Pomeranians are fluffy, loyal, and look like a teddy bears. The Pomeranian’s features have consistently made them one of America’s favorite breeds for decades. Recently, however, owners are seeking tinier versions of this already toy-sized pup – with this, the Teacup Pomeranian came on the scene, awing hopeful dog owners with promises of an uber small dog that can fit in the palm of your hand. And no, they are not just some type of unique Pomeranian mix.
There is some mystery and controversy surrounding these teacup pups, mainly due to their health issues and the questionable breeding practices used to achieve a “teacup” dog. But that doesn’t mean they are any less of a popular breed. You could argue that they have become more popular because of their unique traits.
Below, we will cover all aspects of the Teacup Pom and what you can expect if you decide to bring one into your home as a family pet. Let’s dive in to see if this miniature dog is worth all the fuss.
Teacup Dogs & Controversy
The term “Teacup Dog” was coined because these ultra-small pups can literally fit inside a teacup. While exceedingly cute, there is no doubt that the obsessive miniaturization of certain breeds has garnered quite a bit of controversy, and for a good reason.
Many breeders claim teacup-sized dogs are not professional breeders, are only in it for the money, and use dangerous breeding practices that lead to unhealthy dogs – all to breed smaller and smaller with a higher price tag. There are several Teacup versions of dogs, like the Teacup Yorkie. Some breeds are considered to be “miniature,” which is the same concept as the Teacups, but they just aren’t “quite” as small. Some of these would include the Miniature Labradoodle or the Mini Goldendoodle.
If you’ve ever thought, “I’d love to have a super tiny dog – how cute.” you are certainly not alone. Wanting these bewitching pups is no surprise and not inherently wrong. However, it’s then up to you to make sure you choose your tiny pup responsibly. When considering a teacup dog, it’s extremely important to do extensive research on the breeder you’d like to buy from. Here’s why.
What is known as “backyard breeders” and puppy mills have taken advantage of this growing trend for teacup dogs. While some utilize unsafe breeding practices to achieve the desired size, often leading to sickly pups, others will just downright lie about the projected size of a dog at maturity. You may end up dropping a pretty penny for a mixed breed pup being passed off as a purebred Teacup Pomeranian.
The Teacup is the smallest Pom that you can buy. They are small, fluffy, and adorably cute in many ways. Regardless of your feelings on the size, these pups have become extremely popular over the last decade. You can expect to pay quite a bit for one of these pups if you welcome them into your home.
The standard Pom comes from the Spitz family of dogs, and they are quite popular all over the world. You should be aware of some basics before you decide to adopt them, so let’s take a deeper look at this little tiny fluff of a breed.
Believe it or not, but this delicate small breed is actually descended from large Icelandic sledding dogs. Their popularity began to grow in the 1600s when they became the desired choice amongst royal families. However, Queen Victoria popularized the craze for littler Pomeranians – hers was much smaller than the average Pomeranian during her reign in the 1800s. The average was about 30 pounds.
Ever since the obsession with breeding this dog smaller and smaller has only grown. Pomeranians were entered into the American Kennel Club in 1888, and by the 1900s, the small Pomeranians we know and love today had become the breed standard, usually weighing under 10 pounds.
This breed is not a recognized breed standard. The Pomeranians recognized by the American Kennel Club are from the “toy group.” Meaning that contemporary breeders are striving for an even smaller dog – this demand has resulted in the “Teacup” Pomeranian.
Pomeranians are little, especially teacups, but their personalities are known for being larger than life. These small creatures are lively, playful, and brave. This spunk can sometimes translate into quite a feisty dog who has a tendency to bark and can be wary of strangers. This is mostly due to their fierce loyalty to their owner – they don’t appreciate people stealing their favorite person’s attention.
To help curb these jealous and territorial tendencies, it’s important to socialize a Teacup Pomeranian with humans and other canines. With that said, a Teacup Pomeranian owner should be diligent when their pup is interacting with other dogs, especially those who are much bigger. Pomeranians have no idea how small they are and can sometimes try to pick fights they certainly could not win.
Because of their natural tendency to bark, Pomeranians can make an excellent guard dog. However, you should take care not to let this instinct get out of hand. If properly trained and given plenty of opportunities to mingle, a Teacup Pomeranian will turn into a smart and alert companion who is certain to keep you entertained and laughing with their joyous disposition and animated spirit.
Size & Appearance
As we’ve discussed, a “teacup” Pomeranian is not an official breed. The American Kennel Club only recognizes Pomeranians in the Toy Group and characterizes them by weighing between 3-7 pounds. This means a “teacup” Pomeranian is any Pom that weighs less than 3 pounds. (Wow, that’s tiny.) This also means there are no official breed standards for a Teacup Pomeranian, but one can assume this dog will look just like a tinier version of a purebred Pomeranian.
The desired look is a thick double coat with a distinctive, fanned tail. They are known for their dark, alert eyes and delicate features. Many describe Pomeranians as looking like teddy bears due to their fluffy coat, miniature frames and adorable faces. It’s hard not to fall in love with a dog this cute.
Coat & Colors
Teacup Poms will have the standard Pomeranian coat, which is a double coat with a fluffy undercoat and shiny outer coat. They come in many different, beautiful colors with nearly endless possibilities. A few of their most frequently seen and popular colors are black, white, chocolate, tan, orange, red, and brindle.
This is very good news if you have any particular color preferences in mind. You’re likely to find a Pomeranian sporting your preferred aesthetic. This is one of the reasons they are so popular. However, it’s important to note that the more unique the coat, the more likely they are to be higher priced. This is especially true for brindled Pomeranians, which are very rare.
Exercise & Living Requirements
It may be no surprise that this compact little breed can dwell in most places – including apartments and small living quarters. These dogs make wonderful companions for those who live in cities and may not have access to a spacious backyard. However, this doesn’t mean a Pomeranian won’t need any exercise.
Teacup Pomeranians have no idea how small they are. They have spunky, lively personalities and enjoy going on walks or playing with their favorite human. Despite their little legs, they actually have pretty good endurance and can enjoy long walks, as long as the temperature isn’t too hot – they are sensitive to heat. Because of this, we suggest resisting the urge to carry your Teacup everywhere and let them do the work.
It’s also important to mentally stimulate your Teacup Pom. This can be accomplished through interactive Pomeranian-sized games, and doggy treat puzzles. You can also flex their brain cells with regular training exercises, which we will discuss in the next section.
As we’ve mentioned, Teacup Pomeranians are wonderful apartment dwellers and can find many ways to entertain themselves inside. These smart little creatures should still be given plenty of stimulation. You can exercise their eager brains with a regular training regiment. They love to learn new tricks and looks just the cutest doing it.
Pomeranians are known for having short attention spans, so keep the training sessions short and fun. Positive reinforcement is the only way to train this sensitive breed. They can become easily sullen or even act out if they are treated harshly. However, if they are working for affection or a treat, you are likely to get much better (and happier) results.
It’s important not to spoil this teacup breed. Easier said than done with a dog that looks more like a teddy bear than an animal. But despite their size, they still have the same instincts and needs as other canines and should be treated as such to live happily and fulfilled lives. If they are not given structure and regular training, they can develop “small dog syndrome” and become very difficult to handle.
When discussing Teacup Pomeranians, it is very important to consider their health. Unfortunately, these tiny dogs are often plagued with health issues – something any potential adopter seriously wants to consider before getting one. Unfortunately, many of these health concerns are the result of unethical breeding practices used to achieve the smallest dog possible.
A few notable issues are: heart problems, dislocated patella, skin irritations, eye infections, tooth decay, allergies, epilepsy, collapsed trachea, and even premature death. If you work with a reputable breeder, you should request a health certificate for your dog, which can help reduce some of these concerns.
Unfortunately, this breed is also susceptible to sudden death caused by trauma. It does not take much to injure a dog this small severely. Rough playing, accidentally sitting or stepping on them, or accidentally dropping a teacup could be enough to kill them. A very scary thought, but something that must be said so owners can take appropriate precautions and care when handling a Teacup Pom.
Could Pet Insurance Help?
If your pet insurance covers exam fees and your dog needs to be examined, there is a good chance your policy will reimburse those costs based on your policy details. However, if you are a new customer, vet expenses will not be covered until after your policy’s defined waiting periods, so signing up once you have an existing health concern is not going to help this time. Pre-existing conditions are not covered by any current pet insurance plans.
This is why it is a great idea to sign up for a pet insurance policy when your pet is young and relatively healthy to ensure you will be covered when you need it most.
A healthy adult Teacup Pom will eat daily between 1/4 and 1/2 cups of high-quality dog food. Depending on the size of your individual Teacup, this serving could be less but likely not more. Experts suggest feeding a Pomeranian this quantity divided into two small meals a day. It’s easier on their little stomachs. We suggest you don’t allow them to graze throughout the day, which could lead to overeating.
Of course, it’s important to take into account your individual Pomeranian’s age, size, activity level, and health conditions when deciding on a diet. Every dog is different, and there isn’t exactly universal guidance for every dog. With a dog of such a fine bone structure, it’s important to keep them at a healthy weight so as not to put unnecessary pressure on their fragile joints.
Make sure your kibble is specific for small-breeds, and even better would be dog food specific to the Pomeranian. Otherwise, the morsels may be too big for a teacup to chew. Many dog food brands will have a size-based feeding guide listed on their product, which can be helpful but is ultimately just a guideline. It is important to speak with a vet to make sure you’re covering all essential nutrients with an adequate amount of protein and calories.
Pomeranians are definitely lookers, so it should be no surprise that these beautiful dogs require quite a bit of maintenance, especially to keep their fluffy coats looking neat and shiny. They should be brushed twice a week to shed their coat and keep the skin underneath healthy. Some owners like to cut their pup’s fur, but this is more for aesthetics than it is a necessity. Luckily, thanks to their teacup size, you shouldn’t have to spend too much at the groomer.
As with all dogs, dental hygiene and regular nail trimmings are essential to your pup’s health. Unfortunately, smaller dogs are more prone to dental decay than larger dogs. Meaning one should be extra diligent in caring for a Teacup Pom’s tiny teeth.
Pomeranians are moderate shedders, so you should be prepared to find dog hairs lingering around the house. Regular maintenance of their coat can help reduce this nuisance, and because they are so small, the amount of hair should be quite manageable. We’d recommend regular grooming with a deshedder, and using an anti-shed dog shampoo if the hair gets to be too much.
I bet just thinking about tiny baby Teacup Pom makes you as happy as it makes us. How could it not?. Something so small and cute is bound to bring joy. However, when discussing these adorable puppies, it’s important to note how fragile they are. Due to their fine bones and tiny bodies, handling these pups with the utmost care and gentleness is extremely important.
A litter of Teacup Pomeranians are generally between two to four pups and usually weigh less than one pound each. Prices for a purebred Pomeranian can vary widely. Generally, you’ll pay anywhere from $1,500 and up, with some pups approaching around $5,000.
When you are in the market for a “teacup” size dog, the size of any individual puppy will largely affect the price. It’s likely that the smaller the dog (and that dog’s parents), the more expensive the puppy.
As Family Pets
Teacup Pomeranians are bold and spirited dogs who have no idea they are so tiny. There is nothing small about their personalities. They are a blast to play with, love to cuddle, and, of course, are exceptionally cute. They make the ideal companion for families with older children, adult-only families, or singles.
Unfortunately, we do not recommend this breed to families with young children, who could unintentionally handle this fragile breed roughly and injure them. Children should not be left unsupervised and should be taught how to pet and play with a dog gently.
They generally get along well with other animals and can do quite well in a multi-pet household, although they do tend to like to be the center of attention. All in all, this little pup is a wonderful addition to any family that can treat them with delicacy, love, and give them plenty of attention.
Finding a Breeder
The most important decision you’ll make in your search for a Teacup Pomeranian is choosing the right breeder. Due to their popularity, finding a breeder shouldn’t be hard – but finding a reputable breeder who puts the health of their dogs first might be more difficult. A simple internet search can put you in touch with dozens of potential breeders who claim “the smallest Pomeranians you’ve ever seen.”
Because of some of the unscrupulous breeding techniques sometimes used to achieve the “teacup” aesthetic, it’s up to you to do your due diligence to ensure you are not contributing to unethical breeding practices that endanger innocent animals. These breeders’ only motivation is profit at the expense and health of their dogs. Make sure you do your research prior to reaching out to find a trustworthy, legitimate breeder with an ethical operation.
Never purchase from puppy mills or puppy farms. Not only are they becoming illegal in many states due to inhumane practices, but the dogs bred from these facilities are often unhealthy. Perhaps the best way to find a Teacup Pomeranian is to help a dog in need. We discuss how you can contact rescues and shelters in our next section.
Rescue & Shelters
Unfortunately, some people purchase this breed because of how cute they are and not because they actually want to own and care for a dog. When that person realizes they did not just get an accessory but an animal that may act out, requires maintenance, or misbehaves, they are quick to leave them at the shelter.
This is a devastating and heartbreaking experience for a Pomeranian, who develops a very intense bond with their owners. Luckily, wonderful shelters exist that specialize in Pomeranian rescue. Look for accredited shelters that are non-profit 501 (c)(3) organizations. You can also search your local shelters for your pup.
Thanks to online sites like Petfinder.com, this search is made easier due to the site’s ability to apply breed and location parameters. This cost-effective alternative gives otherwise scared and lonely dogs a deserving home. While finding a teacup-sized Pomeranian in a shelter may not be common, it is possible and may be worth your effort. You could bring one home for a fraction of the price while also saving a dog in need.
Despite the controversy, we understand why you’d want a Teacup Pomeranian. They are just too adorable. Who wouldn’t want a tiny companion who adores you and looks like a living, breathing teddy bear? If this breed is for you, it’s important to make your decision responsibly.
Please find a responsible breeder who has your future dog’s best interest at heart. Protect your little pup from rough handling or rowdy dogs – they are very fragile. And be prepared for some health-related expenses due to their size. If you’re up for that, then the Teacup Pomeranian could be the perfect addition to your family. They are sure to delight and entertain you. This little pup is impossible not to love.