Teacup Yorkies may be tiny, but they have mighty personalities.
The Teacup Yorkie is a tiny teacup toy breed version of a Yorkshire Terrier. Don’t be fooled by their baby stature, these micro Teacup Yorkie mischief-makers are confident and bold – these toy Yorkies can be a dog lovers handful.
Teacup Yorkshire Terriers love their owners and are protective over their family.
The toy Yorkie isn’t one you should take on lightly, these dogs need a lot of care and demand to be the center of attention and family life. Teacup Yorkies have strict feeding schedules and will most likely need professional hair grooming. Their teacup size means toy Yorkies are prone to health issues as well, so budget for frequent vet bills.
If you think a Teacup Yorkie is the perfect addition to your family life, keep reading to learn all about what makes these Yorkie teacup dogs unique, and how to successfully care for one……
Teacup Yorkie 101 (Overview)
Teacup Yorkies are miniature Yorkshire Terriers. Not much is known about when breeders started breeding Yorkies smaller, but demand for Teacup Yorkie puppies is increasing with toy breed dog lovers.
Yorkshire Terriers were originally bred to hunt rats and rodents in northern England in the 1870s. Mostly used in industrial settings like coal mines and textile factories, the Yorkie soon became a fashionable companion dog. Yorkies were introduced in America around the 1880s and became even more popular.
In fact, they are now one of the most popular breeds of all in the US!
Yorkies are recognized by the American Kennel Club, in the Toy group. However, the Teacup Yorkie variety is not recognized.
Teacup Yorkie Appearance and Size
You can expect your Teacup Yorkie to look exactly like a standard-sized Yorkie, just smaller.
Teacup Yorkie Terriers’ skulls are round with a short muzzle. Teacup Yorkies have a black button nose and medium-sized eyes. Yorkies have small V-shaped ears that stand upright on the top of their head.
As for the toy Yorkie body, it is very compact but well-proportioned. Teacup Yorkies have short legs and their tail is medium length and is carried slightly higher than their back.
Yorkies have a spring in their step and always look alert and engaged.
Height and Weight
The standard Yorkshire Terrier size averages around 7lbs, whereas the teacup is a lot smaller.
When fully grown the Teacup Yorkie will weigh between 2-4lbs.
As for their height expect no more than 5-7 inches – very small indeed.
The Teacup Yorkie can be several different colors, with the most common colors being:
- Black and Gold
- Black and Tan
- Blue and Gold
- Blue and Tan
You should expect Teacup Yorkie hair to be the same as the standard Yorkshire Terrier. Teacup Yorkies have glossy, fine, and silky coats of long straight hair, which can be trimmed for a neater appearance (more on this teacup dogs’ hair later).
The hair on the top of their teacup head can also grow long – this can also be trimmed to avoid it getting into their eyes.
These teacup dogs are also hypoallergenic, as they shed very little hair.
Teacup Yorkie Personality and Temperament
These Yorkies may be tiny, but they have huge personalities. Teacup Yorkies have every bit of the Terrier personality – affectionate, sprightly, and confident.
Yorkies are known for their demanding traits. All seek a lot of attention, but they are cautious of strangers. It’s likely your Teacup Yorkie puppy will be prone to separation anxiety – so don’t leave one alone for more than necessary.
Teacup Yorkies have the more feisty and bossy traits of a true terrier.
Yorkies can be said to have little dog syndrome; in which they think they are bigger than they actually are. This also causes them to be more anxious and excitable.
These teacup dogs can be a bit of a handful, and love to cause some mischief. Teacup Yorkies have a strong prey drive and love to hunt small animals. This boldness can get Yorkies into situations that can be harmful to them as they have very fragile bones.
Teacup Yorkie dogs love the sound of their own voice!
Yorkies are territorial and will defend their home, this can make them ‘yappy’ when someone comes to the door.
This susceptibility to more barking can be trained out though.
With all their faults, these tiny teacup puppies will be devoted to you. As baby dogs, they love being the center of attention and entertaining their families.
When you bring your baby puppy home for the first time, give your puppy a room and a cozy bed which they can easily get in and out of. As they are small puppies, Yorkies can be very nervous in new environments, so give your teacup time to adjust.
Is A Teacup Yorkie a Good Family Dog?
Teacup Yorkies are very fragile, so they are not recommended to families with small children.
These teacup dogs are best suited to a single pet household. Due to their Terrier nature, Yorkies can see any other animal in their home as competition and won’t back down from a fight.
Training a Teacup Yorkie
This teacup pooch is smart and responsive to training. They may be a bit stubborn at first, but with some consistency, Yorkies will warm up to you.
For Teacup Yorkies positive reinforcement is known to be the most effective training strategy, and punishment is the worst. The use of punishment should be avoided as it can cause behavioral issues in these teacup dogs.
Give your Yorkie praise when they follow a command and don’t give them too many treats as this can upset their sensitive stomachs. Find natural and high-quality treats to give them your teacup.
Teacup Yorkie training should start from an early age, this includes socialization. Their Terrier nature means that Yorkies may show signs of aggression to unfamiliar dogs and people- socialization is a good way to prevent this.
Expose Yorkie puppies to a range of dogs and people as soon as they are fully vaccinated to help prevent this. Thanks to its small size, it is easy to take your toy Yorkie with you and experience new places and smells.
Mental stimulation is vital for teacup dogs like this, as they will want a lot of things to do unless you want chewed-up shoes and furniture!
Give them toys and puzzle feeders. Playtime has been shown to decrease stress and increase memory.
Caring for a Teacup Yorkie
Teacup Yorkies need a lot of attention and care. These dogs need 24/7 devotion.
Grooming is a must, they may not shed hair, but Yorkies love to look their best!
They have a regular feeding routine that is vital to their health. These teacup dogs are highly adaptable and can live in urban areas and apartments. Teacup Yorkies are great for first-time owners and anyone else that wants a small dog.
Let’s take a look at the Teacup Yorkie’s specific care requirements below.
Dog lovers may be surprised to find out that this tiny teacup dog breed has a lot of energy, but they won’t need too much-dedicated exercise.
Around 20-30 minutes will be fine.
Yorkies are very energetic by nature and love running around; one will never give up in a chase. Don’t let them get too excitable and jump up on surfaces though as Teacup Yorkies’ bones are very fragile.
During the winter months, be sure to put on a coat to keep your Yorkie warm, as they are very susceptible to the cold.
Be careful when walking your Teacup Yorkie, it is easy to accidentally trip over them and cause them damage.
Grooming and Shedding
These teacup dogs look best when they are regularly groomed. They have long straight coats that should be trimmed often.
Their hair will grow continuously throughout the year and can even grow longer than their height and can get in their eyes.
Thankfully, Yorkies don’t shed much hair throughout the year.
You should brush their long hair every day to keep it from matting and keep it clean! It may be worth thinking about taking your teacup to a professional groomer. Yorkies are prone to suffering from dental problems, make sure their teeth are clean and healthy by brushing them every day.
Check the inside of their ears for wax buildup and debris. Clip their nails to avoid overgrowth.
Feeding and Diet
This teacup micro dog has a very specialized diet.
Feed your Yorkie every 3-4 hours during the day and make sure not to skip a meal. Thankfully, these teacup dogs don’t need huge portions. Don’t worry about midnight feeds, just make sure you feed your teacup before you put them to bed and first thing in the morning.
The general rule to follow for small dogs is that they only need 40 calories per pound of body weight. So a 4lbs Teacup Yorkie would only need around 160 calories a day.
Dogs need a balanced diet, just like people. They need protein, dietary fats, minerals, and vitamins. So look for a premium or specialized dog food to feed your one. It may be extra money, but it’s worth it in the end!
Avoid food with filler ingredients that have high amounts of carbs, this can be harmful and cause obesity, especially in teacup dogs.
Known Health Problems
Unfortunately, these tiny Yorkie have multiple health issues. Make sure you do your research so you can spot any symptoms that could arise.
Teacup breeds have very fragile bones and can break them very easily. They also have genetic defects that we go into more detail on below.
By planning ahead you could get reimbursed for every vet bill. Save massively on your pet’s medical costs whether it’s an illness, injury, or wellness expense that needs taking care of.
Taking on a Teacup Yorkie comes with health complications and you should give this some serious thought.
If you keep your Yorkie healthy they can for up to 12 years, with most living to around 10 years old.
At the age of 4 to 5 months, your Teacup Yorkie will begin to lose those puppy teeth. By 8 to 10 months old, the puppy should have all permanent teeth fully grown in.
Unfortunately, like many small dogs Yorkshire Terriers, and even more so, due to their miniature size, Teacup Yorkies are more likely than other dogs to have problems with their teeth. Yorkie dental disease and tooth decay start with the everyday buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and progresses to infection of the gums and roots of the teeth.
To help combat oral issues, you should brush your teacup teeth with a doggy toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste. Like us, it is ideal to brush your dog’s teeth at least twice daily. For many dogs, once brushing becomes a part of their daily routine they will begin to expect and enjoy it. Brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation.
Dogs also need to occasionally scrape to prevent such buildup, but other factors, such as overcrowded teeth, can also lead to decay. Teacup Yorkies are especially prone to this issue due to their tiny jaws. For this reason, it’s recommended to take your Yorkie in for routine teeth cleaning by a professional.
- Distichiasis – A common condition in dogs, particularly in toy breeds, where extra eyelashes, grow in an unusual area on the eyelid. Depending on the number of hairs, the rigidity of the hairs, and the direction of the hairs, this can cause problems to the eye itself.
- Hydrocephalus – A birth defect associated with a large fontanel or ‘soft spot’ on top of the skull, as with miniature breeds such as the Teacup Yorkie. It is the leakage inside the skull of an excess of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. This leads to increased pressure within the skull that presses on the sensitive brain tissues and can lead to permanent, irreversible brain damage and death.
- Hypoplasia of Dens – A congenital condition when the pivot point of the second cervical vertebra does not form properly. It leads to spinal cord damage. Onset can occur at any age. Symptoms can range from neck pain to the dog being unable to move his legs
- Legg-Calvé-Perthes Syndrome – The deterioration of the top of the femur bone in the back legs, causing discomfort and inflammation in the hip joint.
- Luxating Patella – Yorkshire Terriers have the second-highest prevalence of patellar luxation among dog breeds. Damage to the patella, and the groove in which it runs, leads to osteoarthritis of the knee causing chronic pain your Yorkie finding it difficult to walk.
- Portosystemic Shunt – An abnormal blood vessel in the abdomen which enables venous blood, that would normally flow from the intestines to the liver, to partially bypass it with the result that the normal functions of the liver of filtering toxins are impaired.
- Retinal Dysplasia – An eye disease affecting the retina characterized by folds or rosettes (round clumps) of the retinal tissue.
- Tracheal Collapse – Teacup Yorkies can also suffer from collapsed tracheas, which thankfully sounds more serious than it is. Airflow is limited and can cause chronic coughing and other respiratory problems.
- Bladder Stones – There are a few different types of stones that can form in the kidney or the bladder, and unfortunately Yorkshire Terriers are more likely to develop them than other breeds.
Teacup Yorkies are prone to suffering from hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). If your puppy is between 8 and 16 weeks old; it’s particularly prevalent. For this reason, they need to be fed at regular intervals during the day. Put dry food out all the time, for example in a puzzle toy ball, for intermittent snacking. Also, add two tablespoons of Karo syrup to your puppy’s water for all-day sipping.
Symptoms of low blood glucose include drowsiness—especially evident in a young, active puppy—muscle weakness, staggering, disorientation, depression, and shivering. More severe signs include seizures and collapse.
Hypoglycemia in the worst-case scenario, be fatal in a dog if not controlled with a specialized diet. It is even more dangerous for small teacup dogs like the Yorkie. If you think your Teacup Yorkie is suffering from this, call a vet immediately.
Top Tip: If your Yorkie ever goes into a hypoglycemia seizure, while you’re waiting for professional help, you should grab a clean towel and wrap it around your puppy to keep him or her warm. Rub some honey on their gums and keep them warm – the sugar in the honey will be absorbed and help elevate your teacups’ glucose concentrations. Also, you should attempt to get them to eat.
Naturally, your Yorkies’ tail will stand up and curve over his back, and the issue of docking it to a medium length is a very controversial subject.
There is no reason based on health or happiness to dock your Yorkies’ tail.
In the US the only reason is so that the dog fits the breed standard of the American Kennel Club and the other dog clubs that call out for it. Therefore, this alteration is only for aesthetic purposes.
If the owner of a Yorkie is not planning on showing their dog in dog shows, there is no reason to dock the tail, other than a personal preference to have a dog that matches closest to breed standard conformation.
The practice of docking tails is becoming less and less common, and many other countries around the world ban the procedure of docking a dog’s tail.
Buying a Teacup Yorkie
Considering the health issues Teacup Yorkies can have, it is crucial to find a trustworthy breeder that has a healthy puppy for sale.
Unfortunately, there are lots of unreliable, and even unscrupulous, breeders out there, but just a little bit of research can stop you from being caught out.
Breeding any teacup dogs is a risky business. Breeders will breed two undersized dogs together to get even smaller pups – this can be dangerous for the mother.
Always ask a breeder if you can see the pups with mom. If they don’t let you, chances are that they are not trustworthy.
Ask breeders to see how mom has cared for the puppies. This will give you a good idea about what kind of temperament they will have in later life. Teacup Yorkie puppies that have low-quality maternal care are more likely to have problematic behaviors when they are adults.
Breeders should provide you with health certificates for the puppy’s mom and dad (this is to show there are no genetic health issues being passed down to their litters).
Ask the Teacup Yorkie breeders questions like:
- How many litters has the mom had?
- What are you feeding them?
- What kind of socialization have they had so far?
If the answers sound suspicious walk away and find another.
Yorkie puppies should be at least be 9 weeks old to leave mom, but some breeders wait until 12 weeks.
How Much Does a Teacup Yorkie Cost?
Teacup Yorkies will cost between $1200-2000, depending on the breeder.
Quick Breed Summary Table
Breed CharacteristicsSize:5-7 inchesWeight:2-4 lbsLifespan:9 to 14 yearsCoat:Silky and straightColor:Black and tan, blue and tan, black and gold, blue and goldDo They Shed:Very little amountsTemperament:Friendly, bold, and mischievousIntelligence:Above-average intelligenceSocialization:Cautious of strange dogs, will need early socializationDestructive Behavior:Can be ‘yappy’ and destructive when boredPeople Skills:Protective of owners but will warm up to othersGood with Children:Not recommended for households with small childrenActivity Levels:Highly energetic for such a small size. Needs around 20-30 mins of activity a day
Teacup Yorkies are small dogs with big personalities. They need an owner who can match their personality.
Highly demanding and needy, Teacup owners should be aware of the 24/7 care that will be necessary to keep these dogs happy.
The Teacup Yorkie needs a strict diet and feeding routine and can have health issues that shouldn’t be ignored.
With that said, Yorkies are one of the best companion dogs out there!
If you give your Yorkie a lot of love, your Yorkie will give you lots back. A Teacup Yorkie will bring your house to life with their bright attitude and confidence.
Let us know in the comments section below if your teacup Teacup Yorkie has any health problems…
Teacup Yorkie FAQ
How long do Teacup Yorkies live?
Whereas standard Yorkies have a lifespan of 12-15 years, due to their smaller size and additional health issues connected with it, Teacup Yorkies have a shorter life expectancy of around 10 years. With good health, and of course, care, one could live until 12, but according to most experts, the Teacup Yorkie has an average lifespan of only 9- 11 years.
How big do Teacup Yorkies get?
A tiny dog breed at about only 5 to 7 inches tall, and weighing between just 2 to 4 pounds. Breeders strive to produce Teacup puppies that’ll weigh no more than this once they reach their full ‘adult’ weight after a year.
Are Teacup Yorkies high maintenance?
Before getting one, think about what’s involved in caring for such a tiny dog. Teacup Yorkies are high maintenance, and there are many risks and challenges of owning one. These include:
- Accidents – Can be common with such a tiny dog. Because your Teacup puppy’s bones are fragile, they mustn’t fall or get stepped on. You’ll need to prevent them from jumping on and off of high (to them!) surfaces or playing with small children. Teacup Yorkies are not meant to be outside dogs and should be kept under your watchful eye when out and about outside.
- Sickness – The multiple inherent health problems caused by miniaturization.
- Special care – As well as preventing accidental injury, there are frequent, even hourly, feeding, and potty-training problems. Bladder problems such as incontinence are common in teacup dogs, and it is hard to potty train a dog with such a tiny bladder. Because they are so small, Teacup Yorkies can also have a more difficult time keeping themselves warm in colder environments and will need to be watched and cared for carefully in extreme weather as well as being dressed appropriately.
- Bad breeding – The risks of poor nutrition and care before the sale of Teacup Yorkie puppies by breeders motivated by money and unconcerned about any potential problems that it might cause.
If you have your heart set on a Yorkie, you can also consider the following Yorkie mixes:
- Snorkie: Schnauzer and Yorkie mix
- Dorkie: Dachshund and Yorkie mix
- Shorkie: Shih Tzu and Yorkie mix
- Morkie: Maltese and Yorkie mix
- Yorkiepoo: Poodle and Yorkie mix
- Chorkie: Chihuahua and Yorkie mix
Also, there are several other teacup breeds like the Teacup Poodle, Teacup Maltese, and Teacup Pomeranian.
Let us know in the comments section below if your Teacup Yorkie has any health problems…