Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Weight: 3 – 6 lbs.
Height: No more than 7 inches
Do I shed?: Yes, minimally
Personality: Affectionate, energetic, independent, friendly
Common health problems: Periodontal disease, obesity, heart disease, hypoglycemia
A teacup Yorkie is a miniature version of a Yorkshire terrier. The American Kennel Club recognizes the teacup Yorkie as a regular Yorkshire terrier rather than a separate breed, despite teacup varieties of breeds gaining popularity.³ A teacup Yorkie is identical to a regular Yorkie except they rarely exceed 6 pounds and are as small as 4 pounds.
Teacup Yorkies come in four pairs of colors, such as:⁴
- Black and tan
- Blue and gold
- Blue and tan
- Black and gold
Teacup Yorkies are considered hypoallergenic due to their low shedding level. Their coats are long and shiny, requiring daily brushing and weekly baths. You should keep their coat trimmed, especially around the ears and eyes to avoid infections.
Yorkie's ears are pointed, standing upwards. Their coat grows around their ears which can trap dirt and cause an infection. Be sure to keep their fur trimmed around their ears, even if the rest of their coat is kept long.
Teacup Yorkies aren't known for drooling excessively.
What My Adoption Bio Would Say:
I may be small, but I promise there is space in my tiny heart for you. I’m looking forward to playing, traveling, and napping in a cute coat!
The teacup Yorkie is bold, confident, and mischievous. Despite their size, they’re energetic dogs who love to play more than you’d expect. Yorkies, in general, are extremely affectionate towards their humans, but they can be cautious around strangers. Some Yorkies can experience separation anxiety if they’re left alone for extended periods.
Teacup Yorkies can be very stubborn compared to other toy dog breeds. They suffer from “little dog syndrome” and can become territorial over their homes. Training can prove difficult, especially if harsh methods are used. Take advantage of their attention-seeking nature by using positive reinforcement training to correct inappropriate behavior.
Teacup Yorkies do need moderate amounts of exercise. A walk twice a day should be enough to keep their minds and bodies healthy. This breed does well in small apartments as long as they have plenty of toys and attention from their pet parents.
Teacup Yorkies can be good pets for young children, but it depends on the individual child and dog. Due to their size, teacup Yorkies’ bones are very fragile and accidental injuries can occur when playing. There are other options for a good family dog if you have tiny humans who may not be very gentle.
It depends on the personality of your teacup Yorkie. Some teacup Yorkies can be very territorial which can lead to them picking a fight with other dogs. Early socialization is key to avoiding doggy warfare in your home.
Teacup Yorkies are yappy and loud. Some folks choose to take advantage of this behavior by training them as watchdogs. If this isn’t your goal, or if barking bothers you, a Yorkie may not be for you.
Teacup Yorkies behave exactly like the Yorkshire Terrier: playful, loving, and full of energy. A full sized teacup Yorkie will stay at or below 5 pounds. Given that there isn’t an official “teacup” size, you may get a teacup Yorkie as small as 3 pounds!
The advantage of owning a teacup Yorkie — besides having a fashionable companion — is that they require less space than a typical dog. You won’t have to spend as much money on food, leashes, and other products to care for the animal.
However, experts warn that these advantages don’t outweigh major disadvantages: health defects caused by breeding runts of Yorkshire Terrier litters.⁵ Do your due diligence before bringing home your new puppy so you can know how best to care for the dog.
You can find teacup varieties of all sorts of dog breeds. Since there isn’t a national guideline for teacup dogs, you may have to do some research to find the following mixes in “teacup” size:
All these dog breeds are already toy breeds so you should be able to find a teacup mix. Note: make sure to ask the breeder about the health of the litter.
Teacup Yorkies may experience a variety of health issues associated with their size, including3,4:
Terriers in general are prone to digestive problems so it’s important to feed your teacup Yorkie properly. You may have to feed them small meals throughout the day to ensure they don’t eat too much too fast.³ You can opt for wet food, but it shouldn't be a long term solution. If you have concerns about feeding your dog properly, make sure to take your teacup yorkie to the vet.
Teacup Yorkies, like their bigger counterparts, are relatively healthy dogs. However, the teacup Yorkie’s size can lead to problems. Breeders created this variety by mating two runts in a litter, meaning that the cute, teddy bear dog you bought may have inherited a host of issues. It is critical that you are clear on the health of the puppy before you bring the dog home. Otherwise, you may be in for a huge sticker shock at the vet.
Crowding of the teeth is one major side effect of breeding these dogs so small. Crowded teeth can lead to tartar buildup, and eventually, periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection in the gums that leads to inflammation, enamel loss, and tooth loss.
In extremely severe situations, the infection can spread into the bloodstream leading to heart disease and diabetes. Veterinarians may prescribe dog toothpaste to treat it. If it is too advanced, expect to pay thousands of dollars to have your teacup Yorkie’s teeth cleaned and repaired. A dog insurance policy with MetLife could potentially reimburse you for some of these costs.¹,²
For more information on how pet insurance can help your teacup Yorkie, check out our guide on how pet insurance works. And remember, signing up for dog insurance while your Yorkie is a puppy is smart as it can ensure your dog has coverage before something becomes a pre-existing condition.