There is no such thing as a Teacup Yorkshire Terriers!
Whether you refer to them as 'teacup, T-cup, mini, toy, babydoll, pocketbook or miniature', these small dogs are just tiny Yorkshire Terriers that are basically the runt of the litter, or produced when two small-sized Yorkshire dogs are bred. They are under the standard weight of 3 to 4 lbs. specified by kennel clubs, and registered breeders. This is the reason that they are not classified under any specific breed. Although these tiny, fluffy bundles may look extremely cute, there are a number of things that you must know about these dogs before adopting them as pets.
Since Teacup Yorkshires are basically smaller Yorkshire Terriers, they share similar characteristics and personality. A Yorkshire Terrier nicknamed the Yorkie, is an adorable toy dog breed with a small physique, and inquisitive, energetic personalities. This popular Terrier breed was developed in the 1800s, in the district of Yorkshire in England. Surprisingly enough, this toy dog once belonged to the working class, and was once used to catch rats in a clothing mill, during the nineteenth century. However, these energetic, brave and loyal dogs soon became a part of the European high society, and have since then been great companions for people. In 1878, this dog was registered by the American Kennel Club.
Teacup Yorkshire Terrier Information
The fully grown Yorkshire Terrier weighs between 4 to 7 pounds, and has a height of six to seven inches. The weight and height is necessary for maintaining the good health, while also retaining the toy dog standards. On the other hand, a Teacup Yorkshire Terrier even when fully grown will weigh no more than 4 pounds.
The breed has a small head with a medium-sized muzzle. The adult dog has erect V-shaped ears, and its tail often docked to a medium length. A healthy Teacup Yorkie has extremely fine, silky coat ,which is moderately long, and has to be trimmed to give the dog a neater appearance. A short coat also helps the dog to move around easily. The coat color in puppies is a typical tan and black. Once the dogs are mature, there is a transition to a glamorous steel blue and tanned, long, silky coat which falls smoothly along its back, head and tail. Other colors included in the Yorkshire Terrier breed standard for colors include blue and gold, black and gold, or black and tan in adult dogs.
Though they are extremely tiny, these Terrier dogs, have a great personality. They are plucky, adventurous, and quite energetic. Some dogs which are pampered, and carried around in purses all the time, can behave like delicate divas, languishing in the love that is showered on them. They make excellent lap dogs.
These dogs require a lot of attention from the owner, and refuse to stay on their own, even for short periods of time. Separation anxiety is extremely common in the Yorkies, and hence it is very difficult for them to be with owners, who stay away from home for long periods of time. Yorkies, with their extremely small bladders are also very hard to potty train.
Early socialization is extremely important for these dogs. They have an extremely suspicious nature, and high-strung temperament. Although they are exceedingly affectionate, and often overprotective of their owners, when there are strangers around, Yorkies are notorious for being snappy, and neurotic.
They will bark at every little sound, and can drive you (and your neighbors) nuts. It is thus important to familiarize the dog with its surroundings, especially any unusual sights or sounds. With proper training, the Yorkshire Terriers with their keen senses, can make excellent watchdogs. Due to their small size, fragility, and snappish behavior, it is best if Teacup dogs are entrusted to older children rather than very young kids. The loud, quick movements of babies and toddlers, can startle the dog, and make it snappish.
Towards Other Pets
Yorkshire Terriers are quite peaceful with other pets, including large dogs and cats. However, due to the small size, a larger pet can injure your miniature dog by simply pawing it. It is therefore important to remain vigilant when introducing the Yorkie to other pets.
Although they are tiny, Teacup Yorkshire Terriers will definitely need vigorous activity to stay healthy. A daily stroll will do your dog a world of good.
It is best to keep the dog on a leash, so that stray dogs do not harm it. The small size of the dogs means that they are fine at home, especially in large apartments and condos, where they can find a lot of space to zip around.
One of the common health problems with miniature dog breeds is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels. This can be because of a lack of muscle mass for storing glucose, and regulating the blood sugar. Feeding the Teacup Yorkie several times a day can keep the sugar levels in control.
Good quality pet foods or home-cooked meals are your best options, as these tiny dogs are extremely susceptible to digestive disorders. Once the dog has had its food, wash the bowls everyday.
Grooming is crucial for Yorkshire Terriers especially if they are show dogs. The long hair can become a matted mess if it is not combed and washed properly. Use a pin brush to brush the long coat, while loosening any tangles with your fingers. If the regular grooming is a big hassle, then it is best to trim the coat short. This keeps the dog looking neat and tidy. Moreover, extremely small dogs can find the long hair a hindrance in movement. It is therefore advisable to cut it short. Even a clipped coat needs regular brushing, and combing.
Some people love dressing their Teacup Yorkies in little clothes and sweaters. These clothes not only makes your pet look like an adorable doll, but also helps it stay warm. It is also important to brush the dog's teeth once a week, as this breed is known to have severe dental problems. Wipe the area around the dog's eyes to clear tear stains, and clip its nails short.
The one thing that sets apart Teacup Yorkshire dogs from a purebred Yorkies, are the numerous health issues that these tiny dogs face. As mentioned earlier, hypoglycemia is one of the major health danger in these small dogs. Factors such as stress, fatigue, a cold environment, poor nutrition, a change in diet, or feeding schedule may bring on hypoglycemia. It can be caused due to a bacterial infection or a parasite. The hypoglycemic shock causes the puppy to become drowsy, listless, shaky, and uncoordinated. This is because the brain relies on glucose to function, absence of which can cause the symptoms of hypoglycemic shock.
Tracheal collapse, which is characterized by gradual weakening of the trachea walls, and portosystemic shunt, a genetic defect that is characterized by malformation of portal veins, are some of the common health issues in miniature Yorkies. Other health concerns for Teacup Yorkshire Terriers are:
- Luxating Patella or slipping kneecaps
- Open fontanel (soft spot) on top of the head
- Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome
- Hypoplasia of dens
- Periodontal disease
- Poor tolerance for anesthesia
- Chronic diarrhea and vomiting
The small size increases the risk of injuries by falls, or due to owner clumsiness. The dog may injure itself when jumping off, from the owner's arms, or leaping off from the furniture. The life span of these dogs is much less than purebred dogs, which live for around twelve to fifteen years. Female miniature dogs can have difficulty in giving birth due to the small size. In fact, responsible breeders do not breed female Yorkshire Terriers which weigh less than 5 lbs.
Ethical Issues of Breeding Teacup Yorkshire Terriers
There is a huge demand for Teacup Yorkshire puppies, and there are many 'backyard breeders' that cater to this demand. However, the serious health complications, and short lifespan of these dogs, not to mention the high price, has raised questions about the ethical aspect of breeding these dogs, It is true that sometimes two healthy normal Yorkies can have a puppy that remains small in size due to premature birth or genetics. However, deliberately breeding such puppies, and selling them as a separate breed, or for a higher price, can be considered ethically incorrect.
When choosing a puppy for your house, it is important to not only look at the cuteness of the dog, but also its overall health. Teacup Yorkshire Terriers are extremely loving, affectionate dogs that can be perfect for small apartments. With proper attention to their health, and with lots of love you can have a loving companion for a long time.