UPDATED: MARCH 22, 2020
I heard of this thing called a “toy” Dachshund for the first time last week. Soon after that, I saw someone asking about a “teacup” Dachshund.
I admit I was a bit taken aback by this reference but, ultimately, dismissed it. However, a reader left a comment to one of my articles the other day and said she wants her next Dachshund to be a “toy”.
I thought, “What the heck is a toy or teacup Dachshund?? That isn’t a thing – In the US, Dachshunds are either a miniature or standard. That’s it.”
It seemed like these new terms were spreading like wildfire so I wanted to get to the bottom of it.
I’ve been studying Dachshunds for over 10 years.
First as a interested pet parent that wanted to know everything about the dog I had (I knew nothing about Dachshunds when I inherited Chester).
Second, as a blogger. I’ve been blogging about Dachshunds, and running a 500-member Dachshund club, for 6 of those years.
Last week was the first time I had ever heard of a “toy Dachshund”.
SPOILER ALERT: NO, A “TOY” or “TEACUP”DACHSHUND IS NOT A REAL THING ACCORDING TO ANY BREED STANDARD AND YOU SHOULD NOT PAY A LOT OF MONEY FOR ONE. KEEP READING TO FIND OUT MORE.
First, What is a Very Small Dachshund Called?
In the United States and Canada, the Dachshund breed standard only has two classifications – miniature and standard.
A miniature Dachshund is a dog that weights 11 lbs or under full grown (approximately 12 months old). A Dachshund that weighs less than 11 lbs is still a miniature Dachshund.
In some countries, there is a smaller class of Dachshund – a rabbit, or kaninchen (the German word for rabbit). These Dachshunds are a smaller subset of miniature Dachshund.
While a miniature Dachshund is defined as being 11 lbs or under, the rabbit Dachshund is under 8 lbs, and has a chest circumference less than 12 inches, at 1.5 years old.
While the miniature Dachshund is recognized by every breed registry around the world, the rabbit Dachshund is not.
In the US, people may refer to a very small Dachshund as a “toy” or “teacup” but that is not a breed-standard size. Breeders who really know and care about respecting the Dachshund breed will not refer to their puppies incorrectly.
According to the World Canine Federation (WCF), “While the 83 countries of the World Canine Federation separate Dachshunds into three classes (standard, miniature and kaninchen), the kaninchen is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, or clubs in the United Kingdom.
“In Germany the Dachshund is divided into three categories based on the size of the hole it can enter (they were bred for hunting).
The first category is the standard Dachshund; while the second and third consist of the miniature Dachshund which is further split into two categories.” (EasyPetMD)
Clubs in these countries only recognize the larger standard Dachshund, which it defines as dogs weighing between 16 and 32 lbs, and the miniature Dachshund, which is defined as a Dachshund weighing less than 11 lbs.”
Historically, the standard, miniature, and rabbit (in most countries) are the three sizes of Dachshunds that exist.
Is the Toy or Teacup Dachshund a New Size?
According to the Wikipedia page on toy dogs, “Dogs referred to as toy, or teacup, dogs are found in the Toy Group of breed registries.” If a breed is not listed in that group, there is no “toy” or “Teacup” classification of that breed.
However, “No major or reputable dog registry recognizes the term “teacup” dog… anything smaller than the standard size… may be a runt of a litter… There are no specific teacup dog breeds, but popular types for breeding teacup dogs include: Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Poodle, Pug, Maltese, Pomeranian, and Silky Terrier, among others.”
I was curious about the term “major or reputable dog registry”. Since Wikipedia can be edited by common people like myself. “reputable” may be subjective.
The largest and “most reputable” registry that comes to my mind in the United States is the American Kennel Club (AKC). I checked their website and “toy Dachshund” is not not listed on their page of AKC recognized toy breeds.
The United Kennel Club (UKC) is not a very reputable registry but even they no longer list a toy or teacup classification of Dachshund.
The other US registry that comes to mind is the United Kennel Club (UKC). They only recognize two sizes of Dachshunds – the miniature at 11 lbs. and under and the standard at 11 to 25 lbs. (note that the AKC recognizes the Standard to be 16-32 lbs).
UPDATE: Since my initial research and publication of this article, The “toy” or “Teacup” Dachshund is no longer lited on the UCA website. They may have realized their mistake and corrected it.
The United Canine Association (UCA) was the only registry in the world I could find that recognizes a “toy” subcategory of Dachshund.
The UCA is an “elite all-breed dog registry” willing to register breeds, and dogs with certain physical characteristics, that are not recognized by the traditional breed registries.
The UCA recognizes three sizes of Dachshunds – toy, miniature, and standard. They say the miniature Dachshund is 8-11 lbs and the toy is 3 lbs or less. (More about this organization in the next section)
What is a Toy Dog?
“Toy” and “teacup” breeds are a newer, or at a least newly popular, classification of dog. They are considered a “designer breed”.
With very few exceptions (like the toy poodle), designer breeds are not recognized by the AKC and UKC, or other reputable registries with a long history in the United States.
Designer breeds can make good pets but can not be shown since they are not recognized by these organizations. They are often chosen by pet owners for their novelty.
Note: many people are skeptical of “designer dogs” but, as the Designer Breed Registry urges, “We must remember that at one time all of todays recognized/established breeds in other registries were once a breeder’s vision… A designer dog”. While I admit I am skeptical myself, there is some truth to that.
None of the major and longstanding breed registries recognize the “toy Dachshund” but the United Canine Association (UCA) does. So who is the UCA?
I’d never heard of the United Kennel Club (UKC) so I did some research about them.
I had never heard of them before so I did a little research. I will admit I was skeptical of them and it’s possible to find information to support any belief. Being skeptical of new things is human nature so I tried to keep an open mind. T
here was limited information to be found about them beyond their “yay us” website, but this is what I was able to dig up.
From Yahoo Answers (Source) (not a very reliable source but I didn’t have much to go on here):
Q: “Is the UCA (United Canine Association) a good dog registry?”
A1: “No, it is not. The allow dogs that are on AKC LIMITED registration to be registered, and also promote colors of different breeds which would be disqualifying colors by AKC standards.” (bottom line: they register dogs that don’t meet AKC standards)
The UKC registers dogs that don’t meet the AKC breed standards.
The Designer Breed Registry (DBS) list includes the UCA on it’s list of approved registries.
A2: “It seems like the perfect place for new breeds and their breeders to go. It’s also an option for those sick of AKC type registries and their pompous rules and judge – mental nonsense.” (bottom line: The AKC has certain standards and rules. If a breed, or dog, doesn’t fit those standards, they won’t register them. However, there are other registries that might.)
I could not find when the UCA was established (the fact that they don’t say on their website is a red flag to me) but it seems that is a relatively new organization.
I asked breeder friend of mine about them and if they were a reputable organization. She said she had never heard of them so that indicates they are new.
She also said, in her opinion, “definitely NO on that one if they are registering ‘designer breeds'”.
My Conclusion About the Trend of Toy or Teacup Dachshunds
The reality is, a Dachshund is a Dachshund and they come in all sizes. Some are large, some are small, and some are very small.
How much they weigh determines what breed category they fit into with breed registrars.
The World Canine Federation recognizes a “rabbit” Dachshund but not a “toy” Dachshund. However, both seem to be under 8 lbs.
While the rabbit also has a breed standard for chest circumference, the toy does not. However, due to the sheer “smallness” of a toy Dachshund, the chest probably meets the size requirement for the rabbit in most cases.
In my opinion, the toy Dachshund is just the rabbit Dachshund with a different name.
Tiny dogs are super cute. So what’s in a name? A lot actually.
Who cares if someone calls their puppies Teacup Dachshunds? Well, it’s incorrect and is often used to make people believe that they need to pay more for one, that’s why.
The name matters both in public perception and the amount of money breeders ask for a dog.
First, consider the size.
The smallest puppies in a litter used to be called runts. Runts are cute. Breeders realized that and started breeding runts together to ensure that most pups in the litter were also runts. They decided to call this “runt” dog a “toy” or “teacup” dog.
It used to be that breeders practically gave the runts away but now they are a “legitimate” classification. They can charge the same price for them as miniature Dachshunds and often charge a lot more.
Second, consider the “non-show quality” dog.
Historically, every breeder assesses a litter and determines, based on breed standards, which dogs are “show quality” and which ones are “pet quality”. The show quality dogs are usually sold for much more money than the pet quality.
In the case of toy dogs, many breeders will charge as much or more for this “pet quality” dog that is a “designer breed”.
Also, dogs purposely bred to be very, very small often have health issues.
It just seems like a money-making scam to me (if you breed these dogs, feel free present a different side to this in the comments). In my opinion, you should absolutely not pay more for one. N
You should be doing a lot of research, and asking a lot of questions, if you plan to buy a dog from a breeder. During your research, discuss how small a breeder’s dogs usually are when full grown.
Choose a breeder who is able to consistently produce small miniature Dachshunds and ask for the smallest one in the litter.
Also be aware that dogs bred to be “teacups” often have many health problems associated with them.
A common ailment of Dachshund – a degenerative back disease called Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) – is linked to the dwarfism gene.
I am going to assume that the smaller (more dwarfed) Dachshunds may be more prone to this disease. That is just my speculation though – it may not be fact (my research says that the incidence of IVDD is not significant between the standard and miniature size so…).
Just be sure to ask the breeder about this health issue if you plan to purchase a toy Dachshund.
Wanting an extra small Dachshund is not wrong or silly. However, please be informed before you purchase one.