Teacup Chihuahua Breed Information, Traits, & Characteristics

The teacup Chihuahua is a toy dog that is a smaller, purebred Chihuahua. It’s unclear where the teacup Chihuahua originated, but the Chihuahua originated in Mexico. Teacup dogs are smaller versions of dog breeds.

Teacup Chihuahuas are tiny dogs with big personalities. Because of their small size, teacup Chihuahuas are suitable for people who live in small spaces, such as apartments. Chihuahuas are moderately difficult to care for, so they’re more suited to experienced dog owners. The teacup Chihuahua’s small size can cause health problems, so it’s important to purchase your teacup Chihuahua from a reputable breeder.

Like standard size, Chihuahuas, teacup Chihuahuas don’t like to be left alone, so this breed is unsuitable for people who spend a lot of time away from home.

Teacup Chihuahuas typically cost between $500 to $2500.

Teacup Chihuahua Characteristics & Overview

Common names:Teacup Chihuahua, micro Chihuahua, toy Chihuahua, miniature Chihuahua
Breed group:Toy dog
Height:Up to 6 inches
Weight:x3–5 pounds
Colors:Black, fawn, red, cream, brown, tan
Coat:Double coat, two varieties: smooth and long
Life expectancy:12–18 years
Temperament:Bold, lively, territorial, devoted
Shedding:Light to moderate
Barking tendency:Frequent

Origin & Purpose

The first record of Chihuahuas dates back to the 1800s. Unlike other dog breeds, humans bred Chihuahuas for companionship, not work. Chihuahuas first came to the United States in the late 1800s.

The Chihuahua’s slightly larger ancestors, Techichis, were used as sacrifices in the Mayan era or buried with their owners to bring good luck in the afterlife.

The origins of teacup Chihuahuas are unclear, but they were likely bred as a smaller version of the standard Chihuahua in order to be a purse-sized companion.


Teacup Chihuahuas can live up to 18 years when properly cared for and given the right environment to thrive within. However, in general, micro Chihuahuas don’t live as long as standard Chihuahuas, which can live up to 20 years. This breed’s lifespan is dependent on various factors such as diet, weight, vaccinations, and activity levels.

To make sure your teacup Chihuahua lives as long as possible, take it for regular walks, feed it nutritious food, and take it to a veterinarian when it shows signs of illness.

Teacup Chihuahua Appearance

Teacup Chihuahuas are a smaller version of a standard Chihuahua. Most teacup Chihuahuas are similar in height and size, but the coat comes in two variations. This tiny breed has a rounded head, a short, pointed muzzle, large, alert eyes, and erect ears. Because of their small size, teacup Chihuahua puppies appear to never grow up and may look like puppies forever.

Height and Weight

Adult teacup Chihuahuas are considered to be small dogs, with a height of up to 6 inches and a weight of around 3–5 pounds. Teacup Chihuahua puppies are smaller puppies than standard Chihuahuas.


Teacup Chihuahuas are typically cream, tan, brown, black, fawn, or red. Coats can be solid or patterned, and according to the breed standard, any color is accepted.


Micro Chihuahuas have two different types of coats — the short-haired coat and the long-haired coat. Long-haired teacup Chihuahuas have wavy hair with fringes on their tails and heads. Short-haired teacup Chihuahuas have short hair all over their body.

All coat varieties have a double coat to keep the miniature Chihuahuas warm and regulate body temperature.

Chihuahuas shed lightly for most of the year and moderately throughout the shedding season in spring. Manage the shedding with regular cleaning and brushing.

Teacup Chihuahua Personality and Temperament

The teacup Chihuahua’s personality is the same as the standard Chihuahua’s personality. The teacup Chihuahua is alert, self-reliant, and confident. Despite their small size, teacup Chihuahuas have feisty personalities.

Teacup Chihuahuas are devoted to their owners but can be hostile to strangers, so they’re not ideal for households that have frequent visitors. This tendency towards aggression can make micro Chihuahuas unsuitable for families with small children. Teacup Chihuahuas are suitable for owners who want a devoted pet that they can spend plenty of time with.


Teacup Chihuahuas bark frequently for various reasons, including boredom, desire for attention, seeing strangers, or in response to a change in the environment.

To reduce the teacup Chihuahua’s tendency to bark, make sure that all of its needs are met. Avoid shouting at the Chihuahua when it barks because this can make the barking worse. Instead, try to distract the teacup Chihuahua from the stimulus with toys, play, or food.

Teacup Chihuahua Care

Taking care of a teacup Chihuahua is moderately difficult. The breed requires lots of training, attention, and socialization.

Food Needs

A teacup Chihuahua’s diet should be made up of around 40% protein, such as chicken, turkey, and beef.

Teacup Chihuahua puppies need ½ cup of food in 3–6 meals a day to help them grow. Once the dogs reach adulthood, they’ll need ½–1 cup of food split over two meals daily, or three if necessary.

Grooming Needs

Teacup Chihuahuas require brushing at least twice weekly, and they should be taken to a professional groomer or given a bath and trim at least once every two months. Long-haired teacup Chihuahuas require more brushing than the short-haired variety, so aim to brush them at least three times weekly.

Exercise Needs

Despite their tiny size, teacup Chihuahuasneed regular exercise. Exercise your teacup Chihuahua dog for up to ½ hour per day by walking or playing.

Because of their low exercise needs in comparison to other dogs, tiny teacup Chihuahuas are suitable for apartment living or houses without yards.

Mental Needs

Chihuahuas are very energetic and curious, so they require plenty of mental stimulation. Keep your Chihuahua busy with toys, games, and outdoor play.

Common Health Concerns

Because of this breed’s tiny size, it’s particularly prone to health problems. The health problems associated with Chihuahuas can be more severe in toy Chihuahuas.

  • Hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a hip deformity that results in loose joints. Hip dysplasia typically shows up as weakness and pain in a teacup Chihuahua’s hind legs. Hip dysplasia can be treated with physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, or, in severe cases, surgery.
  • Luxating patella. A luxating patella is a dislocating kneecap. Symptoms of a luxating patella include hopping and stiffness in the legs. Treat mild cases with physiotherapy, and treat more severe luxating patella cases with surgery.
  • Heart disease. Teacup Chihuahuas have a higher chance of heart disease because of their tiny hearts. Ask a potential breeder about the history of heart disease in the dog’s family before purchasing a teacup Chihuahua.
  • Hypoglycemia. Teacup Chihuahuas have trouble regulating their blood sugar, so they can get low blood sugar easily. If your dog shows obvious signs of being disoriented or shaky, feed it something sweet immediately.

Teacup Chihuahua Training

Teacup Chihuahuas are moderately difficult to train because they have a stubborn streak. Potty training is challenging because these dogs have tiny bladders, so any teacup Chihuahua owner should let their puppy out as frequently as possible in the early stages of training.

Micro Chihuahuas respond best to training that uses positive reinforcement. Reward good behavior with food, toys, or affection.

Teacup Chihuahua dogs can be aggressive to strangers and other dogs if not properly socialized during the puppy stage.  Socialize teacup Chihuahuas by having visitors gently pet or play with your pet.

Teacup Chihuahua Price

Teacup Chihuahuas are more expensive than other small dogs because they’re pure-bred. The price of a micro Chihuahua varies depending on whether you adopt or buy from a breeder.

How Much Is a Teacup Chihuahua?

A teacup Chihuahua typically costs between $500 to $2500. Puppies from breeders or pet stores are more expensive than adopted dogs from rescue centers. Avoid puppy mills that sell teacup Chihuahuas for less than $500 because these dogs tend to be prone to health problems.

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Teacup Chihuahua?

Teacup Chihuahuas cost about $500 per year for food and other supplies. These costs can be more expensive if the tiny teacup Chihuahua has health issues. In the first year of owning a teacup Chihuahua puppy, it’s typical to pay up to $1,000 for toys, equipment, and vaccinations.

Is a Teacup Chihuahua Right for You?

Teacup Chihuahuas are tiny dogs that can be kept in urban areas, small apartments, and houses without a yard, provided that they get enough exercise. If you want a dog that is devoted to its owner and has a big personality, teacup Chihuahuas may be right for you.

However, teacup Chihuahuas aren’t suitable for people who can’t give them consistent care and attention.

Teacup Chihuahuas are Suitable for:

Thanks to their small size, micro Chihuahuas are suitable for apartment living and smaller spaces. This breed doesn’t need lots of walking, so it’s suitable for an owner who isn’t super active.

Chihuahuas prefer to be in a single-dog household, and they’re happy to develop a close bond with just one owner, making this breed ideal for people who live alone.

Teacup Chihuahuas are NOT Suitable for:

Teacup Chihuahuas can be aggressive, so they’re not always suitable for families with very young children. The best way to get a miniature Chihuahua used to being around children is to socialize the dog from a young age.

These micro Chihuahuas are loyal and devoted to their owners. However, this loyalty can make it difficult for the dog to socialize with other people or other dogs. As a result, teacup Chihuahuas are best suited to environments with few visitors or other pets.

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.

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