The Truth About Teacup Yorkies

teacup yorkie

Do you have Teacup Yorkies?” is the number one question I am asked by prospective puppy parents.

The answer …

there is no such thing as a Teacup Yorkie!

When I say that to the caller they often tell me that other breeders they’ve spoken to say there is (and I really wish they’d stop doing that!!!).


The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Code Of Ethics

The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America prohibits using words like ‘teacup’, ‘micro’, ‘mini’ and ‘pocket’. They feel that these words are nothing more than a marketing ploy used by some breeders to justify charging outrageous prices for their puppies. I have personally seen the word ‘micro’ used to describe puppies listed for sale for over $10,000!!!

If a breeder doesn’t know something as basic as what the breed club Code of Ethics says, you have to ask yourself what else they don’t know???

What Size Should a Yorkie Be?

According to the breed standard, a Yorkshire Terrier weighs under 7 pounds and there is no distinction for dogs of a smaller size. No matter how small, a Yorkie is still just a Yorkie and you will never see the breed listed as ‘Teacup Yorkshire Terrier’ on a dog’s registration papers. And no ethical breeder will use that word.

I think some of the confusion over whether or not Yorkie’s come in different sizes stems from the fact that some breeds are differentiated by size. But unlike the Poodle which has 3 legitimate varieties: Standard, Miniature, and Toy and the Schnauzer which also has 3 types: Giant, Standard, and Miniature, there is only one Yorkshire Terrier breed.

Size Matters (sometimes)

I do acknowledge that some clients have a preference for a Yorkie of a particular size and, mor importantly, that a particular size dog would be a better fit in some homes. If a family has younger children or grandchildren then a bigger dog would be a better fit for them. If someone travels a lot a smaller Yorkie is better because they will be more comfortable riding under the seat of a plane for several hours.

There are also times when someone really does need (not want, need) their Yorkie puppy to grow up to be a certain size for a very valid reason. A few years ago I had a litter with a very tiny puppy in it. I placed that puppy with a someone who had a shoulder injury from playing sports in college and was under doctors orders not to lift anything weighing more than 5 lbs. Emotionally he could love any dog but physically he couldn’t take care of a dog over a certain size without risking his own wellbeing and I was happy to help him fulfill his dream of becoming a dog dad.

For these reason, when I offer a puppy to a family I tell them the pups current weight, estimated adult weight as well as the weights of both parents. I do this rather than labeling my puppies as toy, teacup, micro, mini or pocket because I have found these terms mean different things to different people and I prefer to avoid the confusion these labels can cause. The example I use to explain this is: If I used to live in a 6,000 square foot house and downsize to a house that is 3,000 square, feet to me my new house is small. But if you live in a 1,000 square foot house, to you my new house is large.

Breeders don’t have crystal balls that let them predict a puppy’s adult weight with 100% accuracy. Sometimes the charts and calculators are wrong. Sometimes a “throwback gene” expresses itself. Sometimes families over or underfeed a puppy and that affects the number on the scale. For those reasons and more, I cannot guarantee the size a puppy will be in adulthood and neither can any other breeder.



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