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Teddy Bear Breed Information

mal-shi teddy bear dog on a green background

Teddy Bear puppies are the cuddly and cute designer dogs the word can’t get enough of. They are a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Bichon Frise - Shichon, or a cross of a Shih Tzu and a Maltese – Mal-shi. Mal-shi and Shichon puppies are a true resemblance of plush teddy bear toys. They are small, fluffy puppies with adorable round faces, small drop ears, and charming, round eyes. Their personalities are just as beautiful as their looks. These puppies enjoy doting on their humans and being the center of attention.  

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


  • The Teddy Bear dog breed is one of the newest designer breeds to appear. This breed is either a mix of a Maltese and Shih Tzu or a Bichon Frise Shih Tzu mix 
  • Teddy Bear puppies are also known as Shichon, Zuchon, and Mal-Shi puppies 
  • Hypoallergenic Teddy Bear dog 
  • Long Teddy Bear lifespan of up to 18 years 
  • Teddy Bear Hybrid Vigor 
  • Teacup Teddy Bear size – an adult Teddy Bear dog typically weighs between 6 and 14 pounds 
  • Small, cuddly, and entirely fond of their owners, Teddy Bear puppies make fantastic pets for seniors and wonderful family dogs 
  • Teddy Bear shedding is minimal to none. These petite dogs have low grooming requirements and are easy to manage by non-experienced owners 
  • Smart Teddy Bear puppies with good temperaments 
teddy bear dog with long hair


Adult Teddy Bear dogs and young Teddy Bear puppies have one amazing quality in common – they are impossibly cute. Their fluff, small size, rounded figure, and cheerful demeanor are their greatest tools for charming humans. These beautiful dogs take after their parents in equal measure. They have a combination of traits from their Shih Tzu parents and Bichon parents. Their coats are fluffy, soft, and in some cases long enough to reach the ground. They may come in curly coats if one of their parents is the Bichon Frise, in straight coats if their Shih Tzu parent passes on stronger genes, or in wavy coats, which are most common, if they take after both parents equally.

The Teddy Bear features include small, rounded drop ears, tiny round eyes, and a puffy tail that these dogs wear proudly in an upright and curled position. The Teddy Bear colors are the same as the colors of the Shih Tzu and Bichon breeds. These include combinations of white, cream, yellow, gray, black, and shades of brown.  

The Teddy Bear size is very petite. Full grown adult Teddy Bear dogs weigh between 6 and 14 pounds and are between 9 and 12 inches tall in adulthood. There are also smaller varieties of Teddy Bear dogs like the Toy or Teacup Teddy Bear, that can weigh as little as 5 pounds.  


Teddy Bears are cuddly dogs that enjoy attention as much as they can get it. Their temperament is gentle, and they are Teddy Bear dogs in every sense of the way. They like to be part of their owner’s daily routines, especially routines that involve relaxing on the couch and playing a game of fetch, and they are more than happy to accompany their humans wherever they go. As their nature is quite attached, their one fault is that they don’t take well to being left alone. Separation anxiety can be a common issue with these dogs. Teddy Bear puppies should be trained early to accept some alone time as it is better to prevent separation anxiety rather than treat it when it has already formed.  

Adult Teddy Bear dogs are known to be very friendly, especially with small children whom they love to play with more than anything. They don’t have aggressive genes, but they should be socialized early, nonetheless. Socialization is also beneficial for these dogs as they may become jealous of other pets in the house that get more attention than them.  

The Teddy Bear’s loving and attentive personality can be quite a gift for families looking for emotional support puppies. These dogs exude joy with every paw step and every tail wag.  


Teddy Bear Grooming

Teddy Bear dogs are one of the best breeds for non-experienced owners, given their low grooming needs. Their coats are medium-length, low shedding and very easy to manage. Ideally, you should brush their hair once every 2 or three days with a bristle brush and bathe them every four to six weeks with vet-approved dog shampoo. It is recommended to check their ears for bad odor, rashes, or any other sign of infection, and clean them as often as possible. Their teeth should also be brushed as often as every day, if possible, to help avoid tartar buildup, plaque buildup, and other dental problems.  

Teddy Bear Exercise Needs

As a small, low-energy dog breed, the Teddy Bear comes with minimal exercise needs. Typically, two daily walks of 10-15 minutes each are enough to keep these precious dogs exercised. In addition to their walks, it is also beneficial to provide indoor activities that allow them to burn off any excess energy. They enjoy fetching, playing with kong toys, and solving puzzle games.  

Teddy Bear Health

One of the reasons for the Teddy Bear breed’s ever-rising popularity is their excellent health. As a crossbreed, they benefit from hybrid vigor which ensures that some of the problems their parents might face are erased from their gene pool. Although most Teddy Bear dogs reach their senior years without suffering from any ailments, there are still a few health issues they may suffer from. These are common among almost all dog breeds. They include eye problems, teary eyes, ear infections, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and possible allergies.  

Teddy Bear Lifespan

Mal-Shi and Shichon (Zuchon) dogs have long lifespans of 12 to 18 years. Although most live naturally well into their teen years, it is always recommended to keep up with their vet checkups regularly to spot any potential problems early on. Daily exercise routines and good quality food are essential for Teddy Bear dogs to live long and healthy lives. 

Teddy Bear Training

Teddy Bear puppies are intelligent, attentive, and very eager to please their owners. They respond well to training as they are a dog breed that is driven to impress. Rewards such as treats, praise, toys, and kibble work best when training these cute, fluffy puppies. They also do well with encouragement and cheering. When training Teddy Bear puppies, the approach must be gentle. It should not include harsh treatment, yelling, or punishment as these puppies are sensitive to such things.  

Begin training as soon as your young Teddy Bear puppy arrives home. You can begin with potty training and move on from there as your puppy masters it. Socialization is an important part of training that can make the difference between a well-mannered adult dog and a shy or temperamental one. Allow your puppy time to become comfortable with you and other members of your family before you introduce other people or pets. Socialization and leash training often go hand in hand. You can begin by letting your puppy get accustomed to its leash and collar while indoors, and then proceed to outdoor socialization and leash training. 


Teddy Bear puppies are a mix of two purebred dogs. They are a designer crossbreed of a Shih Tzu with a Bichon Frise or Maltese. Originally from the United States, these dogs were bred to combine the best two distinct breed have to offer. They are hypoallergenic like their parents and have been on an ever-rising road to success since their debut in early 2000.  

The Teddy Bear breed has two distinct mixes – the Mal-Shi and the Shichon (Zuchon). Both Teddy Bear breeds originated at the same time and are overall very similar.  

The Mal-Shi is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Maltese. These dogs often appear with a combination of looks from both of their parents. They may have a solid-colored coat but are most commonly found in multi-colored coats. Their hair texture is usually straight like that of their parents, and they have a long, beautiful coat. This Maltese Shih Tzu mix is known as Mal-Shi, Malti Zu, Malt-Tzu, and Malshi. The breed was created to display the same characteristics that the Maltese and Shih Tzu are adored for. 

The Shichon is a mix of a Shih Tzu crossed with a Bichon Frise. As a cross between a curly-haired dog and a dog breed with straight hair, Teddy Bears may appear with a variety of hair types. They may be found with curly hair, straight hair, or a combination of both with wavy hair texture. The Shichon perfectly combines the Shih Tzu personality and the Bichon Frise temperament. These dogs were designed to be cuddly lap dogs that fit wonderfully in a family with children or at the side of senior families. The Shichon Teddy Bear is also known as Zuchon and Shih Tzu Bichon mix.