Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Chorkie
Average Cost to keep/care for a Chorkie
Chorkies are a delightful cross between a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire Terrier with some dogs being tiny whereas other are small in size. They first appeared on the scene back in the nineties and they very quickly gained popularity with people all over the world thanks to their small size and the cute characteristics they inherited from their parent breeds. They are classed as “designer dogs” and as such they are not recognised by The Kennel Club or other international breed associations. Chorkies are very cute little dogs and since they first appeared on the scene, they have found their way into the hearts and homes of many people.
Chorkies came about when breeders crossed two pure breeds, namely a Yorkshire Terrier and a Chihuahua. These cute dogs first appeared on the scene in the nineties when they were an immediate hit with many people all over the world thanks to their small size and their kind, affectionate natures. Because they are considered "designer dogs", for the moment Chorkies are not a recognised pedigree breed and have not be accepted by The Kennel Club or other international breed clubs (June 2016).
However, breed clubs have now been established both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world with an end goal being to ensure that Chorkies are bred responsibly so that dogs are less likely to inherit health issues that affect their parent breeds. However, as with any other breed whether a cross or pedigree, no matter how well-bred a dog happens to be there is never any guarantee as to whether or not they would develop a congenital or hereditary disorder during the course of their lives. Today, Chorkies are just a popular as they were when these charming little dogs first appeared on the scene back in the nineties.
Height at the withers: Males 15.2 - 22. 9 cm, Females 15.2 - 22. 9 cm
Average weight: Males 3.6 - 4.5 kg, Females 3.6 - 4.5 kg
Because Chorkies are a cross between 2 pure breeds, there is never any real guarantee of how puppies will turn out. As such, these charming little dogs come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some dogs are long-legged and rangy, whereas others are shorter and more compact. However, as a rule of thumb most Chorkies boast having an athletic look about them, a trait that both the Yorkie and the Chihuahua boast having.
When it comes to their coat, the Chorkie can have a fluffy or straight coat with the one consistency being they are considered to be low-shedding little dogs. They can also boast having many different coat colours, but the more commonly seen ones are as follows:
Chorkies have lovely temperaments which they have inherited from both their parent breeds. They love being pampered and spending time with their owners and families which is an adorable side to their natures. However, this does have a downside in that Chorkies don't like to be left on their own for any length of time. In short, these charming little dogs thrive on human company and therefore are not a good choice for people who spend most of their time out of the house. They are a great choice for families with older children where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out. They are the perfect companion dog for older people too.
They are not the best choice for first time owners because although intelligent little dogs, they can be challenging to train. However, in the right hands and with the correct amount of early socialisation and training, a Chorkie can be a pleasure to train. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of socialising these little dogs because if not, they can be quite timid and shy which often leads to dogs becoming aggressive. When a Chorkie has been well socialised, they are more outgoing and will show lots of affection even towards people they have never met before.
Chorkies are clever little dogs and they love to please which in short means they are easy to train. However, their training has to start early and it has to be consistent for these little dogs to understand what is expected of them. The trouble is that because they are so adorably small and cute, Chorkies are often allowed to get away with things that larger dogs would never be allowed to get away with. This can lead to all sorts of behavioural issues which includes "small dog syndrome", a condition that sees little dogs turn into quite hard to live with and difficult to manage neurotic characters.
They respond very well to positive reinforcement, but do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy handed training methods because they are sensitive little dogs which in short could well result in a dog becoming shy, withdrawn and timid. It’s important to offer high value treats when training a Chorkie and to limit the amount of rewards they are given to prevent them from putting on too much weight. It is far better to offer fewer good quality rewards rather than lots of cheaper, lower value ones when training any sort of very small dog.
Chorkies are not a good choice for people with young children because of their tiny size and the fact they may get injured albeit accidentally by a younger child. When frightened, a Chorkie might well snap at a younger child so contact is best avoided. They are a good choice for families with older children who know how to behave and handle such a tiny dog. With this said, any interaction between children and a Chorkie should be supervised by an adult to make sure things go smoothly.
They are very social little dogs by nature and as such they generally get on well with other dogs if they have been well socialised from a young age that is. However, because Chorkies are so small, care has to be taken when they are around any larger dogs just in case they get injured by accident through a bit of rough play. Chorkies still have terrier in them and as such, they will think nothing of chasing a small pet or animal and this includes cats although if they have grown up with a family cat in a household, they do usually get on well together.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Chorkie is between 10 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like so many other dogs, the Chorkie is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues that affect their parent breeds which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these charming little dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Chorkies need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Chorkies are considered low-shedding little dogs, but they still need to be groomed regularly to keep their coats tidy and their skin in good condition. Regular brushing also helps reinforce the bond these little dogs form with their owners and they really love all the one-to-one attention they get during a grooming session.
Keeping an eye on a dog's nails and having them trimmed when necessary should be part of a grooming routine and because Chorkies are prone to dental issues, it's important for dogs to have their teeth checked and cleaned on a regular basis so that if there is a problem brewing, it can be picked up quickly and dealt with as necessary.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to carefully and gently clean them if they are dirty or if there is too much wax building up in them which can lead to a painful infection taking hold and which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
Chorkies are clever little dogs and therefore they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded and healthy little dogs. As such a good 30 minutes exercise a day is essential. A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these lively little dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Chorkie puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs for this very reason.
If you get a Chorkie puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Chorkie, you would need to pay anything from £300 to over £500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Chorkie in northern England would be £17.79 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.22 a month (quote as of June 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £15 - £25 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Chorkie and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £500 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Chorkie would be between £35 to £70 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree puppy.
Click 'Like' if you love Chorkies.