How to Recognize Teacup Poodle

How to Recognize Teacup Poodle

Author WDF Staff


The popularity of the teacup Poodles is on the rise, and we can certainly understand the appeal such tiny dogs have. Other than being adorable, they can literally fit in your pocket. They are really cheap to maintain, and they shouldn’t make you spend too much money on dog food.

But is that the actual situation when it comes to teacup dogs? Are they really cheaper and easier to maintain?

We will help you get to the bottom of the teacup Poodle dilemma, and we will certainly try to help you make an informed decision about these dogs. Let’s see what we can find out about these cute tiny dogs.

Difference between a teacup and a Toy Poodle

To the untrained eye, these two varieties of the same breed can seem the same. And the truth is they are really similar. However, some key differences should be crucial if you are deciding between getting these two dogs. The key difference is that the teacups are even smaller than the Toy Poodle.



The first difference is acceptance. These dogs are not an officially recognized breed by any major cynology association, so the US cynology body does not recognize teacups as a variety of the Poodle breed. Technically, this variety would fall under the Toy category but shouldn’t be considered a part of it because of the questionable breeding involved with creating a smaller dog. These Poodles should be under 6 pounds (usually around 3 pounds) and should reach a maximum height of 9 inches.


Toy Poodle is an official variety of the Poodle breed. It has a standard and healthy bloodlines. Breeders worked hard to get and create healthy dogs and have nearly “bred out” the inherited diseases associated with the breed. Toys can be between 4 and 6 pounds and should have a height of 9 - 11 inches.

Interested in teacup dogs? Check out this article: What Are Teacup Dogs?

Creating a teacup Poodle

There is an expression in the cynology world, and it goes like this, “if you love dogs, never buy teacups.” There is a good reason behind it. To create the smallest possible dog, a breeder needs to pick the tiniest Toy Poodle and breed them to the other smallest dogs of the same variety. The problem is that the smallest dogs are usually that for a reason.

teacup puppy

The runt of the litter

If they were in the wild, these pups would be abandoned by their mother because it is unlikely they would survive. The smallest dogs are usually the sickliest, weakest, and cannot fend for themselves. That would mean that they cannot even feed themselves. These smallest, most fragile dogs are called the “runt of the litter.”

Passing the genes

For a dog to become so small, it should have tiny parents, and those would be the weakest dogs from their litter. Breeders need to focus on those dogs to promote genes such as teacup size and mate those dogs to other dogs with similar qualities. That is usually a recipe for an unhealthy dog that will end up with different health problems because of their “bad” genes.

Are teacup Poodles healthy?

As you can imagine, there are a lot of health issues connected with the teacup Poodle. Not only the Poodle, but all teacup dogs are prone to some of the health issues we will mention here. The health issues that have been specifically observed in these dogs are:

teacup poodle puppy

These issues run in the breed, but teacup versions seem to be specifically prone to them. Hip dysplasia is usually associated with large dog breeds, but this tiny one appears susceptible to it. Other known health issues teacup dogs are prone to are:

  • Collapsing trachea
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory issues
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Liver shunts
  • Heart disease
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Digestive problems
  • Blindness

If you take all of that into consideration, getting a teacup Poodle is not really expensive. think about the possible health test and controls you will need to do to make sure you ended up with a healthy dog.

Many dog insurances will not even give a quote on these dogs because they know all the health problems they can have. If you think about potential vet costs, this dog quickly becomes an expensive one to have. Besides, if any of these issues occur, you may have to buy expensive, specialized dog food that your teacup could eat without having stomach issues.

Breeders specializing in producing the tiniest dogs are not the most ethical ones and often skimp on health tests. The other problem when it comes to teacup Poodles is their starting price.

If you are interested in designer breeds with Poodle-like characteristics, check out this article: Best Poodle Mixes And Crossbreeds.

Teacup Poodles for sale

If you started looking for a puppy, you probably noticed the astronomical prices breeders ask for them. An average teacup Poodle puppy for sale is $2.200 - $2.800. That is, if the breeder doesn’t claim their puppies are tested, certified, and other things that could help them sell a puppy. The price can be significantly higher, depending on the breeder.

It is essential that you find the best possible breeder if you are adamant about getting a teacup Poodle. Ask the existing owners for advice and see if they can point you in the right direction. Our honest advice is that you go for a healthy Toy Poodle from a reputable and responsible dog breeder.

If you are interested in getting a small Poodle, why not check out the full profile of the Toy Poodle?

Family compatibility

Poodles, in general, make great family pets, especially Miniature and Standard Poodles. Small, teacup-sized dogs might be happy with whatever environment they live in, but they are not compatible with large families with little kids.

These dogs are fragile, and kids don’t understand how to properly play and interact with such a tiny dog. The most important thing would be to teach your kids to be extremely careful around teacup dogs - one wrong move can be fatal.

brown poodle


Teacup Poodle’s character should be similar to that of the Toy. These dogs should be cheerful, friendly, playful, and somewhat wary of strangers. Poodles make excellent watchdogs that will alert you if anybody is approaching your property. These dogs don’t require too much exercise because of their small size.

Because they are so tiny, owners often forget that they are still dogs that have dog needs. They need to be taken for a walk every day, and most importantly, these dogs need to be worked with. You cannot leave them untrained and unsocialized and expect to end up with an obedient, friendly dog. 

Training and socialization are vital for dogs that could potentially have problematic genes. Not only can they develop physical problems, but they can also develop psychological problems. These micro dogs can become snappy, shy, and even overly aggressive. Training can do wonders for such dogs, so if you get a teacup puppy, make sure you train them.

One of the best things about them is that products for teacup dogs are small, and there is a wide variety available. The first thing you will need is a nice and cozy bed, and Aspen Pet Bolster Dog Bed could be perfect.

In short

Getting any teacup dog is risky. You can never be sure about a teacup breeder because they can’t be a part of any cynology association. You should always ask for health tests of puppies and the puppy’s parents. These petite dogs are prone to different health problems that could be expensive to treat and don’t forget to train and socialize your teacup Poodle puppy.

World Dog Finder team

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