The word teacup is something that makes me immediately think scam and heartache to those who are not familiar. Very small dogs sold under the term “teacup” are usually sold to people that have no idea that the term is made up and a great marketing strategy which can bring in $$$. If a breeder says they specialize in “teacups” RUN, RUN, RUN ! “TEACUP” puppies are in reality premature puppies SOMETIMES purposely being separated early from mom earlier than 8 weeks to promote stunted growth which can be very dangerous with improper development but bring in $$$ from uninformed owners.
The word “Teacup” has been used to merely describe the size of a puppy, meaning it is very small and will probably be under the standard size which is 4 to 7 pounds. Their bones are VERY fragile and can be broken by jumping off of a couch, falling off of a bed, being stepped on or worse.
Some of the problems that may be encountered are both genetic and congenital in these pups.
The risk of open fontanels (soft spot from the cranial bone not forming), portosystemic shunts (PSS- abnormal vessel that allows blood to bypass the liver. As a result the blood is not cleansed by one of the bodies filters: the liver.), hypoglycemia, cardiac problems, collapsing trachea, luxating patellas, Leggs Calves Perthes disease, seizures, hydroencephaly, blindness and digestive problems can be increased.
Problems such as respiratory problems can remain or worsen throughout their lives. These pups are so fragile that they do not live more than a few years. There is no such thing as a “tea cup” Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Poodle, or ANY other breed for that matter. They simply do not exist. “Tea-cup” is just a marketing ploy given by unethical and unscrupulous breeders to drive up the price of their puppies!
Do your homework and if you are looking for a toy breed, don’t fall for the scam of “teacup” anything. Toy breeds each have their own guidelines and reputable clubs that work hard to educate and preserve. Unfortunately I know more horror stories than good ones in regards to people buying online without any physical meeting.
Check with AKC.org to see what is appropriate for the dog of your choice.