Teddy Bear Puppies, along with Mini Teddy Bear Puppies, have similarities and differences with a lot of other small dog breeds.  Since the term “Teddy Bear” can refer a wide variety of different cross breeds, a lot of your dog’s disposition will depend on exactly which breed it’s parents come from.  In this article we will discuss the training of the two most common types of cross breeds:

Shih Tzu/Bichon Friese = Teddy Bear Puppy

Shih Tzu/Maltese = Mini Teddy Bear Puppy

If your puppy comes from different blood lines you will want to do additional research for those specific breeds.

Your first week with your new Teddy:

During the first few weeks you have your new Teddy it is important to make sure that you DO NOT punish them for misbehavior.  Punishment at this early age can be very confusing for your little puppy and it can cause unneeded anxiety during this difficult transition. During your first week with your new Teddy, shower them with praise and re-direct their misbehavior towards more positive behavior.  Don’t punish them by hitting them, locking them in their kennel for long periods, or yelling at them.  The most important thing they can learn during the first week is that you love them and are not a threat to them.  Once they learn this, then teaching is viewed as an act of love rather than an act of punishment.

Teddy Bear Puppies: Training with love

Teddy’s and Mini Teddy’s exhibit very similar characteristics and can be trained in very similar ways. The both exhibit very sweet dispositions and usually love nothing more than your physical contact and attention.  This can make disciplining and training your Teddy a challenging task!  Sometimes they look so cute you could easily let them get away with misbehavior!

Even though your new puppy looks like an angel, they will inevitably act like a little devil from time to time.  Be sure to establish early on (after the first week) that YOU are the dominant master, and they need to listen to you.  Young Teddy’s can challenge their masters by “play fighting”, biting and growling, or by chewing on your hands when you are trying to hold or pet them.  These are not necessarily aggressive actions, nor do they indicate your puppy will be a danger later on.  They are normal acts of dominance that young puppies demonstrate as they are discovering their personalities.

When your Teddy is acting aggressive, one good way to show your dominance is to pin them down against the ground on their back.  Use one hand to firmly pin them down (without hurting them) while staring into their eyes with a stern look.  Your puppy will typically stare back for a moment or two before turning their head to the side and breaking eye contact.  This act is a sign of submission and a sign that they recognize you as their master.  This is a good exercise to do with young, aggressive Teddy Bear puppies.

House training your Teddy Bear puppy:

One of the most trying aspects of owning a Teddy Bear puppy (or any puppy) is the house breaking process.  The first decision you need to make is if you are going to train your teddy to go outside, or inside on a potty pad.  Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one for you is an important decision.

Once you decide where your Teddy will relive themselves at, you will now need to actually train them to do it every time!  The training process takes A LONG time and it is typical for a well trained Teddy to have “accidents” for the first 5-6 months of training.  Don’t get discouraged by this, it takes time.

There are many different house training methods by a number of different professionals who have a lot of experience with the subject.  Here are a few resources with even more information:

Perfect Paws: How to Train a Puppy the Easy Way

Rome wasn’t built in a day

The training process can be a long and challenging one; from potty training, to teaching your Teddy tricks.  The most important thing is that you continue to love your Teddy unconditionally and continue to do what is best for him or her.  Sometimes that can mean discipline once they get a little older!

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  • Karen August 18, 2015, 10:37 pm

    I have a mini teddy bear, would your book work for my dog. Not sure about mini versus just teddy bear, due to difference in breeds. Thank you.

  • Christine Wehby April 3, 2016, 12:57 pm

    What should we do if our Teddy pees in her crate (small crate..Not large enough for her to getaway) We take her out as she whines. She sometimes has already peed in her crate, though not every morning, we still take her outside right away and she then pees again we always reward her right away. Is ther corrective work other than what we are doing to eventually fix this.

    Thank you for your help

    Christine Wehby
    9546382445 cell

  • Mike February 5, 2018, 11:30 pm

    Our 9 month old Teddy Bear is the sweetest little dog we have ever had. She just loves to be with us at all times. House training has been a challenge. Still working on it. ( We take her out every hr and a half. Just when we think we have it together. She will come in and poop on the floor. But we will pursue this challenge and will conker it. lol.
    But realy she is such a joy to have. Tug of war has been her favorite pass time. As of yet no chew damage to any parts of the house. She is crated at night and loves her crate during the day to take naps on her own. I would strongly agree they are a loving dog.


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