What is a Miniature Teacup Chihuahua?

Just what is a mini chihuahua?

Finally, a picture that shows her in proportion!

Finally, a picture that shows her in proportion!

If you have ever looked through the classified ads for a chihuahua puppy you will see the expressions "teacup chihuahua", "teacup tiny chihuahua" and "mini chihuahua" bandied about.  But what does it mean? What's the difference between a teacup chihuahua and a regular chihuahua?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. There is actually no such thing. A chihuahua is a chihuahua is a chihuahua. Unless it's a cross-breed.

I use the expression "teacup chihuahua" on this site to describe Farfl's size, not to indicate that she is different kind of chihuahua. There is only one kind. There are many colours, and they come in short or long-haired, but "teacup" or "minature" does not denote a different breed of dog. Just its size. And no one can be 100% sure of how big a chihuahua puppy will grow!

Chihuahuas usually weigh between 3 and 6 pounds, but I have seen bigger and smaller. The smaller they get, though, the more health problems. You should avoid getting a teeny tiny chihuahua since they tend to have more health problems than a regular sized dog.

Farfl's mother Lola is 4 pounds, the smallest size it's safe to breed from. Lola has had several litters with no problems, but this time she had trouble delivering Farfl's brother, who sadly died, so Lenni Reed, the breeder, had her spayed at the same time as getting her a C section. This was the sensible, kind and responsible thing to do. All of Lenni's chihuahuas are house dogs, so Lola will simply continue to be a loved pet, even though she cannot have any more puppies.

Carlos, Farfl's father, is only 3 pounds, and has fathered several litters. From looking at her parents, I can guestimate that Farfl will be between 3 and 4 pounds - probably! She eats very well and may grow to be bigger. Time will tell.

Because Lenni is a responsible breeder she does not let her puppies go until they are at least 10 weeks old. This cuts down the risk of hypoglycemia and other health issues you may encounter in a chihuahua puppy's first weeks.

As always, you should buy from a rescue shelter or a reputable breeder, not from someone who claims their dogs will be tiny - look for healthy-sized parents if you're buying from a breeder and make sure the person you're buying from is not breeding from a dog that's too small - it's cruel. Don't risk high vets bills and a miserable, unhealthy dog for the sake of buying something that's tiny. Chihuahuas are small enough and cute enough as it is!

Thanks to my sister for suggesting I post this picture of Farfl - since my sister is still in England and hasn't met Farfl yet, she wanted to get some perspective on how small she actually is.

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  1. Chi says:

    The term ‘teacup’ refered to the chihuahua because of size is merely a myth. It is completely misleading and false. I challenge anyone with an Adult sized chihuahua to try and fit him/her into a teacup and see how they get on!!! Ask any registered experienced breeder within a canine society and I am sure they will endorse my theories.

    I know of breeders backyard as well as other who deliberately try and stunt the growth of their puppies by incorrect feeding and when they are homed and fed properly they rapidly grow into the size they are supposed to be.

    So please do not use the word Teacup it is not in the best interests of the breed.

  2. Rill says:

    I use the term because it is widespread and despite the Kennel Club’s dismissal of the word you simply cannot get away from the public’s use of it. If you read this article carefully you will see that I do not condone the purchase of super-tiny dogs since they are more likely to have significant health problems. I agree with you that no adult Chihuahua can fit into a teacup – even Farfl who is only 3 1/2 lbs. But the word is out there and is used in connection not just with Chihuahuas but with other breeds such as Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers when they are on the small side.

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