Home > Backyard Breeders, Dog Breed Information, Pet Topics, puppy mill dogs, Puppy Mills > What the heck breed is a Teddy Bear dog anyways?

What the heck breed is a Teddy Bear dog anyways?


Teddy Bear

That is the question I posted on my Facebook page last night. I asked the question after seeing a posting for a missing dog that listed the breed of dog as Teddy Bear. Ummmm… What?

Two thoughts immediately ran through my mind when I read that posting:

  1. What the heck is a Teddy Bear?
  2. Who the heck is going to know what a Teddy Bear is so they know what to look for?

I can reassure you that the dog has since been found (thank goodness), but it led me to ask the question of my friends “What kind of breed is a Teddy Bear dog?”

Here are some of the answers I received:

  • A pom mix?
  • Never heard of it.
  • Shichon or cross between a shih tzu and bichon.
  • Also called a Zuchon.
  • Bichon and Pom and Shitzu (I think).
  • It can be any mix usually toy anything that will sell.

I Googled it and came up with this:

Hybrid Parentage

Teddy bears are “designer dogs,” hybrids of two or more breeds. Most commonly, their parents are Shih Tzus and bichon frises or bichon-poodle mixes, although breeders continue to experiment with adding other dogs, such as schnauzers, to the gene pool. Because of their small size and sweet nature, teddy bears can be perfect pets whether you live in an apartment or a large house.

Apparently, according to this page, they are also great therapy dogs, perfect for people with allergies (yeah, right), and smart and easy to train. 13_8_2012_12_30_44_SAMYOAD-233x300

The most likely reality is they are also mutts (yes mutts) with a cute name and numerous health issues that cost thousands of dollars and were raised by puppy millers looking for another quick buck. I can’t wait for the new waves of puppy mill breeding dogs soon to be headed to your local shelter (after a raid of a breeding facility).

To steal a phrase from a friend (Thanks Marie!): “Good Grief. People will do anything to say they have a “rare or special” dog breed won’t they?”

Yes. And, people will pay anything for a dog with a cute name.

  1. April 3, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    Ugh….I hate hearing about “designer dogs”. It’s just like you said, a mutt that could have problems and the puppy mills will be all over it.

  2. Karen DeBraal
    April 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    More unnecessary breeding. Makes me ill.

  3. April 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    People think the fancy name means a fancy pet, instead it just encourages the breeding of more puppies in bad places… Whee mean, not all will be bred in bad places but puppy mills are disgusting and wrong and horrible and cruel.
    The Pigs xx

    • September 14, 2015 at 9:55 PM

      I agree with guineapigsque. Puppy mills make me sick

  4. Diane Edwards
    April 3, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    We have a shih tzu and bichon cross dog. She is the sweetest dog and doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. Anyone that comes to our house she thinks they are there just to see her. Our little girl doesn’t look anything like the three dogs pictured above. We love her so much and also spoil her rotten.

  5. Christine
    April 3, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    The solid white pup is what my Maltese looked like at 8week old.. oh and tiny Maltese are called Tea Cups.. because they can fit in a tea cup.. but most of the tiny tiny dogs have health issues with kidneys etc. 😦

  6. April 3, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    interesting concept these ”designer” dogs. not sure why people do what they do. hope they have good intentions.

    • The Ripper
      April 7, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      “hope they have good intentions.” FOOL!

  7. Pat
    April 3, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    What ever you want to call it, I would love to have the one with the little round ears! What a precious baby!

    • Mel
      April 4, 2014 at 7:32 AM

      Great. Go find your nearest puppy mill and have at it. I personally will go with a dog that doesn’t perpetuate cruelty to it’s parents.

  8. Gerry & Ozzie
    April 3, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    I have four dogs — all rescues, all small-ish, all mixes. I’d hardly call them teddy bears–more like bad news bears — but I love ’em. Each one has it’s own personality plus they are remarkably healthy because they never inherited the defects that come with overbreeding a single breed. Boo to people who breed designer dogs and boo to the people who adopt them. This is America, the great melting pot. Get a mutt!

    • Mel
      April 4, 2014 at 7:34 AM

      Your dogs are very lucky. It sounds like they are very much adored. 🙂
      I have no problem with responsible breeders, mutts or not, my beef is with puppy mills and online websites that support them.

  9. Krista
    April 3, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    I don’t agree with marketing mutts as designer dogs, but people say mutt like a bad thing. I’ve never owned anything but mutts. They weren’t purposely bred, but they’re still lovely dogs. Mutts are usually much healthier than purebred dogs, live longer, and have a better temperament than most purebreds. I’d take a mutt any day over an AKC purebred.

    • Mel
      April 4, 2014 at 7:37 AM

      Krista – Good point. I’m not knocking mutts, but rather the fact that people are paying thousands of dollars for a dog that would normally not get that exorbitant fee because it is not a purebred. I personally have no issue with mutts of purebreds (I have 3 of my own purebreds and they all came from a shelter or rescue), but when one buys a dog based on a cute name and supports a puppy mill I have an issue with it. Two of my three dogs are former breeding dogs from puppy mills and I am currently fostering one that came from a puppy mill raid last summer. I’ll take any dog that needs a chance or has great temperament.

  10. April 3, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    actually mixed breeds have less health issues than pure breeds. There are of course always exceptions to the this.

    • Mel
      April 4, 2014 at 7:38 AM

      We used to think that, but recent studies are now showing that some mixed breeds are no healthier than purebreds. Maybe it’s our environment. Either way, I love both. I don’t love puppy mills or the way they treat their dogs.

  11. April 3, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    I really don’t get the designer dog craze at all. What’s wrong with saying you have a mutt? That’s really what they all are. You can call them any name that you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of people are paying way too much money for dogs that honestly, we can’t know a lot about. I mean, with Greyhounds, I know to expect stubbornness, possible osteosarcoma, SLO or pannus. Those are things known about the breed. When you take two breeds (and often these are breeds with a lot of health issues of their own) and throw them together, you really don’t know what to expect. It’s not a guarantee that they’ll be healthier than their parents.

  12. sunnydee
    April 3, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    “‘teddy bear” is a type of cut groomers use on these cute puppies or sm

    all dogs. They just appear more “cuddly”. You gotta love it!!!!!!!!

    • Mel
      April 4, 2014 at 7:39 AM

      Yes it is a type of cut. I don’t have issues with the cut. I have issued with the puppy mills marketing a mixed breed dog as something worth paying thousands of dollars for.

  13. April 4, 2014 at 6:52 AM

    well we may not see why we have such a breed but they are like any other animal, they deserve love and care just like any other! [hey, there cute anyways] i would love to give such a cutie some love and care! whether we know much about the breed or not they are still an animal and deserve to be loved and cared for. i personally love all animals[yes, i am an animal lover, and there is nothing wrong with that]

    • Mel
      April 4, 2014 at 7:42 AM

      Great. Go support your local puppy mill and support the abuse and cruelty they heap upon these dog’s parents as they breed them over and over again. Ignorance is bliss I guess. I love animals too. Enough so that I would not support a breeder who participates in the factory farming of dogs or cats. If you have never seen a puppy mill breeder dog before you should do a little research. It will break your heart. But hey, if you’re an animal lover you probably already know all about puppy mills.

  14. April 4, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Good post. Most don’t realize all the health issues with these crazy “designer” breeds. You either have a purebred or a mutt, simple as that and both are awesome (providing the purebred comes from a reputable breeder).

    • Mel
      April 5, 2014 at 7:58 AM

      Agree Emma. Well said.

  15. April 5, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    all my dogs have been rescues, I have had a few pure breeds but most are mix breeds. I adopted 2 retired racing greyhounds, 1 rat terrier, 4 mix breeds. All with great personalities and all spoiled rotten. A few have passed as most lived well past 13 years (had a husky/shepherd live til 19), but will always adopt from a rescue or shelter. I pray on day all puppy mills will no longer exists

  16. Sheila Anderson
    April 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Excellent posts Mel and you countered the ignorance effectively. This line of thinking is why puppy mills and pet stores continue to thrive.

  17. April 10, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    It’s sad that SO many dogs are suffering because people only care about making money on them. It’s sickening.

  18. TheNaganoIncident
    April 14, 2014 at 4:40 AM

    I hate seeing things like this. Dogs are not accessories. They don’t need fancy names or papers. They are supposed to be companion animals. Unfortunately, wherever humans get involved, there will always be greed. And this will always lead to suffering for something.

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