Updated: March 2019
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:
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.
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.