The Shorkie is a big dog trapped in a small dog’s body, and he has no idea about it! This tenacious breed is a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Shih Tzu. They are most often described as energetic, playful, loyal, stubborn and loving.
Bred as a companion dog, this little girl makes the perfect sidekick for seniors, adults and families with older, dog-experienced kids.
Shorkies are super alert and will let you know if there’s anything strange going on.
They are very much a “velcro dog” though and don’t ever want to be parted from you, ever.
Think this dog is for you? Keep reading to learn all about them…
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What is a Shorkie (101)
A Shorkie is a designer dog. They are a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Shih Tzu. Being a cross, their temperament and appearance is somewhat variable.
Many Shorkie breeders are looking to create a more stable breed standard by breeding Shorkie with Shorkie, however this is still the exception. Most of the time a Shorkie pup will be a cross between two purebred parents.
They are toy dogs who have plenty of energy and lots of love. They are fiercely loyal to their owners and because of this, can become anxious when parted from them.
The Shorkie is a small dog with long, sleek, straight fur that feels more like human hair than classic dog fur. They are low shedding dogs but are not hypoallergenic like the poodle crosses.
Owners enjoy having these dogs’ coats cut into a ‘teddy bear’ cut.
Their coats come in a range of colors. A good way to guess the coat color of puppies is to look at the parents. Some common colors include black and tan, black and white, and gold.
They are compact little dogs with thin legs but a decent amount of muscle on their bodies. They have a thin, wispy tail that most often curls over their body. Their face is round with a short muzzle. The Shih Tzu is a brachycephalic breed and the Shorkie may also share this characteristic sometimes.
As the Shorkie is a cross breed, their exact appearance is hard to predict. They could inherit any range of characteristics from either parent breed. This makes every puppy a bit of a lucky dip!
Height and Weight
As the Shorkie is bred from two small dogs, it’s no surprise that they are small.
- They stand at around 5 to 9 inches tall with males often being taller than females.
- As for their weight, males weigh in at 5-11lb and females at 4-8lb.
Coat and Colors
Shorkies come in a range of different colors. Some of the most common color combinations are black and tan, black and white, white and brown, gold, red or particolored. Particolored is when they are a mixture of black, white, gold and brown.
Their coat is one of their defining features. It’s long, sleek and low shedding. Mostly it is straight but may have the occasional wave in it. Unfortunately, it is a myth that these dogs are totally hypoallergenic but they are very low shedding dogs.
They will need regular trips to the groomers and daily brushing. The most popular coat cut for the Shorkie is the ‘teddy bear’. This keeps the fur short on their body but creates a rounded face.
The Shorkie has the possibility of inheriting many amazing characteristics from its parent breeds.
- The Yorkshire Terrier, affectionately called the Yorkie, was first bred in the UK for ratting. They are well known for their feisty, stubborn nature. They’re always on alert and are very vocal. Although they are intelligent, they are not the easiest to train.
- The Shih Tzu shares some similar characteristic with the Yorkie. They are both alert, loyal, stubborn, loving dogs. The Shih Tzu is well known as the lapdog of many Chinese Emperors. They are an outgoing breed that seems to know they were favored by royals.
Both these breeds are fairly sociable and enjoy the company of people and other dogs. They are playful but also know when it’s time to relax. As both parent breeds are alert and vocal, these dogs make great watchdogs. However, their bark is definitely worse than their bite.
Unfortunately, no dog is perfect and there are some quirks that may surface in this little guy from time to time. Separation anxiety is a very common issue for these dogs.
If you leave them alone you should expect them to bark, cry and probably try a little destructive chewing. However, there are certain things you can try to reduce these behaviors (and we talk about this in the training section). If you want to own one of these pups it’s best that you keep them with you more often than not.
The Shorkie is an intelligent pooch but it’s likely to inherit the stubborn streak that their parents have – this can make them difficult to train. It’s important with this breed that they don’t develop small dog syndrome and start to get too big for their boots.
How to Train a Shorkie
Unfortunately, Shorkies are a notoriously stubborn breed. They are highly intelligent but will often do whatever they want. It’s really important with this breed that you do not punish them. This will just make them more stubborn and less likely to listen to you.
The best way to train any dog is through positive reinforcement and the Shorkie is no exception. Reward your dog with treats and praise them when they demonstrate desirable behaviors – you will be amazed how well it works.
It’s important that you train them consistently and don’t become frustrated. They thrive on routine. One or two short, 15 minute training sessions a day is best and make sure they master what they are learning before you move on.
Separation anxiety is a big issue for these pups. A good way to help with this is crate training. Give your dog their own crate or gated area. They will sleep and eat there and it’s their place for downtime.
Make this a positive place by giving them plenty of treats when they are settled in there. Don’t keep them locked in if they start to show stress behaviors.
These dogs are not hard to socialize as people will love coming to meet them. From a young age, introduce them to plenty of different people but always be careful around kids. When socializing with other dogs keep an eye on them as their small size could mean they are accidentally hurt in rough and tumble play with larger dogs.
Caring for a Shorkie
The Shorkie is a pleasure to care for. They are adaptable to your lifestyle and really only need a small amount of intensive care. Their exercise requirements are between 30 to 60 minutes of walking a day. This includes play and training sessions.
Someone best suited for this breed has all the time in the world to give them.
They are the perfect companion dog for walks and sofa cuddles. They do have a some health risks and the costs of these should be taken into consideration (more on this later).
The exercise requirements for a Shorkie are not very demanding. They are happy with two 15 minute walks; one in the morning and one in evening.
As long as you are playing with them regularly in the home or in a garden, they will be happy.
They do have a stubborn streak and training recall with them is challenging. Their attachment to you may work to your advantage though as they will be more interested in staying with you than exploring.
These pups are known to enjoy playing fetch and are sometimes a little ball crazy. If your Shorkie seems interested in fetching you could train them by giving them a treat or praise whenever they bring the ball back to you.
One thing to be aware of is they often have a shortened muzzle, like the brachycephalic Shih Tzu, and this means they may be more susceptible to respiratory issues. This is of particular concern in hot weather.
Grooming and Shedding
The grooming for these guys is more demanding than other breeds. Their fur is pretty long and becomes matted quite easily. They need brushing every day to keep their fur sleek and tangle-free.
Regular trips to the groomers for trims will be important as they are a low shedding breed.
Every two months you should make sure they have their fur cut and their nails cut.
They need daily ear cleaning and teeth cleaning as they are known to have dental problems. You can use a toothbrush or dental chews is necessary.
Feeding and Diet
A fully grown Shorkie needs around 40 calories per lb of its body weight. As a puppy they will need slightly more calories – this is because they are growing.
The best way to make sure your dog is eating an appropriately balanced diet is to check the nutritional information on their food packaging.
They need high-quality dry food that’s appropriate for small breeds. These types of kibble are smaller in size and easier for dogs like the Shorkie to eat. The dry kibble is best because they are prone to dental issues.
Great quality food will be high in protein and fats and low in carbohydrates.
Known Health Problems
Unfortunately, these dogs do have an extensive list of health issues. Often cross breeds are healthier than their pedigree parents but there is still a risk of them developing them conditions.
We have mentioned the risks of them being brachycephalic – this creates issues with their breathing. We’ve also mentioned that they are prone to dental problems, including teeth crowding the mouth.
From the Yorkshire Terrier side, they may have issues with eye conditions such as glaucoma or lens luxation. A reputable breeder should be able to provide you with a recent clear eye test for the parents of the puppies.
What is a Shorkie’s Lifespan?
You should expect a healthy Shorkie to live for 11-16 years.
Buying a Shorkie
How Much Does A Shorkie Cost?
A Shorkie puppy will cost between $300-$1,000.
If you don’t do your research when looking for a reputable breeder, you could easily end up buying from a puppy mill or someone that practices bad breeding.
This could lead to your puppy having more health issues. Even if they are cheaper to buy, they might well cost more in the long run.
Breed Summary Table
|Lifespan:||11 to 16 years|
|Coat:||Long, sleek and straight|
|Color:||Often black and tan, black and white, gold, red or particolored|
|Do They Shed:||Low shedding|
|Temperament:||Loving, loyal, energetic, playful, feisty, alert and stubborn|
|Socialization:||Very sociable, enjoy the company of people and other dogs|
|Destructive Behavior:||Barking and may also have issues with destructive chewing|
|People Skills:||Great with people especially fond of close family|
|Good with Children:||Not great with young children and might be nippy|
|Activity Levels:||Moderate activity levels|
The Shorkie is an adorable companion dog with gorgeous fur and a compact size that makes them perfect for all kinds of living arrangements. They only require 30 to 60 minutes of walking each day and, once exercised, love going back to their lapdog routine.
They suffer quite badly with separation anxiety and will need an owner who will spend the majority of the time in their company.
Although they are not well suited to houses with young children, they make great pets for older or retired people.
This ball of personality and fluff will provide you with years of love and fun.
Do you keep a Shorkie? Let us know in the comments section below…