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shorkie puppy

The Shorkie: A Lap Dog Hybrid With A Difference

There are lots of little toy companion dogs out there that are great for those that don’t want the size, and the hassle, of dealing with a bigger dog.

For some, pedigree breeds are the only way to go. For others, hybrid toy dogs offer something new and interesting.

One such hybrid is the Shorkie. So, what is a Shorkie and are they the ideal toy dog cross breed that people are after?

After a short time of searching through Shorkie pictures online, it doesn’t take long to see that this can be an adorable dog.

The question is, is there more to this dog than just a cute face? Is this hybrid toy a good family pet with a good personality, or an overbred little companion dog with too many issues?

In this guide to this Shih Tzu Yorkie mix we will look at some of the key Shorkie information to help prospective owners learn more about this cross breed.

First we will look at the physical features of this little toy hybrid, such as the size and their coat.

Then we will look at some of the important care considerations for the breed, their home life, health care and also the Shorkie lifespan.

Then we will look at the personality of the Shorkie dog and any potential behavioral issues that owners may have to deal with, as well as some tips for training them.

Finally, we will look at the different ways of getting a Shorkie pup, from the best and worst of the breeders to adoption.

Shorkie dog guideShorkie Puppy – Image Source

What should we call this dog?

This is a half Yorkie half Shih Tzu cross breed, so there are a number of portmanteau names in use from different owners. Shorkie is the one that is most commonly recognised by owners, and the one used by those that claim to have created the hybrid in America 28 years ago. It is assumed that if this is ever to be regarded as a breed in its own right in the future, it will be known as a Shorkie.

Still, there are others that use the term Shorkie Tzu, perhaps to make that clearer link between the two breeds. There are others that call it a Yorkie Tzu.

For both brevity and clarity, we will continue to refer to this hybrid by the name Shorkie.

What is the typical size and look of one of these dogs?

As this is a toy hybrid, there are naturally going to be some questions over just how big a Shorkie full grown will be.

This is a pretty small dog, but the final Shorkie weight will vary depending on its genetic mix – whether it takes after the Yorkie or Shih Tzu parent most.

Generally speaking, you can expect to see a Shorkie size of 6 – 14 inches and a weight of around 7 – 10 pounds. Of course this could all change with poor diet and exercise if they get a little tubby.

As for the looks, this is quite often a cute little ball of fluff with the teddy bear face– as you will see from the many different Shorkie pics that can be found online. There are some differences between these pups, both in the style of their coat and their color, but the general build and face shape tends to remain the same.

Shorkie colors tend to be some form of black and tan, brown or golden fur. The black and tan often matches the marking seen on the Yorkshire Terrier parent. Lighter dogs may take after the Shih Tzu more. There are also a few black dogs depending on the parentage.

yorkie shi tzu mix puppyShi Tzu Yorkie Mix – Image Source

What do owners need to know about grooming a shorkie?

One of the big questions that crops up with this Shih Tzu Yorkie regards their coat.

Is a Shorkie a hypoallergenic dog? Also, do they require a lot of maintenance?

There is a long silky coat on many of these dogs, like the Yorkie, which is why we see pictures of long haired dogs with bows in their hair, this means that they require a moderate amount of maintenance, with regular grooming to keep their fur in check. Some may decide to clip the dog with a shorter coat to make things easier.

Despite this longer coat, there is minimal shedding with this dog and they are considered a hypoallergenic breed. This is great news for all of those with allergies that need a dog without dander, but have their heart set on a small breed.

How can owners go about creating the best possible home life for Shorkie puppies?

These small dogs require a loving home with room to play and a safe environment for a dog of their size.

They are widely regarded as being kid-friendly pets, so there should be few concerns about them getting on with other members of the family. However, children must be carefully with these little dogs. Because they are so little, they don’t need much in the way of exercise, and get their main requirements from enough playtime running around the home.

A bigger issue is their diet and the risk of hypoglycemia. They need approximately 1/2 to 1 cup of dry dog food daily and owners must be careful with food and water intakes.

Other Shorkie health issues and their lifespan

Issues with the diet and blood sugar levels are not the only potential health risks with these little dogs. There are also some issues with oral health – tooth decay, loss, gum disease etc – as well as kidney stones, liver disease and allergies, there are also a number of owners that have to deal with Shorkie eye problems, such as progressive retinal apathy.

The good news here regards the Yorkie Shih Tzu mix lifespan. These little pups have a life expectancy of around 13-16 years, which is longer than many other toys.

What is the personality like on these long-lived toy dogs?

The Shorkie temperament is generally pretty good and this is a key element to their breeding. There is a sense from many owners that this is a dog that is perhaps unaware of its size, but not the type to get small dog syndrome in the way of the Chihuahua and other neurotic animals – unless it is badly pampered of course.

This means that there is likely to be that great mixture between a small, adorable little companion dog and one with the personality and traits of a more active, playful family dog.

In fact, it is said that this dog was “designed” with the aim of creating a more intelligent, out-going lapdog.

Essentially, you have an animal that will play games and join in with the family, but it still likely to fall asleep in an owners lap at the end of the day.

There are some mixed comments from breeders and owners about the potential for Shorkie barking. These pups are not much of a barker generally speaking, and aren’t likely to yap their heads off for little reason, like some other toy breeds.

However, they are more than capable of bark at a stranger if needed. This is where the confusion comes in. It all comes down to the dog knowing when to bark to protect the family and when there is no threat.

This is important to note because it means that they are both a great watchdog and a nanny dog. Their affectionate, friendly, sweet nature means that there are no issues with people they know and they are ever-playful. This dedication and protective nature means that they are also pretty good at watching our for small children.

shorkie personalityShorkie Dog – Image Source

If barking isn’t such a big problem here, are there any important issues that owners need to know about?

Separation anxiety is likely to be a big issue with your Shorkie puppy. This devotion to an owner, and the loving nature means that they aren’t that great at being left alone for long periods of time.

Some may suggest simply putting them in a crate for the afternoon and giving them a nice den with toys and blankets, but this doesn’t seem to suit this hybrid too well. Some don’t like this form of confinement and try and break free. As it is not safe to leave these little pups to roam the house alone, it really is better for the dog to be in a family environment where they are not left alone. Therefore, professional couples and families with school age kids and two working parents may not be able to handle the care needs of this dog.

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With this mind, how do we go about training a Shorkie?

Shorkie training can be tricky, but there are positive aspects here too.

One of the downsides to this breed is that while they are pretty obedient and good natured when trained properly, they can have short attention spans, which can make training a little difficult at times. The trick here is to go for short training sessions with plenty of positive reinforcement. The moment their minds start to wander and they are no longer engaged, there is no point in forcing them to learn.

Still, their loving nature and intelligence will see them through if you have the right attitude and training aids.

On that note, anyone that has trouble training their Shorkie should turn to Doggy Dan the online dog trainer for help. There are some dog owners that will immediately think to turn to an obedience school as a way of ensuring that they get the best instruction. The problem with this approach is that it can be more costly and a dog has the potential to fall behind if they don’t keep up with the class. It can be demoralising if your Shorkie dog gives up mid session.

Instead, work at your own pace, in your own home with an online course like Doggy Dan’s the step-by- step guides offer help on a range of issues, such as separation anxiety and crate training and are easy to use.

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Finding Shorkie Breeders

There are a number of good breeders with shorkie puppies for sale that are looking to create the very best hybrid with healthy stock. Some are looking to build a health breed of its own with the best animals and the best traits.

Those that understand the hybrid are most likely to understand its needs when breeding and have experience.

However, then there are all of the bad breeders that are looking to make a profit from a rare breed and may overbreed the dogs too far.

Watch out for listings that mention the words “rare” or “miniature” or focus on colors. Also, make sure to take the time to see the pups in the home, as well as the parents. Learn as much as you can for an informed purchase and walk away if it doesn’t feel right.

finding shorkie breedersImage Source

Alternatively, you may consider looking into Shorkie adoption

There is the chance that a local shelter near you will have one of these Yorkie Shih Tzu crosses available for rescue.

There may have been owners that couldn’t get along with the pups or needed to give them up for other unfortunate reasons.

This is your chance to save a live and give one of these family-oriented dogs a second chance. You may also find a trained, loving adult dog that was just unlucky, eliminating that training issue altogether.

Is the Shorkie right for you?

There are definitely some great traits to this Yorkie Shih Tzu mix and some potential problems.

The personality of this little dog is great and while they can need some maintenance on that beautiful coat, they are hypoallergenic and great to be around.

The problem comes with the training because of the attention span and the issue of separation anxiety. There is a problem with being that loving and devoted.

In the end, the Shorkie really is a great option for many families that are looking for a sweet family dog and a lapdog with a difference. Don’t assume that this is going to be a highly strung designer breed. This is a family dog with a bold spirit, playful attitude and a desire to be a part of the family.

Featured Image: Instagram/leotheshorkie

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