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, do your research first so you know what you’re getting yourself into and if this breed of dog will suit your family. Although they bear a huge resemblance to a stuffed toy, it is very important to remember that they 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!
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 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, they are not recognized as an actual dog breed.
This bear-like dog is 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. 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
- Big personalities
- Make great pets
- Usually very enthusiastic to please its owner
- Less loud and noisy than other breeds
- Intelligent and generally very trainable
- 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. All of the 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 dog.
Also Read: Mountain Feist
Teddy Bear Dog Breeds
You might already know this, but they aren’t just one breed. There are many dog breeds that are considered teddy bear dog breeds, with all of those dogs looking like adorable little teddy bears. Meaning, of course, that they have soft fur, bright little eyes, and cute button noses.
When it comes to this breed, they’re just like any other: you’ve got the purebred pooches and the crossbreed dogs, which we’ll go through here if you’re looking for a wonderful pup for your home.
If you live in a small space too, it might help you to know that most of these dogs are small with only a few large breed options. It is important to know how large your dog will be when they’re grown, after all, and what sort of temperament and energy level you can expect.
The Pomeranian teddy bear is a classic: this is the breed that you probably think of when you think of a teddy bear dog. They’re adorable little troublemakers, by which we mean that they’re quite confident and playful, not to mention intelligent and energetic. With this little breed, you’ll need to make sure you groom them at least a few times a week, and that you spend time getting them exercise.
Don’t let their small size fool you though. They can be a bit stubborn and like to bark. But if you want a partner in crime to go outdoors with, or just a sweetheart to follow you around a bit, you’ll love having a Pomeranian with you. Just as long as you keep them safe in the heat.
Once you see this cute dog, you’ll recognize it, and might see the mix between the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frise. These dogs can grow a little larger than your classic Pomeranian, standing at about a foot tall, but they’re still small dogs with a large personality.
They like to be active and to find ways to have fun, so once you train them and socialize them, you have a great little family pet.
As a mix of the Bichon Frise and the Poodle, the Poochon really does look like a little teddy bear, and is a great family dog if you have children. Greet your Poochon after a long day of work—and carry them around since they’re small enough. These little dogs are always ready for a little adventure, and take to training well if you teach them when they’re still young.
Especially if you don’t want to spend a long time grooming your dog each week, the Poochon might be for you.
Of course, you’ll still need to groom regularly, but you won’t notice as much shedding in general. These are great dogs for lots of activity since they need mental stimulation.
Talk about an adorable pooch. The Morkie is a mix between the Yorkshire Terror and the Maltese, so you already know that this is a tiny little dog with a big personality—and a huge love for spending time with people and socializing. Maybe only socialize them with kids who are a bit older though, since the Morkie is very small and tends to get injured around very young children.
This is a great breed for those of you who have an apartment or who don’t have the time to really run around with your dog since the Morkie doesn’t need quite as much exercise.
As a mix between the Shih Tzu and the Poodle, the Shih-Poo is intelligent. You can leave them at home for a little while without worrying too much about them since they’re so independent, but of course, they need your care and your affection like any other dog.
For those of you who like to go out walking, the Shih-Poo is a great pooch to have since they need regular exercise. They can be a little hard to groom though, so you’ll definitely want to go to a solid groomer to avoid struggling with your dog’s coat.
We’re sure you can guess what makes up the mini goldendoodle: the mini poodle and the golden retriever. This makes this pooch a wonderful family pet since they’re full of energy, fun, loyal, and very trainable.
Commit to give this pooch a lot of exercise, which won’t be a problem if you have kids who are willing to go on a little run with them.
The grooming depends on the mini goldendoodle’s parents though, so if you’re not sure how to properly take care of your pup, talk to a professional groomer.
Mix the Poodle and the Maltese and you’ve got the Maltipoo. These small dogs grow to be a little larger than a foot tall, making them lightweight and easy to carry around with you. They also respond to training well, so they’re great with families and perfect for you guys who want a dog that requires a little exercise.
Just know that the Maltipoo does have many potential health issues. Many of these crossbreeds do, but it’s just something to keep in mind.
How big do Teddy Bear Puppies get?
Aside from the massive bears that appear on store shelves around Valentine’s Day, most small 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 from dog to dog. This is because a teddy bear dog is bred from several different dogs. They can be almost impossibly tiny at times.
Regardless of what your teddy bear dog is mixed with, an adult 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 dogs such as a cocker spaniel, toy poodle, or miniature poodle, will typically stop growing around 6-8 months. Medium breed dogs typically stop growing at 6-12 months. Large dogs, like golden retrievers, will stop growing at 18 months.
Teddy bear dogs can fall anywhere between small and medium dogs. Therefore, their growth will rest between those time frames.
How Long Do They Live?
We don’t like to think about this either. But know that smaller dogs do tend to live longer than larger ones. 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 dog with its lifestyle and diet. This dog may look adorable and cute, but it’ll need as much effort as other dogs.
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.
You must be aware that your dog might not be 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 dog is hypoallergenic too.
Examples of hypoallergenic teddy bear dogs breeds 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 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. However, be warned that Pomeranian teddy bear dogs are not hypoallergenic.
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 to. Keep in mind that this depends on breeds as well, but many small dogs struggle with the orthopedic condition of patellar luxation. This is a dislocation of a knee cap that can affect one or both knees.
There’s also progressive retinal atrophy, which is the degeneration of the retina that can eventually cause blindness. Some small dogs 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 Does Teddy Bear Dog Have?
Like most dogs, they all have different personalities, mannerisms, and traits based on what they 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 breeds are known for their tendency to be fiercely protective of their owners. Once again, depending on the breeds that your 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 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 by 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 social behavior, preventing aggression from developing.
A stereotype that follows many small dogs is their tendency to be loud and yappy. How loud your dog can be is entirely dependent on their genetic makeup. 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 to diminish the issue.
Are Teddy Bear Dogs Easy to Train?
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.
10 Things to Know About Ted Bear Dogs
I don’t shed much
One of the qualities that many new pet owners seek in dogs 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 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 these dogs are known to like some attention from you.
I do well with cats
These dogs 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 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? These tiny dogs require more affection than others. They don’t like to be left alone.
They are 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, 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 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 super-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 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.
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. Many small dogs have been known to be more difficult to potty train than large dogs.
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, this 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. 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 others. 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. These 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. These 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.