Combining the gallantry of a larger dog with the spunky attitude of a little one, a Shorkie can be considered a truly versatile and unique little dog. A mix of Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier, this little dog is loyal, dedicated, and remarkably affectionate to anyone who happens to own one.
This little pooch may not be the be best guard dog out there but it’s definitely a reliable watchdog that always alerts its owners when it encounters unusual sights or sounds around the house. Then again, the people who bred this dog weren’t really trying to create a guard dog by any stretch of the imagination.
Instead, a Shorkie stands out through its charming personality and adorable good looks. That, combined with its unwavering loyalty for its owners and protective instinct makes it a must-have for people looking for a low-maintenance yet lovable pooch.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Shorkie? (Shih tzu and Yorkshire Terrier mix)
- Shorkie Personality & Temperament
- Caring For A Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix
- Quick Breed Summary Table
What Is A Shorkie? (Shih tzu and Yorkshire Terrier mix)
Created through selective breeding between Yorkshire Terriers and Shih Tzus, the Shorkie incorporates the best personality traits of both breeds. The result is an intelligent, friendly, and very good-looking laptop that’s surprisingly healthy considering its history.
This energetic and lovable little log is not just good company for anyone looking for a lapdog but also a great companion for your kids. The fact that it showcases a remarkable protective behavior around children makes it a must-have for any family with grown children.
Now, it should be said that the breed is still in its infancy by most accounts, so we might see Shorkies evolving new traits over time. As things stand, however, the Shorkie can be considered a dependable companion and a very pleasant sight to behold.
Speaking of looks, the Shorkie can be distinguished through its long, sleek, straight fur and small size. Interestingly enough, its fur resembles human hair more than dog fur, which greatly adds to the appeal of this already interesting little dog.
It should also be said that their coat comes in different colors that largely depend on the parents’ genetics. In fact, the best way to determine what a pup’s coat would look like as an adult is to glance at the parents for an accurate indication of the future.
Height & Weight
Seeing how these pooches are bred from two small dogs, you can expect these dogs to be fairly small themselves. On average, a Shorkie will stand at around 5 to 9 inches tall, with males being somewhat taller than the females for the most part.
In regards to weight, the males tend to reach a maximum weight of around 11 lbs while the females don’t usually grow heavier than 8 lbs. This, of course, can vary depending on the dog’s diet, lifestyle, and daily exercise levels.
Coat & Colors
As stated earlier, these doggies come in different colors ranging from black and tan to white and brown along with everything in between. You can also expect Shorkies to be particolored with a heavy leaning towards black, white, gold, and brown.
The coat of a Shorkie is one of its defining features, in the sense that it is long, sleek, and low shedding. Bear in mind that the hair is mostly straight but they might boast the occasional wave depending on the parents and the general genetic package of the pooch itself.
One thing to point out about these hairy dogs is that they require regular trips to the groomer, so unless you are prepared to do all the grooming yourself, try to find the location and business hours of dog groomers in the area before getting a pup.
Shorkie Personality & Temperament
By all accounts, a Shorkie is a fiercely independent dog, one that can be tenacious and brave if you let it mature that way. I said earlier that these dogs are very loyal and I mean it. So loyal in fact that many consider loyalty to be the staple of this interesting new breed.
Always alert and watchful, these energic dogs tend to bark a lot, but that can be expected of most lapdogs regardless of breed or upbringing. While this might be problematic for some people, the fact that they’re willing to keep an eye out for strangers makes them reliable companions.
These little dogs are very distrusting of strangers and tend to warm up to people very slowly. We talked earlier about how keen these dogs are to barking whenever they hear a strange sound or see a strange person approaching your house, so don’t be surprised when it eventually happens.
Due to how loyal and affectionate they are, Shorkies can suffer from separation anxiety if deprived of human contact for extended periods of time. As such, it is best that you spend as much time with the dog as you possibly can on a daily basis.
While the Shorkie is a fairly intelligent dog, it can be quite stubborn at times, which may prove a bit difficult when socializing it around other dogs. Speaking of which, a properly socialized Shorkie will enjoy the company of other dogs and will get along even with the more vocal ones.
When left alone for too long, these dogs may bark or cry, and even cause some damage around the house, so it’s best that you either have someone look after them when you’re not at home or lock them in a room where they cannot cause too much property damage.
Is A Shorkie A Good Family Dog?
All things considered, a Shorkie can definitely be considered a good family dog. Although a bit nervous around small children on account of their unpredictable behavior, they love being around people who treat them well.
Despite their size, these dogs can be very protective and will bond with all family members on equal terms, without favoring some family members over others. That said, you have to ensure that their needs are taken care of, lest you want them to start breaking things around the house.
Caring For A Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix
Given their low-maintenance needs, these dogs are fairly easy to care for. You have to understand that these dogs were specifically bred for companionship and that as such, they love being around people at all times.
Not only are these dogs easy to care for in terms of food and exercise but they are also dependent on human affection more than other dogs, meaning that they will often snuggle next to family members and spend hours like that without a care in the world.
You should exercise a Shorkie for as little as 15 minutes per walk around two times a day. Needless to say, this is a much shorter time than what most dogs require, partly because of its small size. Then again, it also comes down to how active the owners are and how willing they are to exercise the dog on a regular basis.
They also do not require a large playing area, being content with whatever space is available to them. As such, you can play with them even in a small apartment setting without having to worry that the dog’s needs go unfulfilled.
Keep in mind that Shorkies love to play fetch and that you need to be outside for that to happen effectively. If, however, you lack the space to do that, you can always train them to bounce balls around on their own accord.
Grooming & Shedding
It needs to be said that a Shorkie has demanding grooming needs on a regular basis, needs that may require that you visit a dog groomer every once in a while. This is because their fur is long and can get matted in no time.
Despite their long coat, these dogs don’t really shed that often, so need not worry that they’ll leave hair around the house. Even so, you should brush their coat as often as you have the chance to prevent tangling of the fur.
You should also clip their nails every month to ensure they don’t scratch things around the house or hurt themselves by accident. They will also require regular teeth brushing because the breed is known to suffer from dental problems.
Feeding & Diet
An adult Shorkie requires a total of 40 calories per lb of body weight for a healthy development. That said, they will need slightly more as pups because of their growing needs. Once that happens, you can begin portioning the doggie’s food depending on their total weight.
In terms of what type of food the dog prefers, let us point out that a Shorkie will eat dry food when given a choice, but decent kibble can also do the trick. As always, make sure to check the nutritional information on the packaging to ensure that your little Shorkie is getting the right amount of vitamins and protein.
Known Health Problems
These little dogs are known to suffer from an extensive range of health issues. This is common to cross breeds but even more common among smaller dogs for that matter. For instance, many of these dogs develop a risk for brachycephalic issues as they grow old, which can lead to even more respiratory problems.
It also has to be said that Shorkies can suffer from eye issues like lens luxation or glaucoma. Luckily, you can ask the opinion of a reputable breeder before acquiring a puppy to find out if the pup suffers from any form of eye problem because these are the easiest to test for.
How To Train A Shorkie
Stubborn by nature, you may have some problems training a Shorkie if you lack experience. This is partly due to how smart these dogs are but also because of their ancestry. Whatever the case, refrain from punishing them no matter how frustrated you get while training them.
A good way to train a Shorkie is through positive reinforcement and constant praise. Occasionally, you may also make use of treats to reinforce desirable behavior but try not to overdo it. One thing to remember is that these dogs thrive on routine so try to turn training sessions into fun activities for them to guarantee their effectiveness.
Quick Breed Summary Table
|Color||Black and tan, black and white, gold, or particolored|
|Coat||Long and straight|
|Shedding & Grooming||Low shedding but lots of grooming required|
|Temperament||Energetic, loyal, feisty, and stubborn|
|With Other Pets||They get along well enough with other pets|
|People Skills||Great with people they know, distrustful of strangers|
|With Children||Good with older children, may require supervision around smaller kids|
|Exercise Needs||Around 60 minutes a day|
|Food||They prefer dry food or kibble|
|Known Health Problems||Brachycephalic issues, glaucoma, lens luxation, teeth problems|
All Things Considered
It goes without saying that a Shorkie is among the most adorable little dogs someone could get. These loyal and trusty companions are friendly, affectionate, energetic, and a treat to look at. Combine that with their expressive and protective behavior and you begin to understand why these little pooches are so popular nowadays.
That aside, bear in mind that they can suffer from separation anxiety rather badly on account of how easily they get attached to their owners. For this reason, you have to make sure that you have the time and resources to properly care for the dog’s needs before acquiring a pup.
All in all, the dog has minimal exercise needs, minimal nutritional requirements, and will gladly roam around a small room all day long provided that you are there to provide it with affection and companionship.