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Teddy Bear Breed Information

Paws Pattern
shichon teddy bear dog

True to their breed’s name, the Teddy Bear puppies are renowned for their plush, toy-like appearance. These cute dogs are a Maltese and Shih Tzu cross – Mal-Shi or a cross between a Shih Tzu and a  Bichon Frise – Shichon. Both the Mal-Shi and the Shichon puppies have the ideal personality to match their plush-like appearance. They are gentle, laid-back, sweet, and very cuddly. These designer puppies make amazing therapy dogs and fantastic companion pets for any family.

BREED TYPE / MIX Hybrid / Shih Tzu crossed with a Maltese or Bichon ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Minimum TRAINING Responsive TEMPERAMENT Affectionate, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Out-Going, Playful ADULT WEIGHT 6-14 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 9-12 in LIFE SPAN 12-14 yrs


  • Teddy Bear puppies are a mix of a Shih Tzu crossed with a Bichon Frise or a Maltese 
  • Zuchon, Mal-Shi, and Shichon are other names the Teddy Bear is known as 
  • Teddy Bear puppies hypoallergenic 
  • Sweet, cuddly Teddy Bear personality 
  • Teddy Bear full grown size is 9 to 12 inches with a weight of 6-14 pounds 
  • Wide variety of Teddy Bear colors 
  • Teddy Bear grooming requirements are minimal 
  • Teddy Bear puppies have the same traits as their parents. They are friendly, playful, and sweet, and they make wonderful dogs for children and senior families 
mal-shi teddy bear dog running


Teddy Bear puppies and dogs are the definition of cuddly and cute. They are very small, happy-looking, and as puffy as can be. These dogs exude joy with every tiny paw step they take. Their stature is sometimes teacup, pocket size, and their disposition is cuddly. Teddy Bear puppies come in many beautiful colors and with the most stunning features of their parents. They have cute drop ears, adorable eyes, button noses, and small fluffy tails. The Teddy Bear size can vary but is most commonly small and teacup.

Adult Teddy Bear dogs weigh on average 6 to 14 pounds and can reach between 9 and 12 inches when fully grown. The size of a Teacup Teddy Bear adult can be as little as 7 inches and 5 pounds. 

Because they are a mix of two different-looking dogs, Teddy Bears can inherit a combination of looks from their parents. Their small, rounded muzzle is inherited from their Shih Tzu parent, while their tiny nose and rounded eyes are inherited from their Bichon parent. The Teddy Bear colors are also a combination of Shih Tzu and Bichon colors. They may appear with solid or parti-colored coats that have black, gray, brown, cream, yellow, and white. 


Teddy Bear puppies and dogs are just like their name suggest – cuddly, fluffy dogs made for snuggles. Their temperament matches their appearance quite nicely, which makes them one of the most desirable designer dogs in the world. Teddy Bear dogs are a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Maltese or Bichon Frise, and if you know these dogs well, you also know enough about Teddy Bears to adore them completely. The Bichon Frise and Maltese have almost identical personalities. They are playful, sweet, and always up for cuddles and fun. The Shih Tzus are also cuddly dogs that love to play, show affection, and be doted on. Teddy Bear dogs are a true mirror of their parents. 

Although their Shih Tzu parents might pass down some of their stubbornness or jealousy when it comes to others stealing the center of attention, the Bichon parents balance out the temperament, making Teddy Bear dogs quite composed and well-mannered. These dogs are amazing towards children and excellent around other pets. They lack aggression and are very friendly when it comes to socializing with strangers and other dogs.  

One thing that Teddy Bears don’t like is being without their owners or human family. Without proper training, it is not recommended to leave them alone for any amount of time. They are prone to separation anxiety, which is best avoided rather than be treated in adulthood. 


Teddy Bear Grooming

Adult Teddy Bear dogs have low grooming requirements. They do not shed and are not as active as other small dog breeds. It is beneficial to brush their coats at least weekly and bathe them once every month or bi-monthly. Bathing them more often is not recommended unless they get very dirty, and it becomes necessary. When bathing your dog, it is recommended to use vet-approved shampoo, lukewarm water, and only dog-friendly products.  

Because they are not an active dog breed, Teddy Bear puppy dogs might not be able to file their nails on the ground naturally, so they will need a little bit of help in that aspect. It is beneficial to clip or file their nails every two or three weeks.  

Brushing your dog’s teeth is as essential as every other grooming requirement. Like all dog breeds big and small, Teddy Bears are prone to dental issues. It is recommended to brush their teeth using special toothpaste for dogs every day if possible. 

Teddy Bear Exercise Needs

Teddy Bears are calm, relaxed dogs that enjoy lazing around on a lap more than anything. Lapdogs all the way, these adorable dogs have low exercise needs. They are fond of playing games with their families and going on walks, but hikes and jogs are not for them. Two 10-minute walks every day and some indoor games are enough to keep them happy, fit, and exercised. Young Teddy Bear puppies might be a little more energetic and might require a few more walks compared to Teddy Bear adult dogs.  

Teddy Bear Health

The Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, and Maltese have a few health issues that might be passed down to the Teddy Bear puppies, although this is rare since Teddy Bear dogs benefit from hybrid vigor. By crossing a Shih Tzu with a Bichon Frise for example, the gene pool is enriched, and certain conditions are canceled out. The same goes for the Shih Tzu Maltese mix. Some issues that the Teddy Bear dog might encounter include allergies, ear infections, teary eyes /tear stains, and hypothyroidism.  

Teddy Bear Lifespan

Teddy Bear puppies can live up to 20 years when properly cared for. Although their lifespan is between 12 and 18 years, good care can help them reach an even greater age. As records show, the common life expectancy of these dogs is around 16 years. 

Teddy Bear Training

Teddy Bear puppies are generally easy to train, although they might occasionally display some of the stubbornness Shih Tzu puppies are known for. To get the best results when training Teddy Bear puppies, it is ideal to use positive reinforcement methods and a reward system. These puppies like to learn, and they like pleasing their owners even more. Even non-experienced owners can have an easy time training Teddy Bear puppies if they identify what drives these dogs to learn. Typically, all dogs respond well to treats, but too many treats are not healthy, so it is recommended to identify other motivations as well. Toys, praise, and even kibble might drive Teddy Bears to listen to commands more eagerly.  

When training Teddy Bear puppies, punishments, yelling, or rough handling are not recommended. 8-week-old puppies are fragile not only mentally but also physically, so it is counterproductive to treat them harshly during training. Socialize your puppies young to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved adult dogs.  


The Teddy Bear dog is a beautiful designer breed that was first bred in the United States at the start of the 21st century. It is a mix of a Shih Tzu crossed with either a Bichon Frise or a Maltese. These breeds are also known by names such as Zuchon, Shichon, Shih Tzu-Bichon mix, Mal-Shi, Malti-Zu, Mal-Tzu, and Shih Tzu Maltese mix. By crossing these beautiful and popular breeds, Teddy Bear breeders created one of the most loved designer dogs in the world.

These dogs come with a combination of desirable traits from both of their parent breeds. They are very small, fluffy, sweet-looking, and trendy. As soon as the first litter of Teddy Bear puppies was born, the breed’s popularity began a fast climb towards success. They were quickly deemed trendy designer dogs for fashionistas and the newest top choice for families with small children.

Senior citizens were also quick to join the breed’s growing fanbase, as they also found the Shih Tzus and Bichons to be the best companions for them. A puppy that is a cross between the world’s favorite dogs is most certainly a win. When creating these puppies, the Teddy Bear breeders aimed to capture the Shih Tzus gorgeous appearance and personality and the Bichon’s sweet nature, in one tiny and compact little dog.