Teacup Yorkies are a tiny breed that never exceeds more than seven inches tall and 17 inches long with a weight under three pounds. Breeders will set out to create such puppies that ensure they never get bigger than this after their first year of life.
While they are adorable, their small, diminutive sizes lend themselves to a host of health problems. What’s more, the American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize them as an official show breed. Plus there is controversy around breeding such tiny dogs as there are some who perceive it to be cruel and inhumane.
Table of Contents
- How Tall Does a Teacup Yorkie Get?
- How Long Does a Teacup Yorkie Get?
- What Is the Maximum Weight a Teacup Yorkie Can Reach?
- What Health Problems Come with Teacup Yorkies Because of Their Small Size?
- Why Is It Inhumane to Breed Teacup Yorkies?
- For How Long Do Teacup Yorkies Live?
- Why Doesn’t the AKC Consider Teacup Yorkies an Official Show Breed?
- Is a Teacup Yorkie the Same as a Mini, Micro or Toy Yorkie?
How Tall Does a Teacup Yorkie Get?
The tallest a Teacup Yorkie gets is seven inches. However, they can be as little as five inches tall or even less than that.
How Long Does a Teacup Yorkie Get?
Teacup Yorkies are never more than 15 to 17 inches long. Oftentimes, they are much smaller than that.
What Is the Maximum Weight a Teacup Yorkie Can Reach?
Teacup Yorkies usually have a weight ranging somewhere between one to three pounds fully grown. While they don’t struggle with obesity issues, they do have a hard time maintaining a healthy balance of nutrients within the body. This means they can become dangerously thin.
What Health Problems Come with Teacup Yorkies Because of Their Small Size?
Teacup Yorkies can experience problems with having thin bone density along with a poor immune system and breathing apparatus. They can also develop serious knee, joint and hip issues. Plus, their tendons and ligaments easily succumb to injury.
Harnesses and Hypoglycemia
They are tiny and fragile, so they have specific care requirements. Teacup Yorkies can’t have a collar because of the risk of choking and incurring a collapsed trachea, so only a harness is ideal. When they’re puppies, they are incredibly susceptible to hypoglycemia, a rapid drop in blood sugar levels, which can be fatal.
Skin Problems & Sores
Because Teacup Yorkies don’t have the protective layer of fat a normal one does, they are vulnerable to skin irritations, infections and sores. This is especially true in the summertime, when the heat and humidity make it unbearable for them.
This is also a problem when it comes to baths, specifically in the winter. Severe and quick temperature changes will be detrimental to a Teacup Yorkie. So, these tiny canines can’t control or regulate their body temperature as most other dogs can.
Stress & Weight Issues
Teacup Yorkies can experience high levels of stress, which can be incredibly overwhelming to them. Sometimes stress and tension leads to cardiac disease or lack of eating. Which only compounds the fact that they tend to struggle with low weight throughout their lives and aren’t healthy eaters.
Lack of Nutrition
If a Teacup Yorkie doesn’t get enough nutrients, vitamins and quality calories throughout the day, they will exhibit symptoms such as:
- Coma (late stage)
- Difficulty Walking
Special Bedding & Sleeping Location
Because of the delicate fragility that Teacup Yorkies have inherent with their nature, their bedding and sleeping location must be ideal. It is imperative that these little dogs have a very soft, comfortable and orthopedic bed that stays warm in winter and cool in summer.
It must not be near doorways, garages, patios or any other opening to the house. Where the Teacup Yorkie sleeps must not have any sudden temperature changes or shifts. Drafts, inclement breezes and fluctuating seasons can cause a Teacup Yorkie to get sick quickly.
Why Is It Inhumane to Breed Teacup Yorkies?
To intentionally breed a puppy to be smaller than it’s typical counterpart is often at the expense of the Yorkie’s health. As you read above, the poor thing is subject to a host of medical and health conditions that can all be fatal under the right, unfortunate conditions.
The process of making these dogs means the breeder will deliberately select undersized dogs for mating, regardless of their health and medical needs. Those kinds of genetics get passed down to the offspring, including severe health issues stemming five generations back.
People do this to produce a profit, not to ensure that they breed a responsible, healthy and happy kind of dog. The fact that people will pay thousands of dollars for a Teacup Yorkie means there’s a demand too, which adds to the sordidness of it all. It’s a very selfish pursuit that doesn’t consider the dog at all and is therefore inhumane.
For How Long Do Teacup Yorkies Live?
Teacup Yorkies can live as long as 12 years old or more, depending on their care and overall health. But, because of the increased risk of heart problems, their life expectancy is usually much lower than this.
Why Doesn’t the AKC Consider Teacup Yorkies an Official Show Breed?
True Yorkshire Terriers have a weight around seven pounds. The AKC rulebook will not accept any dogs shorter than that and do not classify Teacup Yorkies as a variant breed of Yorkshire Terrier. Although Teacup Yorkies do classify as a toy breed, they don’t meet the four to seven pound condition by AKC to recognize them as such.
If you are looking for a Yorkie to feature in the dog show circuit, then you must have a normal sized Yorkshire Terrier. Right now, AKC seems to favor Yorkies that weigh between six and seven pounds.
Is a Teacup Yorkie the Same as a Mini, Micro or Toy Yorkie?
For the most part, the terms “teacup,” “mini,” “micro” and “toy” in regards to tiny Yorkies are interchangeable. The only one that is up to question is “toy” because it refers to the type and style of dog in general. However, if you see a breeder featuring these as separate classifications, it’s likely they aren’t reputable.
This is because there are no set standards or official guidelines for a Teacup Yorkie. They are, essentially, a mutation of the original breed. Therefore, all these specialized terms are nothing more than marketing ploys.