You’ve probably heard about Labradoodles before. These are the super cuddly dogs that look like teddy bears. But have you heard about the teacup Labradoodles?
They are the smallest variant of this breed — yes, smaller than the toy!
If that sounds like a dog you’d want to take home, check out the teacup Labradoodle. They’re the same Labradoodle we’ve known and love only in a smaller form.
We’ll touch on their appearance, size, health, and a little bit of their genetics in this guide so stick around. You’ll also learn a thing or two about how these pups are bred. Let’s get straight to it.
What Is a Teacup Labradoodle?
The teacup Labradoodle is the smallest version of the Labradoodle designer breed. This dog is the result of many generations of crossing small Labrador Retrievers with toy Poodles. Other than its size, the teacup Labradoodle is also known for its teddy bear-like appearance.
Many pet owners argue that the teacup Labradoodle is not a thing. They say that this dog is the same dog as the toy Labradoodle. This is a valid claim; however, it’s not entirely true.
For starters, teacup Labradoodles are a few inches shorter and a few pounds lighter than toy Labradoodles.
In addition, teacup Labradoodles are bred differently. These dogs are usually the result of breeding a toy Labradoodle with a toy Poodle.
However, many breeders categorize these dogs the same. If this is the case, you’d just have to look for the smallest toy Labradoodle you can find.
This dog is also sometimes called the petite Labradoodle or the teacup Labrador Poodle mix.
Teacup Labradoodle Size and Weight
A full-grown teacup Labradoodle usually weighs between 7 and 15 pounds and grows anywhere from 8 to 14 inches.
For reference, they are just a few pounds heavier and one to two inches taller than the smallest dog breed — the Chihuahua.
To give you a better idea of how big a teacup Labradoodle is, just think of a one-liter water bottle. It’s about the same size. Three of those bottles combined are roughly the same weight as this petite pooch.
Teacup Labradoodle Appearance
If you have seen a Labradoodle before, you already know what a teacup Labradoodle looks like. These pups are literally the same dog only in a shrunk-down form.
One of the tell-tale features of the teacup Labradoodle is its thick and curly coat. The coat of this hybrid comes in a handful of colors, such as black, chocolate, golden, silver, cream, white, and red.
Some teacup Labradoodles will have curly coats, while some have wavy fur. This will depend on which parent they inherit most of their coat genetics.
Compared to Poodles, teacup Labradoodles have slightly broader muzzles and thicker fur surrounding the tail. Usually, the teacup Labradoodle will also sport shorter ears.
On the other hand, when placed side by side with its Labrador Retriever parent, the teacup Labradoodle will appear extremely tiny. Moreover, the Lab has a noticeably shorter coat with no waves or curls.
All in all, the teacup Labradoodle looks like a cuddly stuffed toy. It takes the best traits from the Labrador Retriever and combines them with the Poodle. They’re probably the cutest tiny dogs around!
The Process of Breeding Teacup Labradoodles
There’s quite a controversy surrounding teacup dogs in the pet world. Many pet owners believe that these dogs are products of unethical breeding practices. But what’s the truth behind them? How are they bred?
In reality, there’s no way to tell whether teacup dogs are bred unethically. It’s always going to be a subjective topic.
However, there are three different known ways teacup Labradoodles are bred. Let’s take a look at these in detail.
Introduction to the Dwarfism Gene
One theory regarding the breeding of teacup dogs is linked to the dwarfism gene. The belief is that the dwarfism gene was introduced somewhere along the bloodline of the hybrid.
As a result, breeding “dwarf Labradoodles” produced smaller puppies. These puppies are then bred to other small Labradoodles to dampen the effects of dwarfism while retaining their size.
After a few generations, the resulting dogs are branded as teacup Labradoodles. Sounds possible, right?
While this method is 100% possible, it’s not entirely a good idea. As we know, dwarfism is linked to a handful of health issues, and purposely introducing it to a dog is unethical.
To be precise, canine dwarfism is a health condition linked to stunted growth, cancers, bone deformities, alopecia, and more. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell whether a teacup Labradoodle is bred this way.
Breeding Runts Together
Runts are the smallest dogs in a litter. Despite coming from the same parents, runts are noticeably more petite than the rest of their siblings.
Almost every Labradoodle litter has a runt. In fact, there can be two to three runts in every litter.
Runts come in handy when breeding teacup Labradoodles. Unsurprisingly, breeding these dogs results in smaller puppies.
Continuously breeding runts for generations will inevitably produce these so-called teacup dogs, such as the teacup Labradoodle.
However, there is one major downside in breeding runts together, and it’s their health. Runts are not known for good health. In reality, these dogs have weaker immune systems compared to their siblings.
Mixing With Smaller Breeds
Another technique used in breeding teacup Labradoodles is adding a smaller breed somewhere in the bloodline.
Breeders do this by crossing the Labrador with toy breed dogs. Afterward, they use the resulting hybrid for breeding teacup Labradoodles.
While this method may seem impure, it is actually the safest way to get a teacup Labradoodle.
Doing this over many generations will minimize the genetic effects of the extraneous breed. Hence, leaving only Labradoodle traits.
If you want to add a teacup Labradoodle to your family, you should get one that is bred in this manner. This way, you’re getting a healthy pup that is produced ethically.
Teacup Labradoodle Temperament and Personality
The teacup Labradoodle is a clever dog that loves to play and cuddle. Thanks to its Labrador Retriever and Poodle parents, this mix is one of the best family dogs out there!
Teacup Labradoodles are excellent playmates for young children. They get along with other pets quite easily as well.
Due to their friendly disposition, you wouldn’t have any problems adding this pooch to your household. However, don’t be fooled by this dog’s cute appearance and petite size, as it can still do some damage.
Like other small dogs, the teacup Labradoodle can be boisterous and aggressive at times. This is due to the so-called tiny dog syndrome.
When this happens, a teacup Labradoodle may bark nonstop or be overly protective.
Fortunately, most teacup Labradoodles will eventually grow out of this behavioral phase. However, proper training and early socialization are still necessary.
In terms of living conditions, the teacup Labradoodle is quite adaptable. These pups appreciate a spacious room to play in. But given their dinky size, any room is a football field for this pooch.
All things considered, teacup Labradoodles make good family pets. These dogs are extremely intelligent and very easy to train.
If you want a peek at how Labradoodles are as family pets, watch this insightful video:
Teacup Labradoodle Lifespan and Health Issues
The average life expectancy of a teacup Labradoodle is around 12 to 14 years. However, if you take care of this pooch well enough, it can live past 17 years old.
Thanks to hybrid vigor, the teacup Labradoodle is pretty much healthier than its parent breeds. In fact, this hybrid has fewer chances of developing inheritable diseases from the Lab or the Poodle.
Meanwhile, here are some common health problems in teacup Labradoodles:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: Dysplasia is a disorder that causes a dog’s ball-and-socket joint to become misaligned. Hip dysplasia affects the hip joints, while elbow dysplasia affects the region near the dog’s forequarters. Dysplasia causes excruciating pain for a teacup Labradoodle.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA is a set of canine degenerative disorders that affect dogs’ eyes. The eyesight of a Labradoodle suffering from PRA is gradually deteriorating. If left untreated, PRA will inevitably cause blindness.
- Patellar Luxation: Patellar luxation is a prevalent problem in Labradors. Unfortunately, this problem is usually inherited by Lab mixes, such as the teacup Labradoodle. This condition is characterized by the misalignment of the kneecap from the femur.
Aside from the health issues above, your teacup Labradoodle may also develop obesity, bloat, and skin problems. It is critical that you recognize the early symptoms of these health problems.
One way to stay on top of your dog’s health is by visiting the vet regularly. In addition to this, proper nutrition and exercise are also must-haves.
How to Take Care of Your Teacup Labradoodle
The teacup Labradoodle is a one-of-a-kind dog. However, you might be shocked to learn that this pooch is fairly easy to manage. In fact, they just need the bare essentials.
That said, there are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to keep a teacup Labradoodle as a pet.
In this part of the guide, we’ll tackle everything you need to know about diet, grooming, and exercise. Let’s get started!
Food and Diet
Feeding a teacup Labradoodle is a bit tricky. Because of its small size, this pup requires a slightly different feeding approach from the Poodle and Labrador.
For starters, you should feed your teacup Labradoodle two to three times a day. Its meals should consist of high-quality kibble that is suitable for its age and activity level.
Instead of relying on the serving recommendations on the back of dog food pouches, you should dial down a bit. For example, instead of giving two full cups of kibble per meal, give one and a half.
You need to come up with the proper serving amount for your pet, as it varies from one dog to another.
Cleaning and Grooming
Cleaning and grooming a teacup Labradoodle is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s pretty easy because they’re so small, but it’s also quite challenging because their hair is prone to tangling.
Luckily, brushing at least thrice a week does the trick for this pup. All you need is a high-quality dog hairbrush, a bit of patience, and a few treats.
Taking your teacup Labradoodle to the groomer is also a good idea. This way, you can get your adorable pup cleaned thoroughly!
In terms of bathing, once or twice a month should be plenty for a teacup Labradoodle. It is not recommended to bathe your pet too frequently as it may cause its fur to dry out.
Training and Exercise
Teacup Labradoodles enjoy being challenged mentally and physically. Moreover, these pups find it easy to learn tricks. As you can expect, this hybrid loves training and exercise.
One of the best ways to train your teacup Labradoodle is using so-called positive reinforcement training. This training scheme motivates your dog by using rewards, such as treats, dog clickers, and praises.
When it comes to exercise, the teacup Labradoodle does not need a lot. Two sessions of 30-minute walks per day are enough to wear out this energetic ball of fur.
Alternatively, you may also take your pup to a nearby dog park where it can socialize a bit.
Playing fetch, swimming, or just running around the yard are some of the best ways to keep your teacup Labradoodle worked out.
How Much Does a Teacup Labradoodle Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
Teacup dogs are usually sold at a premium price, and it’s no different for the teacup Labradoodle.
Typically, teacup Labradoodle puppies cost between $1,500 and $2,500. Some teacup Labradoodles even sell for $5,000 upwards!
If you are looking to save a bit of cash, adoption is a great alternative. For teacup Labradoodles, adoption fees are usually between $300 and $800. However, this pup is rarely found in rescues and shelters.
Aside from the cost of the teacup Labradoodle, there are also other expenses to consider. Here’s a list of all the initial expenses you need to consider for a teacup Labradoodle puppy:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$50 – $80|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10 – $25|
|Bed||$30 – $150|
|Crate||$30 – $200|
|Leashes and Collars||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Grooming Essentials||$30 – $150|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$525 – $1,995|
This should be enough to get you and your new pup up and running. However, keep in mind that this does not include recurring expenses.
The monthly expenses of owning a teacup Labradoodle will set you back between $117 and $251. This includes the price of dog food, dog shampoo, grooming essentials, treats, and a few other things.
Places to Find Teacup Labradoodle Puppies for Sale and Adoption
The teacup Labradoodle is a famous designer breed. Finding one is very easy, as these dogs are practically everywhere! However, you should be cautious when purchasing or adopting a teacup Labradoodle.
It is best to purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder or rescue, preferably one that has been in the business for a long time.
Here are some breeders where you can find teacup Labradoodle puppies for sale:
- Faithful Doodles – Faithful Doodles is a small breeder located in Southern California. This breeder aims to raise and sell healthy Doodle mixes, such as Labradoodles. One of the sweet perks of getting a pet from this breeder is their 2-year health guarantee.
- Labradoodles of Long Island – Labradoodles of Long Island prides itself on its home-raised puppies. They have been a Labradoodle breeder since 2006 and have served hundreds of customers since then. Check out their site from time to time to see if they have teacup Labradoodles for sale!
- Dixie’s Doodles – Dixie’s Doodles is a breeder specializing in Aussie Labradoodles, but they occasionally offer teacups. This breeder is a top choice, especially for folks near the Austin and San Antonio area. Make sure to sign up for their waiting list.
Meanwhile, below are some animal shelters and services where you can find teacup Labradoodles for adoption:
- Doodle Rock Rescue (DRR) – DRR is a rescue that saves Labradoodles and other Poodle mixes. Since its inception in 2017, this Labradoodle rescue has saved over a thousand Doodle mixes across the United States. Be sure to check out their website from time to time for a teacup Labradoodle.
- NorCal Poodle Rescue – NorCal Poodle Rescue is the country’s third-largest Poodle rescue. This rescue is the one to go for if you’re looking for Poodles and Poodle mixes, such as the teacup Labradoodle. Make sure to give them a call!
- Poodle and Pooch Rescue of Florida (PPRF) – PPRF has been around since 2008 and has saved over 5,000 Doodle hybrids. This rescue relies entirely on the contributions of its many volunteers and donors. Needless to say, PPRF is an incredible community so check them out.
If none of these options worked out for you, join Labradoodle groups on social media.
This way, you can get in touch with other teacup Labradoodle owners. Surely, there are tons of random pet lovers willing to help you out.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Teacup Labradoodle
As with any other pet, there are pros and cons of owning a teacup Labradoodle. Let’s take a look at these in a bit more detail.
Here are the pros of owning a teacup Labradoodle:
- Small and manageable: One of the best perks of owning a teacup Labradoodle is that you’ll get a portable dog. You won’t have any difficulties taking your pet on travels with a dog this small.
- Low shedder: If you hate cleaning dog fur from your furniture, the teacup Labradoodle is a fantastic pet choice! Unlike other dogs, which sheds many times a year, the teacup Labradoodle sheds very little. Because of this, these mixes are ideal for allergy sufferers.
- Low maintenance: While the teacup Labradoodle might cost hundreds of dollars upfront, the monthly costs of having one are quite low. This little dog eats considerably less than bigger pooches. As a result, you’ll spend less money on dog food and treats.
Meanwhile, here are the cons of owning a teacup Labradoodle:
- Prone to injuries: Because they are so small, the teacup Labradoodle is highly prone to injuries. This is especially true during their puppy years when they are the most vulnerable. In fact, injuries from accidents are one of the leading causes of death in teacup dogs.
- Small dog syndrome: One common complaint among teacup Labradoodle owners is that their pets occasionally display small dog syndrome. This is a prevalent behavioral issue among small dogs, hence the name. A dog with this kind of syndrome establishes authority by barking or whining a lot.
- Separation anxiety: If you want a dog that can be left alone at home, the teacup Labrador Retriever Poodle mix is not the one to get. These dogs are very prone to separation anxiety and hate when their owner leaves them behind.
For many, the positives of owning a teacup Labradoodle easily outweigh its drawbacks.
However, this may not be the case for you. That said, before you buy this teacup mix, make sure first that you can deal with all the cons of owning one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Teacup Labradoodles Be Left Alone?
No, teacup Labradoodles cannot be left alone since they are prone to separation anxiety. Leaving this dog behind can have detrimental effects on its behavior and health.
Are Teacup Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?
No dog is 100% hypoallergenic, but the Labradoodle comes close. Many people consider all Poodle mixes to be hypoallergenic, and this is also the case for Labradoodles. This also explains why they’re great pets for allergy sufferers.
Do Teacup Labradoodles Shed?
Labradoodles are best known for their low-shedding coat. While they still shed a few strands here and there, it’s almost always unnoticeable.
In fact, the only time you’ll see a bit of shedding is when you vigorously brush your teacup Labradoodle’s fur.
How Many Types of Labradoodles Are There?
Based on the size, there are four types of Labradoodles. These are the standard, medium, miniature, and teacup. Some breeders classify the teacup and the miniature Labradoodle as one, which is why it can either be three or four.
Meanwhile, there are two types of Labradoodles based on origin — the Australian Labradoodle and the American Labradoodle.
The main difference between the Aussie Labradoodle and the American Labradoodle is that the former is usually larger. Aussie Labradoodles also have a slightly longer lifespan than American Labradoodles.
There’s undeniably a lot to love about teacup Labradoodles. These pups are hypoallergenic, smart, loyal, friendly, and super cute!
The teacup Labradoodle does best with an owner that sticks around. This pup loves cuddles and playtime and hates being left behind.
If all these sound exciting to you and you can take care of a fragile little dog, then the teacup Labradoodle is for you.
So, are you now ready to take home a teacup Labradoodle? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!