Teacup Chihuahua - Is It The Right Choice For Me?

Teacup Chihuahua - Is It The Right Choice For Me?

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: Apr 27 2023


Chihuahua is one of the world's most famous and recognizable dog breeds. It is fully registered and accepted by many canine organizations. We can't say the same for the Teacup version of this dog breed. Teacup Chihuahua is gaining more and more popularity, and before we start to talk about these small dogs, firstly, we must understand what the term "teacup" actually means.

The term “Teacup” describes the small size these dogs come in. This isn’t the only term used; breeders and dog sellers describe them as Miniature or Micro. This marketing term will make these dogs more attractive to buyers. We are huge fans of small dog breeds, but when it comes to terms “teacup” or “micro,” our senses turn on, and we are immediately suspicious.

Let’s see what Teacup Chihuahua is all about and see if we can decipher everything that stands behind this dog.



4-6 in



2 - 3 lb




 Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy:

7 -12 years

What is a Teacup Chihuahua

The Teacup Chihuahua is not a distinct dog breed; it is a pureblooded Chihuahua selectively bred to shrink this already tiny breed’s size. Unfortunately, in the animal kingdom, the smallest animals are the ones that usually do not reproduce. Smaller size meant harder survival, especially among canines.

The Teacup Chihuahua was “created” through breeder efforts and their goal to selectively breed the smallest of Chihuahuas to make them more attractive to the buyer. These breeders succeeded, and Micro Chihuahua is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Something is entertaining and endearing in owning a dog that can fit in your pocket.

chihuahua profile

Size & characteristics

The term “big” shouldn’t be used in the same sentence as these dogs. There is nothing big about them. The “teacup” size is not a metaphor; it refers to their ability to fit in a teacup, that is how small they are.

Average or “Standard” Chihuahuas can grow 9 inches tall and weigh up to 6.6 pounds. The Teacup Chihuahua has an average size of 6 inches and weighs 2 - 3 pounds. Maybe the only “big” thing about them is their relatively large eyes compared to their overall size.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

Coat & grooming

Teacup Chihuahuas come in two coat types - smooth and long. Smooth-coated Teacup Chihuahuas require minimal grooming, and the occasional brushing will be enough to kee their coat clean and healthy. Long-coated Teacup Chihuahuas will need more occasional brushing, at least once or twice a week, to prevent mats and tangles and to keep these dogs at their best.

How to determine if Chihuahua is standard or teacup?

Unfortunately, it is not possible. Genes don’t always play by the rules, and the Teacup Chihuahua is still a purebred dog just because their parents were extremely small. Genes can decide to skip a generation or two, and the new puppy that should be tiny is average size.

90% of the time, the two Teacups will produce teacup puppies, but everything can happen, and we can’t always be sure about the exact size new puppies will grow up to be. Breeders who tell you they are 100% sure their puppies will be Teacups are deceiving you. They will be right 90% of the time, but they will not be right in the other 10, and you might just end up with that 10%.

teacup chihuahua puppy playing

Temperament difference

There is not much difference between the regular Chihuahua and the Teacup Chihuahua. Both dogs are relatively smart and devoted to their owner. They can be a bit needy because they will want to spend all their time with their owners. These dogs can respond pretty well to training and excel at dog sports such as obedience or agility. Due to their smaller size, the Teacup Chihuahua will not be the best competitor.

Family dogs

Standard Chihuahuas can make pretty good family pets, but the Teacup version might not be the best choice for families with kids. It is not because these dogs have a temperament problem; on the contrary, they love to play and can be pretty affectionate towards kids. The problem is that children don’t understand how fragile such a small dog breed is.

While the Standard Chihuahua might tolerate a bit of rougher play, the Teacup Chihuahua should be handled with extreme care. Accidentally stepping or sitting on a dog can have fatal consequences. Kids get hyped when playing with the dog, and they can easily get carried away and hurt the dog. If you are looking for a family dog, think about getting a Standard Chihuahua.

chihuahua sitting in lap

Training and socialization

Training a Teacup Chihuahua will test your patience and nerves. They are tiny and have small bladders, which means they need to go - a lot. They tend to have difficulties housebreaking and combine that with a tiny bladder, and the result will most likely be a wet floor or a carpet. It will take your time to get these dogs used to doing their business outside.

Like any other dog breed, the Micro Chihuahua will need proper training. Make sure you keep their activities short and interesting, no longer than 20 minutes at a time. They can get easily tired and can be “overworked” pretty fast. To get the best out of any dog, their bodies and minds need to be challenged and trained.

Socialization will also be the key to having a dog on its best behavior. Teacup Chihuahuas can have a short fuse for other dogs, and they are not afraid to attack dogs that are 20 times their size. The outcome is pretty much set in stone, so the best way to stop it from happening is to have a well-behaved dog that will not attack a breed like the Labrador or the German Shepherd.

Teacup Chihuahua health

This is the tricky part of dogs selectively bred to have the one desired trait, like being extremely small. Breeding such small designer dogs is often questionable, to say the least. All health issues that a Standard Chihuahua might have been even more pronounced in a Teacup version. Teacup Chihuahuas are prone to:

  • Liver shunt
  • Tracheal collapse (all toy breeds are prone to it, check the sneezing article)
  • Patellar luxation
  • Eye and skin problems
  • Hypoglycemia

chihuahua puppy

RELATED: How Long do Chihuahuas Live?

Teacup Chihuahua for sale

Suppose you are looking to get a Teacup Chihuahua. In that case, you should find a reputable Chihuahua breeder with all the necessary documents your future dog should have, along with health tests. It is vital that such a small and fragile dog is adequately tested and that their parents are in the best possible conditions.

Don’t buy a dog from a breeder just because they have a Teacup Chihuahua for sale available right away. Take your time and look for a reputable breeder that produces the best possible dogs. If you are looking for a Teacup Chihuahua, be prepared to pay up to $2.000.

Teacup Chihuahua rescue

Teacup Chihuahua rescue organizations and shelters work to find the best possible homes for abandoned, abused, or neglected dogs, including these teacup dogs. By adopting a Teacup Chihuahua from a rescue organization is a responsible way to find a new pet, but also it gives dogs a second chance in life. 

Here you can find Chihuahua rescues and contact them to find out if there are any Teacup Chihuahuas available - 7 Chihuahua Rescue Near Me

Don't be discouraged if you don't find it right away. Sometimes it is worth waiting until you find the dog you will be most comfortable with. Keep in mind that adopting a dog from a rescue requires patience and flexibility, as it can take time for the dog to fully adapt to new living arrangement.

World Dog Finder team