Teacup Chihuahua

Canis lupus

Last updated: January 12, 2023
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Rebekah Zemansky/Shutterstock.com

Teacup Chihuahuas are not a separate breed but result from breeding the smallest pups from litters.

Teacup Chihuahua Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Teacup Chihuahua Conservation Status

Teacup Chihuahua Locations

Teacup Chihuahua Locations

Teacup Chihuahua Facts

Name Of Young
Puppy
Group Behavior
  • Pack
Fun Fact
Teacup Chihuahuas are not a separate breed but result from breeding the smallest pups from litters.
Most Distinctive Feature
Its diminutive size.
Gestation Period
63 days.
Temperament
Frisky, curious, and loyal.
Diet
Omnivore
Lifestyle
  • Pack
Common Name
Chihuahua
Origin
Mexico
Location
Mexico
Group
Toy

Teacup Chihuahua Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Brown
  • Black
  • White
  • Gold
  • Tan
Skin Type
Hair
Lifespan
12-15 years
Weight
1-4 pounds.
Height
Up to 6 inches.
Aggression
Medium

Teacup Chihuahua as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Moderate
Separation Anxiety
High
Preferred Temperature
Warm climate
Exercise Needs
Low
Friendly With Other Dogs
Moderate
Pure bred cost to own
Starting at $500 from a reputable breeder.
Dog group
Toy
Male weight
1-4 lbs
Female weight
1-4 lbs

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Chihuahuas are enthusiastic and friendly dogs that originated some time ago in Mexico. Though they are wary of strangers, they are loyal and loving dogs that deal well with children if they know them. Though the breed was rediscovered there in the 19th century, today’s dog does not entirely share the bloodlines of the dogs that were before that time. The dog is named after the Chihuahua region of Mexico.

The teacup variety is just a smaller version of the well-known dog. Breeders have spent time breeding from smaller litter members because people seem to prefer the smaller versions. This, however, does not make the teacup Chihuahua a different breed. Also, none of the world’s kennel clubs include the teacup as a separate breed.

Teacup Chihuahua Fun Fact

Teacup Chihuahuas are not a separate breed but result from breeding the smallest pups from litters.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Teacup Chihuahua 

Pros!Cons!
Though it can be suspicious of strangers, the teacup Chihuahua can be an amiable dog to those it trusts.Breeding for smaller sizes can cause health conditions.
The Chihuahua is typically vigilant and aware of its surroundings.Smaller dogs are also more fragile and susceptible to injury.
It is loving, faithful, and happy to be with its owner, needing no particular task apart from tagging along.As a small dog, the teacup Chihuahua can have “small dog syndrome.” It is also suspicious of strangers and other dogs.

The Best Dog Food For Teacup Chihuahuas

Tiny dogs like the teacup Chihuahua have little stomachs and fast metabolisms. They need either multiple small feedings throughout the day or access to kibble all day long. Their tiny mouths also require wet dog food or little kibble pieces. We at A-Z Animals recommend Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Chicken.

Teacup Chihuahua Size and Weight

Because it is not a separate breed but a size designation, the teacup Chihuahua is identified subjectively by its size. In general, it is approximately:

Height (Male):Up to 6 inches
Height (Female):Up to 6 inches
Weight (Male):Up to 4 pounds
Weight (Female):Up to 4 pounds

Teacup Chihuahua Common Health Issues

The teacup Chihuahua has the potential for the same health issues which impact full-size Chihuahuas and other dogs. There is the potential for epilepsy, patellar luxation (kneecap issues), heart disease, eye diseases, and hydrocephalus (the accumulation of fluid on the brain.) The Chihuahua is also known to be prone to dental issues.

Additionally, the teacup Chihuahua is prone to low blood sugar issues due to its small size. Sometimes, the skull doesn’t close entirely after birth, exposing it to potential head trauma. It is also more likely to sustain injuries because of its fragility.

Teacup Chihuahua Temperament

Though small, the teacup Chihuahua can be energetic, playful, and spunky. It loves its family and owner and bonds intensely with those in its circle. The teacup Chihuahua is intelligent, adaptable, and trainable. It is delighted to be included in whatever the family is doing and is good with children, though not so much with strangers. It takes a while for it to warm up to people, which is why it can perform well as a watchdog.

How To Take Care of Teacup Chihuahuas  

Teacup Chihuahua Maintenance And Grooming

The level of care for the teacup Chihuahua depends on the style of its coat. Short-coated Chihuahuas need infrequent brushing and bathing as needed. Longer-coated Chihuahuas require weekly brushing and more frequent bathing.

The most crucial element of grooming is taking care of the dog’s teeth. The Chihuahua tends to have dental problems, so you must clean the teeth at least 2-3 times a week. Dental care should also be a priority of regular veterinary and grooming visits.

Also, check the ears regularly for wax buildup, debris, injuries, and mites. Clip the nails regularly with clippers or grinders.

Teacup Chihuahua Training

Like their larger namesakes, Teacup Chihuahuas are playful and frisky, but they are also intelligent and trainable. They want to please their owners and will take direction happily. They are physically and temperamentally fragile, though, and respond best to positive reinforcement; the owner must be firm but gentle. Additionally, smaller dogs will overstep boundaries if not firmly established. A pampered teacup Chihuahua can be nippy, temperamental, and even aggressive.

Teacup Chihuahua Exercise

These smaller Chihuahuas don’t have high exercise requirements. Thirty minutes of walking each day will be enough to satisfy their needs. Additional playtime is fine, too. Just don’t push them too hard. Their fragile frames do not handle intense activity very well, and their tendency towards low blood sugar can be exacerbated with too much activity. Finally, their short coats also mean they can’t handle cold very well.

Teacup Chihuahua Puppies 

As with all dogs, the puppy’s immunizations must begin as soon as safely possible and remain up to date. Their tendency to display “small dog syndrome” and wariness towards strangers requires they begin socialization as soon as possible after vaccinations, so expose them to as many people, dogs, and new situations as possible.

Teacup Chihuahuas And Children

Teacup Chihuahuas do well with children, especially if the dog is properly socialized. Still, the dog may be at risk from small children or children who are too rambunctious around dogs. Children who interact with the teacup Chihuahua should be instructed on how to properly and safely handle a dog. Some experts recommend that a teacup Chihuahua not be introduced into a house with young children due to their small frames.

Dogs Similar to Teacup Chihuahuas

Miniature Pinscher: The miniature Pinscher shares some similarities with the teacup Chihuahua. A toy breed, the miniature Pincher has a vaguely similar appearance to the teacup Chihuahua, though it doesn’t have the latter’s apple-shaped head. The miniature Pinscher is also very energetic and playful, like the Chihuahua.

Pug: The Pug is a smaller breed, like the Chihuahua, which shares its lovability and outgoing personality.

Xoloitzcuintli: The Xoloitzcuintli is another Mexican breed and the only one other than the Chihuahua, which still has pre-colonial DNA in its makeup.

Famous Teacup Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas, whether teacup or otherwise, have made numerous appearances in popular media and culture in recent years. Here are just a few.

  • Who could forget the Taco Bell Chihuahua from the 1990s? Gidget (a female) was known for the voiceover line “Yo Quiero Taco Bell.” She passed away in 2009.
  • Gidget had a roommate for a time who moved on to bigger things. Moonie, who passed away in 2016, starred as Reese Witherspoon’s faithful companion in “Legally Blonde.”
  • Finally, Paris Hilton was rarely seen without her beloved Tinkerbelle on the set of “The Simple Life.” Sadly, Tinkerbelle passed away in 2015. Since then, Ms. Hilton has been seen with her new Chihuahua, Diamond Baby, purchased in 2016.

Popular Names for Teacup Chihuahuas

  • Bruno
  • Chico
  • Coco
  • Zorro
  • Papi
  • Bella
  • Paris
  • Daisy
  • Misty
  • Coffee

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About the Author

After 22 years as a reference and teen librarian, I am now a freelance writer and novelist based in Cincinnati. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, photography, woodworking, listening to classic rock, and watching classic films--my favorite animal is a six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey.

Teacup Chihuahua FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How big will a teacup chihuahua get?

The teacup Chihuahua will top out at 4 pounds and a height of 6 inches. Of course, these are somewhat arbitrary, as there is no standard for teacups.

How much does a teacup chihuahua cost?

A reputable breeder will charge prices beginning at $500.

Is a teacup chihuahua a good pet?

Teacup Chihuahuas are good pets for families without young children. Owners need to be willing to take the extra care this fragile pet requires, as well as to train it appropriately to avoid aggressive behavior.

Are teacup chihuahuas aggressive?

Like many small dogs, teacup Chihuahuas can become aggressive if trained or handled inappropriately. They should be trained with a firm yet gentle hand, setting boundaries and discouraging alpha behavior.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. A-Z Animals, Available here: https://a-z-animals.com/animals/chihuahua/
  2. A-Z Animals, Available here: https://a-z-animals.com/reviews/best-dog-food-for-chihuahuas/
  3. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chihuahua_(dog)
  4. Chihuahua Club of America, Available here: https://chihuahuaclubofamerica.org/chihuahua-breed-standard/teacup-statement/
  5. Dog Pregnancy Calendar, Available here: https://dogpregnancycalendar.com/chihuahua-pregnancy-week-by-week-calendar/

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