If you dream of owning a living, breathing teddy bear, look no further than the Teacup Poodle. These dogs might be small, but they pack plenty of brains and charm into their tiny bodies.
Of course, it’s important to remember that even the smallest dogs are still dogs. They require training, exercise, and regular grooming to stay happy and healthy. With the right care, however, the Teacup Poodle is a fulfilling companion that will never leave its owner’s side.
Ready to find out if this dog is a good fit for your home? Let’s find out.
What Is a Teacup Poodle?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Poodles come in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. By these official standards, a Toy Poodle stands no more than 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 4 and 6 pounds.
Teacup Poodles are even smaller than their Toy counterparts. Although the Teacup Poodle is not officially recognized by the AKC, it has gained popularity with breeders, groomers, and everyday dog owners around the globe.
Appearance and Physical Characteristics
The Teacup Poodle, when full-grown, generally stands under 8 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 2 and 4 pounds. For comparison, that’s even smaller than the average Chihuahua!
Teacup Poodles have very similar proportions to their larger brethren, with slightly longer legs and an up-turned tail. While some breeders and dog owners choose to dock their Poodles’ tails, this practice is falling out of favor in many circles.
Because of their small size and squared-off proportions, many Teacup poodles resemble walking, barking teddy bears. Like other Poodle varieties, the Teacup Poodle has a curly or even corded coat that can be groomed to meet the owner’s preferences. This breed can technically come in any color, though most show standards dictate a solid coat.
Teacup Poodle — Before You Buy…
As with any purebred dog, getting your hands on a Teacup Poodle can be a long and exhausting process. But taking the time to do your research and vet your sources will ensure your new family member is happy, healthy, and responsibly bred.
Because the Teacup Poodle is a trendy, designer breed, investing in a puppy can be quite expensive.
On average, a Teacup Poodle can cost up to $2,000. Unique colors can cost several thousands more, with some puppies reaching $7,000.
Where to Buy
Organizations like the AKC can make finding a responsible breeder pretty easy. Since the Teacup Poodle isn’t officially recognized by the AKC, though, this process gets a bit more difficult.
Although the vast majority of breeders have their dogs’ best interests at heart, this isn’t the case for everyone. To avoid accidentally supporting an unethical breeder, it’s a good idea to thoroughly research your options before going through with buying a puppy.
If you want to know which breeder in your area is the most reliable, one of the best resources to check out is your regional Poodle club. By reaching out to members of local breed-specific organizations, either face-to-face or through social media, you can learn a bit about their experiences with nearby Teacup Poodle breeders.
Can You Adopt a Teacup Poodle?
Yes, there’s always a possibility that a Teacup Poodle will show up in your local rescue or Humane Society. However, these chances are very slim.
If you have your heart set on a Teacup Poodle but don’t want to buy directly from a breeder, check your area for Poodle-specific rescues or charity organizations. Oftentimes, these organizations keep tabs on local dogs in need and help connect them to compatible owners. But because the Teacup Poodle is so popular right now (and because it costs so much to buy in the first place), very few dogs end up in shelters.
Watch out for owners trying to resell their Teacup Poodle on social media or on local bulletin boards, as you can never know the health or history of a dog. At the end of the day, it’s always best to source a Teacup Poodle from a breeder or official rescue organization.
Caring for Your Teacup Poodle
Although the Teacup Poodle requires much the same care as any other type of Poodle, their needs are not identical. Be sure you know exactly how to groom, feed, exercise, and train your new companion before adding a Teacup Poodle to your home.
Poodles of all sizes are infamous for their intensive grooming needs — the Teacup Poodle is no exception. However, their smaller size means that grooming takes far less time than with larger varieties.
The Teacup Poodle requires bathing and trimming at least every two months, if not more often. While the Teacup Poodle’s coat can be left natural, many owners choose to have it clipped into a pom-pom cut or other style. Despite the need for a consistent grooming regimen, Teacup Poodles shed very little fur.
Because of their overturned ears, regular ear cleaning is necessary to prevent buildup and infection. Many Teacup Poodles also require daily cleaning around the eyes to wipe away buildup and prevent staining.
Due to their extremely small size, we recommend selecting a wet or dry food specifically designed for toy dog breeds. Teacup Poodles have very small mouths and digestive tracts, so choose a dry food with extra-small kibble pieces.
Teacup Poodles also have different nutritional requirements than larger Poodles. Talk to your veterinarian for specific food recommendations for your dog’s needs.
If you think the Teacup Poodle’s small size means it doesn’t require daily walks, think again. While your Teacup Poodle certainly won’t make it as far as a German Shepherd or Golden Retriever, they require regular walking just like any other breed.
Outside of taking your Teacup Poodle for walks, the vast majority of their exercise needs will be met indoors. Even small apartments offer plenty of space for this breed to run and play.
If you have access to a safe yard or other outdoor space, playing outside can be a nice change to your pup’s routine. Some Teacup Poodles even enjoy playing in shallow water. We always recommend supervising your Teacup Poodle when outside, even in fenced areas.
Many owners of small and toy breeds neglect training their dogs because of their size. If you own a Teacup Poodle, though, adopting this mindset will be doing your pup a major disservice.
In fact, the Teacup Poodle is highly intelligent, with many breeders and owners considering them some of the most trainable dogs in existence. Really, this should come as no surprise considering the full-sized Poodle’s remarkable intelligence.
With that said, Teacup Poodles can be quite stubborn and resistant to household rules. It’s important to address these issues early on while your dog is still a puppy, as they can grow worse with maturity.
As with any breed, consistent training and socialization will result in an affectionate, trusting, and overall well-rounded dog. So don’t underestimate the importance of training your Teacup Poodle!
Health Risks of the Teacup Poodle
Every breed presents its own range of health risks, but the Teacup Poodle is especially prone to genetic issues. While some of these concerns can be managed through responsible breeding, there is always a chance with any dog that health conditions will emerge over time.
For the Teacup Poodle, common health concerns include:
Scheduling regular vet visits from an early age is key to ensure a long and happy life for your pup. With proper care and veterinary oversight, Teacup Poodles can live to be 12-14 years old.
No, tiny dogs aren’t for everyone. For those who crave a sweet and affectionate companion that will always be by their side, though, the Teacup Poodle is an excellent option.
Although purchasing or adopting a Teacup Poodle isn’t always easy — it certainly isn’t cheap — these dogs make excellent companions in the right household. They require minimal exercise and thrive in even the smallest apartments. Their sharp minds also make them perfect candidates for learning tricks.
While you will need to pay special attention to your Teacup Poodles unique coat, these dogs shed very little. This trait makes them almost allergen-free, though you should consult with your doctor before bringing any dog into a home with allergy sufferers.
With regular veterinary care, the Teacup Poodle can live a long and healthy life. So, if you have the time, money, and resources to bring one of these adorable canine teddy bears into your home, you’re sure to enjoy years of loving companionship!
What’s your favorite extra-small dog breed? Have you ever met a Teacup Poodle face-to-face? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image Credit: Tra Tran on Unsplash
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.