Teacup Yorkie - A Guide To The World's Smallest Dog (2022)

The Teacup Yorkie is tiny, fluffy and surprisingly confident. These cute mini Yorkies are simply a Yorkshire Terrier who has been bred to be significantly smaller than normal. Teacup Yorkshire Terriers usually weigh between 2 and 4 pounds, but can weigh up to 7. Designed to be the perfect apartment pet, lapdog and companion, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of bringing home a Teacup Yorkie puppy. And help you to decide whether this is the best little puppy breed for your lifestyle, family, children and other pets!


  • What are Teacup Yorkies?
  • How expensive are Teacup Yorkies?
  • Teacup Yorkie lifespan
  • Micro Yorkie Health
  • Teacup Yorkie puppies

Small dogs and toy breeds have been popular with dog lovers for a long time. First time pet parents and dog owners are especially drawn to them. Over the past decade, even smaller mini, micro or ‘teacup’ versions of these breeds have become increasingly popular. Unfortunately, these extra tiny pups can have some size-related health issues, like fragile bones, bladder problems, and more.

What Is a Teacup Yorkie?

A teacup Yorkie is a Yorkshire Terrier bred to be significantly smaller than the standard for the breed. Yorkies should weigh no more than seven pounds.

Many pet Yorkies weigh a bit more than the standard but are still, relatively speaking, tiny dogs. When an already small toy breed like the Yorkshire Terrier is miniaturized, it becomes a very small dog indeed.

Why Call Them Teacup Yorkies?

Some mini Yorkies are so small that they can fit inside of a teacup, which is where the term comes from. These dogs are likely to weigh between two and four pounds.

The Teacup Yorkie are not a recognized breed on their own but are usually pedigree Yorkshire Terriers bred to be much smaller than average.

Teacup Dogs Controversy

Today, Teacup Yorkshire Terriers are not a new or separate breed of dog. If the mini Yorkie puppies you have your eye on are pedigree, they are registered as Yorkshire Terriers the same as any regular-size Yorkshire Terrier.

Teacup dogs are not restricted to the Yorkshire Terrier breed, other toy breeds have been miniaturized too. This makes a lot of people unhappy and some people quite angry. If you are thinking of buying a teacup puppy, you should probably know why micro Yorkie dogs and other teacup dogs are controversial.

(Video) Teacup Yorkie: A Pet Parent’s Guide to The Smallest Dog!

Not just because you may find yourself the target of criticism for your choice of puppy. But because it is important to be aware of the challenges and downsides of miniaturizing dogs before you decide to own one. We’ll look at the teacup dog debate, but first, let’s consider why so many of us adore tiny dogs.

What Is the Appeal of Mini Yorkies?

Why do we love tiny dogs? And why do we want them to be even tinier? There are a couple of key reasons. One is the human need to nurture a baby animal. The other is perhaps a little more complex. We’ll look at our nurturing instincts first. The retention of baby-like features in an adult animal is called neoteny, which means “youth extended.”

Neoteny in Dogs

If neoteny means having baby-like features, you can see why a tiny dog might be more appealing than a big dog. Baby animals of all species are small and have large heads in proportion to their bodies. When we see a dog that is especially small, our urge to love and protect it springs into action.

This doesn’t mean we are soppy or stupid. It is programmed into our basic biology, this drive to protect babies and baby-like creatures. Miniaturization isn’t just about neoteny though.

The Magic of Miniaturization

The idea of shrinking a character to tiny proportions is nothing new. The idea of a giant alien world that awaits a miniature personality has had sci-fi appeal for generations. Not just in modern cinema. Think of the Lilliputians of Gulliver’s Travels.

Like many other children of my generation, I was transfixed by stories like The Borrowers. And fascinated by tiny Shetland ponies and Chihuahuas. Later, I watched my own children’s enchantment as we immersed ourselves in The Indian in the Cupboard or enjoyed pygmy hippos at the zoo.

Miniaturization is simply fascinating, magical even. There’s no escaping it. With a powerful fascination for miniaturization and natural nurturing instincts for tiny animals, it is no surprise that we’ve used our power over dogs to create smaller and smaller dogs.

How can something as tiny as a teacup Yorkie still have the character and characteristics of a dog? It’s extraordinary and even thrilling, isn’t it?

Micro Teacup Yorkie – How Small Is Too Small?

Of course, we humans love a challenge. You’ll find people scouring the internet for ever smaller versions of the teacup Yorkie. You may even see people offering micro teacup Yorkies for sale. Presumably, these are even smaller.

There is no official standard for these terms, so the people who breed and sell tiny dogs use them however they choose. Just how small can we make our canine friend while maintaining the qualities that make him a living, breathing, barking, tail-wagging dog? Have we reached the limit yet? Or can we go further?

These are some of the questions that must pass through the minds of those involved in breeding miniature dogs. And is there a downside to this process? Is it possible that this miniaturization experiment that we are carrying out on dogs could be harmful to the dogs?

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Is Miniaturization Harmful?

The questions many people ask are: Is miniaturization harmful? Should we be making tiny dog breeds even tinier? These are tough questions. Our instinct when we see something unbelievably cute and attractive is to dismiss the negative and focus on the benefits and the appeal.

And there are benefits to owning a very tiny dog. We’ll look at the downsides in a moment. But first, let’s look at some of the pleasures of owning a very small dog.

Benefits of Owning a Tiny Dog

Many of the downsides of dog ownership are well known. Even medium-size dogs are messy and clumsy. They break and chew things and knock people over. Unless impeccably trained, they are difficult to take on public transportation or in public places.

And let’s face it, who has the time these days to train their dog to the level they’d like? Or to exercise a demanding full-size, four-legged dynamo? The benefits of little dogs are that you can avoid most of these problems.

A More Portable, Manageable Dog

Smaller dogs are more portable and more manageable. They take up less space, shed less hair and generally have less impact on a home than a big dog. A dog that can sit on your lap, or in your purse, is a convenient friend. While at the same time retaining that dog personality that we love so much. But, it’s important to recognize that you don’t need to buy a miniature or teacup dog to get these benefits.

Many small toy dogs meet all these criteria. And there is a point when the disadvantages of tiny start to outweigh the benefits. If you have set your heart on a teacup Yorkie, you probably don’t want to hear this next bit.

But please read on. It’s important to be well informed, especially if you choose to go ahead and get a teacup Yorkshire Terrier.

Health Problems in Teacup Yorkies

The list of health problems caused by miniaturizing our four-legged friends is sadly rather long. It includes:

  • heart problems
  • liver problems
  • brain problems
  • low blood sugar
  • bone problems
  • psychological problems

A teacup puppy’s tiny heart is more prone to defects and diseases than those of a larger dog. When we make body parts smaller, they don’t always work well. This is true of the mini Yorkie’s organs, particularly its heart and liver.

How Long Do Teacup Yorkies Live?

In addition, many teacup dogs are created using suspect breeding processes, which we’ll look at in more detail later. This further increases the chances of a teacup puppy having serious health issues. While the life expectancy for a Yorkshire Terrier is 11-15 years, life expectancy for a teacup Yorkie is shorter. It may be as short as 7-9 years.

Brain and Bone Problems

When we mess with the proportions that nature intended, things can go wrong. Teacup puppies can suffer from brain inflammation or a buildup of fluid inside the skull.

Teacup dog skulls may also have soft spots in them, like the fontanelle in a human baby. But unlike a human infant, the soft spot on a tiny dog’s head never closes. This makes them permanently vulnerable to injury and brain damage.

(Video) How Big Can Teacup Yorkies Grow - Detailed Yorkshire Terrier Information

Teacup puppies suffer the added problems of poor bone health. Not just in the skull, but throughout the body. This means that they are more prone to fractures if they fall or are injured.

Teacup Yorkie - A Guide To The World's Smallest Dog (3)

Teacup Dogs Mental Health

A number of studies show mental or psychological health in dogs is linked to size. Psychology Today has produced an interesting report on this topic. Being a small dog in a big world is probably quite stressful, so it is perhaps not surprising that tiny dogs have more than their share of emotional problems.

Caring for a Teacup Yorkie

Before you decide to go ahead and bring home a teacup Yorkie, you should think about what’s involved in caring for such a tiny dog.

Because your puppy’s bones are fragile, it’s vital that he doesn’t fall or get stepped on. You’ll need to prevent him from jumping on and off of high (to him) surfaces or playing with small children.

You’ll also need to be sure that you or someone else is around to feed him frequently. Hourly is not too often for some tiny dogs.They are not able to process enough food to keep their blood-sugar level stable unless they are fed often.

You’ll also need to accept that your tiny friend may be difficult, if not impossible, to house train.Bladder problems such as incontinence are common in teacup dogs, and it is hard to potty train a dog with such a tiny bladder.

Teacup Yorkie Breeders

Earlier, poor breeding practices were mentioned as a contributing factor in teacup dog health issues. The reason is simple. To get a smaller than average dog, you have to breed smaller than average dogs. And in many cases, the smallest dog in a litter is less healthy than its larger littermates.

Instead of selecting dogs that will make the healthiest parents, some breeders select the smallest dogs without regard for health problems they might be inflicting on the next generation. The reason, of course, is money.

In pursuit of the tiniest puppies to sell to those clamoring for teacup dogs, some breeders disregard health and think only of themoney the puppies will bring fetch. Which brings us to cost.

Teacup Yorkie Price

Reputable breeders are not willing to compromise the health of their Yorkshire Terriers in order to satisfy the demand for tiny dogs. And demand is unfortunately high.

That means teacup puppy breeders can charge a lot of money for their pups. Some teacup puppy websites offer financing to encourage buyers to dip into their wallets and make a purchase. There’s a reason for that.

You can expect to pay upwards of $2,000 for a teacup puppy. And that’s before you start forking out for the vet bills. But wait! Surely there’s a way to find a healthy teacup puppy?

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Teacup Yorkie - A Guide To The World's Smallest Dog (4)

Finding a Healthy Teacup Puppy

Many of the above problems occur to some extent already in toy breeds. Buying a puppy that is even smaller increases the risk of them happening to your dog. Finding a healthy teacup puppy is a challenge. One that many veterinary experts would describe as impossible. We don’t yet have the means to miniaturize a truly perfect dog.

When discussing tiny dogs, Marty Becker, DVM advises against buying “the tiniest of the tiny or any small dog before it is old enough.” He also notes that “reputable breeders usually won’t let small-breed puppies go until they’re 12 weeks old.”

Ultimately, the truth is that if you want a miniature dog, you are going to have to accept that it will also be a less healthy dog. And a less healthy dog can bring risk and heartache.

If after reading this, you still want a teacup Yorkie to love, consider a Yorkie rescue organization. It’s a way to give a dog a home without contributing to the demand for teacup puppies.

There are many rescue organizations around the country with all sizes of Yorkies in need of good homes. And adopting costs far less than buying a puppy.

Teacup Yorkies

We all want the best for our dogs, and for that reason, we hope that you will compromise and opt for a slightly bigger version of your dream. Tiny dogs are incredibly appealing. If you find yourself longing for a teacup Yorkie, your feelings are natural and human. You may even feel that you are rescuing this little scrap of life.

But tiny teacup dogs face many problems and every time a teacup puppy is purchased, a breeder creates more teacup puppies to meet the demand. Most qualified veterinarians advise against buying these tiny puppies for that reason.

Many puppy buyers are simply not aware that miniaturizing a dog can be harmful. We hope that this guide will help raise awareness of the problems caused by trying to breed ever smaller dogs.

We know that this information may make some people sad and disappointed, but it’s important to be informed about the reality of teacup breeding. The risks and challenges of being a teacup Yorkie owner are clear. To summarize, they include:

  • accidents – the risks to your dog of being tiny in a busy human world
  • sickness – the multiple inherent health problems caused by miniaturization and bad breeding
  • special care – including frequent feeding, potty training problems, and preventing accidental injury
  • poor nutrition and care before purchase – the risks to your puppy of being raised by a breeder unconcerned by the problems they are causing and motivated purely by money.

A puppy is a long-term commitment and should bring joy to the family that he joins. The way to achieve that is to purchase a healthy puppy from healthy parents. That puppy will be bred by a compassionate and knowledgeable person who puts the welfare of their dogs above profit.

Fortunately, there are many small dog breeds that are relatively healthy and robust and can make great family pets. You can discover more about finding the right puppy for your family in our puppy search series.

(Video) The World's Smallest Dog: Tiny Dog Terrier

Find Out More About Yorkies

  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Naming your Yorkie puppy
  • How much do Yorkies cost?



Teacup Yorkie - A Guide To The World's Smallest Dog? ›

Teacup Yorkie – The World's Smallest Dog. The Teacup Yorkie is tiny, fluffy and surprisingly confident. These cute mini Yorkies are simply a Yorkshire Terrier who has been bred to be significantly smaller than normal. Teacup Yorkshire Terriers usually weigh between 2 and 4 pounds, but can weigh up to 7.

How big will a teacup Yorkie get? ›

Tiny teacup Yorkies will generally be only 1 to just under 3 pounds when fully grown. With this being said, this is not an official breed... And it is not a variation of the Yorkshire Terrier. Yet, these smaller than average dogs do exist.

Is there a such thing as a teacup Yorkie? ›

Some breeders only sell Yorkies that are under 4 pounds as Teacup Yorkies. Because there is no official teacup version of this breed, it can significantly vary from one breeder to another. The expected height is no more than 5-7 inches in most cases. The Yorkies can come in any of the normal colorations.

Are teacup Yorkies loud? ›

Teacup Yorkies make adorable sounds and even their bark isn't that loud. The problem is that they may be just as big a fan of their voice as you are. Though not too loud or annoying, barking is quite a common behavior in Teacup Yorkies.

Does a teacup Yorkie stay small? ›

Breeding Teacups

The runt usually grows up to be smaller than its siblings. However, some breeders will take these runts and intentionally breed them in order to produce even smaller puppies. Unethical breeders even starve their puppies to ensure they do not get enough nutrition in order to make sure they stay small.

How long do teacup dogs live? ›

How long do teacup dog breeds live? It depends on the breed, but the average life span for a teacup dog is nine to 15 years. How do they make teacup dogs? Teacup dogs have been created by intentionally breeding the runts of the litter, making a smaller and smaller dog.

How long can a Yorkie be left alone? ›

Adult Yorkies that are at least a year and a half old can be left alone for four to six hours a day. Senior Yorkies can be home alone for about two to six hours a day, depending on their health. A Yorkie should have learned to sleep while you're working and shouldn't become distressed by this time.

What do teacup Yorkies look like full grown? ›

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.

Are teacup Yorkies smart? ›

According to canine psychologist Stanley Coren, Yorkies are “above-average intelligent” dogs. In fact, they're ranked the 34th smartest dog breed out of 138 qualifying breeds. Even so, the Yorkie's true intelligence comes from their ability to understand human emotions and communicate effectively.

What should teacup Yorkies eat? ›

Real meat, poultry, or fish as the first ingredient (ideally two of the first three) Plenty of animal-based fat for energy (ideally 18% to 22% crude fat) Limited content of digestible carbohydrates (whole grains and low-starch veggies) Natural sources for key vitamins and minerals (fresh fruits and veggies)

Do Yorkies like to sleep with you? ›

Many Yorkies sleep in tandem with their owners. They have learned to train their bodies to shadow their human's schedule. Therefore, it is common for a Yorkshire Terrier to wake up just at just about the same time as people do.

How often should you bathe a teacup Yorkie? ›

As a general rule, you should bathe your Yorkie around every 2-3 weeks. It's okay to bathe your Yorkie weekly but this usually isn't necessary. Yorkies with long hair may need to be bathed more often than pups with short hair.

Do Yorkies like to be held? ›

The short answer is NO, Yorkies generally do NOT like to be held or hugged. Whether you have a small dog like a Yorkie or a big dog like a Weimaraner, dogs typically do NOT welcome hugs.

Are teacup Yorkies easy to train? ›

While teacup Yorkies are easy to control because of their small size, they aren't easy to train if you want to teach them good behavior. They can be willful and they are natural barkers, and these are hard things to change.

How much exercise does a teacup Yorkie need? ›

Although Yorkshire Terriers come from the Toy family, they need a lot of exercise for a dog of that size. Around 45 minutes of proper daily exercise will keep your furry friend stimulated physically and mentally. Whether you decide to do this through games, walks, or both is up to you.

What is the difference between a Yorkie and a teacup Yorkie? ›

Although some Yorkie fans may give these little guys aliases like teacup, toy or micro, there is no breed distinction -- a teacup Yorkie is simply a label given to a small Yorkie. These Yorkies may be underweight due to selective breeding or health issues, or they may just be the smallest of their litter.

Can teacup dogs get pregnant? ›

Breeding teacup puppies is extremely dangerous for the puppies and the mother. Because the mother is so small, she can only give birth to a few puppies, and there are often birth complications.

What is the cheapest teacup dog? ›

Teacup Puppy Prices
  • Yorkshire Terrier ($4,500 to $10,000)
  • Chihuahua ($3,000 to $7,000)
  • Poodle ($5,000 to $6,800)
  • Maltese ($3,000 to $6,000)
  • Pug ($1,900 to $6,000)
  • Shih-Tzu ($3,500 to $9,000)
  • Silky Terrier ($1,800 to $5,600)
  • Japanese Chin ($1,500 to $2,500)
Feb 4, 2021

What is the difference between a pocket size and teacup Yorkie? ›

There is no breed-specific difference between a teacup Yorkie and a toy Yorkie. Although some Yorkie fans may give these little guys aliases like teacup, toy or micro, there is no breed distinction -- a teacup Yorkie is simply a label given to a small Yorkie.

What is the difference between teacup Yorkie and regular Yorkie? ›

Yorkie size comparisons is the difference. Yorkies are in the toy group, but the AKC does not recognize "teacups." No breeds such as "teacup," "micro," or "mini" Yorkshire terriers exist formally according to breeder guidelines.

At what age is a Yorkie no longer a puppy? ›

1 year: Adult. While a Yorkshire Terrier is officially an adult at the 1 year mark, years 1 to 4, he will be a 'young adult'. From years 4 to 8, he will be simply an 'adult'.

How can you tell how big a Yorkie will get? ›

Take their weight at three months old, double it, and then add a half-pound. The formula looks like this: (Puppy weight at 12 weeks x 2) + . 5 = Estimated adult Yorkie size in lbs.

What do teacup Yorkies look like full grown? ›

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.

Are teacup Yorkies smart? ›

According to canine psychologist Stanley Coren, Yorkies are “above-average intelligent” dogs. In fact, they're ranked the 34th smartest dog breed out of 138 qualifying breeds. Even so, the Yorkie's true intelligence comes from their ability to understand human emotions and communicate effectively.

How much food should a teacup Yorkie eat? ›

In general, a Yorkshire Terrier eats 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup daily. Puppies require 3 to 4 meals daily, and an adult dog should eat twice daily.


1. Tiniest Dog - Lucy | World's Smallest Pets
(Nat Geo WILD)
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3. How and Where to Find a FREE Yorkie and Teacup Yorkie?
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4. How Big can Teacup Yorkies Grow? A Detailed video on Teacup Yorkies
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5. 6 Best Small Dog Carriers for your Yorkshire Terrier
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6. Top 10 Worlds Smallest Dog Breeds
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