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The Tiny Teacup Poodle
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The Tiny Teacup Poodle

Ben, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Oct 5, 2020

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Teacup poodles are toy poodles that stand shorter than 9 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh less than 6 pounds. This size is smaller than the American Kennel Club's breed standard for toy poodles. They are not an officially recognized variation of the poodle, though they share many personality traits. Despite their size, these pups are full of personality.

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1

They have great personalities

oy poodle puppy looking over the bathtub

Teacup poodles are sweet, smart, and perky. They're very intelligent and love to be around people, so they're easy to train with the right approach. Although they're tiny, they make good watchdogs because they will alert you to anything suspicious. Teacup poodles are generally good with other dogs and pets, as long as they are socialized well.

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2

Proper training is important to avoid small dog syndrome

small dog syndrome chee gin tan / Getty Images

Teacup poodles are at risk of developing small dog syndrome, which happens when the owner fails to train them properly and leads to many behavioral issues. These include barking, snapping, growing, and being demanding. It can make them untrustworthy with children and unwelcoming to visitors as they try to get everyone to do what they want them to do.

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3

They can be a bit high strung

small high strung Alex Potemkin / Getty Images

Some owners believe that teacup poodles are naturally more high-strung than their larger cousins, but others believe that this comes down to training and exercise. The owner must let the teacup poodle know who the pack leader is and give them rules to follow. A properly trained teacup poodle shouldn't be nervous or timid.

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4

They can live as long as 14 years

long life span paylessimages / Getty Images

Teacup poodles can live for a long time and are generally healthy. One condition that they are prone to developing is Legg-Perthes disease, a disease that affects the blood supply to the head of the femur, causing it to disintegrate over time. Surgery can correct this condition. Other conditions that may affect teacup poodles include diabetes, epilepsy, and allergies.

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5

They have minimal exercise requirements

yard running exercise wanderluster / Getty Images

While many small breeds can burn off energy indoors, teacup poodles do best when they have a walk every day. Without enough exercise, they are more likely to engage in destructive behavior. They also enjoy running around off-leash in a safe, fenced-in yard and love to play in the water.

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6

Teacup poodles have a tendency to gain weight

eat good weight a_kappi / Getty Images

Teacup poodles don't need a lot of food, only about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality food divided into 2 meals. Some owners can't resist their pleading eyes and feed them too many table scraps. This makes them picky eaters, and they may begin turning their nose up at their dog food. Excess weight can lead to joint problems and other health issues, so maintaining a healthy weight is very important for this breed.

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7

They come in many colors

Teacup Poodle with a green background

Teacup poodles don't shed, which makes them a good choice for people with allergies. Their coat comes in a wide variety of colors, including black, white, silver, brown, gray, apricot, and cream. It's typically wiry, curly, and relatively dense, which means you have a lot of options when it comes to grooming styles.

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8

Grooming can be a bit intense

grooming frequent care ultramarinfoto / Getty Images

Teacup poodles have the same grooming needs as standard poodles, but their small size makes the process a little more difficult. Poodles are high-maintenance, and even teacup poodles require grooming every 3 to 6 weeks. Some owners choose to keep the coat clipped very short and simple for easy care, while others have a professional groomer clip their fur.

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9

Their eyes, ears, and teeth require special attention

eyes ear teeth paylessimages / Getty Images

Some teacup poodles have weepy eyes that can stain the fur under their eyes. Daily wiping around the eyes can minimize stains. Inspect your teacup poodle's floppy ears every week and clean them frequently to prevent infections. Small breeds are also at higher risk of losing teeth, so make sure you brush your pet's teeth at least a few times a week.

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10

They were bred to be companions

companion dogs small Robert Wei / Getty Images

Teacup poodles are the smallest variety of poodle. Standard poodles are commonly used for duck hunting, and mid-sized to hunt down truffles. The toy and teacup are bred specifically for companionship. These small breeds are all poodle, created by breeding smaller poodles with each other instead of introducing a smaller breed.

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