Designer Breed Icon
  • Activity Level: low
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  • Shedding Level: low
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  • Grooming Level: high
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  • Trainability: high
  • Good for Novice Owners: moderate
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  • Adaptability: high
  • Kid/Pet Friendly: often
  • Prey Drive: low
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  • Watchdog: chill
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  • Average Size: Small
  • Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Registered?: other

Teddy Bear Dog Breed Information





Owner Experience


Activity Level


Life Span

Did You Know?

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. Teddy Bear puppies are crosses between a Shih-Tzu and a Bichon Frise. They are small dogs with friendly, affectionate, and playful personalities and low-shedding coats.

They are also referred to as a Zuchon or Tzu Frise. The Shichon is not currently recognized by the AKC, but they are recognized by other dog registries and clubs. The International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), and more all recognize the Shichon.

With some of the most affectionate dog breeds as parents, it’s no surprise that the 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.

Provided they are well-socialized, one of the facts about Teddy Bear dogs is that they tend to get along well with everyone including children, other dogs, other pets, and even strangers. These little dogs are true companions that bond closely with their families and love being around them.

Because this dog breed is small, and even smaller when they are puppies, they can be injured easily by overzealous young children, accidental falls, or rough play. So, it is very important that children are taught how to properly interact with a small dog and for any playtime between young kids and puppies 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 are a good fit for families of any type including single owners, 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 any dog breed, they are sensitive to heat and cold. They can also be sensitive to cold. 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 dog gear to help keep your Teddy Bear stay warm while out on walks.

Potential health concerns to be aware of in Teddy Bears can include patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, cataracts, portosystemic shunt, hip dysplasia, and respiratory problems. Good breeding and screening practices make a big difference in the health of Shichon puppies.

Reputable breeders will screen their dogs to make sure they are not passing preventable issues to puppies. Make sure you ask the breeder about the health and genetic history of both parents. You can also ask about any health tests or clearances that have been done.

The Teddy Bear is an intelligent dog breed. Although they have the ability to pick up on commands quickly and can be eager to please, they can also be a little stubborn. This can be difficult for novice owners to handle alone.

If you are a first-time owner, obedience and puppy training classes are recommended. Teddy Bears are sensitive and respond best to consistent training focused on positive rewards and praise. Also, as with many small dog breeds, house training can be difficult, but consistency, patience, and some house training tips will get you there.

The “Teddy Bear Dog” is a bundle of fluff. They’re known for their soft and fluffy coat that is perfect for the cuddling that they love. In general, the coat is low-shedding and tends to be long and silky. It can sometimes be 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, you won’t need to worry about shedding, but you will still need to do some grooming. Brushing a few times a week or daily to remove tangles and prevent mats is recommended along with the occasional bath and professional grooming a few times a year.

In addition to coat care, you will also need to take care of your Shichon’s nails, ears, and teeth. Trimming nails once or twice monthly keeps them from growing too long. Checking ears weekly and carefully cleaning them as needed can help prevent ear infections.

Brushing teeth every day, in addition to cleanings at the vet when needed, is ideal dental care for dogs. 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.

Teddy Bears are companion dogs that are happy to spend time with you and will often match their activity level to yours. Although they have bursts of higher energy and will be energetic when they play, they tend to sit in a low to moderate activity range. Daily walks and some dedicated playtime are usually enough to keep them happy and healthy.

The Shichon is a very playful dog breed that enjoys active games. Once puppies finish growing and developing, activities like a game of fetch, tag, hide and seek, or even a small obstacle course for agility training can be great fits for them.

They can often handle more exercise if you have an active lifestyle and will usually be up for more activity if you are. 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.

Fully-grown Teddy Bear dogs usually stand 9-12 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 10-15 pounds.

Teddy Bears generally live for 12-15 years on average. Some Teddy Bear dogs have been known to live for 18 years or more!

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.