I’ve been wanting to get a dog and since I live in an apartment I’ve been considering teacup dogs. I never realized how many different breeds there are. In this post, I summarize the best breeds I’ve found so far.
It’s important to understand that only 6 breeds of dog are considered under the Teacup category. There are other dogs that, technically, are not Teacup dogs, but are often considered to be Teacups.
Official Teacup Dogs
Teacup Shih Tzu
Unofficial Teacup Dogs
What is a teacup dog?
There are differing opinions on teacup dogs that can contradict each other. The general idea is that a teacup dog is a dog that, at birth, is small enough to fit inside of a teacup. “Miniature” and “toy” dogs are small enough in size that they are considered to be “teacup dogs” by most people.
Poodles, in general, are very intelligent dogs. This makes them easier to train and is a good choice for kids and first-time dog owners. They love to be the center of attention and respond well to positive reinforcement.
They can be very playful and need activity during the day. They love to play fetch, don’t mind getting in the water, and love to go for walks. They need a release of energy every day--otherwise, they may become restless and act out.
Miniature poodles need company. They do best when they live in an active household and can have constant stimulation. They also prefer being around humans as opposed to other dogs. They can be aggressive if they are in a situation that makes them anxious such as being around strangers or other dogs.
Teacup Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu’s make great companions. They are affectionate, loyal, and very relational. They are good around children and make good family pets. They are calm, don’t bark much, and don’t need as much exercise as other dogs. They are content spending time with family members and following them around the house.
They become very attached to their owners. While this is a positive trait they can experience separation anxiety when away from their owner for too long.
Shih Tzu’s are known for their long coats that are often grown long enough to resemble a mustache. They are high maintenance and need to be groomed regularly to keep their hair from matting. They should be combed every day.
Teacup Yorkshire Terrier
What Yorkies lack in size they make up for with their spunky personality. They are high energy dogs that aren’t afraid to assume command. They can be very independent and want to do their own thing. They have a reputation for being bossy and brave. They don’t shy away from defending themselves. They require consistency and a firm hand to train.
Yorkies are intelligent and have sharp minds. They are very curious and able to figure out how to get what they want. Their curiosity can cause them to wander. Since they are terriers they have the instinct to run after small prey. They have the tendency to bark so may not be suited for those that want a quiet dog.
The Maltese are very people-oriented dogs. They have sweet personalities and are very trusting of people. They like to play and be held. Their trust in people and willingness to please makes them easier to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement. A firm hand is not needed during training.
They are affectionate and love to spend time with their owners. If left alone too long they have the tendency to experience separation anxiety and may act out.
Similar to the Shih Tzus, the Maltese requires regular grooming and daily brushing to prevent tangling and matting.
Pomeranians are loyal dogs, and similar to Yorkies, they aren’t afraid to defend themselves or their loved ones. They are very alert to things being out of the ordinary, because of this they make great watchdogs. They do have the tendency to bark a lot. Training them to stop barking while they’re young is important.
Pomeranians are active and have playful personalities. They crave attention and love being around people. They are very social with other animals and get along well with other dogs. They, also, have a curiosity to them that causes them to explore. They love walks just as much as they love to sit on their owner's laps.
Chihuahua’s are tiny dogs that have a huge personality. Similar to Yorkies, they have no problem taking command and bossing others around. A chihuahua is like a big dog trapped in a little dog's body. It’s not afraid to pick a fight and seems to forget its size in comparison with other dogs.
They can put themselves in dangerous situations without realizing it. Training and socialization with other dogs, while they are young, is important. They bark frequently. This can be curbed through training but not completely.
Chihuahuas love their owners and are very protective. They don’t take well to new people and may not be the best around children. They have no problem challenging those they view as a threat.
Dachshunds are clever, stubborn, and brave. Their temperament can be compared with the Chihuahua but is not as intense. They don’t have a problem being the boss and can be independent at times. This makes training dachshunds a bit more difficult.
They are very alert and bark frequently which makes them great watchdogs. They are curious by nature and can wander into dangerous situations if left off-leash. They make great pets for those that don’t mind their barking.
Pekingese seem to know that they were bred for royalty. Their haughtiness and aloofness is a trait that is easy to see. Despite this, they are very loyal to their owners and love to be around people. They don’t require much exercise, they don’t eat much, and they are easy to maintain once properly trained--but regular grooming is required. This makes them an excellent choice for those who live in apartments.
Pekingese make great lap dogs but are also very alert and will bark when something seems out of the ordinary. They do have a stubborn quality about them that may make training more difficult.
Teacup Russian Toy Terrier
The thing I like best about Russian Toy Terriers is their intelligence and the speed at which they can learn new commands. They are very active, curious, and energetic which means they need lots of activity.
They are very loyal and social when it comes to family members. They need to be socialized early as they can be suspicious of strangers. They make good alert dogs.
This breed is full of self-confidence, mischievous, and very intelligent. They are known to be escape artists and can climb. They are playful and need daily exercise. Brussels Griffon’s get along with other dogs fairly well as they enjoy social stimulation.
While this breed is loyal they can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too long. They don’t need to be groomed as often as some of the longer hair breeds on this list. Because of their high energy and curiosity, they need to be properly trained before letting them off-leash. They are prone to get in trouble when left to themselves.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Breed
There are several factors to consider when choosing a teacup breed. The three areas you should consider are personality, grooming, activity level, and whether they bark or not.
Personality matters because some dogs are more dependent while others can be independent. Do you want a dog that needs to be around you all of the time or do you want a dog that is independent and may not need you as much?
Personality also involves socialization. Will they be around children or other animals? Some dogs are fearful of new people/dogs while others crave socializing with strangers.
Active dogs are great for those who can give the proper amount of exercise while lower-energy breeds are better for those that can’t commit to as much daily activity.
Long-haired dogs need to be combed and groomed regularly so their hair doesn’t tangle up. Short-haired dogs don’t need to be groomed as much but they can shed a lot of hair.
Some breeds bark a lot while other breeds hardly bark at all. This should be taken into consideration if you are sensitive to noise or live in an apartment.
Each one of these breeds on the Top 10 Teacup dogs list has its own personality and features that set them apart. I think you will find that any one of them would make a great pet.