Highly intelligent, easy to train, and usually the center of attention, the Poodle has been a popular breed for centuries. They are descended from water retrievers in Germany and France and were probably first seen in the Middle Ages. Because of their intelligence, Poodles have been used for all kinds of work such as hunting, circus dogs, military dogs, Seeing Eye dogs, and as truffle hunters. The breed comes in various sizes but the breed standard is the same for all sizes. Terms such as “teacup” Poodle, “tiny teacup,” “micro teacup,” “royal standard,” and similar terms are simply marketing terms. They are not recognized by any kennel club and there are no standards for these terms.
In most countries, including the United States and Canada, Poodles come in three recognized sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy.
- Standard (Grand) Poodles are over 15 inches tall at the withers (the point at the top of the shoulders where the shoulder blades come together).
- Miniature (Dwarf, Nain) Poodles are between 10 and 15 inches tall at the withers.
- Toy Poodles are up to 10 inches tall at the withers.
In some countries governed by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), a fourth Poodle size is recognized. The Medium or Moyen Poodle fits between the Standard and Miniature Poodle in height. In the FCI scheme, Poodle sizes are as follows:
- Standard (Grand) Poodles are between 18 and 24 inches tall at the withers.
- Medium (Moyen) Poodles are 14 to 18 inches tall at the withers.
- Miniature (Dwarf, Nain) Poodles are 11 to 14 inches tall at the withers.
- Toy Poodles are 9.4 to 11 inches tall at the withers.
Toy Poodles are the smallest registered pedigree Poodles recognized by major kennel clubs.
The term “teacup” Poodles or “teacup” for any kind of dog refers to a tiny version of the breed. It’s an unofficial term that is used for marketing. Some breeders try to capitalize on the appeal of very small, cute puppies. “Teacup” Poodles would be smaller than normal Toy Poodles, meaning they are less than 10 inches tall at the withers; and they weigh less than 6 pounds. Some “teacup” Poodles weigh between 2.5 and 4 pounds.
While these very tiny dogs may be very cute and lovable, their small size can make them more prone to health problems. Many of them do not live out the full lifespan of a normal Poodle. Poodles are known for being a very long-lived breed, sometimes living to be nearly 20 years old. Yet, so-called teacup Poodles can die before they are five years old because they can have unseen abnormalities.
Dogs this small are also extremely delicate. Great care has to be taken with them and they would be unsuitable for a home with children or a lot of activity since they are fragile and easily injured.
Yet because of marketing and the belief that these small dogs are rare or desirable, “teacup” Poodles are often sold for lots of money.
Naturally, these concerns don’t apply to every single teacup Poodle. You will find people who have healthy Poodles of this size. However, most of them need some special care and they can have more health problems than a normal Poodle.
Should you get a teacup Poodle?
If you are considering getting a teacup Poodle versus a regular Toy Poodle or a Miniature Poodle, we would recommend that you get a regular Toy Poodle or a Miniature Poodle. Both Toy and Miniature Poodles are known for being long-lived. While Poodles https://www.poodleclubofamerica.org/, in general, can have some health problems https://www.poodleclubofamerica.org/all-about-poodles/health-concerns, most of them are not life-threatening. If you buy your dog from a good breeder that health tests their dogs, your chances of getting a puppy that lives a long, healthy life are very good.
If you decide to get a teacup Poodle, we encourage you to talk to the breeder about health tests. Find out if the breeder has screened the parent dogs for possible genetic health problems in the breed. The more care the breeder takes in trying to breed a healthy litter, the better your chance of getting a healthy puppy.
If you have children, you might want to consider getting a Standard Poodle. Standard Poodles are the largest of the Poodle varieties. Many people claim that they are better around children than the other Poodle varieties. Again, if you decide to get a Standard Poodle, talk to the breeder about what kind of health testing they have done with the parents. This is always important, no matter what kind of dog you are considering.
Poodles of all sizes have been very popular for centuries. In recent years, some breeders have been marketing tiny Poodles as “teacup” Poodles. These Poodles are smaller than normal Toy Poodles. Because of their very small size they tend to be fragile and they can have more health problems than usual, which can shorten their lives. We recommend caution about buying a “teacup” Poodle.