Is there anything more lovable than a dog? How about one that looks like a cute and cuddly teddy bear? If you're looking for a four-legged friend that will bring back fond memories of your childhood teddy—or that possesses the strong, protective nature of an actual bear— here are some breeds that just so happen to resemble bears.
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Often referred to as a "silent hunter," the Akita is a quiet yet temperamental dog that can often be difficult to train. They are the largest Japanese spitz breed and have a subtle bear-like quality. As a high-energy breed that also tend to be fiercely loyal, Akitas have long served as guard and hunting dogs and require rigorous daily exercise.
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Weight: 70 to 130 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Triangular head; curled tail; thick double coat in colors including black, fawn, red
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Named for the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, the Great Pyrenees makes the list because they can be mistaken for polar bears at first glance. Bred as herding dogs, their job was to defend flocks from predators like wolves and, perhaps not surprisingly, actual bears. These dogs are gentle giants that can weigh in over 100 pounds, but make for intelligent, family-friendly pets who serve as loyal and protective guardians for their humans.
Height: 25 to 32 inches
Weight: 85 to 100+ pounds
Physical Characteristics: Large and strong physique with a lush weatherproof coat that's either all white or white with markings of gray, tan, reddish-brown, or badger
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The Chow Chow is a breed hailing from ancient China. Their unique lion's mane make these dogs appear particularly cute and cuddly (and bear-like), but they are also muscular, deep-chested dogs with an aristocratic history. These dignified dogs can be both serious and aloof and are known to be particularly clean dogs that adapt well to any living situation.
Height: 17 to 20 inches
Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Lion’s-mane ruff around the head and shoulders; deep-set almond eyes; blue-black tongue; stiff-legged gait. Coats can be rough or smooth in colors including red, black, blue, cinnamon, or cream.
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The Samoyed is a spitz breed that originated in the Siberian area of Russia. Strong and intelligent, these dogs were bred to pull sledges on polar expeditions. Today that make affectionate and playful family pets that just so happen to resemble polar bears.
Height: 19 to 24 inches
Weight: 35 to 65 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Alert expression; thick double coat; colors include white, cream, and biscuitContinue to 5 of 10 below.
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Newfoundlands are large dogs—they can weigh up to 150 pounds—but they are also gentle, patient, and trainable. Bred as working dogs for Canadian fisherman, Newfoundlands are often referred to as “nanny dogs” because of the way they watch over and protect children. "Newfies" are among the world's largest dogs, and yet their sweet temperament is what's often the most notable about these gentle giants.
Height: 26 to 28 inches
Weight: 100 to 150 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Flat and coarse outer coat in gray, brown, black, and a black and white
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Affectionately dubbed the “people’s dog,” the Keeshond became the symbol of the Dutch Patriots Party in the 18th century as they fulfilled the role of both guard and companion on early Dutch vessels. It's believed that they earned their name either from the Patriot leader Kees de Gyselaer or his dog, who was also named Kees. The Keeshond resembles a teddy bear more than an actual bear, and they're known to be an energetic, intelligent breed that's personable and easy to train.
Height: 17 to 18 inches
Weight: 35 to 45 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Pointed ears; plush, abundant coat; plumed tail. One of its most unique characteristics are “spectacles" (shadings and markings around the eyes)
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Named after the Kavkaz (Caucasus) mountains of Eastern Europe, the Caucasian Shepherd's massive size rivals that of a small bear. These fearless dogs were tasked as guardians of herds and homes in harsh conditions, and remain loyal guardians. Though they're large and strong dogs, they're also loving and affectionate towards their families.
Height: 23 to 30 inches
Weight: 99 to 170 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Both long and short coats; these dogs have a Mountain type, which is long-coated with a heavier body mass, and a Steppe type, a shorter-coated dog with a lighter body mass
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Hailing from Germany, Leonbergers were originally bred as majestic companions fit for the likes of Tsar Alexander II, Napoleon III, and the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). While many of these dogs enjoyed their noble status, others remained working dogs on farms and docks. Given their impressive size and strength—they can weigh up to 170 pounds—Leonbergers were famously adept at pulling carts. Despite their size (and bear-like appearance), these dogs are gentle and serene by nature, and although they do make excellent watchdogs, they are also very friendly and personable.
Height: 25 to 32 inches
Weight: 90 to 170 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-long waterproof coat (and lion-like mane around the neck and chest), bushy tail, lush triangular ears, and a black "face mask"Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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A dog that's considered to be of both European and Asian descent (hence its unusual name), the Eurasier is a confident and well-balanced dog that loves nothing more than being around his family. Though they're not the largest of the bear-like breeds, the Eurasier is yet another strong yet sensitive dog that can be wary of strangers (which is why they make excellent guard dogs).
Height: 19 to 24 inches
Weight: 40 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Thick, medium-long coat in an array of colors; purple, pink, or spotted tongues; can have dark face masks or light "reverse" masks
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At just seven inches and up to seven pounds, Pomeranians are pint-sized pooches that have a teddy bear-like quality thanks to their rounded ears and puffy fur. These petite pups may not resemble real bears, but they are beloved companions that hail from Pomerania, which is now part of western Germany and Poland. They are confident and curious and remain one of the most popular toy breeds (they've been companions for famous historical figures ranging from Mozart to Marie Antoinette), even though their ancestors were bred from much larger sled dogs.
Height: 6 to 7 inches
Weight: 3 to 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Fluffy and abundant double coat with frill extending over the chest and shoulders; can be found in up to two dozen colors (orange or red are most common) and various patterns and markings