10 Most Adorable Teddy Bear Dog Breeds

West Highland Terrier with fresh haircut laying on pavers
© iStock.com/Eudyptula

Written by Katelynn Sobus

Updated: May 23, 2023

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Some cute and cuddly dog breeds that remind you of little teddy bears include the Maltese, poodle, and Pomeranian. These pups have long fur that can be cut into a “teddy bear” style with even, fluffy fur all over their bodies. They’re lap dogs that tend to be clingy and affectionate.

In this article, we’ll talk about 10 teddy bear dog breeds that are cute, cuddly, and affectionate! We’ll also talk about how to groom them and their temperaments.

1. Poodle

red royal poodle

Poodle coats are long and curly and continue to grow throughout their lives.

©Diana Kellior/Shutterstock.com

Many people think of the standard poodle cut with poofs of fur throughout the body. But did you know poodles can also be cut into a teddy bear dog breed style with even, fluffy fur all over?

Poodles come in two sizes, as accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Miniature poodles stand 10-15 inches tall and weigh 10-15 pounds, while standard poodles are over 15 inches tall and weigh 40-70 pounds.

Their coats are long, and curly, and continue to grow throughout their lives. However, because their fur grows more like human hair, it sheds very little. You should expect to bring your dog to the groomer every 4-6 weeks or learn how to groom them at home, which requires much work.

The longer you keep your poodle’s fur, the more frequently you must brush them. Shaved poodles don’t need to be brushed, but long fur should be brushed daily to prevent tangles and mats.

Remember, many poodle mixes, or doodles, don’t have the same benefits and will likely have a difficult-to-maintain coat that sheds frequently.

It’s great to adopt poodle mixes from rescues or shelters so long as you’re OK with the work that’ll go into their coats, but we don’t recommend buying them from breeders.

2. Maltese

Teacup Maltese

Maltese have ever-growing hair, like poodles.

©Plernz/Shutterstock.com

Maltese dogs are 7-9 inches tall and weigh under 7 pounds. Talk about a little teddy bear dog breed!

These pups have ever-growing hair, like poodles. They shed very little but need frequent haircuts and daily combing if their fur is long.

Maltese are always white, though sometimes they have black points in their fur. When it comes to personality, they’re playful and affectionate. They’ll likely be little cuddle bugs and aren’t well-suited to families who will leave them alone for long periods.

Although they can get their energy out indoors when necessary, remember that all dogs benefit from daily walks as they’re great for enrichment, fresh air, and providing a routine.

3. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu (Canis familiaris) - puppy running

Shih Tzus’ long, silky fur rarely sheds.

©Daz Stock/Shutterstock.com

Shih Tzus are super popular dogs for a good reason. They’re friendly, affectionate, and adaptable.

These little fur babies are 9-10.5 inches tall and weigh 9-16 pounds. Their long, silky fur rarely sheds but needs to be kept short or brushed daily to prevent matted fur, which constantly pulls on the skin and can be quite painful.

Shih Tzus are bred in a wide variety of fur colors and color combinations, and they can also have various markings according to the AKC breed standard.

Unfortunately, Shih Tzus are also bred to have short snouts, making them susceptible to various health problems. These dogs can’t breathe like dogs with snouts of an average length and might suffer from exercise intolerance or heat stroke. They are also prone to dental disease and eye issues.

For this reason, we recommend checking your local shelter or rescue for a Shih Tzu and never buying one from a breeder.

4. Pomeranian

Pomeranian dog

Pomeranians are highly affectionate and can be prone to separation anxiety.

©KristinaSh/Shutterstock.com

Pomeranians are just little balls of fur! They’re 6-7 inches tall and weigh 3-7 pounds. Though their most recognized coat color is orange, the breed standard accepts various colors.

The AKC describes Pomeranians as bold and curious. Like most dogs on this list, they’re highly affectionate and can be prone to separation anxiety. If you live alone and work full-time outside the home, clingy dogs like this aren’t for you. They thrive in families where someone is home most of the day, though they should be taught to be alone for short periods without panicking.

Pomeranians can also be quite vocal, and their barking can become problematic if they lack training, attention, or exercise. Luckily, they aren’t super high energy, and a short daily walk alongside playtime in the house should tire them out.

5. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier puppy sitting on the park grass

Yorkshire terrier

fur is always bi-colored.

©Shllabadibum Bubidibam/Shutterstock.com

Yorkshire terriers, or Yorkies, are known for their long, sleek hair and the cute hairdos most people give them to keep their fur out of their eyes. These adorable pups are 7-8 inches tall and weigh 7 pounds.

Yorkies can also be clipped into a short teddy bear breed cut, like all long-haired dogs, and they look adorable this way! Their fur is always bi-colored, with the following accepted by AKC breed standards: black and tan, blue and gold, blue and tan, and black and gold.

They’re playful, affectionate, and friendly. These dogs want to be friends with everyone, including children–remember never to leave dogs and children unsupervised, as one can easily hurt the other without trying. Rough play should also be discouraged.

Because Yorkies are classified as mildly brachycephalic, meaning their snouts are bred to be too short, they can suffer from issues like difficulty breathing, exercise intolerance, dental disease, and more. I recommend avoiding Yorkie breeders and finding a rescue or shelter dog instead! 

6. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier standing outside in grass

West Highland White Terriers were originally bred to have big barks.

©BIGANDT.COM/Shutterstock.com

The AKC describes West Highland white terriers (or Westies) as loyal and happy. They’re also adorable and look like little white marshmallows with long, fluffy fur.

Male Westies are 11 inches tall, while females are 10 inches. Adult Westies weigh 15-20 pounds.

They tend to be affectionate, friendly, and good with children. Supervise any interactions between dogs and kids, even small ones like Westies. Children can hurt small dogs by playing too rough, trying to lift them, or climbing on them, and some dogs will bite in self-defense.

These terriers are also relatively high-energy and intelligent. They need their minds worked just as much as their bodies, so be ready to play games, train new things, and maybe buy puzzle toys to keep them occupied.

7. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

puppy collar

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are affectionate, good with other dogs, protective, and playful.

©Natalia Fedosova/Shutterstock.com

Though different from others on this list with their short fur, Corgis are quite cuddly-looking. Judging by their popularity, many others agree!

These pups are affectionate, good with other dogs, protective, and playful. Remember, they were originally bred for herding livestock, and they did so by nipping at the animals’ ankles so that they might try this on you, other pets, or even children. Training out this behavior using positive reinforcement (rewarding chewing on toys and interacting nicely) and ending playtime or walking away when they do nip is essential. Games and toys like herding balls provide an outlet for their herding behavior.

Corgis are typically fawn with white markings, but their coat can also be black and tan, red, or sable. They have large, upright ears, short legs, and long backs. 

Unfortunately, their shortened legs result from a genetic mutation that can cause back and spinal problems. We recommend rescuing a Corgi rather than buying a puppy since they are bred unethically.

If you adopt a Corgi, protect its spine by avoiding stairs and jumping whenever possible. Pembroke Welsh Corgis weigh up to 28-30 pounds, depending on gender, and they stand 10-12 inches tall.

8. Sheltie

small indoor dog house

Shelties are affectionate and tend to be great with kids and other dogs.

©iStock.com/11Audrey11

Shelties are, essentially, miniature collies. According to breed standards, they stand 13-16 inches tall and weigh 15-25 pounds.

They have long double coats. Unlike most dogs on this list, shelties’ coats shed moderately and don’t grow out long. You won’t see it touching the floor like a Maltese or Shih Tzu. Expect to brush their coats once weekly and more during shedding season.

Shelties are affectionate and tend to be great with kids and other dogs. They’re protective, easy to train, and high-energy.

Because they were bred to be working dogs, they must get plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation. Shelties are very smart! However, they also know how to relax on the couch or in bed. Their adaptability means they’ll fit into your lifestyle well if you provide for their needs.

9. Havanese

Havanese (Canis familiaris) - puppy with ball in mouth

It’s essential to brush

Havanese

dogs daily.

©Dorottya Mathe/Shutterstock.com

Havanese dogs have long, double coats that shed little, though you might see more fur around the house during shedding season. 

Brushing these dogs daily is essential, not shaving their coats since it can cause damage. However, it is OK to clip it down to a couple of inches in length if that’s what you prefer.

Havanese are 8.5-11.5 inches tall and weigh 7-13 pounds. They’re friendly, cuddly, and intelligent! These pups need moderate exercise, including a daily walk, and are playful.

They’re known for being vocal, so training them according to your expectations early on is essential. No barking will likely be unrealistic, but you can train a “quiet” command to help calm them down when they get too yappy.

10. Papillon

Papillon running and leaping in the air

Papillons are friendly, playful, and high-energy dogs.

©Elizabeth Dee/Shutterstock.com

Papillons have long, silky fur, upright ears, and small statures. They stand 8-11 inches tall and weigh 5-10 pounds. Because of their ears, they look like they have little pigtails!

These dogs shed moderately and must be brushed regularly to prevent painful mats from developing in their fur. They’re friendly, playful, and high-energy dogs. They’re also smart, so providing mental stimulation and challenging their brains regularly is essential.

Your Papillon might become destructive, anxious, or bark incessantly if it gets bored. To prevent problematic barking at the door, you can teach a quiet command or train them to go to their “place” away from the door, like a dog bed. This might take time, but luckily Papillons are intelligent and eager to please, so training shouldn’t be too difficult.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of teddy bear dog breeds. Adopting a dog is committing to caring for a living being, so please take the decision seriously. Though these dogs are cute, like teddy bears, they’re not toys.

Each dog will also have their personality, so while these breeds are known for being affectionate, some might not want to be carried or cuddled. Remember to take things at your dog’s pace and never force affection!

Summary of 10 Most Adorable Teddy Bear Dog Breeds

#Dog BreedShedding/Grooming
1PoodleSheds very little – needs grooming every 4 – 6 weeks
2MalteseSheds very little – needs frequent haircuts
3Shih TzuSheds very little – needs daily brushing and regular haircuts
4PomeranianDoes shed – needs grooming every 4 weeks and to be brushed 3 times per week
5Yorkshire TerrierSheds very little – needs grooming every 4 – 6 weeks
6West Highland White TerrierMinimal shedding – needs grooming every 4 – 6 weeks and daily brushing
7Pembroke Welsh CorgiDoes shed – needs grooming every 4 – 8 weeks and daily brushing
8SheltieSheds moderately – needs grooming every 4 – 8 weeks and weekly brushing
9HavaneseSheds moderately – needs grooming every 4 – 8 weeks and daily brushing
10PapillonSheds moderately – needs grooming every 4 – 6 weeks and daily brushing

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About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

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