"Teacup" is the unofficial description for any toy dog that is smaller than the American Kennel Club standard for that breed. According to the AKC, an average Yorkie weighs between 4 and 7 pounds. Teacup refers to an adult Yorkie that weighs less than 4 pounds. Teacup breeds were selectively bred to satisfy the whims of rich dog owners, but today they are very popular in many small breeds.
Yorkshire terriers were first bred in England during the 1800s and were quite a bit larger. They soon became a favorite lap dog for British royalty. By the early 1900s, the AKC set the standard for the breed to weigh between 3 and 7 pounds.
The Yorkie's long, silky coat requires frequent brushing. Yorkies are indoor dogs, but they are naturally curious and require daily exercise and time outdoors to suppport their mental and physical well-being. In spite of their small size, Yorkies may be bold, active and prone to barking, which are all traits of terrier breeds.
Unfortunately, the popularity of this breed has resulted in over-breeding, but most teacup Yorkies are generally healthy if purchased from a reputable breeder. Broken bones and injuries most commonly occur when these small dogs are accidentally dropped or stepped on. With proper care, Yorkshire terriers may live well into their teens.