The Pug is one of the most recognizable small-dog breeds out there. These dogs are friendly, intelligent, and adaptable to small apartments.
In addition to the purebred Pug, there are many varieties that are aimed to make the tiny doggie even smaller, such as the Mini/Teacup Pug.
If you’re curious about these breeds or planning to welcome one to your home, you’re in for a treat!
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about them, so you can figure out whether they’re the right pick for you. Let’s dive in!
History and Where the Mini/Teacup Pug Comes from
The origin story of the pug has a direct influence on the rise of unique varieties like Mini and Teacup Pugs. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at them:
The Pug is a relatively old dog breed that has been around since 400 B.C. The dog species is originally from China where it was bred as a companion dog for the royal family and members of the upper class.
It wasn’t until the early 1500s that the dog was first introduced to Europe by the House of Orange in the Netherlands.
The unique characteristics and noble history of the dog made it popular in Europe and North America throughout the years. It was first recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1885.
During the 1950s, many breeders started selectively breeding the Pug to enhance certain features, such as squished snout, small build, and wrinkly skin.
Today, there are many cross-breeds and variations of the dog, which are meant to enhance these unique characteristics or improve the dog’s general health.
Mini/Teacup Pug History
The demand for a smaller (and more adorable) Pug has led to the creation of smaller breeds like the Mini and Teacup Pugs.
Breeders use a variety of techniques to achieve this effect. One way to do it was by cross-breeding the dog with other tiny dog breeds, such as Teacup Chihuahuas.
Another way to do it was by breeding the smallest runts in the litter together over many generations to limit the dog’s stature during the growth phase.
Breeders produce the Miniature Pug by cross-breeding a Purebred Pug with a Chihuahua. For that reason, the small dog is also known as “Chug”, “Pughuahua”
Mini/Teacup Pug Quick Facts
To deepen your knowledge of this cute dog, here are some essential facts that you keep in mind regarding the Mini/Teacup Pug.
Mini and Teacup Pugs Are Two Different Dogs
Some people might think that Mini Pug and Teacup Pug are two names of the same dog variety. Although they’re very close to each other, they’re actually two different dogs.
Mini and Teacup Pugs share the same temperament and traits. However, the size of the Mini Pug is somewhere between the purebred Pug and the Teacup Pug.
In addition to the Mini Pug and the Teacup Pug, there’s also the Retro Pug, which is slightly larger than the original Pug and features a longer snout for a healthier dog.
We already have a dedicated guide for the smaller Teacup Pug, so we’ll focus more on the Mini Pug in this article.
They’re Not Recognized By the AKC
Despite how adorable they are, both the Mini and Teacup Pugs are not officially recognized by the AKC. Instead, they’re known as “designer breeds”
This is because the AKC has strict regulations when it comes to the Pug’s characteristics, and limits the dog’s height between 10 to 13 inches.
In other words, Mini/Teacup Pugs can’t participate in show rings and other AKC-sponsored events.
They Don’t Solve the Pug Health Problems
Pugs are notorious for their poor health due to problematic breeding practices. The squished airways and wrinkled skin dramatically reduce the dog’s quality of life.
Luckily, some varieties of the Pug can massively improve the dog’s well-being with a longer snout and smoother skin, such as the Retro Pug.
However, as far as things go, the Miniature and Teacup Pugs share the same brachycephalic health problems associated with purebred pugs.
In other words, if you’re mainly looking for a healthier pug, you might want to opt for the Retro variety instead.
Mini/Teacup Pug Size and Weight
As the name suggests, the Miniature Pug is relatively smaller than the purebred Pug. For instance, the purebred dog measures around 12 to 15 inches tall as it reaches full maturity.
On the other hand, the Mini Pug is around 6 to 10 inches tall which is slightly larger than the Teacup pug, standing at 5 to 6 inches tall.
In addition to height, the weight difference between the two dogs is quite noticeable. The purebred dog’s weight ranges between 13 to 20 lbs.
As for the Mini Pug, they’re usually around 4 to 10 lbs, with some of them going as heavy as 12 lbs. Teacup Pugs are the lightest, ranging between 2.5 to 5.5 lbs.
While most dogs reach their full size around 18 to 24 months old, the Mini Pug’s size halts at around 8 to 12 months.
Mini/Teacup Pug Appearance
While developing the Mini/Teacup Pugs, breeders focus on retaining most of the facial characteristics of the purebred pug.
For that reason, these dogs share a lot of similarities with the original Pug. For example, the Miniature Pug retains characteristic features like the square-shaped body, the squished snout, the wrinkled face, and the curly tail.
The tiny dog will also feature furrowed eyebrows and small floppy ears that fall backward, giving this breed its iconic adorable look.
The dog’s body is also stocky, square-shaped, and compact. The dog is covered with a double coat of short sleek hairs.
The most popular colors of the pug are black and fawn. However, you can also find these pups in white, apricot, and rare silver.
Depending on the prominence of the Chihuahua’s genes, some pugs may have a slight brindle pattern on their coat.
Mini/Teacup Pug Behavior and Temperament
The Mini Pug shares a lot of similarities with the Purebred Pug when it comes to temperament. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at them:
Is the Mini/Teacup Pug Intelligent?
The Mini Pug is as smart as the Purebred Pug. These dogs are highly obedient with enough intelligence to understand our body language and learn commands easily.
As a companion dog, it can form strong bonds with humans and get along well with other pets. However, early training and socialization are necessary to make the most out of these dogs.
Is the Mini/Teacup Pug Aggressive?
Pugs are typically friendly and calm. They rarely resort to aggression, even when they’re startled or freaked out.
This also applies to Mini/Teacup Pugs. Chihuahuas can be a little aggressive, so some dogs may inherit some subtle aggression from that side.
With that being said, early socialization and training can go a long way toward keeping your dog well-behaved and preventing them from acting out.
Does the Mini/Teacup Pug Make a Good Family Dog?
Pugs are excellent choices for families because these dogs are friendly, loyal, and obedient. They enjoy companionship and rarely resort to aggression.
Combined with their small size and excellent adaptability, they’re great around young children and can live comfortably in small apartments.
What Are the Unwanted Behaviors of the Mini/Teacup Pug?
Pugs have been bred for thousands of years as companion dogs. While this makes them incredibly loyal and loving, it also makes them quite clingy and easily prone to separation anxiety when left alone.
When that happens, these dogs develop several behavioral issues, such as growling, whining, nipping, begging, and destructive tendencies.
Mini Pugs can be a little jumpy and stubborn, but luckily, early training should quickly keep your pooch in check.
Mini/Teacup Pug Price and Expenses
Breeding Pugs is surrounded by a lot of controversies due to ethical restrictions and associated health problems.
For that reason, finding small pugs like the Mini and Teacup Pugs at a reputable breeder can be quite challenging.
Since the demand is high and the supply is low, high-quality Mini Pugs can cost you around $1,500 to $3,000.
Teacup Pugs are even more expensive, with some Pugs costing as high as $4,000. Both dogs are pricier than purebred Pugs, which typically cost around $1,000 to $2,500
Luckily, you can find these adorable Pugs at dog rescues where they’re available for much cheaper prices.
There, you can adopt a Mini/Teacup Pug for a small adoption fee that ranges between $300 to $400.
Mini/Teacup Pug Annual Expenses
The annual expenses of Mini and Teacup Pugs are remarkably low, especially when compared to the upfront cost of buying the dog.
Since these dogs are tiny and spend long hours of their day sleeping, they don’t need a lot of food to fulfill their daily caloric requirements.
However, you still need to buy them quality dog food with high nutritional value to reduce the impact of their poor health.
Also, regular medical checkups are very necessary for the well-being of Mini Pugs to avoid health complications as they grow older.
The initial cost of bringing a Mini Pug Puppy home is around $450 to $750. As for annual expenses, they’re usually between $250 to $650 per year. This should be enough to cover their food, accommodation, and routine health checks.
Mini/Teacup Pug Lifespan
Although the general rule among dogs is that smaller ones live longer, Pugs are a unique exception.
The average purebred Pug has a lifespan of 8 to 14 years. This large range is because Pug’s well-being is highly dependent on how much you care for them.
Miniature Pugs, especially those that are produced by cross-breeding with healthy dogs, have a decent lifespan of around 10 to 14 years.
However, small Teacup Pugs produced from breed runts have a short lifespan of around 6 to 10 years due to these health complications and small size.
Mini/Teacup Pugs Common Health Issues
As previously established, Pugs are riddled with hereditary health risks and issues, which are caused due to unethical breeding of the Pugs during the last century.
The extra-small size of Mini Pugs and Teacup Pugs makes things even worse, as they’re prone to many health issues like
- Respiratory problems
- Collapsing trachea
- Heart defects
- Kidney failure
- Skin infections
- Seizures and brain defects
- Digestive difficulties and bloating
- Dental and gum issues
Mini/Teacup Pug Care Tips
Taking good care of your Mini Pug is your key to keeping them happy and avoiding serious health problems.
How Much Exercise Does Mini/Teacup Pug Need?
Small Pug hybrids are not very active, so they don’t need long hours of continuous exercise to stay in their best shape.
Ideally, your pug needs around 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise over the course of the day. Avoid high-intensity exercises that may cause respiratory problems.
How Much Does Mini/Teacup Pug Shed?
Despite having a short hair coat, Teacup Pugs shed a lot of small hairs, and they’re not hypoallergenic.
While they don’t blow their double coats like long-hair breeds, they still shed more during changes of seasons.
How Often Do You Need to Groom a Mini/Teacup Pug?
Ideally, you’ll need to brush your dog once every 3 to 7 days to keep their hair coat healthy and avoid skinfold infections.
You should also bathe your Mini Pug once every 1.5 weeks and trim their fast-growing nails every couple of weeks.
Mini/Teacup Pug Training
You should start training your Teacup/Mini Pug as early as 4 to 6 months old. The earlier the training, the easier it’ll be to control your dog’s behavior and suppress any aggressive tendencies they have.
Mini/Teacup Pug Diet
Like Purebred Pugs, Mini Pug puppies abide by the “1-ounce per pound of weight/day” rule. Make sure that you split the amount of food into 4 meals a day.
As your dog matures, reduce the food to 1/2 ounce per pound/day, and split the food over two large meals.