Teddy bear dog breeds are paws down some of the cutest pups around and not only do they look adorable, but they also happen to have incredibly loving and playful temperaments that make them an absolute joy to have in the home.
Known to be amongst the most affectionate dog breeds, the canine companions in this guide are real sweethearts who love nothing more than being with their people and the majority of them are highly adaptable, making them well suited to almost every environment.
Because of their social, gentle and even-tempered natures, these teddy bear dog breeds will do well in homes with children and some are also highly intuitive, allowing them to offer a great deal of emotional support and care to those who may be housebound or have limited mobility.
While the advantages to owning a teddy bear dog breed far outweigh any drawbacks, it’s worth noting that some have stubborn natures that make them more difficult to housebreak and others will require early training and socialization to ensure they’re comfortable around strangers.
Those small (and very manageable) issues aside, teddy bear dog breeds have wonderful personalities that make them superb companions if you're looking for a friendly and loyal pup that will shower you with love. Here are 10 of our favorites….
- 10 toy dog breeds: Good things come in small packages
- 15 playful dog breeds that make the best companions
- The most popular small dog breeds
What do you get when you cross the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with the Poddle? Why, the adorable Cavapoo of course! Also sometimes referred to as the Cavadoodle or Cavoodle, the Cavapoo hails from Australia and is known for its soft coat that can be wavy or curly.
Incredibly friendly and affectionate, this gentle, playful and even-tempered little dog has a beautifully companionable nature and absolutely adores children. These qualities, coupled with their calm and quiet nature, make them an outstanding family pet.
Cavapoos are highly intelligent little pups who are extremely eager to please, which makes them an absolute delight to train. Their energy levels and exercise needs are moderate, so you don’t have to worry about being on the go all the time, and they’re low shedders, making them a good choice for those with allergies.
A mix of the Pomeranian and the Siberian Husky, the Pomsky is a breed well worth considering if you’ve always wanted a wolf-like dog but have been put off by their stubborn natures. The Pomsky has the looks of the Siberian Husky packed into a compact frame but with a far more comedic and trainable nature, something they inherit from the Pomeranian lineage.
Highly adaptable, they’ll be happy living in almost any kind of environment as long as they get one decent walk a day to burn off their energy. That being said, be prepared for plenty of chatter as they tend to have the Pomeranian penchant for yapping coupled with the Husky tendency to howl and whine, so if peace and quiet is what you’re after, this vocal ball of fluff isn’t the best choice.
If you don’t mind being in constant conversation with your canine companion then the Pomsky is a wonderfully affectionate dog who makes a delightful companion for adults and they’re very intelligent, which means they’ll quickly pick up new commands. Just be sure to socialize them from a young age as they can be nervous around strangers.
Energetic, loving and playful, the Morkie combines the absolute best qualities of the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier to create one of the most adorable and affectionate bundles of fluff that you could ever wish for. At a tiny six to eight inches in height and weighing no more than eight pounds, this petite pooch may be small but their hearts are huge.
Because they’re such adorable little love bugs, these sweet and highly social pups make fantastic companions for almost everyone, including older children and seniors who are looking for a cuddly dog who will be just as happy going on walks as they are curling up on a warm lap.
While they do very well in families, if you have small children, it’s best to wait until they’re older before welcoming a Morkie into your home as their small size means they can be easily injured. You’ll want to train and socialize the Morkie early on as their stubborn streak means they require a fair bit of patience, firmness and consistency to help them learn who’s in charge.
4. Lhasa Apso
Small but hardy, the Lhasa Apso originated in Tibet where it acted as a watchdog in palaces and monasteries throughout the country. Nowadays, this happy and mischievous pup makes for a loyal and protective family companion, possessing both a super fun and playful side while also taking seriously their job of guarding those they love.
While the Lhasa Apso will make friends with those outside of his family, he’ll likely be wary and standoffish until he’s sure this new person doesn’t pose any threat to his humans. They tend to have very puppyish natures right up until old age, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking for a canine companion who will remain young at heart.
Content living indoors, this pup is ideal if you’re after a relatively low-energy dog as while they enjoy playing, they’re not ones for vigorous exercise. You will, however, want to take a firm but kind stance with them as they will try to rule the roost if given half the chance, so early and consistent training is key.
5. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a popular and adorable cotton-ball cloud of white plush and velvety hair and large dark eyes that makes them pretty darn hard to resist. Endlessly cheerful and with a curious nature, the Bichon Frise has a gentle, playful and lively disposition that makes them an absolute joy to have in the home.
Well known for their clownish antics that offer constant amusement to all those who come into contact with them, this sweet tempered and affectionate dog loves attention and will want to accompany you wherever you go. Always alert, they make great little watchdogs if you’re wanting to know when someone is on your property, but at their heart, they’re really lovers not fighters.
While they are a very smart little dog, the Bichon Frise has a reputation for being one of the hardest pups to housetrain as they can be incredibly headstrong. They’re also prone to suffering serious separation anxiety, so you’ll either need to be at home during the day or ensure you can take them with you to ensure they stay happy and healthy.
High in energy but low in shedding, the Sheepadoodle is the perfect pet if you’re after an active companion but don’t want to be forever picking tons of fur off your furniture and floors. A cross between the Old English Sheepdog and the Poodle, this ultra-fluffy, goofy pooch has a wonderfully friendly and playful nature.
Fantastic family dogs, there’s not much a Sheepadoodle loves more than children, except perhaps bucket loads of affection, so if you’re after a family dog, this one is hard to go past. They’re also great with other dogs and while their sheepdog side can make them quite independent-minded, their poodle side means they can also be eager to please, which balances things out from a training perspective.
Cuteness overload is guaranteed when you combine two of the most adorable dogs in the world and the Shichon, a mix of the Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise, is proof of that. Outgoing yet highly intuitive and gentle, the Shichon has become a popular therapy and emotional support animal and is an outstanding choice for anyone who is housebound as these loving and caring little souls will not leave their human’s side.
Extroverted and intelligent, they are very energetic but they’re more than happy with a play session or a few laps around the yard, so you don’t need to worry about taking them on big walks. They also love to snuggle and will be more than content to curl up on your lap for large portions of the day.
The Shichon loves their family with all of their heart and because of this, they don’t like to be separated from them. Being apart from those that mean the most to them is incredibly distressing for this sweet and affectionate little pup, so they need to be in a home where someone is around all day to keep them company.
Mix together the Maltese and the Poodle and you get the charming and utterly devoted Maltipoo whose fun-loving nature means they’re sure to win over everyone they meet. Intelligent and affectionate, the Maltipoo is a fascinating mix of gentle lap dog meets feisty pocket rocket who adores a good active play session.
Considered a good dog for allergy sufferers, the Maltipoo is a very light shedder, but they do require daily grooming to prevent their coats from becoming knotted and tangled. They tend to get along well with children and other pets, adapt quickly to most living situations, and are generally smart and easy to train.
With the sweet nature of the Cocker Spaniel and the good humor of the Poodle, the Cockapoo has quickly become one of the most popular breeds for those looking for a sweet and loving family pet who will fill their home with plenty of enthusiasm and comedy.
Thriving on social interaction, the more people around the better as far as the Cockapoo is concerned, and they are beautifully adaptable when it comes to living environments, doing well pretty much anywhere from apartments to big homes with backyards.
The Cockapoo has moderate amounts of energy and when not burning that off on a daily walk, you’ll find they’re perfectly content to curl up on your lap or snooze next to you on the couch.
10. Shih Tzu
Their name may mean ‘little lion’ but there’s nothing fierce about this charming, affectionate and sweet-natured dog who will be your best buddy from the moment you bring them home. If you’re after a playful companion who will shower you with unconditional love, the Shih Tzu is hard to beat.
As well suited to apartment living as they are to a country farm, the Shih Tzu adores children and gets along well with other animals. People-lovers to their core, they’ll quite happily engage with strangers and while they will certainly bark to alert you if someone is at the door, they’ll bond quickly with whoever is visiting the minute they enter the house.
Like the Bichon Frise, the one downside to the Shih Tzu is that they’re notoriously difficult to housebreak, so consistency and patience is going to be key here if you want them to learn the ropes. You’ll also need to be prepared to brush them every day as their fur knots easily, but that shouldn’t be a problem given how much this dog loves attention.