Teacup Poodle Breed Profile: Size, Temperament, Health and More…

Teacup Poodles are capturing hearts around the country with their adorable appearance.

These pups take all the qualities of a full grown poodle and pack it into one tiny package.

Their loving nature means that they will get along with pretty much anyone. They crave attention and love, so be prepared to shower them with affection.

However these pups must be handled with extreme care – their small bodies make them very susceptible to breaking bones.

In this article we cover everything you need to consider if you are deciding whether to buy one of these adorable pooches or not.

Miniature Teacup Poodle

What is a Teacup Poodle? (Overview)

A teacup Poodle is a small cuddly lap dog that always seeks out attention.

They love to be the center of attention and their huge personalities make them irresistible.

People mainly keep them for companionship but sometimes their loyalty can turn them into an unassuming watchdog.

Despite their beautiful looks these Teacups require a great amount of care.

Their temperamental curls must be groomed often, they must be trained at a very early age to avoid stubborn behaviors, they must be fed a very specific amount of food to avoid obesity and you must watch them very carefully to ensure that they do not injure themselves.

In a lot of ways these tiny pups are very similar to a young child.

  • Overview: Smaller version of Toy Poodle.
  • Purpose: Companion.
  • Weight: 3-5 pounds.
  • Size: 6-8 inches.
  • Temperament: Playful, loving and energetic.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Very loving and loyal.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Minimal exercise requirements.
  • Suitable for apartment life.
  • Highly intelligent.

Cons:

  • Expensive.
  • Can be stubborn.
  • Lots of grooming needed.
  • Small size makes them very fragile.
  • Can suffer from many illnesses.

Teacup Maltese Appearance

A Micro Poodle

They are one of the most adorable dogs around.

From their tiny bodies to their forever puppy-dog eyes, these pooches are capable of instantly capturing anyone’s heart. They look like shrunken poodles and have thick, curly fur with big dark eyes.

Height and Weight

They are one of the smallest dog breeds and will weigh 2-5 lbs.

From their paws to the top of their shoulders they are only 6-8 inches tall. These tiny pups can typically fit in the palm of an adult hand.

Colors and Coat

These Teacups come in a variety of colors including white, grey, black, red, brindle, silver and apricot.

Some have spots of various other colors in their coats, but breeders typically prefer solid coat colors.

They have thick medium length curls just like that of a Poodle. These curls are silky and sometimes difficult to maintain and can quickly develop knots in their fur if they are not frequently brushed.

The best perk of owning a Teacup Poodle is that they do not shed. They are great for people with allergies because they are hypoallergenic. Their dead fur comes off but it stays trapped within their tight curls, only falling out during brushing.

5 Fun Facts About The Micro Poodle

  1. Breeders often give them fun names to make them more marketable, including: Party Poodles, Tuxedo Poodles or Phantom Poodles.
  2. Solid colored varieties are more expensive because they are considered more desirable.
  3. They absolutely adore water, but do not let them go swimming in deep water – they are so small they could easily drown.
  4. Some people believe they are produced by breeding runts from Toy Poodle litters to produce the smallest version of a poodle possible. It is hard to confirm this claim though because Teacup Poodle breeders don’t publish much information on the breeding process.
  5. They have a very small litter size of 2-4 puppies.

Teacup Poodle Personality and Temperament

A Teacup Poodle

If you are looking for a playful and cuddly dog, a Teacup Poodle is a great choice.

They love attention and always want to be close to you. They get so attached to their owner tat they suffer from separation anxiety, so you cannot really leave them home for long periods of time by itself.

Their attention-seeking disposition does make them very loyal though.

These pups are extremely playful but play with caution. Rough play can result in unanticipated injuries (internally and externally). Whilst playing make sure to be extra gentle and not get too rowdy.

Although these pooches are very playful they only have a moderate activity level. If you are not an active person they could be a good fit for you. Their tiny bodies can only contain so much energy, so they do not need as much exercise as large dog breeds.

A few short walks and a small amount of playtime will keep them happy.

They have a watchdog nature (despite having the least intimidating appearance of any dog breed in existence) so sometimes they will bark excessively if they are not trained. Because of their intelligence this issue is fairly easy to correct.

Due to their pleasant disposition socialization comes naturally to these pups. They love to meet new people and adore attention.

They get along well with other animals but keep them away from large pets to avoid injuries.

Is A Teacup Poodle A Good Family Dog?

Teacup Poodles are only a good family dog for older families. Younger children can often be too chaotic for these nervous pups – also little kids can not quite comprehend how much caution needs to be taken with these tiny pups.

Caring for a Teacup Poodle

Micro Poodle

Do not let their cute face fool you, they require constant care.

These pups are definitely not for first-time dog owners.

Teacup Poodles have tricky coats to maintain and need to be constantly supervised. They also have some diet restrictions and come with many medical conditions. Luckily though these pups do not require much exercise.

Exercise Requirements

They have a moderate energy level so they do not need an excessive amount of exercise per day.

Two 10-minute walks a day along with 20-30 minutes of playing should be enough.

Exercising them can be a bit tricky because they are so incredibly fragile. Their small bodies make long walks, playing outside, and even running around dangerous. With the right precautions you can easily tire them out.

It is important you use a harness when you walk them. Because they have such a small neck, a simple tug of a leash can cause severe injuries to your pup if they are wearing a regular collar.

You can take them outside but you need to monitor them very closely. They can easily jump off heights and injure themselves, squeeze under fences, or even become easy prey for coyotes or large birds. Never take your eye off one of these small pups.

  • Number of Walks Per Day: 2.
  • Total Exercise Needed Per Day: Minimum 30 minutes.

Grooming and Shedding

The grooming is probably the most complex aspect of these adorable dogs.

Teacup Poodles have the same curly, medium length, thick coats that regular poodles have. The perk of these springy curls is that they do not shed – but that does not mean that taking care of their fur is easy.

They should be brushed every single day.

Their tight curls can easily become matted or tangled, so it is essential that you brush them often to remove dead hair from their coats. Because they have small curls, you cannot brush them exactly like you would brush other dog breeds. It is recommended that you wet their hair with a spray bottle before brushing to avoid pain for your breakable pup and help you brush with ease.

Finally, the last part of their extensive grooming routine is monitoring their tear stains. It is very common to see brown gunk below the inner corner of their eyes. To reduce tear stains you can purchase tear stain remover.

Poodle Puppy

Feeding and Diet

As these pups are so small it is very easy to overfeed them.

These little guys can quickly become a little chunky. To avoid an overweight pup, only feed them ½ cup of kibble each day. Feeding them multiple times a day is especially important to avoid your pal developing low blood sugar.

Any type of food (wet or dry) will work, but it is best to buy dog food that is made specifically for small dog breeds, this will help keep those extra pounds off your pup. It is also important to purchase a food that is high in proteins to give your miniature Teacup Poodle the energy it needs to maintain its playful personality.

Although you may be tempted to feed them the remainder of your dinner, it is very important that you resist this urge.

Avoid feeding them human scraps as it will quickly lead to obesity.

Calories Per Day: Cups of Kibble Per Day:
200 ~0.5

Known Health Problems

Unfortunately these beautiful pups can suffer from many diseases.

Because regulations on Teacup Poodle breeding are not very strict many health problems have arisen.

  • Due to their small stature hip and elbow dysplasia are very common. This is a condition that causes joint instability in either the hip and/or elbow which can be quite painful for your pooch.
  • They can also suffer from Patella luxation (slipped kneecaps) because they tend to pull of dangerous stunts (such as jumping off the couch) and they injure their breakable bones quite easily.
  • Unfortunately they have many medical issues involving their adrenal glands including Addison’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome. Both diseases can be fatal if left untreated, so it is important to monitor them for any of these symptoms and alert your veterinarian with any concerns.
  • In addition to all of these ailments they can develop diabetes, epilepsy, heart murmurs, blindness (caused by Progressive Retinal Atrophy), skin allergies and ear infections.

Although these dogs are very cute, they hide many physical ailments behind their adorable faces. This is a perfect example of how selective breeding to produce cute cuddly dogs typically comes with detrimental consequences.

How Long Does A Teacup Poodle Live?

Even with the health concerns mentioned above they can live for 8-15 years.

How Much Does A Teacup Poodle Cost?

Teacup poodles from breeders are quite expensive and can cost anywhere from $1,000-$5,000.

If you are willing to rescue one from a shelter they typically only cost about $400.

You should expect to spend about $950 annually on various expenses such as food, vet bills, grooming and toys.

How to Train a Teacup Poodle

Teacup Poodle

They are extremely intelligent which makes training fairly easy as long as you are dedicated to a training routine based on positive reinforcement.

Because they are so small and anxious positive reinforcement is extremely important. Using negative reinforcement such as shouting would be too intimidating for their nervous disposition.

It is important to start training as soon as you get them home. If you wait too long these little fur babies can become stubborn and may develop Small Dog Syndrome. It is important that your pup realizes that it is not in charge.

The most important behavior to train your Teacup Poodle is to control its barking. By nature they love to bark but if you are living in an apartment this is not ideal. You can accomplish this by rewarding your pup for quiet behavior.

Because these dogs are so smart it is important to constantly keep their mind stimulated. Their bodies are not as strong as their minds, so stray away from games that challenge them physically.

Instead play games that appeal to their intelligence.

One of their favorite games is hide and seek.

Also you can fill your home with small toys that will keep them busy for hours in addition to providing them with regular exercise.

Socialization is also very important.

By nature these pups are loving and affectionate but if you do not introduce them to people at a young age they may become nervous around new people in the future.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size: 6-8 inches.
Weight: 2-5lb.
Lifespan: 8-15 years.
Coat: Curly medium length coat.
Color: Most common color is apricot.
Do They Shed: No.
Temperament: Loving and playful.
Intelligence: Very High.
Socialization: Love to meet new people and typically get along with other animals.
Destructive Behavior: Can bark a lot.
People Skills: Very loving and affectionate.
Good with Children: Yes (6+ only).
Activity Levels: Moderately active – their small size keeps their activity levels low.

Summary

Due to Teacup Poodles complex care regimen these pups are not for first-time dog owners.

Experienced dog owners will be better equipped to handle these particular pooches, especially owners who have previously owned small dogs.

Their high intelligence means that they need lots of mental stimulation to stay out of trouble.

They love toys and running around. Luckily these dogs are so small they do not need much exercise.

Overall they are a little high maintenance, but with some dedication they can make an adorable addition to your family.

Let us know your questions in the comments section below…

Thomas Woods Face Portrait
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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