the teacup chihuahua scam

famous chihuahua editor chihuahua breeders 16 Comments

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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.

According to the CCA, just as humans differ in height, weight and other physical attributes, so do individual Chihuahuas. They are male or female and long coated or smooth, bu that’s as far as their descriptions go.

The CCA is concerned that labels, such as teacup, pocket-size, tiny toy or miniature, may be used to persuade buyers that puppies described with these terms are more valuable, but they are not. Extremely small Chihuahuas are adorable and can be perfectly healthy, but be aware that they may require extra care to keep them safe.

Source: Kim C. Thornton,
Chihuahuas, Volume 8 Second Edition

Do you have a small chihuahua that was sold to you under the title of “teacup” or “pocket-size?” What is your opinion on the teacup chihuahua marketing scam? We want to know. Perhaps we can prevent others from being scammed. Post your comments below.

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Comments 16

  1. Jeff

    All of you who are trying to be so politically correct need to get a real life.if the damn dog is small enough you can call it whatever you want to. I have a lab that’s 130 lbs and I call him a giant,so that makes me a stupid dog owner huh? Who cares what the frkn akc recognizes. Theyre not the ones taking care of our dogs.when they start feeding my dogs and paying for their vet bills then I’ll call my dogs by the akc’s proper name.

  2. Jennifer Tijerina

    http://noanimalleftbehind.blogspot.com/2009/07/middletown-nj-home-raided-by-spca.html?m=1
    It’s true Marlene Sanford was charged with animal cruelty. I know it’s been awhile but I just came upon all this while researching chihuahuas. I have 2, one was given to my mom and the other I found in the middle of a busy street. I would like to purchase a pure bred reg. pup but all I find are ads for micros and teacups so I looked into it. I was begining to think, “what did matter what the pup is called as long as it’s healthy.” Wrong, after reading how M Sanford defended “breeders” who sold these types of chihuahuas I took Allison’s advice and googled MS. She isn’t a reputable breeder she ran an in home puppy mill, that just dismisses anything she said in her comment. This was a good lesson in buying a chihuahua. Im glad I decided to research this subject.

  3. ChiLove

    *PLEASE* ALL THOSE WHO ARE RESEARCHING PROPER INFORMATION ON THE CHIHUAHUA BREED, PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN TO WHAT ‘MARLENE’ HAS TO SAY ON THE ISSUE OF TEA CUPS. (AND MARLENE, JUST B.C PEOPLE CHOOSE NOT TO COME BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN TO ARGUE STUPIDITY WITH YOU DOES NOT MAKE YOU RIGHT – YOU ARE WRONG! FURTHERMORE, IF THE AKC is not an authority on breeding dogs THEN WHO THE HECK IS – YOU LOL). some OF US SPEND A LIFETIME TRYING TO EDUCATE PEOPLE ON THE TRUTHS ABOUT cHI’S, THEY ARE NOT LIKE EVERY OTHER DOG OUT THERE AND NOT EVERYONE, EVERY HOME IS THE RIGHT OR SAFE PLACE FOR A CHI. tHERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS TEA CUPS, MINI, MICRO, POCKET… ETC… PEOPLE LIKE mARLENE SPEND TONS OF TIME TRYING TO MAKE YOU THINK THEIR CHI’S ARE SMALLER AND THEREFORE MORE DESIRABLE TO BUY AND VERY OFTEN DO CHARGE MORE SELLING YOU RUNTS OR VERY ILL BRED CHIS IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP THEM SMALL UNTIL THEY ARE SOLD. HINT – A REPUTABLE BREEDER WONT ARGUE THE STANDARDS SET BY THE AKC OR THE CHIHUAHUA CLUB OF AMERICA. gOOGLE TEA CUP STATEMENT FOR YOUR TRUTH ON THIS MATTER. cALLING THEM BY ANY OTHER NAME IS AN IGNORANT STATEMENT.

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  6. jimmy

    is it true that by type of chihuahua, there is the apple head and the deer head, and if so what is the difference?

  7. Allison

    Marlene Sandford was busted for animal cruelty…this “hobby breeder” had 85 of her “toy” dogs confiscated from a single filthy room!!!!!! Just google her and animal cruelty!!!

  8. vet

    awww teacup toys or mini mine i bought 3 years ago was a teacup mini chih wow think he was small when he grew up…..? well 1200 dollars later and i have a full grown 10 lb dog that is 9 inches high lol its a scam people dont get sucked into it this scam like i did we just got our new pup chih with papers and he was 375 and is now 1 lb at 2 months these are like kids you really never know how big they are going to get and no one selling these dogs are god so i have no clue how they can tell you how big nature and genitics will let this dog get no bigger than 3 lbs hahahaha its a joke sounds good tho dont it i fell for it once lol

  9. TINA

    i had 4 chihuahuas my lil man passed . so i only have 3 but ne way i rescue him 4 yrs ago tinkerbell was bought for me by my hubby , she was suppose to be 5lbs or more she is now 4 yrs and only weighs 2.6 lbs . she has had no health problems at all. other than the alpecia she inherited . my taco man and dasiy had babies (their both standard size) both litters were under 4lbs at 6months . the lil one from last litter is 6 months only wieghs 2lbs. i never intended to have such lil babies with these 2 it just happened that way , i don’t know eithers back ground just love them . my point is u never really know what ur getting when u puchase any animal from neone . there are so many unethical breeders out there and bloodlines have been crossed so much it may not even be the breeders fault.

  10. LAUREN

    I think this is pretty cool.I was searching on the internet for facts about teacups.I will be getting one soon!

  11. PETA activist

    err.. breeders …i find it ridiculous that you are breeding dogs for money. have u been doing your research in terms of look at the statistics? increasingly, animals are becoming homeless. Since there isn’t enough shelters to cover these animals, animals are being put down.

  12. Marlene Sandford

    Well it’s been a month since my last post after answering the comment from that uneducated consumer. You see, when your on top of your game, you can do more then just make empty comments that really make you look silly. People that talk out of there back side, are the reason this world can be real crappy place to live in. Jealousy is the number one reason why people try to muddy up the water for people they don’t even know. Yes, I call myself a dog breeder, hobby breeder, that is. I don’t confuse myself with commercial breeders They breed dogs for a living. If that was my position, then that would make me a business, and give me the rights to charge exuberant prices on my sweet little apple heads.
    Something I don’t have a stomach for. I guess the whole toy/tea cup thing, people will always find room for a argument over the facts, so I will not add to this subject again, instead I’ll finish my morning cup of tea, while thinking about my little (TOY) pug, that I had so many years ago…..
    ALL TWENTY POUNDS OF HER….what-a-toy!
    http://mylittlechi.com/ ….do check me out before sharpening your knives, Internet trolls,

    Chow

  13. Marlene Sandford

    Whatever!….Please AKC is not an authority on breeding dogs……even cockroach’s come in different sizes….No tea cups?… tell that to my Nacho man, who is 1 lb 3oz at 6 m0s. Or my Chico man weighting in a 2lb at 9mos. Both of who were not runts. Yes,…. leave it up to the breeders of the world to call it on the size, after all they are the authority.

  14. WHAT!?!

    “Yes this might be cutting myself short, but money shouldn’t be the deciding factor when
    it comes to the reputation of a good and honest breeder.”

    WHAT!?!? Did you really say that? I would never buy a toy dog from a breeder who adverted it as a ‘teacup’ or ‘toy’. It is already a toy. Then those same breeders go and mate two runts trying to achieve ‘teacup’ puppies. If it indeed came down to the reputation of a good and honest breeder, you would just be selling chihuahuas and not your made-up ‘micro tea cups’. You are some ‘authority’? You are one breeder and you are better than the AKC? Whatever.

  15. marlene sandford

    Is there really such a thing as the tea cup?

    I think that I can talk from the voice of experience. The answer is yes. But I must caution you that not all tea cup
    sized toy dogs in any toy breed are created equal. Let’s look at a litter of four puppies, they are born pretty much the same size at birth. About two weeks down the road you notice that one is just not getting as big as the rest of It’s litter mates but it seems to be the one that’s always chowing down. It’s very healthy, very strong and always seems to be the alpha pup of the litter.

    If you’ve been breeding as long as myself, you know right away that you have a dwarf, this is not a puppy that suffers from a condition known as Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR),abnormal placentation meaning that
    the placenta did not grow the way it should have thus the puppy had a limitation of growth potential in the womb. The causes of both can be intrinsic or environmental. In layman’s term they are called the runt.
    These puppies can stay very small in the first five months of their lives, but later can reach the six pound standard for the breed.

    I personally do not help a runt to survive. If it makes it on it’s own I’m always grateful for the blessing. But if it should go the other way I know in my heart that the pup just didn’t have what it takes to thrive and survive.

    I myself like to call any dwarf chi babies micro tea cups and that I can most certainly say that it will stay in the two pound range. Otherwise I sell what many breeders call tea cups as toys. Yes this might be cutting myself short, but money shouldn’t be the deciding factor when
    it comes to the reputation of a good and honest breeder.
    AKC is a registry for dogs they are not breeders of Chihuahuas or any other toy breed and that is the reason they don’t why they don’t see the what breeder see….the land of the littes is alive and well. Just ask Dorothy

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