- Activity Level: moderate
- Grooming Level: high
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: high
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Small
- Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Prey Drive: low
- Watchdog: very alert
- Registered?: other
Shorkie Breed Profile
Did You Know?
A Shorkie is a designer dog breed that is a cross between a Shih-Tzu and a Yorkshire Terrier. A mixed-breed dog may take on any combination of characteristics from one or both of their parent breeds. But, in general, a Shorkie tends to be a small dog that is dedicated to their family and is loving, affectionate, and playful.
Although this designer breed is not currently recognized by the American Kennel Club, they are recognized by other notable dog organizations. The Shorkie is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Breed Registry, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and more.
Much like their parent breeds, the Shorkie is a small dog with a big personality. They are a loving companion breed that thrives on attention, loves being with their family, and bonds closely with them. They tend to be playful and energetic and also get along well with children.
Their tiny size may not make them a good guard dog, but they often make alert watchdogs and will be more than happy to let you know when someone or something is nearby. They can be prone to barking a lot and at everything if they are not trained out of it early on.
Shorkies are highly adaptable dog breeds. Their small size means they are a great fit for apartment living as well as larger homes. They tend to do well in most climates. But, due to their small size, they may need to bundle up in the winter to stay warm. Having the right winter dog products on hand can help you keep this tiny dog happy, safe, and warm as the temperatures drop.
As with any dog, they are sensitive to heat. So, you’ll also want to keep a close eye on them as temperatures rise. It’s not a bad idea to become familiar with the signs of heatstroke in dogs to make sure you never let your little pup get too overheated.
Because they bond so closely with their families, a Shorkie does not like to be left alone. They are more prone to developing separation anxiety, so it’s important to start socialization and training early on.
You want to make sure this small dog develops some independence and is comfortable when they are left alone to avoid the attachment issues and destructive behaviors common to separation anxiety.
A mixed-breed dog can inherit the potential health concerns common to one, both, or neither of their parent breeds. There is a chance they could “win the genetic lottery” and inherit none of them, but this is not a guarantee.
For the Shorkie, some potential health concerns to be aware of include kidney stones, allergies to certain medications and sometimes anesthesia, patellar luxation, collapsed trachea, progressive retinal apathy, hypoglycemia, and liver disease.
Reputable breeders will screen their stock to avoid passing on genetic issues. So, don’t be afraid to ask the breeder about the genetic history of both parents. You can also ask to see any relevant health clearances or test results.
As a small dog breed, your Shorkie will be more prone to developing dental diseases like gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Practicing good dental care for dogs is important for any dog breed, but it is especially important for a Shorkie.
The Shorkie is a moderately trainable dog breed. They are intelligent and do have an eagerness to please their owners, but they are also easily bored, have a short attention span, and they can be quite stubborn. These dogs respond best to gentle, calm, consistent training that is focused on rewards and praise.
They are sensitive and do not respond well to stricter training methods or harsh tones. Also, training them will require time and a lot of patience. Puppy training classes are recommended, especially for first-time owners who may find training this dog to be a challenge. These classes can be a good idea anyway as they often offer opportunities to socialize a puppy.
The Shorkie has a low-shedding coat that is silky, soft, and relatively long. Although their coat is low-shedding, it is not low maintenance. Their fur is prone to tangles, which quickly leads to mats, so daily brushing is required. Professional grooming is recommended about every six weeks.
In addition to coat care, you will also need to care for your Shorkie’s nails, ears, and teeth. Cutting your dog’s nails monthly is usually enough to keep them from growing too long. But, you may need to cut them more often if they grow quickly or just aren’t wearing down as much naturally. If you hear your Shorkie’s nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a nail trim!
Checking and carefully cleaning your dog’s ears weekly as needed can help prevent ear infections. You are checking to make sure their ears are clean, dry, and free of debris. If you see excess moisture, wax, or dirt, it’s time for some careful cleaning. If you see these things paired with redness, inflammation, or something else, it’s time to visit the vet.
Because your Shorkie is more prone to developing painful dental diseases later in life, good dental care is essential. Brushing teeth or using an enzyme toothpaste daily is ideal. From there, you can further support your efforts with a specially-formulated diet you create with your vet. You can also ask your vet for some recommended dental hygiene chews and treats.
Although a Shorkie can be an active little dog, they are also tiny, so they tend to tire out quickly. Because of that, a Shorkie requires minimal exercise to be happy and healthy. Daily walks and some playtime are usually more than enough for this small pooch. Playtime with toys, chasing a ball, taking trips to the dog park, and more can all be great activities for this dog.
They may be small and tire quickly, but they can also have bursts of energy where they’re more than happy to keep playing if you are. Due to their small size and propensity to mischief, it’s important that they are only let off-leash in securely fenced areas and that they are monitored anytime they are outside. Whether indoors or outdoors, your Shorkie will be happy to be active with you.
A fully-grown Shorkie usually stands 6-14 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 7-15 pounds.
A Shorkie generally lives 12-15 years.
This designer dog breed is most commonly known as a Shorkie, but they are also sometimes called a Shorki or a Yorkie Tzu.