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Teddy Bear Poms

Teddy Bear Pomeranians

The Faces of the Pomeranian

There are 3 different face types of the Pomeranian dog. However, it must be noted that by AKC standard guidelines, the Pomeranian dog "should" have the fox face. That is the standard and will win points in dog conformation shows.

However, there are also 2 other types of face shapes for this breed that are very popular...and becoming more sought after every year.

The 3 Face Types are:
  • Fox face
  • Teddy Bear
  • Baby Doll
How Are There 3 Kinds?

The fox face is standard, however as breeders have bred litters throughout the years, there were puppies born with different shaped faces. The Teddy Bear Pomeranian is produced when a breeder produces a litter of puppies that have more of a teddy bear than a fox face...even if it is just slightly different....Then they will match up that puppy with a mate that also possesses the same qualities....The results are a new litter of puppies with even more of a teddy bear appearance.

Some breeders - although it does not follow AKC guidelines - focus solely on Teddy Bear Pomeranian puppies.
fox face Pomeranian
This is the typical fox face Pomeranian, as explained in the AKC standard guidelines. To quote a section of the guidelines, "the expression is alert and may be referred to as fox-like” and faults (in AKC conformation events) include: “Round, domed skull; under-shot mouth”. As you can see the snout is more elongated than the next two types; though not overly long for the frame of the face. It is considered small in comparison to other dog breeds.
Teddy Bear Pomeranian
This is a perfect example of Teddy Bear Pomeranians. As you can see, there is quite a difference in the face shape. Unlike the photo above, this teddy bear Pomeranian has a much shorter snout. It is commonly referred to a "smooshed face". Because of this feature, the eyes appear to be closer to the nose and the cheeks appear to be fuller. 
Baby doll Pomeranian
This is the look that is commonly referred to as the baby doll Pom (or babydoll Pomeranian). As you can see, this look is extremely similar to teddy bear Pomeranians. The difference here, if you look closely, is that the snout widens out and is less of an upturn than the Teddy Bear Pomeranian...The eyes are set a bit higher as well.
Are There Any Other Differences in Appearance?

You may wonder if there are any other differences between these 3 different face types. Aside from the above information in which we do explain the important fact that only the fox face is considered to be the AKC standard, there is no other difference. All have the same thick double coats, all will goes though the "Puppy Uglies" and all should weigh, as an adult, between 3 and 7 pounds. All have the same grooming, care, health and dental needs...And all come in the 19 solid AKC colors, exotic colors or are parti -Poms (more than 1 color).

Some say that the ears of a Teddy Bear Pom are smaller than other face types. However, this does not hold true for all Teddies. What breeders focus on the most is the length of snout.

Health Issues of Teddy Bear Pomeranians

As with any breed that has been developed to have a flat, smooshed face (known as brachycephalic dogs - and this includes the Pug and Shih Tzu) there are increased health issues when the facial structure of a dog is flattened. This centers around issues of the nose and throat including:
  • Elongated soft palate; the palate in the back of the throat extends out, obstructing breathing.
  • Stenotic nares; nostrils openings are too small.
  • Breathing problems due to a smaller than normal windpipe.
These conditions will be more common with Teddy Bear and Baby Doll Pomeranians than the traditional and standard fox face. If you have a Pom with this sort of facial structure, you'll want to keep an eye out for such signs as heavy snoring, raspy breathing, trouble breathing during hot, humid weather and/or coughing. 
Other Meanings of the Term

Another way that one may refer to a Pom as a Teddy Bear has nothing to do with facial structure. Rather, it is a nickname given to this breed when the coat is shaved down. Shaving to look like Boo the Pomeranian is an example of this. Technically, this should be called the Teddy Bear cut, since the official definition pertains to the face and snout shape. 
Teddy bear cut on Pomeranian
This is  a close, teddy bear hair cut on a Pomeranian puppy. This is not recommended. The inner layer of the coat has been shaved down. This Pom's fur will most likely never grow back to the thick, wonderful coat it could have been.
Full teddy bear haircut on Pomeranian
This trimmed, rounded out coat leads some to refer to the dog as a Teddy Bear Pom. However, this is a standard Pomeranian with a coat this is trimmed nice and tidy. This type of trim does not cut into the inner layer, so it will not damage the coat. 
As we discuss in detail in our Shaved Pomeranian section and our Hair Cut section, trimming must be done with great care. Hundreds of years have gone into perfecting this breed's thick double coat. Nature calls out for the Pom to have a double layered coat...There is the inner layer which is dense and short. There is also the outer hairs (called guard hairs) that are longer and full.

The Pom's ancestors, the Arctic Spitz dog had this type of fur and so does the Pom. Snipping off the top fur to create a Teddy Bear appearance must be given great thought.

If one trims down into the inner layer, there is a very good chance that the coat will never again be able to grow as it was meant to be. Grooming in this way is essentially a life long commitment.

Now, with this said, guard hairs can be trimmed and touched up. They can be snipped back a bit to create balance and shape to give this dog the Teddy Bear look....But, this should be done carefully. If too little is trimmed, you can always go back and touch it up later. If too much is taken off to try and achieve the Teddy, it will be too late....And it can take a long time for the coat to grow back.
A Final Thought

Many feel that Pomeranians that have fox faces should have long coats and we certainly cannot disagree. This is the AKC breed standard, something not to be taken lightly and certainly something to be respected. So much work has gone into perfecting this breed. 

Essentially starting with Queen Victoria and her specialty breeding programs to develop a tiny, companion lap dog with a fox type face and a long, fluffy coat. In 1892, the Pomeranian was introduced to America and since that time renown organizations and reputable breeders have worked diligently to protect the integrity of the breed's appearance. 
You May Also be Interested In:

Why Do Pomeranians Look so Different? - While there is only one breed, due to color, size, face shape and age, Poms have a variety of looks. 
Other Dogs that Look Like Pomeranians - While the Pomeranian has its own, unique and wonderful appearance there are quite a few other breeds that do look a bit similar. Most are in the Spitz family, however some are not.
Big, Large Throwback Poms -  Read about one possible and very interesting reason why a purebred Pom may end up much larger than expected. 
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