Teacup puppies

The miniaturisation of dog breeds can often lead to health issues and so called 'teacup' dogs may suffer from congenital and respiratory problems, fragile bones and many other defects. To produce small sized dogs, breeders may use unscrupulous practices such as breeding from runts in litters, denying the pups essential nutrition, selling the puppy before it is eight weeks old or breeding from the bitch at the beginning and the end of her heat cycle so that the pups conceived may be premature.

Sadly the advertising of such dogs is becoming more and more common. Often it may be no more than a marketing ploy to describe a traditionally small breed, when the puppy will not grow up to be any smaller than a standard dog within the breed concerned - of course, a breeder cannot be certain how big the puppy will grow.

The Kennel Club does not recognise any teacup breed, and will not record dogs as being teacup on its register. There may be breeders who take care and breed a smaller than average dog responsibly, or who mistakenly use the term teacup to describe a small dog, but the Kennel Club would advise puppy buyers to take extreme caution if considering buying a dog advertised in this way.

The Kennel Club has advice about the size, shape and conformation of pedigree dogs within its breed standards, which stress that breeders should not exaggerate any characteristics, including those related to size, and puppy buyers are strongly advised to ensure that neither the puppy nor its parents look exaggerated in appearance, before they buy.  Any departure from this could lead to serious health problems further down the line.

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