Could you imagine raising a dog that could fit in the palm of your hand? Or one that weighs less than a gallon of milk? Often called teacup dogs, toy breeds have made their way into the hearts of pet lovers everywhere. As cute as these little guys and gals are, you may be wondering how hard they are to groom and train. What are their personalities like? Do toy breeds bark a lot? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Here’s our take on why teacup breeds make the best pets.
What are “Toy” or Teacup Dog Breeds?
Teacup dog breeds are those bred to be as small as possible, commonly under 5 pounds. Obviously, there are some unique advantages to such a small pet like the fact you can take it pretty much anywhere, they eat a fraction of what larger breeds do, and they can garner attention and affection from even the hardest of humans.
Although the AKC “doesn’t register or endorse teacup breeds,” they recognize toy breeds, which are the smallest group of dogs. Here are a few of toy breeds starting with the shortest (height range, weight range):
- Dachshund (mini) – 5-6 inches, under 11 pounds
- Chihuahua – 5-8 inches, under 6 pounds
- Pomeranian – 6-7 inches, around 3-7 pounds
- Yorkshire terrier – 7-8 inches, around 7 pounds
- Maltese – 7-9 inches, under 7 pounds
- Brussels griffon – 7-10 inches, 8-10 pounds
- Toy fox terrier – 8.5-11.5 inches, 3.5-7 pounds
- Toy poodle – under 10 inches, 4-6 pounds
What are the Smallest Dog Breeds?
Small dog breeds might be compact, but they often boast huge personalities and can rule your house with little effort on their part. Cuteness aside, small dog breeds may be too fragile and sensitive for homes with young children or noisy families. Here are a few small breeds (height range, weight range):
- Shih-tzu – 9-10.5 inches, 9-16 pounds
- Cairn terrier – 9.5-10.5 inches, 13-14 pounds
- Bichon frise – 9.5-11.5 inches, 12-18 pounds
- Australian terrier – 10-11 inches, 15-20 pounds
- Pug – 10-13, 14-18 pounds
- Cavalier King Charles spaniel – 12-13 inches, 13-18 pounds
- Miniature schnauzer – 12-14 inches, 11-20 pounds
- German Spitz – 12-15 inches, 24-26 pounds
- Basenji – 15-17 inches, 22-24 pounds
Facts About Teacup Dogs
Do teacup dogs bark a lot?
Every dog barks, some more than others. There are several quiet teacup or toy breeds that occasionally bark; for example, the Basenji, known as the “barkless dog,” is one of the most peaceful. Since small breeds are so dependent on their owners and are accustomed to lavish attention, separation anxiety is real. Some teacup or toy dogs may vocalize during certain stressful situations like when left alone. That’s what you can expect from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel when you leave, incessant barking.
Other small dogs like the Chihuahua and toy fox terrier, don’t need a special occasion to launch into a barking frenzy. If you are interested in learning about no-bark collars and whether they’re appropriate for your small dog breed, check out the BarxBuddy Guide to anti-bark collars.
Are teacup dogs hard to groom?
All dogs need to be brushed, bathed, their nails trimmed, teeth brushed, and ears cleaned. Given their small size, grooming teacup or toy dogs can be a challenge. Those dogs with little hair like the miniature pinscher and pug merely require weekly brushing, whereas the locks on a Yorkshire terrier or Shih-tzu require daily attention.
With their thick curly coat, toy poodles must be trimmed or brushed daily down to the skin to prevent matting, which can require the entire coat to be shaved. The nails on small dogs can present trouble for DIYers. You must use the proper tools, like the BarxBuddy nail clippers. For the scoop on grooming tools check out the BarxBuddy Guide to Grooming tool list.
Are teacup dogs hard to train?
Yes, teacup dogs can be difficult to train, but they are trainable. Any time you train your pet to learn a new behavior or stop an unwanted behavior, you need to remember: Time, patience, and consistency are key. Unlike their larger counterparts, teacup or toy dogs require a bit of adjustment on your part to make training easier for your dog.
Never yell at your teacup dog (or any dog for that matter) as this could cause your dog to become fearful, stressed, and may even bark more! Instead of relying on no-bark collars’ questionable safety and efficacy, use a firm voice and the hand-held BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool to reduce or eliminate your dog’s barking. The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device emits a high-frequency sound that dogs can hear but humans can’t. It never comes in contact with your dog and can work up to about 40 to 60 feet away.