While mixed-breed dogs have sometimes been viewed with suspicion, the Shorkie — also known as the Shih Tzu Yorkie mix — has won over the hearts and minds of many pet parents across the globe.
Further, despite being a somewhat new introduction to the canine world, Shorkies have proven themselves to be excellent additions to most families. They also display certain traits that make them stand out from other dogs.
So if you are curious about the Yorkie Tzu but aren’t sure if it is right for you or your family just yet, read on! This article is meant to give you an overview of everything you need to know about this adorable hybrid.
|Height:||6 – 10.5 inches|
|Weight:||5 – 16 pounds|
|Lifespan:||10 – 18 years|
|Coat Colors:||Black, chocolate, blue, brindle, red, liver, silver, white, gold, black & white, black & tan, blue & white, brindle & white, black & gold, liver & white, blue & gold, gold & white, tricolor|
|Temperament:||Trainable, loving, warm, energetic, barky, outgoing|
|Suitable for:||First-time fur parents; families with small children; homes with more than one pet; apartment dwellers|
What Is a Shorkie?
The Shorkie, also called the Yorkie Tzu, Shorkie Tzu, or Yorkie Shih Tzu mix, is a designer dog breed that combines the best traits of two sought-after canines — the Shih Tzu and the Yorkshire Terrier. This mixed breed is a small-sized pup with a big personality and an endearing appearance.
For starters, Shorkies are generally friendly in nature and make excellent companions for households with other pets. They have a playful side as well, which many kids find irresistible.
Furthermore, with them being a product of two toy breeds, they are small enough to be carried around easily.
This means their diminutive size makes them perfect for apartment living, travel, and many other situations in which bigger dogs would be impractical.
But as with any designer breed, finding clubs that accept the Shorkie Tzu can be challenging since it has a mixed genetic makeup. In fact, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize this breed at all.
Despite this setback, though, do not be discouraged. The International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR), Designer Breed Registry (DBR), and the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) accept Shorkie dogs in their events.
Shorkie Origin and History
Even though the Shorkie dog breed is pretty popular these days, their origin is not very well known. For this reason, it is essential to look at the records of their parent breeds to understand why they were created.
Firstly, the Yorkie Tzus’ Shih Tzu parent originated in China. This brachycephalic breed was developed by crossing two different types of dogs together — the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso.
According to the AKC, Shih Tzus were first seen during the Ming Dynasty. They were originally bred as companion dogs for royalty and members of high society because of their regal build, gentle disposition, and tiny size.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the Shorkie Tzu’s other parent, the Yorkshire Terrier.
Yorkshire Terriers, also known as Broken Haired Scotch Terriers, have been around since the 1800s and were first bred in England by Scottish weavers. These small dogs were prized for their intelligence and agility.
As a matter of fact, many believe that Yorkies were used as ratters during this period. But today, these little dogs are more likely to be found on their fur parents’ laps than in a rat hole.
So if you’re considering getting a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix, know that this small dog breed combines these two canines’ best qualities into one adorable package!
The Shorkie is a mixed-breed dog, and, as such, it is not easy to generalize what it will look like once full-grown. Thus, even within the same litter, expect to have puppies of varying sizes and appearances.
That said, one thing that’s almost guaranteed is that your Shorkie will likely exhibit a teddy bear-like build. It will be tiny and cuddly with rounded features, accompanied by big ears, slightly bulging eyes, and a fluffy tail.
Further, since their purebred Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier parents both exhibit long coats, it is common for Yorkie Shih Tzu puppies to have lengthy hair as well.
Shorkie Tzu muzzles, on the other hand, will differ in length and shape. Some will be short, while others will be medium-sized; some will be pointed, while others will be rounded; some canines may even appear flat-faced.
Color-wise, these adorable pups tend to inherit the tones of their parent breeds but in different varieties. Their coats can be any mix of black, white, tan, brindle, chocolate, gold, or blue.
Watch this clip to see one example of what a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix might look like:
Shorkie Size and Weight
Both the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier are small breeds; therefore, their offspring would be as well. But to be specific, a full-grown Shorkie should weigh between 5 and 16 pounds, with a height of about 6 to 10.5 inches.
Anticipate Shorkies to reach their full-grown size at around 15 to 24 months old. However, this will still vary depending on the exact size of their parents, how much they eat, and how well-exercised they are.
Gender makes a difference when it comes to the weight and height of Shorkie dogs, too. A female Shorkie may be smaller than a male one — but not by much.
Shorkie Temperament and Personality
Because the temperament of the Shorkie dog breed is not genetically influenced, there is no way to predict how your doggie’s overall disposition will turn out. Still, there are some traits that many of these canines share.
Like their parent breeds, Shorkies are known to be bold, energetic, affectionate, and intelligent. These adorable puppies also love to run around and play with kids and other animals.
In addition, they have a charming inclination to follow their family members around like little shadow puppets.
It is important to note, however, that Shorkies are known for their high energy levels and tendency to be barky. In fact, they are sometimes regarded as stubborn dogs.
Fortunately, these unwanted behaviors can be managed with proper training and early socialization.
Shorkie Lifespan and Health Issues
Compared to the lifespans of their Yorkie and Shih Tzu parents, Shorkie dogs can live anywhere between 10 and 18 years. That said, a few health issues tend to crop up in this hybrid breed.
To help you better understand, below are the potential health concerns that the Shorkie may develop in the long run:
- Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a condition that affects the hip joint of Shorkies, wherein instead of forming in its normal location with good alignment, it becomes malformed. This can lead to pain, lameness, and early arthritis.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD): If you have a Yorkie Tzu, you should know that this dog breed is prone to developing LCPD. It is a disease in which the blood supply to the hip joint is interrupted by an injury or trauma. Symptoms of this condition include limping, pain, and swelling of the affected limb.
- Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS): BOAS is a condition that affects many brachycephalic or flat-faced breeds, including Shorkies, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs, and Pekingese dogs. This is characterized by respiratory problems and difficulty breathing.
So even though a Shorkie’s life expectancy largely depends on how well they’re taken care of, it is a good idea to be aware of certain health issues that may affect your pup throughout their lifetime.
This way, if any of these problems start to pop up in your Shorkie Tzu, you will be able to spot it early and take action before it gets worse.
Shorkie Shedding and Grooming
As both parents shed minimally, the Shorkie breed is expected to be low-shedding. However, this does not mean that the hair of your Shorkie puppy will not require any grooming.
Given that this little dog can bear either a straight coat or a wavy one, it is important to know their grooming requirements to keep them looking good at all times.
First of all, keep in mind that the grooming routine of your Shorkie Tzu should include combing, bathing, and hair-trimming sessions. The frequency of these activities will be discussed in a later section.
Second, Shorkie owners should also be aware that when it comes to brushing their pooches’ coats, investing in high-quality brushes will go a long way. For other hair products, such as shampoo, the same rule applies.
Finally, choose between Shorkie haircuts carefully since they can make or break a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix’s look. Remember that some styles work better with straight fur, while other cuts work better with wavy coats.
How to Take Care of Your Shorkie
Shorkies are adorable little dogs, but they do require some extra care. Hence, as a responsible fur parent, you want to make sure your Shorkie Tzu is always in tip-top shape.
In this section, you will find out how to take care of your Shih Tzu Yorkie mix. This includes everything from nutrition and exercise to grooming and training.
Food and Diet
Since both the Yorkie and Shih Tzu are small-sized and have a tendency to gain weight quickly, expect that Shorkies do not need a ton of food. In general, they should only eat around ⅛ to 1 cup of dog food daily.
Note, however, that this is just a guideline. You should still consult your veterinarian about the appropriate amount for your Shorkie’s particular size, age, and health condition.
Bear in mind that Shorkie dogs also need specific nutrients to maintain their fitness, such as protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and fat.
Moreover, their caloric intake should be carefully monitored. This way, they can maintain a healthy weight while eating a balanced diet that meets all their nutritional needs.
Cleaning and Grooming
Regardless of whether your Yorkie Shih Tzu mix has a straight or wavy coat, it is best to keep them clean and well-groomed. Start by bathing them once a month or as needed.
Remember that daily brushing is necessary as well. You wouldn’t want any mats or knots to form on your dog’s fur, especially on their ears or tail, as this can lead to infections if left unchecked.
Because some Shorkie pups also have overactive tear glands, you’ll want to wipe away any moisture from around their eyes and nose with a wet cloth every day.
In addition, be prepared to bring your Shorkie Tzu to grooming appointments every 6 to 8 weeks. Its hair will continue growing throughout its life, and you’ll need help keeping its coat managed.
Training and Exercise
Fortunately, the Shorkie dog breed is highly adaptable and easy to train. But it’s important to start training sessions early on in order to establish a good rapport with your canine.
Unfortunately, housebreaking and potty training a Shorkie can be challenging for first-time owners. That said, if you’re having trouble with these, it is advised to enforce positive reinforcement techniques.
As for exercise, 30 to 60 minutes per day should be sufficient for most Shorkies. Try taking them for walks daily to get them used to being outdoors and interacting with other people and animals.
How Much Does a Shorkie Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
The average cost of a Shorkie puppy can range from $2,000 to $5,000. This price point is largely dependent on the breeder and their reputation within the community, as well as the puppy’s coat color, quality, and lineage.
If you are keen on adopting a Shorkie dog, though, then there’s no need to worry about the cost. Several rescue groups in the country offer Shorkies for adoption, and the fees they charge range between $200 and $800.
On top of the purchase price of a Shorkie, here are some other initial expenses to keep in mind:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$30 – $80|
|Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Beds||$30 – $200|
|Collars and Leashes||$15 – $50|
|Crates and Carriers||$30 – $200|
|Grooming Essentials||$50 – $150|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $500|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$50 – $300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$40 – $300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Microchipping||$40 – $60|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Other Essentials||$20 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$495 – $2,470|
It is clear that before buying or adopting a Yorkie Tzu, you should plan your budget accordingly. Never buy or adopt a Yorkie without saving money so they don’t end up in shelters.
Places to Find Shorkie Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Finding Shorkie puppies is not as easy as it may seem. Even though they are gaining popularity, there are not a lot of breeders who are solely dedicated to producing this hybrid.
Consult the sources below to find Shorkie puppies for sale:
- AKC Marketplace – The American Kennel Club created a marketplace where you can find breeders who produce their puppies under a certain standard. But even if this site does not feature mixed-breed dogs, you may still be able to find your prospective Shorkie breeder on this platform.
- Shorkie World – Shorkie World is one of the most trusted sources for Shorkie puppies. They’ve been around since 2003, which means they’ve had time to build up their reputation and create a strong community of people who love this small breed. The price of a Shorkie pup from them starts at $2,000.
- Little Darling Pups – Located in Colorado, Little Darling Pups offers a wide range of teddy bear-like canines, including Maltipoos, Yorkie Poos, and most importantly, Shorkies. All their puppies are up to date on vaccinations and deworming protocols. Their dogs also come with a complete health guarantee.
In addition, you may want to consult the purebred breeders of their parents. Although purebreds are their specialty, chances are good that some of them may also have mixed-breed pups for sale.
Meanwhile, if you prefer to adopt a Shorkie, check out the following sources:
- Shih Tzus & Furbabies Rescue – Shih Tzus & Furbabies Rescue is a non-profit organization that focuses on saving small dog breeds, such as the Shih Tzu Yorkie mix. Their adoption process includes an application, an interview, and a home visit. An adoption fee ranging from $350 to $700 is also required.
- United Yorkie Rescue – Founded in 2002, United Yorkie Rescue is a Texas-based organization that rescues and rehomes purebred and mixed Yorkshire Terriers. They have a strict adoption process, and their fees for Shorkie Tzus range from roughly $150 to $800.
- Small Dog Rescue of Minnesota – Whether you are looking for a senior or a Shorkie puppy, Small Dog Rescue of Minnesota is worth checking out. This organization has been helping canines weighing 20 pounds and under since 2008.
You may also want to check out Facebook groups and Reddit threads dedicated to this mixed breed to connect with breeders and rescues.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Shorkie
Aspiring owners of Shih Tzu Yorkie mixes should keep in mind that for all the joy that owning this crossbreed can bring, there are some potential downsides as well.
To begin, the following is a list of the pros of owning a Shorkie:
- Stylish dogs: From a teddy bear cut to a puppy clip, you can make your Shorkie look like anything you want. Note that this dog is a cross of two long-haired breeds, so they have an incredible amount of hair that can be styled in many different ways to fit your personal preference.
- Low-shedding: For allergy sufferers, this is good news. Luckily, Shorkies have low dander levels since they do not lose fur as much as other breeds. This trait also makes them ideal for people with asthma or other respiratory issues.
- Apartment-friendly: If you are searching for an apartment-friendly dog breed, then the Shorkie is a good choice. These tiny pooches do not require much space and can live comfortably in a small apartment or condo.
Meanwhile, here are some cons of owning a Shorkie:
- Prone to health issues: Although a Shorkie is a great companion dog, it may also encounter serious health problems. The most common ones are dental disease and skin conditions. Therefore, you should prepare yourself for possible extra expenses at the vet’s office.
- Requires frequent grooming: Given that Shorkies inherit the Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu’s rapidly growing hair, they will need day-to-day brushing to keep their coats in excellent condition. Because of this, owners should be prepared for the amount of work involved in maintaining a Shorkie’s fur.
- May act like a “big dog” in social situations: Interestingly, despite being small, Shorkies tend to be protective and territorial. They may bark or growl at strangers and other dogs. Fortunately, proper training and socialization can help prevent this behavior from becoming a problem.
Hopefully, the lists above will help you make an informed decision about whether or not a Shorkie is right for you and your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shorkies Good Family Dogs?
Yes, Shorkies are good family dogs. They can be a little enthusiastic but are very loving and sweet companions. They’re also deeply loyal to their families and will become attached to everyone in the house.
Are Shorkies Hypoallergenic?
Similar to their Shih Tzu parent, Shorkies are not totally hypoallergenic. However, they do shed considerably less than other dogs, so they’re a good choice for people who suffer from allergies.
Are Shorkies Aggressive?
If not trained and socialized at a young age, Shorkies can become aggressive.
Remember that no puppy is born with aggression issues; these problems are acquired over time from the dog’s environment and experiences.
Do Shorkies Like to be Held?
Shorkies do like to be held. But they are independent and intelligent dogs that can have a mind of their own. Therefore, it’s important to respect their needs and give them space when they need it.
Do Shorkies Bark a Lot?
By having the purebred Yorkshire Terrier as a parent, expect that Shorkies tend to bark more than other dog breeds. Nonetheless, it is also true that this is not always the case.
Some Yorkie Shih Tzu mixes will bark excessively, while others will remain quiet most of the time. In any case, crate training and early socialization can help reduce barking problems in your Shorkie puppy.
Are Shorkies Smart?
Yes, Shorkies are smart. Like either parent breed, these dogs love to learn new things and are always eager to please.
Furthermore, they respond well to training, which can be beneficial in curbing any bad habits they may pick up.
Are Shorkies Yappy Dogs?
While small breeds have a reputation for being yappy and loud, Shorkies can be surprisingly quiet. But this will still depend on the individual dog’s personality, as no Shih Tzu Yorkie mix will ever be exactly like another.
To sum it all up, Shorkie Tzus are cute, small pooches that are a great fit for many families. They’re also the perfect mix of their parents’ breed characteristics, so they have the best of both worlds.
But to be more specific, if you’re looking for a four-legged companion that’s smart, playful, and easy to train, then a Shorkie dog is likely the right choice for you.
This little pup is very friendly and devoted as well, making it an excellent option for first-time dog owners and those with kids or other pets in their homes.
However, with Shorkies being regarded as high-maintenance dogs due to their grooming needs and attention requirements, it’s important to ask yourself if you are truly ready for such a special little pup.
Do you have what it takes to own this crossbreed? Share your thoughts about the Shorkie dog in the comments!