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Teacup Poodle

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Teacup Poodle is a toy or small sized dog bred down from the official size of Toy Poodles. It is actually not an official breed size, so beware breeders who claim their dogs are unless they are recognized as Toy Poodles. These tiny dogs are especially popular in the US and are bred specifically to be companion dogs. It is hypoallergenic so is good for those with allergies and has a life span of 12 to 15 years when healthy.
The Teacup Poodle at a Glance
Name Teacup Poodle
Other names Tea Cup Poodle, Caniche, Barbone, Chien Canne, French Poodle, Pudle, Small Toy Poodle, Tiny Toy Poodle
Nicknames None
Origin Originally Germany and France but this smaller version of the Toy was likely started in the US
Average size Toy (small)
Average weight 2 to 6 pounds
Average height 6 to 9 inches
Life span 12 to 15 years (but some have health issues that seriously shorten that)
Coat type Single, curly, dense
Hypoallergenic Yes – should be good for most people with allergies
Color Any color including white, cream, brown, black, red
Popularity Not a registered member of the AKC (it is essentially a small version of the Toy Poodle which is)
Intelligence Excellent
Tolerance to heat Good
Tolerance to cold Moderate – needs protection from the cold
Shedding Low – does not shed hardly at all
Drooling Low – not prone to drool or slobber
Obesity Above average, easy to over feed so take care to measure and track treats
Grooming/brushing Frequent – brush daily
Barking Frequent – will need a command to control it
Exercise needs Active but easy to meet its needs
Trainability Easy to train
Friendliness Excellent with socialization
Good first dog Very good
Good family pet Very good but best with older children or even no children as it is so delicate
Good with children Excellent but young ones are a danger to them
Good with other dogs Very good with socialization
Good with other pets Very good with socialization
Good with strangers Very good with socialization but can be wary at first
Good apartment dog Excellent with its size but the frequent barking could be an issue
Handles alone time well Low – does not like to be alone for long periods
Health issues Not very healthy, being bred small has impacted its health very often. A few issues include eye problems, heart problems and bladder problems
Medical expenses $435 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $75 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats
Miscellaneous expenses $460 a year for toys, basic training, miscellaneous items and license
Average annual expenses $970 a year as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $2,000
Rescue organizations Toy Poodle Rescue, Carolina Poodle Rescue, check local rescues and shelters
Biting Statistics None for the Teacup or Toy Poodle but for just Poodle there have been Attacks doing bodily harm: 4 Maimings: 1 Child Victims: 2 Deaths: 0

The Teacup Poodle’s Beginnings

The Teacup Poodle comes from the original Poodle and there is some debate about where that comes from. France says it was there but the AKC says it was bred in Germany first and then developed further in France around 500 years ago or so. The first size was the standard Poodle and it was used as a water retrieving dog. As a result its coat was developed to be water resistant and to keep it warm. It is understood that it comes from the Barbet, maybe the Hungarian Water Hound and the French Water Dog (which is no longer around today). They were called Pudelhunds, dogs that play in water, and from that came the name Poodle.

The first Poodle clip coat coat was in fact a practical design by hunters to enable it to be able to swim better. But in France its intelligence was prized and it became a dog trained to perform in the circus too. It was also bred down to Miniature size and that dog was a valued truffle hunter. The Toy size was also developed in France to be a companion particularly popular amongst nobility and royalty. While not officially recognized by the AKC a fourth size in Europe was also bred called the Moyen or Klein Poodle.

New Lease on Life

The Poodle has had great success in North America, the Toy size has been in the top ten most popular dogs doe many years. It is then not surprising that the smaller versions of the toy were kept and bred smaller leading to what some breeders refer to as the Teacup Poodle. Care should be taken when buying this dog though as since there is no standard there can be variations between them and there has been some concern of its health, and suggestion that they have a shortened life span than the Toy Poodle. Not only is it not a recognized size by the AKC, it is not official in other major kennel clubs either.

The Dog You See Today

The Teacup Poodle essentially looks like a small Toy Poodle! It is a tiny size at 2 to 6 pounds and standing 6 to 9 inches tall. Its body is squared in shape as its height and length are around the same and it has a level topline. The tail is set high and it carries it high too though some places do dock it to half the length or even more to give the dog a more balanced appearance. The front and back legs are in proportion and dewclaws can be removed. Its feet are small and oval shaped with toes that are arched.

This dog has a curly or corded coat like its larger relations, it is a single coat and can be any color including grey, cream, red, white, brown, black, blue and apricot. Owners often opt to have it clipped into some kind of style. The head is fairly rounded and it has a muzzle that is long and straight. Its eyes are oval and dark set fairly far apart. Its ears hang down being long and flat and fall close to the head.

The Inner Teacup Poodle

Temperament

All Poodles are very intelligent and this little dog is no different. It is smart, responsive, eager to please and enjoys entertaining people and being the center of attention. It craves attention and companionship and needs owners who are in more than out and have the time to devote. It does not like being left alone for long periods, or for any time really! When you are in it will stay close to you and if you go out it will want to come too. It needs to be included in family activities and care needs to be taken that it does not get stepped on. Things that might just injure another dog can kill this one.

The Teacup Poodle is a social and friendly dog, it is sweet, lively and cheerful. With strangers it is a little wary at first and may bark at them but it will warm up to them if they are around often. Make sure it is well socialized and do not over spoil it just because it is small. That can lead to small dog syndrome where a dog thinks it is the boss, is high strung and is hard to live with and more yappy and snappy. It is alert though and will bark to let you know of an intruder but it will then continue to bark so a command to stop that is a good idea. It is a great lap dog ideally suited for owners who want a loving companion that does not need a great deal of time outside.

Living with a Teacup Poodle

What will training look like?

Teacup Poodles are smart, they enjoy the process of learning and performing for you, they want to please you and make you happy, and are generally obedient. Combining those qualities means they are easy to train and usually even learn quicker than a lot of other breeds as they need less repetition before they grasp something. It does mean though that if you do not start basic obedience and socialization from a young age they can soon learn bad habits and then that is harder to break when they get older. You need to be a firm and confident leader to them, set rules and be consistent about them. Use positive methods to train, reward it, motivate with treats, praise and encourage it. Early socialization means teaching it how to deal with things like other people, places, situations, animals and such.

How active is the Teacup Poodle?

The Teacup Poodle is small so of course it does not need a lot of living space, it can play indoors with its toys and get some exercise and mental stimulation in the home, but it should still get a short walk or two a day, it is good for them and they enjoy getting out. If there is a yard that is a great bonus place for it to run off leash safely. Play with it like you would any dog, it loves water. It does tend to bark without control and training which could affect how good it is as an apartment dog, but based on size alone it is excellent. It is a dog that even fairly inactive owners can look after comfortably and in between play sessions it is happy to relax and doze on your lap. Be sure you have toys that mentally stimulate them, being intelligent means they need to keep their minds active too.

Caring for the Teacup Poodle

Grooming needs

These dogs are small so manageable as like all Poodles it does have more maintenance and grooming needs than some dogs, despite being low to no shedding and hypoallergenic. That coat needs to be brushed daily as it tangles easily, it needs regular clipping or stripping too by a professional groomer. When it gets really dirty you can give it a bath using a dog shampoo only. It will otherwise develop skin problems as over bathing or incorrect products can damage its natural oils.

Other needs include brushing its teeth at least two to three times a week using a dog toothpaste and brush. Checking its ears for infection and wiping clean and removing hairs. Also the light colors can have tear stains so that should be cleaned daily. Its nails are not like ours, they do need trimming but be careful as if you cut too low you may cut into where there are blood vessels and nerves. That will hurt it and cause bleeding.

Feeding Time

Teacup Poodles need you to measure their food and make sure they get physical activity as some can be prone to obesity. Feed it between ¼ to 5/8 a cup a day, and split that into two meals. How much exactly may vary due to size, activity levels and metabolism amongst other things. Avoid feeding table scraps and feed them a good quality food. Also make sure they have access to water at all times that is changed fairly regularly.

How is the Teacup Poodle with children and other animals?

The Teacup Poodle gets along great with children with socialization, they are loving and playful with them but the issue is not whether it likes children, it is whether it is safe around them. This is a small dog and as mentioned accidents and rough handling can do more than just injure it. Supervision is especially essential when it is around small children. If your have older children who are responsible and careful and you teach them the important of being gentle with them, that could work. Keep in mind it prefers not to be startled too. It can get along well with other pets and other dogs too, though again care has to be taken if a much larger dog wants to play with it.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

When you ask breeders of Teacup Poodles what their life span is they tend to give an average of 12 to 15 years. However Poodles in general are not especially healthy dogs they have a lot of genetic issues and other health problems that can come up. Plus the Teacup has its own issues, as mentioned more accidents and crushings happen but also they can have problems where their internal organs are too small and do not work well enough. Other issues include bladder problems, diabetes, epilepsy, skin problems, allergies, eye problems, ear infections, heart problems, IMHA and digestive issues.

Biting Statistics

When examining reports that date back 35 years covering dog attacks on people in the US and Canada, the Poodle can be identified as being involved in 4 attacks on people, 2 of whom were children. There is not any specific data on Teacup Poodles though. Some people might think that being so small it would never be a problem but you should not judge a dog by its size. It might limit how much damage can be done to an adult, but it can still be done to children and aggression is something that can happen in any dog of any size. 4 attacks over a 35 year period means the Poodle is not one prone to getting involved in such incidents. Make sure whatever dog you get is socialized and trained, well exercised and that you supervise.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

The price tag of being a dog owner comes in several shapes, from the price you pay for the puppy to the costs of caring for it and raising it. Beginnings with a purchase price, the Teacup Poodle is an astounding $2000 from a decent breeder of pet quality dogs and then that price can go up to the $5000s! This high price is mostly because of its popularity today. Avoid using backyard breeders, pet stores or puppy mills, you are a lot likely to get an unhealthy dog and these are not people that should be encouraged to stay in the business of mistreating, neglecting or being cruel to animals. There is the option of finding a rescue, there are some breed specific ones out there, or you can look at local shelters, more likely to have a mix or older dog that way though. Adoption fees tend to run from $50 to $400.

Once you are able to bring the Teacup Poodle home, the next step will be to get some items for it that it will need. A collar and leash for example, bedding, a crate and a carrier, for which you will pay about $120. It will then need to be spayed or neutered, have blood tests done, have a physical exam, be dewormed and vaccinated and microchipped. This will cost about $260.

After those initial costs there are then ongoing expenses through out the year. Teacup Poodles average about $435 a year for basic health care veterinary expenses and dog insurance. It also needs to eat and a good quality dry dog food and dog treats is about $75 a year. Then miscellaneous costs like basic training, grooming, license, toys and miscellaneous items come to about $460 a year. This gives an estimated annual starting figure of $970.

Names

Looking for a Teacup Poodles Name? Let select one from our list!

Teacup Poodles are the smallest Poodle type and since lap dogs are very popular right now , especially ones that are also hypoallergenic and easy to train, this dog has a hefty price tag on it. Unfortunately some get carried away with making the dog smaller without thinking about its health so think before you make this purchase and research the breeder. It is not good for a home with small children, and is best in a home where there is not a lot of distraction so that an accident does not happen with it. It is an affectionate and fun dog to have around but do need more care in terms of grooming and health.

Popular Poodle Mixes

DogBreed
Affenpoo
Affenpoo
Affenpinscher and Poodle Mix
General Information
Size Medium
Height 10 to 20 inches
Weight 10 to 25 pounds
Life span 12 – 16 years
Touchiness Can be grumpy!
Barking Average
Activity Low
Breed Traits

Curious
Clever
Affectionate
Intelligent
Like to be busy
Sometimes grumpy

Hypoallergenic

Yes

DogBreed
Airedoodle
Airedoodle
Airedale Terrier and Poodle Mix
General Information
Size Medium
Height 22 to 26 inches
Weight 40 to 60 pounds
Life span 10 to 15 years
Touchiness Easy going
Barking Low
Activity High
Breed Traits

Intelligent
Loyal
Good natured
Friendly
Loving
Happy

Hypoallergenic

Yes

DogBreed
Shepadoodle
Shepadoodle
Poodle German Shepherd Mix
General Information
Size Large
Weight 50 to 80 pounds
Height 22 to 28 inches
Life span 12 to 14 years
Touchiness Very sensitive
Barking Rare
Activity Very active
Breed Traits

Devoted
Loyal
Protective
Social
Intelligent
Eager to please

Hypoallergenic

Can be

DogBreed
Labradoodle
Labradoodle
Labrador and Poodle Mix
General Information
Size Large
Weight 45 to 75 pounds
Height 21 to 24 inches
Life span 12 to 14 years
Touchiness Can be sensitive
Barking Rare to occasional
Activity Very high
Breed Traits

Intelligent
Loving
Energetic
Gentle
Eager to please
Good Family Pet

Hypoallergenic

Can be

DogBreed
Double Doodle
Double Doodle
Golden Retriever, Labrador retriever and Poodle Mix
General Information
Size Medium to large
Weight 30 – 70 pounds
Height Medium to large
Life span 12 – 15 years
Touchiness Fairly high
Barking Low to moderate
Activity Very active
Breed Traits

Hyperactive
Social
Friendly
Intelligent
Good Family Pet
Loyal

Hypoallergenic

Yes


Featured image credit: Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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