Shorkie dogs are the new popular dog breed. Everybody seems to love these designer dogs for their delightful face and tiny size as well as their captivating, lively personalities.
If you want a new addition to the family, Shorkies are the perfect pets! These crossbreed dogs are brave, intelligent, and adorable!
That said, there’s a lot that goes into owning a Shorkie. So, in this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about Shorkie dogs from their origins to how to take care of them.
Let’s dive in!
What Is a Shorkie?
Shorkie dogs, also known as Shorkie Tzu, are a crossbreed between Yorkshire Terriers and Shih Tzus. These pups are designer dog breeds bred for aesthetic purposes.
The tiny Shorkie has the best traits of its parent breeds. It has the big personality and fearlessness of a Shih Tzu in the mini body of a Yorkie. For this reason, everyone wants to get their hands on the lively, small pup.
Shih Tzus originated in China. The pups themselves are a crossbreed of Pekingese and Lhasa Apso. Yet, the breed has been around for hundreds of years. Shih Tzus only gained more popularity in the West during the 20th century.
Shih Tzus are one of the most gorgeous dog breeds in the world. However, they’re not only famous for their silky hair and short muzzles, but these lion dogs also make great companions for children.
Yorkshire terriers originated in England. Yorkies are among the smallest dog breeds in the world. Before becoming toy dogs and pageant competitors, Yorkshire terriers were initially working dogs. So, they’re as smart as they are cute.
Nowadays, Yorkies’ rise in popularity has made them parent breeds to other toy dogs. Some key traits that are amplified in crossbreeds include the Yorkie’s silky hair, miniature size, intelligence, and bravery.
Characteristics of a Shorkie
Shorkies have some of the most unique characteristics in dogs. It can be hard to believe that such a compact dog can have a larger-than-life personality. Shorkies also have distinct features, unlike any other dog.
Here are some key characteristics of Shorkies:
You’ll get the best of both worlds with a Shorkie pup. This dog is high-spirited and fun yet calm. It can keep itself entertained for hours with toys. Then, it’ll nestle with you once its mental and physical needs are met.
Shorkies are incredibly loving and affectionate. Though they may be wary of strangers at first, they’ll quickly warm up to you. These pups love snuggling, playing, and just about any activity with their owner.
The problem is that Shorkies might get too attached to their owners. While you might like having a pet that’s always happy to see you, this might cause some behavioral issues in the long run. Shorkies, especially puppies, can suffer from separation anxiety.
They’re also pretty fearful of new living conditions. For this reason, you shouldn’t leave your Shorkie alone for a long time without proper training first.
You’d be surprised to hear how loud the mini-furball’s barks are. This pup is quick to bark at the slightest movement since it scares easily.
Having said that, you shouldn’t expect your Shorkie to guard your home. The tiny puppy can’t intimidate intruders. Instead, it’ll either hide or befriend the stranger!
Shorkies have the compact body of their toy breed parent, the Yorkshire terrier. They only reach about 10 pounds as adults and are about 11 inches tall.
Still, there’s some unpredictability in the height and size of a Shorkie. It can be smaller or larger depending on the dominant characteristics of the parent breed. There’s no way of predicting how big a young Shorkie puppy will grow.
Though Shorkies are small, they’re pretty muscular. They have short legs, round faces, and teeny muzzles. They also have the adorable triangular ears of a Shih Tzu. Their tails are short, curled at the back, and have longer hair than the rest of the body.
Both Yorkshire terriers and Shih Tzus have long, silky hair. Their coat resembles human hair more than fur. You might need to brush it daily to avoid tangles.
Alternatively, many Shorkie owners love the teddy cut. This haircut keeps the fur short, so your Shorkie will look even more like a toy than a pup.
Shorkies also shed considerably less than other dogs. That’s because their fur is denser, and their bodies are tiny, meaning less fur to begin with. So, these puppies are perfect for people with allergies.
You should note that all dogs cause allergies, but Shorkies won’t cause as many flare-ups.
The coat comes in various shades which are blue, red, tan, gold, and black. However, the exact color of the pup’s fur doesn’t start to appear until the puppy is a couple of months old. Typically, Shorkies’ faces are darker than their body.
Shorkies are unpredictable when it comes to health. Some dog owners believe crossbreeds are healthier than purebred dogs. Though, this isn’t always the case. The reason is that a Shorkie is prone to the same health issues as both parent breeds.
Like most mini dogs, joint and bone problems are common in Shorkies. These pups might suffer from patellar luxation and other spinal disc diseases.
Smaller dog breeds are also subject to obesity and hypoglycemia. This is why it’s crucial to pay attention to your furry friend’s diet.
The Shorkie’s tiny face also means dental crowding, which might progress to gum disease and bacterial infection.
Its flat face might also mean concerns with breathing, such as brachycephalic syndrome.
Lastly, Shorkies are susceptible to glaucoma, liver problems, and congenital heart diseases.
You should note that smaller dog breeds have a shorter life expectancy than other pups. Yet, with proper care and a well-balanced diet, Shorkies can live for 12 to 15 years.
This lifespan is pretty long for a mini pup, considering that the average expectancy for larger dogs is about 15 years.
Determining the cost of a Shorkie pup is difficult. That’s because the price of a Shorkie depends on its health, parents, and breeder.
You can find Shorkies anywhere between $400 to $3000. The hybrid dog doesn’t have specific features to justify its price.
However, more expensive Shorkies might be healthier and come from a show-winning bloodline! They might also have a rare coat color.
On the other hand, backyard breeders can benefit from the rise in demand for Shorkies and sell pups in poor conditions at a lower price.
Shelters and adoption centers also offer Shorkies at a relatively low price point.
How to Take Care of a Shorkie
Before getting a Shorkie, you should know there’s a lot to do to keep a happy and healthy Shorkie. Here’s how to take care of this high-maintenance puppy:
Introducing the Shorkie to Its New Home
Shorkies can live in any space. The compact dog is exceedingly adaptable and doesn’t need a spacious area for running and playing.
As a matter of fact, a small apartment means you’ll always be by your furry friend’s side, thus keeping it calm.
Before taking your Shorkie home, you should know this dog is highly anxious and fearful. That’s why you’ll need to take extra steps to help your Shorkie puppy get comfortable during its first few weeks.
While Shorkies can get along fine with other pets and young children, you don’t want to introduce your agitated pet to numerous stimulants at once. Instead, wait for the Shorkie to get used to its new home, then introduce the rest of the family.
Shorkies are social dogs, which means having other animals and children around will ease their anxiety in the long run.
Exercising the Shorkie
Exercise isn’t just for large dogs. Mini pups need physical stimulation too! Your furball requires some daily outside time, so it can run and play freely. Yet, you should never leave your dog outdoors without supervision.
Having a Shorkie can even prompt you to adopt a healthy lifestyle. That’s because you’ll need to walk your pup for at least 30 minutes every day.
If you don’t have the time for walks, you can opt for vigorous playtime. During this time, you can run up and down the stairs with your pup, play catch, or jump around in a dog park.
Training Your Shorkie
Training is crucial for all dogs, including your tiny, lovable Shorkie. The reason is that Shorkies are prone to accidents, particularly when they’re scared. Luckily, Shorkies are highly trainable dogs, much like their parent breeds.
Shorkies will benefit from house training. If your Shorkie puppy is too young, you might want to add some pee pads. A well-trained Shorkie will be able to manage its barking. So, your neighbors will definitely be thankful.
Ideally, you’ll need to teach your Shorkie when it’s still a puppy. That’s because a young pup won’t have learned any destructive behavior. Nevertheless, you can still train an older Shorkie since this breed is quite intelligent.
Grooming Your Shorkie
If you don’t plan on enrolling your Shorkie in a contest, grooming it can be relatively easy. The reason for this is Shorkie’s silky hair and low shedding.
Keeping your pet’s hair short also means less shedding and easier brushing.
Apart from the coat, Shorkies are high-maintenance dogs. The toy-sized dogs have an overactive tear gland. The buildup from the tears can result in staining around the pup’s eyes. This is why you’ll need to wipe your Shorkie’s eyes frequently.
The Shorkie’s hair can collect a considerable amount of dirt. The pup will need to take a bath every couple of weeks, even if it doesn’t seem dirty!
The nails of your furball also need maintenance. A good rule of thumb is to clip your pup’s nails during bath time. If you’re unsure, when you hear your Shorkie’s nails clicking on the floor, then it’s time for a nail trim.
After doing all that, you should also take your Shorkie to the pet groomer once every four to six weeks!
Keeping Your Shorkie Happy and Healthy
Since Shorkies are predisposed to dental issues, brushing their teeth is a must. Start slowly, with just your fingers, cleaning the tongue and gums.
Then, use a doggie toothbrush and toothpaste to scrub your canine’s teeth. Ideally, you’ll need to brush your puppy’s teeth twice a week.
Shorkies don’t really do well in extreme temperatures. During summer, your pup needs to stay indoors and drink plenty of water. In winter, your furry friend will appreciate a cozy, warm sweater, and you’ll also have a fashionable pet!
What to Consider Before Getting a Shorkie
Now that you know everything about Shorkie dogs, you should consider whether the dog fits your lifestyle.
Here are the main benefits and drawbacks of Shorkies that might help you make a decision:
Advantages of Owning a Shorkie
Shorkies are undoubtedly adorable dogs. Yet, there are many other qualities that make them great pets, including:
- Loyal and love to snuggle
- Can help you get healthy
- Highly intelligent
- Ideal pets for small spaces
- Easy to travel with due to their compact size
- Great companion dogs for seniors and children
Disadvantages of Owning a Shorkie
Unfortunately, the lively furballs aren’t for everyone. Shorkies wouldn’t be a good fit for most people for the following reasons:
- Require a lot of attention
- Scare easily
- Need training from a young age
- Have to be groomed regularly
- Prone to many health problems
There’s no doubt that Shorkie dogs are lovable, smart, and overall great pets. They’re perfect regardless of the space you have. They’re also fiercely loyal and high-spirited. Whether you want a playful dog or a furry pet to snuggle with, a Shorkie is right for you.
Still, there are some things you need to consider before getting this pup. Shorkies require quite a lot of grooming. You also can’t leave them alone for too long, as they’ll get anxious. These mini pups are susceptible to many health issues, so they might not have a long life expectancy.
The bottom line is that with proper care, you can find the most charming, lively, and intelligent best friend in a Shorkie.