Teddy Bear Dog Breeds: You Must Know This First!

(Last Updated On: August 2, 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, the popularity of teddy bear dogs have 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. Although Teddy Bear dogs bear a huge resemblance to a stuffed toy, it is very important to remember that they are not toys. Teddy Bear dogs require much care, maintenance, and affection as any other breed of dog.

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!

pup looks like bear

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. That’s right; you may find that teddy bear dog look like 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. Interestingly enough, teddy bear dogs are not recognized as an actual dog breed.

They are considered a hybrid mix of many small and perhaps fluffy dogs which contribute to its appearance. However, it is important to know what sets them apart. After all, there are many times of small and cut dogs. For example, a miniature poodle can be considered a family favorite. A miniature poodle is known for its curly and hypoallergenic fur. There is also the case with a toy poodle breed of dog. Lhasa apso dogs are another

Teddy bear coats can vary in color from black to white or brown. A fun fact: it is actually not officially recognized 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
  • Loyal
  • 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.

You can literally find a teddy bear dog in almost any small breed combination. Think Pomeranian or Yorkshire Terrier. There are even Chow-Chow teddy bear dogs, so you have so many options when it comes to your adorable teddy bear companion. All of the teddy bear dog breed combinations have a few common features though: they’re small, they have a button nose, soft eyes, little ears that stand up, and a fluffy sort of coat. And of course, they look like a stuffed animal!

Looks aren’t everything, but the different breeds might impact the temperament of your pooch. Either way, there’s a lot more to a teddy bear dog than just their breed, so let’s learn more.

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.

Often times, the sizing can vary dog to dog. This is because a teddy bears dog is bred from several different dogs. They can be almost impossibly tiny at times. Regardless of the breed your teddy bears dogs is mixed with, an adult teddy bear dog will rarely weigh more than 20 pounds.

In order to have a good idea of how large your dog will get and how much they will weigh, you can use the breeds they are mixed with as a reference. The truth is, one mix can differ in size from another mix.

Most dogs stop growing around 6-24 months. However, small dog breeds such as a cocker spaniel, toy poodle, or miniature poodle, will typically stop growing around 6-8 months. Medium breed dog breeds typically stop growing at 6-12 months. Large dogs, like a golden retriever, will stop growing at 18 months.

Teddy bear dogs can fall anywhere between small and medium dog breeds. Therefore, their growth will rest between those time frames. This makes finding when the teddy bear dog breed will stop growing difficult.

How Long Do They Live?

We don’t like to think about this either. But know that smaller dog breeds do tend to live longer than larger breeds. Teddy bear dogs will live for around 12 to 16 years, but you have an impact on this as well.

It’s all about how you care for your little teddy bear dog with their lifestyle and diet. The teddy bear dog may look adorable and cute, but they’ll need as much effort as other dogs. Remember, a teddy bear dog is very different from a dog teddy bear.

Is the Teddy Bear Dog Hypoallergenic?

You may be a little skeptical about the hypoallergenic quality of your teddy bear dog. But many purebred breeds are hypoallergenic. Of course, this is not the case for all purebred dogs, such as the cavalier king charles dog breed.

You must be aware that your teddy bear dog might not be though, since it depends on the mix of breeds that make up your dog. If you have the information for both parents, and you know whether the parents are hypoallergenic, you’ll be able to figure out if your teddy bear dog is hypoallergenic too.

Examples of teddy bear dogs breeds that are hypoallergenic are bichon fris and shih tzu mix. In fact, breeding bichon fris dogs with shi tzu dogs result in the perfect pet for hypoallergenic people. A shih tzu mix with any other type of teddy bear dog breed raises the chance that the dog will be hypoallergenic.

However, don’t confuse a Pomeranian for a teddy bear dog. Pomeranians can be confused for a teddy bear dog because when given a specific hair cut, this dog looks like a teddy bear dog. Some might even call them Pomeranian teddy bear dogs. However, be warned that Pomeranian teddy bear dogs are not hypoallergenic.

seated on bed

What Should I Feed Them?

You might have your dog and you love them with all of your might. As much as they might enjoy the attention though, your teddy bear dog will need something good to eat too.

For the most part, you can feed your dog the same food as you would feed other dogs. Make sure that you choose a good small breed dog food that will be specifically formulated for your dog. If you find that your dog is dealing with a food allergy or sensitivity too, you can alter their diet to be more comfortable for them.

Common Health Concerns

Just to start out, know that all dogs are different, and one dog’s health problems are not another dog’s health problems. Health is often determined by genetics, nutrition, and environment, so as long as you’re feeding your dog well, your dog will hopefully be healthy. Things like their diet should not be left alone to chance.

But there are a few common health issues that teddy bear dogs are prone too. Keep in mind that this depends on breeds as well, but many small breeds struggle with the orthopedic condition patellar luxation. This is a dislocation of a knee cap that can affect on or both knees.

grass field

There’s also progressive retinal atrophy, which is the degeneration of the retina that can eventually cause blindness. Some small breeds are more likely than others to suffer from this condition, but either way, make sure that you’re always keeping up a conversation with your vet. Let them help you if you’re a little bit concerned or if you see anything in your dog that might be worrying you.

What Type of Temperament Do Teddy Bear Dog Have?

Like most breeds, teddy bear dogs all have different personalities, mannerisms, and traits based on what breeds the are made up of. Their temperaments can also be determined by how they are socialized, how they are trained, and their living conditions.

It is also important to note that some teddy bear dogs breeds are known for their tendency to be fiercely protective of their owners. Once again, depending on the breeds that your teddy bear dog is mixed with, that is the personality you may get. For example, bichon frise dogs are not really aggressive dogs at all. They treat everyone like they are friends they haven’t met yet. That is where proper socialization comes in.

It is important that your teddy bear dog is socialized properly, otherwise they can become very hostile and aggressive towards other people. One of the best ways to properly socialize your dog is taking training classes. Taking a training class will not only socialize your dog properly with other dogs and people in the class with you, but also encourage positive socialization behavior, preventing aggression from developing.

hands holding pup

A stereotype that follows many small dogs is their tendency to be loud and yappy. How loud your teddy bear dog can be is entirely dependent on their breed make up. It also has to do with training and consistency. Spending quality time with your dog and catching excessive barking early will help prevent the problem before it begins.

Implement a positive reinforcement system and great training methods, and you will see positive results. It may also be a good idea to involve a good trainer. If your dog is having issues with excessive barking, getting a trainer to help will allow you to get professional advice on how diminish the issue.

Are They Easy to Train?

You can get a good trainer on your side to help you out, and that’s a great idea if you’re a little unsure about how to go about it yourself. That being said, teddy bear dogs are known to be both smart and easy to train. If you want to teach them a new trick or a fun game to play, it’s easy to have a fun time together.

Picking Out a Dog

You can get your teddy bear dog from a breeder, which is great. Talk to the breeder about the price of the dog and about their parentage. This will help you learn more about the specifics of their breed and about what you can expect.

You can also rescue a teddy bear from a shelter too! You won’t know as much about their parentage, but the adoption fee will certainly be cheaper if that’s part of your considerations.

10 Things to Know About Ted Bear Dogs

I don’t shed much

One of the qualities that many new pet owners seek in dog may be may be minimum to no shedding. Teddy bear dogs are great in this capacity because most of them do not shed much or not at all. In fact, they can even be bred not to shed. This will also help pet owners who are allergic to pet hair and dander.

Making sure everyone is happy and healthy is very important before considering a new pet. Before you bring your teddy bear dog home, it may be a good idea to ask the breeder or the shelter to allow the family member with allergies to spend some time with the dog to make sure there is no reaction to them.

Remember too that even though your little cutie won’t shed much, you will need to regularly groom them. They’ll love the grooming too (hopefully), since teddy bear dogs are known to like some attention from you.

I do well with cats

Teddy bear dog breeds are known to do well in homes with cats. They are quite agreeable dogs. However, an older dog may have a different temperament when it comes to living with cats, especially if they are moving to a home with cats for the first time. If you are considering an older teddy bear dog and you have a home with cats, it may be a good idea to inquire how they do with cats before bringing them home.

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 don’t like to be left alone.

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.

With that being said, although they can be needy, they are very smart dogs and easy to train. They tend to be very focused and attentive, which helps them learn quickly. You can teach them cool tricks and fun games to play.

These cuddly dogs will love you and your attention, but especially if you have children, make sure that they know that these dogs only look like their teddy bears. They shouldn’t be treated like toys, and they require the same amount of love and care as any other dog.

You know that your teddy bear dog likes your attention, but think about what to do when they have to be left alone for a little while too. These adorable little pets are a little prone to separation anxiety, so it’s best to think about not only how to give them lots of attention, but what to do when you’re gone too. Think about how you can adopt a regular routine when you’re home, and maybe leave the radio on while you’re gone. Get them used to you leaving sometimes too so that you reduce their overall separation anxiety.

I swear I don’t play favorites

Ted pups don’t seem to play favorites. They are known to be sweet companions for the entire family. 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!

But let’s say that you want to get your teddy bear dog involved in another fun activity. Swimming is a great option too, especially if you live in a warm area. This will not only help cool them down, since you don’t want your dog to get overheated, but it will be a great source of enjoyment for them too.

It helps that most breed combinations of the teddy bear dog love to swim, although this does vary based on their breed. Don’t force them into the water if they don’t want to, but if they like the water, this is a great way to give them a little exercise.

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. Teddy bear dogs are known to be stubborn when it comes to potty training. In fact, many small dog have been known to be more difficult to potty train than large breeds. Try looking up potty training methods specifically for smaller dogs to find tips that are more specific.

As with any dog breed, just be patient and they will eventually nail it. Establishing some firm house rules will contribute to a successful break through.

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. However, if you enjoy fun activities and adventures, a teddy bear dog may be the perfect companion for you. From swimming, to hiking, to running, teddy bear dogs enjoy all of these activities. They really enjoy experiencing new and fun environments, so feel free to give them plenty of opportunity to do so. Full steam ahead seems to be their motto. Check out our favorite retractable leash here.

Keep in mind that all good things should be done in moderation. Teddy bear dogs will have plenty of fun exploring and socializing. However, they are very sensitive to heat. Keeping them cool, hydrated, and groomed regularly is the best way to avoid health issues.

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. In fact, they were not just any therapy dogs. Teddy bear dogs were originally bred to be therapy dogs for children specifically.

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

Just remember to tell your kids that these are definitely real dogs, and that they aren’t toys. Your dog will love all the attention, but make sure not to go overboard with all the squeezing!

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. Teddy bear dogs are known for their great personalities. To be specific, bichon frise dogs are called “personality dogs. Bichon frise dogs have an extremely charming and comedic nature. 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!

However, it is important to consider their emotional health too. Teddy bear dogs can be prone to separation anxiety. A great way to help deal with this is to establish routines and slowly and surely increase the time you are away from your dog. Doing so can help and even prevent your dog from developing separation anxiety.

You can be there for them just like they’re there for you. With just a few tricks, you can help conquer their separation anxiety and they’ll be able to make you feel better too.

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. Do your homework when it comes to picking a breeder as well. Or, you can even check out your local rescue to find your new furry friend. For more dog breeds, see my guide.

27 Comments

  • 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.

  • William Selk says:

    Hi just got my teddy bear so far I love . She is so much fun and makes me laugh. I have had a lot of dogs mostly bigger dogs even pit bulls . But she is smart fun and loving get dog . I just need to get her potty training. Now I want to be careful with her she has already jumped from to high and I don’t want her to get hurt. Great dogs

  • Joyce Serritella says:

    I leave in Illinois could you recommend a good breeder for me.
    And some tips to find a good breeder
    Thanks for your time,
    Joyce

    • Leigh says:

      Hi Joyce! Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with breeders so I don’t want to give you any inaccurate information. I hope I did help you to understand more about the breed though 🙂 All the best in your search!

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