We all know that nothing is quite as cute as a fluffy, cuddly animal. that’s why generally speaking humans love dogs, cats, hamsters, bunnies, gerbils, guinea pigs, pretty much anything with fur, there’s just something in us that is drawn to them! Well, I’d have to say that pretty high up that list is teddy bear dog breeds, a teddy bear dog possesses all the qualities we love; cute, cuddly, soft, fluffy, and with brilliant personalities to boot! And here’s our list of what think are the top 20 teddy bear dog breeds out there.
What is a Teddy Bear Dog?
The “Teddy Bear” name doesn’t actually apply to a specific breed, but rather a type of dog, that is to say, any breed of dog that LOOKS like a teddy bear! A teddy bear dog is often characterized by its resemblance to a stuffed toy, meaning they are extremely fluffy and rounded, with sweet little faces and shining eyes; the smaller breeds could genuinely be mistaken for a toy if they chose to nap in a pile of teddies.
IMPORTANT: Though they may resemble a toy, however, teddy bear dogs should not under any circumstance be treated as such. They are living creatures that need as much care and attention as any other dog, and equally can become stressed and upset when mishandled, or encroached upon. You need to respect their space and personal boundaries and treat them with dignity and respect.
What Kind of Size is a Teddy Bear Dog?
Generally speaking, the teddy bear dog type is best known to refer to be small fluffy breeds, owing to their tiny stature along with their looks. However, there are a couple of large breed dogs that also fit into the category and very well suit the old saying of being a “big old teddy bear”!
Typically speaking a teddy bear dog doesn’t tend to grow to be any heavier than around 20 pounds, though once again, those few big breeds throw in a bit of variation.
If you’re thinking of getting a teddy bear puppy, research the breed you want and take a look at their parents if you can, this should at least give you an idea of how big they may get. for example, you’ll notice quite a few breeds are mixed with poodles, which are actually rather large dogs and can add quite a difference to a puppy’s potential final size.
At the tiny end of the spectrum, you can get your teacup Pomeranians and Yorkipoos that weigh as little as 3 pounds! But just be aware that the size result with a teacup breed is a game of chance, as they could also grow anywhere up 12-15 pounds too.
Our Top 20 Teddy Bear Dog Breeds
Effectively a pocket-sized husky! But don’t let their size fool you, they have huge personalities, oodles of energy, and require a lot of training and exercise to keep their zoomies and attitudes in check. They also need plenty of grooming, as a husky can drop fur like nobody’s business, and though Pomeranians don’t shed nearly as much, they don’t exactly have a short easy-to-manage coat themselves.
A gorgeous teddy bear lapdog, with a cheerful attitude. Malshis love a good cuddle and make a fantastic family pet thanks to their gentle playful demeanor and outgoing personality. Their gentle natures make them great with kids and friendly with other animals too, as well as them being eager to please and super fast learners when it comes to training. Though be sure to watch out for their stubborn streak!
Probably one of the better-known teddy bear dog breeds, the Cockapoo’s soft little beady eyes, and long shaggy coats give them an irresistibly gentle teddy bear appearance. They are a kind-natured, gentle breed with a natural affinity for small children, so much so that some schools have started to use them as therapy dogs. Separation anxiety is quite prominent in this breed and so be sure to begin separation training as soon as you can to get them adjusted to your absence quickly and easily.
The result of one tiny breed mixed with another, the Spitzpoo’s rounded ears and button nose are what make it one of the top teddy bear look-alike dog breeds, and their friendly face mirrors their personality! The combination of personality traits from these two breeds creates a fiercely loyal, affectionate, playful, and obedient puppy that is highly receptive to training. The ideal family pet, just be sure you find yourself a trustworthy Spitzpoo breeder before you commit.
The Shichon (or otherwise known as the Zuchon teddy bear dog), is a teddy bear breed ideally suited to low energy households as they don’t require a whole lot of exercise, and are quite happy with a jolly good run around the garden and training sessions to keep their minds active. Shichon puppies are affectionate, eager to please, and well mannered, and to top it off, they’re hypoallergenic!
A Breed that you maybe wouldn’t expect to see in this list due to its large size, but take one look at it and you’ll see exactly why it’s here! The Chow Chow with their short snouts, round ears, friendly eyes, and incredibly fluffy coats look just like teddy bears in more ways than one and make the perfect large breed teddy bear ambassador. Chow Chows are dignified and beautiful but don’t let their gentle exterior fool you, they are instinctively stubborn, snobbish, and selectively ignorant, so if you’re thinking of getting one, be prepared to do a lot of training to keep them in line.
As you’d expect from a Golden Retriever mix, they are incredibly intelligent and receptive when it comes to training, as well as being playful, loving and the ideal pet for a family house with small children or other pets. Additionally, seeing as they are crossed with a miniature poodle, their grooming needs are quite simple and should not be too high maintenance. A perfect teddy bear puppy for your home.
One of the original pure breed dogs to hold the teddy bear breed title, with small shining eyes tucked away in their flat, fluffy, round white faces, they could easily be mistaken for a teddy bear if they stood still enough! As a pet, the Bichon Frise is a curious soul, with a feisty, peppy, playful nature that is great for children. Just be sure to keep on top of grooming that beautiful curly fluffy coat of theirs, you don’t want it to mat!
The Pomchi is energetic, friendly, and people-oriented, but they are known for being a nervous, skittish breed that requires plenty of socializing early in their life to build their confidence. They are also unfortunately prone to separation anxiety and rely quite heavily on the presence of their family, training may help your pup to adjust to stints of absence, but if you’re out for a large chunk of the day then a different teddy bear breed may suit you better.
Another classic teddy bear look, with a round button nose, flat face, and little dark eyes, Shorkies love to play but are equally content with snuggling up with their favorite human. As is quite common with a lot of small dog breeds, however, they can struggle with separation anxiety and may tend towards barking excessively. Shorkies can also have a stubborn side, so they may not be the ideal pet for you if you are out of the house constantly and unable to take the time to train them.
These tiny, friendly-faced, floppy-eared, scrappy little teddy bear pups are a mixed breed that combines the intelligence of a Poodle with the loving playfulness of the Cairn Terrier. They adore their humans and love to play and cuddle, but because of their poodle intelligence, they require plenty of mental stimulation, without their humans around they can tend towards destructive behavior as an outlet for their anxiety or boredom when left alone for too long.
Another one of your classic purebred teddy bear dog breeds, the Shih-Tzu has been a popular family pet for decades. Much loved for their loyalty to their families, these little teddy bears are alert and bright, making them easy to train. Fortunately, they are a hypoallergenic breed, but their grooming needs are quite extensive, and if their long coat is not managed properly they will just keep growing and will begin to mat easily (many owners keep to clipping their coat short for this reason).
A crowd favorite over in the UK, as well as rapidly growing in popularity in many other parts of the world, these perfect companion teddy bear dogs look like teddies in so many ways, and with their cuddle personalities to make, it’s no wonder they’re so coveted. Much like the Shih-Tzu, their long silky coat is a high maintenance feature that requires constant grooming and care if you’re wanting to have it long. They are charming, feisty, and fun-loving and have proven time and again to be an ideal addition to any family.
Morkies are a precious, scrappy teddy bear mixed breed that is fiercely loyal to its owner, they come very attached and love to be loved, though this is somewhat to their detriment. Their attachment means that they can be quite demanding, and training is important to encourage independence and confidence. Their boisterous nature makes them quite bold, so watch them around big dogs, they sometimes forget they’re only small and can get injured whilst playing if they’re not careful!
This majestic little teddy bear breed may look like their Shih-Tzu cousins, but they have a rather interesting history, as they were originally used by Buddhist monks as watchdogs. As a result of this, they are alert and fearless with strangers, and equally kind natured and friendly. These spirited teddy bear pups are proud and kind, and perfectly suited to family homes, just keep an eye on that lovely silky coat, it’s another one that will just keep on growing, so it will need regular grooming.
The cuddle teddy bear cross between a Poodle and Yorkshire Terrier is a versatile pup, that is great for smaller living spaces owing to its low energy levels. They get their joy from the company of their best human friend and are receptive and easy to train. The only problems you may experience with this gorgeous teddy bear breed are related to separation anxiety, as they are not fond of being left alone for long periods of time and have been known to mark or dig to release that anxious energy.
Toy Poodles are way up there on the teddy bear list, with their thick soft hypoallergenic coats, gentle shining eyes, and quizzical nature, they’re hard to resist. They’re lively and intelligent, meaning they benefit from a good amount of exercise and respond very well to training with very few obedience problems. Their good-tempered natures make them very patient, but they are still very delicate and should be handled with care.
Another large teddy bear breed to accompany its Chow Chow friend! The Bernedoodle is a perfect cross between a Poodle and Bernese Mountain Dog, which results in a highly intelligent, mild-mannered, kind-natured breed. It makes a fantastic companion dog, where the term “teddy bear” fits its personality as much as its looks; patient, kind, gentle, responsive, and relaxed, this beautiful pup has got it all.
The Shih-Poo is quite a new breed, which is a Shih-Tzu crossed with either a Miniature or a Toy Poodle. They relish being doted on and make an ideal pet for seniors, their lively personalities make a great source of entertainment, and can also match up quite nicely with families with children as well. Thanks to their poodle genes, they don’t shed as much as you may think, which helps to keep them low maintenance – less time hoovering, more time cuddling!
Let’s end this list on a big note, shall we? Barbets have all the features of your tiny teddy bear dogs, in a far bigger form. Though as cute and cuddly as they may look, they demand a lot of effort from their owners and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They can also be quite stubborn and feisty, so they are better off with a more experienced owner that can have the time and confidence to train this big rare teddy bear.
Q. Are teddy bear dogs hypoallergenic breeds?
A: Whilst many teddy bear dogs are based on crossing one breed with a poodle (a well known hypoallergenic breed), it doesn’t mean that they are all hypoallergenic. In fact, many teddy bear dog breeds are not, so it is well worth looking into the puppy’s parentage and seeing if both parent breeds fall under the hypoallergenic category.
If you are still unsure as to whether the puppy you are looking at is right for your family, depending on the severity of the allergy, it may be worth giving the allergic family member some limited access to the puppy to see how they respond.
Q. Do teddy bear dogs have health issues?
A: Given that teddy bear dog breeds can be so wildly varied, this can be a difficult question to answer accurately, and very much like humans, each dog can develop its own health problems as they grow which can be influenced by genetics, environment, nutrition, and upbringing. Before committing to any teddy bear dog, the best thing for you to do is to research the particular breed that you are looking to get, that way you can be fully clued in on their potential health issues, temperament, dietary requirements, exercise requirements, and general care.
With small dogs there are a couple of general health problems that have been noted over the years that may be helpful to research:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a degenerative health condition that affects the retina and as a result can cause vision loss and even complete blindness. Unfortunately, this condition cannot be treated and is more likely to affect small breeds.
- Patellar luxation (luxating patella): Patellar luxation is an orthopedic condition is effectively the small dog equivalent of hip dysplasia, and causes the knee cap to dislocate. Patellar luxation can be treated and most commonly only affects one knee, though it can on very rare occasions affect though.
You may also like our article on the Best Dog Knee Braces.
With large breed dogs there are also a couple of general health problems that can affect them and would be good to know if you are thinking of getting a large teddy bear dog breed:
- Hip Dysplasia: Easily the most common ailment for a large dog, this orthopedic condition that results in the hip joint not fitting or being located outside of the joint socket, which can need surgery in order to allow the dog to walk again. Veta can check for this health problem at a young age.
- Arthritis: As can be expected in most large breeds, arthritis causes stiffness and swelling in the joints which can be uncomfortable or even painful, and is often made worth by prior injury.
Q. Do teddy bear dogs make good pets?
A: Absolutely! Like any other dog, each individual teddy bear dog is different, not just because of its breed but because of that particular dog’s personality. Each breed brings its own personality traits into the mix, and so there is a certain amount you can learn to expect from researching the teddy bear dog you are thinking of getting as a pet before you decide yes or no.
Teddy bear dog breeds are typically breeds that have been bred to make great companions and so they will be wonderful pets! They will be loving, energetic, and intelligent dogs to keep, and many breeds (especially those crossed with poodles) won’t shed much, or may not at all, so they’re easy to clean up after too. Their gentle and loving nature makes them great dogs to have with young children, as they will be an unending source of entertainment and a brilliant furry playmate.
Q. Can you leave teddy bear dogs alone?
A: A large percentage of teddy bear dog breeds tend to have problems with separation anxiety, it is most often observed in mini bear dogs in particular and can struggle when they are left alone.
Ideally, a regular routine that they can grow accustomed to is the best way to combat separation anxiety. Here are a few tips for that routine that may help you to curb their stress:
- use of a radio when they are left alone to break the silence
- gradually adjusting your new puppy to your absence by starting small and building it up.
- rewarding bravery with treats if they behave well whilst you are gone.
- Plenty of exercise to help them to run out any pent up nervous energy.
It is extremely important that you research whichever teddy bear dog breed you are thinking of getting, and check the type of temperament and anxiety level you should expect with them, their typical breed traits can tell you a lot.
Q. How expensive it is to buy a teddy bear dog breed?
A: If you look around for a trustworthy and reputable breeder to purchase from, then a teddy bear dog breed puppy can cost anywhere from $500-$3000 depending on the breed you are looking for purchase.
It is worth remembering that “teddy bear dogs” are not a specific breed, but rather a description assigned to various breeds, so do your research into breed options before looking to buy. And make absolutely sure that you are getting your teddy bear puppies from a responsible and ideally registered breeder that can provide proof of breeding and any information you may require about their puppies.
Q. Can you adopt a teddy bear dog?
A: Because the term “teddy bear dog” fits so many breeds, it’s no surprise that you can find teddy bear dog breeds in shelters and rescues. Getting your teddy dog from a shelter means you’re giving a sweet, beautiful little puppy the perfect loving forever home.
The cost of adopting a dog can generally land between $150-$350 and so already you’re saving a minimum of $150 which you can put towards a new bed and maybe some “welcome home” toys for your new pooch!