Teacup Chihuahuas, sleeve dog, pocket dog, purse dog, lap dog, micro teacup, micro mini’s…..
Teacup chihuahuas, are they real?
Teacup chihuahuas are not their own breed, it is a commonly used term too describe the weight and size of a chihuahua. Although not an ‘official’ classification of the breed (As set out by the major Kennel Clubs such as the American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club). The only official classification of the breed is that they ALL fall into the “Toy Breed” category. Many refer to extra small chihuahuas as “Teacups” to reference the size of the chihuahua. In truth, they are simply smaller than average chihuahuas. They usually fall between 2-3.5 lbs full grown and are at the low end of the chihuahua breed standard which is 6 lbs and under. If you have a chihuahua that is larger than 3.5 lbs don’t call it a teacup, call it simply a chihuahua! There are many unofficial terms used to describe the characteristics of these dogs, some may include: sleeve dog, pocket dog, purse dog, lap dog, micro teacup, micro mini’s & for chihuahuas on the larger scale “Dozer” chihuahuas
Teacup Chihuahuas vs. the Runt of the Litter
The runt of the litter is a chihuahua or dog that was born weaker, under developed and smaller than it’s other litter mates due to possibly being malnourished in the womb. Not all litters have runts. The probability of runts increases with litter size. This smaller than normal dog may face rejection from the mother or grow slower and weaker after birth since they must compete for mom’s milk with the other hardier litter mates. The runts of the litter may have a higher probability of health issues such as neurological issues and seizures, retinal atrophy, hypoglycemia, larger Molera, respiratory problems, hydrocephalus, and possibly physical developmental problems and a short life span. Runts are not caused by the genetic make up of their parents. If your dog has a runt, it is not because your dam or sire ‘throws small dogs’. Remember the best, and most accurate estimation of size is by looking at the healthy adult weight of the parents and not by estimating on the chihuahua weight chart.
Can runts grow up to be healthy and strong dogs?
Yes and No. Some may, and some may not. It depends on each individual dog. If the puppy survives past 6 weeks of age the likely hood it will live a normal life is greatly increased. Don’t fall into the Runt or Teacup Trap, if you fall for the tiniest dog in the litter, you may get burned financially if they are more expensive then their litter mates! Runts don’t always stay small, and can in-fact catch up and grow to be the same adult size as the rest of the litter mates.
What about Teacup Chihuahuas, how do they differ from Runts?
Healthy small chihuahuas 3.5 lbs and under full grown are not necessarily runt of the litter. Genetically, they are small as a result of their parents genetic makeup or bloodline. In a litter their will always be some slight variation of size, as no two chihuahuas are identical, but generally they should be approximately the same size during their first 8 weeks of life. The most accurate estimation of a chihuahuas full adult weight is taken at approximately 12 weeks of age, as their weight will fluctuate greatly while developing. True teacup chihuahuas are the result of careful, and educated planning from the experienced breeder.
Chihuahua females 3lbs and under should never be bred, their dainty size and frame is too small to support a healthy pregnancy. Your female chihuahua (Bitch) should never weigh less than 4 lbs. Breeding a chihuahua less than 4 lbs can severely increase the chance of a C-section, complications in whelping the puppies which may result in death or the pups or dam. Your stud (Sire) should always be smaller than your female (Male 3-4 lbs. Female 4-5 lbs as an example). Breeding teacup chihuahuas has a lot to do with genetics, you have to look to the pedigree of both parents to detect if there are small dogs in the bloodline. This is important, if you see larger chihuahuas in the pedigrees, the chances of having teacups is slim.
Teacup Chihuahuas and Health Issues
The most important thing to consider when getting a dog big or small is its health. The health of a puppy and its parents should be apparent right away and will give you an indication of its overall health and well being for its life. Special considerations for teacup chihuahuas may include:
-Potential risk for Hydrocephalus
-Large Molera and there for a delicate skull.
-Dainty and delicate body structure, needs to be handled with care and not roughly
-Low body mass, increased risk of hypoglycemia especially in puppies 4 months and under
-Improper socialization of your dog and spoiling it resulting in a timid or aggressive behaviour towards other dogs and people.
-Accidents in the house due to improper potty training, and stubbornness to be trained due to babying
-A potentially shorter lifespan
-Low body Temperature due to low body mass. They need to be kept warm usually with a small dog coat or sweater in cooler climates.
Breeders and Teacup chihuahuas
You can ask any registered breeder and they will tell you “There is no such thing as teacup chihuahuas” and they are right. It just means a small chihuahua. Is there anything really wrong with calling a really small chihuahua a teacup? Nope, if your buggy-eyed Mexican isn’t the next in line at Westminster, then call it what you want. It amazes me that breeders will fight this topic to the death, yet write an keyword loaded anti teacup chihuahua article in attempts to get website traffic from unsuspecting teacup lovers. If you are so dead set against the term teacup chihuahua then don’t use it. We own one of Canada’s smallest chihuahuas and I like calling her a teacup “teacup chihuahua baby belle”. She has perfect conformation, scissor bite and gait and weighs only 1 lbs 12 at 1 year of age. Talk about a work of perfection!