Teacup Poodle Complete Guide [+ Photos]

Teacup Poodles are the smallest among all poodles. However, as they are very eager to please their owners, they have become one of the most sought-after dogs in the world

Despite their smaller size, Teacup Poodles possess many characteristics of their standard-sized parents, so they attract a lot of attention. These dogs are intelligent and lively, which is why people adore them.

So, if you plan to adopt a Teacup Poodle, there are several things to keep in mind. Here is a detailed guide to help you prepare for when the pup arrives at your place. 

teacup poodle

History

Teacup Poodles are smaller versions of Toy Poodles, so you will not find them in any breed registries as they do not recognize them as a separate breed. 

Teacup Poodles have been used for a variety of purposes throughout history. First, in France and Germany, hunters used them as duck retrievers, and later, French performers used them in circuses because of their intelligence and trainability. 

In the 18th century, these miniature poodles became popular with royalty worldwide. 

teacup poodle running grass

Breed Origin

Contrary to popular belief, Poodles are not originally from France. Although it is the national dog of France, it is not originally from the country. The AKC recognizes Germany as the first to breed the Poodle over 400 years ago.. 

The Poodle got its name from the German word pudel, which means “to splash around water.” Their coats kept them warm and protected them against cold water whenever they had to dive into the water to retrieve ducks. 

People bred them to serve as working and gun dogs, which made them perfect as hunting dogs over time.  

Poodle breeders started developing more varieties and sizes of poodles around 1900 when they created the three standard sizes we know today. And this is when the Teacup Poodle, the smallest version of Poodle, was born. 

christmas poodle black

Development of Teacup Poodles

Teacup Poodles are very adorable and loving pets, but their size makes them fragile, which is why you need to take proper care of them throughout their lives. As they go through physical and social development, as an owner, you need to supervise your little pal closely to ensure it does not get injured. 

Poodles are known to develop small dog syndrome as they grow old. They may engage in behaviors like jumping up at people, being aggressive, barking, and growling. To avoid this, you will need to provide them with obedience training very early. 

It usually takes a Teacup Poodle puppy 11 to 12 months from birth to reach maturity. So, in comparison to its other siblings, this miniature breed grows at a relatively slow rate.

Here’s how poodles develop physically and socially as they age. 

Physical

During the first 4 to 5 months after birth, a Teacup Puppy will grow in height and length; then, it will begin to gain fat and muscle mass. An average Teacup Poodle will reach an adult size of 7 inches at the shoulders and four pounds in weight at about 8 to 9 months. 

Social

During their development, Teacup puppies mature mentally at different rates. They reach adolescence at around four months, sexual maturity around seven months, and are usually mentally mature at around 12 months.

Here are some important development stages in a Teacup Poodle’s life:

  • 5 to 6 weeks:  You can start crate and obedience training
  • 6 to 10 weeks: Start exercising, deworming, vaccinations
  • 4 to 5 months: Adolescent period starts
  • 7 to 8 months: Sexual maturity, transition to adult food
  • 12+ months: Adulthood
red poodle puppies
Happy red Poodle puppies

Appearance

Poodles are all alike in appearance, except the Teacup Poodle is considerably smaller. A proportional physique, reasonably sized head, long and straight nose, and defined chin are some of its desirable features. Their eyes are black and oval-shaped, adding to their cuteness.

While there are no official breed standards for Teacup Poodles, they commonly stand 9 inches tall and weigh less than 6 pounds, unlike a Toy Poodle, which is less than 10 inches tall.

The topline of the Teacup Poodle is muscular, with a deep chest, a muscular neck, and a straight tail. Occasionally, breeders dock a poodle’s tail to half its length or less to make it appear more balanced, but it is not compulsory. 

Temperament

Poodles are intelligent dogs that are exceptionally loyal and dedicated to their families and owners. Some owners even claim that their Teacup poodle is so attached to them that when they leave the house, their dog develops separation anxiety or a state of anxious tension.

Teacup Poodles make great companions, they will stick by your side every minute of the day. And since they enjoy the company of their human companions, they might sometimes appear clingy and needy.

If you work long hours and cannot devote much time to your pet, the Teacup Poodle may not be the right choice for you. This is because they do not do well when left alone for extended periods.

toy poodle puppy
An apprehensive (but super cute) Poodle puppy. Look at that coat color!

Teacup Poodle is a good choice as a companion for elderly individuals who are lonely and would benefit from affectionate companionship because of their natural tendency to stay close to the person they love.

Their small size makes them great pets for small spaces, such as apartments and houses without extensive yards. They can also adapt to tiny or limited spaces.

Teacup Poodles are not known to be aggressive toward other animals and get along well with cats, dogs, and other household pets. They are colorful and lively, so watching them play with toys or other pets is a lot of fun.

Teacup Poodles are generally friendly but can become possessive and defensive of their owners, making them good watchdogs. 

Unless you properly socialize Teacup Poodles early in life, they may become shy or afraid. It is best to introduce them to various environments and situations while they are pups.

Color

The Teacup Poodle is the pick for you if you are looking for a dog with numerous color options. This dog comes in many solid colors, including black, red, silver, beige, white, gray, apricot, and brown. 

Lifespan

Teacup poodles have a typical lifespan of 12 to16 years, mainly because of their small size. 

According to Dr Kate Creevy , an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Georgia, small dogs mature in body and reproductive capacity earlier than larger dogs. And once they reach adulthood, they age slower than big dogs. 

Health Problems

While Teacup Poodles live longer than any other poodle, they are also prone to some diseases because of their small size. As a result, you can expect your Teacup poodle to have the following health conditions. 

Luxating Patellas

Teacup Poodles often have luxating patellas, a condition in which the kneecap slips out of alignment, preventing normal joint movement. With luxating patellas, dogs usually limp or walk with a “skipping gait,” where normal walking alternates with periods when they favor one hind leg.

A dog with both kneecaps compromised might exhibit a skipping gait, making it impossible for owners to diagnose where their pet’s lameness is coming from. However, in most cases, veterinarians are aware of this disease and palpate the dog’s knees to determine if laxity is present.

Dental Problems

Unlike most other breeds, Teacup Poodles experience a lot of tartar buildup, making them prone to dental problems. Maintaining the teeth of a Teacup Poodle involves regular, expert dental cleaning to avoid decay, tooth loss, and gingivitis. If you do not treat them early, these problems can cause severe concerns for your companion. 

Chronic Disease

Since Teacup Poodles have a long life span, they become more prone to developing chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal or other vital organs. These diseases are not genetic. Instead, dogs develop these diseases due to aging and weakening organs as they age. 

This is why health professionals recommend regular blood work to screen for problems that could shorten their lives. 

Hypoglycemia

Teacup Poodle puppies are prone to hypoglycemia, a condition where blood sugar levels drop dangerously low. It is considered an emergency when your pup has hyperglycemia, so if you have even the slightest doubt, you should go to the veterinarian immediately. 

To avoid this, the Teacup Poodle puppy needs more frequent feeding until it is six months old and weighs at least 4 to 5 pounds. 

Hyperthermia And Hypothermia

Teacup Poodle puppies are also likely to have difficulty controlling their body temperatures. As a result of their small size, Teacup dogs have a tendency to feel very cold, and they are sensitive to extreme temperatures.

As a result, the Teacup Poodle does not do well in the backyard. You should ideally keep it  indoors in a climate-controlled setting. This will keep them warm, dry, and protected from predators like coyotes, if there are any in your area. If your pet shows symptoms of hypothermia like shivering and whining, you should consult your veterinarian.

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Food and Diet Requirements

As with all other breeds, Teacup Poodles require a diet rich in animal proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients are essential for digestive and immunological health. Teacup Poodles also need omega fatty acids, which are good for their coats and skin. 

The diet of your Teacup Poodle should consist of premium dry food, wet or canned food, and fresh meat and vegetables. Make sure you feed it regularly, as these little dogs are prone to hypoglycemia if they skip meals.

An adult Teacup only needs about 250 calories per day or 1/2 cup of dry food (or less) every day, divided into three meals, depending on its age and activity level. 

The amounts of food a Teacup Poodle Puppy will need are even smaller—a five-month-old Teacup, for example, requires only 5-6 pieces of dry kibble per meal. You’ll need to feed them four times a day until they reach adulthood.

Exercise

Due to their shorter stature, Teacup Poodles require more steps than their owners on walks, which consumes more energy. However, they can also run in confined spaces without colliding with furniture, so short walks will usually suffice. You can keep your  Teacup Poodle busy with toys or balls for the rest of the day. 

Teacup Poodles prefer spending time with you, so they should be happy as long as they get fresh air, sunshine, and cardiovascular activity.

Training

While Teacup Poodles are moderately active, they don’t require much space for exercise. Your Teacup Poodle only needs the space that your apartment provides and short walks. They are happy chasing a ball, too. 

Ideally, a Teacup Poodle should get around 30 minutes of exercise every day. This will help them stay calm and use up all their pent-up energy.

If they don’t receive enough exercise, they can become restless and seek attention when you are trying to concentrate on your work. Besides ball chasing, agility, hide and seek, and other dog activities, the Teacup Poodle likes to play with other dogs. 

In addition, as it is in their genes, they are often attracted to water, so if you enjoy the activity too, take them for a swim.

Grooming Teacup Poodles

In contrast to other dogs, Teacup Poodles have hair, not fur, which gives them their fluffy appearance. Its coat is usually silky, soft, and curly, and if it is not maintained, it can become extremely thick.

poodle being groomed

Teacup Poodles do not need to have their hair clipped every year, and many owners opt not to do a “show clip” even in summer. However, a “puppy cut” is a manageable haircut that will reduce matting and tangling, especially during summer.

Generally, Teacup Poodles don’t shed, and when they do, hair loss is so minimal that it is nearly undetectable. As a result, the Teacup Poodle is allergy-friendly. They are a great choice for allergy sufferers.

Since Poodles grow hair in their ear canals, bathe them occasionally and have their ears cleaned to prevent infections.

The risk of tartar accumulation in this breed is exceptionally high, so brush their teeth regularly. Also, you should start brushing their teeth when they are pups, even if their deciduous teeth aren’t permanent. 

This will make sure that they don’t accumulate tartar. If you don’t have one already, make sure you get a dog toothbrush and dog-friendly toothpaste.

Conclusion

Due to their complex maintenance routine, Teacup Poodles are not ideal for first-time dog owners. 

Experienced owners will be able to handle these dogs better, especially if they have previously owned small dogs.

If you are willing to invest time and energy, you can definitely make a Teacup Poodle your companion. 

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