What Is A Shorkie? Facts, Traits, Personality & More

Shorkie

The Shorkie packs a whole lot of dog into a tiny body. These dogs are spunky, loyal and affectionate pups who don’t let their tiny size get in the way of anything!

A cross between the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier they pack lots of personality into their tiny body.

Both the Yorkie and Shih Tzu are known for their long, straight hair. It is no surprise the Shorkie has fur that can grow so long it touches the floor.

A long silky coat isn’t their only adorable feature. Their fiery and affectionate personalities make them the perfect mix of playful and cuddly. These dogs become a shadow for anyone looking for a loyal and loving dog…

Breed Quick Facts
Height 6 to 14 inches
Weight 5 to 15 lbs
Coat Long, straight hair
Color Blue, black, brown, fawn, red or white
Shedding Low shedding
Temperament Spunky, affectionate and needy
Family Friendly Yes, but not ideal for small children
Barking Can be yappy
Training Needs early training with positive reinforcement
Lifespan 11 to 16 years
Price $500 to $1,500

What Is A Shorkie?

Shorkie

A Shorkie is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Yorkshire Terrier.

They were first bred in the USA in the early 2000s with the idea of producing a low shedding, fun, pint-sized dog. Breeders wanted a hybrid who was affectionate and loyal (like the Shih Tzu), but spunky and feisty (like the Yorkie).

Loyal, loving and full of spunk a potential owner should not let this dog’s small size fool them into thinking they have any less personality than larger breeds.

They are a toy breed that is tiny in size, but make up for it with their abundance of energy.

These dogs are energetic and love to play, something they get from their Yorkshire Terrier parent. They also get their intelligence from their Yorkie parent. They like to be kept busy with something to do.

When they aren’t getting up to mischief to keep themselves busy, they love to curl up on a lap and have cuddles.

Because of this combination of affection and energy the Shorkie can be a needy dog who dislikes being left alone. This neediness comes as part of the ‘small dog syndrome’ they often show.

Shorkies often get attached to one person in a household and will become their shadow following them around wherever they go.

They are highly dependent on their humans and can be yappy, noisy and full of attitude without realizing their size. They are protective of their belongings, including their humans, and will pick a fight with dogs much larger without hesitation in a display of their loyalty.

Meet The Parent Breeds

Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier

Both parent breeds have a rich history as fashion dogs!

Shih Tzus (pictured left above) come from China and have a name that translates to ‘lion dog’. They were originally bred as lap dogs for royals and they love to be pampered and treated like the royalty they are. This trait is something the Shorkie inherits and certainly won’t let their owners forget!

They were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969. Since then they have quickly risen in popularity to become number 22 on the list of most popular dog breeds in the USA in 2021.

Yorkshire Terriers (pictured right above) started out as hunting dogs and were first bred in Yorkshire in the 1800s to hunt rats. Yorkies are AKC recognized and have been since 1885.

Shorkies inherit somewhat of a Terrier mindset because they have a fairly strong prey instinct to chase and hunt small, fast-moving things. Selective breeding has made them a much more affectionate and cuddly dog than their working parents.

Appearance

Their tiny build is not all there is to their appearance.

They typically have round heads with bright, round eyes and black button noses. They inherit the muscular and sturdy build of their Shih Tzu parent, as well as a short snout, underbite and long, floppy ears.

These hybrids also inherit a long, straight, silky coat that can touch the ground if left to grow. Despite the length of their coat, the Shorkie is hypoallergenic due to how little they shed. In fact, they are listed as one of the top 50 hypoallergenic dog breeds!

How Big Do Shorkies Get?

The Shorkie is classified as a toy breed and on average is 5 to 15 pounds and 6 to 14 inches when fully grown. A puppy will weigh just 1 pound.

Full grown Shorkie size will depend on which parent they take after. If they are more like their Shih Tzu parent, they will be slightly bigger and more likely weigh up to 15 pounds, but if they take after their Yorkie parent they will likely be on the smaller side.

Since they are so small they will reach their full size by the age of 9 months.

If the tiny Shorkie isn’t small enough for you, the teacup Shorkie might just be the one for you!

A teacup dog is one that is less than 6 pounds. The smallest Shorkies are in fact teacup-sized, although they often aren’t called teacup as they are just the smallest in a litter of Shorkie puppies.

Coat Colors

The breed standard for the Shih Tzu recognizes every color and all markings. There is also very little regulation in what color Yorkies can be. This means there is a whole spectrum of colors, patterns, and markings that the Shorkie can be, including:

  • Blue
  • Black
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • White

A Shorkie is often born a darker shade of the color they will become. Their coat will lighten up gradually and they won’t be their adult color until they are 1 year old.

The most common Shorkie color is black and tan.

Pure black Shorkies are quite rare. This is because they will often have white patches on their chests, cheeks, nose and are more a dark shade of grey than all black.

It is also rare to get a pure white Shorkie. They are often mainly white, with fawn or gray ears and butterfly markings over the eyes.

Haircuts

Shorkie dog
Regular trips to the groomers should come as no surprise!

A Shorkie will need a haircut every 6-8 weeks, starting from the age of 9 months.

The first trips to the groomer will be introductory haircuts allowing them to get used to all the sights, sounds and smells of a groomer’s. They likely won’t need their first grown-up haircut until the age of 18 months when their full adult coat has grown in.

Sometimes the number of different Shorkie haircuts and styles can be overwhelming, but there is a simple way of categorizing them by length.

The shortest cut is a shave. This is a very short haircut using clippers all over the body, including shaving the tail and head. It is perfect for a Shorkie who lives in climates that get very hot during the summer, or those with owners who may not have time for daily grooming.

Slightly longer than the shave is a puppy cut. This haircut is still short and is ideal for active dogs who get hot when exercising. A Shorkie with a puppy cut still needs grooming up to 3 times a week, but it is less maintenance than longer cuts.

Next is a medium cut. This haircut keeps the hair long enough to show off the straight, silky hair of the Shorkie, without it being too much of a burden for both the dog and the owner. Dogs with a medium length cut will need daily grooming to prevent matting.

The longest Shorkie haircut is the floor-length. This coat shows off their fabulous, sleek hair, but is high maintenance and requires plenty of daily grooming to keep it from becoming tangled and picking up dirt from the ground.

RELATED: 15 Best Haircuts For Poodles

There are other Shorkie cuts that don’t fit into these length-based categories. For example, a popular choice is the teddy bear cut. This is a medium length cut all over, but the head and feet are rounded to make the dog look just like a teddy bear!

Another very popular choice is a top-knot. This involves any length cut on the body, but the hair on the head is kept long and then tied up using a clip.

Whatever cut you chose, the Shorkie is bound to look adorable.

Temperament

The Shorkie can be a dog of two extremes.

They are full of energy, highly-strung and playful. Many pups will love to play games, run and chase. But once they have had their dose of fun, they are equally happy to curl up on a lap and have a cuddle.

Even though they are happy to snuggle with anyone, the Shorkie usually bonds to one person in a family. They are clingy and needy towards this person and don’t like to be left alone for even a short period of time. They can quickly become destructive, noisy and upset if left alone for even a few hours.

Thanks to their small size they can fit perfectly inside a bag so you can take them with you everywhere you go!

There is no doubt the Shorkie makes up for their small size with mountains of plucky spirit.

Not only does this give them their yappy, noisy ways, but they also inherit a high prey drive.

There is a strong chance your Shorkie will want to chase anything that moves and they love to dig. These traits mean they need to be walked either on-leash or in a safe and enclosed space that they cannot escape from.

Another trait they can inherit is their headstrong, stubborn nature. The Shorkie is a clever dog, but their stubborn streak means they need persistent and consistent puppy training. Their intelligent side leads them to look for mischief in every situation, but this can be redirected into solving puzzles and games to keep their brains active.

Are They Aggressive?

The Shorkie thinks they are bigger than they are and can be protective and territorial, especially when it comes to their owners.

A Shorkie will be fiercely loyal to their owner and one way they show their protectiveness is through barking. They will alert you with a yap to just about anything that moves including the mailman, leaves in the wind, or the wind itself.

If disturbing the neighbors is a worry then this mix might not be the dog for you.

Best Suited To

The Shorkie is ideal for a small home or apartment with little to no outdoor space. They only need 30 minutes of exercise and part of this can be playtime. They are well suited to an older owner who spends most of their day at home and might not be mobile enough for daily walks.

They can get along okay with other dogs, but they can get jealous and protective of their owners and prefer to be the only pet. Their prey instinct means they cannot be in a home with cats or other small pets, like rabbits or guinea pigs.

These dogs are affectionate and loyal.

Unfortunately with this temperament comes a neediness that means they don’t like being left alone at all. They are best in homes with constant company, or with an owner who can take them to work.

Shorkies are not suitable for homes with children less than 10 years old as the may accidentally hurt the dog. They are also not suitable for owners who are not home for over 22 hours a day.

One thing to consider before adopting a Shorkie is that they are often very stubborn. Many pups need extra time and support to housebreak and teach them basic commands.

Puppy Price

A Shorkie can cost anywhere between $500 and $1,500. They will be cheaper if they are a common color, such as black and tan. Solid colors like black or white will be more expensive as these are rarer.

They will also cost more if their parents are registered with kennel clubs.

Shorkies are fairly popular, so finding a reputable breeder in your state with a simple google search shouldn’t be too hard. A reputable breeder will have both parents’ health records and both parents will be kennel club registered, even though these mixes themselves are not a recognized breed.

Their price is much cheaper than other Shih Tzu mixes, such as the Shih Poo which can cost $2,500.

Care Guide

Exercise

A Shorkie might be energetic, but they are also small so don’t need too much exercise. They will need 30 minutes of exercise a day which can include walking, hiking and running. Their prey drive and digging traits mean they should not be left alone outdoors and should be walked on a leash.

If they have to go outside in cooler temperatures then make sure they have a coat on as they don’t do well in extreme temperatures.

Training

The Shorkie can have a stubborn streak which they get from their Yorkie parent. They need consistent training using gentle but firm positive reinforcement, beginning as soon as you get them as a puppy.

An owner will need to use consistent training to make sure their willful attitude is controlled before it can cause too much trouble.

Grooming

These Yorkie mixes are high maintenance dogs and considerable time should be set aside each day for grooming them. They will need brushing with a soft-bristle brush all over every day to keep their silky, long hair smooth and free of matting and tangles. This might take up to half an hour each time.

They are also prone to tear staining on their face, like both parents. You should wipe their eyes with a soft, damp cloth or a pet-safe wipe to prevent this.

Not only do they need daily grooming, Shorkies also need regular trips to the groomers every 6 weeks.

Diet

They only have a small stomach, but their high energy demands mean they need to get all their calories in just a small amount of food! These dogs need a kibble designed for small breeds only.

These hybrids should be fed ½ to 1 cup of kibble spaced out across 3 meals throughout the day.

Lifespan

A typical Shorkie lifespan is between 11 and 16 years.

They are at risk of health issues relating to small breeds such as hypoglycemia, glaucoma, dental disease and patellar luxation.

Due to their short snout they are also at risk of having brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome or tracheal collapse.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Shorkie Poo?

A Shorkie Poo is a Shorkie cross toy Poodle. This means they have three breeds in them; Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier and toy Poodle. These mixes tend to look very similar to a Shorkie, but have a shorter coat due to their curly Poodle parent. Poodles are hypoallergenic, so a Shorkie Poo maintains the hypoallergenic coat too.

Why Shouldn’t You Buy One?

Despite their adorable looks, spunky ways and mischievous playfulness the Shorkie is not for everyone. They are needy, clingy and cannot be left alone. They are also noisy and bark a lot, so will likely make you unpopular with the neighbors. They don’t like being left alone, and often get attached to one member of the family. They are not ideal for families who are out at work and school all day.

Are Shorkies Aggressive?

They are defensive and protective of their belongings, owners, and home. They will react to a threat by barking and yapping, rather than with aggression. In reality they are all bark and no bite.

Key Takeaway

  • Shorkies are a mix between the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. They are also called Shorkie Tzus or Yorkie Tzus.
  • These Yorkie mixes were first bred in the early 2000s with the goal of producing a low shedding, fun, pint-sized dog who was affectionate, but feisty.
  • They are loyal, spunky and affectionate dogs who love to play as much as they love to cuddle! These dogs haven’t quite got the idea that they are a toy breed and pack lots of personality and attitude into their pint-sized bodies.
  • Although both parent breeds are kennel club recognized these dogs are hybrids and therefore only cost $500 to $1,500.
  • An average Shorkie will weigh 10 pounds and measure 10 inches. A teacup variant is less than 6 pounds.
  • These dogs live between 11 and 16 years but are at risk of having brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome or tracheal collapse.
  • They have straight, smooth coats that can grow all the way to the floor when cared for properly. However, be aware that they need daily grooming for up to half an hour.

Learn More About Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terriers

Shih Tzu Poodle Mix: Shih-Poo Dog Breed Guide
Teacup Yorkie Facts, Price, Size & More

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