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Teddy Bear: Everything You Need to Know

Mira Gibson

The Teddy Bear dog breed is an adorable hybrid mix of two purebreds, the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frise. Toy sized and utterly precious, Teddy Bears are sweet companion lap dogs who love their owners and show a great deal of affection.

True to the name, this designer doggy really does look like a Teddy Bear! Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Teddy Bear dog breed!

Three cute Teddy Bear puppies, a designer dog mix of Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu, stand side by side in front of a blue backdrop.

APPEARANCE, SIZE, & LIFESPAN

Teddy Bear dogs look like… drum roll, please… Teddy Bears! Shocking, we know. Yet in a sense, it kind of is shocking because the purebred parents that procreate this hybrid dog don’t themselves resemble teddy bears. Somehow, when the perky Bichon Frise is mated with the dainty and dignified Shih Tzu, the result is a stuffed animal come to life!

Teddy Bears are “toy sized,” which means that they belong to the smallest size of dogs. Standing between 9 – 12 inches and weighing no more than 15 lbs, this dog breed when fully grown is tiny! Thanks to its size and cuddly personality, the Teddy Bear makes a wonderful companion dog for people who live in small homes, especially those who live in major cities where there isn’t a lot of space inside or outside. Teddy Bears don’t need much space at all, and their exercise needs, as you’ll learn later in this article, are very minimal.

In addition to their renowned teddy bear appearance, this dog breed is also best known for its unbelievably soft fur. Thanks to the Teddy Bear’s Bichon Frise parent, it inherited silky yet curly hair. Best of all, this hair is hypoallergenic. Your Teddy Bear will hardly shed at all and isn’t like to trigger allergies in those who are sensitive or allergic to dogs. 

The most popular Teddy Bear colors are:

  • Brown 
  • Brown and White 
  • Black, Brown, and White 
  • White 
  • Black 
  • Cream 
  • Black and White

No matter what particular color combo a Teddy Bear is, he’s sure to be soft to the touch and content when being pet. Teddy Bears provide their favorite people with roughly 15 – 18 years of love and happiness, as this dog breed has one of the longest lifespans of all the purebred and hybrid dog breeds.

An adorable Teddy Bear dog sits with stuffed animals to show how this designer dog breed really does look like a teddy bear!

TEMPERAMENT & PERSONALITY 

Both parent dogs of the Teddy Bear breed have gentle, loving temperaments. Shih Tzus are warm and affectionate, and quickly develop very close bonds with their owners. Bichon Frises are cheerful, playful, and just as affectionate. These wonderful character traits are passed down to the Teddy Bear breed. Like their Bichon Frise parent, Teddy Bears are a great breed for families, especially those with young children. Teddy Bears love to play with kids and enjoy letting off some energy by bouncing around with children when playing indoor and outdoor games. 

Another reason why Teddy Bears make great family dogs is because they’re calm, patient, and love being touched, pat, and held. Teddy Bear dogs generally go with the flow and never mind when children squeeze and snuggle them. In fact, Teddy Bears respond well to the boisterous, playful nature of children and will quickly join in the fun! 

A white Teddy Bear dog with brown ears lounges in a pink hammock.

TRAINABILITY

The Teddy Bear breed has an eager-to-please attitude and loves the rewards of affection for doing what its owner wants. This makes it very easy to train a Teddy Bear. This breed is considered obedient and does well with treat-based positive reinforcement training. Thanks to its intelligent Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise parents, Teddy Bears are quick learners. 

This breed learns the fastest when training sessions are kept to a short 5 minutes. If you can give your Teddy Bear two 5-minute training sessions in a day twice a week, it will take your dog less than a month to learn all of the basic commands plus complex commands, including twirls, flips, and other complex, acrobatic, and performative tricks! 

Two Teddy Bear dogs sit in a grey basket looking adorable and toy sized.

EXERCISE NEEDS

Teddy Bears are not considered an active breed and therefore their exercise needs are minimal. This is due to their “toy” size. As compared to large dog breeds that need a lot of outdoor space to run to meet their daily exercise quota, Teddy Bears need significantly less space to meet their needs. One full walk around a city block, for example, is the size-to-distance equivalent of a Great Dane walking for 5 miles. 

A great thing about having a Teddy Bear dog is that if and when your dog wants to exercise and play, he’s so small that he can do that right in the living room of your home without going anywhere. Teddy Bears are known to spontaneously break out in play, running around and blowing off steam, whenever the mood strikes. This means that their exercise needs will always be met, whether or not you drop everything to take your Teddy Bear out for a walk.

A precious, white Teddy Bear dog wears a twinkling tiara and pink pearls as she lays on a bubble gum pink backdrop.

GROOMING REQUIREMENTS

As we mentioned, Teddy Bears are hypoallergenic dogs. Instead of fur, these dogs have hair, which doesn’t shed much at all. But that doesn’t automatically mean that their grooming requirements are low. In fact, it’s because their hair doesn’t shed that this dog breed needs to be brushed at least once a week in order to prevent tangles and matting in the hair. If you notice your Teddy Bear’s hair is tangled or starting to mat even though you brush him once a week, then you may need to brush him twice or three times a week.

Like all dogs, your Teddy Bear will need to be bathed and its hair shampooed. This breed doesn’t necessarily need haircuts, but a good trim every six months may be in order. Bathing and shampooing your Teddy Bear should be done about once every three months, unless you notice your Teddy gets dirty more frequently. 

Due to the Teddy Bear’s white and light-colored faces, they tend to develop “tear stains” on their faces, which can be wiped and cleaned. If the staining is dark, we recommend that you use a baking soda and water paste mixture to “scrub” the darkened fur. This will brighten the hair back to its original white color. We recommend using a toothbrush to gently wash and scrub the paste into the stained fur. Just be sure to wash the baking soda away completely. 

CONCLUSION

We’ve come to the end of this Teddy Bear dog breed article, and we hope you found it informative. If you really want to know everything there is to know about Teddy Bears, then the next step is to come into our Boca Raton location in Florida to meet our adorable Teddy Bear puppies for sale. Experiencing all the cuteness that this designer dog breed has to offer will give you better insights about whether the Teddy Bear dog is right for you!