Teacup Yorkie: The Complete Dog Breed Guide

The World's Smallest Dog with the World's Biggest Heart

A miniature version of the famous Yorkshire Terrier, the Teacup Yorkie is considered one of the world’s smallest dogs with one of the biggest personalities. Although tiny in size, these little pups are mischievous and highlight confidence and boldness. Commonly seen in the 1990s, the Teacup Yorkie has been spotted peeking out of designer handbags and have become a fashion accessory through the years.

This breed of the terrier family may be the smallest but it loves being the center of attention and would take up most of your time. Over time, they grow to love their family and become overly protective, which pretty much makes them perfect companions.

Demanding a great deal of time and patience, these little pups might be the cutest and fluffiest creatures, but they need a lot of special care and attention owing to their tiny size. If you think you can handle their feeding schedules, constant grooming needs, and more, then this is the perfect pup for you.

What is a Teacup Yorkie?

This dog is a significantly smaller breed of the Yorkshire terrier, which does not come from a single recognized bloodline. Originally bred to hunt down rats and rodents in the 1870s, these dogs were commonly used in factories and coal mines only to now become the most popular ‘fashion-companions’ in the US. Who wouldn’t want a puppy that could be carried around in a handbag and one that resembled a stuffed toy?

Although known as the ‘Father of the breed” the American Kennel Club has not yet distinguished its breed and is still working out as to when the first Teacup Yorkie appeared.

However, some studies were conducted which have proved that this adorable companion has been bred from a line of 3 different purebred dogs including:

  • Paisley Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Skye Terrier

Interestingly enough, anything that resembled the tiny shape of a Yorkie was classified as a Yorkshire Terrier at some point not so long ago in history.

Known for their friendliness and loving nature, these dogs are great for human companionship but might not bode well around other dogs. Surprisingly, these dogs might be the tiniest in size but they tend to suffer from a variety of health issues and hence require extra care and monitoring during its first few weeks.

Teacup Yorkie Appearance

As the name would suggest, the Teacup Yorkie is truly a teacup-sized dog. Most Teacup Yorkies have a tan coat and a black saddle but could also be found with black, blue, and silver streaks of color. Their bodies are compact and perfectly proportioned.

They have rounded skulls with a short muzzle, a black button nose, and medium-size eyes that are features that make them undeniably adorable. Their small ears stand upright at the top of their head and are shaped in a V. Their legs are short and stable and they possess a spring in their step. Always attentive and alert, this dog may not make a good guard dog but would protect its owners and loved ones when needed.

Height and Weight

Small enough to fit into your palm, an adult Teacup Yorkie will weigh between 2 to 4 lbs, while a standard Yorkshire terrier would weigh an average of 7lbs. This can differ from dog to dog, of course, depending on the diet of each dog and how much they exercise.

In regards to size, you should know that these dogs grow between 5 to 7 inches in size – Now that is really small by most standards. You also shouldn’t expect your Teacup Yorkie to grow after they reach their adult weight, which takes approximately a year.


Coat and Colors

Most Teacup Yorkies feature a blend of black and tan but several different color combinations can be found with the most common being black and gold, blue and gold, blue and tan.

Their coats are similar to that of a standard Yorkshire terrier – silky, shiny, and straight. Soft to touch, their coats lay flat on their backs and require regular grooming and trimming to ensure they look neat. The hair on the top of their heads generally grows longer and tends to cover their eyes so it would need to be trimmed more often.

Known for their hypoallergenic nature, these tiny dogs shed very little and that is a plus if you are worried about your furniture.

Teacup Yorkie Personality and Temperament

Owing to its adorable size, these dogs capture all the attention at home and that’s what they love. Although they are people-oriented, they do not mingle well with strangers and other pets. Similar to the personality of a terrier, the teacup Yorkie is a confident and affectionate pet and possesses the bossy nature of a pure Yorkshire Terrier.

Do not let their size fool you – these tiny dogs are extremely mischievous and sometimes a handful since they can be overly excited and anxious most of the time. Bold in nature, you might find your pup hunting down smaller animals like rats and rodents which might be harmful as they have fragile bones.

Extremely territorial, they defend their homes and are known to bark and howl when someone is at the door. However, this can be managed by regular training.

It is important to remember, when you bring them home for the first time, give them enough space to explore, a cozy bed that they can jump out of with ease and time to adjust to the new surroundings.

Teacup Yorkie Behavior

Lively and loving, Teacup Yorkies are known for their charming nature and huge hearts. They love a good belly rub and like spending hours on their owner’s lap. Incredibly social, these pups enjoy a good company but need to be regularly socialized as they tend to get overprotective at times.

However, their small size and delicate nature can be detrimental when exposed to smaller children without adult supervision, so it is always best to watch them while they play together. Easy to train, these little creatures are smart and pick up new things quicker than most dogs.


It is suggested that you keep your Teacup Yorkie away from other pets as they tend to assume they are larger and stronger which leads to aggression and further to serious injuries. However, with proper training and patience, this can be managed with time.

Be aware, these dogs, although small in size, are protective by nature and can be aggressive towards strangers and children who could pose a risk to them or their family. It is always recommended that you keep a close watch on your dog when around other pets, children, and strangers to ensure there are no accidents and mishaps.

All this can be effectively dealt with by a good training regime and also by allowing your Teacup Yorkie to let out some energy by giving him the space to exercise and run freely.


Is A Teacup Yorkie A Good Family Dog?

Being overly fragile makes this little pooch best suited for a single-pet home. Owing to their delicate bones and tiny bodies, they are not recommended for households with small children. And not to forget their feisty terrier characteristics, they see themselves as a fair competition against any other dog and are not afraid to fight back.

However, if you have children at home and would like a little handbag puppy, you must ensure an adult is always present in the room for the little doggy’s sake. Other than that, they can prove quite resilient to stress and boredom.

Caring for A Teacup Yorkie

A Teacup Yorkie may be small in size but they do require an adequate amount of space when a pup newly enters your home. As mentioned earlier, these dogs do need a lot of care and attention and should be monitored closely during the first few weeks of their stay.

Designating a cozy and warm room that is spacious and welcoming with an easy to reach bed is best for them to adjust easily. Keep in mind, when young, their bones are extra fragile and you would not want any unnecessary injuries while trying to jump into bed.


You may be surprised to know that these tiny little dogs have a lot of energy to spare and could do with a few games in and around the house. Dedicating a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, including cool walks in the park near your home or your area would do just fine.

Because they have a lot of energy and are always on the run, it is best to keep them on a leash to avoid them from jumping on surfaces that could injure their bodies. Another important factor to keep in mind is they are susceptible to cold and you should always keep them snug with a warm coat during winter months.

Grooming and Shedding

These dogs are the type that requires regular trims and should be groomed every 2 weeks to ensure they look their best. Although they have long straight fur that is easily manageable, it could grow out more than their height and cover their eyes which would only lead to them falling over.

For this, you need to groom them throughout the year, which is tasking. Regular hair brushing is also a must as it keeps the hair soft and clean and prevents matting and knotting. If you have extra cash and want a professional touch, you can visit the dog salon for a sophisticated look for your little Teacup Yorkie.

Another factor to consider would be to ensure their teeth are clean and brushed every day as they suffer from dental issues. A regular peek into their ears for the buildup of wax and debris is a must and clipping of nails to prevent overgrowth wouldn’t hurt.


Feeding and Diet

Despite the size and weight of the dog, it does not mean this tiny teacup pooch eats only a little. These Yorkies need to be fed every 3-4 hours during the day without skipping a single meal. Not huge portions but little amounts at a time, they require a specialized, well-balanced diet.

Teacup Yorkies are known to suffer from hypoglycemia, a low level of blood glucose, which is why they need a regular intake of minerals, vitamins, proteins, and dietary fats.

There is a wide range of premium dog food available in stores, so if you do not mind spending that extra cash to feed your little pup, you can try some dog foods which are packed full with nutrients and fewer carbs. This could cause obesity and could be harmful to your dog.

Known Health Problems

Unfortunately, this micro dog comes with an array of health issues so you should make sure to carry out thorough research before you get your pet. One of the common issues I mentioned above is the low blood sugar problem.

If you do not follow a specialized diet with strict meal intervals, your dog could be in trouble. Low blood sugar in Teacup Yorkies can cause seizures – however, this can be dealt with by rubbing honey on their gums and keeping them warm.

These dogs also suffer from collapsed tracheas sometimes wherein the airflow is limited which could lead to respiratory issues and coughing. Tiny as they are, their stomachs are overly sensitive and are susceptible to liver shunts which stops the liver from filtering the harmful toxins that are present in the blood.

Taking care of a Teacup Yorkie could be daunting, but if you would like to own one, you should do your best to keep them healthy. The general lifespan of a Teacup Yorkie lasts up to 14 years maximum or an average of 12 years.

Yorkshire Terrier Puppy

How to Train a Teacup Yorkie

Although smart and energetic, the Teacup Yorkie might be a tad bit stubborn at first. But this goes away once they get used to being around you. Extremely responsive to any kind of training, these dogs should be trained from an early age for maximum results.

Try your best not to punish these dogs, as you should remember, they are slightly aggressive and that could cause behavioral issues long-term.

Positive reinforcement, socializing, and praising your pet are great examples of effective training strategies. Awarding your dog with high-grade, healthy treats would definitely help in the training process.

Another effective way of training a Yorkie is by exposing them to other dogs and people after they are fully vaccinated. Being small in size, they are easy to carry around and can be exposed to new experiences, places, and smells.

You must ensure these dogs get enough mental stimulation like running around and playing with dog toys and feeders when required – You wouldn’t want chewed up shoes and furniture now, would you?


Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Information
Size 5 to 7 inches
Weight 2 to 4 lbs.
Lifespan 9 to 14 years
Color Black and tan, blue and tan, black and gold, blue and gold
Coat Straight and silky
Shedding & Grooming Shed very little
Temperament Mischievous, intelligent and friendly
With Other Pets Should not be left alone with other dogs, cautious but needs early socialization
People Skills Protective of owners, but warms up to strangers over time
With Children Not recommended for homes with small children
Exercise Needs Extremely active and energetic. Needs 20-30 minutes of exercise daily
Food Specialized diet with meals at regular intervals of 3 to 4 hours.
Known Health Problems Hypoglycemia, fragile bones, collapsed tracheas

All Things Considered

Teacup Yorkies are tiny dogs with charming personalities, dogs that people agree are adorable, fun, and fluffy. Loving, loyal, smart, and friendly, these dogs need an owner that can match their big personality. Demanding 24/7 care and attention, they should be under constant supervision by their owners to keep them happy.

These little pooches have a history of health issues that can be avoided if they follow a strict feeding schedule with a special diet. Best for single-pet households, these dogs are suited best for families without children. Not so great with strangers at first, they open up and are friendly after regular socializing.

Considered to be some of the cutest, friendliest, and easy-to-carry companions – if I may say so, these little Yorkies will definitely uplift the atmosphere inside your home and bring plenty of cheer and love to your family, if taken care of in the right way.

Caroline Jones

Caroline has been a dog lover since she was only 6 years old, when her parents got her a rescue Boxer. Since then her love for dogs has lead her to study Dog Behavior & Welfare. She now educates people on how to properly raise and care for dogs, through her online site, Bark Friend. Now, she's a proud owner of a beautiful German Shepherd.

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