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There’s nothing more adorable than a Teacup Poodle. Although not officially recognized as there own breed by the American Kennel Club, they are none-the-less bred and sold. They are actually a toy poodle that has been selectively bred through generations to be smaller. So what does that mean for their breed profile and what’s different about this cute little dog? Let’s get into it!

Height6-9 inches
Weight4-6 lbs.
Lifespan12-15 years
BreedTeacup Poodle (Not recognized by AKC)
SuitabilityFamilies (older children), apartment living, people who don’t leave home a lot.
ColorsBlack, Silver, Blue, Gray, Red, White, Apricot, Brown, Beige
TemperamentIntelligent, Loyal, Loving, Alert, Highly Social
Health ConcernsHypoglycemia, Patellar luxation, Dental issues, Hydrocephalus, Heart disease, Incontinence
Cuter than a buttonFragile
Low maintenanceKnown health issues
Intelligent and lovingCan be expensive

What is a teacup poodle?

The teacup poodle is a very small variety of the poodle breed. Typically they weigh between 4-6 pounds fully grown and stand less than 9 inches tall at the shoulder.

Teacup Poodles were bred from using toy poodles, until generations on, they’re now a miniature version of the toy. Like other poodles, the teacup poodle is also known for its intelligence, trainability, and hypoallergenic coat.

However, being of a smaller size, they are known to have health issues and can be more prone to injury.

History of the teacup poodle and breed origin

The Poodle has been around for centuries, with its origins tracing back to Germany.

The breed was originally developed as a hunting dog, with the standard-sized Poodles being used for retrieving game in water, and the smaller Toy Poodles serving as lapdogs for the rich.

It’s difficult to say exactly when the teacup variety of poodles were developed. Teacup breeds have been documented thousands of years ago. It’s likely that the practice of breeding smaller sized poodles occurred in the United States, originating in the 1950’s, though it’s difficult to substantiate.

The Teacup Poodle has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, due to their miniature size, they can be prone to health issues such as hypoglycemia, heart disease, and can break bones easily due to their fragility.

Because of this, it’s important to research and choose a reputable breeder to ensure that the dog is healthy and well-cared for. Even so, the health concerns remain.

It’s also important to note that the American Kennel Club does not recognize “Teacup Poodle” as a specific size or variety of the Poodle breed.

The AKC states that the Teacup Poodle is a variation of the Toy Poodle, and thus not recognized as it’s own breed.

Behavior and breed characteristics of a teacup poodle

Teacup Poodles are known for their intelligence, trainability and hypoallergenic coat. They typically weigh between 4-6 pounds and stand less than 9 inches tall at the shoulder.

They are outgoing and sociable by nature, making them great companions. They are also very affectionate and loyal to their owners, and thrive on human attention and interaction.

In terms of behavior, teacup poodles are highly trainable and respond well to positive reinforcement.

They are extremely clever and enjoy learning new tricks and commands. They are also known for having good manners and being well-behaved. This makes them highly suitable for apartment living.

For answers to common teacup poodle questions, be sure to read our post, Teacup Poodles: Your Questions Answered.

Height, Weight, and Size

A Teacup Poodle typically weighs between 4-6 pounds and stand less than 9 inches tall at the shoulder. However, it’s important to note that there is no official standard for the size of a “teacup” Poodle, so the size and weight can vary from breeder to breeder.

It’s important to research and choose a reputable breeder to ensure that the poodle you are getting is healthy and well-cared for, and to make sure that the puppy is not being overbred to achieve a smaller size, which can lead to health problems.

This is a common issue in the teacup breeding industry, so get reviews, speak to people in the poodle breeding industry, and make sure you’re not supporting poor breeding practices.

For a size guide to the other poodle breeds, please go to Your Poodle Size Guide: Toy, Mini, Standard


The temperament of a teacup poodle can vary depending on the individual dog and their upbringing. However, in general they are known to be outgoing, sociable, and affectionate.

They are very loyal to their owners and thrive on human attention and interaction.

Due to their small size, they are not suitable as guard dogs, but they make great companions, and they are known to be good with children and other pets.

They are also known to be very adaptable and can do well in a variety of living situations, from city apartments to suburban homes.

Socialization is highly important for teacup poodles to help them become well-rounded and confident adult dogs, so exposing them to a variety of people, animals, and environments from a young age is vital.

Leaving a teacup poodle alone

The amount of time that a teacup poodle can be left alone depends on the individual dog, their age and their overall health condition. Being highly sociable dogs means they don’t cope well with long periods of alone time.

Generally speaking, it’s not recommended to leave them alone for more than a few hours at a time. Puppies and older dogs will require more frequent breaks and attention.

It’s also important that they have been setup for success by teaching them to be confident and independent. Training them gradually through alone time is a must.

If you do need to leave your teacup poodle alone for a period of time, it’s important to make sure they have access to food, water, and a comfortable place to rest.

Setting up a pen with everything they need while you’re away is a good idea and we have a guide for that here: Choosing the right pen setup.

It may also be beneficial to have someone check on them regularly to ensure they are safe and happy and for some play time.

It’s also important to consider that teacup poodle are not suitable for people who work long hours, or who travel frequently.

They really need to be with their owners or someone who can take care of them and give them the attention they need.

We also have this post you should read if you’re leaving your dog home alone: Leaving Your Dog Home Alone: 8hrs, 12hrs, 24hrs.

Health problems and issues

If you’re searching for a Teacup Poodle a common question to ask is do teacup poodles have health issues?

Teacup Poodles, like any other breed, can have certain health issues. However, due to their small size, they may be more prone to certain health problems than larger Poodles.

Some of the health issues that teacup Poodles may be more likely to develop include:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar): This can be a serious issue for small breeds like the Teacup Poodle and can occur if they don’t eat enough, or if they burn more energy than they take in.
  • Patellar Luxation: This is a condition where the kneecap (patella) dislocates or moves out of place. This can cause pain and lameness, and in severe cases, surgery may be required.
  • Dental issues: Due to their small jaw size, Teacup Poodles may be more prone to dental issues such as overcrowding, retained baby teeth and malocclusion (bad bite).
  • Hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain): Many of the teacup dog breeds are predisposed to this condition, which results in a dome-shaped head.
  • Heart disease: Teacup Poodles may be more prone to certain types of heart disease such as mitral valve disease.

It’s important to note that these are not all the possible health issues that a teacup poodle may have.

Having your dog examined by a veterinarian regularly and providing them with proper care and nutrition will give you the best chance of your pooch having good health.

If you’re choosing a puppy, it’s also a good idea to have them checked by a vet to make sure they don’t have any issues.

Regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care can help minimize the risk of health problems and ensure a long and healthy life.

Living Requirements and Suitability

Teacup Poodles are a small and delicate breed that can make great pets for the right person or family. They are known for being affectionate, playful, and intelligent.

They are easy to take care of and they thrive on human interaction and attention.

They may be well suited for:

  • People who live in small houses or apartments.
  • Retirees or people who are home most of the time.
  • People who have limited mobility and are looking for a small companion dog.
  • People who have time to give to their dog and will be able to devote time to regular training, grooming and socializing.
  • People who are looking for a small, low shedding dog.

They are not well suited to people who:

  • Work for long hours, needing to leave their dog home alone
  • People who are super active, hikers, runners, etc.
  • People who travel frequently
  • People who don’t like a dog who follows them around (Teacup Poodles can be clingy)
  • People with very young children, as they are delicate and can be easily hurt.

Overall, if you’re looking for a small, affectionate companion dog that will thrive on human interaction and attention, a teacup Poodle may be the right choice for you!

Life expectancy of a teacup poodle

The life expectancy of a Teacup Poodle can vary, but on average, they can live between 12-15 years. However, with proper care, nutrition, and regular vet check-ups, some teacup poodles can live longer.

It’s also worth mentioning that due to their small size, teacup Poodles may be more prone to certain health issues, which can affect their lifespan.

Choosing a reputable breeder can also ensure your Teacup Poodle lives a long life.

Additionally, proving a quality, healthy diet, and giving adequate exercise, will increase their life expectancy.

Teacup poodles can be prone to obesity which can negatively affect their health and lifespan, so be watchful of how much they eat and the type of foods they’re eating.

Overall, with proper care and attention, a teacup Poodle can be a loving and loyal companion for many years.

Exercising a teacup poodle

Being a small and active breed, Teacup Poodles require exercise to stay healthy and happy. However, due to their small size, they don’t require as much exercise as larger breeds.

The amount and frequency of exercise for a teacup Poodle will depend on the individual dog’s age, health, and energy level.

Adult teacup Poodles generally need around 20-30 minutes of exercise per day, divided into two or three shorter sessions. Puppies and older dogs may need less.

The best type of exercise for a teacup Poodle is a combination of both physical and mental activities.

Some good options include:

  • Leash walks: Teacup Poodles enjoy going for walks and exploring new surroundings.
  • Indoor playtime: They can be very active indoors, so providing them with toys, puzzle feeders and interactive games can keep them entertained and mentally stimulated.
  • Training and obedience classes: They are very intelligent and enjoy learning new tricks and commands, and the sociable aspect is a bonus.
  • Agility training: This can be a fun and mentally stimulating activity for them as well.

It’s also important to keep in mind that due to their small size, teacup poodles can be more prone to injury, so it’s important to avoid over-exercising them and to supervise them during playtime.

Also, small dogs may not tolerate high heat or high humidity, so avoid exercising them during a hot day.

Providing a well-balanced diet to support their energy needs is also a must, so be sure to consult with a vet to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need.

Litter Size

The litter size of Teacup Poodles can vary depending on the individual, but they are usually on the smaller side due to their small size.

Poodles usually have small to medium-sized litters of around 4-6 puppies. However, some poodles may have larger litters of up to 8 or more puppies, while others may have only one or two. Teacup poodle fit into this latter group and usually have 1-2 pups in a litter.

Teacup Poodles may also have more difficulty during the birthing process due to their smaller size.

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s important to choose a reputable breeder who has the health and well-being of the dogs as their top priority and that they are breeding healthy dogs.

Grooming a teacup poodle

Teacup Poodles have a thick, curly coat that requires regular grooming to maintain their appearance and prevent matting – it’s also important for the health and happiness!

The best way to groom a teacup Poodle is by following these steps:

  1. Brush their coat: Before bathing, use a slicker brush or metal comb to remove any tangles or mats from their coat. Be gentle and take your time to avoid hurting your dog.
  2. Bathe them: Use a dog-specific shampoo and conditioner to clean their coat. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all soap.
  3. Dry them off: Use a towel or a low-heat blow dryer to dry your dog’s coat.
  4. Trim their hair: Use scissors or clippers to trim their hair.
  5. Brush their teeth: Use a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs to keep their teeth clean.
  6. Check their ears: Use a cotton ball or a soft cloth to wipe out any dirt or wax from their ears.

Here’s a blog post on how to shave their face.

It’s important to note that Teacup Poodles can have more delicate skin than larger Poodles, so use a mild shampoo and avoid hot water when bathing them.

If in doubt, always consult a professional groomer!

Training a teacup poodle

Training a teacup Poodle requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.

Here are some tips on the best way to train a teacup Poodle:

  1. Start young: The earlier you start training your teacup Poodle, the easier it will be for them to learn!
  2. Use positive reinforcement: Rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, and affection is the best way to go.
  3. Be consistent: Use the same commands every time to help your dog understand what you expect from them. Click training can help with this.
  4. Keep sessions short: Teacup Poodles have shorter attention spans than larger breeds, so keep training sessions short.
  5. Socialize them: Introduce them to different people, animals, and environments to help them become well-adjusted and confident.
  6. Potty training: Potty train your teacup Poodle using a crate.
  7. Basic obedience training: Teach basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, heel, etc.
  8. Leash training: Teach your Teacup Poodle to walk on a leash to prevent them from running away or getting into danger.

Cost of a teacup poodle

A Teacup Poodle can cost anywhere from $600 to $7000, but generally they sell for around $2500. The price depends on location, breeder, lineage, face-type, and color. It also varies on what is included with the cost, such as registration.

Difference between a toy poodle and a teacup poodle

Toy Poodles and Teacup Poodles are both small breeds of the poodle family, but there are some key differences as selective breeding has changed their size and weight.

The main difference between a toy poodle and a teacup poodle is a toy poodle typically weighs between 6 and 10 pounds and stands at about 10-12 inches tall. A teacup poodle is smaller and typically weighs between 4 and 6 pounds and stands at about 6-9 inches tall.

Another difference to note between the two is that the toy poodle is likely to be more fragile due to their tiny size. They can also be more prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia, dental issues, and heart disease.

Teacup Poodle may have a shorter lifespan than Toy Poodles.

I’d also like to mention that teacup poodles are not an official breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, unlike the toy poodle which is.

Summing Up

Teacup poodles are a small breed that are known for their friendly and playful personalities. They are intelligent, trainable, easy to groom, and make great companion dogs.

They are especially suited to people who want a low-maintenance dog.

The fact they are also hypoallergenic and shed very little makes them a great option for people with allergies.

Teacup poodles are also very portable and can be easily taken with you on trips or outings – you may have even seen on in a designer handbag.

However, it’s important to note that teacup poodles are not an officially recognized size by kennel clubs and may be more prone to health issues.

Because of this they often have a shorter life expectancy than larger poodle types.

Having a teacup poodle means you’ll have a dog that stays small forever, but it’s also worth noting that there are many people and breeders who are strongly against teacup dog breeds.

The breeding practice of ever striving for smaller and smaller dogs can be hazardous to the health of the dogs themselves, and even fatal.