Dog breed development is ongoing and several new breeds have grown in popularity in the last decade.
One such new breed is the Shorkie a hybrid of a Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu. As the two parents breeds are known for being good companion animals the idea was to create a companion dog well suited for a variety of living environments. While there is no shortage of pictures of cute Shorkies it’s important to know more about a breed before adopting.
Shorkies A Brief Breed Profile
Shorkies come in a variety of colors (there is no common color standard) with the most seen ones being brown and white, being black and tan, red, and gold. Their coat can mimic either one of the parent breeds and can be slightly wavy or have the straight fur found in a Yorkshire Terrier. They have rounded heads, larger eyes, a short muzzle, short ears, short legs, and an overall compact but muscular body type. In terms of size, a Shorkie is commonly 6 to 14 inches tall and weighs 7 to 15 lbs.
Sadly, both parent breeds are known for having specific health concerns which can be passed down to Shorkie pups. Health concerns to look out for include the following:
- Dental ailments such as tooth loss.
- Glaucoma and other eye issues which are found in Yorkshire Terriers and mixes.
- Brachycephalic airway syndrome a nose development issue that causes narrow nostrils and causes trouble in breathing. Inherited from the Shih Tzu.
- Patellar Luxation joint issues with the hindlimbs that affect the knee.
- Hypoglycemia low blood sugar is an issue often faced by small dog breeds.
- Portosystemic Shunt a deformity of liver blood vessels which prevents the liver from detoxifying the dog’s body.
- In terms of lifespan as Shorkies are a new breed it can be hard to estimate without more information. However, they should have a lifespan in line with that of their parent breeds of 12 to 15 years.
Shorkies are affable, social, loving, and gentle dogs. However, they are also energetic and playful dogs who are also alert and attentive. From their parent breeds, Shorkies have inherited a watchdog personality and are prone to barking. While very loyal to their families Shorkies can develop separation anxiety if overly ignored or mistreated.
Can They Be Trained Easily?
Dog trainability varies between breed and Shorkies present a bit of a challenge as they can be stubborn dogs and have a short attention span. Crate training is advised as this will help in future vet trips, transport, and give your dog a place they feel safe. Socialization training is especially important as Shorkies can be wary of strange animals and people. By exposing your Shorkie to a wide variety of people and animals they develop a calmer more well-adjusted personality.
Food And Diet
Shorkies should be fed a diet of dry kibble due to their issues with dental health. In addition to this, the kibble should be formulated for active small dogs. Despite being bred as a companion Shorkies have a lot of energy and a big personality in a small dog package.
Shorkies have a type of fine fur that can be prone to matting and knotting if not well maintained. You should brush them one a day to prevent this and also bath them once a month using a specialized dog shampoo. As noted above dental concerns are a common issue so be sure to brush your dog’s teeth to prevent a buildup of tartar and plaque.
Shorkies are an excellent companion animal. Devoted to their families they can also surprise you as they often don’t realize they are a smaller dog. Their loyalty also makes them a surprisingly effective watchdog as they will alert you to anything out of the ordinary. They are playful and make a good dog for families with both young and older children.