Meet the Shorkie — a tiny pup with a huge personality. This small, loyal, and fierce mixed dog is a true gem among the most popular dog breeds.
Let’s get familiar with the breed and find out more about these loveable fluff balls. Here’s what we’ll talk about:
- Meet the Adorable Shorkie
- Lifespan and Common Health Issues
- Feeding Time — Meals for Small and High Energy Dogs
- High Maintenance Grooming
- Finding a Shorkie
Meet the Adorable Shorkie
So, what is a Shorkie? It’s a crossbreed between a Shih Tzu and a Yorkshire Terrier. These are tiny dogs with the most adorable faces. They’re incredibly playful and have a distinct temperament, making them the perfect pet for active adults and seniors.
When you get a Shorkie, you get a massive personality packed in one of the tiniest bodies. If you’re looking for a dog that will love you unconditionally and stay by your side, this is the right fit.
Shorkie’s Parents Are the Shih Tzu & Yorkshire Terrier
The Shih Tzu Yorkie mix has enormously popular parents and is considered a designer dog. With this combination, you’re in for a surprise, as there’s no existent breed standard. So, it’s hard to predict which parent they’ll take after. But whatever the outcome, you’ll get a big dog wrapped in a small, fluffy package.
They Gained Popularity in Great Britain & Ireland
Although they’ve existed as a crossbreed over the years, these dogs gained popularity in the 2000s when breeders started intentionally mixing them. The combination between a Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier was most popular in Great Britain and Ireland.
The breeders’ idea was to create a loyal and devoted small dog with an attractive appearance that would enjoy a life indoors. This mix derives from two purebreds that don’t shed heavily, making it even more appealing to dog owners.
The AKC Doesn’t Recognize the Breed
Since Shorkie dogs don’t have a stable breed standard, the AKC doesn’t recognize them as an official breed. That’s common for mixed designer dogs, but if you want to register your Shorkie, there are ways to do that.
For instance, you can register your pup in the American Canine Hybrid Club as a Shorkie Tzu or in the International Designer Canine Registry.
The Shorkie size is small. The dog can have a soft coat, like the Yorkshire Terrier, or a gentle wave, like the Shih Tzu. Also, it has small legs, but don’t let that fool you — they’re relentless and can roam around for hours.
The Shorkie has a rounded skull, a relatively short muzzle, and small, triangular ears set high. The body is compact, with impressive muscling for its small size, while the legs are short and fine-boned. Although small, these little pups pack a powerful punch and are full of energy and excitement.
Small Dogs With Big Hearts
The Shorkie Tzu is a small, cute, and cuddly dog with a massive personality and an even bigger heart. It’s incredibly energetic and loves being around people and other animals. But more than anything, this dog adores hanging with its favorite human.
Their loyalty is unmatched, as they cling on and refuse to be separated from their owners at any cost. So if you’re looking for a new best friend, look no further. This pooch will surely be your life-long companion for many years.
Their Fluffy Coat Comes in Six Colors
So, what does a Shorkie look like? The coat and colors vary. Also, these dogs often have long hair cut short to avoid too much hair around the house.
Another distinctive feature is their thin, waggly tail. It’s often curled at the back with a pong plume of hair at the end.
The coat comes in different colors and patterns, with the most common being:
- Black & tan
- Brown & white
- Gold, black, & white
- Particoloured (mixture of black, white, chocolate & gold)
Temperament — Big Dog Energy in a Tiny Package
The Shorkie temperament is quite famous in the dog world. It’s energetic and playful, mixed with intense loyalty and protectiveness. Also, these dogs have short attention spans and can sometimes react on impulse.
A Shorkie needs early training with positive reinforcement and proper exercise. This way, you can avoid your pup turning into a diva and gaining irritating habits.
As time goes by, you’ll start to see a decline in puppy energy levels by age. They naturally calm down when they grow up.
Chilling on Laps Is Their Favorite Activity
The Shorkie dog breed is popular for its attachment to humans, especially their owners. If you get one of these puppies, the two of you will spend many hours chilling in a comfy spot. That adorable ball of fluff will constantly curl up in your lap.
These dogs also enjoy the company of other dogs and people. They’re great at making new friends and love to be around anyone who wants to spend time with them. Although they’re playful by nature, they sure know how to relax. They’ll love to keep you company while you’re watching a movie.
Enjoy Chasing Prey
The Shorkie Terrier is a fun and loving pup that’s always ready for action. These dogs inherit an inborn desire to chase other animals from their Terrier parent.
Be prepared for them to chase hamsters, squirrels, birds, cats, or small dogs at any given moment. They’re natural hunters and will take any chance to go after some game. Because of that, you should keep them on a leash when going for walks in busy and crowded places. Also, that would prevent them from wandering off.
They Sure Do Love to Yap
They say a dog’s bark is worse than its bite, and this just might be the case for a Yorkie mixed with a Shih Tzu. The breed can get vocal and loves voicing its opinion, as do most Yorkie mix dogs.
Don’t get us wrong. They know how to be chill and relax without making a sound. But in most cases, when you get a dog from this breed, you should expect some loud-mouth yapping and barking.
They Tend to Get Protective
The Shorkie dog breed is an adorable fluffy dog that can get incredibly protective. These pups possess an innate enthusiasm and safeguarding instinct, which they get from their Shih Tzu side. They’re always alert of other people or unfamiliar dogs they don’t deem friendly.
If the Shih Tzu gene is strong, your mixed dog can be a watchful guardian for you and your home. Any unwanted intruders will be met with the wrath of a thousand barks (and possibly some harmless chasing).
Affectionate Family Dogs
Despite the famous Shorkie temperament, these dogs are tiny sweethearts that love to be by your side and snuggle up any chance they get. They’re affectionate and the perfect family dogs. They love playing, so consider getting them a monthly toy box for dogs, full of awesome toys and tasty treats.
Shorkies get along well with children, other pets, and family members. They’re sure to greet any guests and initiate playtime or work their way for a treat. If you choose this breed, you’ll get one of the sweetest four-legged friends.
Lifespan and Common Health Issues
The Shorkie lifespan is around 11–16 years. The mix is prone to some health conditions inherited from its parents.
Although it’s mostly a healthy crossbreed, you should still be vigilant about possible issues. It’s also crucial to maintain a healthy diet and regular veterinary checkups.
Let’s look at the common health problems that might affect your pet.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
Among the Shorkie health problems, you’ll easily find the Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. It’s a set of airway abnormalities that affect many dogs.
The condition results in difficult and obstructive breathing, which is most common in short-headed breeds like the Shorkie. Dogs suffering from it have abnormally narrowed or small nostrils, restricting the amount of air that flows freely.
Maintaining good oral health can be challenging for humans and dogs. But Shorkies are prone to dental disease and oral issues, so you should take great care with their teeth. Vets recommend daily brushing, preferably with a toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs. That will help remove plaque and keep the teeth clean and healthy.
The Shorkie mix is prone to an eye condition known as glaucoma. It results in eye pressure, causing inadequate fluid drainage. If this condition persists for a long time without treatment and becomes chronic, it can eventually cause severe and permanent damage to the optic nerve.
Glaucoma can result in blindness. It’s a serious condition that affects millions of dogs each year. 40% of dogs suffering from this condition become blind in the first year, no matter the treatment.
Some symptoms include:
- High pressure within the eye
- Blinking of the eye
- The eyeball may recede into the head
- Redness of the blood vessels in the whites of the eyes
- Cloudy appearance in front of the eye
- Dilated pupil or a pupil that doesn’t respond to light
- Loss of vision
Low blood glucose or hypoglycemia can occur in a Yorkie Shih Tzu puppy. This disease shows in puppies between 8 and 16 weeks old. Symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Sudden staggering
If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, call your vet immediately.
Hypoglycemia is a serious health condition that can become fatal if you don’t manage it with a special diet. If your dog has it, provide dry food at regular intervals. Also, make sure to monitor it closely and take daily measurements.
This eye disease causes degeneration of the fibers that suspend the eye’s lens in a normal position. So, the lens fall into each eye chamber, causing visual impairment and potentially glaucoma in a middle-aged or full-grown Shorkie.
Lens luxation occurs when the lens of the eye, which is transparent and helps to focus light on the retina, has diverged from its natural position. The only effective treatment is the surgical removal of an anteriorly displaced lens done by a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist.
Feeding Time — Meals for Small and High Energy Dogs
The best way to maintain your dog’s diet and a steady Shorkie weight is a high-quality food full of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. These dogs can be prone to obesity, so you should establish a regular feeding schedule.
Two small meals per day are more than sufficient. You can also research vet-approved food for a Shih Tzu puppy to ensure the best for your new furry friend.
Avoid unhealthy treats. Instead, opt for slices of carrots, which are full of vitamins.
Shorkie’s High Maintenance Grooming
Like its Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier parents, this dog breed usually has a straight, medium-long coat. And you should take the Shorkie grooming seriously, as it can get a bit high-maintenance. Still, this mix doesn’t shed a lot and belongs to the group of hypoallergenic dogs.
Your new pup will require brushing at least once a day and a regular trip to your favorite groomer for Shorkie haircuts every six weeks. That‘s a must to avoid unwanted allergies and for your dog to look and feel light and free.
If you’re going for a walk in the rain, remember to put on a doggy raincoat as the breed’s coat doesn’t do well in harsh weather.
Finding a Shorkie
You can get a Yorkie Shih Tzu puppy in several ways, but remember that this mix is very popular nowadays.
Before buying, remember to check for a rescue or local shelter. If you’re getting your new pet from a breeder, do extensive research before buying. Check their credentials and history, and ensure they’re caring and respectable.
Adopting From a Rescue or Shelter
Getting a dog from a rescue or shelter is rewarding in its own way, as these dogs have been abandoned and are looking for that special someone who’ll give them love. So, try finding a Shorkie in a rescue. It’ll never forget your selfless act of love and kindness, and it’ll repay you in the sweetest way.
Your best chances of adopting a pup are to check breed-specific rescues and shelters. Check the following sites first:
Choosing a Breeder
You can find plenty of Shorkie breeders. Choose one with a good reputation, clean litters, and great dog accommodation and living conditions.
Remember to ask for both parents’ birth certificates and extensive health history. This way, you can avoid any scams and ensure you get a healthy, happy dog. Also, consider doing a veterinary checkup for your dog of choice before buying, just to be on the safe side.
Final Words on Shorkies
Let’s say a few last words about the Shorkie breed. This adorable four-legged critter will melt your heart and make you fall in love at first sight. These dogs are highly-energetic, extremely affectionate, and loyal, so be prepared for lots of snuggles and exercises.
Shorkies can sometimes get vocal and dramatic, but that’s just a big part of their unique personality. Remember to groom their coat regularly, and don’t skip those vet checkups to avoid health complications.
Getting a dog from this breed will brighten up your life. It’ll give you immense joy and a friend for life.