Teddy bear dogs – the closest thing you’ll ever get to owning a cuddly living companion! These canines share an uncanny resemblance to our favorite stuffed toys, hence their names.
Learn more about the different breeds of teddy bear dogs, their temperaments and how easy or difficult they are to care for!
What is a Teddy Bear Dog?
Teddy bear dogs are known for their fluffy coat of fur, cute button noses and round faces. They’ve gained popularity since the early 2000s for their mild temperaments and affectionate personalities. They’re also a popular choice for lap dogs and therapy dogs.
The term “teddy bear dog” doesn’t refer to a specific breed; rather, it encompasses a wide range of purebred and mixed-breed dogs. Purebreds include the Bichon Frises, Shih Tzus and Pomeranians while mix-breeds include the Cavapoos, Goldendoodles and Pomskies to name a few.
Are All Teddy Bear Dogs Small?
While most teddy bear dogs are generally smaller in size, there are exceptions such as the Chow Chow and Samoyed. Their larger stature doesn’t make them any less cute and cuddleable than their smaller counterparts.
In general, these dogs can be categorized into 4 main sizes according to their weight:
- Small dogs – 30lbs and below
Small dogs can be classified into 2 subcategories – toy and miniature. Toy dogs are the smallest of them all. Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Poodles and Italian Greyhounds are examples of small dog breeds.
- Medium-sized dogs – between 30lbs and 55lbs
Medium dogs can be divided into 3 sub-groups – medium-small, medium and medium-large. Examples of dog breeds that fall under this category include Corgis, Samoyeds and Standard Poodles.
- Large dogs – between 55lbs and 99lbs
Dog breeds that fall under this category include the Bernese Mountain Dogs, Dalmations and Giant Schnauzers.
- Giant / Extra-large dogs – 99lbs and above
Examples of giant dog breeds include the English Mastiffs, Saint Bernards and Great Danes.
Common Traits of Teddy Bear Dogs
“Teddy bear dogs” is an umbrella term used to describe canines with certain characteristics. Do note that their traits will differ from breed to breed.
In general, these are the traits of teddy bear dogs:
Size when fully grown (weight):
Common coat colors: White, off-white, cream, black, various shades of brown
|Average lifespan||12 to 16 years|
|Grooming needs||Most breeds will need to be brushed and combed daily. However, their grooming needs depend on how fast their fur grows. On average, they need to be sent for professional grooming every 6 to 8 weeks. Check out this article for other dog grooming tips.|
|Common health conditions|
Pure Breed Teddy Bear Dogs
Purebred dogs are produced by parents of the same breed. These are some of the more sought-after purebred teddy bear dogs!
1. Bichon Frise
Originally bred for companionship, Bichon Frises love all the attention they can get! In addition, they’re known to be a hypoallergenic breed. This means despite their fluffy appearance, they shed minimally and are great for those with allergies.
Bichon Frises come in various shades of white, cream, apricot and buff. Their fur requires daily brushing and combing to prevent matting.
2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
A sporting breed, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are well known for their agility and hunting abilities. Despite their athleticism, they’re also highly affectionate and love mingling around! Their soulful eyes, silky straight coat and droopy ears make you want to cuddle them. They come in 4 colors:
- Blenheim (white with chestnut-colored markings)
- Tri-colour (mix of black, white and brown with ruby eyebrows)
- Black and tan (black with tan markings)
- Ruby (chestnut-colored)
3. Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels are the smallest breed of sporting dogs. They’re known for their doe-like eyes and floppy ears with wavy fur. Their fur is silky to the touch and requires brushing every 3 days, at minimum. However, if your Cocker Spaniel sports a longer hairdo, it’s recommended to brush him every day.
Cocker Spaniels can come in solid colors or color combinations.
One of the smallest breeds of toy dogs, Malteses are known for their magnificent straight white coat of fur. If allowed to grow, their coats can fall and sweep the floor, making them look elegant and dainty. However, this means that dirt may get trapped in their coats easily. Thus, in addition to their daily brushing, they should be bathed weekly to keep them clean.
In general, bathing your dog weekly can strip him of natural oils that help to promote hair growth and maintain good skin. Without these oils, your dog may be prone to dry skin and skin irritation.
If weekly baths are necessary, here are some ways to combat dry skin:
Pomeranians are the smallest breed of the Spitz family. They’re characterized by their fox-like look, prick ears and fluffy double coats.
Despite their small size, Pomeranians are known for their feisty personalities. They’re not afraid to bark, making them great watchdogs. They come in various colors such as black, blue, chocolate, orange and red. However, their color may change as they mature.
6. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus were originally bred by the Chinese royals back in the Ming Dynasty. While their names mean lion dog, their personalities are the total opposite; they’re, in fact, cordial and loyal.
Shih Tzus are known for their silky fur and underbites — this means that their lower jaw is longer than their upper jaw. Daily combing and brushing are required for the upkeep of their double coat. They come in various colors such as white, black, gold or a mix of colors.
7. Toy Poodle
Toy poodles are the smallest variety of poodles. Despite their size, their intelligence and agility more than make up for it. It’s easy to understand why they’re one of the most popular breeds since their curly and dense fur could definitely rival that of a teddy bear.
Toy poodles have to be brushed daily to prevent matting and they require professional grooming once or twice a month. They typically come in solid colors like black, brown, cream or apricot.
8. West Highland White Terrier
Beneath their dainty builds, West Highland White Terriers are actually quite spunky and tough. They were originally bred to chase rats and rodents. These terriers are classified as game dogs and are highly obstinate and strong-willed.
While they look fluffy and soft, their double coat of fur is actually hard to touch. They only come in white.
9. Yorkshire Terrier
Similar to the West Highland White Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers are feisty and tenacious despite their delicate appearances. The texture of their fur is comparable to human hair and requires daily brushing.
Yorkies come in various color combinations, with black and tan being the most common. However, their fur color may change as they age.
Larger Sized Pure Breed Teddy Bear Dogs
For those who are looking for larger-sized dogs without compromising on their cute features, here are some of the larger breeds of teddy bear dogs that are equally, or more, adorable.
10. Bernese Mountain Dog
Despite their aloof appearance and burly size, Bernese Mountain Dogs are actually amiable and great with young children.
They’re 1 of the 4 varieties of Swiss Mountain Dogs and the only one with long, silky coats of fur. Daily grooming is required to ensure their fur remains tangle-free. They come in tri-colored variations of black, white and rust.
11. Chow Chow
Hallmarked for their blue-black tongues, lion’s manes and deep-seated, almond-shaped eyes, Chow Chows are the epitome of teddy bear dogs! However, as cuddly as they seem, they’re highly independent and are not the biggest fans of hugging.
They come in various colors, including black, blue, red fawn and white coats. Their coats require daily brushing and they shed heavily.
12. Japanese Spitz
Bred for companionship, Japanese Spitz are known for their friendly disposition. They’re able to get along with young children and other pets. Despite their size, their barks can get quite loud, making them a good choice for watchdogs.
Their pure white coats are fairly easy to maintain and only need to be brushed twice a week. This is because their fur is able to repel dirt and debris.
Belonging to the same family as the Japanese Spitz, Samoyeds are slightly larger in size and were once used to herd reindeer in Siberia. The shape of their mouths makes them look like they’re perpetually smiling and also prevents them from drooling.
Samoyeds have a thick double coat – a longer and coarser outer coat and a thick and wooly undercoat. Daily brushing is necessary, especially during shedding seasons.
Bichon Frise Mix Breed Teddy Bear Dogs
Bichon Frises are cute on their own. But have you seen their offspring when cross-bred? Here are some of the common mix breed Bichon Frises!
Cavachons are a cross between Bichon Frises and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. As both breeds are known for their bright personalities, Cavachons love playing and are extremely lively as well.
They generally have thick wavy coats and are hypoallergenic, just like their parents. Daily combing and brushing are necessary to keep their fur in pristine condition.
Poochons are a mix of Toy Poodles and Bichon Frises. They’re also commonly known as Bich Poo, Bichon Poo or Bichon Poodle. Similar to Cavachons, Poochons are playful and affectionate.
However, Poochons have slightly curlier fur which needs to be brushed and combed every day. They typically come in solid colors but there are exceptions depending on their parents.
Pomeranian Mix Breed Teddy Bear Dogs
The compact size of Pomeranians may be one of the reasons why they’ve remained popular over the years. We take a look at some of the more prominent Pomeranian mix breeds below!
A cross between Pomeranians and Toy Poodles, Pomapoos tend to be of a smaller size. Other names include Pooranian, Pompoo and Pomeroodle.
Pomapoos are generally outgoing and sociable. They enjoy being around people and other dogs. Depending on the thickness and texture of their fur, they would typically need to be brushed daily.
Pomchis are a hybrid breed between the Pomeranians and Chihuahuas. As Chihuahuas are known as one of the smallest breeds of dogs, Pomchis are definitely small in size as well. In spite of their small bodies, they can get extremely frisky!
Their agility and attentiveness, however, make them good watchdogs. They typically have longer coats and may not be suitable for those suffering from allergies.
Pomskies are a hybrid between Pomeranians and Siberian Huskies. They’re generally bigger than a purebred Pomeranian but a lot smaller than a Siberian Husky. Due to the size difference between their parents, Pomskies are often bred through artificial insemination.
They typically have thick double coats and are prone to shedding throughout the year.
Poodle Mix Breed Teddy Bear Dogs
As Poodles come in different sizes, they’re ideal for cross-breeding to cater to the preferences of potential pet owners. Here are some of the popular Poodle crossbreeds.
A cross between the Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles, Bernedoodles are highly-intelligent and affectionate. They come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Their fur can range from curly to straight, depending on the dominant genes. In general, the curlier the fur, the more they need to be combed to ensure it remains free of tangles and mats. On the other hand, the straighter the fur, the more they tend to shed.
Cairnoodles are a hybrid between Cairn Terriers and Miniature Poodles. They’re also known as Cairnpoo, Cairnpoodle or Poocan. They are on the smaller side and can only grow up to a maximum height of 15 inches, which makes them great for apartment living.
Their fur length is commonly between medium to long, which makes daily brushing and combing a necessity.
Crossbred between a Miniature Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cavapoos are also commonly known as Cavadoodles or Cavoodles. They tend to be outgoing and even-tempered. However, their friendliness (or over-friendliness) makes them terrible guard dogs.
Depending on how curly their fur gets, they can either be brushed 2 to 3 times a week or daily.
Cockapoos are a combination of Cocker Spaniels and Poodles. They’re also fondly known as Cockapoodles, Cockapoo and Cock-a-poos. Depending on their parents, they can grow up to a height of 18 inches!
Cockapoos are known for their vibrant personalities and amiability. They thrive on social interactions. Daily combing and brushing are required to prevent matting and tangling.
Havapoos are crossed between Havanese and Poodles (usually Miniature or Toy). They’re also known as Poovanese, Havadoodles and Havanoodles. Havanese belong to the Bichon family and are the national dog of Cuba. They’re prized for their silky fur that ranges from straight to slightly wavy.
Inheriting their parents’ traits, Havapoos are highly intelligent and can learn tricks quickly. Depending on their fur type, they must be brushed every day or a few times each week.
A combination of Malteses and Toy or Miniature Poodles, Maltipoos are one of the more paw-pular cross breeds and it’s understandably so! Their small frames, coupled with their hypoallergenic qualities, make them great pets for city dwellers.
In addition, they’re relatively easy to train, perfect for first-time pawrents. Though they’re low-shedding, they still require daily brushing.
25. Miniature Goldendoodle
Miniature Goldendoodles are a cross between Golden Retrievers and Miniature Poodles. Despite the size of pure-breed Golden Retrievers, Miniature Goldendoodles only grow to a maximum height of 20 inches.
There are a few generations of Mini Goldendoodles such as F1, F1b, F2 and F2b, and they’re categorized according to their parentage. In general, they need to be brushed twice to thrice a week.
26. Miniature Sheepadoodle
Crossed between Old English Sheepdogs and Miniature Poodles, Miniature Sheepadoodles are the smaller cousins of standard Sheepadoodles (crossbred between Old English Sheepdogs and Standard Poodles). They stand between 15 to 18 inches tall which makes them extra cuddly!
Due to their herding genetics, Sheepadoodles are innately protective and are great around children. Their fur requires quite a bit of maintenance on top of their daily brushing.
Unlike other designer dogs, Peekapoos are typically bred as a first-generation cross between a purebred Pekingese and a purebred Toy or Miniature Poodle. This means that they’re rarely conceived from 2 Peekapoos as there might be health complications for future generations.
These dogs are fiercely loyal to their owners and tend to be wary of strangers. They require weekly brushing at minimum.
Mixed between a Schnauzer and Poodle, Schnoodles come in various sizes such as toy, miniature, standard and giant depending on their parent’s sizes. However, the larger ones are less common.
Big or small, they love having fun and are highly energetic. They only require brushing once or twice a week. However, should you choose to bring your Schnoodle out for walks often, it’s recommended that you brush his fur daily to remove any dirt.
A hybrid between Shih Tzus and Toy Poodles, Shih-poos (or Shoodle or Pooshi) are hypoallergenic despite their thick coat of fur and are low-shedders.
They make for great apartment pets as they only grow to a maximum height of 18 inches and are content with lazing on the sofa. (However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t need their daily walks!) Daily brushing and combing are required to prevent mats and tangles.
Westiepoo, also known as Westiedoodle and Wee-Poo, are crossed between the West Highland White Terriers and Toy or Miniature Poodles. They grow to a maximum of 17 inches in height. The common fur colors are white and cream but there are some Westiepoos with black or tan coats. They should be brushed 3 to 4 times a week.
Shih Tzu Mix Breed Teddy Bear Dogs
Their great personality and small size make them one of the more popular breeds around the world. While they’re great on their own, cross-breeding allows for other favorable traits to be passed on to their offspring. Here are some of the common Shih Tzu cross breeds.
Boshihs are bred between Boston Terriers and Shih Tzus and are considered a small breed. Compared to other breeds, Boshihs are relatively sedentary and enjoy their naps. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t require their daily walks!
They rarely come in solid colors but are often a mix of black, white, brown and gray, depending on their parents. They require daily brushing to keep their fur neat and tangle-free.
Crossed between Havanese and Shih Tzus, Havashus are sprightly and high-spirited. Havashus are generally easy to train but they tend to have some stubbornness in them; which may be attributed to their Shih Tzu genes. While they may be hypoallergenic and rarely shed, their coats will still require daily maintenance.
Malshis are a relatively new crossbreed between a Maltese and Shih Tzu. They’re also commonly known as Malti zu and Malt-tzu. These pint-sized, doe-eyed canines only grow up to a height of about 10 inches.
They’re highly trainable and are eager to please, making them suitable for first-time dog owners. Malshis need to be brushed regularly to keep them free of tangles and mats.
Shichons, or Zuchons, are a cross between Shih Tzus and Bichon Frises. They’re known for their pleasant disposition and tiny frames. They’re great at socializing and love the company of humans and dogs alike. They should be brushed once a week, at minimum.
In addition, they tend to have excess fur around their eyes which needs to be trimmed bi-weekly. This helps to reduce irritation to both their eyes and noses.
Yorkshire Terrier Mix Breed Teddy Bear Dogs
As the 13th most popular breed globally, it’s easy to see why Yorkshire Terriers receive such love! Despite their small size, they are spunky yet affectionate. Here are some Yorkshire Terrier cross breeds!
Morkies, also known as Morkshire Terriers, are a cross between Malteses and Yorkshire Terriers. Morkies are tiny and can only grow up to 8 inches tall. However, their personalities more than make up for their size.
They’re known to be high-spirited and goofy. In addition, they tend to be on the yappier side and definitely aren’t suitable for those who need their quiet space. Grooming-wise, Morkies require daily brushing.
Bred between Yorkshire Terriers and Shih Tzus, Shorkies are also known as Shorkie Tzus, Yorkie Tzus and Shih Tzu-Yorkie mix. Unlike Morkies, Shorkies are slightly bigger and can grow up to a height of 14 inches. While they’re known to be lap dogs, they can be quite energetic. Their long, straight, silky coats need to be brushed daily.
Yorkipoos are a hybrid breed between Yorkshire Terriers and Toy or Miniature Poodles. Bringing their qualities together, Yorkipoos are sassy, chirpy and highly active. In addition, they can be easily trained and are suitable for first-time pet owners.
Depending on their parents, Yorkipoos come in various colors. They need to be brushed and combed every day.
Why Do People Love Teddy Bear Dogs?
It’s easy to understand why teddy bear dogs are growing in popularity! Aside from being irresistibly cute, here are some reasons why they’re well-loved worldwide:
- Friendly and gentle
Most teddy bear dogs are known for their affection towards their owners and are generally great with the elderly and kids. It’s no wonder why they make good therapy dogs!
Most teddy bear dogs are hypoallergenic. This means that they rarely shed and are great for people with allergies. As they don’t shed as often, they’re generally more low maintenance.
- Small in size
Teddy bear dogs are perfect for those who are living in an apartment and looking for a furry companion. They don’t require big spaces to grow and play, making them great for apartment-living.
Can’t get enough of Teddy bear dogs?
Check out these dog instagram accounts featuring some of the Teddy Bear dog breeds we’ve mentioned!
FAQs About Teddy Bear Dogs
Teddy bear dogs are canines that resemble our favorite stuffed toys – teddy bears! They’re known for their fluffy fur and adorable features such as button noses, round faces and big, round eyes.
“Teddy bear dog” is a blanket term used to describe pooches with certain physical features. It doesn’t refer to a specific breed of dog.
However, some may use “teddy bear dogs” to refer to specific breeds such as the Shichons, Zuchons, and the mix breeds of Shih Tzus, Bichon Frises and Malteses. While these breeds are categorized under teddy bear dogs, the term isn’t limited to these breeds only.
Depending on the breed, most teddy bear dogs tend to remain small even in adulthood. However, there are exceptions such as the Chow Chows, Samoyeds and Bernese Mountain Dogs, to name a few.
Before adopting a pet, do ensure that you’re prepared to care for him for the rest of his life. To help you with your decision, here are some factors to consider:
While the cost of adopting a dog is definitely lower than purchasing one, the other associated costs are the same.
- Medical conditions
Unlike buying directly from ethical breeders, adopting a teddy bear dog means you may be unaware of its parentage and medical history. As such, they might be at risk of certain genetic diseases.
If you’ve made up your mind, you can visit your local adoption center to meet and/or interact with your potential furiend!