Height: Under 7 in
Weight: Under 4 lbs
Life Span: 5 – 10 yrs
Coloring: Black and tan; blue and tan; solid tan
Area of Origin: England
Similar Breeds: Skye Terrier, Silky Terrier, Toy Poodle, Teacup Maltese, Teacup Chihuahua, Teacup Pomeranian, Teacup Shih Tzu
History and Origin:
The Teacup Yorkie (Teacup Yorkshire Terrier) is not an individual breed, but rather an increasingly popular name for a Yorkshire Terrier that in adulthood does not weigh more than four pounds. Originally a much larger dog, weighing approximately ten pounds, the Yorkshire Terrier was developed in northern England by two working class men, who needed a small, hardy dog to manage rat and mice infestations in mine tunnels and clothing mills. Many now-extinct terrier breeds were used in the development of the Yorkshire Terrier, including small Skye Terriers, introduced into the breed to achieve the long, silky coat that the “Yorkie” is known for today. A Yorkshire Terrier named Huddersfield Ben is credited as being the “father of the breed” after winning dog shows across England in the late 1860s. Due to his success in the show ring, popularity in the “long, silky, blue and tan coat with docked tail” type of Terrier grew, and a breed standard for the Yorkshire Terrier was finalized. First appearing in North America in the 1870s, the American Kennel Club registered its first Yorkshire Terrier in 1885, and demand for the little dog grew quickly. Today, the Yorkshire Terrier enjoys being the sixth most popular dog breed in the United States. It is important to note that the Teacup Yorkie may not be eligible to be registered with a kennel club; a full-grown Teacup is frequently smaller than the minimum size of the breed standard for the Yorkshire Terrier, and no kennel club acknowledges breeding efforts of the “teacup” dog fanciers.
Personality and Temperament:
The Teacup Yorkie is an active little dog, full of spunk and character. Despite its small size, the Teacup Yorkie would much rather chase squirrels around a yard than be carried around; it is self-assured, brave, and tenacious. It adores attention, and can develop Small Dog Syndrome if it is allowed to control its owner – while tiny, the Teacup Yorkie is still a dog, and craves to be treated like one. It has a tendency of getting into trouble due to its size and naturally curious nature, and should not be left alone for long periods of time to prevent the development of behavior problems. Due to its fragility, the Teacup Yorkie is not suitable for children, although it loves to play. While not a timid dog, it can become wary of strangers, and needs to be properly socialized so that it does not become overly yappy. Extremely aware of its surroundings, the Teacup Yorkie can be a great watch dog as it loves to use its voice. Since its small size can cause physical injury and illness, the Teacup Yorkie is best suited for an experienced dog owner who can best meet its health needs.
Exercise & Training:
The Teacup Yorkie is extremely lively, and should be taken for walks daily. Extra care must be taken, however, as the tiny dog is susceptible to injury and hereditary disorders because of its small size. Due to its size, the Teacup Yorkie is perfect for apartment living. Proper socialization and training will help curb the Yorkie’s tendency to bark at any sound. An extremely intelligent dog, the Teacup Yorkie is easy to train, and loves to be the center of attention. It will eagerly learn tricks to entertain people; positive reinforcement with food rewards will help this little dog to shine.
The long, silky coat of the Teacup Yorkie needs constant brushing and combing if kept long, as the fine hair is prone to tangling. Many owners prefer to keep the coat clipped short, which can be maintained by trips to a professional groomer three or four times a year. Bathe only when necessary to avoid drying out the skin. The Teacup Yorkie sheds little to no hair.
Today, the Teacup Yorkie is a trendy dog, along with other “teacup” breeds such as the Teacup Maltese, Teacup Pomeranian, and Teacup Shih Tzu. Genetically, it is most closely related to the Skye and Silky Terriers.
Interesting Facts about the Teacup Yorkie:
1. A Teacup Yorkie named “Sylvia” holds the record for the smallest adult dog in the world – she was a mere 2.5 inches tall and weighs 4 ounces. She died in 1945 at two years old.
2. The smallest living dog in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records from 1995 to 2002 was a Teacup Yorkie named Big Boss, with a height of 4½ in.