Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies for short) have become a popular dog breed because of their small physique and inquisitive personalities. The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard stipulates that a Yorkie needs to be 7 lbs. and under. Some breeders have taken liberties with that standard and breed Yorkies that range from 2 to 4 lbs., known as Teacup Yorkies. Teacup Yorkie puppies might be adorable to look at, but they should only be purchased from reputable breeders.
There are many different factors that breeders take into consideration when breeding Yorkshire Terriers. In a competition setting, it is difficult for a small dog breed such as the Yorkie to compete against the larger dog breeds. With this in mind, as well as the overall health of a dog, show breeders tend to aim for a dog that will weigh 5 to 7 lbs. as an adult.
Breeders sometimes breed according to customer preferences, and that is how Teacup Yorkies have emerged. For example, customers who want a tiny lap dog will prefer a Teacup Yorkie that is 3 lbs. over a standard Yorkie that is 5 or 6 lbs.
It is important to note that sometimes breeders who advertise having Teacup Yorkies are just using that phrase as an adjective to describe the small size that the Yorkie breed is known for. That is why people who are searching for a Yorkshire Terrier, no matter what size, need to be thorough in their research when selecting a breeder.
Many people think that Teacup Yorkies are not actually a specific category within the Yorkie breed, but rather just weak runts from standard Yorkie litters. In some cases, where the breeding is careless or the genetics of the breeding stock is not as strong as it should be, that is true. In such a situation, the result can often be a smaller Yorkie puppy that is especially high-strung. The breeder in this case may advertise the Yorkie puppy as a Teacup Yorkie puppy to make it more appealing to customers.
Reputable Teacup Yorkie breeders use breeding ethics that are identical to the ethics used by standard Yorkshire Terrier show breeders. These breeders meticulously study the pedigrees and the genetics of their breeding stock. The only difference is that these Teacup Yorkie breeders happen to breed for Yorkies of a lesser weight. Teacup Yorkie puppies bred by a quality breeder might be smaller than average Yorkie puppies, but they should be just as healthy and have affable, intelligent personalities.
Because Teacup Yorkie puppies are so small, they are more susceptible to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If this condition remains untreated, the Teacup Yorkie puppy can go into shock. So it is important for Teacup Yorkies to receive regular veterinary care.