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Teacup Chihuahua: Health, Diet, LifeSpan, Temperament...

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About Teacup Chihuahua

Country of Origin, History of Teacup Chihuahuas

The Chihuahua may have originated from the Fennec Fox, a very small animal with big eyes and ears. This would explain the tiny frame, luminous eyes and large ears. The breed's name comes from the Mexican State of Chihuahua, where the earliest specimens of the breed were found.

The Techichi, a companion of the ancient Toltecs, is believed to be the ancestor of the Chihuahua. No records of the Techichi are, so far, available prior to the 9th century. Dogs very similar to the Chihuahua were found in the Pyramids of Cholula, predating 1530 and in the ruins of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula.

The Chihuahua's origin, therefore, was present-day Mexico. However, the breed may have traveled to Europe with Christopher Columbus. A historical letter written by Columbus to the King of Spain makes reference to the tiny dog. By the mid-1800s, the breed had traveled to the United States from various European countries and from Mexico. It was the first breed registered by the American Kennel Club and consistently ranks in the top 15 breeds in popularity in the US.

Today's Chihuahua, the smallest breed in the world, is much smaller than its predecessor. Perhaps the Chinese Crested, brought from Asia to Alaska across the Bering Strait, was responsible for the reduction in size. Modern Chihuahuas are also found in a myriad of colors.

Chihuahuas are already the smallest dog breed in the world and a Teacup or a Toy Chihuahua is the smallest of the smallest dogs.

Teacup / Toy / Pocket Chihuahua is usually used to define a Chihuahua which weighs less than the standard. Even if it isn't recognized as a Chihuahua breed, by the AKC or CKC, Teacup Chihuahua has become a popular term used by many Chihuahua breeders and Chihuahua owners and lovers.

Teacup Chihuahua Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the Teacup Chihuahua the right breed for you?

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Check Your Teacup Chihuahua's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Teacup Chihuahua's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper Teacup Chihuahua training methods.

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Teacup Chihuahua Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your Teacup Chihuahua needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Teacup Chihuahua Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Teacup Chihuahua

The Teacup Chihuahua is a graceful, alert compact little dog. It has a saucy, inquisitive expression. Its ears appear large in proportion to his body. They are erect when the dog is alert, but rest at a 45 degree angle to his head when he is relaxed. Its eyes are round but not protruding and set well apart. His muzzle (nose) is short and his top and bottom teeth meet in a scissors bite. Its moderately long, curved tail can either be carried up or out or in a loop over the back with the tip touching the back.

The dog’s small feet should be slightly apart with he stands and his neck should slope with a graceful arch to his lean shoulders which should be level with his rear end. His chest should be full enough that his ribs do not show, but he should not be barrel-chested. His movement should be swift and sturdy. You will see a variety of descriptions about the Chihuahua’s face including bear, apple, cub, and baby.

Coat Color: Teacup Chihuahuas come in various colors, from plain whites, to solid blacks and spotted, or other colors like silver, blue or gray, chocolate, fawn or tan, tricolor-chocolate, blue or black with tan or white markings, merle and brindled, and each of the colors vary in tone and shade.

They can have blazes, spots, stars, white tummies, etc

Coat Type: There are two possible types of coats for Teacup Chihuahuas: Smooth and Long. In Smooth-coated Chihuahuas, the coat should be soft (not harsh or wiry) and glossy. Some smooth coats have an undercoat. The coat will be less dense over the head and ears. The tail should be well-furred.

In Long-coated Chihuahuas, the coat should be very soft and either straight or wavy and somewhat flowing. Long-coats nearly always have a double-coat so there is a shorter undercoat. The ears are fringed and the tail appears as a plume; the feet and legs are feathered. The dog normally also has a ruff on the neck.


There are four common size descriptions used to talk about Chihuahuas:

TOY – This is used to describe all Chihuahuas and can refer to any Chihuahua. When used in conjunction with the other terms, it most often refers to those that are over 5.5 lbs.

TINY TOY – This is used in reference to Chihuahuas which are 4.5 to 5.5 lbs.

TEACUP – This term is used to describe Chihuahuas which weigh 3.0 to 4.5 lbs.

POCKET – The Pocket Chihuahua is any Chi that is up to 3.0 lbs.

You will see a variety of other terms used to describe Chis such as Standard, Miniature, Micro, etc. Some people who breed for these very small sizes will also use the term Teacup or Pocket to describe those that are the smallest. All of these terms are used for marketing and not standardized terms or sizes.

As a general rule, the smaller the dog, the more fragile its bone structure is. The larger the dog, the more appropriate it would be for a household that includes children.

Remember that it is very easy for a child (and many adults) to accidently mis-handle a very small dog by stepping on it, sitting on it, squeezing it, or dropping it. The smaller the dog, the more likely it is to be fearful and overwhelmed by noises, multiple voices, quick movements, and stress in any form. If you have children younger than 12 years old, a Teacup / Miniature / Tiny Toy or Pocket Chihuahua is not the best dog for your household..

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Teacup Chihuahua Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Dog.

Teacup Chihuahuas are ideal for apartment dwellers or people who have a very small yard since much of their exercise can be derived from play. However, be sure to get written permission from your landlord before taking one home. Walking this pet on lead frequently will allow it to develop a positive attitude and keep it socialized.

Training Tiny and Miniature Chihuahuas should be started early with a gentle but firm command. They are quick and open to learn but will shut down if the approach is too rough.

Housebreaking, though not impossible, can be a challenge since “outside” can be a long way to go, so many owners use paper training or litter training.

Teacup Chihuahuas do not care for and cannot survive the cold and will need a coat inside the house as well as outside in all but the warmest climates.

Because of its small size and large ego, Teacup and Miniature Chihuahuas can be susceptible to injury from jumping and rough play. It may be advisable to use a playpen or baby gate to contain a Chihuahua and keep it from jumping on and off of household items as jumping can cause severe injury. They tend to want to jump on humans as they love to be held, but this should be controlled.

Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?

In warm climates, they will need air-conditioning to breathe properly and in cold climates, they will need heat as they do not hold body heat well. Most Chihuahuas will want to wear a sweater indoors and outdoors much of the time. They are ideal as full-time indoor dogs since they can more easily be paper or litter trained than outdoor potty trained. They will like a walk outdoors, but want to stay with their owner or cuddled in a blanket on their beds.

Are they suited to homes with kids?

Because of their loyalty they can do well in households housing elderly individuals. Most Teacup Chihuahuas are known to bond with usually a single, grown-up member
of the family and eventually become possessive about him/her. They have sharp teeth and might even unknowingly bite kids while playing and are thus not fit for houses with kids.


Teacup Chihuahuas are not easy to train and thus, should be trained through walks and interaction with other dogs and individuals. A small dog like Chihuahua should be crate-trained and obedience training could be imparted as well, but with a bit of persistence. They love attention and hence should be potty-trained through positive reinforcement and are never to be treated harshly. While taking the dog on a walk, one should always put a harness around him and not a leash.

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Teacup Chihuahua Activity Level

These dogs can get enough exercise by playing in the house. They will enjoy a variety of toys. However, a short walk outdoors will be a good time for socialization and introduction of new sights, sounds, and smells. Miniature Chihuahuas that do not get a daily walk are more likely to display a wide variety of behavioral problems. These little dogs also enjoy a good romp in an enclosed, safe yard. Most Teacup Chihuahuas like to travel in the car. Taking them in a carrier, dog-carrying bag, or seatbelt harness will make them feel secure.

How to take care of
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Teacup Chihuahua Puppy?

They should be kept indoors till the time they are old enough to go out. They are playful and should be given chewable toys to prevent chewing up of valuable furniture. Their ears and eyes should be cleaned preventing infection from setting in and they need vaccination at the right age. Chihuahua puppies enjoy sunbathing and also need adequate rest. Only nutritional dog food should be fed.


Both types need bathing once a month with mild shampoo. The long coated ones should be brushed several times with soft bristles while the smooth coated ones occasional brushing. Strict ear and dental care should to be taken.

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Health and Care

If you do decide to get a Teacup Chihuahua, be prepared to expect more health problems. Being the smallest dog in the world comes with its fair share of health problems including regulating their blood sugar (hypoglycemia), dehydration, and respiratory problems. They will need extra care and special attention especially as puppies and should always be checked out by a licensed veterinarian for thyroid and liver problems

Teacup Chihuahuas are fussy eaters and care must be taken to provide them with balanced diet and adequate nutrition. However, never overfeed these tiny dogs - since overweight Teacup dogs are more susceptible to joint injuries, tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis, and shortened life span.

These tiny toy dogs often lick the ground, sometimes ingesting fertilizers, cleaning agents, and other harmful chemicals in their system. This can be especially dangerous for Teacup Chihuahuas. Being so small makes their body much more vulnerable to low doses of toxins.

If you are feeding your Teacup dog kibbles, make sure the kibbles are small so that your dog can easily bite and chew them.

The weather will also affect teacup chihuahuas more than others. You need to get your chihuahua a sweater for the winter time to give some extra warmth and protection.

One word of caution: Many Chihuahua Breeders will try to pass Chihuahua puppies as Teacup or Pocket Chihuahuas. But, it is impossible to predict before 10 weeks of age, what would be its adult size.

Cautions about Breeding the Dog

Teacup and Pocket Chihuahuas are not suitable for breeding. These small dogs have severe complications while whelping and they often have puppies by caesarian section, which are often abandoned after childbirth.

Life Span: 15 years

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Club: Chihuahua Club of America.


Group: All Chihuahuas - Teacup, Mini, Pocketbook, Tiny, and Toy Chihuahuas - fall under the Chihuahua Breed and the AKC Group of Toy dogs.

AKC Popularity Ranking: 33

Also Known As: Mini Chihuahua, Miniature Chihuahua, Pocket Chihuahua, Tiny Toy Chihuahua, Toy Chihuahua

Train Your Teacup Chihuahua To Listen To You

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Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Teacup Chihuahua information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Teacup Chihuahuas have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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