How To Find A Teacup Pomeranian
You could call a Teacup Pomeranian a special breed of dog, and in a sense you would be right, but as far as the breed is concerned, it is a Pomeranian – just smaller than the average Pomeranian. A Teacup dog is not a special breed any more than a Toy dog is a special breed. A Toy dog is just a small dog. It is one of the classifications the American Kennel Club uses to distinguish among the various breed types and is defined as a breed type that weighs less than 7 pounds. A Teacup dog is even smaller and weighs 4 pounds or less when fully grown. It should be just as healthy as a standard-sized Pomeranian. Many Teacup dogs, when properly cared for, will live longer than most larger dogs, assuming they were healthy puppies to begin with.
If you purchase a Pomeranian of the Teacup variety from a reputable and established breeder, the puppy you get will be a purebred. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes these tinier dogs for what they are, although they use the term ‘Toy‘ rather than ‘Teacup‘. The AKC lists the Toy Pomeranian as being between 3 and 7 pounds, so a good percentage of those meeting the Toy Standard could certainly be classified as Teacups by their owners or their breeders.
Below is a video of an 8-week old pomeranian puppy named Benjamin.
Pomeranians Were Once Much Larger
These little dogs have come down appreciably in size over the years. The Pomeranian was once a working dog used in herding sheep. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, a Pomeranian typically weighed about 30 pounds. It was originally referred to as a Dwarf Spitz, the Spitz being a much larger dog. A 30-pound dog is certainly no dwarf unless you compare it to a breed such as a German Shepherd. The name comes from a region in Europe called Pomerania, part of which lies in present day Germany, and part of which lies in Poland. Even before the 18th century, the breed is said to have performed sled dog duties in Iceland. During the latter part of the 19th century, and well into the 20th century, the Pomeranian was bred down from working dog size to Toy dog size, and occasionally to Teacup size.
The Pomeranian was more popular in the United States a decade ago, approaching a top 10 status in the rankings. The breed has slipped somewhat since then, although it is still among the top 20 favorite breeds.
The Pros and Cons of Breeding and Owning Teacup Breeds
1. Smaller Size – Higher Price: From day one, unfavorable comments have been made about Teacup dogs. The problem is that most of them, like the Pomeranian, are extremely popular when they come in the smaller-than-average size and can therefore command a high price. The Toy Pomeranian, which is actually your standard-size Pomeranian, can weigh between 3 and 7 pounds and fetch a price of from $500 to $700 dollars, whereas the Teacup version, which is a Toy Pomeranian that weighs 4 pounds or less, can sometimes cost well over $1,000.
2. Beware the Breeder of Miniature Dogs: There are breeders who will attempt to breed very small puppies any way that seems to work, sometimes to the detriment of the mother, who can be too small a dog to sustain a large litter, or even survive one. A female that is too small may breed a smaller than usual puppy, at least from a statistical standpoint, but may not survive very many litters.
3. Teacups can be Fragile: A young Teacup puppy is very fragile and can all too easily be injured. You should not, for example, take a two-month old Teacup Pomeranian for a romp in the park, and you should not let it outside during inclement weather. These small dogs are susceptible to hypothermia even when they are fully grown, but especially so when they are still in the puppy stage. Very small animals have a tendency to quickly take a turn for the worse if they become sick and are not adequately attended to.
4. Not All Puppies are the Same Age: One thing to take note of if you’re in the market for Teacup dogs of any breed is that some puppies in a litter can actually be up to a week younger than the oldest one in the litter, although they will be born on the same day, and often within the same hour. The younger puppy will tend to be a bit smaller than the others for the first several weeks of its life, and there are breeders who will sometimes attempt to pass off one of these smaller puppies as being a genuine Teacup. Reputable breeders are aware of this practice and don’t follow it. As a buyer, you can offer yourself, and the puppy, some protection by shopping for a grown-up Teacup dog and not a puppy. In other words, don’t be misled by the smaller size. Even the runt of the litter will often grow up to be a full-sized dog.
There are certainly both pros and cons to purchasing Teacup versions of Pomeranians. Some will tell you that they are perfectly healthy little dogs. One of the arguments against attempting to breed Teacups is that those who try to do so use smaller than normal dogs to begin with. That may make sense, but the argument is that in the dog world, any female that weighs less than 5 pounds is too small a dog to safely breed. That may or may not be true, but it’s something you might want to ask the breeder or an organization such as the AKC.
If the AKC Says 3 Pounds is OK…
If the AKC is correct in listing the Pomeranian as a Toy dog that weighs between 3 and 7 pounds, there should be nothing wrong with one that weighs 3 or 4 pounds, and could therefore be called a Teacup. If a 3 pound purebred Pomeranian is acceptable to stand for show in an AKC-sponsored event, it must be OK to own one without having to feel guilty about it. The AKC actually states a preference for a Pomeranian weighing between 4 to 6 pounds for show purposes, but has never disqualified a 3-pound version. The American Pomeranian Club, which affiliates with the AKC, is probably the best source of information for the breed.
What Your Teacup Might be Like
When you first purchase a puppy, some of the traits it will possess as an adult may already be apparent. Some puppies are more aggressive or more playful than others. Many of their traits won’t show up until later, but in most cases when you purchase a purebred Pomeranian, you know what you are getting, whether it is a genuine Teacup or not.
Some people love Pomeranians due to their innate cuteness, but others don’t like them as it is a yappy breed, and can be extremely territorial and possessive. They can also become quite jealous at times. And like other tiny breeds, they don’t think of themselves as being tiny at all. Pomeranians also tend to dislike intruders, which includes any pet you may already have in your house.
On the other hand, the Pomeranian is, according to the American Pomeranian Club – ‘alert in character, intelligent in expression, an extrovert, cocky, commanding, and a breed that has a vivacious spirit.’ Like any breed of dog however, how it turns out as an adult, good, bad, or indifferent, is largely determined by the way it has been trained and handled.
Finding a Teacup is Most Often by Chance
How does one actually go about finding a Teacup Pomeranian? The best way is to try and find a registered Pomeranian breeder who has been able to produce a larger percentage than usual of Pomeranians that grow up to weigh less than 4 pounds. The truth is, even an experienced breeder usually can’t tell for sure how large a puppy is going to become until it’s reached an age of between 6 and 8 months, but by knowing the track record of the parents, he or she may have a reasonable idea. A genuine Teacup (remember that the Teacup is nothing more than a definition) tend to be more expensive primarily because more Pomeranians grow up to weigh more than 4 pounds.
It is safe to say that if you see a Teacup Pomeranian puppy for sale that is supposed to weigh no more than 2 pounds when fully grown, you should look elsewhere. You will either end up with a standard-size pooch, or you’ll end up paying your veterinarian to keep your smaller than normal dog as healthy as possible.