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Teacup Min Pin: The Bold Miniature Pinscher

The Teacup Min Pin is the latest teacup version of the toy Miniature Pinscher. Sometimes called micro-dogs or pocket-sized dogs, Teacup Miniature Pinschers are bred to sit neatly in a teacup or a flashy designer handbag and are usually the most adorable big-eyed puppies that could fit in the palm of your hand. 

However, teacup breeds are not recognized by the AKC, and buying one may come with some ethical and health issues one should be aware of. So while the Teacup Min Pin might have the heart of a watchful guardian and hunter, its size may leave it vulnerable. 

Nevertheless, provided you are armed with the knowledge needed to seek out a reputable breeder, or if you find one in a shelter, the Teacup Min Pin might make the ideal little companion. 


Physical Characteristics of a Teacup Min Pin

Height

Weight

Lifespan

Color

Nose

undetermined

Less than 4 pounds, unless outcrossed

12 to 16 years

Solid red, stag red or brown and black

Black or brown


Like other teacup dogs, such as the Teacup Bichon Frise, a real teacup Min Pin can weigh as little as 4 pounds. However, the methods used to obtain such a bite-sized dog can be suspect and should be thoroughly researched before buying one from a potentially disreputable breeder.

The Miniature Pinscher itself is already a tiny dog, standing at 10 to 12.5 inches high and weighing only 8 to 10 pounds. It is known for its “hackney gait,” lifting its front legs high and bending them at the knee like a little prancing horse.

A Teacup Min Pin bred purely from the Miniature Pinscher and not from outcrossing should have the same signature trot. It could also be solid red or red with some black hairs, known as stag red, or black or chocolate with rust markings. 

Teacup Min Pins created through outcrossing may display a broader range of colors. 

The Teacup Min Pin has a short, smooth coat that is not hypoallergenic. It has alert, erect ears that may be cropped, and its tail may be docked. 


History of the Teacup Min Pin and the Miniature Pinscher

The Teacup Min Pin is not a separate breed from the Miniature Pinscher, only a smaller version. This means it shares the same history.

The Miniature Pinscher, also called the Min Pin or the “King of Toys,” was initially bred as a ratter, meant to get rid of vermin. While many people mistake them as a miniature version of the Doberman Pinscher, the regular Min Pin is unrelated. 

Its exact origins are unknown, but it is agreed that it began in Germany and that whippets, dachshunds, and the German Pinscher probably went into its heritage.

All of this has led to a feisty and energetic dog today used for companionship, although traces of its prey drive and watchfulness remain. The Min Pin is a great early alarm system for intruders!


So, Where Do Teacup Min Pins Come From?

Although dogs have been bred as toy breeds for centuries, it is unclear exactly when breeding even smaller for micro or teacup versions became popular. In essence, the main difference between the Teacup Min Pin and the regular Miniature Pinscher is its size, with the teacup version weighing as much as five or six pounds less

How are Teacup Min Pins made?

There are three ways that a breeder might go about creating a teacup puppy; breeding runts,  introducing the dwarfism gene, or crossing the breed out with another toy breed. 

It should be mentioned that sometimes unscrupulous breeders might not actually breed a smaller dog but might try to stunt the puppy’s growth through starvation, which is both revolting and may have long term implications for the dog’s health.

Similarly, breeding runts can be problematic, as the smallest puppy in each litter is often not the healthiest. It also encourages inbreeding and increases the risk of genetic diseases.

Breeding dogs with dwarfism is a faster method than breeding runts to produce a micro-dog. However, the dwarf gene often comes with its own genetic problems, including pituitary gland issues, and breeders must be avoided.

Luckily, crossing Min Pins with other breeds is a more ethical way of creating a teacup dog. While it won’t be a purebred Min Pin, it will still be a delightful hybrid or designer dog. 

Here are three examples of excellent Min Pin mixes that will be close to the desired teacup size.

Chipin

 A mix between the Chihuahua and the Miniature Pinscher, a Chipin is also called the Pinhuahua or the Minchi. They are usually bi-color but may be solid or any combination of colors. 

The most common ones are chocolate, cream, black or golden.

They are usually between 8 and 12 inches high and weigh between 5 and 15 pounds, making the smaller ones the perfect teacup size!

These are alert, spirited, and sometimes yappy dogs, which are protective of their owners. They can prefer older owners and should be supervised around smaller children and socialized with other animals. 

They can fit well into apartments but should not be left alone for too long. 

Yorkie Pin

The Yorkie Pin, a mix of the beloved Yorkshire Terrier and the Min Pin, is an active but sweet-natured little dog. It can vary wildly in appearance, sometimes having a wiry, mid-length coat and other times having the smooth short coat of the Min Pin.

Colors can be any combination of those seen on either parent breed.

The Yorkie Pin weighs 6 to 10 pounds and stands 7 to 13 inches high, making it one of the smallest teacup designer dogs after the Chipin. They tend to be social and highly attached to their owners.

Pinny-poo

Among one of the cutest designer toy or teacup dogs is the Pinny-Poo, a cross between the Miniature Pinscher and the Toy Poodle. It goes by many names, including; Min Pin Poo, Pinny-doodle, and Miniature Pinscherdoodle.

They usually weigh between 6 and 10 pounds and make an affectionate and intelligent companion, although it may have that Min Pin stubborn streak.

The Pinny-poo may inherit the coat and coloring of the Min Pin, but if it inherits the longer coat of the toy poodle, it might be more hypoallergenic and, therefore, will possibly be suited to owners who suffer from allergies.

General care of a Teacup Min Pin


Hypoallergenic

Shedding

Exercise

Housing

Temperament

Trainability

No

Mild shedding

Minimal. Fine with a daily short walk. No more than 30 mins depending on size.

Can adapt apartments. Housing should be proofed to avoid injury

Lively, athletic and playful with a strong guardian and chasing instinct

Moderately trainable. Can be stubborn.

 


Energy

Although the regular Min Pin is quite energetic and may need a bit more exercise and playtime, the Teacup might be lively but will still be limited because of its size. Therefore, its exercise needs should be relatively light to moderate.

Housing

The Teacup Min Pin may fit in well in an apartment. However, any teacup-sized dog should be considered a special needs dog as jumps or accidents that may not phase most dogs could severely injure a pup that only weighs 5 pounds. 

Therefore, special care should be taken to avoid access to high furniture or stairs, and your teacup Min Pin needs to be carefully trained to avoid getting underfoot.

It should also be remembered that housetraining such a small dog may never be fully achieved because of their bladders’ tiny size.

Food & Dietary Requirements

Until the age of six months, the Teacup Min Pin should be fed between three and four times a day to avoid hypoglycemia. Because of this dog’s unique size and the health problems which may come with it, it is best to discuss its diet with your veterinarian. 

Grooming

Unless your Teacup Min Pin is crossed with a longer-haired breed like the Maltese or Yorkshire Terrier, grooming is minimal. A simple brush with a pet grooming glove once a week should suffice, and it doesn’t need many baths. 

They do not shed much, which is another reason they make great apartment dogs.

Make sure to trim nails regularly, using either a clipper or grinder—the latter works exceptionally well for the delicate nails on the Teacup Min Pin’s little paws. 

Teeth and ears should also be cleaned regularly to prevent decay and infections.

The health of the Teacup Min Pin

Exercise

Although the regular Min Pin can be quite a bouncy ball of energy, the teacup version is limited because of its size. Therefore, its exercise requirements should be low, keeping in mind that one step for you can mean ten for the true teacup.

Avoid going outdoors in very hot or cold weather, as such a little body is more vulnerable to the elements and keep water and a collapsible water bowl with you to keep your Teacup Min Pin hydrated. 

An extra small harness is an excellent option to avoid any unnecessary strain on the Min Pin’s fragile neck. They can also move quite quickly and slip out of your grasp, so when traveling, always make sure your pup is buckled in safely in your car to avoid accidents.

Concerns

Severe Health Problems

Mild to Moderate Health Problems

Occasional Health Problems

Patellar luxation

Heart defects

Blindness or eye problems

Collapsing tracheas

Respiratory issues

Hydrocephalus

Liver Shunts

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

cervical (dry) disc

 

 

Dental diseases

Allergies

Hyper or Hypothyroidism

Digestive issues

Deafness 

Seizures or epilepsy

Demodectic mange

Obesity

 

How a Teacup Min Pin is bred will primarily affect its health throughout its life. While the regular Min Pin is generally a long-lived dog, it is prone to some disorders. 

Also, suppose your Teacup is intentionally bred smaller using inbreeding or line-breeding of runts or dogs that carry the dwarf gene. In that case, it may be prone to both the usual issues a Min Pin might have and additional problems that come with unethical breeding practices.

According to Pet MD, teacup breeds may be vulnerable to blindness, heart defects, collapsing tracheas, seizures, and breathing or digestive problems.

Furthermore, tiny dogs like the micro Min Pin are also susceptible to liver shunts, a disease where their liver fails to flush out toxins, and hydrocephalus, where excess cerebrospinal fluid leaks into the skull, causing brain swelling. 

Small dogs are also susceptible to patellar luxation, a condition where the kneecap shifts may result in early-onset arthritis.

The Miniature Pinscher is also susceptible to several other diseases that may be exacerbated in the Teacup Min Pin. These include progressive retinal atrophy, a condition involving the deterioration of the retina, and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, which may occur as young as six months.

Dogs with this condition have restricted blood flow to the head of the femur, causing it to disintegrate over time.

Middle-aged Teacup Min Pins may also suffer from Cervical Disc disease, where the vertebra in the neck pushes against the spinal cord and causes significant pain. This is another reason to invest in a harness rather than a collar for a dog this size. 

Other issues to look out for include mange, epilepsy, gum and dental problems, hypothyroidism, obesity, and allergies.

Lifespan

Provided your Teacup Min Pin has been bred by a reputable and ethical breeder who has taken stringent measures to avoid the congenital issues mentioned above, your Teacup Min Pin could live between 12 and 16 years.


The Trainability and Temperament of a Teacup Min Pin

The Teacup Miniature Pinscher should be moderately trainable, as it is a reasonably intelligent dog, although it may have a stubborn streak. Patience, short sessions, and a lot of reward-based training will get you far.

Temperament wise, the Teacup Min Pin packs a big personality into a tiny package. They are likely to be spirited, active, feisty, and protective of their owners. 

They should be socialized from an early age to prevent them from becoming too possessive and potentially biting anybody who comes too close to “their” human. Socialization can also help them get on with other pets, although these are dogs who may prefer to live alone with their human.

So if you are not a particularly active dog owner with limited space, who is willing to look out for potential hazards for your micro dog, the Teacup Min Pin might be the dog for you.

Because of its size, Teacup Min Pins should be supervised with young children or bigger pets who may injure them accidentally and they are therefore better-suited homes with older owners who will not leave them alone for long periods. 

Finding a Teacup Min Pin 

If possible, the Teacup Min Pin or any of the Min Pin crosses should be taken from a shelter. Unfortunately, these kinds of crosses happen more often than you would think, and tiny dogs are often available and in need of a loving home.

 Websites like Petfinder, Rescue Me, or the ASPCA can help you find a teacup or toy in your area.

What you can expect to pay for a Teacup Min Pin

Putting aside backyard breeders and pet stores, it may be possible to locate a Teacup Min Pin breeder who is ethical and screens breeding dogs for health defects. Make sure you do your homework and visit the facility to ensure this is the case. If you find one, designer dogs and teacups can easily go for between $ 750 and $ 2000.

Although the Teacup Min Pin is an ideal companion for people who are home a lot but who can’t care for a dog that’s too active, it does come with a variety of ethical and health concerns to look out for. If you have these energetic micro-dogs, leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you. 

References

American Kennel Club. “Miniature Pinscher Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, www.akc.org/dog-breeds/miniature-pinscher. Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.

Horton, Helena. “Dog Organisations Warn of Craze for Tiny ‘teacup Puppies’ as Breeders Sell Sick Dogs with Fragile Bones and Brain Problems.” The Telegraph, 2 July 2017, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/02/dog-organisations-warn-craze-tiny-teacup-puppies-breeders-sell.

Hunter, Tammy, and Ernest Ward. “Hydrocephalus in Toy Breed Puppies.” Vca_corporate, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/hydrocephalus-in-toy-breed-puppies Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.

Lundgren, Becky. “Cervical (Neck) Disk Disease in Dogs and Cats.” Veterinary Partner, 14 May 2008, veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&catId=102899&id=4952768

PetFirst Pet. “Miniature Pinscher.” PetFirst, 20 Mar. 2018, www.petfirst.com/breed-spotlights/miniature-pinscher.

Pet MD Editorial. “The Truth About Teacup Dogs.” PetMD, 5 July 2017, www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/truth-about-teacup-dogs

Stregowski, Jenna. “All About the Miniature Pinscher.” The Spruce Pets, 29 July 2019, www.thesprucepets.com/breed-profile-miniature-pinscher-1117981.

Hunter, Tammy, and Ernest Ward. “Luxating Patella in Dogs.” Vca_corporate, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/luxating-patella-in-dogs Accessed 11 Nov. 2020..

Vought, Terry. “What You Don’t (But Should) Know About Teacup Dogs.” Silver Streak Kennels, 28 Jan. 2020, www.dogretirement.com/what-you-dont-but-should-know-about-teacup-dogs/

Williams, Krista, and Ernest Ward. “Portosystemic Shunt in Dogs.” Vca_corporate, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/portosystemic-shunt-in-dogs Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.