Breed Info: Teddy Bear Puppies

Updated on March 8, 2016

The teddy bear dog is a new breed of "designer dog" that was first introduced at the start of the new millennium. Also known as the Zuchon or Shuchon, this dog has earned its place as one of the cutest companion dogs. Technically a mixed breed, Teddy Bear puppies are cross bread from Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise parents. It is said that the American Kennel Club will give the Teddy Bear official recognition as a breed in its own right (to be officially named the Zuchon) after more generations are born and raised.

The search for cuddly companion dogs has seen the popularity of teddy bear puppies skyrocket throughout the United States and other countries. So just what makes this designer breed so popular? Let's investigate some of this dog's qualities.

Appearance

  • Teddy bear puppies are small in stature, and remain small even into adulthood, growing to a height of approximately 12 inches. They weight a light 12 to 14 pounds as adult dogs.
  • The breed sports a soft, fluffy coat that doesn't shed like most dog breeds. It can be clipped short into a "puppy cut" or left long.
  • These dogs have round faces with squashed muzzles and large, endearing eyes, earning them their namesake. They also have medium length droopy ears and short, fluffy tails.
  • Their coat can come in virtually any colour, giving each dog its own uniqueness that isn't usually seen in other companion breeds such as the Bichon Frise.


Temperament

Like any dog breed, teddy bear puppies will develop their own behaviours based on their upbringing, including factors like socialization, training and environment. Generally though, the breed has been developed to posess the following temperamental traits:

  • They are eager to please and intelligent, making them ideal to train.
  • This breed loves the company of their human pack, unlike some of the more independent small dog breeds.
  • Teddy bear dogs tend to be less vocal than other small dogs. They will still let you know if there's a visitor, but they aren't usually nuisance barkers.

Health and Care

Teddy bear dogs are relatively healthy compared to their purebred ancestors. This is partially due to the genetic diversity of being a mixed breed, but also due to its small stature.

  • Teddy bear puppies are brachycephalic (short-muzzled) dogs, which means that breathing problems or sensitivity to high temperatures may be an issue.
  • Cleaning the dog's ears on a semi-regular basis may be required to prevent a buildup of grime and dirt.
  • It is important not to neglect this dog's coat. Regular brushing and the occasional trim is required to keep this breed's coat in top shape. A neglected coat can become matted, leading to painful hot-spots on your dog.

For families with allergies, this dog is ideal. Not only does the breed not shed its coat, but it is also very low in dander, making it very hypoallergenic.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Amanda 

        3 weeks ago

        My boyfriend and I received our teddy on Christmas of 2017. I have trouble with severe anxiety and let me just say he brightens my day! I’ve never had a dog that has been as sweet as him. I have found a true companion. Make sure to spend all your free time with them as this breed needs lots of love and affection. He gets along with our big dogs and little amazingly. Would never bite a soul and I could go on and on.

      • profile image

        Squatty 

        2 months ago

        I’ve had great luck with pet carriers. After everything was done outside, I would fill the water cup that comes with the carrier, put a towel on the floor of the carrier, add a chew bone, dog & went to work. For me, I’ve found coming straight home letting my puppy out. In about 2-3 weeks he/she is basically trained (needing a few tweaks). I hope this helps.

      • profile image

        Sullyteach 

        10 months ago

        In August I bought a 12 week old teddy bear. Delilah is spunky, loving, and adorable. She is now 7months old however, and still being potty trained! She will not notify me with a bark,a nudge, or any other way that she needs to go. I've tried everything- a bell, leash training hourly, verbal prompt. Please tell me this is normal and I can still hope for success! Any similar experiences out there?

      • profile image

        David Powell 

        18 months ago

        I just bought a Teddy Bear, 4 months old, "house broken and crate trained". He went into his new crate without hesitation. No barking or whining during the night. But in the am, I found him quietly in the cage sitting among vomit, feces and urine. After feeding, he immediately threw up. What to do?

      • profile image

        Suzie Champlin upstate New York. 

        20 months ago

        We have two Teddybear dogs and we love them so very much. Our oldest Teddybear 'Shelby" is now 8 years old and the baby 'Skylar" is now 2 years old. Our two lovely teddybear dogs are the most adorable lovable lapdogs. We have been blessed with these two most amazing dogs and are more than happy with them. They are so adaptable to most situations, They play together great. They entertain my husband and myself by wrestling with each other as well as just cuddling when they decide to nap. They literally sleep together in a dog bed during the day and at night they sleep with us. They truly have brought us some much happiness and joy. The sweetest loving most amazing dogs ever. Definitely a great family dog. If you are looking for love and unconditional love these dogs are for you.

      • profile image

        karen 

        20 months ago

        I've had one before they are awesome!

      • profile image

        Debbie Hamilton 

        20 months ago

        I have a teddy femal looking for a male to breed her with!

        Please email me at gotodebbieh@yahoo.com

        Thanks

      • profile image

        Mary 

        21 months ago

        I absolutely adore my 9 yr old teddy. I will be lost when her time comes. She knows all kind of tricks, only barks when there's a stranger near and loves to cuddle.

      • profile image

        Chloe 

        2 years ago

        My teddy bear is so kind and sweet! When I get home he "tackles" me. Sadly, he was born in a puppy mill. He was born lame and they did nothing! Whenever the doorbell rings, he barks like mad. I think I'm going to tell my friends to just knock.

      • profile image

        BigMistakeTeddyBear 

        2 years ago

        Make certain you have a LOT of time to give to training and constant companionship for this breed because they cant do well without constant human companionship. My mother moved in a year ago and she has one that is 4 yrs old and she a terror. She is yappy, jumpy, clingy, barks at me whenever I move from anywhere in the house, and she is in constant need to play as she has tons of energy. Neither of us can give her the playtime she requires to wear her out. She hates being outside, away from mom, she will whine and cry until she is with her again. I have a very well mannered Boxer and small Terrier and they and they are at their wits end as to how to take this little dog.

        My poor Boxer has aged 5 years in past year what with all the yelling my mom has to do at the little dog, "NO" "NO" "NO" all day every day!

        My dogs are use to peace and quit with me! I have never ever yelled at them, EVER! My Boxer will come and look at me with those worry wrinkles on her forehead, as if to say, "What is all the yelling about, did I do something wrong?" I have to constantly reassure her that she is fine, she is a good dog.

        Do yourself a favor get a different breed. Not the designer inbred Teddy Bear.

      • profile image

        Patty L 

        2 years ago

        We lost our Bichon Frise back in December 2015. It was very sad for our family specially for my kids. I have a 13,11 year old boys and 4 yea old girl. We did not wanted to get another Dog but our princess will talk about Whittey all the time and was asking for us to bring him home. So a month ago we went to look and saw our 1st Teddy bear and got her. we named her Moka and we are in love. She is 3 months now and is so loving and when we look into her eyes is like we see our whittey. her colors are GLD,BLK,MSK and she has a touch of white on her because of this we know our whittey is happy for us and we will never forget him. RIP. Whittey. But we leave in Miramar, Florida and in the future will like to breed her. she is just Beautiful

      • profile image

        Greg E 

        2 years ago

        We have had our Teddy for 9 months now..... as all the comments indicate... you will not find a more loving addition to your family. She wants to be with her people 100% of the time... Loves to play fetch, hide and seek, tug of war, go for walks, go by-by, or just lay on your lap. I can't imagine a better companion or friend.. makes everyday a joyful one!!! =)

      • profile image

        Dawn Burke 

        2 years ago

        4 months ago I adopted our teddy bear- he is adorable, sweet, loving

        and very obedient. It was a match made in heaven. I have always had

        big dogs and never really liked small dogs. But this one has totally

        changed my mind! He is super smart and very eager to please. I am

        sure he is bichon and shi tzu according to research on w/on line photos.

        Thanks for the great info and helping me i.d. his ancestory!

      • profile image

        Dana Hitchens 

        3 years ago

        This is a really good article about the teddy bear breed. If you are truly interested in teddy bear puppies I have a whole website dedicated to the breed. See http://teddybearpuppydogs.com. Thanks for promoting such an adorable and loving species. These dogs are absolutely wonderful and I am not just saying that lightly, I truly know it!

      • profile image

        Rosemarie 

        3 years ago

        Where can I get a Teddy Bear Dog please help

      • profile image

        Not Impressed 

        4 years ago

        From my experience, this breed is not intelligent, "less vocal" or easily trained. Buyer be warned.

      • profile image

        Jim Johnson 

        4 years ago

        I have had 3 dogs in my life, and by far my Tedi bear Spike,who is half Shitzu and half Bishon is the best of the three. He is a great watch dog.He barks a lot, but he's a great dog.loves kids,very playful, and obedient.

      • profile image

        riley 

        4 years ago

        hi bob

      • profile image

        Colin 

        4 years ago

        We are considering buying one of these adorable dogs, We have just recently lost our Boxer, she was wonderful, so we want a completely different dog. But my only query is, are you able to leave them alone for long periods occasionally.

      • profile image

        Beth 

        4 years ago

        I just got my Teddy Bear, Dusty, Nov.1st!! Love him.... but please help with house breaking tips!!! He is just a 10 week old puppy, but he just isn't getting the outside feeling!!! He would rather pee BESIDE the pee pad or play outside for a long while, then come in to pee! HELP!! But he is soooo precious! LOVE HIM!!!!

      • profile image

        Angela 

        5 years ago

        I just bought a teddy bear and he is the cutest most loving thing. he loves giving kisses and cuddling. but of course he loves to play as well. he is so smart. i didn't even have to teach him how to play fetch, i just threw the ball and he brought it right back to me. he brings a smile to my face every time i look at him. he is the typical companion dog and always wants to be with me or my husband. i truly recommend this breed!!!

      • profile image

        Cecile 

        5 years ago

        I had a 3months old, all white teddy bear named Mimi. She is the most adorable small dogs ever. Very smart, I got her housebreak in only a week. Although some accidents did still happen (totally understood, cuz she's still a baby). She doesn't pick food. She is so eager to learn anything, and check anything that moves, and sniff everywhere. She loves to play with me, but get excited a bit fast. And when she's excited she will run around and not hearing anything you say and like going berserk. But since she's so obedient, one shout from me usually will make her sit and looking at me, then eventually calm down. She is not noisy at all at night, as long as you keep her bowl with some food for when she's hungry in the middle of the night, she would just play alone with her toys if she woke up, then continue to sleep, waiting for you to wake up. The best dog ever! Really loves to please. Loves to be petted and rubbed and snuggled. And most of all, she's soooo cute!!! FLUFFY with big round eyes and small mouth... CUTE! Very recommended.

      • alannahbale profile image

        alannahbale 

        5 years ago from Rugby, Warwickshire

        They are so fluffy! I like this post!

      • profile image

        Jen 

        5 years ago

        I LOVE my Teddy Bear, Boo. She is almost six months old and a red head (they really docome in all colors). She is the perfect addition to our family! Highly recommend!

      • profile image

        Mary 

        5 years ago

        Just got Tica today. She is 11 weeks, black and white and fantastic. I cannot believe how much she has learned in just one day. What a great puppy.

      • profile image

        MMK 

        5 years ago

        I just recently got a one year old rescue teddy bear...how much should i be feeding him...he seems large to me for a teddy bear 15-18# so maybe he was overfed? I just cant find any info at all...

      • profile image

        janett tarco 

        5 years ago

        hi i just get my little 6 weeks old i just wanna now how many times i need tu feed him on the day ???

      • profile image

        Grace 

        5 years ago

        I have a four year old teddy bear named Codi. I adopted him about a year and a half ago. He's all white with curly hair on his body but straight hair on just his tail. (: He's the best dog I've ever had. He's very smart and loves to please. He's 17 pounds, a little chubby but we are working on that! lol He LOVES to snuggle with me too, he curls up right behind my knees under the covers.(: He loves his toys and shakes the stuffing out of them! And he talks to me, too. If he wants something (Toy went under the couch, water bowl is empty, wants to go outside, ect.) He walks up and growls, grunts, barks, makes as much noise s possible until you get up to follow him. He has a golden retriever sister and a great dane sister and loves them both very much. He went into a depression when his brother Max was hit by a car and killed, though:( {RIP MAX: October 2011- January 23 2012} He has emotions just like people, very expressive. All in all, hes the best dog. (: Love ya Codi!

      • profile image

        Maureen 

        5 years ago

        My daughter gave me a Teddy Bear puppy almost 2 years ago for Valentine's Day. At first I was apprehensive about having another pet but there is no way I would give him up for anything now. His name is Theodore and he's such a delight to me and my husband. He is truly alpha male as he weighs in at about 27 lbs. Just a little chubby but mostly stealthy! Love him lots. Really great companion.

      • profile image

        Katie 

        5 years ago

        We love our teddy bear Lucy to death! She's incredibly sweet, quiet, and loves being around her people! She oes however get an attitude if you leave her alone! Wether it be potty ing on the floor or tearing something up! She was also hard to potty train. She's almost a year old and is probably about 80% trained!

      • profile image

        Khristy 

        5 years ago

        My family has always had large dogs (mostly golden retrievers) but we added a teddy bear three years ago. I have to say that we will never go back to having a large dog. Shelby is the most adorable, loving dog ever! She gets along well with everyone including children that like nothing better than to carry her around. Anyone considering a small dog would be lucky to have one just like her.

      • profile image

        Monica 4weeks ago 

        6 years ago

        My shih tzu got killed accidentally on August 17,2012 and I was distraught, my son went to petland in Atlanta and purchased me a Teddy Bear which I had never heard of. I named her Shia and she is so sweet and playful and easy to potty train to a pad in the bathroom. I have not forgotten my doggie that passed because she was my child but having this Teddy Bear has helped ease the pain. I love that I never see dog hair on my clothes and she is very energetic. I recommend this breed to anyone. And to the guy who wanted to know where to purchase one from, Petland in ATL or search your local pet stores where you get a warranty on the dog. Mine cost $1369.99

      • profile image

        mani23 

        6 years ago

        how to do you prevent tear ducts around a teddy bear puppy?

      • profile image

        steve 

        6 years ago

        I have a 15 month old male Zuchon named buddha, great dog,

        non-barker, very healthy, non-shedding (also doesn't ' have 'dog smell'). Very gentle and playful. Great smile! Loves cats, cats like him! Try 'Tylan 40' for tear stains, anti-microbial, use small pinch mixed with food, we use only when 'redness' starts to show, usually disappears in a few days, then stop. I found with housebreaking that the dog wants to please but just hasn't figured it out yet, and then suddenly he gets it, We have no mistakes ever since. Also Zuchons change color from puppy to adult dog, so what you see isn't necessarily what you get.

      • profile image

        Jaspers owner 

        6 years ago

        our family has one ! he is so cute! his name is Jasper

      • profile image

        jessica 

        6 years ago

        I just got a Teddy Bear for mothers day. I named him Teddy. He is a wonderful dog. He is good with my kids. He plays and makes them smile a lot. In the other hand with me he's mire calm and cuddly. He lays in the bed with me and keeps me company anywhere I go. He is a very smart dog and was very easy to train. He'll go ouside to do his necessity and he also uses the weewee pads. I recommend this breef to anyone also with allergies. I love my puppy Teddy the best dog ever.

      • profile image

        bobbi 

        6 years ago

        i have a teddy bear dog he is fun to play with in the puppy years they can be hard but when they are three they

        would get along with any one.

      • profile image

        Mandy 

        6 years ago

        I have a two year old teddy bear girl, and she is incredibly social (with people, dogs, cats, birds, bugs...whatever!) and affectionate. She LOVES to be pet. She's wonderfully sweet and full of personality. Like others, my only issue with her has been housebreaking. Still working on it after nearly a year (she was a rescue).

      • profile image

        jennifer 

        6 years ago

        i have one and they are cute@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • profile image

        april 

        6 years ago

        We have a 7 month old Teddy Bear. He's all white and his name is Frankie. He is very smart and easy to train. He really is a great dog. We've always been "big dog" people. When we decided on a small dog we couldn't have chosen better. He has a great personality. If you are considering a small dog definitely consider a Zuchon.

      • profile image

        Jessica 

        6 years ago

        Good info. My kids and I have asthma and really bad allergies. I just brought a Teddy Bear dog. We named him Teddy. Which was a great ideal dog for ower family.

      • profile image

        ang 

        6 years ago

        I have a 3 year old zuchon. He is all white and very fluffy..he must take more after the bichon. He is around 12 pounds. He tends to be very hyper and have lots of energy. Loves to run and play a lot. He is very alert and curious. Extremely healthy so far. He gets tear ducts around his eyes though. As far as intelligence goes, I think he is average. He's not dumb but he's not extremely smart either. LOL But if you give him treats, he's a quick learner. haha He is very loyal, and affectionate. He is very friendly towards people and other small dogs, but around larger dogs he barks a lot. He has a very loud bark for such a little dog, but he doesn't bark often. He loves to be with me every second and pouts when i leave him. He is very protective of me and follows me around everywhere. He loves to cuddle and sleep with me in my bed. He is a very good companion and I love him a lot. He doesn't shed much either, but he needs to be groomed a lot because his coat gets really thick and fluffy.

      • profile image

        Kristina 

        6 years ago

        It takes more than "a few more generations to be born" for AKC recognition. You need a breed club, a written standard, several generations that CONFORM to that standard, a wide population, and a stud book that contains nothing but "teddy bears/zuchons/shichons"

        Also Bichons and Shih Tzu have health issues in common to say their mixed offspring is healthier because they are mixed is a fallacy.

      • profile image

        Deb 

        6 years ago

        We have had our Toby for 18 months. He is wonderful. He is good with our grandson. A loving little dog with a great personality. Would recommend a Teddie bear.

      • profile image

        MNMARILYN 

        6 years ago

        I got my "teddy bear" about 6 months ago and he has been a delight ever since. I feel as though I have the perfect companion.

      • profile image

        Epic 

        6 years ago

        I just got a black and white teddy bear.....too cute! Out of all the dogs at the adoption, he was the quietest and friendliest. Two thumbs up for a great family dog!

      • profile image

        Sofie:) 

        6 years ago

        I went to the mall and saw 1of them ! They are the cutesy thing u will ever see! Mine was white so I named him Frosty.

      • profile image

        Tracy 

        6 years ago

        I have a beautiful teddy bear named Carly after the Disney character ICarly. Carly loves her human family almost too much. Just as the article stated she barks to alert us of visitors, welcomed or not. I would recommend this type breed for families. Carly loves her car rides too!

      • profile image

        Chelsea 

        6 years ago

        I have a teddy bear and they are the best dog ever!!! So easy to train and get a long with! totally goes against everything i've heard about small dogs! not the typical "yappy, jumpy" breed!!

      • profile image

        Lee 

        6 years ago

        Where can I get one of these puppies in Australia

      • profile image

        Rosie 

        6 years ago

        I jiust got a Teddy Bear,she is adorable and never had this breed. Learning how to pottie train her!! I have a small poodle and I think she will learn from her.

        I am crazy about her....

      • profile image

        Bella grace 

        6 years ago

        They are an adorable and kind hearted creatures. But they are vengeful when you make them mad.

      • profile image

        Cindy 

        6 years ago

        I just bought a Teddy Bear puppy. Named her Sophie. She has so much energy ! Very sweet ! Does anyone have any ideas on house breaking ? I am usually a poodle person, I have an 11 year old, and I just lost a 3 1/2 yr. old. I thought they caught on to house breaking quicker. Any help would be much appreciated !

      • profile image

        Stephanie 

        7 years ago

        I have a "Teddy Bear dog named Muffin. She is black and white and so sweet. She will jump in my lap and curl up and go to sleep. My grandchildren love her and when they come over, they take her for walks around the neighborhood. I also have a Maltese that is 10yrs old and he does not play with her. She tries to play with him but Maximus is not interested. So she takes her toys and puts them in my lap so I can play with her. The best dog I have ever owned.

      • profile image

        David E 

        7 years ago

        They are great little dogs! We sure do love having ours in the family!

      • profile image

        Cristina 

        7 years ago

        I ADORE my teddy bear Livvy!! She truly lives up to her name...she's so cuddly and loving :)

      • Edwin Chan profile image

        Edwin Chan 

        7 years ago from New Zealand

        haha these are everywhere in Korea. They can be super cute. Great article, keep up the good writing

      • Mireille G profile image

        Mireille G 

        7 years ago from Kansas

        These are so cute, I won't let my grand kid look at them because then we would have to bring one home. I am not that mean though I let her have a teddy bear hamster. Not the same.

      • Winsome profile image

        Winsome 

        7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

        Hi Belinda, sounds like the perfect companion--eager to please and intelligent, loves your company and less vocal...hmmm do these come in human? =:)

      • Kaye McCulloch profile image

        Kaye McCulloch 

        7 years ago from Australia

        Cute pups!

      • Maggie Elaine profile image

        Maggie Elaine 

        7 years ago

        I loved your article on these adorable dogs. Keep up the good work!

      • nthdimension profile image

        Graeme Houston 

        7 years ago from Scotland

        Those teddybear puppies look adorable. They have those big eyes that make me think of the cat in shrek. If ever I have kids, I might get a teddy bear puppy as the family pet.

      • George Huss profile image

        George Huss 

        7 years ago from United States

        If they are anything like my Bichon Frise they must be a great dog!

      • John Clifford profile image

        John Clifford 

        7 years ago

        I love all dogs and the teddy bear breeds are extremely cute, thanks for the article and great dog pictures!

      • bloggering profile image

        bloggering 

        7 years ago from Southern California

        I've never heard of these dogs, but they sure are cute! Welcome to the Hub!

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