To many of you, the name Shorkie might not ring any bell. This small breed of dog is not as common as your German Shepherd, but these pint-size pooches are a new kid on the block.
They are garnering incredible interest from many dog breeders, and their demand is slowly increasing each day. What Is A Shorkie? The Shorkie is a hybrid dog mix between the Shih-Tzu and Yorkshire terrier. It takes the characteristics of both these dogs by combining things like the sturdy build of the Shih-Tzu and the smaller nature of the “Yorkie”. You will find the manners of both these dogs prominent in the Shorkie.
Only a little information is found when it comes to what a Shorkie is, and since many people are wondering about these new breeds, we must dive a bit deeper to get to know what the Shorkie is all about.
Let’s find out what these bright and affectionate dogs are all about and the hoopla surrounding them.
Shorkie Dog Overview
Breed Name / Group: Shorkie / hybrid
Height: 8 – 11 inches
Weight: 5 – 12 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 16 years
Color: Grey, black, red, blue, cream, gold, yellow, white, liver, and chocolate
Temperament: Willful, friendly, outgoing, playful, and anxious
Needs for Grooming: moderate
Origin: United States
- Plenty of grooming needs
- Possible health issues
- Loyalty tendencies
- Potential for obesity
Whilst the exact origin date of the Shorkie dog is unknown, it is widely accepted that this breed hails from the United States. However, it has only gained more popularity over the last decade or so, with more and more people getting to experience the appearance and temperament of these dogs. Being a hybrid mix between the Shih Tzu and Yorkie, we can look at some of their origins to give you a better idea of what to expect:
The Shih Tzu is also a hybrid breed, suspected to be a combination of the Lhasa Apso and Pekingnese. Many people believe these dogs date back to before the Second World War, but the American Kennel Club only started recognizing them in 1969.
With a soft and calm temperament, these are true companion dogs and are often seen as a “toy breed” by many.
Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)
The Yorkie is one of the oldest dogs we know of, and its origins can be traced back to the early 19th Century. As of 1870, Yorkies were already being imported to the United States, and the American Kennel Club officially recognized them by 1878. As a result, Yorkies have become popular among celebrities and are known for their courage and loyalty.
In the last decade, the teacup or miniature Yorkie has also gained some popularity. Nowadays, many would breed these miniature Yorkies with the Shih Tzu to create the miniature Shorkie.
Characteristics Of The Shorkie Dog
Being one of the newest breeds, it is not clear yet how the parents affect the characteristics of the Shorkie. However, there are a few of these dogs that have been studied, allowing us to look at some of the prominent features that make them stand out.
When it comes to the temperament of the Shorkie, the traditional Yorkie is present. With a sensitive yet optimistic nature to her, this companion pet is always lively and full of energy. They are very quick to bark and will be startled by just about anything.
These dogs hate being left alone for long periods, and they make the best snuggle buddies. Being small and gentle, she will be a good lap dog while also being ever more overprotective over her owner.
The appearance of the Shorkie can be broken up into the color and the size of the dog. These dogs are often very similar in appearance to the Yorkie and the Shih-Tzu, which means that the untrained dog lover might be unable to identify between them when you put them together. However, here is how they compare in size and color:
The Shorkie is one the smaller dogs you will encounter, getting many of their traits from their parent breeders. Males are often between 6 and 9 inches in total length when fully grown shorkie full grown shorkie. They weigh between 5 and 11 pounds for the biggest possible Shorkie you will find. Bear in mind some might get overweight.
The females will range in size from 5 to 8 inches, making them slightly smaller than their male counterparts. However, they come in at a weight which ranges between 4 and 8 pounds, meaning they are also lighter.
The overall shape of their bodies is muscular and compact, much like the Shih Tzu, but their tails, which often sit closer to the back, are more like the Yorkie ancestor. One of the features that we haven’t seen any changes in is the muzzle, which remains short on all Shorkies.
The colors for the Shorkie are very similar to what you would find on your traditional Yorkie. However, they also have the same variety of colors, ranging from red and gold to brown and white. There have also been some with the tan color infused, whilst black is also one of the predominant colors you will find when you get a Shorkie.
Determining the lifespan of a dog that has only been around for a few years is almost impossible. With virtually no long-term experience with the Shorkie, we have to rely on the ancestor breeds to get a somewhat accurate estimate of the lifespan of these dogs.
If we look at the Shih Tzu and the Yorkie, we can estimate that these dogs would live between 12 and 16 years. So yes, you might have the odd situation of one living far longer, but as you will see, there are a few health conditions to keep an eye out for.
Much like other dog breeds, there is always the risk of dealing with a few health problems and complications. Unfortunately, with limited long-term experience, it becomes much harder to determine the specific health conditions these dogs might face. However, based on their ancestors, here are a few possible complications:
- Patellar Luxation: Patellar Luxation is a condition where the kneecap dislodges from the normal position. However, the condition is often seen in most small dogs.
- Dental Disease: Dental Disease is common among dogs that rarely get their teeth checked out. It is recommended that you get a regular clean to prevent dental issues.
- Heart Disease: Heart disease is not as common with the Yorkie as with the Shih Tzu. However, many believe that the Shorkie might inherit this disease.
- Cushing’s Disease: A tumor in the pituitary gland is a common issue with both parent breeds. This would be a form of hyperadrenocorticism that could often be the issue and result in early death.
- Obesity: It would be vital that you check out our guide that encompasses the food and dietary needs of the Shorkie. Obesity is often a real risk and can encourage the risk of other diseases like heart disease.
These diseases might change as we get to study them more in-depth. Due to the nature of their short faces, they might also be at risk of heat and exercise intolerance, which is often a result of their obstructed airways.
Training And Care
When it comes to the living needs of your Shorkie, you will find that they are happy with just about anything. The Shorkie does not need more than 30 minutes of proper exercise each day, which will certainly keep them happy.
Whether you live in a small studio apartment or if you are living in a larger fenced-in apartment, the Shorkie should be happy, and they would need some space to run around.
In terms of training, this could be very beneficial from a younger age. Having traits like the Yorkie, who prefers to be the star of the show, you will need to teach them to calm down and play nice.
When playing with your Shorkie, you should focus on playing games that engage some of their senses. These dogs prefer games like hide and seek, which brings out the terrier instinct. They will also love to chase, whilst the digging is only moderate. It is best to have some time to keep them busy as they don’t like being alone, and entertaining themselves might not be something you enjoy.
Whilst some pets need plenty of grooming, the required grooming for your Shorkie is only moderate. However, since both ancestors don’t have too big of a problem when it comes to shedding, it is worth noting that Shorkie dogs don’t have plenty of shedding either.
However, keeping them clean can be tricky when you allow them time to spend outside often. This might require grooming at least once every other week. Additionally, you should also focus on keeping their dental hygiene high to ensure they don’t suffer from dental-related diseases. Finally, Shorkie haircuts would be something you decide on. Some owners prefer going this route, while others think Shorkie haircuts might ruin the coat.
Diet And Nutrition
Determining the right food and amount of food for dogs can vary significantly. Whilst Shorkie dogs are not fussy eaters, they require a good diet to help prevent health issues like obesity and other complications.
During the puppy phase, your Shorkie puppy would heavily rely on their mothers. Ideally, they should not be taken away from the mother during the first 6 to 8 weeks. The first few weeks won’t require any additional food from your side. After that, the dog milk coming from the mother should be more than enough to keep them growing.
Orphaned Shorkie puppies should need a milk replacement product to help them build their strength and immune systems.
5-Years & Up
As the Shorkie puppies grow and reach the 6-week mark, you can slowly start to introduce some dry food. However, they should still be kept close to the mother to ensure they get enough dog milk. During these few weeks, you should not force them to eat dry food if they don’t want to.
Whilst the age of 8 weeks is technically still a puppy, this is when you can fully introduce the dry food. Shorkies would reach full maturity between 9 and 12 weeks, which is the time when you can start introducing some adult food to their diets. The dry food would remain a good option for the full-grown Shorkie well into the senior years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Being such a new breed, there are plenty of questions circulating the web when it comes to the Shorkie. If you see yourself as a potential owner of these magnificent dogs, you should look at some of the following questions:
Unfortunately, the Shorkie is not recognized by the American Kennel Club as of the writing of this article. However, it is accepted by the American Canine Hybrid Clun, which officially recognizes it as a hybrid breed.
You might have heard of the Shorkie poo, which is also one of the newer breeds to graze the world in the last decade or so. The Shorkie poo is a Shorkie combined with a Poodle. However, this hybrid has yet to be recognized by any canine association.
Many people have allergies when it comes to dogs. Since this can be a dissuading factor, causing people to skip out on becoming dog owners, it is best to consider a hypoallergenic dog. Since the Shorkie does not shed a lot, it is often considered a hypoallergenic breed.
We all know the basic small dog breeds like the poodle and the Yorkie. However, the Shorkie is becoming ever more popular amongst breeders. With a price that ranges from $1,200 to $1,400 per Shorkie puppies for sale, it might be expensive. However, this is the ultimate lap and companion dog. We would love your thoughts on this hybrid breed in the comment section.