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Teacup Poodle: The Complete Guide To The Tiniest Poodle

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

Teacup Poodle

Teacup Poodles are one of the smallest unofficial dog breeds, known for their adorable appearance. They are an even smaller version of the already tiny Toy Poodle and are popular among dog lovers for their size and temperament. 

These dogs are intelligent, active, and affectionate, making them great companions for families and individuals alike. Their small sizes are cute but it also means they come with special needs, like ditching normal collars for ergonomic dog harnesses to protect their delicate throats.

Teacup Poodles are often considered a luxury breed due to their high price tag and maintenance costs. We have consulted experts like Dr. Alexandria Abigail in her book Teacup Poodle Dog Care for a holistic guide to the breed. Of course, the term “teacup,” or similar terms like “micro poodle” or “pocket poodle” are pretty controversial, so make sure to research teacups thoroughly before googling “teacup poodle puppies for sale near me.”

Due to their small size, they require extra care and attention. They are prone to health issues such as hypoglycemia, dental problems, and joint issues. These are the same challenges you’ll encounter with other Teacup varieties. These include:

Despite their small size, Teacup Poodles are active and intelligent dogs. They are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners. They are also great with children and other pets, making them popular with families.

If you are considering getting a Teacup Poodle, it is essential to do your research and find a reputable breeder. Make sure to ask about the dog’s health history and any potential health issues. A Teacup Poodle can make a wonderful addition to any family with proper care and attention.

History of Teacup Poodles

Teacup Poodles are a smaller version of the already small Toy Poodle variety. They are not recognized as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club but rather as a variation of the Toy Poodle.

The history of the Teacup Poodle is closely tied to that of the Toy Poodle and Miniature Poodle. These three types of Poodles share many similarities since they look the same, with size as the only difference. 

Of the smaller Poodles, the Miniature Poodle came about first in the 1700s or 1800s in France. It was originally used as a hunting dog but soon became a popular companion dog. The Toy Poodle, which is the smallest of the Poodle breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, was then created in the 1900s. 

The Teacup Poodle followed suit in the late 20th century and early 21st century. The breed was created through selective breeding of the smallest puppies in a Toy Poodle litter. 

There is some controversy surrounding the breeding of Teacup Poodles. Many believe breeding these extremely small dogs is unethical and can lead to health problems. Others argue that Teacup Poodles are perfectly healthy and make great pets.

Regardless of your opinion, it is essential to do your research before getting a Teacup Poodle. Make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs. And remember, Teacup Poodles may be small, but they still require the same amount of love and attention as any other dog.

Teacup Poodle vs. Toy Poodle: What’s The Difference?

Both toy poodles and teacup poodles share many poodle traits, such as their curly, hypoallergenic coat, which requires regular grooming to keep it looking fabulous. They are both known for their intelligence, playfulness, and loyalty. 

The main difference between the Teacup Poodle and Toy Poodle is their size. Toy poodles are recognized as a small breed, but they are larger than teacup poodles. On average, toy poodles stand about 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 4 to 6 pounds. 

Toy Poodles are the smallest recognized version of the Poodle, with larger variations being the Miniature Poodle, and the Standard Poodle, which is the biggest. By “recognized” we mean that major kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club recognize this type of Poodle as an official “toy breed.”

On the other hand, teacup poodles are even tinier than the toy. They are the smallest variation within the poodle breed. Teacup poodles are bred to be as small as possible, often through selective breeding of smaller-sized poodles (but not every toy dog is an official breed, as in the case of Toy Bulldog).

It’s important to note that the terms “teacup” “micro” or “pocket” are not officially recognized by major kennel clubs as separate breeds or varieties. They are more of a term that means the dog is very small for its breed. Some breeders may use these terms to market smaller-sized poodles for higher prices, but it’s crucial to find a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of the dogs.

Physical Characteristics of Teacup Poodles

Teacup Poodles are a small breed of dog known for their cute and cuddly appearance. They are a miniature version of the Toy Poodle breed, one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. In this section, we will discuss the physical characteristics of Teacup Poodles.

What Does a Teacup Poodle Look Like?

Teacup Poodles look like your everyday Poodle but much smaller in size. They have a compact, well-proportioned body despite being extremely tiny. Most have the famous Poodle Afro if they get the right haircut and hair on their face.

Their ears are floppy and level with their dark, oval eyes. Their muzzle is sleek, small, and proportional to their head and is straight below a well-rounded skull. The tail is carried high and can sometimes plume at the back.

Coat Types

Teacup Poodles have a thick, curly, single coat that is quite allergy-friendly and does not shed much. This makes them a great choice for people who suffer from allergies. Their coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. They should be brushed daily and trimmed every 4 to 6 weeks.

What Colors Do Teacup Poodles Come In?

Teacup Poodles come in a variety of colors, including:

  • White;
  • Cream;
  • Cafe Au Lait;
  • Black;
  • Blue;
  • Brown;
  • Silver;
  • Silver Beige;
  • Red;
  • Apricot;
  • Grey; and
  • Sable.

They can also have a combination of colors (parti colored poodles), such as black and white brown and white. 

The color of a Teacup Poodle’s coat can change as they get older, so it is important to choose a color you like that will look good on your dog for many years to come.

How Big Does The Teacup Poodle Get?

Teacup Poodles are one of the most miniature dog breeds in the world. They typically weigh between 2 and 5 pounds (0.9 to 2kg) and stand between 5 and 9 inches (12 to 22 cm) tall. This is about the size of other Teacups like Teacup Maltese

They are much smaller than the standard Poodle, which can weigh up to 70 pounds (31kg) and stand up to 22 inches (55cm) tall. They are also way tinier than Toy Poodles, which grow to 10 inches (25 cm) and about 10 pounds (4kg).

Teacup Poodle Behavior and Temperament

Teacup Poodles are alert and exceptionally intelligent. Dr. Stanley Coren lists Poodles as the second most intelligent dogs in the world after the Border Collie. This means that Poodles can learn a new command in less than 5 repetitions and will obey a command the first time 95% of the time. This means that Poodles are not likely to be a dog that ignores you.

However, they are also exceptionally sensitive and do not do well with any harsh treatment. They can be anxious and hyper-attached to their favorite person, sometimes leading to issues like severe separation anxiety.

They can be shy and wary of strangers, so they need a lot of early socialization. Among their families, they love to play and can be exceptional clowns.

How Do Teacup Poodles Behave?

Teacup Poodles are lively, energetic, highly affectionate, social, alert, and playful. They are intelligent and loving dogs that enjoy spending time with their owners. Despite their small, fragile physique, these fun-loving and adventurous pups may get themselves in questionable and potentially dangerous situations.

One thing to remember is that Teacup Poodles can be prone to excessive barking. This is a behavior that can be mitigated with proper training and socialization. They are also known to be sensitive dogs, so avoiding harsh training methods is essential.

Are Teacup Poodles Good With Kids?

Teacup Poodles are generally good with children and other pets, especially if they are socialized from a young age. However, due to their small size, there may be better fits for households without young children who may accidentally injure them.

Health Concerns of Teacup Poodles

Teacup Poodles are known for their small size and adorable appearance. However, like all dogs, they are susceptible to certain health concerns that their owners should be aware of and Dr. Alex Gough writes of many issues that Poodles are prone to, like dental issues, obesity, and hypothyroidism that could affect teacup poodles. And veterinary sources are particularly worried about the medical problems that teacup breeds are prone to.

One of the most common health concerns for Teacup Poodles is genetic disorders related to their small size. Due to their small size, they are more prone to certain conditions, such as luxating patella, a condition in which the kneecap dislocates from its normal position. Other genetic disorders that Teacup Poodles may be predisposed to include:

  • Hypoglycemia, where their blood sugar levels fall dangerously low if they don’t eat regularly.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, which refers to the hip bone receiving little blood supply
  • Liver shunts where an unusual connection allows blood to bypass the liver and causes a toxic build up of ammonia in the system.
  • Bladder stones or kidney stones
  • Hydrocephalus, where the brain fills with fluid.
  • Heart issues like arrhythmia referring to irregular heartbeats or heart defects.
  • Eyes issues like Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), where the retina slowly degenerates
  • Collapsed tracheas due to their small, vulnerable throats and airways
  • Despite being small, they can also suffer from Hip (and elbow) dysplasia, where the hip socket doesn’t cover the thigh properly .
  • Studies show that Poodles are prone to several kinds of cancer, with oral melanomas being quite common in smaller Poodles.
  • Mild to moderate problems like allergies, obesity, dental issues, skin conditions, and ear infections

It is crucial for Teacup Poodle owners to be aware of these conditions and to have their dogs regularly screened by a veterinarian.

What Should a Teacup Poodle Eat?

Another critical aspect of Teacup Poodle health is their dietary needs. Due to their small size, Teacup Poodles require a specific balance of nutrients and food for small dogs. Their food should be high in protein (at least 25%), fat, and carbohydrates but high in calories in a small amount.

 It is essential to avoid overfeeding Teacup Poodles, as they are prone to obesity. It’s also best to break down their food into 2 or 3 meals to prevent hypoglycemia

Keep in mind, always have your teacup Poodle properly examined for heart, liver, kidney, and brain disorders. Some of these, like congenital liver problems, need specialized diets and can take years before you notice any symptoms, by which point it may be too late.

Teacup Poodle Exercise 

Teacup Poodles are active dogs and require regular exercise to maintain their health and well-being. They enjoy walks, playtime, and running around in the yard. Giving them at least 30 minutes of exercise per day is recommended to keep them healthy and happy.

However, be careful not to over-exercise them, as they are small and delicate dogs. You can also get some activity in with indoor physical exercises and be sure to see our article on how to workout with your dog.

Teacup Poodles are a wonderful breed to own, but they require a lot of care and attention. By following these simple care and grooming tips, you can ensure that your Teacup Poodle stays healthy and happy for many years.

How to Groom a Teacup Poodle

Baths and Body part Grooming

It is recommended to bathe them every 3-4 weeks to clean and maintain their coat. Use a mild shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for dogs to avoid skin irritation. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to prevent any soap residue that may cause skin irritation and itching after grooming. Also, trim their nails with dog nail cutters and clean their ears with doggy ear cleansers to avoid infection. 


Teacup Poodles have a curly, dense coat that needs to be brushed daily to prevent matting and tangling. Use a slicker brush or comb to remove any tangles or mats gently. Be sure to pay extra attention to their ears, belly, and legs, as these areas are more prone to matting.

Poodle Cuts

There is an endless list of Poodle cuts you can request from your Groomer. These include the teddy bear cut, summer cut, German trim, puppy cut, and continental cut, among many others. You can also learn to trim their hair at home like in this video 

Training a Teacup Poodle

Training a Teacup Poodle requires patience and consistency. These small dogs are intelligent and eager to please, but they are also highly sensitive and very quick, so inexperienced trainers can sometimes have trouble keeping up with them. A common problem with training Poodles will be to offer many behaviors so quickly that you may accidentally reward them for the wrong one or not reward for the right behavior, leaving them confused and frustrated over what you want. Get help from a professional to make sure you keep up with these speedy little geniuses.

Socialization is also crucial for Teacup Poodles. They can be timid around strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly. Introduce your Teacup Poodle to new people, animals, and environments gradually and positively. Use treats and praise to reward good behavior, and be patient if your dog seems nervous or hesitant.

Finding a Teacup Poodle Breeder

Finding a reputable breeder is crucial if you’re interested in owning a teacup Poodle. Here are a few tips to help you find a trustworthy breeder:

  1. Research: Do your research and find out about different breeders in your area. Look for reviews and feedback from previous customers to determine if the breeder is reliable.
  2. Ask for referrals: Ask your veterinarian, friends, or family members who own Poodles for referrals to reputable breeders.
  3. Check for certifications: Look for breeders certified by the American Kennel Club (AKC) or other reputable organizations. However, remember that most AKC-certified breeders don’t typically breed teacups as they’re not part of AKC standards.
  4. Meet the breeder: It’s important to meet the breeder in person and see their breeding facilities. This allows you to assess the puppies’ living conditions and the breeding stock’s overall health.
  5. Health guarantee: A good breeder will provide a health guarantee for their puppies. This ensures that the puppies are free from genetic health issues and that the breeder examines their breeding program.

Adopting a Teacup Poodle from a Rescue Group

Adopting a teacup poodle from a rescue group can be challenging since they’re not typically found in shelters. However, plenty of rescue groups specialize in Poodles and it’s a great way to make sure you give a dog a home. Remember, we also support adoption wherever possible.

Research different Poodle rescue groups in your area specializing in small dogs or poodles. Contacting The Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation is a great place to get started looking for a smaller Poodle.

Suitable Home for Teacup Poodles

  1. Apartment dwellers or people with smaller spaces (that are doggy proofed to prevent accidents);
  2. Allergic people since they’re allergy-friendly (remember no dog is completely hypoallergenic, but Poodles are more hypoallergenic than most);
  3. Child-free home;
  4. Flexible schedules where someone is home most of the time as they do not do well alone;
  5. People who aren’t too active, as dogs these size can’t keep up long hikes or runs;
  6. Owners committed to daily grooming; and
  7. Homes without large animals or small children that may hurt these dogs by accident.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much do teacup poodles cost?

Teacup poodles are a popular breed, and their price can vary depending on several factors, such as pedigree, age, and location. On average, a teacup poodle for sale can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000.

How long do teacup poodles live?

Teacup poodles have a life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years. However, this can vary depending on factors such as genetics, diet, and exercise.

Where can I find teacup poodles for sale?

Teacup poodles for sale can be found through breeders, pet stores, and online marketplaces. It’s important to research and ensure that the seller is reputable and that the puppy has been adequately cared for and socialized.

Are teacup poodles hypoallergenic?

Teacup poodles are often considered hypoallergenic because they have hair rather than fur. However, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, and some people with allergies may still experience symptoms from contact with the dog’s saliva or urine.

Do teacup poodles shed?

Teacup poodles have hair rather than fur, which means they shed less than other breeds. However, they still shed to some extent and require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

Are Teacup Poodles Easy to Potty Train?

Due to their small bladders, Teacup Poodles may be a hassle to potty train. Leaving them holding pee for too long can also cause them to contact bladder stones. You may also face problems like pooping in the crate if the crate is too big or if they are closed in the crate for too long.

Final Thoughts 

Teacup Poodles are the smallest Poodle variety to exist, weighing only 2 to 5 pounds. They may be challenging to own because their small size makes them extremely vulnerable to injury. These tiny pups are expensive, and proper breeding improves their lifespan. 

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.