Meta: If you are looking for a pet dog for yourself or your parents, grandparents, or anyone who is a dog-loving busybody, then this article is dedicated to you. Below is all you need to know about the cross between a Shih Tzu and a Yorkshire Terrier that may give you an idea on your road finding a perfect canine companion.
You’re a dog parent and would love to get one to light up your life? However, you still hesitate because you’re afraid that with a busy life you can’t take good care of your future dog?
Cease your worry now, my friend! For the low-maintenance Shih Tzu Yorkie mix is here to end your woe!
What Kind of Dog Is This?
Let us meet your potential buddy, the Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix – also called Shorkie, Yorkie Tzu, Shorkie-Zu, or Shorki.
This is a lovely outcome of a successful mating between a Shih Tzu and a Yorkshire Terrier. The former is one of the most ancient dog breeds recorded and was much favored by the nobility in ancient China. Meanwhile, the latter was one of the AKC’s first registered members, and is also one of the most adored breeds worldwide.
Shorkies are designer dogs to the core. This means they were born to two purebred parent breeds to serve American breeders’ desire to create new, cute-looking, and intelligent lapdogs.
Since breeders and Shorkie supporters determinate to make this mix an official breed, they’ve brought many purebred Shorkies – who were born to both Shorkie parents, to the world.
Though this goal is yet to be achieved as the Shorkie isn’t acknowledged by the prestige AKC, this mix is already recognized by other (no less) reputable dog breed registries such as the DBR, DRA, IDCR, ACHC, and DDKC.
Prominent Traits of Shorkie
Having born of such eminent parents, no wonder Shorkies possess a set of equally outstanding features, externally and internally.
Inferred from both parent breeds’ lifespans – which is about 13 years each, their crossbreed offspring can walk this Earth just as long. If issued from healthy parents and then being properly cared for, it’s said that your Shorkie buddy can be with you up to 15–19 years!
This is plausible, since hybrid dogs are prone to have longer lifespans than their purebred mates, and this mix, in particular, isn’t as susceptible to health problems as other dogs.
Often, Shorkie pups inherit the look of their Yorkshire Terrier parent. Meaning, they’ll have saggy ears, short body covered in medium length coat, and a curled up tail.
The Shorkie is labeled as Toy dogs for a reason. They’re quite small, even for grown Shorkies. The tallest Shorkies are only about 14 inches. Usually, this hybrid is 6 – 11 inches tall and 7 – 15 pounds in weight when matured, which is pretty similar to the Morkie – the mixed result of Maltese and Yorkie.
And can you guess how much these crossbreed puppies weigh when they’re ready to be adopted at 8 weeks old? – Only 2 pounds, give or take!
Conveniently, Shorkies possess the high-valued hypoallergenic coat – a perfect choice for allergy sufferers. Not only that, but their hair also looks different from those of other dog breeds: shiner, silkier, and has an almost human-like kind of softness.
The long, shiny coat is what contributes to Shorkies’ popularity. However, you’ll need to groom your Shorkie pup quite regularly to keep his hair good-looking always. This is because his coat consists of two layers – a glossy top coat and a wooly undercoat.
Colors and Patterns
As a hybrid, the Shorkie’s hair colors are unpredictable like their dispositions, in the sense that you’ll have no idea which parent your unborn pup will take after more.
Usually, Shorkies’ color chart ranges from white, gold, red, to beige, chocolate, black, and even a combination of those shades plus a tan saddle.
But regardless of what your tiny pup looks like in puppyhood, the colors of his coat will change when he grows.
Shorkies are sociable by default. Even when they’re just pups of 6-week old, the brave little ones are already alert and like to greet other beings with wagging tails. That’s why if properly socialized since puppyhood, Shorkies can get along well with other animals and even with children.
But in the latter’s case, the youngsters should be old enough to know how to handle small pets lest they injure themselves or the dog because of his toy size.
This particular trait seems to be inherited from both founding breeds. As Yorkshire terriers were originally created to help people chase off rodents, while the Shih Tzu is still believed to maintain the ancient nature of Chinese guard dogs.
Though Shorkies aren't ideal guard dogs (mostly due to their humble size and unintimidating appearance), they can make fairly good watchdogs with their sensitive and highly intelligent nature. Shorkies can alter between being submissive and dominant when needed.
Thanks to it they can differentiate the sound of their owner’s car with that of someone else. With the former scenario, your Shorkie will greet you with a wagging tail. Otherwise, if he deems something is off and it’s not his caregiver that is making the strange noises, he’ll bark his little head off in alarm.
Both the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier are already famous for being attached to humans. Extremely so in the case of their owners. So the Shorkie love their human guardians just as much, if not more, since this characteristic is doubled when it is passed on to any pups issued from these two breeds.
Shorkies won’t function well if being left alone by force for a long time. Meaning, they would be terribly upset if their favorite human goes somewhere without them. Except for the times when they truly want to be alone and scurry off, the rest of their life Shorkies enjoy submerging in their humans’ companionship.
Because of this trait, isolating them for long periods of time is most definitely unwise. Destructive behaviors and excessive barking are bound to happen if they suffer from separation anxiety. The same goes for when they’re being bored.
Eager to Please
Since both parents are bright and affectionate, you can’t expect any less from their offspring. This results in the dog’s eagerness to please his owners and, for that matter, he is easy to train.
The Shih Tzu dogs themselves love being surrounded by the placid companionship of people. They can be contended even just by sitting in your lap by the sun-warmed windowsill.
So don’t be surprised if you see a Shorkie – honorable descendant of the people-loving Shih Tzu, dozing off by his senior human and enjoys the serene air surrounds them. That’s one of the reasons this hybrid is the perfect companion for elderly people.
This calmness is why so many people praise Shorkies for being well-behaved, as it restrains the dog from making a lot of unnecessary noise.
As said, Shorkis are smart, so training them won’t be a problem. The problem is that they’re stubborn at times and like to do what they want. But the outcome can be very worth it if you train him successfully. So you only have to be firm and patient to stick with the sessions.
Once his mind is set, your Shorkie will be relentless and focus on achieving it until he’s successful. Your job here is to find a way to engage your determined pup in the lesson, motivate him and maintain his focus. Once you get this done, the rest is just a piece of cake.
Though playful, Shorkies need their own alone time once in a while, too. That’s why your Shorkie can get a bit annoyed around energetic children who have yet to grab the notion that it’s high time to give the little dog some space and leave him be.
As is the case of any smart being, Shorkies can be easily distracted. This may pose a small problem when you train him every day. So it’s best to keep the session short, once or twice a day, and only one or two tricks are taught at a time.
General Care for a Shorkie?
Grooming and Teeth Brushing
Dogs shed when the weather is warmer. So to keep your Shorkie’s coat smooth and shiny, you probably need to groom your dog as often as possible. Better yet, do it daily with a dog hair clipper. Or weekly at the very least, if you’re short on time. Don’t forget that the Shih Tzu Yorkie mix has long strands of hair that can easily get tangled, matted, or snarled.
Like other small dogs, Shorkies are prone to have dental issues, too. So, make sure you brush his tiny teeth as often as you brush his hair, and remember to use specialized toothpaste for dogs.
Bathing and Trimming
You should give your darling pooch a bath once every month, coupled with a hair trimming session that should be scheduled twice yearly. Or, if you can manage it, every 2 months or so, depending on the length of his hair.
Also, if the weather is too hot, you should consider scheduling these sessions more often. Remember that your Shorkie isn’t terribly fond of the hot climate, he can easily suffer from heat stroke unless you keep his hair short. Trimming the hair regularly both helps cool the dog down and prevent foodstuff, as well as debris, from sticking to his fuzzy face.
All things considered, the Shorkie doesn’t require lots of exercises. This is another thing as to why Shorkies are perfect companions for old or busy people.
As a rule, small dogs need exercises and game sessions to burn off their excess energy and to avoid destructing behaviors. But in the case of Shorkies, 20 minutes outdoors every day is sufficient.
And Shorkies have a passion for playing fetch, so you don’t even have to run or walk with him to keep him healthy and entertained. When you can’t make time to take him out or if he is left in the care of a senior family member, he can be contented with his favorite chewing, squeaky toys all the same.
Choosing proper diet for your Shorkie is really important, and because of being in a small body, we would suggest you to feed your furry friend dry dog food for small dogs.
Besides which kind of food to eat, how much to eat is also a crucial factor. Whether your dog is adult or young, the thumb rule is not feed him too much. You only need to ensure 2-3 servings a day for a Shorkie.
Aside from genetic diseases inherited from both parents (i.e., eye problems, hip dysplasia, etc.), small dogs with short muzzles like Shorkie is bound to have brachycephaly – a condition causing obstructions and breathing problems in dogs due to the shortened and tiny muzzle.
Additionally, dogs of small body size are susceptible to bone and joint problems as well. So, there’re high chances your Shorkie will suffer from Patellar Luxation (i.e., dislocated kneecap). That’s why as a responsible owner, you should forbid your little dear from jumping from a higher spot down onto the cement ground, or on any hard surfaces for that matter.
How Much for a Shorkie?
Any designer dog is expensive. And Shorkies are no exception. 6-to-16-week-old puppies of this mix can be anywhere from $350 to $1500.
Keep in mind that professional breeders generally charge higher than regular owners and breeders. This is also a kind of “test” for the future owner. The purpose is to see if you’re a serious buyer and, by extension, to ensure that their precious pups are going to be in good hands.
Moreover, female pups are charged higher than their male siblings due to their reproduce capability.
The Shih Tzu-Yorkie Terrier mix has been showered with lots of love and attention ever since it was first introduced to the world. And this is just as well. Since hardly anyone can resist such heart-melting appearance and sweet nature.
Somewhere, your perfect Shorkie pup is surely waiting for you, too. So go, and let him or her break into your heart and fill your busy life with both energetic love and tender moments together.