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For anyone who’s looking for the perfect lapdog, the Shorkie might be a good choice for you. This designer breed is a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix and is a great pet.
But is a Shorkie really the best fit for your family? Here’s everything you need to know about these energetic and loyal pooches.
Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix Highlights
- The Shorkie is a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix designer breed.
- These dogs are known as toy dogs or lap dogs because of their small toy-like stature. On average, an adult Shorkie weighs 4 to 11 pounds and is 5 to 9 inches tall.
- They have medium to long coats and can either be gold, brown, black and white, red, or black and tan.
- Shorkie dogs are believed to have originated in the USA by breeders who want to develop a designer dog that is highly intelligent and good-looking.
- While these dogs are smart, they can have a stubborn streak that makes it challenging to train them. However, positive reinforcement training will work wonders.
- Overall, the Shorkie dogs are sweet, loyal, energetic, and friendly dogs.
- They are prone to dental problems like tooth decay. That’s why their diet should only consist of high-quality dribble that is small enough to chew comfortably.
- These dogs rarely shed, but their long coat requires frequent brushing and trimming to avoid tangles and matting.
- To avoid dental problems, it’s also essential to frequently brush your dog’s teeth.
- This designer dog is best for families who have no children or have older kids.
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Yorkie and Shih Tzu Mix Appearance
With every designer breed comes the challenge of predicting how they will look.
Some pups may look more like a Shih Tzu while others look more like Yorkshire Terriers. However, they are best known for being small dogs, so they have small bodies and legs. They normally have floppy ears, but some may have more upright ears from their Yorkie side.
As a small dog, an adult yorkshire terrier shih tzu mix male dog can weigh 5 to 11 pounds. Their height ranges from 6 to 9 inches only.
Female Shorkie dogs are smaller than their male counterparts. They only weigh around 4 to 8 pounds and stands at 5 to 8 inches only.
Due to their small size, they are most known as toy dogs or lap dogs.
The Shorkie’s coat can either be straight like a Yorkie or slightly wavy like the Shih Tzu. They also have medium length coat but could also get long, so grooming is a must. There are also two layers to their coat with the undercoat feeling more like fleece and the silky top layer.
But just like with their overall appearance, the color of their coat can be pretty unpredictable as well. The colors range from gold, brown and white, black and white, red, and black and tan.
However, you can look at the color of both parents to predict which color combination you might see.
It is believed that the yorkie and shih tzu mix originated in the United States. Breeders wanted to breed a highly intelligent designer dog, but it is also good-looking and cuddly.
However, there is no specific time or place where they were first bred or first shown. But just like any other designer dogs, the Shorkie might have been a more recent breed.
To know more about the Shorkie, let’s take a look at the origins of both the Shih Tzu and the Yorkshire Terrier.
The Shih Tzu is a product of Chinese breeders in the palace of the Chinese Emperor. When you translate, Shih Tzu means “lion dog.”
According to American Kennel Club, it is likely that royal Chinese breeders that the Shih Tzu came from the cross-breeding the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso.
Since they were bred in the palace, the Shih Tzu has long served as royal pets. They would warm the laps of the royalties and were often pampered by the emperors. It’s believed that emperors were such big fans of the breed that they would give precious and priceless gifts to any breeder who develops the most beautiful Shih Tzu.
Although the breed has been a long part of Chinese history, they have only been shown to the world in the 1930s.
The Yorkshire Terriers came from Lancashire and Yorkshire. They were believed to have been bred during the mid-1800s by Scottish weavers who migrated to northern England. These weavers were said to have bred the first Yorkshire Terrier pups from Scottish Terriers, Dandie Dinmont, and the Skye.
Yorkies were first classified as working dogs. Small and cute as they may be, they are feisty little furballs. Their small stature gives them the edge of crawling into nooks and crannies to chase away rodents.
In 1886, the Kennel Club of England gave the breed recognition. This brought attention to these little dogs and soon after became a popular choice among fashionable women as their companion.
Soon enough, they’ve been bred to become smaller to suit their new job description better.
Yorkie and Shih Tzu Mix Trainability
Intelligent dogs are easier to train as they can absorb your command faster. Seeing as both Shih Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers are smart dogs, your Shih Tzu Yorkie mix pup will surely be like them.
But there’s a downside to training smart dogs – they can be incredibly stubborn and independent.
This can be a challenge for new dog parents. You have to engage your Shorkie in an interesting way for them to focus on you and the training. If you’re not entertaining enough for them or your tricks are getting old, they’ll lose interest and easily shift their attention to something else.
In addition, when they feel you aren’t authoritative enough, they’ll likely do whatever they want.
If the going gets tough, there are professionals who can help you train your Shorkie. However, you can simply assert authority when training and give your dogs plenty of treats, praises, and belly rubs whenever you’re training.
These little yorkshire terrier shih tzu mix dogs don’t need too much exercise. 20 minutes of walking or playing is enough for the entire day.
Since they are smart little pooches, it’s also important to exercise their minds on a regular basis. Giving them challenges will help hone their minds and make them more alert.
Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix Temperament
The Shorkie is best for adult-only families or those families with older kids. It’s not that they aren’t friendly because they really are. It’s just that their small stature could be hard when your toddlers and younger children want to play rough.
In addition, these dogs can be a little intolerant when they are pestered.
However, these dogs are great family members. They are extremely loyal and sweet. The moment they arrive at your home, they’d be eager to please you. They also love cuddling and getting pampered all the time.
Shorkie dogs are playful and filled with energy.
Yorkshire Terrier Shih Tzu Mix Nutrition
Shih Tzu Yorkie mix dogs are prone to several oral health problems like teeth and gum problems. That’s why their diet should only be composed of high-quality dry kibble rich in protein. It should be small enough for their small mouths.
Shorkie pups will require up to 4 meals per day. Be careful not to overfeed them so split their servings into these four meals. Do this until they are 6 months-old.
Adult Shorkie dogs that are around 9 pounds may need around 360 calories per day. You can split their food into 2 or 3 servings per day based on the meal plan you created. It’s best that you consult your vet about this.
Make sure they also have access to clean water throughout the day.
Health and Care
The average lifespan of a yorkie and shih tzu mix is 12 to 15 years.
However, this can be shortened or prolonged depending on their health. To avoid early death, here are the most common health problems every Shorkie owner should look out for:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Lens Luxation
- Patella Luxation
- Portosystemic Shunt
- Hip Dysplasia
- Ear infections
- Umbilical Hernia
They are also prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome which is a respiratory problem. This is normally triggered during hot seasons so know more about it from your vet and get tips on how to treat it.
Since the Shih Tzu Yorkie mix is prone to dental and ear problems, frequent brushing of their teeth and ear cleaning is essential.
The Shorkie is a great choice for everyone who’s not a fan of flying fur. They shed minimally and could even be unnoticed especially when you brush their fur daily or at least every other day. This keeps tangles and mats from happening and will leave their fur shiny and silky.
It’s also best that you bathe them once a month and bring them to a professional groomer every six months or so for trimming their hair and clipping their nails.
Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix Puppies
Shorkie puppies are incredibly adorable and you may want to cuddle with them all day long. But since they are still growing, they will need to sleep. That’s why you should give the litter a comfortable space where they can sleep undisturbed.
Training them early on will also avoid any unruly behavior. Potty training can be started as early as they turn eight weeks.
Getting a yorkshire terrier shih tzu mix pup isn’t cheap. You can get a pup from around $375 to a whopping $1750 depending on the breeder. However, higher price points normally have started initial check-ups and vaccinations.
But apart from that, you’ll to spend another $1000 to $1500 every year for their needs. This would include their medical expenses, food, accessories, toys, and grooming.
You can also check your local animal shelter if there are any Shorkies you can adopt.
The Shorkie is a designer dog, so major Kennel Clubs do not recognize it. However, the following breed organizations do:
- Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA)
- American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)
- International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)
- Designer Breed Registry (DBR)
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC)
The Shih Tzu Yorkie mix is one of the most adorable and smartest designer breeds available. If you are interested in adopting one, make sure you are ready for lots of affection and fluffy love from this loyal and impressive breed.