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Teacups

Teacup Maltipoo

What is a Teacup Maltipoo?

Teacup is a term used to describe a dog that is smaller than the standard size. This is easier to understand when the dog is a purebred AKC recognized dog breed. 

For example, the Pomeranian has an AKC standard of 3-7 pounds (1.36 to 3.175 kg).Therefore, if a Pom is smaller than the 3 pounds, one may refer to that dog as a "teacup" or a "miniature".

It must be noted that with AKC recognized breeds, teacups are not official dog breeds...And in fact, to purposely bred a dog to be smaller than natural can be quite dangerous for the puppy. 

So, what does this mean for toy Maltipoo dogs or teacup Maltipoos? Let's discuss:
  • Is this an official term?
  • Are tiny than average dogs healthy?
  • What are the differences between a toy and a "standard"
Maltipoo pup
Abbie | 2 years old | Owner: Sandra Mayeux
Is There Such a Thing as a Teacup or Toy Maltipoo?

Since the Maltipoo is a hybrid, or "designer" dog, there is no set standard size (either weight or height) for this dog. Normally, the AKC, the most well known and well recognized dog kennel clubs in the United States, sets a certain weight range for each dog breed.

With that being said, the Maltipoo is a recognized hybrid dog....The CKC registers this dog as a non-purebred miscellaneous...However the National Maltipoo Club and the Maltipoo Club of America (Just 2 of many hybrid registries) has a weight range for this dog....

An adult "should" weigh between 5-12 lbs (2.27-5.44 kg). 

Therefore, with "teacup" or "toy" being an adjective meaning "small" or "tiny", a teacup Maltipoo would be one that weighed less than 5 pounds when fully grown.

It must be noted that those who recognize the Maltipoo do not recognize the "teacup" or "toy" as a separate dog breed....or as a separate version of the dog. For example, the AKC recognizes 3 size varieties of the Poodle: The toy, the miniature and the standard.

Health

If a breeder happens to have a puppy in a litter that  is a bit smaller than the rest....and will grow to be 3-4 pounds, this is not uncommon. With many litters (of all types of dog breeds) there is often that 1 puppy that  is smaller than the rest. The breeder may then refer to that puppy as a "toy"... This is considered to be ethical IF that person is using "teacup" as an adjective to mean "small". It is NOT ethical for a breeder to purposefully try to breed for puppies that fall far beneath the normal weight range for this dog.

Why? Because a dog with an adult weight of 5-12 pounds (2.27 to 5.44 kg) is quite small enough. If puppies are produced that only grow to be 2, 3 or 4 pounds...several health issues can occur because of this:
Maltipoo on scale
Superb! A healthy 2 lbs, 5 and 1/2 oz for a 8 and 1/2 week old Maltipoo. Nice and healthy and a super-cute puppy!
Betsy, Photo courtesy of Joan Swartz 
Fragile bones - The smaller the dog, the more brittle the bones. Broken bones from any type of accident... being stepped on accidentally, rough play with another (and often larger) dog, etc.

Luxating patella - when the dog's knee cap slips out of place - often due to injury from jumping, etc.

Hip Dysplasia - When the dog's hip joint slips out of the socket - often do to injury from jumping, etc.

Collapsed trachea - a collapse of the cartilage rings of the dog's neck - often caused by putting a collar on a tiny dog as opposed to a harness. The dog collar can put tremendous stress on the pup's neck if the pup lunges forward when on collar and leash

Hypoglycemia - This is an issue seen with many toy breed dogs. If it is to happen, it most often occurs with puppies...however if a dog is just too small, they may always be at risk of developing this. The scary thing about hypoglycemia is that is comes on fast. It happens when there is a rapid drop in the dog's blood sugar level. The first signs are weakness and confusion....it can lead to coma and then death. If one is to have a teacup Maltipoo. one must always be on guard for this condition. It is best to have Karo syrup on hand at all times (a bottle in the car, one in your pocketbook, one at home, etc).... If rubbed onto the pup's gums it will quickly boost sugar levels....

One should always then bring their dog to the veterinarian to be checked out. In some cases, the level is so far down that the dog must be put on an IV until levels are maintained. 
Other Care

When you have an extremely tiny dog, you must be very aware of certain elements....

The weather - While all small dogs should be protected from harsh weather, an undersized Maltipoo especially should be protected with a coat (sweater) and doggie booties if there is ice and/or snow. Also, ice melt can be quite an irritant to the paws and booties (or paw wax) will protect them from that.  For very cute yet protective vests, sweaters, coats and more, look to the Maltipoo Specialty Shoppe.

Weight Loss/ Gain - When you have a pup who is just so tiny, one must be very careful that the dog does not lose or gain significant weight in a short amount of time. Being so small, a loss of just 1 pound can be critical to their health. Likewise, overweight dogs can develop a host of health issues.

Sleep - You will want to be very careful if you wish for your dog to sleep in your bed. An owner could be fast asleep and accidentally roll over their pup...This has happened and the results can be devastating for such a tiny ball of fluff. 

The Conception

Since there is no set weight standard by the AKC and the Maltipoo is not yet recognized as an official dog breed, one cannot say that there is "no such thing as a teacup"....However do keep in mind that for any other dog breed there is no such thing as teacups..... There are no teacup Pomeranians, no toy Chihuahuas... it is a made up marketing term to lure in potential puppy buyers into thinking that they have a special dog.....set apart from "normal" dogs and a separate variation. 

Therefore, it is recommended that if you are looking to buy a Maltipoo, that you look for a breeder who is producing puppies with an estimated adult weight of 5 to 12 pounds.

If you already have a Maltipoo that falls far under the weight range, do follow the above advice and look to the PetMaltipoo eBook for all the care that is needed.
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