Teacup Boston Terrier
Ethical Breeding Practices: The Teacup Boston Terrier
Although it is being advertised and sold more and more regularly, the teacup boston terrier does not actually exist as a breed. Those boston terriers labeled as “teacup” are actually just boston terriers who have been bred down in size by breeding the smallest bostons of the litter. This has health implications for the offspring, as some breeders are breeding the runts of the litters that sometimes already have health issues of their own. The information that follows is true of all boston terriers, not just teacup size bostons. Any dogs you see advertised as a teacup boston terrier is simply an undersized boston terrier, weighing less than ten pounds fully grown.
Boston terriers are compact, well-muscled dogs. They come in black and white or brindle and white, and they have an unmistakable face. They have short, square muzzles and large, dark eyes set far apart on a wide, flat skull. They also have small, fine ears that naturally stand up without cropping as a boston terrier puppy reaches adulthood. Boston terriers are a naturally muscular dog with a slightly arched neck and wide chest. Most boston terriers weigh between 10 and 25 pounds, although as noted above, those boston terriers labeled as a “teacup boston terrier” weigh less than 10 pounds. They generally stand 15 to 17 inches at the shoulder.
A loyal, friendly and enthusiastic dog, the boston terrier loves people and tends to be good with children and the elderly. They are usually not cautious of strangers, and some people report that their boston terriers do not bark at the door at all when someone visits. They are very intelligent dogs, which means that you must be consistent in your training of puppies, or they will learn bad habits that will be very difficult, if not impossible, to correct. Housebreaking should start early, and you must establish yourself as their leader early on. These little dogs can develop a “Napoleon Complex”, whereby they act bigger than they are. This is also true of how they interact with other dogs. They can become aggressive with other dogs, and socialization with other dogs should occur early in their lives if you want them to live with other dogs peacefully.
Boston terriers require little grooming other than regular baths and clipping of the toenails. You should also run a damp cloth across their faces every day and clean around their eyes to prevent tear stains. As with any dog, you should check them regularly for ticks, especially in the ears and in the soft flesh where the legs meet the body.
Regular sized boston terriers tend to experience problems with breathing due to the physical shape of their heads and muzzles. Wheezing and snoring is common, as is flatulence. Hypothyroidism sometimes occurs, and they also often have problems with whelping, or birthing. They require Cesarian sections in many cases. This is especially true of the so-called teacup varieties of boston terriers, since the wide heads of the puppies are often too large to pass through the birth canal. Skin tumors are also a concern in this breed. However, even with all of the health issues they can develop, boston terriers live, on average, 11 to 13 years, and many live to 15 or more years. The teacup varieties are a relatively new phenomenon in the boston terrier breeding world, so their life expectancy has not yet been solidly determined. Many veterinarians have expressed concerns with the breeding of undersized boston terriers to the size of a teacup dog. The breeding of these animals places the mother’s health at great risk, and the breeders who charge exorbitant amounts of money for a teacup boston terrier is essentially rolling the dice with the health of the mother and the puppies.