In your childhood, did you at least once wish the Teddy bear could come to live with you? Well, we are delighted to tell you that your dream has now come true with the advent of Teddy Bear dogs – a new beautiful hybrid dog of Shi Tzu, Bichon Frisé, and Poodle.
If you’re looking for a portable-size canine companion - who is cute and can remind you of one of your dearest stuffed friends in your childhood, then you may want to look into the world of Teddy Bear dogs that we’re going to introduce to you in this post.
Newly introduced since 2000, Teddy Bear is not a pure dog breed. Rather, it refers to a hybrid whose puppies share certain physical traits and generally look like a Teddy bear. The originally employed dog breeds to carry out the crossbreeding process are Shi Tzu, Bichon Frisé, and Poodle.
In accordance with their shared “surname” – the Teddy Bear, these dogs are unquestionably small. Especially so, if they’re the direct offspring of the three “elemental breeds”. That’s why a grown Teddy Bear dog’s height is usually between 8 and 14 inches, while its weight is only about 10-20 pounds.
Teddy Bear dogs earn such namesake because of their general appearance: soft, cottony coat, round face, big eyes, and button nose. Not to mention the similar sizes, too!
Because these dogs look like the Teddy, their life goal is just the same: to comfort people, especially children. In fact, it’s been recorded that Teddy Bear dogs have been employed as therapy dogs for disabled children.
Different crossbreed dogs have different longevity, depending on their parents’ original lifespans. But averagely, most small-size dogs could live for 12-15 years, or even longer if they are taken good care of. And of course, like other hybrid dogs, Teddy Bear dogs also inherit health issues and genetic disorders from their parents.
Contrary to their increasing popularity, AKC does not acknowledge the Teddy Bear dog as a pure dog breed, but the hybrid of two purebred dogs. As is the case of many other mixed breed dogs, Teddy Bear dogs are still seen as mongrels.
And because of the same reason, there’s no fixed trait for any of them yet. Meaning, you can’t tell exactly which parent your pup should take after more than the other, regarding the outer looks and temperament.
Distinct Representatives of Teddy Bear Dogs
First, let’s take a look at the direct mixed descendants of the three original dog breeds.
Shih-Poo Teddy Bear
This is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Poodle of Miniature or Toy size. But it’s more common to see a Shih-Poo whose one parent is the miniature-sized Poodle.
Normally, a Shih-Poo can live for 12 years. But with proper care and lots of love, he can live up to 15 years.
The body measurements of Shih-Poo Teddy Bear dogs are various, depending on the size (miniature or toy) and breed (standard or teacup) of their Poodle parent. But you can generally estimate that a mature Shih-Poos can be 8-18 pounds in weight and 8-13 inches in height.
Their appearance, especially their face, is strictly similar to a real Teddy bear with fuzzy fur covering a round face, button eyes, long muzzle, and drooping ears.
Shih-Poos’ fur is diverse in colors, ranging from black, sable, white, cream, brown, red to mixed colors. Each strand of hair is curly (like Poodle’s fur), long (like Shih Tzu’s fur), and soft (like both parents’ coat).
Photo credit: Phil's Pixels
This hybrid does take the best of their parent breeds’ temperaments: affectionate like a Shih Tzu and playful like a Poodle. They’re very trainable, so make sure to teach your Shih-Poo obedience and socialization at an early age.
Shih-Poos are friendly with other pets in the household and can make a good friend for children. It’s just as well! Because Shih-Poos are energetic, children are probably their only equal in dynamic games.
That said, Shih-Poos are quite benign, obedient, and eager to please. You don’t have to worry they don’t adapt to apartment life.
Shichon Teddy Bear
A successful crossbreeding of a Shi Tzu and a Bichon Frisé will lead to a lovely Shichon Teddy Bear (a.k.a., Zuchon).
Averagely 12-15 years, but the number can be prolonged up to 18 years in one condition: being taken meticulously care of.
It’s understandable if somehow you mistake a Shichon for a real stuffed bear. With those big, shiny eyes and the perfect size of a stuffed toy, who wouldn’t confuse a living cotton ball with an unanimated one?
Here is the proof: their maximum height is 12 inches and only weigh up to 15 pounds, the fuzzy coat included. In short, Shichons are small, especially when they are puppies – try putting one in a pile of Teddy bear and turn away for a second, then turn back, and you’ll totally lose him!
Like the cuddly toy, Shichons’ coat is soft to touch, and the hair strands are either curly or silkily long. This trait is decided by whose gene they take more after. The colors are various, too. Including white, silver, tan, cream, gray, etc. and rarer shades like red black, chocolate, and pure black.
Shichon dogs are highly named in the list of hypoallergenic dogs due to their non-shedding nature. Isn’t it great news for allergy sufferers?
Both loving and lively traits of the founding breeds are instilled in any Shichon pup. These little guys love to play and being showered with attention, so they’ll befriend almost everyone, including other pets and children. Therefore, it’s a good idea if you don’t have time to play or do exercise with your Shichon, let the kiddoes walk him in the park.
However, because of their particularly small size, Shichons better suit with older children, lest the little ones confuse the poor pup with their stuffy.
Poochon Teddy Bear
The Poochon is the successful result of mating a Poodle with a Bichon Frisé.
Both Bichon and Poodle have the average longevity of 12-15 years, so their crossbreed pups would live just as long.
As is the case of any Teddy Bear dog, Poochons are small, their head is round, and their beady eyes are almond-shaped which make them look like a plush bear with long, downy ears.
The specific figures are 9-14 inches in height and 6-18 pounds in weight.
Like their cousin the Shichons, Poochons, too, possess the valuable non-shedding fur and therefore are recognized as hypoallergenic dogs.
Commonly seen is the white coat. But Poochons’ colors can be various: apricot, blue, black. If the Poochon is a direct descendant of a purebred Poodle, they’ll inevitably inherit the curly fur with medium-long strands of hair.
Poochons are boisterous and eager to play. That’s why you should train your enthusiastic buddy when he’s a pup (it won’t be too hard, by the way, since he’s insanely bright!), together with taking him out to make new friends and join in some activities in the park.
Even though Poochons can get along well with other pets and children, they prefer their particular caregiver and therefore are easily suffer from separation anxiety if you two are parted for a long time.
Other Types of Teddy Bear Dog
The original gene pool of Teddy Bear pooches is contributed by three aforementioned breeds. But other pedigrees can also be added to that gene pool in order to create new puppies carrying better physical traits and temperaments.
Malshi Teddy Bear
Malshi pups are born to a Maltese and a Shih Tzu parent. Their another name is Teacup Teddy Bear.
Photo credit: TheShoddyPhotographer
Malshis’ life expectancy is about 12-14 years. And like any other domesticated dog, they can live longer if being properly cared for.
With the perfect measurements of 9-12 pounds, 8-14 inches, huge puppy eyes, big hanging ears, curly tail – no wonder why these dogs often make people honestly mistake them for real plushy.
What’s more, they’ll carry these adorable traits and youthful temperament throughout their lives! Doesn’t this sound great for those who wish for a dog of eternal puppyhood? These goofy darlings can get bigger, become heavier, but they never look old (or act old, for that matter).
While the overall layer is dense, the silky hair colors are like those of Shih Tzus: black, white, brown, and combinations of those three colors.
Another reason why Malshi dogs are so famous is that they have a non-shedding coat. You already know what this means, don’t you? – Yep, Malshi dogs are hypoallergenic!
Though lively and love playing with other pets and children, Malshi dogs are full of love and would rather be with their main guardian for a cuddling session before bedtime.
Moreover, these buddies are very friendly and outgoing. They are excellent at making friends with anything that moves. However, Malshi dogs are fearless, so it’s normal if your Malshi is stubborn sometimes. But they are quick learners, so you just have to be patient and persistent in training them. Eventually, all will be well.
Goldendoodle Teddy Bear
Actually, this particular dog breed has 3 sizes: miniature, small standard, and large standard. If you want a bigger Teddy Bear dog, then this beautiful result of cross-breeding of a Poodle and a Golden Retriever may be to your preference.
Unfortunate events excluded, with your love and proper care, the two of you could be side by side for 15 years!
But remember the rule: the bigger the type, the shorter the life.
A long-haired Golden Retriever with a curly-haired Poodle will make a wonderful litter of shaggy-looking Teddy bears. Goldendoodle puppies inherit the perfect looks of their parents – either the strong bulk of a Golden Retriever or the lithe frame of a Poodle. For how big a miniature Goldendoodle could be, you can check out this post.
Specific measurements (weight and height) of Goldendoodle Teddy Bear:
- Miniature: 15-35 pounds and 13-20 inches.
- Small Standard: 40-50 pounds and 17-20 inches.
- Large Standard: 50-90 pounds and 20-24 inches.
Not just “golden” like its namesake, this hybrid’s soft and wavy coat can be of other colors, ranging from red-golden, apricot, cream, copper, to grey, black, and chocolate or white.
The Goldendoodles shed minimally if they have wavy coat – a trait taken after their hypoallergenic Poodle parent. It’s rarer to see a hybrid of this dog type with a straight coat, but know that such inheritance implies the dog’s high shedding nature.
Golden Retrievers are famous for their eager-to-please trait. That trait is passed on to the Goldendoodle pups as well. This means we’ll have very smart, trainable, and energetic pups that love to play and socialize, at the same time, are obedient and affectionate (you might want to check out the list of most affectionate dog breeds)
Goldendoodles are active dogs, and they’re prone to scurry around the house to burn off their exceeding energy. That’s why they may not be ideal for those who live in a small apartment.
How Much for a Teddy Bear Dog?
As stated from the beginning, Teddy Bear dog isn’t a specific dog breed, but they are the hybrid offspring issued from the union of two purebred dogs. Therefore, the price for one Teddy Bear pup varies greatly, ranging from $500 to $3,000.
Overall, it depends on the chosen parent breeds. And as long as AKC doesn’t recognize them as a breed, they’re still deemed new, so the cost would be even higher.
If “Teddy Bear” is a household’s surname, then there’re many members in this mixed breed family. And if fate would have it, one of them will be your future, long-term buddy. Take good care of your dog, and you’ll have more than a decade filled with love and joy together.
Leave your comment if you have any questions to ask us. Thank you for reading!