What is a Teddy bear dog?
If you’re looking for an affectionate, sweet-tempered and intelligent dog breed than a teddy bear will be perfect for you. This breed is a hybrid of the Shi Tzu and the Bichon Frise. However, new hybrids are continually being bred to determine which mix make the perfect combination. Toy Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Schnauzers and Yorkshire Terrier hybrids now also fall under this ‘teddy bear’ term.
Their name is attributed to their small size as they will remain the size of a teddy bear toy even as an adult. They also physically resemble teddy bears with their fluffy coats and big button eyes and noses. As adults, they weigh between eight and sixteen pounds so they are very small. Their size makes them perfect for apartment living, and they are also quiet dogs, unlike other small breeds they do not bark much, but they will alert you to any visitors at your door.
The teddy bear breed has not been around for long. The breed became popular in the late nineties and early two thousands. They also live up to their teddy bear name as they were bred to be exactly that, fluffy, cuddly and lovable. They were originally bred to be therapy dogs for children and the elderly as their small size ensured that they would not accidentally hurt anyone, and their loving and affectionate nature meant that they would be happy to be held and cuddled by people.
Temperaments Of Teddy Bear Dog Breeds.
Unlike other small dogs who are known to be quite vocal and energetic, and in worst case scenarios can be very anxious and aggressive. Teddy bear dogs are the opposite of this. Instead, they are bred to be calm and mellow and will be affectionate with their owners. However, because of this need for affection they can be very needy and will require a lot of love and attention. They also will not be happy if they are left alone for extended periods of time. These traits are something you need to be aware of if you have a busy schedule and cannot accommodate their needs.
Though small and gentle, they can sometimes be stubborn, and training is advised early on to eradicate this. Teddy bear breeds are also good with other dogs so they will fit right in with your family even if you are already the owner of a dog. They also make good pets for children. However, because of their small size, it is important to supervise any activity between younger children and a teddy bear as it is important that they learn not play rough with them as they could easily get hurt because of their small size.
Coat and Grooming
Though teddy bear dogs are known for their fluffy and soft fur, they do not shed much, and some variations of the breed do not shed at all. They usually have a long fluffy coat which will require maintenance if left long. Regular grooming is a must to avoid any mats. Teddy bear dogs were also bred to be low in dander. Dander is the tiny flakes of skin and fur that dogs shed, and this is what makes humans allergic them. However, the teddy bear breed is low in dander making them hypoallergenic and the perfect pets for someone what allergies.
Health is a crucial factor when you are thinking of getting a dog. The teddy bear breeds are typically very healthy as they were bred without the health issues of the individual breeds. Though they are “designer dogs” they lack the birth defects that come with purebred dogs. They typically have a life expectancy of around twelve to fifteen years. However, they can develop certain health issues especially if their parents were purebred dogs.
They may develop breathing problems similar to the pug breed due to their short muzzles, and they can also suffer from collapsed trachea. This condition is commonly found in toy breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian and Poodles. It is incredibly important that you are aware of this if you are thinking of getting a teddy bear dog that is a mix of these breeds. To avoid this, you should use a harness rather than a lead and collar when you are walking your dog to prevent any pulling on the neck.
The teddy bear breed does not need much exercise, because of their small size they will tire quickly from a game of chase or tug of war. However, they should still be walked daily for a change of scenery, and daily walks will allow them to become accustomed to walking with a harness or lead.
Because teddy bear breeds are typically hybrids of the Shi Tzu and Bichon Frise, which are very intelligent. The teddy bear also inherits this intelligence, making training relatively easy. They are also keen to please their owners, and this trait will also help when it comes to training.
Like all breeds, you should begin training early as this job will be much harder when they are older. However, it is widely believed that smaller dog breeds are harder to house train and as the teddy bear breed is usually a hybrid of different toy breeds you may, unfortunately, encounter this. Use dog treats and praise as a reward for any progress and be consistent in your training.
A Cute Teddy Bear Dog: Watch Video.
If you think that a teddy bear breed would be the perfect addition to your family, then you need to do some research before adopting or buying one. You need to ensure that you are buying from a reputable breeder who has all of the dogs documents available for you. Buying from an irresponsible dog breeder may result in your puppy having health issues and temperament problems so it is crucial that you do your research before you jump in and buy from the first breeder you find.
Image Courtesy : Flickr