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Teddy Bear Breed Information

mal-shi teddy bear puppy

Designer Teddy Bear puppies are a crossbreed of a Shih Tzu with either a Bichon Frise or a Maltese. These designer puppies are also called Shichon (Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise mix) and Mal-Shi (Shih Tzu and Maltese mix). The biggest hobbies Teddy Bear puppies have are to dote on their humans, cuddle, be pampered, and play fun puppy games. Teddy Bear pups are also very sociable dogs that love to interact with other fur babies.

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 dogs are a designer crossbreed that is most often a mix between a Shih Tzu dog and a Maltese or Bichon Frise dog 
  • Several designer dog kennel clubs recognize the Teddy Bear breed under names like Zuchon, Shichon, and Malshi (Mal-Shi)  
  • As a mix between two non-shedding dogs, the Teddy Bear is a hypoallergenic dog breed 
  • Teddy Bear puppies are very responsive to their owner during the training process 
  • Given that the Teddy Bear temperament is well-balanced, these dogs are often trained for therapy work 
  • Loving Teddy Bear personality. Teddy Bear puppies are great for kids, seniors, and singles 
  • Full grown Teddy Bear adult size is small – 9 to 12 inches in height and an average weight of 6 to 14 pounds 
  • Beautiful Teddy Bear colors include combinations of black, white, yellow, cream, brown, and gray 
shichon teddy bear dog


The Teddy Bear breed has a fashionable appearance that is defined by a very small size, gorgeous colors, and plenty of fluffiness. This designer breed is a half and half mix of the Shih Tzu and a Bichon (Frise or Maltese), which means that it comes with many combined features. The Teddy Bear’s coat can be curly, straight, or wavy, depending on which of the parent breeds it takes after more. Most often, adult Teddy Bear dogs have medium-length wavy coats, floppy ears, dark round eyes, and short muzzles. Teddy Bear dog colors are most often combinations of gray, yellow, brown, cream, black, or white. The color markings and patterns that are seen in the Shih Tzu breed can be inherited by the Teddy Bear puppy.  

As far as stature is concerned, the Teddy Bear size is usually very small. Full grown adult Teddy Bear dogs can reach an average of 9 to 12 inches in height and weigh as little as 6 pounds. Some full-grown Teddy Bears can also weigh as little as 4-5 pounds (teacup size) or a maximum of 14 pounds. 


Teddy Bear dogs have fantastic personalities and temperaments. They are well-behaved both as puppies and adults and have the sweetest nature when it comes to their owners and human families. Like their amazing parents, Teddy Bears come with a healthy dose of affection and cuddliness. They prefer to be with their people as much as possible, and don’t enjoy being left alone.  

Because their nature is sweet and they are receptive to their owners, Teddy Bears have earned a fantastic reputation as therapy dogs. They are gentle, patient, and driven towards uplifting others. They are just as great a match for senior families as they are for families with small children. The Teddy Bear dog loves everyone equally and doesn’t pick favorites even in a family of 6. Kids in the family are often their favorite playmates, while their owners make for the best cuddle buddies. These dogs are neither shy nor responsive when provoked. As puppies they might have a little bit more spunk, but they generally slow down and become more relaxed as they reach adulthood. 


Teddy Bear Grooming

Like their non-shedding parents, Teddy Bear dogs have low grooming necessities. Regardless of their coat type (curly, wavy, or straight), Teddy Bear dogs benefit from being brushed every few days. If their hair is kept long, it is recommended to brush them more often to rid their coats of dust and debris. Baths should be done monthly, or sooner only if they require it, and only with shampoo specifically designed for dogs. Because they are part Bichon Frise or Maltese, Teddy Bears might also be prone to tear stains, so it is recommended to trim the area around and under their eyes and clean it regularly with a damp cloth. Their ears can be prone to infections and require regular cleaning as well.  

Teddy Bear Exercise Needs

Teddy Bears are small, cuddly dogs that have low energy levels. These dogs prefer cuddles and tugs of war over running, chasing, or hiking. The ideal amount of daily exercise for Teddy Bear adult dogs should consist of up to 30 minutes of walks and some indoor games like fetch or hide-and-seek. Two daily walks of 10 minutes each should be enough to keep adult dogs exercised and happy. For Teddy Bear puppies, up to 5 daily walks are recommended. Puppies need more frequent walks to help them get accustomed to going potty outside. Their walks should be between 2 and 5 minutes long each.  

Teddy Bear Health

Whether they are a Shih Tzu Bichon mix or Shih Tzu Maltese mix, Teddy Bear dogs have an excellent health record. Given that Teddy Bear breeders only cross dogs with a clean health record and a pure lineage, it is unlikely that Teddy Bear puppies encounter health issues during their lives. Some conditions that may occur in the breed, although rarely, include cataracts mainly during old age, hip dysplasia or other joint problems that are a common issue among small dogs, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy. 

Teddy Bear Lifespan

Like their small breed parents, Teddy Bear dogs are known to live long and healthy lives. Their life expectancy is generally 15-16 (an average of 12 to 18) years with some living as much as 19-20 years. It is beneficial to keep regular vet checks that will allow you to identify any potential problems in time and fix them before they alter the quality of your Teddy Bear dog’s life. 

Teddy Bear Training

Teddy Bear puppy training is as easy as it is fun since these dogs are cute and happy fluffballs that will do anything to please their humans. They take well to training methods that include plenty of praise, encouragement, and delicious puppy treats. Some of their favorite rewards are squeaky toys, dental sticks, and fruit treats and some are also known to respond well to petting and cuddles. When training your Teddy Bear puppy, make sure to keep training lessons short and interactive so as to ensure that your little fur baby doesn’t get bored and lose interest. Teddy Bear puppies might inherit a slight stubborn streak from their Shih Tzu parent, but this trait can be easily fixed with patience and proper motivation. It is recommended to approach training lessons with gentleness and consistency, and to keep in mind that practice makes perfect.  

It is beneficial to socialize your Teddy Bear puppies as early as possible to give them time to become comfortable when introduced to others. Begin in a setting where your puppy knows the surroundings well and is confident in. Introduce friends and other pets gradually so as not to overwhelm your little puppy. Teddy Bear puppies are very gentle and friendly dogs, but they still need training to ensure they reach adulthood as educated and well-behaved dogs. 


Teddy Bear puppies are one of the newest designer breeds to have emerged at the beginning of the 21st century. Although there are many crosses that are considered designer Teddy Bear breeds, the Mal-Shi and Shichon are often known as the official breeds of the Teddy Bear category. These puppies were created in 2020 by Teddy Bear breeders in the United States. They have spread throughout the world and are now considered one of the top designer breeds. These dogs have charmed the world with their cuddly looks and temperaments and are among the favorite pets of families that have small kids. They have also been a hit among senior families given that they have the ideal temperaments for therapy work.  

The Mal-Shi puppy is a cross of a Shih Tzu and a Maltese, both dogs coming from a pure lineage. This dog is remarkably like its parent breeds in both appearance and personality. Mal-Shis were created to be very small and fluffy lapdogs with moderate energy. Other names this Shih Tzu Maltese mix goes by are Malti-Zu, Mal-Tzu, and Malshi. 

The Shichon puppy is a mix of a Shih Tzu crossed with a Bichon Frise, also pure lineage dogs. The Shichon is a fan of being pampered, much like its parents and very much like the Mal-Shi. This dog is playful, very cuddly, and laid-back. The Shichon breed is also known as Zuchon and Shih Tzu Bichon mix. 

Like their parents, the Teddy Bear dogs have excellent hypoallergenic qualities that make them one of the best breeds for allergy-suffering owners.