What is a Teacup Dog?

A Chihuahua teacup is small enough to fit in a teacup.

In the United States, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 21 Toy canine breeds, or breeds of diminutive stature. The term “teacup dog” is not a breed, but slang for a smaller-sized dog from one of these groups, most commonly the Chihuahua. These dogs are small enough to fit in a teacup, hence the name. Often the term is used loosely to increase the price of a puppy, as some people find the extremely small size desirable. In reality, these dogs often have special medical needs, health issues, and tend to have a shorter lifespan than their full-sized brothers and sisters.

A Shih Tzu teacup is created to be extra tiny.

A medical problem commonly found among cup dogs is hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain,” in which fluid builds up and causes pressure on the skull. Often, a dog suffering from this condition will have bulging eyes and a stressed appearance. You may also be “shaky”, having trouble walking or holding your head steady, although these symptoms are not always present. There is no cure for this condition, but when it occurs in humans, a shunt is placed in the brain to drain the fluids to another part of the body, where it can be eliminated through natural processes.

While any dog ​​can suffer from hydrocephalus, it is more common in very small dogs. They may also have thin and weak bones, blood sugar disorders, and other medical problems stemming from unfavorable genetic factors.

“Teacup Dog” usually refers to a Chihuahua.

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One reason for the problems associated with these tiny dogs is that many are the result of two runts mating to produce too little offspring. Runts, while deserving of a good life, often have medical issues that, when bred with another runt (or even a healthy dog), weaken the offspring and reproduce rather than strengthen them. A cup of tea dog can sell for upwards of $1,000 US Dollars (USD), providing a strong financial incentive for “backyard breeders” and puppy mills to purposely breed dogs that are not genetically suitable. By placing a demand on this market, consumers unwittingly encourage this practice of producing compromised dogs, many of whom live out their lives with myriad health issues that ultimately lead to exorbitant vet bills and shorter lifespans.

This is not to say that a healthy dog ​​cannot be bred. There are some breeders who have spent considerable time, effort and money to carefully breed very healthy dogs from a champion lineage, picking from the smallest litters successively to reduce the size of the dog without resorting to breeding or introducing medical problems. in the offspring. Most teacups found on the market would not qualify for AKC paper, however, and reputable breeders are generally concerned with improving standards by breeding pedigrees and champions on paper.

When you want a very small dog, perhaps the best thing to do for the breed is to contact a reputable local breeder and request a very small pup from one of their litters. Individuals can request and verify pedigree or back lines, although if the buyer wants actual documents this will cost extra and is not necessary unless he intends to show the dog. Even getting the “runt” from this litter should have far less genetic risk and, as long as it is healthy at birth, it should do better in the long run with a good chance of living a long, healthy life.

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Many people mistakenly believe that small dogs like Chihuahuas are safe for children because they don’t pose a threat. Chihuahuas, in particular, are a poor choice for children because they tend to be snappy and protective. Small children can also unintentionally injure a puppy, as he is even more vulnerable and can easily be injured or even killed by dropping him or mishandling him by falling or stepping on him. Instead, the Teacup Dog is ideally placed in an adult home with someone who will adore him, such as a senior citizen or person who works from home.

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