The teacup yorkie is an extremely small version of what is already a toy dog. The standard Yorkshire terrier should weigh no more than 3.18kg. Teacup yorkies are produced by breeding the runts of a litter. Some teacup yorkies may weigh as little as 1 227gr. Generally, the smaller the dog, the longer the lifespan. Unfortunately for the teacup yorkie, their extreme small size presents health complications leading to a shortened lifespan.
Health and Breeding
Teacup yorkies are incredibly difficult to breed. Once a dog's weight drops below 1.59kg., the risk of cardiac arrest with birth increases. Most dogs below this weight class do not survive giving birth to their pups. In toy breeds, 2.27kg. is a healthy weight to breed. If you intend to breed a teacup yorkie, this will considerably shorten its lifespan, with no determined idea of how long it will live.
Development of Size
Yorkshire terriers were initially developed to kill rats in Yorkshire mines and cotton mills. Owners desired a dog that would be small enough to carry in their pockets. The smallest members of a litter became the most coveted. Today teacup breeders specialise in creating Yorkshire terriers that weigh between 0.907 and 1.81kg. You need to do careful research into the background of any teacup breeder. Unethical breeding of teacup puppies leads to lifelong health issues and can result in your puppy not making it to 1 year old.
Common Health Issues of Teacup Yorkies
Although there are many very healthy teacup yorkies, you should be aware of some high health risks. Any teacup puppy's bones will be very small and fragile. Avoid letting a teacup yorkie up on furniture because the fall may be fatal. Keep house plants out of reach. There are over 700 poisonous house plants that are even more lethal for small dogs. In a healthy, controlled environment a healthy puppy it can live up to five years.
Caring for a Teacup Yorkie
Unique precautions are necessary when caring for a teacup yorkie. A teacup dog will not have the reserve that a larger dog would. At any sign of illness or infection, you need to take a teacup yorkie to a vet immediately. Teacup yorkies also are prone to suffer from hypoglycaemic shock. You can prevent this by making sure the yorkie takes regular naps and eats regular meals. Teacup yorkies also may need to have their baby teeth professionally removed. Given these carefully treated conditions, your teacup yorkie can see its fifth birthday and possibly live as long as seven years.
With proper care and nutrition a teacup yorkie can be expected to live five to seven years. AKC standard Yorkshire terriers have an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, with some living up to 20 years. Since teacup yorkies are not an AKC recognised breed there is no reliable average for life expectancy. Some of the smaller teacup yorkies, weighing in at less than 0.907kg., may live only three or four years. The decision to purchase a teacup yorkie must be made with the awareness that much more attention is necessary to maintain a healthy puppy.
- "The Complete Yorkshire Terrier;" Joan Gordon; 1993
- "Dogs;" Desmond Morris; 2002
- "Smithsonian Handbooks:Dogs;" David Alderton; 1993