Tiny Teacup Chihuahua: The Making Of



"Tiny Teacup Chihuahua" is not a recognized breed type. It is actually a marketing term for dogs that are bred to abnormally small sizes (3 pounds and under). These undersized dogs are too small to measure up in dog shows, however breeders have found a nice market and increasing demand in the general public.

Teacup chihuahuas are created by artificial selective breeding, a process in which a breeder picks the tiniest male and female in hopes of producing a litter with specific genetic traits. This hazardous process will lead to major desired genetic faults (bigger ears, smaller miniature dog) and unwanted genetic faults (luxating patella, bone weakness). Thus, a 2-pound mini chihuahua may end up with teeth sized for a 5-pound dog and some dental complications.

The most specific the breed is, the bigger genetic risks there are. In order to breed dogs for a very specific trait, such as a 2-pound weight, breeders must carefully select the dam and sire (female and male) that have the most potential for delivering a whole litter of 2-pounders. Those desired genes are found in a relatively small and very limited gene pool, and cross-breeding (breeding with cousins) or in-breeding (breeding with siblings or parents) techniques will be used. This "incestuous" breeding does not bring any psychological issues to a dog, however any genetic fault has much more chance to appear in an in-bred or cross-bred litter.

There are some experienced tiny teacup chihuahua breeders out there, so you want to find the ones who really know the science of genetics and the pedigree of their dogs. Even if you pay the highest price for your teacup (from $1,500 to $13,000), you must know that illnesses and injuries are a definitive risk to a teacup breed.


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