Looking for a fluffy pup? Consider the Teacup Shih Tzu. With their shiny coats and adorable personalities, they’re sure to warm your heart.
The Tea Cup Shih Tzu is a miniature version of the beloved and well-known Shih Tzu. A Teacup Shih Tzu can have one of three coat types: solid color, two-color coat, three-color coat, or patterned coat. They weigh up to 5 pounds, making the dog micro-sized, like a teacup.
A further read will tell you everything you need to know about the Teacup Shih Tzu. This piece will talk about what exactly a Teacup Shih Tzu is, including revealing whether or not it’s a certified breed. Next, it will discuss the Teacup Shih Tzu’s defining characteristics, like its appearance and personality traits. Finally, it will discuss how to care for a Teacup Shih Tzu, the common health issues that they may face, and what you need to look out for as a pet haver.
What Is a Teacup Shih Tzu?
The Teacup Shih Tzu, also known as the Imperial Shih Tzu, is a famously cute dog that made a name for itself with its distinct appearance. The name “Shih Tzu” translates to “miniature lion” which describes the dog’s lioneqsue appearance. The Teacup Shih Tzu, as mentioned earlier, is a miniature version of the Standard Shih Tzu. To illustrate the difference between the two, a Standard Shih Tzu is almost twice the size of a Teacup Shih Tzu.
The Standard Shih Tzu is a dog that was bred to serve as a companion to Chinese royals. Although, it can be difficult to pinpoint just how the breed was developed. The Shih Tzu has existed for centuries but wasn’t found outside of China until the 20th century.
Since they’ve become available internationally, the Shih Tzu became one of the most popular dog breeds among pet lovers. To maximize the appeal of the breed, the Teacup Shih Tzu was formed.
The Teacup Shih Tzu takes the adorableness and lovableness of a Standard Shih Tzu to the next level because of its smaller size. It is natural for people to instinctively feel like caring for smaller animals and the Teacup Shih Tzu targets that feeling perfectly.
Is the Teacup Shih Tzu a Certified Breed?
It is important to note that the Teacup Shih Tzu or Imperial Shih Tzu is not a separate breed or variety of the Standard Shih Tzu Breed. It is not officially recognized as its own breed because to put it simply, Teacup Shih Tzus are just Shih Tzus that are below the minimum size for the breed’s standard.
The only recognized Shih Tzu breed is the Standard Shih Tzu. It is possible for Shih Tzu puppies to be born small and not grow to be as large as a Standard Shih Tzu. Even if they’re bred according to the American Kennel Club’s standards, some pups in a litter just come out small. These smaller cups are labeled as “teacups” because of their miniature size.
Teacup Shih Tzu Color Options
A Teacup Shih Tzu has the same number of coat types as a Standard Shih Tzu. They can either have a solid color, two colors, three colors, or patterned coats. For this section of this article, each coat type will be discussed.
A Teacup Shih Tzu can have a solid color or a single-colored coat. When a Shih Tzu has a solid color coat, it has no other colors on its coat. A solid color Teacup Shih Tzu can come in the following colors:
- White – A white Teacup Shih Tzu will have a completely paper-white coat. They usually have black noses that contrast with its pure coat color.
- Black – Black is one of the rarest solid colors that you can find on a Teacup Shih Tzu. With this coat color, they almost look like tiny shadows that have come to life.
- Silver – A silver Teacup Shih Tzu looks similar to a Teacup Shih Tzu with a white coat. To tell the difference, you must see the puppy in natural light. A silver Teacup Shih Tzu will be closer to gray or off-white with an appealing shine to its coat.
- Gold – Gold Teacup Shih Tzus have a coat that looks like it’s somewhere between yellow and brown. Their coats are called gold because when in natural light, it gives off a beautiful luster like gold.
- Blue – A blue Teacup Shih Tzu will resemble a smoky charcoal color on its coat. However, when seen in natural light, the coat gives off a beautiful and shiny blue tone.
- Red – Red Teacup Shih Tzus are known to have warm and orange-toned coats that resemble the coat of a fox.
- Liver – Liver-colored Teacup Shih Tzus refer to Teacup Shih Tzus with brown skin points such as the eye rims, nose, lips, and paw pads. This is the only Teacup Shih Tzu color that refers to the skin points rather than the color of the coat itself.
- Brindle – A Brindle Teacup Shih Tzu will have a base color like black or white with streaks of another color like brown or red.
Two Color Combinations
The most common coat color that you can find in a Teacup Shih Tzu is a two-color combination. Most of these combinations will be made up of white as the base or more dominant color and another color.
Two-color combinations are the most popular among Teacup Shih Tzu lovers because it gives the pup an endearing look with plenty of personality.
The most common two-color combinations of the Teacup Shih Tzu:
- White base color
- White and Black
- White and Blue
- White and Brindle
- White and Gold
- White and Red
- White and Silver
- Black base color
- Black and Brindle
- Black and Gold
- Black and Liver
- Black and Silver
- Red Base Color
- Red and Black
- Red and Blue
- Red and Gold
- Red and Silver
- Red and White
Three Color Combinations
Teacup Shih Tzus with three color coats are the rarest and hardest to identify. To an untrained eye, they appear to be Teacup Shih Tzus with two-colored coats.
To see if your Teacup Shih Tzu has a three-color coat, you must inspect its coat under natural light. With plenty of natural light, you should be able to see what the third coat color is.
The most common three color combinations of the Teacup Shih Tzu:
- Black, Gold, and White
- Black, Silver, and White
- Gold, Red, and White
- Silver, Gold, and White
Teacup Shih Tzus are also known to have patterns in their coats. These patterns are characterized by where certain coat colors are on the Teacup Shih Tzu’s body. Patterned coats make your Teacup Shih Tzu look extra adorable because of its unique appearance. Examples of Teacup Shih Tzu coat patterns include:
- Blaze – You can identify the Blaze coat pattern in a Teacup Shih Tzu when they have a streak of white fur right between its eyes.
- Collar – A collar coat pattern is when a Teacup Shih Tzu has a different coat color around its neck. Given its namesake, your Teacup Shih Tzu will look like they’re wearing a collar around its neck. The collar color is usually white.
- Flare – This is similar to the Blaze coat pattern but the white streak instead reaches all the way to the top of the Teacup Shih Tzu’s head.
- Saddle – A Teacup Shih Tzu with a saddle coat pattern will appear to have a large patch of color on its back. For example, it will have a white base color but have a large patch of black that looks similar to that of a horse’s saddle.
- Tuxedo – A Teacup Shih Tzu with a tuxedo coat pattern is a Teacup Shih Tzu with a solid color accompanied by a white patch on its chest. This makes the adorable pup look like they’re constantly wearing a tuxedo!
Each coat type is unique and adorable no matter which your Teacup Shih Tzu has. You can ensure that the Teacup Shih Tzu you get has the coat color or pattern you want by choosing certified and experienced breeders. Regardless of the coat type, your Teacup Shih Tzu is sure to have a lovely personality that’ll warm your heart.
What Color Are a Teacup Shih Tzu’s Eyes?
A Teacup Shih Tzu’s eye color depends on the color of its nose and muzzles. Most Teacup Shih Tzus have black eyes because that is the standard color. However, when a Teacup Shih Tzu has a Blue or Liver coat color, it has a chance to have gorgeous blue eyes.
They can have blue eyes because Blue and Liver coat Teacup Shih Tzu’s have what’s called the “Merle” gene. This is the gene that causes the Teacup Shih Tzu’s nose, eye rims, and muzzle to have a lighter color. It also causes its eyes to sometimes be blue.
Another fun fact about Teacup Shih Tzus is that they are all born with blue eyes. Newborn Teacup Shih Tzus have cloudly blue eyes for the first few weeks of life until it eventually darkens to the standard black color.
If your adult Teacup Shih Tzu’s eyes were black or brown but suddenly turn blue or cloudy, it indicates that they might be developing cataracts in their eyes. When this happens, it’s best to take your pup to their veterinarian and have their eyes checked out right away.
The Personality of the Teacup Shih Tzu
Teacup Shih Tzus are known to be obedient, playful, and brave. Aside from its adorable appearance, what makes the Teacup Shih Tzu so popular is its wonderful personality. Teacup Shih Tzus make for famously kind and loving pets that always enjoy cuddling and sitting on your lap. They get along well with almost any other kind of dog and even cats!
Teacup Shih Tzus also love to play dog games like fetch, tug, and chase, but it’s important to note that due to their small size, you must be careful when playing with your pup. They can be prone to injuries if they fall. You might not even realize your Teacup Shih Tzu is there when you’re about to sit on your couch.
Just like a lion, the Teacup Shih Tzu can be a brave little dog. They will try to guard their own territory and your home, even though they have such a small stature. Your Teacup Shih Tzu will always be happy to protect you, your home, and your loved ones.
How Are Teacup Shih Tzus Bred?
Teacup Shih Tzus can be bred in one of two ways: cross-breeding or selective breeding. Cross-breeding is when a standard Shih Tzu is bred with a smaller breed of dog. Selective breeding is when a male runt from a standard Shih Tzu litter is bred with a female runt from another standard Shih Tzu litter.
If you’re looking to have a Teacup Shih Tzu of your own, it is better and more humane to opt for one that’s produced from cross-breeding. Standard Shih Tzus are normally bred with smaller breeds such as the Chihuahua or the Bichon Frise. Standards Shih Tzus bred with Chihuahuas produce what is known as the Shi-Chi or Chi-Tzu. When bred with a Bichon Frise, the pups are known as Shicho or Zuchon puppies.
However, if you opt to go with a cross-bred pup, it can be hard to determine just how much of the Shih Tzu genes will be inherited. They may or may not look and act like a Shih Tzu. It’s possible that it may not even inherit any outward Shih Tzu traits. But through this method, it will guarantee that you will have a healthier puppy.
On the other hand, if you opt to go with a selectively bred puppy, it will guarantee that your puppy will be a 100% Teacup Shih Tzu but it is highly likely that the puppy will come with many health issues as well. This is because that puppy will be born from two runts.
Runts from a litter are born smaller than their siblings because they have underlying health problems. So when two runts produce a litter, they are likely to pass those health problems down to their puppies.
To avoid having a puppy with health problems, you must find a reputable and certified breeder. You will know that they are a reputable breeder if they do not produce Teacup Shih Tzus through selective breeding.
You can find a Teacup Shih Tzu that is below the standard size of a Shih Tzu in a litter from even the best breeders. Although your pup will technically be a runt, they will stand a chance to grow up just as healthy as their siblings with enough love and care.
How to Take Care of a Teacup Shih Tzu
Taking care of a Teacup Shih Tzu surprisingly doesn’t take that much work. They are easygoing dogs that don’t need too much exercise or attention. This section of the article will tell you all you need to know about taking care of a Teacup Shih Tzu.
Teacup Shih Tzus are very adaptable pets that can live anywhere as long as they have a loving family. They don’t mind living in small spaces or large houses as long as they have people to socialize with. You can live in a studio apartment or a large house and either way, your Teacup Shih Tzu will be happy to be with you.
Teacup Shih Tzus don’t need much exercise as they are not very active dogs. They are perfectly content to have short walks and just a bit of playtime every day. They’re happy to lounge with you all day and spend their time cuddling or sitting in your lap.
Since the Teacup Shih Tzu is a breed with a short snout and long coat, they can be very sensitive to heat. Spending long periods of time in the hot sun may make it difficult for your Teacup Shih Tzu to breathe. You can avoid giving your pup heat exhaustion by keeping them around fans or in airconditioned rooms.
Lastly, it’s important that you keep your Teacup Shih Tzu away from heights or spaces where they are prone to falling. Teacup Shih Tzus can be easily injured if they fall from a tall height and that fall might even lead to a lethal injury. Keep your Teacup Shih Tzus away from your desks or high staircases to prevent any dangerous accidents.
To keep your Teacup Shih Tzu healthy, you must limit their feeding to half a cup to 1 cup of quality dry food a day. Teacup Shih Tzus are prone to overeating since they tend to lack food inhibition. You can divide their food into two meals a day to avoid bloating or an upset stomach.
An important part of taking care of a Teacup Shih Tzu is grooming. Teacup Shih Tzus can have long coats that grow quite fast. Grooming a Teacup Shih Tzu is easily the most demanding part of their care.
They require daily brushing to prevent matted or tangled fur. They also need a haircut at least once a month to keep their coat healthy and shiny. You can opt to have your pup groomed by a professional groomer to get rid of any worry. However, this can be pricey so it is perfectly fine to groom your Teacup Shih Tzu on your own.
If you opt to groom your pet yourself, you can make it as pleasing as possible for both of you. You can start while they are young so that they can get used to being groomed. Their nails also need to be trimmed monthly and to do so, you will need your own pair of nail clippers for dogs.
Teacup Shih Tzus need to have their ears checked once a week for dirt or inflammation. You can easily remove dirt from your pup’s ear with the use of a cotton swab that’s dipped in ear cleaning solution.
Since a Teacup Shih Tzu’s eyes are prone to tearing, you will need to wipe them every day with a soft cloth that’s dampened with warm water to prevent any dirt build-up. They are also prone to dental problems which can be easily prevented with regular toothbrushing with a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste.
What Health Issues Do Teacup Shih Tzus Have?
Much like most toy breeds, Teacup Shih Tzus are prone to various conditions and diseases. To prepare yourself for health problems your pup might have, you must always opt to take preventive action rather than remedy it when it already occurs.
Teacup Shih Tzus are prone to having respiratory problems due to their short snouts. They can exhibit conditions like having snuffles or repeated sneezing due to swollen gums or allergies. When your Teacup Shih Tzu is wheezing or sneezing often, you can help alleviate the episode by covering their nostrils and forcing them to breathe through their mouth. If the episodes happen regularly, you must then take your pup to the vet.
Teacup Shih Tzus are also known to have eye and ear infections. You can prevent these from happening by keeping their eyes and ears clean. If left untreated, these infections can develop and cause serious problems for your puppy. Eye problems can take the form of dry eye, keratitis (cornea inflammation), or progressive retinal atrophy among others.
Another pair of health problems that your Teacup Shih Tzu may face are bladder stones and bladder infections. These can be caused by a number of things such as an unhealthy diet or viral infections. A common symptom is long periods of time between urinating. If you feel that your puppy isn’t urinating enough, it may be time for a check-up.
The most common health problem that Teacup Shih Tzus have is allergies. They can either have food allergies, contact allergies, or inhalant allergies. Your Teacup Shih Tzu may be allergic to the things they eat, the products you use to groom them like shampoo and flea powder, or airborne allergens like dust or pollen. Treating allergies normally involves changes in diet, the need for medication, or changing their environment.
As you can see, there are a number of health issues that a Teacup Shih Tzu can have but none that can’t be handled. When in doubt, consult with your own veterinarian so that you can work together to find the best solutions for your pup.
Although they’re small dogs, there is so much to know about the Teacup Shih Tzu. They have various coat colors to choose from, each just as adorable as the next. Your Teacup Shih Tzu can have a coat with one, two, or three colors that can come in a unique pattern and possibly piercing blue eyes that’ll melt your heart.
Along with those cute coats are just as pleasing personalities. If you’re on the lookout for your next cuddle buddy, then the Teacup Shih Tzu will be perfect for you. They’ll never get tired of giving and receiving love from their human companions.
Despite not being a recognized breed, Teacup Shih Tzus are still special dogs. They need plenty of love and care, especially because of the many possible health issues that they can have. It’s always best to have a Teacup Shih Tzu that comes from a reputable and ethical breeder so that your puppy can lead the happiest and healthiest life possible.
Hey there! I’m Matt and I’m a content writer from the Philippines. I’ve raised over 10 dogs and 5 cats. I love taking care of my rescue dog Kewpie and my two rescue cats, Misty and Rosy.