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Teacup Bichon Frise: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Grant Piper

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

9 week old small bichon frise dog

Teacup Bichon Frise: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Bichon Frises are some of the fluffiest and most adorable dogs available. They have been capturing hearts for years due to their playful personalities. So, what happens when you take an adorable and playful dog like the Bichon Frise and shrink it down to teacup size? You get one of the smallest and cutest dogs imaginable. If that sounds great, it should, but life is not always that simple. Teacup Bichon Frises come with a lot of caveats.

Breed Overview

Height:

6–10 inches

Weight:

4–10 pounds

Lifespan:

14–16 years

Colors:

White, white and apricot, white and buff, white and cream

Suitable for:

People looking for a long-lasting, cute, and cuddly companion

Temperament:

Playful, loyal, and eager to please

The Teacup Bichon Frise is the smallest variety of Bichon Frise. Teacup Bichon Frises can weigh as little as 4 pounds and are selectively bred for their diminutive size. Some Teacup Bichon Frises are purebred, but others are mixed breeds. Bichon Frises are prized for their appearance and their sweet personalities. There are some considerable risks to buying a Teacup Bichon Frise, including potential scams, severe health issues, and dishonest breeders that one needs to be aware of before buying. The American Kennel Club does not recognize Teacup Bichon Frises as part of their breed standard.

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Teacup Bichon Frise Breed Puppies

white and apricot bichon frise puppy
Image Credit: Paul Antonescu, Shutterstock

Teacup Bichon Frise puppies are some of the cutest puppies in the world. They are tiny, fuzzy, and have sweet faces. Images of these puppies have attracted many people to try to procure a Teacup Bichon Frise for themselves. There are a few problems with getting Teacup Bichon Frise puppies. First, since the teacup variety is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, there are no AKC registered breeders that are working with Teacup Bichon Frises. Second, you will need to find some kind of breeder to get a dog of this size and variety.

Many breeders will advertise dogs as “teacups” when they are puppies to sell them for higher prices when the dogs are not actually teacups at all. It is hard to breed a true teacup dog. You need to either breed multiple tiny members over successive generations or you need to breed in small dog breeds creating a mixed breed. Be very careful vetting your breeders before buying any Teacup Bichon Frises because there are many unscrupulous breeders out there looking to turn a quick buck.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Teacup Bichon Frise

Teacup Bichon Frises are very playful and loving. They are cuddly, like being near their people, and are eager to please. These dogs have an average level of intelligence. They aren’t going to blow your socks off in the brain department. Since these dogs are so small, few people see any real need to train them, so they do not often show up knowing a ton of tricks or commands. But they are so easy to manage due to their size that this is rarely a problem.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Yes. Teacup Bichon Frises are perfect for families. The only thing you might want to consider is bringing them into the house with children under three. Since these dogs are so small, a toddler could accidentally hurt them if they play too roughly with the dog. Otherwise, these dogs are perfect for families of all types, sizes, and ages.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Yes. Teacup Bichon Frises get along very well with other pets, including other dogs. They are so small that they do not pose any real threat to other animals like cats or even small animals like rodents. That makes them very safe and amenable to other pets that you might have in the house.

White bichon frise with cotton ball hair cut
Image Credit: Svetography, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Teacup Bichon Frise:

Food & Diet Requirements

A Teacup Bichon Frise will need very little food – usually, 1 cup or less per day (for the whole day). These dogs will do best on dental food that aims at keeping their teeth clean since they have so many dental issues. A large bag of dog food can last weeks or even months for a Teacup Bichon Frise. Bichon Frises will do well on a formulated dry dog food.

Exercise

Teacup Bichon Frises require very little exercise. They are so small that they have very little stamina. If you get a Teacup with dwarfism, they will have heart issues that prevent them from exercising hardly at all. Your Teacup Bichon Frise will likely only need one short walk per day to keep its energy levels low. They also might like to run around your house or apartment. They will not need much additional exercise beyond that.

Training

Teacup Bichon Frises are so small that they require very little training. They are not dangerous, aggressive, or ill-mannered. These dogs want to listen to you and will spend a lot of time near you. Bichon Frises are very easy to train in general, but you will not find yourself in dire need to train your Teacup Bichon Frise.

bichon frise standing on the grass
Image Credit: Ieva Tvaronavicute, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Teacup Bichon Frises will need regular grooming. These dogs have long and fuzzy hair that requires brushing and trimming to keep them looking their best. You can opt to take your Teacup Bichon Frise to a professional groomer, but that will cost money and time. You can also learn to trim your dog’s hair yourself. Since Teacups are so small, they do not have a lot of hair to trim or cut.

Health and Conditions

If you get a purebred Teacup Bichon Frise without dwarfism, they will be extremely healthy. If you get a Teacup Bichon Frise with dwarfism, they are going to have serious health problems. Dwarfism leads to skeletal issues and heart deformities and can lead to a severe decrease in lifespan. Dogs with dwarfism sometimes will only live to be 5 years old.

A purebred Teacup Bichon Frise without dwarfism can have the same issues as a regular Bichon Frise, which include cataracts, allergies, and tooth decay. These are all standard and easily treatable issues.

A mixed-breed Teacup Bichon Frise has the potential to be the healthiest variety with little to no issues.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Tooth decay
  • Ear infection
Serious Conditions
  • Dwarfism
  • Retinopathy or cataracts
  • Luxating patella

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Male vs. Female

In the Teacup variety, there is very little difference between the male and female in terms of both size and appearance. Since Teacups are so small, the size difference between genders is negligible. Even at full AKC sizes, the difference between males and females equates to just a couple of pounds and an inch or two.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Teacup Bichon Frise

1. Many Teacup Bichon Frises Are Actually Mutts

An honest breeder will let you know if their Teacup Bichon Frise has any other breeds bred into them. Many Bichon Frises in the teacup size have to have other small breeds bred into them in order to achieve the desired size. Some common mixed breeds include Shichon (Shih Tzu Bichon Frise), Maltichon (Maltese Bichon Frise), and Bichon Poodle or Poochon (Poodle Bichon Frise). In many cases, mixed Teacup Bichon Frises are much healthier than purebreds, but some people are set on getting a purebred.


2. A True Teacup Bichon Frise Likely Has Dwarfism

There are only two ways to breed a purebred Teacup Bichon Frise. The first is to breed smaller and smaller dogs over multiple generations hoping to capture the small stature of each preceding parent. You would find two of the smallest Bichon Frises you could, breed them, hope for another small dog, then breed that small Bichon to another one to prevent inbreeding. This is a very in-depth process that is hard to nail.

The other way is to try to selectively breed dwarfism into the dog. This would guarantee a small size, but it also bestows a genetic abnormality onto the dog, which can cause health issues and is sometimes seen as morally questionable.

That means that any true Teacup Bichon Frises that you come across could have dwarfism on purpose.


3. Teacup Bichon Frises Are Often Involved in Online Puppy Scams

The Bichon Frise Club of America warns that Bichon Frises are often used as bait for online puppy scams. That goes double for Teacup Bichon Frises. Since a true Teacup Bichon Frise is extremely rare, many online breeders use them to scam unsuspecting buyers. The scams ask for a full payment or a deposit to hold the puppy, and then the breeder will disappear. The pictures are often adorable. It is not advised ever to buy any puppies online. You should always try to visit breeders in person to avoid scams like these.

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Final Thoughts

If you can find a legitimate Teacup Bichon Frise, you are in for a real treat. The problem is, finding a true Teacup variety can be extremely difficult. Many Teacup Bichon Frises that are advertised as purebreds are actually mixed breeds trying to pass for pure. Teacup Bichon Frises are tiny, adorable, and can live for a very long time if they do not develop health complications related to their tiny size.

Related Read:


Featured Image Credit: Anna-Mari West, Shutterstock

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