliness towards other dogs. Some dogs may try to dominate other dogs and attack and fight, while others would rather play. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation.

Family Friendly

How affectionate a breed is likely to be with family members or other people he knows well. Some breeds are independent, some breeds can be aloof with everyone but their owner, while others treat everyone they know like it's their best friend.
Breed, however, isn't the only factor affecting affection levels. Proper socialization and training can improve the situation.

Kid Friendly

Kid-friendly dogs should be gentle with children, be more tolerant of screaming and running children as well as other children's behavior.

Openness To Strangers

How welcoming a breed is likely to be towards strangers. Some dogs will greet a stranger with wagging tails, while others are shy, reserved, cautious, or aggressive. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation. 

Health And Grooming

Coat Grooming Frequency

Amount of bathing, brushing, trimming, and professional grooming needs. Consider how much time, patience, and budget you have for this type of care when looking at the grooming effort needed. All breeds require regular nail trimming.

Drooling Level

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm or wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine. But if you are a neat freak, dogs that are drool prone may not be the right choice for you.

General Health

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems. However, this doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases, and it just means that they're at an increased risk.
If you're adopting or rescuing a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.
If you are purchasing from a breeder, be sure to do your research. Purchase from a reputable breeder and ask for the parent's health records to understand what potential health issue your pup may have.

Shedding Level

Amount and frequency of dog hair shedding.

If you are getting a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. 

Trainability

Easy To Train

Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt, an action, and a reward (such as treats, appraise, or toys). Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.

Intelligence

Dogs bred for jobs requiring decision-making, intelligence, and concentration, need to exercise their brains. Such as, dogs bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they can become destructive and exhibit behaviors such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

Potential To Mouthiness

Common in most breeds during the puppy stage. Mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need the training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy squeaky toys, as well as a good chew on a toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Prey Drive

Dogs who were bred to hunt have an inborn desire to chase--and sometimes kill. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, or rabbits, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small animals. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase. But you'll probably have difficulty getting their attention when birds fly by.

Bark Or Howl Tendencies

Some breeds are more vocal than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. While some breeds will bark at every passing bird, some may use other sounds to express themselves.

Physical And Mental Needs

Energy Level

The amount of physical and mental stimulation a breed needs. High-energy breeds are ready to go and eager for their next adventure. Low-energy breeds are like couch potatoes - they're happy to lay around and sleep.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.

Mental Stimulation

How much mental stimulation a breed needs to stay happy and healthy. Purpose-bred dogs can have jobs that require decision-making, problem-solving, concentration, or other qualities. Without the brain exercise they need, they can be destructive and have unwanted behavior issues.

Territorial

A dog's inclination to be protective of his family members, home, yard, or even car.

Watchdog Ability

A breed's tendency to alert you that strangers are around. These breeds are more likely to react to any potential threat, whether it's the mailman or a squirrel outside the window.

Origin

The origins of the teacup poodle are the same as those of a standard Poodle. Teacup poodles are a size variation of a purebred Poodle, not a mixed breed.

However, they are considered a designer breed due to the selectively bred process for their size. Teacups and toys are words that are used to refer to very small dog breeds, with teacups being smaller than toys.

Poodles have one of the oldest pure bred dogs of domesticated purebred dogs. These dogs originated in Germany in the 14th century as versatile working and gun dogs, making them the perfect hunting dog. Their unique water-resistant coat made them great gun dogs for fowl hunting. In fact, their name comes from the German word "pudelin," which means splashing in the water.

Sometime between the 14th and 17th centuries, the breed made its way to France, where it became the popular pet of royalty and became known as the French Poodle. It gained popularity and, by the late 17th century, had spread all over Europe. The breed was first recognized as a purebred dog breed registered by the American Kennel Club in 1887.

The more specific history of the toy breed and the teacup poodle, in particular, began in the early 20th century. More people were looking for dog companions that suited city living better, so the development of toy and miniature breeds became popular.

By the late 20th century, the development of the very smallest variation of the Poodle has created: the teacup poodle. Via selective breeding, the smallest pups in toy poodle litter were bred to create these tiny dogs. Other poodle mix dogs were also being bred at this time for the hypoallergenic coat and affable nature of poodles.

Teacup Poodles are classified unofficially as being 9 inches in height and no heavier than 6 pounds, making them one tiny dog! The AKC does not recognize the teacup poodle as a distinct size variation of the Poodle but rather classifies them as toy poodles.

A toy poodle is any poodle that is 10 inches or less, and Teacup poodles are just an informal name for a particularly small toy poodle. The only Kennel Club that accepts the size classification is the Dog Registry to America Inc.

gender
male

Height: 9-10"

Weight: 6 lbs

female

Height: 9-10"

Weight: 6 lbs

Life Span: 12-14

Breed Group: Non Sporting

Size

A teacup poodle size is what classifies it in its unofficial size category. To be a teacup poodle, the dog has to stay under 10 inches and weigh 6 pounds or less. Anything bigger is not considered a Teacup Poodle but a toy poodle.

Personality 

Teacup poodles share the same loving, playful, and smart personalities as their standard-sized counterparts. They are loyal companions, friendly pets, and just a tad bit bossy.

If trained and socialized properly, these dogs will not have problems with young children, strangers, and other dogs.

Teacup Poodles love and are attached to their owner. When left alone for too long, they will begin to suffer separation anxiety and become destructive. But their attention-seeking disposition makes them very loyal dogs.

Appearance/Colors

Teacup poodles are very small dogs that somehow pull off a regal and elegant look. They have a fluffy, single-layer coat that is low-shed and hypoallergenic. Their coats can come in colors such as black, silver, grey, blue, white, apricot, brown, beige, and red and is usually solid. Along with their thick curly fur, they are known to have dark, oval eyes, long muzzles, and floppy ears.

Temperament

In general, poodles always make good pets for just about anyone, regardless of size. This is true of teacup poodles as well, though there is an additional consideration for those who have small children.

Teacup poodles are not only a bit more fragile than bigger poodles but are also a bit more prone to irritation with small children. As such, they are not ideal for families with little children but can live with young age and older children.

Do not let this small dog develop Small Dog Syndrome, where the dog believes he is the pack leader in the family.

Diet/Nutritional Needs

A Teacup Poodle doesn't eat very much, only about 250 calories or one cup of dry kibble daily. However, they are prone to low blood sugar and hypoglycemia, so you should never skip or underfeed your tiny pup. 

The dog food should be specially formulated for toy breeds and ideally split into 2-4 small meals throughout the day. You should speak with your vet if you have any questions or concerns regarding how much to feed your Poodle.

Teacup poodle riding on a skateboard

Image source: Unsplash

Activity/Exercise Needs

Being a small breed, Teacup Poodle fits well into any lifestyle. Teacup poodles do not have high exercise needs and can live in apartments or large homes. But they do need a lot of mental stimulation as they get bored easily and become destructive.

These pocket-sized dogs will need a walk of no more than 30 minutes daily, preferably split into 2-3 shorter walks to prevent overexertion. They can become bored easily, so provide plenty of mentally stimulating toys, puzzles, and games to keep your teacup poodle busy and out of trouble. 

Grooming Needs

Like all poodles, teacup poodles have low-shed coats that consist of a single layer of fur. This coat will need to be brushed a few times a week to prevent tangles and mats and to remove any loose hairs. Teacup poodle owners will need to take their pups in to be clipped routinely. Nails should be kept short, and teeth should be brushed a few times a week. 

Teacup poodle carried up high by the owner

Image source: Unsplash

Adaptability

Teacup Poodle is very adaptable when it comes to thriving in any living space, and their tiny size makes them the ideal pet for any situation.

They are great apartment dogs, family dogs, dogs for seniors, or dogs for individuals who travel frequently and want to bring their pets with them. They do not get along great with little children or even other pets, but with early socialization and training, they can adjust and learn to be better-mannered.

These dogs do not do well alone and can become stressed or destructive. They will also struggle to regulate body temperatures in the cold and so extra consideration should be taken for them in the cooler months and climates. 

Trainability of Teacup Poodle Puppy

Aside from being a little stubborn and bossy, Teacup Poodle is pretty easy to train. They are super smart dogs and love to please, which makes them an ideal trainee. 

Training sessions should be kept to short five to ten-minute chunks of time a few times a day, and this will help your puppy stay focused and interested in learning.

Use positive reinforcement, patience, and consistency; you will soon have a well-behaved teacup poodle puppy.

Teacup poodle lying down with an owl stuff toy

Image source: Unsplash

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a Teacup dog is relatively long, and a Teacup Poodle has a life expectancy of 12-14 years. 

Teacup Poodle Cost

A Teacup Poodle costs between $1000 to $5000, depending on the breeder. However, always try a rescue or animal shelter first.

The breeding of the Teacup Poodle is a controversial subject. Because it requires breeding the smallest toy poodles, this leads to many possible birth defects or genetic health conditions that may result from breeding the "runt" of a toy poodle litter. 

If you are interested in obtaining a teacup poodle, it is very important that you do thorough research to ensure that the proper measures have been taken to ensure that the puppies are healthy.

Potential Health Problems

Despite having a relatively long life span, Teacup Poodles are not generally a very healthy dog breed. This is in part due to the inherited health issues of all poodles but made worse by the specific breeding process that produces teacup puppies.

With careful research and choosing the right breeder, you can reduce some of the chances of genetic issues, but never completely. A few of the most common issues include—

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Dysplasia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Heart defects
  • Patella luxation

About the Author

Lara Girsko

Doctor of veterinary medicine with extensive experience in animal welfare with a strong interest in feline medicine and plans to pursue ABVP-Feline specialty board certification. A key member of many local veterinary associations and avid reader of animal related science journals and studies.

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