Teacup Chihuahua Myth
The Teacup Myth Exposed
Teacup, Tiny Toy, Minature, Standard. If you’ve spent any time reading through Chihuahua advertisements recently you have probably met most or all of these terms. Talk to people on the street and you’ll find that some actually believe that there are several different breeds or varieties of Chihuahuas named according to their size. In reality, these terms are little more than trendy description used by advertisers to make their puppies appear to be more appealing and of greater monetary value, or appear to exceptional, to the ill-informed buyer. Chihuahuas ARE divided into only two separate breeds – the long coat and the smooth coat. The ONLY difference between them is the coat type and with this exception the Breed Standard is identical for both.
What is really sad is that often puppies are advertised as teacups because the breeder believes that they will weigh less than 2kgs when fully grown, when in truth this does not constitute a tiny Chihuahua at all. The official NZKC Breed Standard calls for “weight up to 2.7 kg (6 lbs) with 0.9 to 1.8 kg (2-4 lbs) preferable.” Therefore any Chihuahua that weighs between 0.9kg and 2.7kg, while it is indeed very small compared to other breeds and to some crossbreeds or pet quality Chihuahuas, it is, in fact, the correct size in terms of the Breed Standard and is by no means rare or exceptional. This weight range of 0.9kg to 2.7kg does allow a wide size variation and individual dogs will of course be considered small or large in relation to each other, but a weight difference between two Chihuahuas of 1kg or more (as is quite common even in the show circuit) does not mean they belong to two different varieties, but is natural size variation as determined by genetics.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, there will be an extra small puppy born in a litter. By “extra small” we mean puppies that may not even reach the lower weight limit of the Standard when fully grown. While these tiny chihuahuas can lead perfectly healthy lives, many suffer from health problems as a result of their size and require some form of special care. Consequently, despite what the advertisements may insist, it is not necessarily desirable to own such a Chihuahua. Most reputable breeders avoid producing puppies around the 1kg, even though it is permitted by the Standard, as such dogs are generally unsuitable for breeding and often lack the balance and soundness needed for the show ring. At the other end of the scale, if you are looking for no more than a loving, loyal companion and have no interest in breeding or showing there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Chihuahua that is a little over the 2.7kg limit providing he or she is not overweight.
Any Chihuahua will fit in a cup - You just need a very BIG cup as we have shown in the picture at the top of this page. The puppies in the very large cup were 10 weeks old at the time of the picture and both are small at about 1.8kg at 2 years 6 months old, but would certainly not fit in the cup now! In our opinion any chihuahua under 1.5kg would need to be closely watched for health problems.
Waitakere City, NEW ZEALAND
Phone : 09 832 1198
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