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Very tiny members of the chihuahua breed are often referred to as “teacup” Chihuahuas or sometimes as “toy” Chihuahuas, but those are marketing ploys rather than actual varieties. Be wary of breeders who use these terms. What they are doing is advertising what is essentially the runt of the litter as something special or valuable, says Micki Giroux, a Chihuahua breeder from Panama City Beach, Florida.
What you may get instead is a dog with health problems and a shorter life span. The Chihuahua Club of America (CCA) does not categorize the Chihuahua by size. The Chihuahua itself is a member of the Toy Group, but there’s no such thing as a toy Chihuahua or a teacup Chihuahua. Neither term is mentioned in the chihuahua breed standard.
Hollywood celebrities with chihuahuas has made the chihuahua breed one of the most popular small breed dogs in the world. With so many new people clamoring for one of these adorable pups a wide open market for dishonest chihuahua breeders who run puppy mills. Puppy mills are the number one supplier of pet store across the country. The breeding practices of puppy mills are nothing short of abhorrent. Females are bred literally to death, and pups are forced to live in despicable conditions.
These terrible people who call themselves chihuahua breeders are known for their cruelty to animals, which makes it that much more important to fight them. By refusing to purchase a dog from a pet store, animal lovers can help to do their part in the fight to put puppy mills out of business. Doing so will not only save you thousands of dollars in unexpected vet bills, but will also spare you from the heartache that comes when what you thought was a healthy puppy dies from maltreatment in the pet stores.