- Activity Level: low
- Grooming Level: low
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: high
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Small
- Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Prey Drive: low
- Watchdog: chill
- Registered?: other
Teddy Bear Breed Profile
The Shichon is a designer dog breed that is commonly referred to as the Teddy Bear due to their adorable puppy-like appearance, plush coat, and cuddly nature. This designer dog is a cross between a Shih-Tzu and a Bichon Frise. The cross often results in a small dog with a friendly disposition and hypoallergenic coat. They are also referred to as a Zuchon or a Tzu Frise. Because they are a mixed breed, the Shichon is not recognized by the AKC. However, they are recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), and American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC).
A Shichon/Teddy Bear is friendly and affectionate with a cuddly nature. They love to play and their lively attitude gives them a puppy-like demeanor throughout their life. They are generally good with kids as well as other animals and dogs. They are loyal little dogs that love to be around their family. Because this dog breed is small, they can be injured easily by overzealous children, rough play, or accidental falls. So, it is very important that children are taught how to properly interact with a small dog and for any playtime to be closely supervised. It is also important to start socializing your Teddy Bear puppy early to ensure they maintain a friendly, open demeanor and grow into mature dogs that are confident in any situation.
The Shichon is a highly adaptable dog breed. They are well-suited to apartment living as well as houses with or without yards. They love people, so they’re a good fit for families of any type including a single person, seniors, or families with children. They love their humans, so they do not like to spend a lot of time alone.
They do well in most climates. As with many dog breeds, they are sensitive to extreme hot or cold temperatures. Due to their small stature, they can overheat easily, so you will need to take care and watch them closely in the summer. Although they have a fluffy coat, they may also get cold in the winter, so don’t be afraid to get some winter gear to help your Teddy Bear puppy stay warm.
This designer dog breed is relatively healthy, but they can be prone to the health problems common in the parent breeds. Some common health problems to be aware of include patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, cataracts, hip dysplasia, and respiratory problems. Checking the genetic history of the parents and asking to see any relevant health clearances can help allay some of these potential health concerns.
The Teddy Bear is an intelligent dog breed. Although they have the ability to pick up on commands easily, they can be a little stubborn, which can be difficult for novice dog owners to handle. If you do not have a lot of experience with dogs, obedience and training classes are recommended. It is important to start training as early as possible and to keep things consistent, firm, and positive while employing plenty of patience. This dog breed is sensitive and does not respond well to anger or harsh commands. Also, as with many small dog breeds, housebreaking can be difficult.
The “Teddy Bear Dog” is a bundle of fluff. They’re known for their soft and fluffy coat that is perfect for cuddling. Because this is a mixed dog breed, the coat color and appearance may vary. In general, the coat is hypoallergenic and tends to be long and silky. It is also sometimes curly or wavy. Common coat colors include silver, tan, chocolate, white, black, cream, red, apricot, gray, or a combination.
Because they have a low or non-shedding coat, grooming needs are minimal. A weekly brushing paired with the occasional bath and professional grooming a few times a year will be sufficient to keep their coat healthy. Other grooming needs include trimming the nails monthly, brushing their teeth at least weekly, if not every day, regularly checking their ears, and cleaning as needed. Getting your puppy used to having their teeth brushed and ears and paws handled early on will help make grooming much easier throughout your dog’s life.
This dog breed has a low to moderate activity level. Although they may have short bursts of high energy playtime, they are small dogs that will easily tire themselves out. Daily walks and some dedicated playtime are more than enough exercise for this dog breed. The Shichon is a very playful dog breed that enjoys active games. Activities like a game of fetch, tag, hide and seek, or even a small obstacle course tend to be a great fit for them. They can often handle more exercise if you have a more active lifestyle. The Teddy Bear will jump at the chance to spend time with you, but you will need to watch them because they can overexert themselves by trying too hard to keep up.
The Shichon will usually stand 9 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.
A Teddy Bear will generally live for 12-15 years with some living for 18 years.
The Shichon/Teddy Bear designer dog breed has a relatively short history. Although there isn’t an exact date, this cross-breed started showing up in the United States sometime during the early 2000s.