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Why Teacup Breeds Make the Best Pets

Teacup dog breeds make great pets

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. 

miniature dachshund teacup breed

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. 

chihuahua teacup breed makes great pet

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. 

teacup breeds make great pets

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.

yorkie teacup breeds make great pets

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.

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10 Tips for Grooming Your Own Dog … So She Doesn’t Hate You

Woman washes her large dog outside

Outside of licking themselves, your dog pretty much relies on you for her hygienic needs. Luckily there are plenty of grooming services available, whether at your vet’s office, pet supply store or your local doggie spa-salon. Even so, sometimes you need to perform a dog grooming session at home. While grooming requires some patience and caution on your part, you can transform your dog from Tramp back to Lady, at least until she gets back outside to play.

1. Choose the Right Tools for Grooming Your Dog

What tools may be right for human use may not be so good for your dog. If you intend on trimming your pet’s nails, you should have the proper dog nail clippers or nail grinder, and styptic powder (for accidental nail bleeding). If you’ve never trimmed a dog’s nails before, we recommend having your vet or groomer show you how to make sure you don’t cut them too short into the “quick,” which is the fleshy part of your dog’s nail.   

For bath time, grab the dog shampoo, towels, a hairbrush, comb, and toothbrush.

2. Grab Treats to Reinforce Good Behavior While Grooming

Make sure you have plenty of treats on hand for encouragement, and in the case of a freakout moment, you can redirect your dog. 

3. Ask for Help: Two DIY Groomers Are Better Than One

If you have experience grooming your dog and she’s not a big fan and puts up a fuss, ask for some help from someone. That person could help keep the dog’s attention while you are bathing or grooming her.

4. How Prep Your Dog Grooming Workspace

Whether you intend to trim nails in the living room or bathe your dog in the bathroom, the standing space for your dog should be non-slip and free of all obstacles. You can invest in a slip-proof mat to lay down when it’s nail or bath time to prevent both of you from injuries. For bathing, a mat or towel on the bottom of the tub might help keep your dog from slipping. 

5. Brush Your Dog Often 

Brushing your dog regularly with the right brush can go a long way to keeping her clean. Check with your groomer or vet on which type of brush or deshedding tool is appropriate for your dog’s coat. Brushing your dog several times a week, even before bath time can help to remove dirt and debris, control shedding, prevent matting, and it allows you to check for fleas or ticks and gives your dog a shiny coat.

6.  Sprinkle Baby Powder on Tangles

If your dog is long-haired, you may find some places in her coat that are tangled. Don’t bother pulling and tugging on tangled hair with a dog brush or comb. Instead, sprinkle some talcum powder on the tangles to loosen the strands and make brushing easier. 

7.  Shampooing and Rinsing Your Dog’s Hair

After bathing your dog, you must rinse off all the shampoo from your dog’s fur. Shampoo residue can cause skin irritation and itching.

8. Give Grooming Wipes a Try

If you’re unable to fully groom your dog, give grooming wipes a try. They can work in a pinch and keep her clean between baths. Although it’s tempting to use baby wipes, there is a difference between those and wipes formulated specifically for dogs.

You might find two kinds of dog wipe: antibacterial and grooming. Both are great to have on hand, as they both can soothe your dog’s skin and address her odors. Antibacterial wipes are best for situations where your dog needs a bit of disinfecting like potty-related issues. Grooming wipes, on the other hand, are ideal for a quick clean. Be sure to buy wipes that are alcohol and propylene glycol free.

9. Pamper Your Dog’s Paws

Consider any grooming session a great bonding moment and the ideal time to apply some paw balm. Harsh weather, tough walking surfaces, and a ton of running and playing around the house and yard can take its toll on your dog’s paws. A quick massage with some paw balm will protect pads from becoming dry and cracking. 

10. Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth

Cleaning your dog’s teeth and gums is essential to her hygiene, health, and well-being. To help prevent gum disease, tooth loss,  or chronic pain, take care of her chompers. The best time to do teeth cleaning is during a grooming session. 

If you’ve never cleaned a dog’s teeth, ask your vet for best practices. If your dog won’t tolerate a doggie toothbrush, try quickly wiping her gums once a day with a clean towel; even this minor tooth cleaning done on a regular basis can reduce buildup.