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There is much disagreement in the Yorkshire Terrier world regarding the Teacup Yorkie.
A Breeder advertising the teacup can have prices from $900-1200 with others listing prices from $3,500 to over $12,000 - that's pet quality with limited registration.
With the interest in very small dogs it seems there are people who will pay a lot for a Puppy that is a different color or smaller than normal size.
Other breeders of Yorkies wave the caution flag with some warnings, and there are enough warnings that it pays to look closer if you're interested in buying this breed of pup.
Does it matter? What's the big controversy? Why the fuss? By the AKC standard the Yorkshire Terrier is a breed that “must not exceed seven pounds”.
With no minimum weight some breeders then breed smaller and smaller.
Because some dogs are smaller than normal, a reputable breeder may advise to stay away from anyone advertising teacup Yorkie puppies.
While most of these dogs grow to be 4-6 pounds there are some slightly larger and some smaller.
Of course those over 7 pounds do not meet the standard and as such are pets.
Because there is not a lower limit, many breeders simply refuse to breed those under 4-5 pounds because of the chance of uterine problems and whelping issues.
These breeders, it is said, sell these small pups as "tiny".
Unlike the poodle with different sizes from toy to standard the yorkie puppies have been pretty much just Yorkies.
Subscribe now to our Free Yorkshire Terrier Newsletter report.Any given litter from a breeder may have 3 pound adults and 8 pound adults in it, and there is no way to guarantee the size of the adult even if advertised as a "teacup".
Additionally a breeder may advise that these "teacup" puppies are more prone to health problems.
Due to their tiny size they must eat several times per day rather than once or twice as the larger sized dogs do.
They are more apt to be injured playing or fighting as although they are tiny sized they are still dogs and, as such, will issue a challenge they simply are not big enough to back up.
Because of this, many a reputable breeders will insist they go to single dog homes or to those with only other small dogs.
As mentioned their tiny size means smaller bones, and more fragile stature.
They are small enough to fit easily in your purse for going to town as well as taking less space and food in your home.
However be prepared for the risk of higher levels of health problems.
There is no official use of the term "teacup" in reference to Yorkies, thus it is generally accepted it refers to the very small ones, sometimes stated as having health problems due to dwarfing.
Additionally, some advise those under two pounds at maturity may have shortened lifespans compared with their somewhat larger siblings.
Along with this information you may also understand that because many breeders do not breed for the tiny size and consider them pet quality there is also no need to pay outrageous prices for them.
According to the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America site there are increased chances for birth defects, hereditary issues and other problems.
Very small dogs have a harder time handling anesthesia, and are a bigger risk of serious injury from being stepped on or falling.
The resulting veterinary bills can be substantial.
It's not unusual for a breeder in the club to consider females under five pounds unsuitable for breeding.
From a pet standpoint because they are "culls" they may be a more affordable option if the small size attracts you, but keep in mind the warnings about health issues.
Although there are specific breeders who do breed for the teacup size despite the controversy, it is more often a case of heed the warnings, with tiny sizes and off colors as they will not be to the standard accepted for this breed.
Understand that that pound or two smaller may cost you years with your pet as well as money at the veterinary clinic.
All the best.
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