The minute you set your sights on this little Shih Tzu Mixed with Yorkie pup, it will be love at first sight. The Shih Tzu Yorkie mix nicknamed the Shorkie or Yorkie Tzu is a bubbly, tenacious little pup and makes for a great companion.
These small, affectionate furry friends are a loveable breed and this guide will fill you in on the 13 things you should know about the loveable Shorkie pup.
- 1 1. The Origins of the Shih Tzu Mixed with Yorkie
- 2 2. The Shorkies Temperament & Behaviour
- 3 3. The Appearance of the Shih Tzu Mixed with Yorkie
- 4 4. Color of the Shorkie
- 5 5. Size of the Shorkie
- 6 6. Grooming the Shorkie
- 7 7. Training the Shorkie Pup
- 8 8. Are Shorkies Family-Friendly?
- 9 9. Exercise for the Shorkie
- 10 10. Potential Health Issues of the Shorkie
- 11 11. Diet of the Shorkie
- 12 12. Shorkie Breeders
- 13 13. The Cost of the Shorkie
- 14 14. Longevity of the Shorkie
- 15 Final Thoughts on the Shorkie Pup
1. The Origins of the Shih Tzu Mixed with Yorkie
This energetic puppy has earned its stripes as being classed as a small breed with a huge personality. This pocket-sized pup is for individuals, couples, and small families alike. The Shorkie is small yet protective, smart, and energetic.
But this hybrid’s looks and temperament significantly depend on their purebred parents; the Shih Tzu and the Yorkshire Terrier. So, let’s dive in on the origin story of the Shorkie.
The Shi Tzu dog was given the name the lion dog in Ancient Chinese times. It is thought that this dog was a product of mixing Lhasa Apso and Pekingese dogs and considered a royal pup. Shih Tzus were pampered by Emperors and spent their days as lap warmers or lapdogs.
These intelligent and smart lapdogs are known for their loyalty to their owners, following them around like a shadow. The Shih Tzu can grow between 9 and 16 pounds (4 to 7 kgs) and is as tall as 10 inches (25 cm) so they fit perfectly on their owner’s lap.
Despite no longer being referred to as royal dogs, they haven’t forgotten about their rich bloodline. Their alertness makes them incredible watchdogs and they are often described as being stubborn and alert.
Moreso, they are generally sociable dogs, suited for most households, and do not require a huge amount of space. The Shih Tzu is approachable and friendly to strangers but loyal to its owner.
The Yorkshire Terrier is loved by many because of its tenacious and larger-than-life personality. This small yet feisty pup will keep you on your toes and that’s also generally, how big they tend to be. Yorkies can grow to weigh around 4 to 6 pounds (2 to 3 kgs) and be between 8 and 9 inches tall (20 to 23 cm).
In a brief history about the Terrier, in 1886 the English Kennel Club recognized the Yorkshire Terrier as a distinct breed. And with the Terriers’ newfound recognition, they soon became the companion of choice for English ladies.
Terriers would also become part of pest control in the mid-1800s in Northern England and Scotland. Because of their stature and small size, these dogs were small enough to flush rats out of the mines.
Yorkshire Terriers, just like the Shih Tzu are known for their alertness and bravery despite their size. The Yorkies are loved for their tenacity too. Like a Shih Tzu; they are feisty, stubborn, alert, and brave. They know what they like and what they don’t so are generally better suited to adult-only homes.
So, with two feisty, brave parents with a stubborn streak, what happens when they come together? They make the Shorkie of course. So, let’s get to know the Shih Tzu mixed with Yorkie pup.
2. The Shorkies Temperament & Behaviour
The Shorkie possess an unwavering loyalty to their family which means they are always alert and watchful. This means that these pups make for excellent watchdogs. But their striking high-pitched bark might pose a problem for some owners. Because they are very vocal pups, they are not afraid to alert you to anything that they find strange or out of place.
Although the Shorkie is an overall sociable little fella, they tend to be distrusting of strangers. Single adult homes tend to be a much better fit for the Shorkie pup.
The Shorkie’s unfaltering loyalty means they are always by your side. However, their excessive need for your affection does mean that they easily suffer from separation anxiety. Some Shorkie owners often describe their pups as being “clingy” and “needy.” But if you don’t mind having a little four-legged pup as a shadow, the Shorkie is sure to give you unlimited cuddles.
3. The Appearance of the Shih Tzu Mixed with Yorkie
The Yorkie Shih Tzu mix canhave straight hair like their Yorkie parent. If they have a slightly wavy coat, they take after their Shih Tzu parent. To touch, a Shorkie’s coat is usually soft and sleek.
They have an undercoat that feels like fleece, while their top layer is soft, silky, and flowy. A Shorkie puppy is a small dog with a medium-length coat. Their legs and bodies are short, and they have floppy ears. The size of its parents should give you a clue about the size of your Shorkie as well.
4. Color of the Shorkie
As they are designer breeds, Shorkies can come in a range of colors. Including black and tan, brown and white, gold, and black & white.
5. Size of the Shorkie
The predicted weight for a male Shorkie can range between 5-12 pounds (2-5kg) when fully matured. The fully matured female Shorkie size and weight can range between 4-8 pounds (1-3kg).
But because the Shorkie is a hybrid, we cannot pinpoint their size and weight for sure. Their parent sizes will give you a better indication of how big your pup will get.
6. Grooming the Shorkie
The type of coat that the Shorkie has is great for people who have allergies because it’s similar to hair and not fur. The Shorkies parents, the Shih Tzu and the Yorkie also, shed minimally and are less likely to trigger allergies. Shorkies can be grouped as hypoallergenic dogs.
However, despite their low-shedding coats, Shorkies’ hair can grow quite long. You will need to be prepared for some extensive grooming. Depending on how fast its hair grows, get your Shorkie pup groomed at least every 4 to 6 weeks and regularly clipped every eight weeks.
To groom Shorkie pups, you will need to brush their hair daily or at least twice a week. This will be preventative in the Shorkie getting knots in their coat.
It’s important to also take into consideration the climate of the location you live in. The warmer it is outside, the more often you will need to get your Shorkie pup groomed. Don’t forget to pay attention to your Shorkie’s eyes and ears too. Get your Shorkie’s ears cleaned daily and brush their teeth at least once a day.
Are Shorkies high maintenance dogs?
They aren’t high maintenance. However, you will need to brush your dog’s hair daily to keep it from tangling. When it comes to grooming a Shorkie, they require more consistency. They should be taken to the groomers every now and then and have their nails trimmed and their glands cleared.
Most small dogs need to be catered to in this way to avoid potential health problems in the future.
The Best Haircut for Shorkies
One of the best haircuts or styles for a Shorkie is what breeders and owners refer to as a teddy bear cut or a puppy cut. This haircut shapes the face and is trimmed into a round shape to accentuate their adorable snout.
Not only does the teddy haircut make these adorable dogs look like…teddy bears, but it’s especially perfect for the Shorkie because it keeps their hair from getting into their eyes and debris from sticking to their face.
Are Shorkies Hypoallergenic?
Both the Yorkie Terriers and the Shih Tzu have minimal to no shedding. Because of this, Shorkies can be considered as hypoallergenic friendly.
However, Shorkies can still carry dirt and dander around your house and most allergy-sensitive people are not only allergic to the fur but the dander too. If this is the case for you, you may have to be more strict about keeping your Shorkies hair cut short.
7. Training the Shorkie Pup
When it comes to training any dog, the best approach is positive reinforcement and most importantly – treats. With this hybrid’s stubborn nature, the Shorkie might benefit from drill exercises and training.
Are Shih Tzu Yorkies Difficult to Train?
Shorkies aren’t known for their trainability, so a consistent routine with positive reinforcement and reward is essential.
Shorkies are smart dogs and this makes the training process relatively easy. However, they do have a short attention span, so you’ll need to exercise patience with them. It’s important to ensure that when training your Shorkie, you focus on one command at a time. Once they have mastered that command, you can move on.
Be sure that you remain upbeat and calm when you’re training your Shorkie. Shorkies adapt quickly and are well-behaved. They are always eager to please their owners and will work hard to do so.
What Kind of Training Does the Shorkie Respond Well To?
Clicker training. This is a brilliant tool for training Shorkie dogs. A clicker is a small device that when used, makes a loud “click” sound.
The idea is to click when you see your dog doing what you want them to do. When your Shorkie completes tasks be sure to quickly reward them. Your Shorkie will then associate the click with the positive reward. The click marks the desired behavior, so your Shorkie learns to associate the behavior with the reward.
Housetraining can be a bit of an issue for Shorkies, so ensure you have a consistent routine. Let your Shorkie out of the house after each meal. As well as, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Remember to praise them when they have done their business outside.
Shorkies and Socializing
Socializing your Shorkie is one of the most important aspects of the training process. This is especially pertinent if you have other pets or dogs in your home already. Socializing is best done from an early age, otherwise, your Shorkie can feel like they are not getting enough attention. Shorkies do not realize how small they are and can get into confrontations with bigger dogs, so socializing is very beneficial.
Not only is socializing training great for Shorkies around other pets but also great for households with little children. This is beneficial for both the Shorkie and the child. Young children may see these lovable pups as toys or stuffed animals and they might unintentionally cause harm. Socializing training will make both parties learn to be gentle with each other.
8. Are Shorkies Family-Friendly?
Shorkies have a natural guarding instinct so they won’t tolerate anyone bothering or teasing them. And their distrust for little children also plays a role in their defensive nature.
A Shih Tzu mixed with Yorkie pup may even suffer from internal injuries if they’re held or picked up the wrong way. If you get this puppy and you have young children, you will have to keep an eye on how they play with each other. Make sure that while they’re playing together, your kids are gentle. This way, the Shorkie won’t confuse any rough play as an attack.
Shorkies love being with their humans. They can be extra needy and clingy, which means they’re susceptible to experiencing separation anxiety. You’ll notice this in their sad or upset expression when you leave the house without them. If you don’t mind being with your pup for long periods of time and you’re sure you and your family can match up to a Shorkies temperament, then the Shorkie is a perfect match.
Shorkies can also be considered as loud, “yappy” pups. Because these furry friends are prone to barking, they make for great watchdogs and guard dogs for the family home, warning you of any intruders at your door.
Living Conditions for a Shorkie
This little pup can be kept in an apartment but needs human contact all the time as it tends to get easily attached to its owners. However, it may be better to look for a more mellow dog if you live in an apartment with thin walls. Shorkies love to bark and you may get a lot of complaints from your neighbors.
The Shorkie pup is sensitive to adverse weather conditions and if you live in an area that is very hot or humid, it would be advised to keep its hair as short as possible. If you live in a location that is freezing cold, you might want to purchase a doggy sweater. Your pup can wear this when you go out for your daily walks.
9. Exercise for the Shorkie
Shorkies love to go on adventures with their owners and are described as being energetic and active. They will happily walk for upwards of 60 minutes per day. But the Shorkie could easily enjoy curling up on the sofa on your lap, refusing to go to the park. Exposing that Shorkie stubborn streak.
When it comes to giving your Shorkie the right amount of exercise, you should aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise per day. Some Shorkies can inherit the shortened muzzle of their Shih Tzu parent which makes them prone to respiratory issues. Ensure you understand the risks of their potential respiratory issues, especially when exercising in warmer weather.
These little guys are highly intelligent but don’t care for games that are mentally stimulating. If you want your Shorkie to participate in these doggy board games, you’ll have to place a high value on rewarding them. Extra treats will give your Shorkie incentive to do the work.
10. Potential Health Issues of the Shorkie
Although hybrid dogs are less prone to health complications, the Shorkie pup can suffer from the same problems as their parents, the Yorkie and the Shih Tzu. The list of health issues the Shorkie can get is long but this will help you be extra vigilant about spotting potential problems.
Shorkies can suffer from Brachycephalic airway syndrome, this is where abnormalities within the pups’ respiratory system cause respiratory distress. A Shorkie is likely to inherit the flatter and broader skull shape of its parents, resulting in problems with breathing and temperature regulation.
Shorkies can also contract some sort of dental disease. This is again because of their shortened muzzle and narrow jaw. This breed is also predisposed to dental overcrowding and periodontal disease due to grinding of the teeth and removing enamel.
Hypoglycemia is also a common issue in many small breed puppies. Due to low levels of glucose, they can become lethargic and this can be fatal.
The Shorkie’s parent, the Yorkshire Terrier has a long-standing history of Glaucoma. Lens luxation is also another common health issue in Terrier breeds. This is where the ligaments in the eyes break down which allows the lens to dislocate from its normal location. Surgery is often necessary.
Shorkies can also suffer from something called Patella luxation. This is common in small breed pups. This affects the kneecaps, where they dislocate easily and this can result in Osteoarthritis, lameness, and extreme pain.
Unfortunately, both the Yorkie Terrier and Shih Tzu are predisposed to Portosystemic shunt. This prevents detoxification of waste that would occur within the liver.
How Can You Avoid Your Shorkie Having Health Problems?
It’s important to know the health of both the Shorkie’s parents before committing to taking one home. In order to know this, you can do that by asking breeders to show you the health clearances of the puppy and its parents.
The breeder should be forthcoming to discuss the health problems that your Shih Tzu mixed with Yorkie could potentially have.
Be sure to look at the shape of the face of your Shorkie puppy and its parents. Choose your new pup from a litter bred from Shih Tzus and Yorkies that have longer muzzles and wider nostrils. Although this won’t rule out that your Shorkie could get Brachycephaly, it can be helpful in having a healthier pup for longer.
11. Diet of the Shorkie
The Shih Tzu Yorkie mix puppies will be breastfed every 2 hours during their first four weeks after being born. If the mom isn’t available to feed your pup, use a dog milk replacer and reduce the feeding gradually after eight weeks. You can also try feeding them dry dog food mixed with water to make the adjustment period easier.
The Shorkie is a small breed weighing less than 20 pounds (9 kgs). Small dogs like the Shorkie generally use up to 40 calories per pound of their body weight. So, make sure you pick out nutritious dry kibble that is made specifically for small active dogs.
Familiarise yourself with pet food labeling rules and regulations to ensure you are feeding your Shorkie high-quality dog food. This could be dry, wet, dehydrated, or raw. It is important to feed them high-quality kibble so that it provides your Shorkie with all the nutrients that they need. Be sure that it is specifically for toy dog breeds so that your Shorkie can fit the biscuits into their mouth.
It is, however, advisable to avoid wet food for your Shorkie as it can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. You will know it is good quality food when it is meeting the daily nutritional requirements for your furry little friend.
Be sure to feed your Shorkie a half-cup of kibble split into four meals until they’re six months old. After six months, give your dog 1 cup of dog food and divide it into two meals per day. Because Shorkies are prone to Hypoglycemia, they should be fed the recommended food across different meal sittings throughout the day to ensure that their blood sugar levels remain consistent.
This feeding schedule is a good place to start, but remember that different dogs have uniquely different metabolisms. The Shorkies’ body condition ultimately determines how much you should feed them. When a Shorkie is healthy, they should have bodies that taper a little bit at the waist. You should be able to feel the Shorkies’ ribs easily when you run your hands over their body.
If you can see the Shorkies’ hip bones or ribs, feed your puppy a bit more. If your Shorkie doesn’t taper at the waist and you can’t feel their ribs at all, feed them a little less.
Remember to also make sure your dog has access to plenty of clean water for drinking throughout the day.
12. Shorkie Breeders
A legitimate breeder has his Shorkie puppies checked by a veterinarian and microchipped, as well as treated for worms and fleas. A trustworthy Shorkie breeder will offer you a puppy that is thoroughly health-tested, with stable temperaments. They make sure that the puppy is completely ready for you to take home by the time it’s eight weeks old.
A good breeder should also be asking potential Shorkie owners questions about their home and lifestyle to see if this pup is a good fit for them.
Adopting or Rescuing a Shih Tzu Mixed with Yorkie
Adoption is better than purchase and is a noble way to add a Shorkie to your family. However, it is understandable that adoption is not always ideal for all owners. But if adoption is an option for you, you can visit your local shelter or breed-specific shelters in your area to see if they have a Shorkie for adoption.
Rescuing is great, too. Because the Shorkie is a developing breed, you may have a hard time locating the Shih Tzu Yorkie at a shelter. But breed-specific rescues may be an option. Considering the health issues a Shorkie faces, rescuing could be a good option. Since health issues often show up by the time the dog is an adult, you’ll be able to know more about any of the Shorkies’ medical needs.
Avoid puppy mills and pet stores, where you won’t have access to information about your Shorkie’s breeding history or previous living conditions. If at all possible, visit the breeder and meet your potential puppy’s parents. Do not skimp on health documentation and screening.
13. The Cost of the Shorkie
A Shih Tzu mixed with Yorkie litter would usually consist of 1 to 5 puppies. Given the costs of breeding and producing each offspring, a Shorkie puppy’s price tag can be quite heavy on the pocket.
A Shorkie puppy can cost around $300 to $1,500. However, higher Shorkie prices don’t mean better quality. This is why you should still do your own research and make an effort to visit the puppy and its parents. This way, you’ll get a better idea of the Shorkie’s temperament before you take it home.
14. Longevity of the Shorkie
If you can’t get this puppy out of your mind and you’ve got to have one. And, if you are willing to take on all the Shorkie’s potential health issues, you’ll be glad to know that a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix has an average lifespan of 11 to 16 years.
Mixed breeds usually live longer than purebreds because they inherit a mix of traits from both of their parents. This tends to keep your Shorkie healthier and predicts a longer life expectancy than their parents.
Of course, the longevity of your Shorkie pup is only an estimation. But if you take your puppy on regular veterinarian visits, feed them healthy high protein food, and give them lots of love, your Shorkie will live well for a long time.
Final Thoughts on the Shorkie Pup
If you have the time and attention to devote to the Shorkie puppy, you definitely won’t regret getting this designer puppy. They will love spending time with you and cuddling up to you on the couch. These adorable balls of fluff make for charming companions and they are sure to melt your heart.
Shorkies are feisty, protective, and loyal – very few crossbreeds are as loyal as this mix. Unfortunately, the Shorkie might not be the ideal pet for your family if you have small children or already own bigger dogs. Also consider choosing a different crossbreed, if you won’t be able to commit to early training, socialization, and regular exercise.
Ensure you have the time and patience to spend with these adorable four-legged friends and you will never have to wonder if dynamite really does come in small packages?
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