If you’re looking to buy a small dog as your next companion and are looking around to see what type of dogs fit the bill, you’ve probably already realised that there is a lot of choice out there, with a wide range of different small dog breeds and types on the market! When you start to add in hybrid dog types too – dogs produced from the deliberate crossing of two unrelated breeds – the choice gets even larger, which can make it easy to miss the right choice.
One of the less well known but very nice small dog types you might come across in your searches is the Shorkie – and this is a hybrid dog type produced when you cross a Shih Tzu with a Yorkshire terrier.
Shorkies are not, as mentioned, one of the most common hybrid crossings – but they have a lot to recommend them to people who are looking for a small, loving and very pretty small dog type.
If you want to find out more about the Shorkie or are trying to decide if a Shorkie makes a good pet, this article will explain the core traits of this dog type to get you started. Read on to learn more.
A Shorkie is a hybrid or cross breed dog, which means that they are not considered to be pedigrees. If you buy a Shorkie, you will not be able to register them with The Kennel Club – and that you won’t be able to find a formal breed standard before buying one in order to find out more about the dog’s desired appearance and temperament.
In order to recognise and understand what makes a Shorkie, you need to look at a combination of the core traits of their two parent breeds, and understand that each individual Shorkie may be quite variable in terms of which of these traits they display.
According to Pets4Homes, the average advertised price of Shorkies for sale falls at around the £500 mark, which is lower than most pedigree dog breeds and the majority of the more common and popular hybrid crossings too. However, £500 or so still represents a considerable investment in your future companion, and so it is important to choose the right puppy carefully, and not rush into a purchase from the first litter you see offered for sale.
The day to day and ongoing cost of caring for a Shorkie is not overly high either – small dog types are cheaper to own in general than their larger counterparts, which again, makes them a viable choice of dog for owners that might not be able to fund the care of a larger breed.
Shorkie average between about 15-35cm tall at the withers, and weigh between around 3-7kg. Whilst this makes all Shorkies small dogs, it is still quite a range of variance, meaning that some Shorkies will be tiny whilst others will be merely small.
Shorkies can also be quite variable in appearance, with some looking a lot more like one of their parent breeds than another, and some being a very balanced mix of both. Generally, first generation Shorkies are more likely to resemble one parent breed more than second and subsequent generation crosses, but again, traits can be variable.
Shorkies may have a delicate, pointed face like the Yorkshire terrier or a rounder, furrier more teddy bear face like a Shih Tzu, often with a distinctive square appearance. Coat textures too can range from short to long, and silky to fluffy, and Shorkies can be seen in colours ranging from black and tan or black and blue to all white or all black, with many other colours accepted as well.
Shorkies are alert, watchful dogs that will often bark if something is going on outside or someone is approaching the house, and they can be quite excitable too. This makes owning a dog of this type rather entertaining, but also means that they can be a bit of a handful at times as well!
Shorkies are very personable and affectionate with their owners, but they may be shy or wary around strangers. They often take a while to warm up to newcomers, and require careful introductions to new friends.
Dogs of this type require plenty of early socialisation to ensure that they get on well with other dogs, and learn the rules of safe, friendly play. They don’t tend to be shy and retiring, and are rarely daunted by larger dogs.
Shorkies need a lot of company and don’t do well if left alone for large parts of the day, preferring to have someone around for companionship and security. They need a couple of fun, varied daily walks, but aren’t among the most onerous of dogs to care for when it comes to keeping them fit and active.
The Shorkie can make a good choice of dog for first-time owners, with some caveats. They require a strong, consistent leader that is prepared to train and socialise the dog properly, and not treat them as a toy or baby.
The Shorkie’s alert, outgoing nature also means that rules must be integrated into the dog’s daily life, to keep them from becoming overly pushy or dominant. They also need plenty of attention, and are not a good choice of dog if you will be out at work for most of the day.