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The Teacup Yorkshire Terrier
- Origin: dubious, the runt of the runt of the Yorkshire terrier
- Description: frail
- Temperament: often difficult, with severe behavioral problems
- Life Expectancy: a few years
- Exercise: the bones may not be strong enough to support the dog.
- Training: difficult, if not impossible
Are you wondering why there is so little information on this breed, and that a dog lover can write something as curt as the above information? The answer is that the breed teacup yorkshire terrier does not exist. They are miniature Yorkshire terriers that fit into a teacup, which should never have been bred. There are always good reasons for breeding standards in dogs, but in Yorkshire Terriers there are exceptional reasons, that should never be violated. The only valid reason to produce a litter is to perpetuate healthy, fit dogs, which are capable of enriching the gene pool.
The ideal height of the Yorkshire terrier is between 6 and 7 inches (15-18 cm), and their ideal weight is approximately seven pounds (3kg). In the past bitches weighing less than five pounds were not considered suitable to breed for two compelling reasons, the first was that the bitch was too small to whelp and therefore had a traumatic time, and it did not benefit the sturdiness of the breed. When you buy a mini Yorkie you may be buying one that has been bred from a bitch who weighs four pounds or even less.
Recently trends have changed and unscrupulous dealers are breeding smaller miniaturised dogs because they command high prices as novelties, but they are not novelties. what you are buying is the runt of the runts and all too often they have a poor prognosis both in terms of life expectancy and in quality of life. They are not surrogate socially acceptable Barbie dolls bought because they look unreal! They are living breathing dogs, which should have a long and active life.
A healthy Yorkshire terrier can live to about eleven, but it has been known for them to live for eighteen years. Healthy Yorkie's have a tendency to become neurotic if they are over protected, and the temperament has deteriorated in the miniaturised version, and many of them have aggressive behavioral problems. Extra tiny dogs can also have birth defects, which are not always apparent when they are puppies. Their bones are more fragile, and to compound that fact they react poorly to anesthesia and often do not survive the necessary surgery.
Healthy Yorkshire terriers can suffer from early tooth decay, which is one reason why they should not eat canned food alone - a better diet is dried food with canned food added. By breeding a miniaturized version of this already small dog then these teeth problems are often exacerbated, and their teeth do not fit their very tiny mouths. Before considering buying a "teacup terrier" please consult the Yorkshire Terrier club of America and read their site. Please be clear these are not my prejudices, it is their remarks on the breeding of smaller than usual Yorkshire terriers.
There is no such recognized breed as a teacup terrier, and its very name is derogatory, it suggests that it can fit into a teacup; it's a dog not a goldfish. They may look cute, though personally I would rather own a rat! If you are a dog lover, please reconsider the purchase of these miniaturized versions, they are often not healthy and it is cruel to the dog. I have thought long and hard before writing this article and my research can find absolutely no reason to perpetrate a trade in unhealthy dogs. Small dogs do occur in any breed of dog, and unscrupulous breeders have exploited this.
There are small Yorkie's, but please do not take one on without a little research and be aware that you may have to watch your dog suffer health problems for years, not to mention fund the cost. If you take one on, realize that they are not worth more than Yorkie's, there is no reason for them to command an inflated price. They are not cute toys; in fact there is absolutely nothing cute about them. Their existence in the gene pool threatens the breeding standards of Yorkie's, as a breed, and no reputable Yorkshire terrier breeder would breed a dog that has the potential to suffer as this one has.
Taking on the runt of the litter, if you are aware of what you are undertaking is one thing, but please don't perpetuate this trade by paying inflated prices, as you will certainly have higher bills later.