Teacup Chihuahuas - Separating the Facts from the Fiction
Whether you currently own a Chihuahua or are thinking of owning one, you've probably heard people refer to some of them as "teacups" or similar names. Typically, owners and breeders may refer to their ultra-small Chihuahuas using terms such as these. This can undoubtedly be confusing giving the fact that the American Kennel Club (AKC) only recognizes two varieties - the smooth and long-coat. So, what's the deal with names like teacup? Keep reading and we'll dive a little deeper into this subject, revealing the truth behind the teacup Chihuahua.
If you previously thought a teacup Chihuahua was a certain breed, you aren't alone. There's a growing misconception regarding this terminology that confuses most of the general public. Since the term is used so frequently and by so many people, it's almost taken a life of its own, spreading like wildfire. As a result, people looking to add a new Chihuahua to their family may ask breeders or pet stores if they have any of the "teacup" breed. Instead of correcting them, the breeder will go along with the charade and try to complete a sale.
Confusing Names Used To Describe Chihuahuas
As a result of the poor information that's been floating around, numerous improper names are being used to describe Chihuahuas. This may not seem like a big issue, but it creates an ethical grey area for breeders and sellers who know the truth about Chihuahuas. For instance, if a potential customer comes to a breeder asking them for a teacup Chihuahua, the breeder may respond by saying she has them, but only for a price greater than the non-teacups. Basically, terms such as these can be used to mark up the price on Chihuahuas; therefore, making it more profitable for the breeders.
Here are some of the most common unofficial names used to describe Chihuahuas:
Toy (ALL Chihuahuas are considered a Toy breed)
Teacup Chihuahuas - The Facts
While we don't know who the first person was to describe a Chihuahua as a teacup, the term picked up popularity and spread throughout the early 90s. It's important to note, however, that no major canine association has ever used the term to describe or otherwise categorize Chihuahuas. Either one or more owners likely referred to their unusually small Chihuahuas as teacups, thus starting the craze that's still going on today. When people hear the word teacup, they immediately assume it's a certain breed of Chihuahua, but unfortunately it's just some term that many people use to describe them.
The only people who benefit from confusing terms like teacup, toy and micro are the Chihuahua breeders. Now don't get me wrong - there are some breeders who will explain to the customer that teacups are just a term and not an officially recognized breed. Others, however, will use the public's ignorance as a tool to sell their small Chihuahuas at a higher price. For instance, someone sees or hears about a tiny teacup Chihuahua through and friend, so they scan through the newspapers in search of one. Because teacup Chihuahuas aren't an official breed, chances are they will have a hard time finding one. However, they may stumble upon a breeder offering them for a higher price than your typical Chihuahuas. The customer will likely agree to the price simply because they can't find these teacup Chihuahuas elsewhere.
Chihuahua" has been used so much that's almost become an unofficial way of referring to small Chihuahuas. When a breeder or pet shop refers to their Chihuahuas as teacups, they are either doing it to try and get more money for them, or they are just as confused about the terminology as everyone else. In any case, it's the breeder's responsibility to label their Chihuahuas correctly and not deceive their customers in any way, shape or form.
What You Should Know About Owning a Teacup Chihuahua
Because of the increased demand for so-called teacup Chihuahuas in recent years, breeders and pet shops are encouraged to try and breed their Chihuahuas to be as small as possible simply because they can make more money off them. The problem in doing so, however, is that small Chihuahuas are more susceptible to health problems such as hypoglycemia, diabetes, patellar luxation, heart disease, bone fractures, joint problems, etc. Does that mean you shouldn't get a teacup Chihuahua? It's really a personal choice that only you can make, but I would advise against purchasing one from breeders because of the fact that it encourages them to continue breeding them this size.
If you decide to own an unusually small Chihuahua, be sure you're willing to invest your time, energy and money into keeping them healthy. This means you'll have to take them to the vet for regular checkups to ensure nothing is seriously wrong, as well as treat any current conditions they are experiencing. It's all too common for people to make the decision to own a small Chihuahua without realizing just how much extra work goes into caring for them.
Something else that you'll need to be aware of with small Chihuahuas is that they are more likely to suffer from fractures and broken bones than normal-sized Chihuahuas. If you accidentally roll over on them in the bed, sit on them while they are laying on the couch (trust me, this happens) or even pick them up the wrong way, they may experience a bone fracture. Be extremely gentle and carefully around your new Chihuahua to prevent such catastrophes from happening. In addition, you'll need to keep larger pet dogs and cats away from your Chihuahua, as they may accidentally cause injury to your Chihuahua as well.
Hopefully this article will give you a better understanding on what teacup Chihuahuas are and what goes into owning one. Personally, I think small Chihuahuas are just as loving, affectionate and fun as normal-sized ones. However, they do require a bit more care and maintenance, so take this into account if you are thinking of owning a new Chihuahua.