Shorkies also go by the names Shorkie Tzu, Yorkie Tzu, and Shih Tzu-Yorkie mix. Despite their unfortunate status as a designer breed, you can find these mixed-breed dogs in shelters and breed-specific rescues, so remember to adopt! Don’t shop!
These adorable pups make great apartment dogs for active adults and seniors. They are best suited to small or single-person households, but can also do well in larger family environments. Be warned, they have a tendency to be yappy. If you are looking for a fierce, huge dog personality that comes in a tiny package, a watchdog who will alert you to any visitors, burglars, and mail carriers, and a friend who will love you unconditionally, the Shorkie just may be the pup for you.
See below for all Shorkie facts and mixed dog breed characteristics!
Shorkie Mixed Dog Breed Pictures
Shorkie Mixed Dog Breed Pictures, Characteristics, & Facts
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Dog Breed Group:Mixed Breed Dogs
Height:6 to 14 inches
Weight:5 to 15 pounds
Life Span:11 to 16 years
More About This Breed
- Shorkies are mixed-breed dogs. They are not purebreds like their Shih Tzu or Yorkshire Terrier parents.
- The main colors of Shorkies are blue, black, brown, fawn, red, and white and any combination of these colors.
- Shorkies usually have straight, medium-to-long coats, and they're generally considered to be a good choice for allergy sufferers.
- Shorkies are considered to be high-maintenance dogs and will require daily brushing and a trip to the groomers every six weeks to keep them feeling their best.
- Shorkies are not well-suited for extreme weather. They'll likely need jackets in the winter and doggy sunscreen in the summer.
- These dogs get along with all members of the family, though they are small and can be easily injured by children who play rough. Kids should be instructed on how to play safely with small dogs and always be supervised during playtime.
- Shorkies have big personalities and tend to forget their own size. They won't back down from bigger dogs, so make sure to keep an eye on your pup so they don't pick fights or get injured.
The Shorkie dog breed may have existed naturally over the years, but designer breeders started intentionally mixing Shih Tzu's with Yorkshire Terriers in the 2000's in the US. This breed has gained the most popularity in Great Britain and Ireland.
Breeders began to mix the two parent breeds to create the ultimate, adorable companion dog. They continued to create Shorkies as demand for the mixed breed pups climbed.
While they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, shorkies are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (Shorkie Tzu). Also, Shorkie owners can register their dogs with the International Designer Canine Registry.
Even though Shorkies got their start as a designer breed, some have ended up in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the breed for you.
Check your local shelters, look up Shorkie rescues, or check with breed-specific Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu rescues, as they sometimes help to re-home mixed breeds.
As the Shorkie is a very new breed, there are few standards when it comes to size. That said, as a mix between a Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier parents, you can expect Shorkies to be on the small side.
Most weigh in at five to 15 pounds and range in height from six to 14 inches at the shoulder. That said, many can be smaller or larger.
Many Shorkie lovers describe these dogs' personalities as being a big dog in a small package. They are a high-energy lap dog. They enjoy cuddle sessions just as much as play sessions and may want to get involved in your daily activities.
Shorkies have short attention spans and can act on impulse. They are very prone to prey drive and may want to chase anything that moves, including birds, squirrels, neighbor cats, etc.
Another pastime for this little pup is barking. They are quite vocal and will announce any visitors who come knocking, and when your mail carrier arrives, you will be notified, via your Shorkie.
These dogs do best with early training to curb any unwanted habits. They come from a line of parents who are both known for being stubborn and difficult to house train. Make sure to start early and instill good habits. Punishment does nothing for this pampered pup; positive re-enforcement is the way to go. As difficult as it is, be careful not to spoil them too much early on, as bad behavior is very difficult to unlearn.
They will love every member of the family, but will form the strongest bond with their main caretaker. Shorkies do well in just about any size family, but could be ideal for single pet households, as they demand quite a bit of attention.
The Shorkie breed is predisposed to some of the same conditions that the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier also face. While most are generally healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it is important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.
- Brachycephalic airway syndrome
- Dental disease
- Lens luxation
Also watch out for these issues common in their parent breeds:
- Congenital liver disease
- Spinal disc disease
- Respiratory problems
As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Shorkie's regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.
Shorkies are prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. Your Shorkie will be active around the house, but don't require long walks with their short legs. However, it's important to remember they have small bladders and may need frequent potty breaks. You may wish to consider keeping washable wee wee pads around the house.
Check their ears for debris and pests daily and clean them as recommended by your vet. Trim your dog's nails before they get too long--usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer can help with this.
Your main concern when it comes to your Shorkie's care will be maintaining their oral health. You should brush their teeth daily, as small breeds are prone to dental issues. Your veterinarian can instruct you on how to brush your dog's teeth properly. If you can find a good dental chew for your pup, it can go a long way between teeth cleaning visits.
Always have water available to your pup when you take them in your car year round and especially during the warmer months.
Some Shorkies are prone to overactive tear glands and may develop tear stains. If this occurs, you can help them by wiping around their eyes several times a day. It can make a big difference in helping to minimize the tear stains.
An ideal Shorkie diet should be formulated for a small breed with high energy. You should be able to find an upscale pet food retailer near you. Look for a high quality food for your pup so they can have the best chance for a long healthy life.
These dogs have a tendency to gain weight if they are overfed, so you should stick to a regular feeding schedule. Usually two small meals per day is recommended. Look for healthy treats. Chopped carrots or celery make great little rewards.
As with all dogs, the Shorkie's dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Shorkie's diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs--including weight, energy, and health--to make a specific recommendation.
Coat Color And Grooming
Shorkie coats are often a mix of their Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier parents' coats and colors. The main colors of Shorkies are blue, black, brown, fawn, red, and white and any combination of these colors.
They usually have straight, medium-to-long coats, and they're generally considered to be a good choice for allergy sufferers. The coats can vary quite a bit even to pups of the same litter. These are considered to be high-maintenance dogs and will require daily brushing and a trip to the groomers every six weeks to keep them feeling their doggone best.
These pups are from regal lineage and not particularly suited for extreme weather. You'll likely need a coat in the winter for your dog, and you may need to apply sunscreen to the ears, nose, and sensitive areas where there's less fur coverage in the summer months.
Children And Other Pets
Because the Shorkie is a small dog, they can be easily injured by overly excited children. They are affectionate with family members but may not feel comfortable around kids they don't know. Always supervise child interactions.
When it comes to other pets, Shorkies can get along with other animals if they are introduced early on. They may feel territorial and confrontational with animals they don't know, and they are oblivious to the fact that their size puts them at a physical disadvantage. Protect them from bigger dogs. Shorkies don't realize just how small they are, and they have no fear of challenging bigger dogs.
It may be hard to find a breed-specific rescue for Shorkies because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Yorkshire Terrier or Shih Tzu breed-specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:
You can also try DogTime's adoption page that lets you search for adoptable dogs by breed and zip code!