The Teacup Yorkie has grown in popularity over the years. I’m sure a few of us have seen a picture of a cute black and brown puppy curiously peeking out of a teacup somewhere or the other on the internet.

Could it be an actual dog breed or just a stuffed toy. Guess what! its real.

This article is to guide and not influence your decision on whether you should take one home.

In this article we will discuss everything about this dog breed in regards to:

  • History
  • Appearance
  • Personality & Temperament
  • Diet
  • Health & Diseases
  • Shedding and Grooming
  • Training
  • Living environment 

History Of A Teacup Yorkie

The parent breed of the Teacup Yorkie, the Yorkshire Terrier originated in the 19th century in England. It is believed to have multiple breeds in its heritage, most notably the Clydesdale, Paisley and Skye terriers from Scotland and the England terrier.

The Yorkie was used as a Ratter (due to its ability to hunt rats and other vermin by going into small places) But apart from that, they were skilled hunters and were carried along to hunt foxes, rabbits and other wild animals.

Due to their hunting prowess, many became interested in keeping these intelligent dogs as their pets. The breed reached America in the early 1870s, and was recognized by the  AKC in 1878. Since then, the Yorkie has gained a devoted fan following.

Coming to Teacup Yorkies, they are bred between the runts of two litters. A runt is the smallest, weakest member of a litter of pups, and usually has to fight for survival among its healthier siblings.

Breeding two of these weak dogs to create puppies that are smaller and possibly even more weak for their size and cuteness isn’t exactly an ideal setup for an honest breeder who genuinely cares about the health of his dogs.

A demand for Teacup Yorkies has created a base for this supply in recent years, even though they are not recognized by the AKC as the size does not adhere to their standards.

Appearance Of A Yorkshire-Terrier


The Teacup Yorkie, as the name suggests, is small enough to actually fit in a teacup. It looks like a tiny version of its parent breed, the Yorkshire Terrier (Honey I shrunk the Yorkshire Terrier?) and has the same colouring.

Read on for the statistics on the Teacup Yorkie.

Appearance: Short muzzle and sharp ears.

Colour/s: A mixture of black and tan, as the dog ages, the tan becomes more prominent.

Size: It is a miniature toy breed, small enough to fit in your palm.

Height: 5-6 inches

Weight: 1-4 pounds

Coat: Medium length and soft, people usually do not let it grow out too much, but show dogs have a longer, well-maintained coat.

Personality & Temperament Of A Teacup Yorkie

Their small size hasn’t affected the confident and quirky personality of the Teacup Yorkie in any way, and they definitely have ample amounts of energy to play. Teacup Yorkies rank among the top 20 when it comes to intelligence, and are extremely easy to train.

They are very people friendly but may definitely take advantage if not told who’s the boss, becoming confused and stressed if it has no clear boundaries. Yorkies are given to occasional digging, which can be controlled by patiently training your Teacup Yorkie.


Teacup Yorkies are small and hence unable to store enough fats in their bodies like larger dogs. A strict feeding schedule must be followed, which includes feeding your dog every two to three hours, as they are prone to hypoglycemia.

1). Kibble: As I have mentioned in the diet of the Blue French Bulldog, high-grade kibble, which is high in nutrients and low in filler content is the best for your Teacup Yorkie.

2). Meat: Home cooking is the best option, to avoid any possible chemicals, and Lean chicken, turkey, lamb and fish are great for your yorkshire-terrier, preferably cooked.

3). Veggies and fruits: String beans, carrots, sweet peas, spinach, sweet potato, rice (white or brown), blueberries, raspberries, mangoes and bananas are a few of the vegetarian option for your dog.

4). Dairy: Whole white yoghurt and cottage cheese.

Health and Disease Concerns

As Teacup Yorkies are bred from runts, they are weaker and more prone to health concerns than regular dogs. They are fragile and need to be protected from extreme temperatures as well as any obstacles in their surroundings at all times.

The list of these problems is longer than their lifespan and makes me wonder whether it is really that “cool” or “fashionable” to own a Teacup Yorkie.

The list of health problems faced by Teacup Yorkies is al follows:

  1. Birth defects
  2. Hypoglycemia
  3. Patellar luxation
  4. Poor appetite and digestive problems
  5. Portosystemic Shunt
  6. Retinal dysplasia
  7. Heart problems
  8. Respiratory problems
  9. Hydrocephalus

More information on Yorkie diseases can be found here.

Shedding and Grooming Of A Teacup Yorkie

Although they have average length hair, it grows fast and may become knotted, so frequent trips to the groomer is a must. As it is not a show dog, you do not need to grow out his/her hair, and can keep it a nice short length, enough to protect him from getting too cold.

A Yorkie’s hair requires lots of care, with regular baths and combing once daily to prevent tangles.

Male Teacup Yorkies must have their hair cleaned every day to remove any traces of urine that might cling to the fur in that region.

In the case of females, faeces that might stick around the anal region must be cleaned to avoid bacteria infecting the urethral orifice and causing urinary tract infection.

Do not let any part of your Yorkie’s hair stay damp for a long time, taking special care with the facial hair which might get wet while drinking water. This will attract yeast infections.

You can do a bit of minimal grooming like trimming the hair at home but be careful not to cut so much that the skin is visible. If you do make that mistake, remember to apply sunscreen on the patch that is visible.

Regular brushing is a must for these dogs, as Periodontal (gum) problems are very common.

Apart from these tips, you must remember to keep your Teacup Yorkie’s Ears clean and nails trimmed.

Living Environment Of A Teacup Yorkie

Teacup yorkie
Teacup yorkie

Believe it or not, this is one of the most important points to take care of when it comes to owning a yorkshire-terrier. Being tiny in size, means that even the most regular household items can be a hazard for your puppy.

Even walking around the house can turn into in an obstacle course, and a negligent step from the humans in the house can put your Teacup Yorkie in a serious condition. They also need to be helped while climbing on furniture or the stairs, as a misstep could be fatal.

Puppy proofing your entire house would be a bit of a hassle, so I would suggest giving them a large, fenced space to themselves, and keeping a close eye when there are any children around.

Tying a bell on his harness or collar can alert you and any other family members to his location, making them move around carefully. Lastly, always check your sofa when you sit, or you might end up inadvertently hurting your cute pup.


How big will a teacup Yorkie get?
Unlike the parent breed (the Yorkshire terrier), teacup Yorkies only grow up to 1-3 pounds in weight and 5-6 inches in height.

What is the life expectancy of a Teacup Yorkie?
It can be estimated that the teacup Yorkie will live for 9-12 years, less than Yorkshire terriers, who live for 13-20 years.

What is the difference between a toy and teacup Yorkie?
Even though Yorkies vary in size, there is no specific breed difference between toy and yorkshire-terrier.

finally in addition, These are a few POINTS TO REMEMBER if you are contemplating whether you should buy a Teacup Yorkie:

  • Many of these puppies are the result of illegal and unethical breeding practices.
  • Taking care of these dogs requires a lot of money and effort.
  • Yorkshire-terrier are fragile when it comes to their health, and are prone to a multitude of diseases. If your Teacup Yorkie ends up with a chronic disease, it will be heartbreaking to care for him in the long term.
  • You have to pay constant attention to your puppy’s activities, as even a minor accident could hurt him badly.

Personally, I would consider adopting a Yorkshire terrier, as they are a sturdy and trustworthy breed, instead of opting for a Teacup Yorkie which is probably bred in less than ideal conditions at the hands of a disreputable breeder.

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