Teddy bear breeds are dog breeds that resemble cuddly toys. Such dog breeds include the Shih-Tzu and the Pomeranian, which are generally smaller sized dogs with long coats. Their generally petite stature with a distinct fluffy appearance has helped them to become very popular household pets.
However, it’s important to remember that even though they often look like plush toys than real animals, they need just as much care, attention, and maintenance as any other dog breed. They are not toys and should not be treated like such.
What Is a Teddy Bear Dog Breed?
The teddy bear term doesn’t refer to any dog breed in particular. The term simply refers to dog breeds that resemble teddy bears in their appearance. Such dogs are usually hybrids of multiple dog breeds. They often have button noses, soft eyes, stand-up ears, and a fluffy coat.
These dogs are often categorized as mixed designer breeds, except for one purebred dog: the Pomeranian. The most famous teddy bear dog is the crossbreed between the Shih-Tzu and Bichon Frise. However, many other breeds fall under this category. If you’ve been considering getting yourself a teddy bear dog, here is a list of options that you can consider.
- Zuchon – Perhaps one of the most renowned teddy bear breeds is the cross between the Shih-Tzu and Bichon Frise, the Zuchon. Some breeders of these dogs even advertise them simply as teddy bears.
- Poochon – A cross between the Poodle and the Bichon Frise. Poodles make a regular appearance as a parent of most teddy bear dog breeds.
- Shih Poo – The Shih-Tzu and Poodle mixed to form this adorable ball of fluff.
- Mini Goldendoodle – This is a sized-down version of the Goldendoodle. They are a cross between the Golden Retriever and Poodle.
- Maltipoo – Another Poodle crossbreed, this time with the Maltese, is a beautiful and elegant dog breed.
- Morkie – Maltese crossed with a Yorkshire terrier, creating a playful, fiery, and affectionate little dog.
- Schnoodle – A teddy bear dog with a slightly different look; the pointed snout of the Schnauzer makes this breed stand out.
- Cavapoo – Cavalier King Charles spaniel crossed with the Poodle, an excellent companion animal, and lap dog.
- Malshi – Maltese crossed with the Shih-Tzu.
- Cairnoodle – Cairn terrier crossed with the Poodle, a fiery and loving companion dog.
- Cockapoo – Cocker spaniel crossed with the Poodle, a combination of energetic and furry.
- Westiepoo – WestHighland terrier crossed with the Poodle is another lovely terrier and Poodle combination.
- Shorkie – Shih-Tzu crossed with the Yorkshire terrier.
- Pomapoo – This is a cross between the gorgeous Pomeranian and the Poodle. Pomeranians can also be a teddy bear breed on their own, due to their often toy-like appearance and fluffy coats.
- Yorkipoo – The Yorkshire terrier and Poodle mixed breed is sweet-natured and a great addition to any family.
- Pomchi – Mixing the Pomeranian with a Chihuahua, you’re sure to have an avid yapper on your hands.
- Peekapoo – Pekingese crossed with the Poodle. Pekingnese are quite similar to the Maltese in appearance.
- Cavachon – Cavalier King Charles spaniel crossed with the Bichon Frise.
The temperament of these dogs will vary depending on the type of breed that you decide to get. Typically, most teddy bear breeds are companion dogs; therefore, you can expect an affectionate and loving furry friend. Bichon Frise and Shih-Tzu mixes, the most common teddy bear breed, are friendly little dogs that love to be around their families.
Zuchons are generally good with kids. They are lively and love to play, making them an excellent choice for families who are active or with older children. Zuchons form strong bonds with their family members and tend to get along with other household pets, such as cats and smaller animals. They make excellent watchdogs as they are quite avid little barkers when someone’s at the door.
How Long Do They Live?
Small dog breeds generally tend to live longer than most large breeds. Teddy bear dogs are no exception, as their typical life expectancy is between 12 to 16 years. This longevity is attributed to their fast metabolism. However, as with any animal, you should remember that your dog’s lifespan depends heavily on their diet and lifestyle, and any genetic predispositions they may have, regardless of their breed.
Therefore when you add a teddy bear dog to your household, you’re going to have your new best friend by your side for a long time. You’re sure to find a lifelong companion in one of these sweet little dogs; their affection is both unconditional and limitless. Most teddy bear dogs thrive off the attention they get from their owner and the time they spend with them, so these dogs are the perfect couch companion.
How Big Do They Get?
Teddy bear dogs are smaller than the average dog. Some can be incredibly tiny, weighing just a few pounds as adults. However, since these dogs are not limited to a specific breed, they can vary in size. An adult teddy bear will rarely weigh more than 20 pounds. This is because each dog is a crossbreed between two other small dog breeds. If the parent breeds weigh around 20 pounds, you should also expect their offspring to weigh the same.
Therefore, a fully grown teddy bear dog can weigh anything between 5 and 20 pounds depending on their breed makeup. They usually stop growing between 6 and 24 months. By this time, they will typically have attained their adult height and weight. The smallest teddy bear dog breeds include the teacup Pomeranian and Yorkipoo.
Teacup dogs such as the Pomeranian and Yorkipoo are bred to be as tiny as possible. A lot of teddy bear dog breeds can also be mixed to produce these ‘teacup’ characteristics, and will typically weigh around 5 pounds. There’s also teacup versions of already small dog breeds that aren’t classed as a teddy bear breed, such as the Chihuahua.
Teacup Dogs and Their Health Issues
These mini teddy bear puppies may be all kinds of cute, but they come with their fair share of health issues that you need to be aware of before getting yourself one. To produce these teacup dogs, breeders pair the so-called runts of the litter with each other to create the smallest dogs possible. Sometimes, the dogs selected for breeding are tiny due to congenital disorders. Often these health issues can easily be passed down to their offspring.
While having a dog that fits in your pocket is appealing and will cost you little in terms of food, doctors have found that the breeding history of these teacup-sized breeds has made them predisposed to certain conditions in the long-run. Some of the common conditions include hypoglycemia, heart defects, collapsing trachea, seizures, respiratory problems, digestive problems, and blindness.
The breeding practices associated with these dogs has also been linked to an increased likelihood of liver shunts in these dogs, which are congenital disorders that affect the liver’s ability to flush out toxins, and treatment for this condition can be up to $6,000.
If you’re looking to get yourself a teddy bear pup, you should stick to the regular teddy bear breeds. Their loving and friendly nature combined with their fluffy, cuddly appearance can be accompanied by unnecessary health risks. Teacups are just as small and cute, but they get sick. That’s why getting a teddy bear makes a better choice.
If you’re looking for a loveable family companion, then it is worth spending your time looking into various teddy bear dogs. These dogs are perfect for families, regardless of whether your household is active or lazy. Many of these dogs love to swim, so an occasional trip to the beach every now and then or so is something that they will enjoy thoroughly. Otherwise, they will be satisfied with a daily walk and a little playtime.
While there are certain health conditions that smaller dogs are predisposed to that you can be aware of, looking for a reputable breeder is the correct way of ensuring that your dog is at no risk of developing any further health conditions. Breeders with healthy parents that have had all their necessary health checks and screening are the best breeders to purchase a teddy bear puppy from.
Aside from finding a good breeder, you can’t change your dog’s genetics, so you should be patient and careful to ensure that you don’t rush into adopting a potentially unhealthy pooch. Nutrition and environment also play a significant role in the health of your dog. You should ensure to invest in high-quality dog food for your teddy bear to ensure that they get all of the nutrients they need. You should also ensure to give your pup a clean living environment to promote their good health further. Taking all of these necessary precautions will help make sure that your teddy bear puppy is as happy and healthy as possible.