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10 Adorable Teacup Dog Breeds (with Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

teacup chihuahua

Teacup dogs elicit an automatic response from almost everyone: “Aw!” They are adorable and known for their Hollywood photoshoots with their little faces sticking out of a celebrity’s purse. However, they require more care and health checkups than other dogs do, and they are quite delicate, especially since most people think dogs are robust and hardy.

These little dogs stay the same size for their whole lives. If you have your heart set on one of these cute, cuddly creatures, look at our list. It includes popular breeds and those officially recognized as teacup breeds. Here are the 10 teacup dog breeds you’ll want to see!

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What Qualifies a Teacup Dog?

Did you know that merely being a tiny dog does not mean that they are a teacup breed? There are specific qualifications that they should meet. Note that there is not currently an official classification system for qualifying a pup as a teacup dog. However, the following guidelines should help clear up any questions about the breed, though.

Teacup Maltese
Image credit: Pikrepo


Teacup dogs should be small enough to fit into a teacup, theoretically. Typically, that is when they are born, but they typically do not get much larger than that even when grown. It is generally accepted that these little dogs weigh 4 pounds or less.


A teacup pup doesn’t grow much in their life. Part of the reason for their existence is for people to have a dog that looks like a puppy even as an adult. They should not grow to be over 17 inches tall as adults.

There are not many dogs that fall under these categories. Some breeders do try to make other small breeds even smaller by selective breeding or hybridizing. However, this can be dangerous because such tiny dogs can develop big health issues.

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The 10 Teacup Dog Breeds:

1.  Teacup Pomeranian

Teacup pomeranian
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

Pomeranians are one of the most popular tiny pups that qualify as teacup dogs. Interestingly, they were not originally bred to fit in your purse. Instead, these feisty dogs were meant for work, pulling sleds and herding.

That was many years ago, and since then, these dogs have been bred to get smaller and smaller. Now, they stay under 7 inches in height and under 7 pounds at their heaviest. They can be bred to be teacup size, a.k.a. under 4 pounds.

A Pomeranian is the kind of dog that you want if you are looking for teacup small fluffy dogs with large personalities. They come in a range of tans and blondes typically and can be extremely vocal.

2.  Teacup Poodle

teacup poodle
Image Credit: Annette Shaff, Shutterstock

Poodles are traditionally big dogs with a great deal of spunk. Due to their increasing popularity that extends many decades, they now come in three different sizes. These include standard, miniature, and toy. Toy Poodles are generally regarded as teacup-sized dogs but can be bred even smaller to fit the bill.

Poodles are a highly intelligent breed. They are even more popular because they are hypoallergenic. Their low-shedding and curly, dense coats make them especially appealing to anyone who has allergies or prefers a clean house.

Toy poodles average under 10 inches and 6 pounds. This is a far cry from their standard counterparts, which weigh between 45 to 70 pounds.

3.  Teacup Chihuahua

teacup chihuahua
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

Chihuahuas naturally takes the cake when it comes to a teacup breed. There has not been much work done to size these dogs down much further than they already are. Famously being toted around in celebrity purses and hosting commercials, these little dogs are known worldwide as representatives of tiny pups.

Chihuahuas are not only one of the naturally smallest dogs around the globe, but they are also one of the originators of small dog syndrome. If you don’t work with them to be the best teacup-sized dog that they can be, they will be vocal and somewhat aggressive.

These dogs are alert and loving to their families. They consistently stand under 5 inches tall and weigh under 6 pounds, officially qualifying them as a teacup breed.

4.  Teacup Maltese

teacup maltese
Image Credit: Andi Berger, Shutterstock

Maltese are one of the world’s earliest breeds. They are thought to have originated almost 3,000 years ago and were considered royalty for hundreds of years. These adorable balls of white fluff are mostly made for cuddling. They are low-energy and low-maintenance pups that mostly require your undivided petting attention.

They are hypoallergenic, having long hair instead of typical dog fur. Although they don’t require much in terms of exercise, they might when it comes to training. They can be vocal and suffer from separation anxiety, resulting in destruction.

A Maltese is typically under 7 inches and 7 pounds. The teacup variety is bred to be even smaller, seemingly staying their cute puppy selves forever.

5.  Teacup Yorkie

black and tan yorkie
Image credit: Peakpx

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies for short, are a popular dog at any size. They weigh under 7 pounds, normally closer to 2 or 3. Yorkies have grey, tan, and cream patches all over their bodies in a ragtag fluff kind of way. They are always on the alert and will bark at anything if left to their own devices.

Yorkies are renowned for their confidence and their character. The pup’s fearlessness can get them into danger with much larger dogs and other animals. They need someone to look out for them and keep them safe.

6.  Teacup Shih Tzu

teacup shih tzu
Image Credit: Victoria Kovelina, shutterstock

A teacup Shih Tzu is much more laidback than some of the other dogs featured on this list. They have long hair that needs consistent brushing to stay out of their eyes and plenty of face washes. However, you probably won’t need as much focus on no-barking lessons, since they don’t see the point.

These dogs are divas, knowing that they are cute and should be smothered with love. They are athletic, although the teacup version should still be treated with care. Typically, Shih Tzus are under 9 inches in height and 9 pounds in weight. However, their teacup version is generally half of that.

7.  Teacup Russian Toy

russian toy dog
Image credit: dien, Shutterstock

The Russian Toy is a relatively new breed recognized by the AKC, only being made official in 2008. They are naturally one of the smallest dog breeds on the planet. They only weigh 3-6 pounds and are just about that tall in inches.

These tiny dogs didn’t make it to American shores for many years. However, their ancestry dates back to the early 18th century. During that time, they were popular for the Russian aristocracy as the perfect lap dog.

The breed’s look has shifted since then, most notably around their ears. Now, they look reminiscent of the Papillon, with shorter hair on their bodies and long hair sprouting from their pointed ears.

8.  Teacup Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin
Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin is another representative from around the world. The name of these dogs is deceiving because they actually originate from China. According to current records, they are another ancient breed like the Maltese, dating back to around 520 A.D.

These pups went from the particular favorites of the Chinese nobility to being a gift to the Japanese. It was here that they grew in favor and began to spread across the world, hence the relation.

The breed’s standard size weighs in at only 7-11 pounds, while the teacup pups are bred to be 4 pounds or less.

9.  Teacup Papillon

Image credit: Fayzulin Serg, Shutterstock

Papillon is an elegant dog belonging to the Spaniel family. They are one of the oldest spaniels on top of being one of the smallest. Their name is French for the word “butterfly.” It comes from the hair that grows like wings on their ears and frames their adorable, button-nosed faces.

The Papillon is an energetic breed that naturally stands only 8-11 inches high from the shoulder. They weigh between 6-8 pounds, but their teacup sizes are closer to 4. Owning a Papillon as a teacup size is akin to having a tiny butterfly with the devoted personality of a dog.


10. Teacup Boston Terrier 

teacup boston terrier
Image Credit: Dusan Petkovic, Shutterstock

With the same cheerful and lively attitude of the larger Boston Terrier, the teacup version offers an bite-sized pup that will require only a fraction of the exercise. Appearing fairly brawning in comparison to other teacup breeds, be aware they are just as fragile!

Teacup Boston Terriers are quite versatile – they are friendly with other pets, get along well with children, and are equal parts fun and snuggly. This well mannered pup weighs in about 12 pounds fully grown and reaches only 15 inches in height.

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Caring for Teacup Breeds

With as small of a being as a teacup dog, you need to practice utmost care. They are extremely fragile and should be treated carefully for their entire lives.

Tiny dog means tiny organs. They typically have less control over their bladder and will need to be taken outside much more frequently.

Small dogs are prone to illnesses specifically related to their size. They should be taken to the veterinarian for consistent checkups and observed for changes in their overall disposition. They will react quickly if something is wrong because their systems are not as robust as larger breeds.

Watch out for hypoglycemia, chronic low blood sugar, and joint problems in little dogs. Keep them away from anything toxic, since even very small amounts can have lasting, detrimental, and even fatal effects.

Teacup dogs make wonderful pets for people who live in apartments or need a low-maintenance dog in terms of activity. Their little legs mean that short walks tire them out, so be careful not to push them too hard. Give them plenty of cuddles and careful attention, and you are bound to have a tiny companion who will love you for good.

Featured Image Credit: Pikrepo

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