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Teddy Bear dog breeds: Get to know them

November 19, 2021

The term “Teddy Bear dog” evokes an instant mental image of small, soft, snuggly and adorable. Their fur might be trimmed to make them look even more like a stuffed animal, with rounded shapes that highlight their button noses and bright eyes. In short, they’re the kind of dogs that make even the most hard-hearted of us want to start baby-talking.

Many different breeds fall under the Teddy Bear dog moniker, and that means these pups can have quite a range of traits and quirks. If you’ve been dreaming of adopting one of these ultra-photogenic fluff balls, read on to learn all about them.

What is the breed of a Teddy Bear dog?

As we mentioned above, there is no single breed that defines a Teddy Bear dog. It’s more a category that dozens of different breeds and crossbreeds fit in to.

Some of the most common dog types referred to as Teddy Bear dogs include:

  • Bichon Frise: Weighs 12 to 18 pounds. Affectionate and good with children. Moderately vocal.
  • Lhasa Apso: Weighs 12 to 18 pounds. Affectionate with their family. Moderately vocal.
  • Miniature Poodle: Weighs 4 to 6 pounds. Affectionate and good with children. Moderately vocal.
  • Maltese: Weighs less than 7 pounds. Affectionate with their family. Extremely vocal.
  • Pomeranian: Weighs 3 to 7 pounds. Affectionate with their family. Extremely vocal.
  • West Highland White Terrier: Weighs 15 to 20 pounds. Affectionate and good with children. Extremely vocal.
  • Yorkshire Terrier: Weighs 7 pounds. Affectionate and good with children. Extremely vocal.
  • Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Bichon Frise): Weighs 15 to 20 pounds. Affectionate and good with children. Moderately vocal.
  • Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Poodle): Weighs 8 to 25 pounds. Affectionate and good with children. Moderately vocal.
  • Malshi (Maltese x Shih Tzu): Weighs 6 to 12 pounds. Affectionate and good with children. Extremely vocal.
  • Maltipoo (Maltese x Poodle): Weighs 5 to 20 pounds. Affectionate and good with children. Extremely vocal.
  • Morkie (Maltese x Yorkshire Terrier): Weighs 5 to 7 pounds. Affectionate with their family. Extremely vocal.
  • Zuchon (Shih Tzu x Bichon Frise): Weighs 5 to 15 pounds. Affectionate and good with children. Moderately vocal.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of every dog that could be considered a Teddy Bear dog. Some will even include large and extra-large fluffy dogs in their lists, such as Chow Chows and Golden Doodles. We’ve limited ours to dogs under 25 pounds, since they’re the most typical choice for folks looking for these types of breeds. But remember that if you’re dreaming of a supersized Teddy Bear dog there are pooches that fit the bill!

Are Teddy Bear dogs good pets?

Generally speaking, any type of dog could be a good pet. Through the millennia, dogs have been bred to live and work happily alongside humans. Whether an individual dog will make a good pet for you depends largely on your lifestyle and the traits you’d like in your pup.

If snuggling, playful antics and affectionate behavior are what you’re after, Teddy Bear dogs tick all the boxes. Some breeds, such as Lhasa Apsos, Malteses, Pomeranians and their crossed descendants may be more standoffish with strangers. But across the board, these dogs tend to adore their families.

In terms of specific behaviors, these can vary a lot from breed to breed and individual to individual. Let’s take a look at a few of the main qualities folks tend to look for in a pet.

Do Teddy Bear dogs bark a lot?

Not all of them. Generally, Bichon Frises, Lhasa Apsos and Miniature Poodles are considered only moderately vocal. On the other hand, Malteses, Pomeranians, West Highland White Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers are considered extremely vocal. Teddy Bear dogs that are a cross between a very vocal breed and a moderately vocal one could take after either side, depending on genetics and training.

If a quiet, calm dog is important to you, there’s generally no better solution than consistent training and positive reinforcement. That being said, if a dog’s instincts to vocalize are baked into their breed, they may never learn to be completely quiet. If barking is a deal breaker, then it would be wise to choose a breed with a reputation for being quieter from the get-go.

Are Teddy Bear dogs easy to potty train?

The more stubborn a dog is, the harder potty training can be. While any dog can have a stubborn temperament, there are also entire breeds where stubbornness is a well-documented characteristic. Among Teddy Bear dogs, Bichon Frises, Lhasa Apsos, Pomeranians, West Highland White Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers are all considered pretty stubborn.

With so many of the constituent breeds being on the stubborn list, it’s fair to say that Teddy Bear dogs can be a bit tougher to potty train than the average pooch. Again, positive reinforcement and consistency are essential to getting the job done. Using tasty, healthy treats will speed up the process. To learn more, check out our guide to training a new dog.

Can Teddy Bear dogs be left alone?

Once again, separation anxiety can show up in any dog, but Teddy Bear dogs do seem to struggle with it at a higher rate than the general canine population. Take, for example, this list, which places three of the core breeds for Teddy Bear dogs (Bichon Frises, Miniature Poodles and King Charles Cavalier Spaniels) in the top ten dog breeds most likely to suffer from separation anxiety.

This tendency towards anxiety is due, in part, to the high-energy, high-affection personalities the constituent breeds tend to have. To prevent destructive behaviors from forming, it’s important to teach any new puppy how to spend time alone.

A crate is often an excellent training aid. Feed your puppy meals, provide them with comfy blankets or cushions, and give them their favorite toys when they’re inside the crate. This will help them learn the crate is a safe space and give them a sense of reassurance even when they need to be left alone in it.

Are Teddy Bear dogs cuddly?

Yes, just about every breed considered a Teddy Bear dog has a reputation for adoring their family and wanting to snuggle up with them. However, many of these breeds are also high-energy. You’ll want to make sure your couch cuddles are complimented by a healthy regimen of playtime and exercise. A tired pup is always a better snuggle buddy than a wired one.

How much does a Teddy Bear dog cost?

If you’re not too picky about the specific genetics of your new Teddy Bear dog, there are often adoptable dogs at a local rescue. Rescue fees vary depending on the policies of the organization and the resources expended to get the animal healthy and adoption ready. Generally, expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $500.

If you’re looking for a specific combination, remember to always look for a reputable breeder. Craigslist and pet store puppies can be easy to find, but these animals often come from unhygienic puppy mills and can have serious health complications.

To buy a purebred or crossbred puppy from a quality dog breeder, expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000+, depending on the type of dog you’re interested in. In the past, crossbreeds were less expensive than pure breeds. But these days, many crossbreeds are just as desirable, and just as pricey.

If you’re looking to cut back on cost considerably, an adult dog can run as much as 10 times less than a puppy. And with a Teddy Bear dog, it’s hard to even tell the difference between an adult and a puppy!

Feed your Teddy Bear dog right with NutriSource

With best-in-class ingredients, nutrition and pre- and probiotics, NutriSource dog foods are the ideal meal for your new Teddy Bear dog. We offer both puppy and all life stage recipes perfectly formulated to keep dogs feeling and looking their best, from fluffy coats to bright eyes and everything in between!