What's the difference between a teddy bear and a dog? Dogs can cuddle back with you when you snuggle up to them! Of course there are many more differences, but some dogs actually do resemble bears and toy teddy bears. What are teddy bear dogs? And how did they come about? Find out here, plus 34 teddy bear dog breeds or dogs that look like bears and teddy bears.
What is a Teddy Bear Dog Breed?
Teddy bear dog breeds are what they sounds like - dogs that look like teddy bears! While crossbreeds like Doodles are often the first to come to mind, there are plenty of purebred breeds that exhibit teddy bear-like characteristics. These dogs are typically characterized by having at least two of the following features:
- Plush, fluffy fur
- Rounded faces
- Dark eyes and noses
- Shorter snouts
- Puffy ears
- An overall cuddly appearance
Of course, there are variations among dogs that resemble teddy bears. For example, some are large dogs while others are small and some have different textured fur, longer snouts and lighter eyes, among other varied traits.
The History of Teddy Bear Dogs
Teddy bear dogs emerged in the United States following the surge in popularity of designer breeds during the 1980s and early 90s. They were initially developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s by crossing Poodle, Bichon Frise, and Maltese breeds. This breeding resulted in small dogs with a plush, hypoallergenic coat that bore a striking resemblance to the beloved children's toy. As expected, dogs that resembled teddy bears quickly won over human hearts, propelling their popularity not only in the U.S. but also worldwide..
Is a Teddy Bear Dog Different From A Teddy Bear Dog Breed?
Sometimes, the term "Teddy Bear Dog" is used to refer to a particular mix of breeds. These mixes typically include Zuchon or Shichon (a Shih Tzu-Bichon Frise mix), Mal-Shi (Shih Tzu-Maltese mix), Shih Poo (Shih Tzu-Poodle mix), or Poochon (Bichon Frise-Toy Poodle mix). However, as time has passed, the term "teddy bear dog" has broadened to encompass any dogs that bear a resemblance to the cuddly children's toy.
Do Teddy Bear Dogs Shed?
Most teddy bear dog breeds are typically considered hypoallergenic or low-shedding due to the nature of their fur, particularly since many of them are crossbreeds involving at least one low-shedding dog. However, it's worth noting that there are breeds resembling bears and teddy bears that do not fall into the hypoallergenic or low-shedding categories.
For example, Affenpinschers, Bouvier des Flandres, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Samoyeds, and Tibetan Terriers are considered hypoallergenic but are not low-shedding. On the other hand, some dogs (like the Black Russian Terrier) are not considered hypoallergenic but are low-shedding. And then breeds like Akitas, Chow Chows, Keeshonds, Old English Sheepdogs, Pekingeses, Pomeranians, Pugs, Shar Peis, and Tibetan Mastiffs are not considered hypoallergenic.
Pro Tip: People with dog allergies may still experience symptoms due to exposure to dander and saliva.
Adopting A Teddy Bear Dog Breed
Because teddy bear dog breeds typically consist of purebreds or crossbreeds, it's crucial to ensure you choose an ethical breeder when adopting one. Signs of a responsible and reputable breeder include:
Being a member in good standing with the official parent club for the breed, if applicable, and following the parent club’s Code of Ethics
Providing complete and accurate health records for the puppies and dogs
Providing written guarantees against genetic health problems
Keeping puppies until they are past the minimum recommended age of adoption (typically at least eight to nine weeks)
Encouraging potential adopters to visit the puppies and dogs prior to pickup
Socializes puppies and dogs, including exposure them to other animals, new people, kids and various noises
- Offering to take puppies and dogs back from adopters for any reason
Encouraging adopters to participate in socialization, basic obedience and other fundamental training
List Of Teddy Bear Dog Breeds:
Black Russian Terrier
Bouvier des Flandres
Coton de Tulear
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Old English Sheepdog
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Portuguese Water Dog
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
Spanish Water Dog
Zuchon (a.k.a. Shichon)