Teacup Puppies for Cheap or Free

One of the most desired dog is the "Teacup" or miniature dog. One of the people who most look for these dogs is the person who wants one "cheap or free".

One of the most unethical, and cruelest, trends in the pet industry, is the creation of “teacup” puppies.

For some reason people are not happy with the sizes dogs already come in, and do not want to settle for pets that are normally small anyhow, these folks insist on getting the smallest of all pups, the ones marketed as “teacups”.

No reputable breeder would intentionally breed, or market, “teacup” dogs. They either continue to stunt runts, through poor feeding, or intentionally stunt healthy pups through poor breeding or poor nutrition. To this end some breeders even tell the new owners to feed smaller amounts of food than the pup should have, as a way to keep it petite.

To make matters worse the people who are often looking for “teacup” puppys often want them to be cheap or free. Of course there are usually no such thing as free pets. All pets come with expenses, and it is highly unlikely any one is going to risk loss of a profit and give away, or sell cheap, a pup they can market at a ridiculous price.

teacup chihuahua S5030422 by Sew Ripped.


People looking for cheap, or free, pets need to look at their financial situation. If a person cannot afford a pet, can they afford on-going care, and emergency care for the pet? Can they afford to get the pet vaccinated, wormed, and spayed or neutered? Chances are these people are only thinking of the here and now, not realizing dogs are lifetime commitments. If they haven’t managed to save up money to purchase a dog it is likely they are not going to manage the care over a long period of time.

IMG_3520 by deanwissing.


Some of the dog breeds occasionally marketed under the gimmicky term of “teacup” include Chihuahuas, Toy Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, and Rat Terriers, all dog breeds which are pretty small already. Seeing the word in any advertising, or on a website used to market pups, should be a red flag, a warning sign that the breeder is unethical and will stop at nothing to make money. They are not breeding with the intention of producing quality dogs.  The are breeding with the intention of selling a gimmick.

Owning a dog that might qualify for the Guinness Book of Records smallest dog is not a title of honor, its a mark of shame. It shows no respect to the welfare of the animal in question. The need to own an abnormally stunted pet is a sign of vanity or mental issues. There are stuffed toys or hamsters available to fill those market needs.

Trixie on the Run  - VoxEfx by √oхέƒx™.


There are NO breed registries that recognize the “teacup” as a size group.  Dog clubs frown on people who pursue this avenue of breeding anything other than correctly sized dogs for the breed. 

Puppies marketed as “Teacups” tend to have many health problems as a result of being poorly bred. They are usually sold at a higher price tag because of being “cute” but will generally have more costly health care associated with them too.   Poor overall health means shorter lifespans and ones riddled with problems. 

Keep in mind when buying from an unethical breeder – they seldom have the pups checked for health concerns, and if found they seldom disclose this information to a prospective new owner for fear of risking a sale.

Top Problems commonly found in Teacup Dogs:

  • Heart deformities and other complications (often not living more than a few months).
  • Digestive system deformities and digestion complications (again contributing to a shorter lifespan).
  • The pups may be born with liver deformities, known as shunts. 
  • If they are allowed to breed (even with a stunted male) the females often have an impossible time delivering due to her abnormal stunted size.  Teacup dogs often need c-sections.
  • They are prone to hypoglycemia, and need smaller feedings more often.
  • Their soft spot on their skull may not harden correctly, thus putting them at risk for injury.
  • When they get sick it is more difficult for them to recover.
  • They are more at high risk for broken bones and fractures.
  • They often have an increase in dental problems, and resulting teeth loss.
  • An increase in rates of epilepsy.
  • They can be easily hurt through regular handling, by other pets, or by children.
  • The dogs and pups are more prone to dehydration.
  • They are more sensitive to weather conditions, particularly cold weather. 

Additionally any dog bred purely for being small is prone to other health problems simply because any importance of breeding for quality has been disregarded.  Nobody who breeds for genetic quality would breed such a small animal. 

If you have ever considered getting a “Teacup” dog, please think again.  You are certainly rewarding unethical breeding and may be taking home a future of expense and sorrow. 

Related Links

Where to Buy Puppies

Selection and Purchase of a Puppy

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User Comments
  1. Jenny Heart

    On October 18, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Much food for thought here. You make great points,

  2. martie

    On October 18, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Excellent article. While I have had a few “free” dogs over the years they have rescues not because I could not afford to pay for them. Most time the vet bills have been higher than a non free dog would have been.

    That being said, some breeders charge such outrageous prices for their animals, that if I purchased one, It would be quite awhile before I could afford the vet bill or food for that matter.

    I feel there are enough animals needing homes without paying a couple of thousand dollars for a single kitten or dog.

  3. CaSundara

    On October 18, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Great article. I think all extreme breeding is wrong; from cats and dogs with squashed up faces, and the consequent breathing difficulties, to abnormally big or small animals.

  4. Tlchimes

    On October 18, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Mother nature id just fine an her models are the dogs I like. Great article. I hope you are heard.

  5. mo hoyal

    On October 18, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    This was really informative. I’ve heard about puppy mills and what happens to spent greyhound racing dogs and this is just another atrocity. We have a significant problem here with unwanted animals and no one will even try for a fix. Thank you for such a good article, B!

  6. Vikram Chhabra

    On October 18, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    The vanity of people can often result in such cruelty. Thanks for posting this article and making people like me aware of this..

  7. lillyrose

    On October 18, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    A very well documented article. I am with you all the way on this one. I think some celebrities need a good wakeup call when it comes to setting trends for teacup dogs.

  8. Lostash

    On October 18, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I find the fashion for ‘handbag dogs’ a disturbing one. No animal should be a fashion accessory. Very valid points raised here.

  9. deep blue

    On October 18, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Another point here Brenda. I once clumsily killed a small pup because it was extremely small I haven’t noticed it followed my steps from behind. I stepped over its head when I forgot something and turned a step backward. God, I felt so guilty.

  10. ken bultman

    On October 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    This article should be printed out so it can be shown to friends and read a second time. Breeding down occurs in other animals, too.

  11. Petalm

    On October 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Touching article, and well written.

  12. Ruby Hawk

    On October 18, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    These little guys deserve better treatment.

  13. B Nelson

    On October 19, 2009 at 10:48 am

    For the record there is nothing wrong with taking “free” pets if you are responsible enough to get the pet taken to a vet for spaying/neutering/vaccinations etc..
    however many people who look for free and cheap pets also later complain they cannot afford vet care.

  14. Lee McKinney

    On October 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    My best friend ( a chihuahua named PeeWee ) was the runt of the litter. A friend gave him to me after his dog gave birth to a litter of 4. No one wanted him but I did. He is now 6 years old and weighs 3 1/2 pounds. Also he is the only one surviving today. He has never been sick a day in his life. I guess there are ecpetions to every rule.

  15. Daisy Peasblossom

    On October 25, 2009 at 9:25 am

    This article makes me happy to say I don’t own a miniature anything–although Geisha was the runt of her litter, and has remained petite. (Don’t worry, she makes up for size with attitude!) I’ll remember this the next time my lab mix bounces me just cause he’s so glad to see me!

  16. Kinga

    On November 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    the same with ‘teacup beagles’ or something like that. I found a web site for the breeder, and it mentioned ‘colors never before seen on beagles’ and other stuff that made them sound so healthy and amazing. they also had about 4 different ‘breeds’ that were like the teacup beagles.
    great article

  17. cheap pets for sale

    On December 19, 2009 at 5:46 am

    My dog prince is same like this one. But prince is too naughty.. I really can’t live without it. I love his naughtiness..

  18. Nicole Toro

    On April 12, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Although you have a good point, not all of the things you included are intirely true…for example, I only came across your article because I was in fact looking for a cheap puppy (dachshund to be precise)…however,I don’t want a “cheap” puppy because I can’t afford one…I already have a dog that I take very good care of…many people just don’t want to have to pay hundreds of dollars just to aquire a pet when everything else it takes to take care of it builds up pretty quickly.

  19. Jasmine

    On April 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

    For the record, I give free dogs away all the time, My little baby dog, Mya had 4 pup. Mya is a Chihuahua/feist; and the pups dad was a full-blooded dachshund. I could have sold the pups for about $100, but I didn\’t because a majority of people that are looking for free or cheap puppies are either senior citizens, or families that just want a new family friend. I still have the numbers of all those families that got Mya’s babies, and they are doing great. They love their new home, and the families care for them very much.

    Ready for Part 2?

    Not all owners that own teacup puppies should be ashamed, I know of an adoption center that helps all sorts of teacup puppies. They just want the puppies to have better lives then what they had before, so people adopt them in hopes of giving them that life, and if you are one of those people reading this article. Then don\’t be ashamed. You ARE doing the right thing, and don\’t let anyone tell you different.

    I’ve shared my thoughts,


  20. Adam Hansley

    On June 6, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Get a life. Puppies are products and the word Teacup is what sells them best.

  21. destiny carter

    On June 15, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    i am a nine year old and i am looking for a free teacup yorkie my name is destiny carter and i live in pryor ok i have a life threatening illness aplastic anemia please help

  22. Joyce

    On September 27, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Although “somewhat correct” Your “opinion” on someone wanting a free or cheap pet could be offensive. Just because someone doesn’t want to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a dog does not mean they can’t afford to take good care of them. Alot of these expensive animals happen to come from puppy mills. I’d rather have a pet that was rescued or from someone just wanting to find the animal a good home. I’ll spend my money on spaying, heartworm and flea and tick prevention, keeping shots current and the such thank you very much. I want my money going for the care of my pet rather than putting it in a breeders pocket!

  23. keianna

    On January 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm


  24. Shane Ann

    On October 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I have always wanted a teacup puppy.My parents say that they are too expensive.I have been searching the internet everyday to find one teacup that is inexpensive and a good family pet.I do not want a teacup because I want to look rich and carry one in purse,I just live in a small apartment and can’t get a big dog.I actually want a golden retriever because I heard that they were great family pets,good with kids,and good with other dogs.If you know where to get an inexpensive teacup puppy,please comment or email me at shane8513@gmail.com.(I am only 10 years old.)

    Shane Ann

  25. Brenda Nelson

    On October 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    to Shane Ann
    first of all you should never post your e-mail address as you will get spam.

    Why not just get a nice apartment size dog like a Shih Tzu? If you read the link you would have realized that Teacup dogs are overpriced and NOT healthy. Even if you found a cheap one it may have major health concerns, particularly later in life. You will note they have shorter lifespans with many issues.

  26. 'wljegeided

    On November 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    i am rillly bord

  27. zynda`

    On December 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Not everybody that wants a free dog cant afford them alot of animals that are free need love too

  28. shirley hunton

    On June 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I am looking for a female morkie. I need a dog that does not shed and I can give her an excellent home.

  29. tatiana

    On February 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    i want a teacup dog

  30. Jennifer

    On February 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I disagree completely. There are some of us who cant afford a LUMP sum of $ to purchase a dog. Also, some of us work for a VET so we dont have to worry about the vet bills. I would LOVE a Teacup Yorkie, have been looking for one. I cant afford to buy one, but CAN afford to care for it and LOVE it!!!!!!

  31. Brenda Nelson

    On February 26, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I would personally never give money to a breeder who bred dogs so small the breed standards wont allow them, this is unethical and I am amazed anyone who works at a vet would not know that.

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