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Teacup Pug: An In-Depth Guide

The small size of the pug makes it a perfect dog for those who live in small houses. These dogs are also gentle, well-tempered, and adapt well to companionship.

For that reason, there are many varieties of purebred pugs, and one of them is the teacup pug. This one is fairly similar to average bugs in terms of looks and characteristics, except that they’re much smaller.

If you want to learn more about this cute little pooch, this guide will have you covered with everything you need to know. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

History and Where the Teacup Pug Comes from

Unlike the regular pug, teacup pugs haven’t been around for a very long time. To help you find out more about this unique variety, let’s have a closer look at the history of the breed:

Pug History

The pug is a highly distinguished dog breed that originated in Ancient China. In fact, throughout ancient Chinese history, these tiny canines were common among emperors and members of the upper class.

For that reason, these dogs were highly sought after and held in high regard. The distinctive breed was first introduced to Europe back in the early 16th century.

The Dutch Royal family was the first to take interest in the dog breed, which is why it was briefly known as “Dutch Mastiffs”, although they’re not mastiffs.

The adaptability and cuteness of the dog breed allowed it to spread dramatically across Europe and North America. 

This led dog breeders in the mid-20th century to focus on enhancing specific characteristics of the dog. 

Although the selective breeding process affected the general health of the pug, it was a huge success. For that reason, there are tons of pug varieties today.

Teacup Pug History

The exact history of the teacup pug is not properly documented, so we don’t know when the first teacup pug was born. However, some breeders believe that the miniature breed was developed in the late 20th century.

Despite the huge similarities between the teacup pug and the regular pug, teacups are not actually purebred. Instead, other dogs like Teacup Chihuahuas also contributed to the development of the dog.

These dogs introduced the necessary genes to keep the dog’s size small throughout adulthood, which maintains the dog’s adorable looks.

Teacup Pug Quick Facts

The teacup pug is an interesting breed variation with equally interesting aspects and characteristics. Here are essential facts that you should know about the miniature dog breed:

They Go By Many Names

Since there isn’t official documentation of the teacup pug, the dog goes by tons of names. Besides teacup pugs, they also go by “Pocket Pugs” or “Toy Pugs”.

Since these dogs are a mix of special varieties of Pugs and Chihuahuas, they’re also known as “Chugs” or “Pughuahuas”.

Some people mistakenly call them “miniature pugs” or “Mini Pugs”. However, a miniature pug is a different variety that is smaller than purebreds but slightly larger than teacup pugs.

They’re Not Recognized By Most Dog Registry Clubs

Despite how adorable these small dogs are, they’re not recognized by major dog registry clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC). (the purebred pug is recognized by the AKC since 1885)

The AKC sets high standards and strict rules regarding the characteristics of every dog breed. Since the Teacup is a hybrid with a genetic defect, it doesn’t meet its requirements.

Yet, unless you’re looking for a champion dog that can participate in AKC-sponsored events and show rings, this shouldn’t stop you from having a teacup pug.

The Miniature Size is Due to Genetic Defects

As previously established, the Teacup Pug was first introduced after cross-breeding pugs with Teacup Chihuahuas.

These unique Chihuahuas had a defect in their genes that keeps the growth hormone production low during the growth phase. 

Teacups are also produced by breeding runts together with a focus on the smallest size possible.

As a result, the dwarfism gene transfers to the teacup pug. This means that breeding teacup pugs should yield a litter of mostly teacup pug puppies, but necessarily all.

They’re Quite Rare

Teacup Pugs are so rare that some people think that they don’t exist!

A lot of reputable breeders stick to the AKC standards when it comes to dog breeding. However, since the AKC doesn’t recognize the Teacup Pugs, they aren’t widely available, even with the high demand.

Additionally, breeding miniature and teacup dogs can be a relatively challenging process, which also makes it very hard for people to find Teacup Pugs.

Another reason why Teacup Pugs aren’t widely available is that they don’t reduce the brachycephalic health problems associated with purebred pugs.

Teacup Pug Size and Weight

Let’s start by answering the million-dollar question: “Yes, Teacup Pugs do fit inside a cup, and comfortably so!”

When a teacup pug is born, you can immediately notice that it’s smaller than a regular newborn pug.

Ideally, the average full-grown Teacup Pug can be as little as 5 to 6 inches tall. On the other hand, a full-grown purebred pug will range anywhere between 12 to 15 inches tall.

As for the weight, you should expect a Teacup Pug to weigh anywhere between 2.5 to 5.5 lbs. This is significantly lighter than an average pug that weighs around 13 to 20 lbs.

Unlike other dogs, the Teacup Pug doesn’t grow significantly during the puppyhood phase, so it remains small throughout its life.

Teacup Pug Appearance

Apart from the size difference between the Teacup Pug and the purebred Pug, there isn’t much distinction between the two in terms of facial appearance.

For instance, the Teacup Pugs rock the same dark, wrinkled face with squished snouts and protruding eyes. 

The tiny dog also has small floppy ears that fall backward and furrowed eyebrows that give this breed its adorable look.

The body of the Teacup Pug is covered with a double coat of short sleek hair. While the purebred pug is only available in black and fawn, you can find Teacup Pugs in apricot, silver, and white.

Additionally, the inclusion of Chihuahuas in the gene pool of the Teacup pug allowed some of them to rock the brindle/stripe pattern.

Teacup Pug Behavior and Temperament

Now that you know more about the Teacup Pug’s origin and how they look, here’s what you need to know about the dog’s temperament and behaviors.

Is the Teacup Pug Intelligent?

The Teacup Pug is on par with the purebred pug when it comes to intelligence. These tiny dogs are smart and sensitive, so they can easily understand your body language and commands with proper training.

These dogs are also easily socialized from an early age, which allows them to form strong bonds with family members and get along with other gentle pets pretty quickly.

Is the Teacup Pug Aggressive?

Like purebred Pugs, the Teacup Pug is friendly and welcoming with little to no tendencies to resort to aggression.

However, regardless of the breed, you still need to socialize your dog from an early age to tame its aggressive instincts, and the Teacup Pug is not an exception.

Also, since the Teacup Pug has some Chihuahua genes in it, the dog can be a little stubborn sometimes, but nothing proper training can’t fix.

Does the Teacup Pug Make a Good Family Dog?

Besides being tiny and adorable, the Teacup Pug is a gentle and tame dog with a very low tendency for aggression.

The dog is also a great companion for children and can adapt to living in smaller households, which is another reason it can be a great dog for families.

Although the short snouts of the pug cause them respiratory problems, the dogs rarely bark. Even when they do, they’re not loud. 

This makes them excellent for apartments and those who live in noise-regulated neighborhoods.

What Are the Unwanted Behaviors of the Teacup Pug?

The temperament of the Teacup Pug is nearly identical to regular-sized Pugs. While they don’t bark loudly, they still whine and growl when they’re bored or startled.

Teacups are not destructive by nature, and their small size limits their impact on carpets and furniture. However, they may still chew on things when they feel anxious.

In addition to chewing, Teacup Pugs can also develop unwanted Pug behaviors like begging, jumping, biting, and guarding.

Teacup Pug Price and Expenses

As you might’ve expected, the price of the Teacup Pug is remarkably high, especially when compared with the average pug price.

Ideally, buying a Teacup Pug from a reputable breeder may cost you anywhere between $1,500 to $4,000. On the other hand, a high-quality Pug would only cost you $1,000 to $2,500.

The main reason behind this premium price tag is the rarity of the Teacup Pug due to ethical restrictions.

With that being said, you can still find affordable Teacup Pugs in dog rescues. Adopting a Teacup pug will only cost you an adoption fee of around $300 to $400.

Teacup Pug Annual Expenses

Despite coming at a hefty price, the Teacup Pug is one of the most affordable dogs when it comes to annual expenses. 

The main reason behind that is that the tiny dog needs little food while staying a low-maintenance breed.

Additionally, like all Pugs, the Teacup Pug sleeps a lot, which lowers the daily caloric requirements.

With that being said, Teacup Pugs are prone to a wide variety of health problems. This means that you need to take the dog to the vet regularly to ensure its well-being.

When you welcome a Pocket Pug puppy to your house for the first time, the initial costs should be around $450 to $750. 

However, as the puppy grows, it’ll cost you around $250 to $650 in annual expenses, including medical checkups and occasional treatments.

Teacup Pug Lifespan

Despite being a small dog, the Teacup Pug has an average lifespan of 6 to 10 years. This is slightly shorter than the purebred pug, which has a lifespan of 8 to 14 years.

The reason here is that Teacup Pugs are prone to more health problems than their purebred counterparts. 

Even if the pug is as healthy as a full-sized one, the impact of some diseases is even harder on the hybrid due to its small size.

Teacup Pug Common Health Issues

Like Purebred Pugs, the Toy Pug is prone to various health issues, which lower the dog’s lifespan significantly. The most common health problems are:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Bloating and digestive blockage
  • Collapsing trachea
  • Seizures
  • Heart defects 
  • Eye problems 

Teacup Pug Care Tips

Taking care of your Teacup pug is your key to keeping the dog healthy and maximizing its lifespan. Here are some essential pointers regarding Teacup Pug care.

How Much Exercise Does Teacup Pug Need?

The Teacup Pug is not an active dog breed. This makes them excellent for busy families with little time available for exercise and walks. 

Ideally, the dog needs around 30 to 40 minutes of daily exercise and games. Don’t push them through exhausting exercises to avoid respiratory issues.

How Much Does Teacup Pug Shed?

Contrary to popular myth, pugs shed a lot of tiny hairs, and Teacup Pugs are no exception here.

In fact, the tiny hairs of the Teacup pug are more airborne than some large dogs, which makes them more problematic for people with allergies.

How Often Do You Need to Groom a Teacup Pug?

The Teacup Pug has minimal grooming needs. Ideally, brushing them once every 3 to 5 days with a bath every 6 weeks is more than enough. However, they grow their nails quickly, so you’ll need to cut them every 2 to 3 weeks.

Teacup Pug Training

Training your Teacup Pug is critical for controlling its behavior as the puppies grow up. Luckily, the dog is intelligent and decently obedient, so you shouldn’t have a hard time doing it. Ideally, the training should start as soon as your puppy hits 16 weeks old.

Teacup Pug Diet

The golden ratio of the Pug’s diet is to feed them 1 ounce of food per day for every pound

In the case of Teacup Pugs, this is around 2.5 to 5.5 ounces of food per day. This amount is usually halved as your puppy matures.