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Teacup Yorkie – Your Guide To This Dog Breed

teacup yorkie
Reading Time: 7 minutes


The Teacup Yorkie is a Yorkshire Terrier that is bred to be significantly smaller than usual. 

Also called

  • Teacup Yorkshire Terrier 
  • Mini Yorkie
  • Yorkie Teacup
  • Yorkshire Teacup
  • Teacup Yorkie Peanut

They are among the world’s smallest dogs. About their name, these guys can comfortably fit into teacups owing to their miniature size.

They’ve been quite popular since the 1990s.

Loved by many and undeniably cute this adorable fashion-breed has come to stay.

 There is one common that usually pops up when talking about the Teacup Yorkshire.

Why was it necessary to make smaller versions of the already small Yorkshire Terrier?

Well, dog lovers wanted dogs with less expensive grooming who ate pocket-friendly food, were portable travel buddies, and caused less cleanable mess.

Innovative breeders immediately got to work, trying to satisfy this need.

With a bit of tinkering, they were able to achieve it. 

A Yorkshire that is smaller than the already little Yorkshire Terrier. 

But ofcourse these came with a few drawbacks which we will discuss below.

 History Of The Standard Yorkshire Terrier

‘Standard’ here refers to the Yorkshire Terrier’s natural small-sized state, not its miniature form. 

First seen in the 1800s England, they were a breed that resulted from breeding three different purebred dogs into one line. 

Those purebred dogs include the 

  • Paisley Terrier, 
  • Skye Terriers 
  • and Maltese. 

Initially known for keeping rats off mines, they gradually evolved to become lapdogs of Victorian-era ladies.  

The standard Yorkshire Terrier was first seen in America in 1872, and by 1885 the breed was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). 

Their majestic coats and portable nature endeared them to people. Did I forget to say that although this companion dog is affectionate, it is highly suspicious of strangers? 

Left alone, these lads chase every little creature (squirrels especially)

It’s also a reason why they must be trained adequately to drop the habit.

Kennel Recognition

As at the time of posting this, the Teacup Yorkie variant of the standard Yorkshire Terrier has not been officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) though the breed has been around for some time. 

The AKC argues that since female Teacup Yorkies are very small and can carry 1 or 2 puppies per litter, it might be risky for their health.

 Ethical breeders think otherwise. Since they are expert breeders, they (& veterinarians) exist for dog issues like this

How Do I Recognize a Mini Yorkie?

Features like Size, Facial & hair description, Coat and Personality type are particularly important in recognizing the Teacup Yorkie.


Adult Teacup Yorkies are very small in size. I mean they’re called ‘Teacup’ for a reason. They are never medium or large. They stand out from other miniature dogs like the Poodle & Chihuahua with a light, dainty and compact build.

Height wise, most Yorkie Teacups are 5-7 inches ( 12.7-17.8 centimeters). Quite short.

On average, full-grown Teacup Yorkies weigh 2-4 pounds (0.9-1.8kilograms). That’s about the weight of a pair of lady shoes, an average pineapple, or even a big bunch of 6 bananas by comparison

This is as opposed to standard Yorkshire Terrier that weighs 5-7 pounds (2.3-3.2 kilograms)

In terms of gait, Yorkie Teacups walk with short, alert springy steps.

Appearance of the Teacup Yorkie

Like the standard Yorkshire Terrier, the Teacup Yorkie has a black coat button nose

With its small, pointed and erect ears sitting on its small and slightly flat head, the Teacup Yorkie’s head is quite unmistakable. 

They have bi-colored coats with colors ranging from;

  • black and gold, 
  • black and tan, 
  • blue and tan,
  • blue and gold 
  • to the extremely rare white colored ones. 

The white-coated Teacup Yorkies have a recessive gene that lightens the breed variant’s general appearance, thereby giving off a white coat color.

In terms of coat length, Teacup Yorkies have long straight coats. Soft in texture and with a silky and glossy coat that flows to their back. 

They never come in short coats. This is key in differentiating them from other breeds. 

They also surprisingly shed less despite their having long coats. 

Teacup Yorkies are hypoallergenic because they produce less dander(skin flakes) and don’t shed as much as other breeds, making them an excellent choice for allergy sufferers.

Personality and Temperament

‘Huge’ is the word that best describes the personality of the Mini Yorkie. Retaining the persona of her Terrier ancestry, these Yorkies are confident, affectionate, excitable, energetic, somewhat territorial, and above all, entertaining. 

On the flip side, they also have demanding attributes. An example is being a persistent attention seeker.

People generally say they have little dog syndrome however, I see it as their way of being loud to complement their small size. It’s no surprise they prefer the company of humans to other dogs. 

The Mini Yorkie is lively and can easily break into a chase once a small animal/prey (squirrels) triggers it. True to its ancient role as a rat hunter in the mines, such attributes can prove to be their undoing, especially when you consider that they have fragile bones that might get hurt in harmful situations.

Teacup Yorkies also love the sound of their voices. It’s no wonder they love barking. Early training can control this.

They are prone to separation anxiety hence the need to warm up to them in puppyhood.

Their degree of fragility and the personalities above make the Teacup Yorkie suited for homes with adults and less or no pets

The indoor nature of this dog breed makes it a fit for apartment owners.

How To Train a Mini Yorkie

The good thing about this breed is the ease of training them. Initially stubborn, they eventually cooperate when they realize you’re in control.

When you bring them home, allow them to explore. Start obedience training from the 3rd day. Easily driven by play, praise, and treats, training them can be fun. 

Be careful of what you give them as treats. Their stomachs are prone to upset.

Since they commonly witness separation anxiety, gently stroking their coats and staying around them helps.

Patience is a key virtue here. Despite their fast learning pace, seeing the world from their height might be a little challenging at first. Take your Teacup Yorkie on puppy familiarization tours.

It helps in socialization and reduces stress, thereby curbing barking tendencies. 

Assuming you already have a pet dog in the house before getting your Teapot Yorkie, let the two dogs size up. It’s part of the alpha dog culture. Besides pop training, obedience training and household exploration, Teapot Yorkies need very little physical exercise.

Give your pup dog toys and puzzle feeders to keep them busy. If you must play catch, Play catch with small bouncy balls in spaces devoid of objects. 

How To Take Care Of A Teacup Yorkie

Points to be considered include 

  • Exercise needs, 
  • Average Lifespan, 
  • Grooming & Shedding, 
  • Feeding & Diet 
  • as well as Dog Health Challenges to expect.

Let’s get started;

Exercise Needs

The Teacup Yorkie is an indoor dog and needs less physical exercise. A 20 minutes walk is more than enough for the day. They get the bulk of their exercise from daily play. One of the many perks of being small. Constant play keeps them from chewing your shoes in your absenceIt is essential to consider your pace as these dogs are short and fragile.

Should you go jogging with your Mini Yorkie puppy, endeavor to use a harness on it. Never use a leash. Their trachea is quite fragile.

During winter, wrap them in coats. They are prone to cold without it.

Average Lifespan.

With regular veterinary checkups and care, your Teacup Yorkie can live for 7-9 years. The lifespan is this way because of their propensity to develop serious health issues and the role of their small size in injury or disease.

On the Brightside, that period is more than enough to make some beautiful memories.

Grooming and Shedding

Grooming helps keep your pet dog at ease. Aggressive tendencies are reduced.

Here is how you take care of the grooming and shedding needs of your Yorkshire Teacup puppy.

  1. Have a frequent fur brush & trim routine. (Once every three days is okay) Since their hairs grow continuously throughout the year, not trimming it may cause poor dog visibility and even preventable injuries. Leaving your Yorkie’s coat to grow for long without cutting further increases maintenance costs.
  2. Use dog clippers to trim (or meet your groomer) To give a straight ear look, groom and cut the hair around the ear. A pet hair clipper can do the trick. In the absence of trimming, you can pull the hair into a topknot to aid your dog’s vision (anybody can do this). Brush your puppy’s fur as frequently as possible. Pin combs, Slicker brushes and body rakes are handy here. To maintain coat quality you can apply coconut oil periodically. Since the Teacup Yorkie sheds less, the robotic suction vacuum isn’t so necessary for grooming here.
  3. Bathe weekly with mild doggy shampoo to prevent irritation. You don’t want to carry a smelly pet around. Do you? 
  4. Brush your dog’s teeth every day to prevent dental problems. Since this fragile breed is prone to dental challenges, don’t use a brush for your puppy until it clocks one year old. Instead, use a small portion of dog toothpaste to massage your pet’s gums. There’re many brands out there. With time introduce toothbrushes.
  5. For Ear hygiene, check and wipe them once every two (2) weeks. Check for nails regularly and if overgrown cut. Groomers are better with this task.
  6. Always go for periodic veterinarian visits.

By following those basic steps, you’re sure to enjoy your time with your Teacup Yorkie.

Feeding & Diet

Teacup Yorkies have dietary needs that change as they grow from puppies into adults.

They eat little but frequently every day. They need about 400 calories of energy from their dog food (1 cup of dog food split into five meals will do for the whole day). They lap water a lot. Always give them healthy diet with vitamins and minerals and in terms of frequency, they eat every 3-4 hours 

Do not wake them to feed at night. They need all the rest they can get. Smaller sized kibbles that suites their small mouth size is recommended.

It is recommended to give Teacup Yorkie puppies the kind of food (kibble) they ate at the breeder’s place before gradually introducing them to new meals as they grow. Their stomachs are very sensitive at that stage. 

Dog Health Challenges To Expect

Understanding that adorable toy dogs can have their peculiar health challenges helps you properly care for your Teacup Yorkie.

You may witness the commonest health challenges while caring for your Yorkie pup include Hypoglycemia, sensitive stomach, Dental Issues, injuries due to their long hair obstructing vision and bone fractures.

Honey or sugar syrups are helpful in resuscitation in hypoglycemia. Should your pup experience a hypoglycemic crisis, put some honey or sugar syrup on her gums. I recommend having a hamster water bottle when walking in public with your Teacup Yorkshire. Just in case.

Whenever you notice anything off about your dog, consult your veterinarian. 

Price of a Teacup Yorkie

When getting a Teacup Yorkie, consider the breeder and his/her reputation. The fact is many have engaged in unhealthy practices just to cash in on the Teacup Yorkie popularity.

Always demand a health certificate from your breeder for your puppy’s parents. This is to rule out the presence of inheritable genetic health issues.

On average, Teacup Yorkie puppies cost $1370-$2130(USD) Price varies across breeders.

If you’re keen on adoption, then Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue and Save a Yorkie Rescue can help out