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Teddy Bear Dogs: What Are They? How Should You Prepare?

Teddy Bear dogs are a hybrid or designer cross breed between a Shih Tzu and a Bichon Frise, or alternately, a Shih Tzu and a Maltese, living up to their adorable-sounding moniker.

Depending on the mix of breeds, they are also called as Zuchon/Shichon, Maltichon, or Mal-Shi.

Around the year 2000, when the designer breed started to gain real popularity, these dogs won the hearts of both superstars and everyone else of the world.

What Is A Puppy Teddy Bear?

Despite the existence of this hybrid breed for some time, neither the American Kennel Club nor any other recognised governing body for breeding have yet to recognise it.

In spite of their small size, Teddy Bear dog have large hearts. They captivate the hearts of everyone they come in contact with and are extremely devoted and loving to an extreme.


The appearance of Teddy Bear dogs, their personalities and temperaments, the costs associated with maintaining their health and care, and whether or not this unusual breed would suit into your specific lifestyle.

Exactly How Do Teddy Bear Dogs Look?

It’s hardly surprising that the Teddy Bear dog is a tiny ball of fluff because it’s a hybrid of breeds that are already small in size.

Teddy Bear dogs typically weigh between 6 and 14 pounds and stand between 9 and 12 inches tall as adults. They are tiny as puppies, barely weighing anything!

Additionally, it’s significant to note that some breeders have gone above and above by creating teacup (sometimes referred to as miniature or toy) variations of the Teddy Bear dog!

These pups are purse-sized and rarely grow to be bigger than 10 inches and 10 pounds, making them even tiny than the typical Teddy Bear canines.

Given their diminutive size and fluffy appearance, Teddy Bear dogs more closely resemble stuffed teddy bears that might be found on children’s beds, hence their endearing moniker.

Small in stature, these canines have exceptionally huge, wide eyes that shine with joy. They have rather large, floppy ears that occasionally pop up, but more often than not, they are curled forward into tiny triangles.

Moving on to the rest of the Teddy Bear dog’s adorable face, notice how their little button noses protrude slightly from their faces, giving them a different appearance from conventional brachycephalic breeds like a Pug or Pekingese, despite the fact that Shih Tzus are brachycephalic dogs. Teddy Bear dogs are allergenic as a result of their Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, or Maltese ancestry! If you have a dog allergy, their fur is as silky as they get and won’t hurt your nose! The breed’s artificial, stuffed animal-like appearance is further enhanced by the fur’s exceptional lightness and fluffy texture. Your Teddy Bear dog can have a variety of coat colour combinations regardless of whether they are a Maltichon, Mal-Shi, or Zuchon/Shichon. However, white or light cream Teddy Bears are the most popular and sought-after. Not only are their coats hypoallergenic, but they also don’t shed!

Your Teddy Bear dog’s coat may also have the following additional hues:

  • Black
  • Lighter cream
  • Tan
  • Brown

Bear in mind that Teddy Bear pups might vary in look even within the same litter because they are a designer breed.

What Is The Temperament Of The Teddy Bear Dog?

When you consider the Teddy Bear dog, can you ever say the words “fun” and “loving” enough? I don’t believe so. Teddy Bear dogs have wonderful temperaments and are absolutely not troublesome dogs! Depending on your attitude, theirs, and how well you’ve educated them, they can be a soothing, calming presence or they can be playful and fun.

Despite their intense loyalty, these dogs typically don’t have a preferred family member. Instead, in the face of considerably greater and more terrifying threats, they will strive to equally protect every member of their family or “pack”. Sadly, I don’t believe anyone ever informed them how adorable and, well, friendly they appear!

Teddy Bear pups are also far less ‘yappy’ than other tiny breeds, which is a significant bonus if you live in a flat or condo with strict pet rules. Teddy bear dogs, as I mentioned earlier, adore their human families and will also adore other animals, canine or not!

These adorable puppies are great pets to have if you already have cats or other dogs in the house because they are not aggressive and like being part of a big “pack.” Expect endless cuddles and touch time. This breed of dog won’t survive if kept in a crate overnight or left alone for extended periods of time during the day. If they are not properly trained, they may even start to experience acute separation anxiety.

Finally, even as puppies, Teddy Bear dogs have a high level of intelligence, therefore early training is crucial. Playtime is an excellent method to keep them engaged in their training while keeping their minds and bodies active.

What Is The Health Status Of The Teddy Bear Dog?

Compared to other tiny breed dogs and their purebred parents, teddy bear dogs are healthier. This is due to the fact that because of their mixed-breed history, they have access to a wider variety of genes as opposed to being limited to a narrow gene pool, where genetic issues tend to be amplified rather than diffused.

Teddy Bear dogs typically do not experience brachiocephalic problems, despite the fact that their parent breeds are brachycephalic. However, if the Shih Tzu parent had an especially short snout, the mixed breed youngster can inherit this physical characteristic.

Look for a puppy with a longer nose and nostrils that are not pointed downward when choosing your Teddy Bear. Instead of a dog that was bred from Teddy Bear parents, it is best to purchase a dog that is of the first generation. This is due to the fact that several Teddy Bear dogs will be backbred to achieve the “perfect” teddy bear look, which will focus on any genetic problems in the progeny. Due to their small size, these dogs are susceptible to joint injury, dislocations, and shattered bones if handled harshly or given excessive amounts of playtime.



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