(Merle Teacup French Bulldog by healthypetsupply)
Some people scoff at lapdogs, thinking that back in the day dogs were bred for a purpose like hunting or herding. History would prove them wrong.
While the ancestors of the French Bulldog were at first bred for nefarious reasons like bull-baiting (hence the name: bull dog), the outlaw of these inhumane sports in the 19th century gave bulldogs a new career path. They were imported into France where they were crossed with French dogs used for ratting (catching rats, of course) and were christened French Bulldogs.
While most French Bulldogs today aren’t used for this purpose, they had once been an industrious breed. Now, they’ve gotten even smaller.
1. A Teacup French Bulldog is a derivation of the French Bulldog breed. It is usually (though not always) a purebred Frenchie at less than half the size.
The name comes from the idea that they’re so small, they could fit in a teacup. Teacup Frenchies are meant to look and act like regular French Bulldogs, but in a much more portable form. Hardly bigger than some rats, Teacup Frenchies are certainly not meant to be working dogs.
2. Are micro French Bulldogs, mini French Bulldogs, toy French Bulldogs, teacup French Bulldogs all the same?
It depends on who you talk to. One website refers to Mini French Bulldogs and Teacup French Bulldogs interchangeably. The average size they list for Mini Frenchies is different than that of Teacup Frenchies on another website. A third website refers to Micro Frenchies weight between 7 and 16 lbs. That’s larger than Teacups according to some. This website also refers to them as Micro Minis. It seems like it’s simply a matter of preference. Because there doesn’t appear to be a standard set for micro, mini, nor teacup, they’re simultaneous all the same and yet possibly different.
3. The general definition of a Teacup puppy (of any breed) is a dog that, at its fully mature size, weights no more than 4 lbs.
In our research, however, we’ve mostly found dogs that weigh between 5 and 15 lbs. Either way: they’re small. Very small. Less than half the size of your average French Bulldog.
Like classic French Bulldogs, Teacup Frenchies have the signature high-set nose set in the middle of a squished, wrinkly face. They too have the signature bat ears that sit erect and are born with little, stubby tails. Their frame still looks stocky and muscular, though miniscule. Your beloved French Bulldog in miniature.
4. Teacup French Bulldogs are technically purebred, but perhaps a little too purebred.
They are made by cross-breeding runts – the smallest puppies in a litter – or by cross-breeding Frenchies with dwarfism. In some cases they are mixed with other breeds, breeding a runty Frenchie with a toy dog (such as a Yorkshire Terrier).
Remember that runts and dogs with dwarfism are born with health complications and are bound to be weaker than the rest of the litter. This implies that Teacup French Bulldogs will be bred from the weakest stock.
5. The Teacup Frenchie’s size disqualifies it from AKC purbreed standards.
The Breed Standard set out for each breed tends to outline an acceptable weight category for each breed. While the French Bulldog’s Breed Standard on the AKC’s website says that Frenchies weighing over 28 lbs are disqualified, it’s implied that Teacups are disqualified as well. On a page about small dog breeds, they firmly state “that the AKC doesn’t register or endorse ‘teacup’ breeds.”
6. Teacup Frenchies can come in all the colors French Bulldogs come in. These include:
They could also have random spots or markings.
7. Rare colors are possible on Teacup French Bulldogs, including:
8. Teacup French Bulldogs are rare
They’re not usually produced by a luck of the draw. Breeders spend time carefully selecting the especially small dogs and crossbreeding them, all the while keeping an eye on their genetics and making sure only the healthiest are bred. This limits the breeding pool drastically. Without this attention, they’d more than likely just end up breeding regular French Bulldogs.
Genetics is a numbers game and the odds of having a lot of small, runty, or dwarfed dogs is low, making their rarity high.
9. Teacup French Bulldog Health Problems
Dogs of any breed that have flat faces suffer from breathing problems. The Teacup Frenchie is no exception. Especially in hot weather, these petit pups struggle to regulate their body temperatures through breathing and are left susceptible to heatstroke. Most definitely not outdoor dogs.
Another natural element you need to look out for is water. Frenchies are not swimmers. They’re not bad, they’re not swimmers, period! Because they are front heavy, French Bulldogs run the risk of drowning in the merest puddle. Never let your Teacup Frenchie go swimming and be wary about it playing around even the shallowest body of water.
Possible health problems Teacup Frenchies can be born with or develop over their lifetime can effect their eyes, respiratory system, bones, skin, and heart. It’s important to keep your dog in good health by having regularly veterinary check-ups.
Common health problems in the French Bulldog breed:
- Brachycephalic syndrome
- Hip Dysplasia
- Allergies and skin issues
- Patellar Luxation
10. The tiny size of Teacup Frenchies means that they are more prone to infections early in life.
It takes longer for their immune system to develop and strengthen than other dogs. It is advised that you take them out with extreme caution, though it’s better to forgo the dog park entirely until they’ve had all their shots.
11. The average lifespan for a Teacup dog is between 10 and 15 years.
A regular French Bulldog’s lifespan averages 10 to 12 years and, according to one source, a Teacup Frenchie would surprisingly outlive its regular-sized cousin. They estimate that the smaller dog would live between 12 and 16 years.
12. Because of their rarity, Teacup French Bulldogs are expensive.
They will cost most than regular Frenchie puppies, starting just under $3,000 and sometimes going up to a whopping $10,000, if not more!
Teacup Frenchies are expensive because they are rare and in high demand.
Being very popular and seen in the arms and totes of celebrities allows breeders to up the prices on these sought-after sidekicks.
Plus, even the most responsible breeders are waiting on nature to take its course. Because it’s hard to breed Teacup Frenchies (having to rely on having small, runty parents), it will take time to breed Teacups.
Time is money, so part of the price you’re paying is the wait. Some breeders even have waiting lists to sign up for the next litter – if you’re lucky. Some lists are very long.
13. Whatever dog you’re looking to buy, it’s always important to look into your breeder before paying anything.
When it comes to rare, small dogs, this is crucial. It is perfectly normal to ask a breeder questions – loads of them – before committing. Breeders run a business and are held to a standard of fair business practices. They should have documentation outlining the heritage of a puppy, its health checks, any vaccines its already had, as well as all the same information on its parents.
Paperwork isn’t everything, though. Make sure you see the dog first – and not just a picture of it.
There are many breeders who offer some type of video consultation for you to meet your future puppy (if you’re searching from afar, that is).
Have several meetings with the breeder and the potential pup to see the little one in action. If you live nearby, schedule visits with the dog to see that it looks and acts healthy.
A reputable breeder will also show you health clearances for both your puppy’s parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular health condition.
Many Teacup breeders do warn against potential scammers, advising over photoshopped images of dogs and dealers who request wire transfers.
A reputable breeder is one who is patient and understands the importance of carrying on a conversation and asking questions before payment is arranged.
If people of the 19th century knew what a Teacup Frenchie sold for today, perhaps they’d have been breeding them for much longer. As it stands, Teacup French Bulldogs seem to be a 21st century sensation. Some breeders started their litters in the ‘90s but the popular rise in these palm-sized puppies has spiked in recent years thanks to celebrity ownership. If you’re keen to bring one home, we hope you’ve considered all the elements in adopting a Teacup French Bulldog.