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Teacup Chihuahua Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Emma Braby Profile Picture

By Emma Braby

Tea cup Chihuahua

Height: 4–6 inches
Weight: 2–4 pounds
Lifespan: 7–12 years
Colors: Black, tan, chocolate, fawn, red, cream
Suitable for: Those looking for companionship, apartment living, families with older children, single-pet households
Temperament: Loving, gentle, loyal, fun, feisty, stubborn

The Chihuahua is the smallest dog in the world. And the human race’s fascination with miniature things has led to the creation of an even smaller dog, the Teacup Chihuahua. Although the Teacup Chihuahua isn’t a breed in his own right, he is much tinier than a standard Chihuahua.

The Teacup Chihuahua is still a purebred Chihuahua, but his parents are purposefully chosen for their tiny stature. The Chihuahua is already a demanding pooch, but with his teacup-sized body comes a bunch of new challenges. So, if you are thinking about getting one of these mini pups, this guide is a must-read.

We will run you through everything you need to know about his personality, intelligence, and his cost. We’ll also talk you through his food, exercise, and grooming needs. A big part of this guide will also discuss the health concerns of the Teacup Chihuahua because, unfortunately, he has to contend with a few.

With that being said, he makes a great companion for those who adore the miniature version of this dog breed. So, let’s see if the Teacup Chihuahua is your cup of tea.

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Teacup Chihuahua Puppies


If you are a teacup dog fan, you will have heard a lot about the controversy surrounding them, and the Teacup Chihuahua is no exception. Unfortunately for everyone involved, this controversy is more accurate than not. It’s not all doom and gloom, though, but you still need to fully understand it before you commit to getting one of these guys.

To create a Teacup Chihuahua, breeders select the smallest possible Chihuahuas, and this typically means the runts of the litter. Runts aren’t always unhealthy, but a lot of them are. Unethical breeders will select abnormally small runt puppies, meaning that they are unhealthy, and breed them. So, when you breed two unusually small runts together, their puppies stand no chance of a healthy life.

But, there are ethical teacup breeders out there. Some say that those who put “teacup” in front of a dog breed are unethical, but this isn’t always true. There are some good Teacup Chihuahua breeders out there, and we’ll explain this in the puppy section. When it comes to Teacup Chihuahuas, there is hope, but getting a healthy one comes at a BIG cost!

A Teacup Chihuahua is an expensive dog to buy, and it is also costly to keep. He will need extra tiny equipment and clothes, usually only available from high-end suppliers or specialist shops. And he is expensive in terms of medical bills and insurance. If you haven’t got a steady flow of expendable income, the Teacup Chihuahua is not an option for you.

Being the size of a teacup means that he is delicate. So delicate that the slightest bit of pressure could result in a bone break or worse. So, he needs to live with a family with older children who know precisely how delicate he is. Young children will treat him like a toy, and this is a big no.

For the same reason, he should also be the only dog in the home, because a play fight or paw swipe could be too much for him. Unless, of course, you have another teacup pooch, and this will probably be okay. All in all, you need to be a considerate family who will keep an eye on him, and his needs are comparable to a newborn baby—constant and demanding.

If you think you sound like a good match so far, he is definitely worth the extra effort and time.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Teacup Chihuahua

1. The Teacup Chihuahua needs constant supervision

This is no exaggeration, he really does. You can’t leave him in the yard unattended because an eagle might swipe him up for dinner, or a cat might think he is a tiny rodent that’s up for grabs. It has happened, so please don’t turn your back on him.

2. The Teacup Chihuahua is a new take on a previously downsized canine

Although we have always been fascinated with small things, teacup dogs have only become popular in the last few decades. To give you a bit of a history lesson, the Chihuahua dates back thousands of years ago. The Toltec’s favorite breed was a Techichi, which is now extinct. When the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs in the 12th Century, they took the Techichi and created a smaller version because they preferred small dogs. So you could say the Chihuahua was the first miniaturized breed.

3. The Teacup Chihuahua is a fussy eater

The Teacup Chihuahua knows what he likes and what he doesn’t when it comes to eating. You’ll probably find yourself spending a lot of time preparing his gourmet meals. He can struggle to eat hard kibble pieces, and low-sodium chicken broth is the secret to making his kibble more appealing.


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Temperament & Intelligence of the Teacup Chihuahua 🧠

The Teacup Chihuahua is ultimately the same as a standard-sized Chihuahua, so you can expect that his personality is the same. All Chihuahuas are sassy and graceful, but don’t let that fool you, because he can also be super feisty. There’s a lot of personality packed into his teacup body, and he is not meek or mild in any way.

He is very confident and bubbly and loves to be the center of attention. He will entertain you for hours on end, and because of his little spindly legs, he can be clumsy. As long as you know how to play with him, he is a happy pooch who loves to have fun.

Because his tiny body doesn’t have a lot of battery power, he will need snoozes regularly in between playtime sessions. Meaning that he is an excellent canine to have if you work from home because you’ll get a few hours of work time while this sassy pooch snoozes. Equally, if you just want to chill on the couch, he’ll sit perfectly on your lap. Just don’t fall asleep on him!

Although the Teacup Chihuahua has a teeny tiny skull, he is still a brain-box who is full of intelligence. If it weren’t for his stubborn nature, he would be easily trainable and obedient. Those that know Chihuahuas know that they are super stubborn, but this is part of his charm.

Intelligent dogs need mental stimulation throughout the day to keep their active mind ticking. Without it, the Teacup Chihuahua can become bored and frustrated, which leads to behavioral concerns. So, invest in plenty of toys and brain games to keep him busy.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Teacup Chihuahua makes an excellent family pet for the right family, but not all families. He needs to live with a family that has older children who understand that he is not a toy to be mishandled. A family with younger children is not suitable, and quite frankly, it isn’t worth the risk.

He also needs to live with a family that can spend most, if not all, of their time with him. He will become anxious if left alone for too long. He cannot be left alone in the yard, and he shouldn’t have access to the staircase or anything of great height, because he has a long way to go before he hits the ground. Investing in bed and sofa ramps means he can travel around the home safely and more comfortably.

He also makes an excellent little watchdog who will let you know when there is someone or something around. If he feels that his family is in danger, he will stand proud and courageous against all that threatens his human pack. If you aren’t seeking a watchdog or a dog that doesn’t bark as much, this guy isn’t going to be a good fit for your family.

mini chihuahua
Image Credit: KSunshineV, Pixabay

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?🐶 😽

As long as the Teacup Chihuahua is socialized well, he will get along with other dogs. With that being said, his tiny size means that he isn’t suited to a household with other pets. This is because they might be too boisterous for him, and he will easily injure himself. If, however, you have a house full of teacups, he will be able to hold his own.

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Things to Know When Owning a Teacup Chihuahua:

If you think that the Teacup Chihuahua still sounds like a good match for you, read on to learn about his other day-to-day needs.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴 

Just like any dog breed, the Teacup Chihuahua should eat a high-quality kibble that provides a well-balanced diet. The most important thing to remember here is that you can’t just buy any old kibble. Instead, you will need to purchase one that is designed for extra small or toy breeds otherwise, the kibble pieces will be too big for his mouth.

Instead of eating two or three meals a day, he will need to eat a minimum of four meals a day. All small dogs are more at risk of suffering from hypoglycemia, which is when their bodies find it difficult to maintain blood sugar levels. And so an even tinier pooch like the Teacup Chihuahua really struggles. It’s essential to learn everything there is to know about hypoglycemia and look out for the symptoms.

Exercise 🐕 

The Teacup Chihuahua is not going to need a lot of exercise. A few strolls around the block every day so that he can stretch his legs, have a sniff, and do his doggy business will be plenty. The rest of his exercise will come from playing in the yard or at home with his family.

When exercising him, always be sure to keep him on a leash, just because you never know how other animals or children will react around a canine so small. And watch out for birds of prey or felines on the lookout. His leash should be attached to a body harness and not a collar because he is at risk of tracheal collapse.

Training 🦮 

The Teacup Chihuahua is just as stubborn as his Chihuahua parent—full of sassy attitude. This guy does as he pleases, and unfortunately, he gets away with it because he is so cute. But do not allow him to, otherwise, he will develop what is known as “little dog syndrome”. Be strict with him as you would be with any other dog, and install basic ground rules as soon as you get him home.

Tiny chihuahua
Image Credit: PAWSS, Pixabay

Everything about the Teacup Chihuahua comes in miniature, and that includes his bladder. For this reason, he cannot go too long without a toilet break, and housetraining can take much longer than the average pooch. Again, this is another reason why his family needs to be with him for most of the day. Unless you look at getting a doggy litter tray (because why should cats have all the fun?).

Grooming ✂️

The Teacup Chihuahua can sport a short-haired coat or a long-haired one. If he has a short coat, a brush once a week will be plenty to make sure that his jacket stays in tip-top condition. If he has a longer coat, you should brush him two or three times a week to ensure his longer feathering fur does not become matted.

You must brush his teeth at least once a week with specially designed doggy toothpaste. Small dogs have compacted mouths, and they are much more likely to suffer from periodontal diseases. He already has enough health concerns to contend with, so be sure to keep on top of these simple grooming habits.

Health Conditions ❤️

The Teacup Chihuahua is at risk from a variety of health concerns, so let’s take a closer look at them. Be sure to research all of the conditions and make yourself aware of the associated symptoms. A small issue can quickly become a big one inside a Teacup Chihuahua’s body. 

Minor Conditions
  • Pulmonic stenosis
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Heart murmurs
  • Molera
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca
Serious Conditions
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Tracheal collapse
  • Portosystemic shunt

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Male vs Female

With many dog breeds, there can be a noticeable size difference between males and females, with the males being larger. Yes, male Teacup Chihuahuas will tend to be larger. But unless you put them on the scales, you aren’t going to be able to see the difference considering how small they are.

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Final Thoughts on the Teacup Chihuahua

Overall, Teacup Chihuahuas are amazingly cute and affectionate, and they make great companion dogs for the right family. But they also usually come with a lot of expenses and health problems. Although many people adore them, and there are many healthy Teacup Chihuahuas out there, you can never predict what is around the corner.

So, if you are going to get one, you need to work with a reputable breeder who offers some sort of puppy guarantee. Top teacup puppy breeders often provide a 1-year congenital and hereditary disorder guarantee—please work with a breeder that provides this or something similar.

Overall, if you can offer the Teacup Chihuahua everything that he needs, you are in for a delightful treat indeed!

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Featured Image Credit: RaeElizabethPhotography, Shutterstock

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