How many of us owned a Teddy bear as a child? We took it everywhere and refused to sleep if we didn’t have it. Of course, plenty have probably overgrown that stage of life. Luckily, dog lovers don’t have to give up that pleasant feeling of having a lovely and fluffy sidekick. Why do we say this? If you loved your teddy bear and love dogs, here at Pet Comments we introduce you to the Teddy bear dogs!
Zuchon Teddy Bear Dog
The expression “Teddy bear dog” can be used to refer to many dog breeds that share different features that give them a “Teddy bear” appearance. But, it can also refer to one particular dog “breed” that is relatively young in comparison to its peers.
This is the Zuchon, otherwise known as the Shichon. The Zuchon is a mix between two dogs breeds, the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frisé. Originally from the United States, the Americans started to breed the Zuchon in the 2000s; therefore, it is quite young.
An important thing to notice is that these dogs are not recognized by the American Kennel Club as an official breed as it’s a particularly young breed; however, this can change given the Zuchon’s popularity. It is recognized by other institutions specialized in hybrid or designer dogs.
These lovely dogs have a long life expectancy in comparison with other dog breeds, as a healthy and well cared for Zuchon can live from 12 to 15 years.
“Teddy bear dogs” look strikingly similar to you know…Teddy bears! These dogs are mostly small, full of energy, lovable and furry; truly resembling a teddy bear in appearance.
The Zuchon mix has a hypoallergenic soft coat that doesn’t shed and can be either curly or straight depending on the mixing pool where the Zuchon comes from. They can also come in a wide variety of colors like black, dark brown, cream, gray or more depending again on the mix.
Big eyes, mid-length ears, and being pocket sized complete the look of a Teddy bear dog. Their average height is of 9 to 12 inches, and they weigh around 8 to 16 pounds of pure love.
It is said that these wonders have an impossible to resist personality. The Zuchon originally served as a therapy dog for children; therefore, they lack the super hyperactive and yippy behavior that has come to characterize small-size dog breeds.
They are known for being calm, affectionate and well-mannered dogs. Zuchons truly honor their not official yet name, as they can be real life “Teddy bears”. They can connect with their owner’s feelings and “know” when they are feeling down.
The Zuchon is playful and LOVES to spend time with their owners. In fact, they hate to be alone and can become anxious or depressed if left alone for too long. They are not aggressive at all, not to people or other dogs, the reason why owners must be careful when introducing them to bigger dog breeds is that they might hurt them.
Zuchons are generally long-lived and healthy dogs. Multi-generation Zuchons are not necessarily healthy, as after many generations the dog starts to show diseases known to afflict designer dogs and other diseases commonly related to their antecessors; the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frisé.
A good example of this is the Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, abnormalities dogs with short noses normally suffer from. This syndrome makes breathing difficult for Zuchons, especially if the Zuchon happens to inherit more of the Shih Tzu parent than of the Bichon Frisé. Zuchons’ with shorter noses problems doesn’t stop there, they are also likely to contract dental disease provoking tooth decay and bad breath. To prevent this, it is necessary to brush their teeth every day.
Besides being extra aware of the diseases related to their natural ancestry, Zuchons need other types of care to secure a healthy and pleasant life. Their hair needs frequent brushing, so it is recommendable to brush its coat at least once every day to avoid lots of hair that is impossible to tame.
Do Zuchons make good pets?
Yes, they do! Zuchon’s friendly demeanor, natural tendency to offer emotional support, brightness and loyalty make them potential pet companions for any pet lover. They are small but not terribly fragile, so they are recommended for children. These were, after all, designed as therapy dogs for children.
Zuchon’s small size favors people that live in reduced spaces like an apartment. A bonus point for them is that Zuchons are not overly loud, they do bark but not as incessantly as other small breeds. A warning! Zuchons are not recommended for people that have very little time to spend on their pets, these doggies are emotionally invested and dependent on you, so they will become anxious and depressed if you are not around.
• They are hypoallergenic dogs
Most Teddy bear looking dog breeders focus on hypoallergenic dogs and the Zuchon doesn’t shed much. Pet lovers with allergies can definitely consider a Zuchon as a pet option.
• Young dog breed
The Zuchon saw the light of the world for the first time in the 21st century, making them one of the youngest “breeds” in existence. The American Kennel Club does not recognize Zuchons as a dog breed only as a cross-breed, but this could possibly change due to the dog's popularity.
• They are smart animals
Zuchons are not Border collies, but this Teddy bear “breed” has shown to be remarkably intuitive when reading their environment and understanding human behavior. This feature makes them ideal for therapy dogs and companion pets.
8 Other dog breeds that look like Teddy bears.
Like we said at the beginning, “Teddy bear dog” is not really a breed, it is more of a way to describe dog breeds or dog mixes that strongly resemble our childhood best friend. The following are some small sized dog breeds and mixes that look like a real-life teddy bear!
When talking about “Teddy bear dog breeds”, the Pomeranian is a must. This is a popular German breed that looks strikingly similar to a teddy bear! Pomeranians stand 5 to 11 inches tall; they are small but sturdy. They have an abundant double coat, giving them a fluffy appearance. Wide expressive eyes, small ears, and a somewhat “smiley face” gives them the most adorable look ever.
Pomeranian’s coat can be of a very wide variety of colors like white, black, brown, red, orange, cream, tan and different combinations of these colors.
A matter potential owners must have in mind is that these little balls of joy believe they are the ones that own you. Pomeranians are caring, attention-seeking and lovable but need to learn their place in the “pack” and for that, you must be the alpha or they will be the alpha for you. They are small but territorial and never back down when it means to protect their territory.
The Yorkshire Terrier, also called “Yorkie” is a purebred dog native to England. They have compact bodies and very, like very long hair. Yorkies have bright dark eyes, triangular small ears standing on their head and small black button-like nose.
Pedigree Yorkies' coats rivals with hair models! Their coat must be perfectly straight, soft and silky; many owners invest special care into their Yorkies coat. An adult Yorkie will sport steel-blue and gold color on its tiny body that is 8 inches tall (at most) and weighs 7 pounds fully grown.
As cute as they are, the Yorkshire Terrier has a voice of its own. These proud boys carry themselves like royalty. Like other “Teddy Bear breeds,” Yorkies have a friendly character but are not nearly as submissive as other breeds. They are very protective and energetic; they are excellent watchdogs since they bark at anything threatening enough for them.
The Lhasa Apso is a recognized dog breed native to Tibet. This is a small sized dog breed that can be 11 inches tall and weighs 18 pounds at the most when fully grown. Besides their compact size, something that identifies the Lhasa Apsos from miles away is their long, dense, straight hair that almost rivals with Yorkies. They can be of different colors like black, white, red and gold.
Lhasas were originally bred to be watchdogs for Tibetan monasteries, and with such a past, the Lhasa Apso is naturally wary of strangers and is a fierce protective force of its own. If dogs are loyal in nature, Lhasas are loyal to the bone. It may be hard to earn their trust, but once you have it you earn a friend and protector for life.
Precisely because of their watchdog background, Lhasas can be very aggressive to strangers and other dogs. So, to solve this problem patience, training and gently introducing Lhasas to other people and dogs helps them to be more sociable.
Shih-poo (Shih Tzu x Poodle)
The Shih-poo is a small sized dog born from the mixture of two pedigree dogs: The Shih Tzu and the Poodle. This ball of fur surely resembles a teddy bear with its short size, short nose and short wavy hair; shorter than the Shih Tzu’s. The Shih-poo is not a recognized breed and the dog’s characteristics may vary from one mix to another depending on the “purity” of their antecessor’s pedigree.
The Shih-poo can live up to 15 years making them long-lived dogs. Fortunately, they make for wonderful company through the years as they are kind, loving and anxious to please their owners.
Miniature Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever x Miniature Poodle)
Miniature Goldendoodles are born from the mix of a Golden Retriever and a Miniature Poodle. Goldendoodles can be from 10 to 15 inches tall and weigh from 26 to 35 pounds depending on the purity of their parent’s pedigree. Their coat is not always golden as the name says, it can be brown, black, or cream among others depending again, on the mixture. Given both parents’ breeds being friendly and affectionate towards people, the Goldendoodle is an extremely friendly boy that loves to be around people so much it can’t be trusted as a watchdog.
The Miniature Goldendoodle’s loving and tolerant personality makes it popular among families with children. They are not recommended for a person that has little time to share with their pets, since these doodles crave the company of their owners and family members.
Morkie (Maltese x Yorkshire Terrier)
Morkies come from a mix between the small and friendly Yorkshire Terrier and the equally small Maltese. A fully grown Morkie can be from 7 to 10 inches tall and weigh 6 to 12 pounds. Morkie’s coat can be of a black, brown, or tan color. Their appearance can change from one mix to another. For example, one Morkie may appear more similar to the Yorkie parent than to the Maltese parent and vice versa. They are long-lived dogs with a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.
Despite their small size, Morkies love to be the center of attention and don’t have self-esteem issues, if they don’t like something they will make their discomfort known. They can be stubborn but are possible to train and are loyal to their owners.
Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel x Poodle)
The Cockapoo is the result of mixing two purebred dogs, the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. Like other dogs in the list, the Cockapoo is not recognized as a dog breed yet, but they are fairly popular among families as pet companions. The cockapoo’s size, traits, and temperament may change from one mixture to another. Small Cockapoos can be 10 inches tall and weigh 12 pounds.
As pets they are very needy dogs that require plenty of exercise, and they love to play games. A bored Cockapoo can become depressed or full of mischief if left alone for long. Toys and chewing items for their lonely time is a good way to keep them busy.
Poochon (Miniature Poodle x Bichon Frisé)
The Poochon is a mix between the Miniature Poodle and Bichon Frisé. This dog shares many features with the other dogs in this list, small and fluffy is one. The Poochon is from 11 to 15 inches tall and weighs from 8 to 16 pounds. They have a short coat that can be curly or wavy depending on the trait the puppy inherits the most. Given the mix with the poodle, the Poochon does not shed much or at all.
The Poochon is not a recognized dog breed, but are famous for their “Teddy bear” looks. As pets, they are quick to learn and obedient if given positive guidance. They are affectionate towards their “pack” members, meaning your family, to the point they can’t stand being away from them. For this reason, a Poochon is recommended for families where when traveling, at least one member stays back with the pet or it will become terribly anxious.
There are still plenty of other dog breeds that strongly resemble a teddy bear, whether small, medium or even large sized dogs. Despite this, don’t guide yourself for the looks alone, but inform yourself of every breed’s particular needs and choose one that accommodates with your own needs. That way you’ll have a real-life teddy bear that is happy to have you as a friend.