Is there anything cuter than an itty-bitty adorable little toy Poodle? How about an even itty-bittier (is that a word?) Teacup Poodle? These heart stealing little cuties will almost fit in the palm of your hand!
What Is A Teacup Poodle?
A Teacup Poodle is a very, very small version of a Toy Poodle. A Toy Poodle typically stands between 8 and 10 inches tall and weighs around 5 to 10 pounds. A Teacup Poodle is any Poodle that falls under the Toy Poodle status.
Since a Teacup Poodle is really just a much smaller Toy Poodle, it is safe to say they have been around as long as the Toy Poodle breed itself has been around.
There is evidence of the Poodle as far back as the 1400s. The breed can be seen in many pieces of artwork, including from Rembrandt. Poodles have almost always been associated with wealth and not as a “common man’s” dog. This is due to it’s intended use as a retriever and water spaniel for hunters.
The Toy Poodle first emerged in the 1700s in England. It is believed that they were used as truffle hunting dogs. Their smaller, more delicate, feet were surmised to be less damaging to the valuable fungus.
Their hunting days were not long lived, however. By the mid to late 1800s, their role as a companion animal was in full swing with them already adopting their iconic grooming style.
What Do They Look Like?
We are all pretty familiar with how Poodles look. If not, you probably wouldn’t be here. However, let’s go over some of the specifics of Teacup Poodles and how they compare to their larger Poodle family.
How Big Do Teacup Poodles Get?
While the Toy Poodle is a bit larger, the Teacup Poodle really does look like a stuffed animal. In fact, it would absolutely fall into the list of dogs with teddy bear faces.
A Teacup Poodle is technically a Toy Poodle who does not meet the AKC size standards. They are short and very lightweight; standing under 9 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing between 3 and 5 pounds full grown.
Here is how their size compares to other Poodles:
|Teacup Poodle||under 9 inches||3 lbs to 5 lbs|
|Toy Poodle||8 to 10 inches||5 to 10 lbs|
|Miniature Poodle||10 to 15 inches||12 to 20 lbs|
|Standard Poodle||over 15 inches||45 to 70 lbs|
Pros & Cons Of The Teacup Size
Teacup Poodles are super cute. However, there are some trade-offs that come along with their micro size. Some of them can be quite serious.
- super cute
- travel well (they can fit in your purse)
- perfect for apartments or small homes
- cost to feed is very low
- even intelligent Poodles are difficult to house train due to their small bladder size
- they are fragile. even a jump from the couch can injure them.
- unethical breeders, only focusing on size, have bred in some serious health complications
- vet care can be quite costly for some health issues
We often associate Poodles with having thick, tight, curly hair. That is common, but they can also have some other coat textures, as well. They range from “coarse and wooly to soft an wavy”.
Are Teacup Poodles Hypoallergenic?
One of the reasons that Poodles are so popular is that they are non shedders and, thus, are hypoallergenic. That means, due to the lack of a double coat, or undercoat, they will not lose their fur all over your home. That makes this breed ideal, at any size, for those with allergies.
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Teacup as it’s own breed. However, as we’ve discussed, they are really just small versions of a Toy Poodle. The breed standard for a Toy is one with either a curly or corded coat.
The Teacup is recognized by the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA). If you have a Teacup and want to register, you can do so with them.
Poodles can come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Some of them are:
- cafe au lait
- silver beige
Some of the most common patterns on Poodles are:
While they can come in different patterns, it is not super common. For the most part, breeders prefer their Poodles to be a solid color and will selectively breed for that trait.
How To Care For Your Teacup Poodle
While these adorable little pups may look like playthings, they do require a fair amount of work and responsibility. But, trust us, they are more than worth the investment of time and effort.
Here are some tips to make sure your furry friend lives the happiest and healthiest life they can.
Food & Dietary Needs
Your Teacup Poodle is going to need a healthy and well-balanced diet. Many people dont know that they will also need a food that has been specially formulated for a small breed dog. We will discuss that a bit more in detail later.
You can typically just follow the feeding instructions on the bag and be just fine. You will just want to keep an eye on your dogs weight and body condition. As long as both of those things stay in a healthy range, you are good to go.
If you are unfamiliar with gauging body condition, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has created an easy to read and follow chart to help you. You can find it on their website or by clicking here.
How Often Should I Feed My Teacup Poodle?
As we mentioned above, you should be okay to follow the feeding instructions on the bag. Some will say you should feed up to 6 times a day! If your pup is having difficulty maintaining their weight, body condition, or energy, by all means, feed them as often as they need.
In our experience, we have found that a small dog will do just fine eating 2 to 3 times a day. You can also always leave their food down and let them graze throughout the day.
Teacup Poodles are fun and energetic little bundles of energy. Convincing them to go for a walk or play a game should be no problem at all. These little guys need about 30 minutes of exercise a day.
You can split that time up between a couple of walks. You can also take them for a walk and then play fetch or some other physical game later. Remember to use a safe and comfortable small breed harness.
You want to keep your dog properly exercised and entertained. Poodles, especially, are highly intelligent and, if not properly stimulated, will start to act our in boredom.
This often will manifest through excessive barking, chewing on things other than toys, having accidents in the house, etc. Proper training and healthy, regular exercise can keep those negative behaviors at bay.
How long do they live?
Smaller dogs almost always live longer than larger ones. Assuming your Teacup Poodle lives a healthy lifestyle and does not suffer from any major illnesses, they can live anywhere between 12 and 15 years or more, in some cases.
Are Teacup Poodles Easy To Train?
Aside from being hypoallergenic, this is the other reason they are so popular. Poodles are very, very smart and take to training very easily.
Poodles and Doodles are only second to the Border Collie in dog intelligence. These guys love to learn new things love to please. Start them out as puppies and you should have no problem training them basic commands and even some cute tricks, if you want.
How do you potty train a teacup poodle?
As we said, they are incredibly intelligent and eager to please.
It is best to start them out early as a young puppy. Immediately after they eat, drink, wake up, or start sniffing, take them outside or wherever you want to train them to go. You will need to be hypervigilant during this phase because they have very small bladders and very little control over them. Anticipating their needs is crucial for house training.
They will be tempted to play if you take them outside. Resist the urge. They need to understand the difference between outside playtime and potty time. If they get distracted playing they will likely go back inside and immediately have an accident.
Once they use the designated area, praise them and give them a treat. After a while they will start to learn that going outside in this particular area is a good thing. Poodles learn pretty quickly because they are so smart.
It is also possible to train them to either speak or ring a bell at the door when they need to go.
Unfortunately, Poodles do have many health issues that can plague them throughout their lives. Some are more serious than others and some are not as common.
Compound those issues with the problems that can come from unethical breeding and being undersized and it isn’t always a pretty picture. Fortunately, many of these health concerns are treatable, they just may be expensive.
One of the most common illnesses that Teacup Poodles, as well as many small dogs, face is that of Hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is more commonly known as low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is what causes that wonky feeling when you eat something sugary without having eaten anything else in a while. That can happen to small dogs too.
Remember when we said you should feed a blend of dog food formulated for small dogs? This is one of the primary reasons why.
Small dogs are notoriously energetic. They are also terrible at storing enough resources for that excess energy. When they play for a while, they quickly deplete their supply of carbohydrates by burning them. Carbs turn into glucose after being burned.
Glucose is what gives your dog energy. It also burns incredibly fast. The longer and harder a dog plays the more quickly they burn up all of their glucose. The sudden drop in glucose leads to low blood sugar and can cause anything from feeling bad up to, in extreme cases, death.
But, it is a manageable condition. Keep them on a good, high quality food a couple of times a day and they will likely not experience this issue.
Some of the other issues that are common in Poodles are:
- Addison’s disease
- gastric dilatation volvulus
- hip dysplasia
- juvenile renal disease
- thyroid issues (hyperthyroid and hypothyroid)
- tracheal collapse
- sebaceous adenitis
Poodles require a lot of grooming and attention to their coats. They are a single coat breed so matting with the undercoat is not an issue. However, their hair is always some version or curly or wavy and, thus, prone to knots and tangles.
They will need to be brushed at least 3 times a week. However, they do much better with a daily brushing. Teacup Poodles are little easier in this aspect because it does not take very long to brush out their entire coat.
The high level of maintenance is one of the primary reasons you often see Poodles clipped with their iconic look.
Dogs naturally produce oils that nourish and moisturize their skin and fur. This is no different in Poodles. You will want to maintain those oils and not bathe your dog too terribly often.
In fact, unless they have gotten into something messy, you can get away with a bath every 3 to 4 months. When washing them you will want to use a good, high quality shampoo and conditioner.
Finally, with Poodles, you need to pay close attention to their ears. They are a breed in which hair grows inside the ear. Wax and debris can build up over time leading to infection and other nasty ailments.
You may also want to consider visiting a professional groomer a few times a year and get their guidance on the maintenance of your particular puppy.
Temperament and Personality
Teacup Poodles are very energetic and playful. They love nothing more than to play with their humans. After a good round of fetch or a brisk walk, they can flip that energy into a nice, loving nap…in your lap, of course.
These pups are highly intelligent and are super eager to please which makes them very easy to train.
They tend to be pack leaders. If you do not establish your role as the “pack leader” they will happily accept that role for themselves. Despite their size, they prefer to be in a dominant position. If untrained, this can lead to a bad case of “small dog syndrome” where they think they are much bigger than they really are.
How Are They With Kids & Pets?
Teacup Poodle are really great family dogs. They do well with multiple people and with other pets. In fact, this breed is a very social creature so they thrive on more people and animals being around.
Make sure they are properly socialized at a young age. This will get them used to being around other animals. You will also want to avoid having them around very young children. It is possible for them to be injured by a well meaning, but overly rough, child.
Frequently Asked Questions
While researching Teacup Poodles, we found a few questions that kept popping up. Here they are:
Q1. Can teacup poodles be left alone?
Like many small dogs, they become very attached to their human. If they are left alone for more than 8 hours or so they can experience seperation anxiety. Seperation anxiety, much like boredom, can show itself through destructive behavior.
If possible, try and make a midday stop back at home if your job allows it. You may also want to consider a a neighbor, friend, or family member visiting or sitting if they will be alone for a long period of time.
Q2. Do teacup poodles bark a lot?
Often times, excessive barking in a Teacup Poodle is from lack of exercise or boredom. These dogs are highly intelligent and need regular stimulation to keep them from getting bored.
Q3. Do teacup poodles bite?
All dogs have the potential but they are not overly aggressive. Times that a Teacup Poodle may bite is when they are feeling vulnerable. Due to their size, this can often happen with younger children who may not realize how rough they are playing with such a tiny dog.
Q4. How much does teacup dogs cost?
Poodles are often times considered a luxury breed and, thus, their price will usually reflect that impression. The final cost will depend on that particular pup’s pedigree. You can expect a teacup poodle to cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $5,000.
Q5. Can teacup poodles swim?
Absolutely. Poodles are super smart and can be trained to do just about anything you want them to do. Plus, they were originally bred as hunting/water dogs so they are naturally inclined to swim. it’s called the doggy paddle for a reason, after all.
The Teacup Poodle is one of the tiniest and sweetest canines around. If you have one or are thinking of adding one to your family, you are sure to love it!
Until next time…