The Truth About The Teacup Chihuahua

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Teacup Chihuahua also known as Teacups or micro ChihuahuaTeacup Chihuahua is a purebred Chihuahua that falls into the smallest category of this kind, also known as Teacups or micro Chihuahuas. They are the size of a teacup, as the name suggests. A fully grown Teacup Chihuahua can be around 6 inches tall, with an average weight of only 3 pounds.

You need to know what exactly a Teacup Chihuahua is and what’s good and not so good about her before getting such a dog and how do they differ from standard Chihuahuas.

In this article, I’m going to tell you the truth about these tiny tots, so read on to find out about the reality of owning a Teacup Chihuahua.

See also:
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Deer head Chihuahua vs Apple head Chihuahua

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Teacup Chihuahua – myth or reality?


The Teacup Chihuahua (a.k.a micro Chihuahua, mini Chihuahua, and miniature Chihuahua) is, in fact, a mythical dog. She is not a breed, nor a version of the main breed.

The term ‘Teacup Chihuahua’ is just a description or, more precisely, a marketing trick to attract new customers and it refers to those adult Chihuahuas that have smaller dimensions than the standard ones.

Generally, the standards for a Chihuahua’s size are between 4 and 6 pounds (1.8-2.7 kg), but there’s no minimum,as mentioned above Chihuahuas as small as 2 or 3 pounds (0.9 – 1.3 kg) are accepted by the national and international clubs, too. And these miniature Chihuahuas seem to be extremely popular among dog owners.

This new trend has determined many unethical breeders to try to obtain smaller puppies through selective breeding, to sell their new dogs for higher prices.

When getting a miniature Chihuahua, make sure you’re not encouraging these practices as they are damaging for the breed in the long term. You should learn how to recognize a reputable breeder and only buy from someone who fits this profile.

It’s not easy to determine if your Chihuahua puppy will be teacup-sized

No breeder can tell you how large your Chihuahua puppy will be as an adult. Genetics can be tricky when it comes to a Chihuahua’s size, so the puppy you see advertised as a “Teacup Chihuahua” could grow into a 5 or 6-pound dog.

Chihuahua puppies are small and cute, no matter how large their parents are. I think it’s impossible not to fall in love with them:

An easier solution to get a miniature Chihuahua is to get an adult instead of a puppy. When she is one year or over, she will be fully grown, and you can be sure about her dimensions. Check with the animal shelters, veterinarians and rescue groups in your area for a Teacup Chihuahua to adopt.

However, dealing with an adult Chihuahua is harder than starting with a puppy. Mostly because once they grow up, these dogs are stubborn and harder to train, so you’ll need more time to teach your future dog the house rules.

There’s more dog than toy in a Teacup Chihuahua

According to data compiled by Barkpost, Chihuahuas are the second most abandoned dog in the US, after the American Pit Bull Terrier. This is often due to people wanting them as an accessory and not realizing that these dogs have needs like any other breed.

If you’re thinking of getting a Chihuahua, you’ll have a living creature to take care of for the next 15 – 20 years.

What’s more, when you get a Teacup Chihuahua, you should expect a dog with special needs, due to her smaller dimensions. Here are a few things you need to know:


  • Your Teacup Chihuahua needs high-quality food, specially made for small breeds.
  • Measure the daily food intake in calories, to make sure you provide all the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy. As a guideline, a young puppy should eat 55 calories/pound each day, while an adult dog needs 40 calories/pound.


  • Teacup Chihuahuas need less exercise than a standard dog. A 10 – 15 minute-walk twice a day is enough.
  • Keep playing sessions short (no more than 15 minutes) and stimulating.


  • Whether they have long or short coats, these dogs shed, especially in spring.
  • To minimize hair loss, brush your miniature Chihuahua carefully 3-4 times a week.

Keeping her away from cold

  • All Chihuahuas suffer in cold weather, so Teacup Chihuahuas should be dressed well when going outside, especially during winter.
  • These dogs should stay away from rain, too.
  • Maintain a warm temperature inside your home all year.
  • Add an extra blanket in her crate during night time, if she’s shaking or shivering in the morning.

A Teacup Chihuahua is meant to be an only child

These dogs are small and have fragile bones, which makes them prone to injuries. Young children shouldn’t be allowed to play alone with a Chihuahua, because they’re not careful enough. Stepping or sitting on a Teacup Chi that’s hiding under the blanket can easily kill the dog.

Another reason to keep Chihuahuas away from small kids is their temperament. These dogs love to be the center of attention and can easily become jealous of young children and attack them. If you have kids in your house, it’s better to start socialization at the earliest possible opportunity, to get your dog used to people.

…and the only dog, unless it’s of the same kind

Woman with ChihuahuaIt’s also wise if these dogs don’t live with or spend too much time around animals that can cause them injuries or bone fractures. Chihuahuas tend to show aggression towards other animals and even attack larger breeds, which can end badly for a 3-pound dog. For this reason, it’s best if she is the only dog at home.

These dogs seem to prefer others of the same breed, so if you like having more than one dog, getting a second Chihuahua is better for your pet’s comfort and safety. If you already have pets, try to introduce them when she’s still a puppy and always watch your dog when she could get hurt by interacting with other animals.

Chihuahuas are usually what people call a “one-person dog” meaning they tend to bond with one owner more than with the rest of the family. They’re loyal, affectionate and playful, but I find them more suitable for single people that for large families.

Potty training is going to be the true test of your patience

Happy ChihuahuaTeacup Chihuahuas have tiny bladders, which means they need to eliminate often. They also tend to have difficulties in controlling themselves, so potty training is a long process, which sometimes doesn’t bring any results.

The best approach when dealing with such small dogs is to designate a spot inside the home where your dog can eliminate. Paper training can help you keep your house clean without putting too much stress on your little friend.

Many Chihuahuas suffer from submissive urination, caused by their high energy levels and by excitement. Try not to excite too much her or give her praise while she is in this state of mind. For example, when you come home, wait for her to be calm before you greet her.

Small dogs can have big health issues

Usually, Chihuahuas are healthy dogs, but smaller Chihuahuas are more at risk of developing some of the breed’s common medical problems. So, consider the risks before choosing to get such a small and fragile dog.

A Teacup Chihuahua is prone to any of the following medical conditions:

  • Hypoglycemia – common in small dogs, usually caused by a poor diet or by skipping meals;
  • Patellar luxation – also called loose knees, this problem often occurs in Chihuahuas, especially when they have fragile bones;
  • Tracheal collapse;
  • Liver shunt;
  • Eye and skin problems

Before buying a Chihuahua puppy, specialists recommend you ask for an ophthalmologist evaluation, a cardiac exam, and a patella evaluation.

Cuteness comes with a price: Teacup Chihuahuas are expensive dogs

With so many potential owners ready to pay a lot for a small dog, prices are higher for miniature Chihuahuas compared to regular Chihuahuas. And, as stated before, you can’t even know for sure how large your dog is going to grow when you buy a puppy.

While a Chihuahua costs on average between $300 – 500, a Teacup Chihuahua can be as much as $2,000. And this is just the beginning of a long and expensive journey. The first year will cost you at least $ 2,600, in medical exams, vaccinations, accessories and other small expenses.

In the following years, you’ll spend over $2,000 annually. Teacup Chihuahuas need an exercise pen, a safe crate at home, a travelling crate, small toys specially designed for toy dogs, expensive food, clothes and special harnesses to protect them.

Having pet medical insurance can help you reduce expenses. Generally, costs depend on your dog’s age, the type of coverage you choose and the area you live in, and they start from $50/month.


The Teacup Chihuahua is not a separate breed, nor even a breed. She is simply a miniature Chihuahua. She is a dog like any other, who needs a dedicated owner.

As we have seen, we’re talking about a dog with specific needs due to her special size. She does better with a single owner in a household without children and without other pets who aren’t Chihuahuas.

It’s important to look for a reputable breeder, and to bear in mind that, if buying her as a puppy, it is impossible to know what size she will be as an adult.

A Chihuahua, teacup sized or standard, is a long-term commitment and you should consider it seriously before starting this adventure.

What do you think about these teacup dogs? Do you have one or are you planning to get one in the future? Tell us what you know about these dogs in a comment below.

15 replies on “The Truth About The Teacup Chihuahua”

  • Tijuana says:

    I am a chihuahua owner and would not have any other breed. My male is 8 years old weight 10lbs. My female is 2 years old and weight 2.4lbs. Different breeders used however, was advertised as “teacup”

  • Carol says:

    We rescued a four-pound chihuahua ten years ago. The vet said she was between one and two at that time. My husband is retired and with Lexi all day.

    She becomes my baby when I get home from work. She does not like our two grandchildren at all, what you say in your article is totally accurate.

    We are lucky that Lexi has been very healthy, so vet bills have been minimal. We live in a cold climate, and keep Lexi in a warm sweater all winter. She sleeps in our bed and we all have our spots so as not to crush her.

    We hold her most of the time when’s she is not sleeping. We love her to death, but would only recommend this breed of dog for one or two people who can focus their entire life around the dog!

  • Becky J Hurd says:

    I liked your article and found it true. I own 2 small chihuahuas and also have a German Shepherd and it is fine but takes dedication to keep them separated as he u still so large he could easily squash them while playing. They are the best little dogs but are exceedingly fragile.

  • zekida says:

    I had one his name was kujo he was 5 in dog year and he just died. :'(

  • Shawn Cole says:

    I have a long haired teacup chihuahua. My daughter bought her home against my wishes. She instantly took to me and now my dog.

    She has been and is a blessing. I’ve always had Lab’s and still have a 100 lb. yellow Lab that’s her big brother. She has helped me through some medical issues by always being there as Daddy’s dog.

    She sleeps every night with my wife and I. A very productive little dog but also loves people, playing with her bigger brother and walks.

    I never thought I would ever have a little dog, but she had another plan, the day I came from work, got a beer from the frig, sat down to see what my daughter brought home, that little dog ran over, jumped up on the couch, and laid down on my shoulder and looked at me with those beautiful big eyes and that was it.
    Zoey has definitely changed my thinking about little dogs.

  • Wayne says:

    This is a very informative article. Do you have a Spanish version?

  • Connie says:

    I thought the article was great. I have a long hair male he is 10 and I just had lost my 17 year old girl to cancer last December. I wouldn’t have any other breed. I’m looking for another pup but it’s been so long since I’ve got one there’s so much to think about. It’s hard to know where to start and who to trust!

  • Kathleen says:

    Good article. Lots of great info on tiny chihuahuas….but I doubt the people who want a micro size dog will read anything that will try to talk them out of it. People become almost rabid over their desire for the most tiny version of Chihuahuas, even if it means that it’s not actually good for the dog. I am not sure why either. There really isn’t another pet that people seem to want as a shrunk down version. Maybe mini pigs is the only other popular runt pet that gets people going. It’s getting ridiculous. And expensive. And the article is right on when it states that these little dogs get dumped at shelters when interest in the latest fad wains. Typical human behavior.
    You want the tiniest dog? Why? You don’t know, you just do. I thought so.

  • Annette mcloughlin says:

    I have been. “landed” with a tiny chihuahua not my choice as he is ridiculously tiny. I have always had bigger dogs i scared of walking I on this guy! His legs are so skinny n he is hard tó potty train! HELP

  • Lynne Serewicz says:

    My tiny Chihuahua was a gift. I was given the option to choose first from the litter. I chose based on color but she changed entirely anyway. I had no idea she would stay so small. I was expecting her to be around 7 pounds but at six months she hasn’t even reached 3 pounds and doesn’t seem to be growing anymore. I love her dearly and I pray she will be healthy and I am doing everything I can to make sure she will be.

  • Hilary says:

    I have a long haired “teacup” chihuahua. He wasn’t sold to me as a teacup, it just so happened that he’s only 3lbs and the vet says he’s full grown. He is definitely a one person dog clinging to mostly me but tolerates the rest of the household family. He doesn’t like strangers and will bark and bite if they get too close. Surprisingly he loves and protects my newborn baby so we have no issues there. He is 11 months old. We later rescued a Great Dane who is approximately 4 years old that we keep outside. My chihuahua is not friendly to other animals but fully accepted the big dog without any problems whatsoever. He was not bred to be a teacup. Both of his parents just happen to be on the smaller side so we don’t have a lot of medical expenses other than the normal. He doesn’t have any issues because of his size because this is just the size he was meant to be. He potty trained himself using puppy pads and has never had any accidents. He sleeps in the bed with me and my hubby and literally stays in his little spot and is never harmed. He’s not scared of anything so we definitely have to keep him in a harness at all times and he usually gets carried if we go out with him in public.

  • Angela Gottwald says:

    I have a 3 lb female Chihuahua that just turned 5 years old! I got her as a puppy, weighing a whopping 10 oz at 10 weeks of age. Love her dearly ❤️

  • Vanessa says:

    I have a tiny Chi that we named opal Pearl. Unlike most folks, I was not expecting her to be so tiny. I thought I was purchasing a standard 5-7 lb dog like her siblings from previous litter. She must have gotten a teacup/tiny gene because she is almost a year old and is pushing 3 lbs (2.7 actually). Iwas scared to death that something was going to happen because of her tiny size. I have never had, nor ever wanted such a small dog, but Opie has found her way into my heart, and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. FYI: I probably will not want another tiny one because as the article says, she is very high maintenance.

  • Jeremy C says:

    We had teacup called Carlita. She was an absolutely treasure that we loved with all of our heart. She lived to be 12 years old (very tiny) but too late we found out that these small wonders are prone to having their airway collapse. This happened to our girl and we had no choice but to let her go over the rainbow bridge. We miss her so very much she will forever be with un in our hearts.

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