Updated: Mar 18
If you are looking for a cheap teacup or toy puppy, you may be setting yourself up to be scammed!!
Or you may have already been scammed.
Please read these puppy buying tips. They will educate you on what kinds of questions to ask to avoid being scammed by a counterfeit teacup dog seller, western union money scammer, mom & pop front for a puppy mill, gun robbers that suggest meeting at a remote location, tricky health guarantees to watch out for. Along with the # 1 reason puppies die within the first 5 days you take them home.
Buying a Teacup or Toy puppy is unlike any other purchase you will make. The puppy buying process is a big decision, after all, your new puppy will be with you for a very long time. And while color, temperament and personality are very important, price can also be a deciding factor.
There are now more people that want tiny dogs than there are people that can afford them and the demand for tiny dogs has grown higher than what breeders can keep up with. Because of the high demand they have become a big target for scammers.
The demand for teacups and tiny dogs doubled 2000 to 2005 surrounding the time that the internet gave a paragon shift to the economy through the internet. When Paris Hilton got Tinkerbell in 2020 the demand and popularity quadrupled. People were beginning to see that tiny healthy dogs did exist despite what animal activist tried to tell people.
Home based breeders are becoming extent with the new laws and regulations that demand all dog breeders to be licensed and many now sell their puppies to pet shops because they can get more for their puppies then the public can pay. They also can't afford the high expenses of maintaining a breeder license.
1. Counterfeit Teacup Sellers: There are a massive amount of counterfeit teacup dog breeders that will tell you what you want to hear just to get your money, then 3 months later your dog is 3 or 4 times the size you wanted and may not be the breed the breed you thought you were buying.
If size is important to you "Ask For A Written Size Guarantee"
The breeders that have true teacups know there value and don't sell them cheap. They are proud of them and are willing to stand behind them with a written size guarantee.
2. Western Union & Money Gram Scammers: Scammers that take pictures off of pinterest and other breeder web site and have you send the money western union, money gram or pay pal for a dog you will never see!
3. Beware of people that suggest a meeting place other than their home or place of business.
Craigslist Buyer's Risk being robbed or murdered by meeting someone that insist you bring cash. You maybe also meeting someone that is the front for a puppy mill that will give you an alias name and has a pay as you go phone number. Leaving you with no one to contact if your puppy dies a few days later.
Below are some buying tips to help you during the puppy purchase process.
Understand the Value of a True Teacup Puppy
As you may know, teacup puppies are very fragile and delicate and require extra care and attention, especially during infancy. And while a teacup puppy can grow to be an independent and healthy dog, even adult teacup dogs weigh less than 5 lbs full grown. This means that teacup mother dogs can only support 1 to 2 puppies per litter and many mothers cannot give birth naturally and must endure a C-Section. Breeding true teacup puppies requires knowledge and expertise that takes many years to master. They also cannot be breed on the first heat cycle which means a breeder will need to wait 1 1/2 years to breed the female for the first time. Many of them are not strong enough to nurse from their Mother when born and must be feed by the breeder every two hours for the first two weeks of their like, leaving the breeder very sleep deprived.
The breeders that breed tiny puppies put a lot of time into them and know their value and do not sell them cheap. That is why you will find prices all over the place on the internet.
Scammers Prices: Super Cute & Very Cheap - To good to be true.
Counterfeit Sellers: Fairly low priced. Will tell you what you want to hear just to get your money and do not offer any size guarantee.
True Teacup & Toy Licensed Dog Breeders: Know the value of a good quality size guaranteed puppy and price them accordingly.
FIND A REPUTABLE BREEDER
Reputable breeders that you can trust are licensed and certified by the state. To be a licensed breeder one must submit their establishment to inspections by the state to ensure that all dogs receive adequate care and attention. Ask your breeder if they are licensed to ensure that you are not purchasing from a puppy mill or a backyard breeder. Licensed breeders take pride in their puppies and ensure the best quality of care for every dog they sell.
Teacup & Toy Puppy health is dependent on genetics, nutrition, exercise, nourishment, and overall care while with their breeder. If your breeder is confident in the care and health of your puppy they will always offer a health guarantee. Most puppies that die within the first 5 days are related to Parvovirus, Distemper, Parasites or worm infestation. At the minimum, you need to insist on a 10-day health guarantee to get you past the danger zone.
Very Important! Health Guarantees should always have a legal name, address, and contact number - not a pay as you go phone.
“A cheap teacup puppy can be the most expensive purchase you ever make.”
Puppies that are diagnosed with Parvovirus can produce outrageous vet bills and very rarely survive. Do not ever purchase a puppy without a written Health Guarantee, no matter how low the price. One overnight stay at a veterinarian hospital can cost $1800
If size is important to you, ask for a Size Guarantee. Breeders that are confident in their puppies can offer a written Size Guarantee to provide assurance that your teacup puppy will stay a true teacup puppy. Many fraudulent breeders will offer you a puppy that is 3-4 weeks old and too young to leave their mother and assure you that it is a teacup puppy. Of course, at that age, any puppy looks tiny! However, at full growth it will go well over true teacup size. We have heard many stories of people purchasing a “teacup” puppy that grew to be 20 - 30 lbs full grown. Again, if size is important to you, and if you are serious about purchasing a true teacup puppy, ask for a size guarantee! Reputable breeders will stand behind their puppies, their health, and their size.
Counterfeit teacup dog breeders and internet scammers prey on people that are looking for cheap teacup puppies. Puppy mills and fraudulent breeders use fake names and disposable cell phones to convince customers they are a real breeder. Counterfeit teacup puppy scams are so prevalent that they are now under FBI watch!!
“The FBI website estimates that 99% of pet sellers that request payment via Western Union or Moneygram are scammers!”
How to Avoid Teacup Puppy Scammers:
Never send money via Moneygram or Western Union - These payment methods cannot be tracked and do not provide invoices. You will never get your money back and you may never see a puppy if you send payment via Moneygram, Western Union, Gift Card, Pay Pal.
How to recognize a scammer: The way you know that you are dealing with a money scammer is to "Call Their Bluff" tell them you need their address because you are going to jump on a plane today and go pick up the puppy in person. You will see how fast they stop communicating with you because their is no puppy and no place to go! Let them know you will NOT pay a deposit or any money for the puppy until you see it. They normally stop communicating with you at this point.
Only purchase from Licensed Breeders - Truly reputable and trustworthy breeders have endured vigorous inspections by the state to ensure the highest quality of care for every dog in their facility. Licensed Breeders are not only ethical with their customers, but provide the same level of respect to their dogs.
Always ask to visit the breeder - Never give them your address or location first. They will normally say they are clear across the state or country.
If they give you an address ask them to describe it to you, is it a home, what does it look like? Then look it up on Google earth or google maps and see if it matches what they described.
Google the address and ask them to . After you ask for an address See how long they stick around after a planned visit
Ask for a Written Health Guarantee with the breeders name and phone number - The health and care of your new puppy is of the utmost importance to avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders. (Don't be afraid to ask to see their drivers license so that you can confirm they are the same person that is named on the purchase agreement.)
Ask for a Written Size Guarantee - if size is important to you, ask your breeder to guarantee it!
WHY YOU CAN'T FIND SMALL DOGS AT THE SHELTER OR POUND
Pet Rescue Centers pick them up from the shelter the minute they are released to be adopted and sell them on their web site for a higher price to cover their staff salary and business expenses. The only dogs that are left are the ones with behavior problems or health problems and larger breeds.