Teacup Poodle – Everything you Need to Know

teacup poodle

Teacup poodles are adorable little stuffed dog sized additions to any household – but what are they really? Teacup poodles are not a separate breed but rather, an unofficially classified category of poodles, smaller than the standard toy poodle size as given by the American Kennel Club.

The prerequisite for being classified as a teacup poodle is that the dog should be 9 inches or smaller in size. There is no other standardized measurement for teacup poodles. Simply put, they are toy poodles that are bred for progressively smaller size.

Having a teacup poodle is the dog equivalent of having a supercomputer size down to smartphone size. Teacup toy poodles retain all the intelligence of Poodles, but are tiny enough to fit in the smallest of households.

Not to mention, they are absolutely adorable, and look like fuzzy little dog toys. But there’s more to the breed than their appearance. Poodles are a historically well-known breed of French origin, bred for their intelligence, and their water-resistant coats.  Teacup poodles are the same- and more!

Highlights about Teacup Poodles:

  • Teacup Poodles are an unofficial variant of the established toy poodle breed variant. However, they are considered an official variant in their own standing now because of the popularity of the breed, as well as the frequency with which they are brought to shows.
  • To match the standard, a full-grown micro poodle must be smaller than 9 inches or 22 cm in height.
  • Similarly, the weight limit is set at 6 lb, or 3 kg.
  • Teacup poodles are available only in solid colours, ranging from White and cream, to light brown, caramel, cafe au lait, to darker shades of brown, as well as greys and blues, silver, to black.
  • Despite their diminutive size, tiny teacup poodles are very responsive and intelligent and can be trained to follow commands.
  • Teacup poodles require daily exercise and regular engagement, to make sure that they do not become too high strung and anxious, a tendency that they develop when not exercising enough.
  • Generally speaking, these micro poodles are pleasant dogs, and lively and playful. However, this also leads to occasional struggles for dominance, especially with owners who do not train the dog properly.

Teacup Poodle Size

teacup poodle petted

Of all the toy poodle dog breeds, teacup Poodles are the smallest, and also the most immediately recognizable.

Weight: to qualify as a teacup poodle, the dog must fall in the toy poodle weight range of less than 3 kg or 6lb. A weight of more than this puts him in the toy poodle category instead, albeit small.

Height: the standard height for a teacup poodle is taken as 9 inches tall. Anything more than this puts the dog again in the toy poodle category.

Conformation: Teacup poodles are every inch a fluffy stuffed dog toy. The shape of their head depends heavily on the way it is styled by the groomer. However, traditionally, teacup poodles’ heads are designed with a square cut, with the length of the withers matching the height of the fluff above the head.

This symmetry adds to the toy-like appearance of the breed. The shape at the back of the dog’s head is buzzed to be somewhat round and sloping towards the neck, so that it follows a semi-natural contour down to the neck.

Despite their tiny size, teacup poodles are not brachycephalic dogs and have a straight elongated snout. They have large dark eyes, which give them a very striking look and accentuate the doll like features. Their ears are flat and hang down the sides of the head. Both sets of legs are approximately the same size and they have small, delicate feet.

When it comes to coats and color, teacup poodles show a lot of variation. The coat is usually one solid colour in a shade anywhere between white to brown to blue to black, and maybe anywhere between tightly curled, to even corded.

Teacup Poodle Temperament and Personality

Teacup poodles retain all the intelligence associated with the poodle breed. On one hand, this makes them very easy to train, because they understand what is being asked of them. At the same time this also leads to occasional struggles for dominance, as teacup poodles can also be very stubborn and a handful for novice owners.

Relationship with children:

Teacup poodles are very playful, and generally very happy and loving dogs. They are very curious and love to explore toys and their surroundings, and every new thing that they can find.

However, this is not always associated with a pleasant attitude, because if surprised or taken off guard, even an otherwise always well-mannered teacup poodle may snap.

This is why teacup poodles should be allowed around children who are old enough to give the dog very definitive instructions. With younger children, teacup poodles may attempt to disobey instructions, and if not monitored closely, even do harm. They are not an ill-tempered dog, but they are very sensitive and excitable.

Another very important factor to take into account is that children may accidentally harm this tiny dog, if they are playing rough.

Oftentimes young children don’t know any better and may end up harming the dog, whether physically or otherwise. something as seemingly innocuous as giving the dog a little chocolate we have potentially fatal consequences. This is why it is always recommended that young children not be left alone with teacup poodles.

Relationship with other pets:

Teacup poodles are dogs that allow themselves to be socialized very easily. as a consequence, they do quite well with other pets in the house, whether it’s other dogs, or other animals like cats or birds. It always helps if the poodle has been socialised from an early age onwards. This naturally limits their wariness towards new people and other animals.

And while on the subject, it’s worth mentioning that teacup poodles are surprisingly good guard dogs. Teacup poodles have a tendency to bark a lot, and behaviour that can be suppressed through good training.

However, their natural instinct is to sound the woof alarm when they spot a stranger in the vicinity, or any potential threat. This also influences how well they adjust to life in an apartment building.

Teacup Poodle Health

Health issues:

teacup poodle in hands

Because of their being bred repeatedly for smallest size, teacup poodles have a lot of recurring genetic diseases.

One of the most commonly seen problems in teacup poodles is early onset cataract, and progressive retinal atrophy, which leads to blindness, as time passes.

Repeated eye and ear infections are also not uncommon among teacup poodles, as a consequence of there being bred for being smaller and smaller.

Also, for the same reason, they also suffer from heart disease, spinal deformities, as well as autoimmune conditions and other genetically influence disorders, such as hemolytic anemia, epilepsy, hormonal imbalances such as diabetes, as well as a susceptibility to intestinal and digestive tract disorders.

Ironically enough, although teacup poodles are hypoallergenic themselves, they themselves are prone to developing allergies, especially to topical products such as shampoos and conditioners.


Despite the multitude of health issues plaguing the breed, toy poodles’ life expectancy is relatively long, averaging 12 to 15 years. They may even live a little longer if they don’t have any serious health conditions.

Teacup Poodle Care

These toy poodle dog breeds seem as though they would sit in one place all day or are almost decorational, but nothing could be further from the truth. Teacup poodles and indeed toy poodles in general require a certain amount of daily exercise to keep their temperaments soft.

Teacup poodles need at least one walk outside per day to get them sufficient outside exposure. These are highly energetic dogs despite their size. They need to be taken on a walk or run, so that they can get their quota of physical activity.

Additionally, they also need to be allowed to run around and play, so as to get all the extra batteries out of their system. Bear in mind that any teacup who has too much energy left at the end of the day, will proceed to be irritable, excitable, and reluctant to follow instructions.

If teacup poodles have excessive energy, they tend to be nervous and even bad-tempered. This is why it is essential to make sure that your dog tires himself out every day. And this is not counting their emotional needs, cuddling, affection demands, and engagement with interactive toys or dog puzzles later at home.

Another great factor is that teacup photos have water-resistant coats.  These dogs love playing in water, which gives you so many more play options during the summer months. Tiny teacup poodles do not withstand the winter well, and benefit from being bundled up when taken outside.

Teacup Poodle Feeding

As can be expected, teacup poodles have very tiny daily intake requirements. However, for this, they generally require high quality and high-end dog foods.

Most teacup poodles have sensitive stomachs and are often picky eaters. Additionally, they require very measured amounts of food everyday- putting on additional weight can have disastrous consequences for a dog the small.

Obesity is a major cause of early fatality in teacup poodles. This is why it’s highly recommended that you ask your vet about how much food your teacup poodle should get every day. Even treats should be counted out carefully and sparingly.

Teacup Poodle Grooming

Teacup poodles have coats that vary from being tightly curled to loosely corded.  Depending upon the texture of their coat, they need different levels of care.

As a general rule, poodles need frequent baths and regular brushing to prevent matting in their fur. Toy poodles need to have their nails clipped at least every 2 months, as well as getting their teeth scaled regularly.

In addition to this, they need to have their ears cleaned and checked regularly to prevent wax build-up and to catch mite infections early on. Because of the nature of their curls, they have a predisposition to develop ingrown hairs specially inside the ear canal comma which can be very irritating for the dog.

Also, since teacup poodles are non-shedding dogs, they need to have their coats clipped regularly, to prevent it from becoming overgrown. This can be done at home or at the groomers. It’s traditional how to style the dog’s fur to look like a little lamb or a little puppy, with a pom-pom shape left at the tail. Show dogs have different styles.

Teacup poodles are dogs that do not shed much. as such they are hypoallergenic dogs and good for people with allergies.

Teacup Poodles: Everything Else

teacup poodle showcase

Teacup poodles are a highly popular dog breed in the UK. The ease with which they can be trained goes a long way in supporting this popularity. However, it is essential to remember that this very training besides how a teacup poodle adjusts to life with a family or with a new owner.

This also applies to how smoothly a teacup poodle adjusts to living in an apartment or in a small living space. As long as the dog is exercising regularly and being taken outside at least every day, a teacup poodle will have no issues staying indoors for the rest of the day. bear in mind however that these are not dogs who can be left alone for long periods of time, as they develop behavioural issues and separation anxiety.

Teacup poodles are also dogs that are prone to barking excessively and without stopping sometimes. This is why it is essential to train your dog to stop barking on command.

There are multiple ways to deal with this, including tiring the dog out physically during the day with play.  However, it is also essential to make sure that she listens to you and does not challenge your authority.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do teacup poodles stay small?

Yes. Teacup poodles are bred specifically for their small size, and rarely grow beyond the 10–11-inch range in height.

What is the smallest poodle?

Teacup poodles are the smallest variety of poodle. They are not an official breed, but a variant of toy poodles bred to be smaller in size.

Can teacup poodles be left alone?

Yes, teacup poodles can be left alone for very short periods of time. Generally speaking, they do not do well with being left home alone for long and develop destructive habits very quickly out of separation anxiety.

What do teacup poodles need?

Teacup poodles need thorough and firm training, as well as enough exercise every day to tire them out properly.

Why are teacup puppies bad?

Teacup puppies are not bad per se. However, unethical breeding practices often leave these dogs with severe health conditions, many of which necessitate the puppy being put down.

Do teacup poodles bark a lot?

Yes, teacup poodles tend to bark a lot. Therefore it is essential to train them against this behaviour.

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