9 Things You Should Know About the Shorkie (Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix)

Shorkie on a sofa

Hello hello folks, I am back again, and in my pocket, I’ve got an article about one of the cutest dog breeds around (I’m basically Santa Claus for dog lovers, let’s be honest folks). As you probably already know if you have read some of my articles, I am a big mixed breeds enthusiast. I just find mutts interesting, and honestly, I find them more fascinating than purebred dogs (I’ve always had a thing for the underdog, hehe, did you get my pun? Underdog, like mutt? Man, I need to stop making jokes).

Today’s subject is the Shorkie, a cute ball of fur that will melt your heart and make you want to give up all your money just to spend your whole life cuddling with him (small dogs apparently have that power, they rule the world, and we don’t even know it, WAKE UP PEOPLE!).

The Shorkie has the body of a small animal, but the attitude of a big dog (read here: the attitude of a BAWSS). Loyal, dedicated, and loving, he also makes an excellent watchdog, and will never fail to alert you and try to save you when danger is around. All in all, like all dogs, he is completely dedicated to his owner, and will do anything he can to please his human.

But, enough talking, let’s dive right into the subject, and learn more about this fascinating mixed breed. Keep on reading, and maybe, you, just like me, will fall in love with this tiny ball of fur with the heart of a big strong Rottweiler.

First, let’s learn more about the Shorkie’s purebred parents

Like every mixed breed dog, the Shorkie comes from a line of two purebred dogs. For him, it happens to be the Shih Tzu and the Yorkshire Terrier, so let’s learn more about them, shall we?

The Shih Tzu

Two happy shih tzus

Look at these happy fellas!

When I say Shih Tzu, do you imagine a classy dog? Because that’s definitely what this breed is. The Shih Tzu is a small elegant dog with long, flowing hair (a bit like an Australian surfer), a friendly attitude, and love for everyone around. This Chinese dog breed was kept by royal families during the Ming dynasty. He might appear snobbish, but he is one of the liveliest and friendliest dogs to keep around. Active, he is always asking for everyone’s love and attention, which definitely makes this breed endearing to anyone who has been around it.

The Shih Tzu (which is, by the way, one of the 14 oldest dos in the world) was bred to be a companion, and this is definitely what he is. He is not shy or running to strangers and playing with them (because this is how he rolls, babe), the Shih Tzu is one of the most charming dog breeds. He also gets along with pretty much anyone, from elderly people, to small children, to other animals such as other dogs, and even cats.

A Shih Tzu is the perfect apartment dog, though it can be sometimes quite difficult to train him to respect the furniture. But, you know what? Dogs gotta do what they gotta do sometimes.

Learn more about the Shih Tzu here.

The Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier in a field

I’m in love!

Now, onto the second part of the Shorkie, the Yorkshire Terrier, one of my favorite dogs, if I’m being honest (and I am). Did you know that he was the most popular small dog breed in the United States of America? Yeah, me neither, and yet, this small pooch is popular, not just in the US, but all over the world. And, it’s understandable why. With his cute looks and happy personality, the Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie (if you want to give him a pet name, you know) is a beautiful animal, full of charm and friendliness.

With his elegant silky coat and charming top knot, the Yorkshire Terrier is a glamorous dog that has charmed more than one dog lover. He is one of the most adored dog breeds, and usually, Yorkie owners pamper their dog as much as they can. The Yorkshire Terrier might be small in size, and yet, he behaves like a big dog (because he can, and truly, who would blame such a cute dog?). He is a companion dog, which means that he is always affectionate and loving to his owner, but (because there is always a but in good things), he is very suspicious of strangers and will bark at people he doesn’t know, thinking they are intruders or burglars. Yorkies are very vocal dogs, which is why it’s always important to train them, and teach them when to bark and when not to do so. Yorkshire Terriers don’t fare well with other dogs either, as they can become aggressive towards them.

But, Yorkies are not just small dogs with a big dog personality, they have a softer, sweeter side too. They are dependent of their owners, and love nothing more than to spend time with them, cuddling on the couch (probably bingewatching some Netflix show about dogs).

Learn more about the Yorkie here.

So, now that we have learned more about the Shorkie’s purebred parents, let’s move to the real thing!

So, who’s the Shorkie?

Shorkie in a tux

I can’t breathe, he’s too cute!

I mean, before we learn more fun facts about this small bundle of joy, shouldn’t we learn more about its history? Being a history buff, I always try to research about things before writing about them (you know, because it’s my job and all that).

So, it is only in the last 10 years that Shorkies became truly available and popular. The idea behind mixing two small breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier and the Shih Tzu was to create a small, friendly, devoted dog, with an elegant appearance that could live in apartments. It is also quite important to note that neither of the parents is a heavy shedder, which, of course, made the idea of a Yorkshire Terrier Shih Tzu mix even more appealing.

Today, almost all Shorkies that are for sale are first generation crosses of the two purebred parents, which means that the puppies’ appearance and temperament is never a sure thing, which makes it quite exciting for dog owners, since you never know what your dog is going to look like until he is fully grown.

Eventually, breeders want to breed first generation Shorkies, and establish the breed as a purebred one. Of course, this is not something that can happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and a lot of work (more precisely, it will take 7 generations) but, it will definitely be worth it, not only for dog breeders, but for all dog lovers all over the world.

So, what makes the Shorkie so popular? Keep on reading, and I promise you, folks, you will definitely find out (and probably start looking for breeders with Shorkies so you can have one of your own).

1 - The Shorkie is a small small dog

I know, I know, I have already stated that you won’t know how your adult Shorkie is going to turn out, but we can still make a few assumptions. Since both the purebred parents, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Shih Tzu, are small dog breeds (also called toy dogs, by the way, and honestly, I’ll never stop laughing at this name, it’s just so cute), your Shorkie is definitely going to be small as well. Usually, a Shorkie weighs between 7 and 15 pounds (so small and so fragile, yet he behaves like a Rottweiler, this dog has GUTS) and is between 6 to 14 inches tall, which makes him the perfect lap dog.

2 - You will love having a Shorkie around

Shorkie smiling

Look at how happy this cutie pie is!

Credit: howtotrainthedog.com​

Believe me, I know what I’m talking about, I’ve seen VIDEOS! The Shorkie is a bubbly dog, a little bundle of energy that will run around all the time, play with you, and love you more than you ever imagined you could be loved (it works for us, lonely people. One moment of silence for those who don’t know the joy of owning a dog).

A Shorkie is a loving and affectionate dog, especially with his owner. He is friendly and playful and will be happy to tag along with you to run errands or just chill with you on the couch doing nothing but cuddling. But, since this crossbreed is so attached to its owners, they become quite depressed and sad when you leave them alone for a long time and might even suffer from separation anxiety. When they do, they will show it through excessive barking and aggressive behavior. They might even destroy a sofa or two. So, if you have a Shorkie, please, please, don’t leave him on his own for a long time. That mixed breed needs to be part of a loving family, that will give it all the love they can muster and all the attention in the world.

Shorkies usually don’t need a lot of exercise, but they love nothing more than to play fetch, ball, or chew on squeaky toys (to be honest, who doesn’t? I am a human adult female, and I love squeaky toys. Wait, is it just me? All right, my bad). Even when living in a small apartment without a garden or a backyard to run in, this mixed breed can still get enough exercise inside the house, mostly playing with kids and chasing them around for fun.

If you do go out exercising with a Shorkie though, always keep an eye on him, he’s a quick dog and he can disappear in the blink of an eye if you don’t pay enough attention to him.

3 - The Shorkie’s coat comes in different colors

A Shorkie’s coat can come in various colors, depending on his genes and parental heritage. Usually though, they do come in a few basic colors, such as red, gold, white, chocolate, black, or a combination of those colors. You should already know that the colors of hybrid dogs are never a sure thing, and they might even change color as they grow older.

So yes, a Shorkie will always surprise you, in the best way, of course!

4 - You might not recognize a Shorkie at first

A lot of people actually have a hard time making the difference between a Shorkie and a Yorkshire Terrier. They look so much alike, it is sometimes quite difficult to recognize one from the other.

The Shorkie usually has a stout, short body, and his tail will be curled up. His coat is soft and silky, and can get pretty long, which is the result of his Shih Tzu parental genes.

But, if you really want to recognize a Shorkie, look at his ears. Usually, Yorkshire Terriers have perked up ears, while the Shorkie has floppy ears which frames his face nicely and enhances his adorableness.

5 - Shorkies really love playing

a brown shorkie

This is the cutest dog alive!

Credit: croft-kennels.uk​

I know that I have already stated that the Shorkie loves playing around with his human companions, but I would like you to know just how important playtime is for a Shorkie.

This beautiful hybrid is never happier than when he is playing with toys, especially if members of the family or his owners are playing with him. Not only does this kind of exercise keep your small pooch happy, it also keeps his mind sharp.

But it’s not just about that, it’s also important to create an exercise and playtime regimen for your Shorkie because it’s important from a dietary point of view. Like many toy breeds, the Shorkie can become fat really quickly, which is not good, since his tiny legs are fragile and can’t hold too much weight being put on them. This can also create joints problems for your Shorkie, which is why playing and exercising with him is extremely important.

6 - It can be a bit difficult to train a Shorkie

Even though Shorkies are extremely smart dogs and can pick up on pretty much any command, they have short attention spans and can be very stubborn if they want to, especially if you lash out at them from frustration.

So, instead of making your training sessions long and boring, it is always better to make them fun and short and try to throw in a few treats every now and then when your Shorkie is being a good boy. That is the only way you will win his attention and make him want to learn.

But, you should know that once your Shorkie is properly trained and socialized, he will be a delightful dog, and you will want to bring him around everywhere with you, just to show him off to your friends and acquaintances (and honestly, I fully understand you, mate).

7 - The Shorkie’s grooming need can be a bit tricky

The Shorkie is definitely a tricky mixed breed to groom, mostly because his needs are different from his purebred parents’ needs. First, you should remember that the Shorkie was not only bred to be a smart, friendly lap dog, but also to be a low-shedding, hypoallergenic one. Because of this, you will have to constantly worry about brushing your tiny best friend to rid his coat of loose hair.

What you need to worry about, though, is tangles and mats. They can easily happen because of how long the Shorkie’s coat can get, which is why you need to brush your dog’s coat daily. In the end, mats and tangles aren’t just bad to look at, they can also hurt your little companion, since they tug at his skin in a bad way, and will cause discomfort, and maybe even tears that will be difficult to take care of.

One thing you will also have to think about is keeping your Shorkie’s face neat and clean, because the fur around and on it is quite bushy. You can either do it on your own every 6 weeks, or, if you don’t feel comfortable enough to do it, use a professional groomer who will take care of the whole business. You also need to think about clipping your Shorkie’s nails at least once a month, and, that too can be done by a professional groomer if you are too scared of hurting your little pooch.

And, finally, don’t forget your Shorkie’s eyes. You have to wipe them daily, not only for your Shorkie to keep a healthy look, but also to avoid eye infections.

8 - The Shorkie doesn’t eat much

Shorkie puppy

How can you say no to this puppy?

Feeding a Shorkie can be tricky business. You might not know it, but Shorkies are some of the dog breeds that are predisposed to certain oral health issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or even tooth loss, and you can prevent this by feeding them good quality dry kibble (such as Merrick Dog Food). The diet should also be well-balanced, since, as I’ve already stated, Shorkies have the tendency to become fat if they are overfed (which we humans tend to do a lot, we just can’t say know to a tiny cute dog asking for his treats).

9 - The Shorkie’s health is quite weak

Because both the Shorkie’s purebred parents tend to suffer from a lot of inherited diseases and health issues, health problems are a common thing in Shorkies. And the most usual ones are: Dental disease, Lens luxation, Glaucoma, Patellar luxation.

All of these health issues are quite serious, which is why you should take your Shorkie to the vet regularly for his health checks.


The Shorkie is a loving, friendly dog, that gets along with humans and animals alike. But, if you are not up to the task, you should not adopt one. In the end, these small pooches can easily suffer from separation anxiety, and it’s never good for dogs. So, feed them, love them, spend time with them, and most importantly, treat them well!

About the Author Houda Laabadi

A dog lover!

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