8 Things To Know Before You Get A Teddy Bear Dog

(Last Updated On: April 20, 2020)

Paddington. Corduroy. Fozzie. Winnie-the-Pooh. What do these rather peculiar names all have in common? If you guessed bears – you got it. Teddy bears, to be exact.

I bet you remember those days of childhood where cuddling with a big fluffy teddy made all the hurt go away. In recent years, their popularity has increased sharply. As with adding a new pet family member, you always need to do your research first so you know well what you’re getting yourself into if this breed of dog will suit your family.

Try not to be too distracted by those adorable teddy bear puppies! If you’re wondering what is a teddy bear dog, then read on!

What is a Teddy Bear Dog?

As the name implies, they have fluffy coats, tiny bodies, and big eyes and closely resemble the stuffed companion of our kids. What is a teddy bear dog? A mix between the Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise dog breeds (though some other breed variations can share this name), they are also commonly known as Shichon or Zuchon.

Teddy bear puppies coats can vary in colour from black to white or brown. A fun fact: it is actually not officially recognised as an actual breed of its own yet.

The American Kennel Club has said it will accredit the breed with its official name after a few more generations. These pups also have several pleasing characteristics:

Friendly disposition
Love affection and cuddles
Generally sweet and mild tempered
Usually very enthusiastic to please its owner
Less loud and noisy than other breeds
Intelligent and generally easy to train
Shed-free (in most cases)
Most are even hypoallergenic so to speak

Though they’re a somewhat new breed combination, they are becoming quite highly sought out.

The best part? Their breeding is designed to eliminate most dander, so your “allergic” significant other can’t stop you from adopting one. They are also known to be very gentle and suitable for young children and older people.

Also Read: Mountain Feist

teddy bear dogs puppy

How big do Teddy Bear Puppies get?

Aside from the massive bears that appear on store shelves around Valentine’s Day, most teddy bear puppies fit perfectly in an elementary school child’s arms.

Weighing a petite 8-16 pounds and growing to the height of a single ruler, they come in the perfect size for snuggling. They usually measure from 8 to 12 inches in height when full grown.

8 Things to Know About Ted Bear Dogs

I love being playful and need lots of affection

What could be better than a dog whose sole mission in life is to love and cuddle you? It may sound all sunshine and roses, but these little tiny dogs require more affection than other breeds.

They are in fact known to be quite needy but on the bright side, this will probably give you a little ego boost. They will give you a lot of dedication and loyalty.

I swear I don’t play favorites

Ted pups don’t seem to play favorites. Now you can argue with your spouse about another important topic: who touched the remote last?

I need lots of chew toys please.

When they go through the teething stage at about 4 to 6 months, they are known to just chew on everything. If you want to prevent your furniture from being attacked, you need all the chew toys you can get. You can also get a bone from the butcher for your little pup to gnaw on. This is hands down our favorite chew toy for Harley.

I love my walks and exercises

Like most other dogs, they like to exercise. You should aim to walk them at least once a day, and always make room for playtime!

Mommy, I’m sorry I peed on great-grandma’s quilt. It was an accident.

As adorable as they might be, they do have a little of a reputation when it comes to potty training. Now’s the time you may start wishing for a cat instead, as they’re typically much easier to potty train. Prepare yourself mentally and set realistic expectations.

Don’t expect to successfully potty train in a matter of a week. Owners have been known to take at least 8 weeks to establish a reasonable routine and even at least 6 months before you can stop seeing any potty accidents.

As with any dog breed, just be patient and they will eventually nail it.

Mommy, the mailman asked me to play tag, I promise!

You would think that a tiny dog wouldn’t be able to run very fast. Wrong. As mentioned above, these pups are high in energy and will likely run until something stops them. A retractable leash will save you lots of headaches, as ted gets more room to run and you get to exert less effort keeping up with him.

You have to understand that they’re not your usual slow walkers. Instead, they like to run or walk as fast as they can. Full steam ahead seems to be their motto. Check out our favorite retractable leash here.

You can squeeze me tight. I’m stronger than I look.

Many people think small dogs need to be handled more carefully than larger ones. They’re often mistaken to be as fragile and delicate as china. This is just not the case. In fact, they were originally bred to serve as therapy dogs for people with disabilities.

They even have softer bones that resist breakage better than other breeds. So go ahead and give your Ted the big hug he deserves!

I can sense your emotions and I’m here for you.

As mentioned, they started out as therapy dogs for children, as their smaller size and sweet personalities meshed well with younger ages. They are extremely intelligent and attuned with their owners feelings.

Don’t be surprised the next time you’re sad and a cute little furball jumps on your lap!

Is a Teddy Bear Puppy right for you?

Before adopting or buying a new dog, it’s always crucial to do your research so you can see if your dog will suit your family and vice versa. For more dog breeds, see my guide.



  • pilch92 says:

    They are such cuties 🙂 Excellent post.

    • Leigh says:

      Thanks! 🙂

    • Chris Heidel says:

      I wish I had seen this article before we got our Teddy Bear. Just so that I would have understood her better earlier. Having said that, she is without doubt our 4th child! She is sassy and makes me laugh with her quizzical look at me when I am correcting her, like she is asking “Whaat?” She is everything in this article. Loving, friendly, loyal…and so much more. I wouldn’t give her up any more than I would give up any of my other children. A great article!

  • Mike says:

    My teddy is extremely protective, and I’ve noticed females tend to favor males (humans) and vice versa. Wonderful little dogs.

  • Alice says:

    I’ve had a number of different breeds and currently have 3 dogs. My teddy bear reads me better than any other. She is very smart, communicates with me often and is by far the most affectionate and entertaining. Once she successfully sought emergency medical help for me from someone who was sleeping. She’s an amazing dog and btw we’re both females!

  • Karen says:

    My little female Shichon is the light of my life. I got her a few months after becoming a widow. She’s my loyal companion always right by me, ready for her belly rub. And yes, as much as she loves her momma, she’s very partial to men. She is such a flirt!!

  • Judith Foy says:

    My “Shitz-on” is a wonderful pup! She is so in love with me and has the most precious face I shave ever seen on a dog. She is very smart and house broke easily.

    • Leigh says:

      You sound like you’re so in love with her 🙂 They are wonderful pups indeed

    • Jane Morse says:

      The article forgot to mention that they will need frequent grooming. Best to have a professional do it every 4-6 weeks, especially if you want to really keep that look of a Teddy Bear. Brushing between clipping and bathing is important to keep mats from forming.

  • Sylvana says:

    I have teddy poo she turn 5 month today I been training her but she still have accident I love her so much all white I don’t know what to do for her to Bark so I could take out she still using popo pads

  • nick says:

    i used to have a teddy bear puppy. she was a biton (bichon frise/coton de tulear mix)! she was super soft and so hilarious! she was a sassy little thing with so much energy. she loved to give you kisses and was super fast and insanely good at jumping up on things. she was so smart and a bit of a troublemaker. i am allergic to dogs but with her i could stick my face in her fur and give her kisses all day and be completely ok! she was the best dog ive ever met. she understood me and i understood her. she would talk to me. she would bark at me to get my attention and i would playfully respond with “don’t you bark at me!” and then she would freaking grumble, lol. despite what this post says, you do have to be careful with smaller dogs. she ended up getting a disorder with her spine that paralyzed her due to her falling, jumping, etc. i miss her a lot. she was the light of my life. i loved her the minute i saw her.

    • Leigh says:

      Hi Nick, thanks for sharing about your experience with your teddy bear puppy. Sounds like you had a very special relationship with her 🙂

  • Sherri says:

    I have a Teddy Bear that is my heart and soul. He just turned one and is such a sweetie pie. Everyone loves him and he loves them. I am having one problem with him. He still has accidents in the house. I also get to take him to work with me and he has a accident once in awhile there as well. I generally take him out every 4 hours unless he gives me his “Chewbacca” growl to let me know he needs to go. Could he be doing this for attention more so than the need to go? Any suggestions on what I can do to help get him potty trained completely?

  • Judy says:

    How do they get along with other dogs

  • Andrea Kestner says:

    Looking to have two in the future. Hopefully from the same litter. Any suggestions for a breeder in Maryland???

  • Kelli says:

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear about your puppy. That’s heartbreaking.
    I have been pet sitting for a little teddy bear and am just in love.
    Now it’s owner decides she can’t take care of him and said I can have him. I’m so excited!!!

  • Donna Piper says:

    I’m getting a teddy bear as a gift for Christmas but I’m not sapose to know so that’s why I’m reading about the. I know about little dogs I have a min pin who is 15 years old . So anything I can learn about them will be very helpful

  • Lou ann Smith says:

    Would like to know price range of teddy bear dogs.my cavalier kin Charles spaniel, I had from 6 wk old puppy to 18. Recently died can no longer afford another one

  • Deena Russell says:

    I love my little teddy girl. She is my sunshine . I got her after a cancer diagnosis and she has been the best therapy for me. I take her everywhere. Her favorite is the dollar general lol. She knows where the treats are. She wakes me up every morning with kisses. She loves to play and she has a section of yard just for her as I have 2 beagles also. I keep the separated as I’m afraid they will hurt her. You just can’t go wrong with a teddy. My only worry is that someone will take her out of my yard so I watch closely.

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