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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021


The Chorkie also known as the York-chi, Yorkie-chi, Yorkiechi and the Chia-Yorkie is a mix of the Yorkshire Terrier and the Chihuahua. She is a small dog with a lifespan of 10 to 15 years and is in the groups of terrier and toy, with talents of companion and watchdog. She is an affectionate but willful dog best suited to single owners, or families with older children not younger.

Here is the Chorkie at a Glance
Other Names Chia-Yorkie, Yorkie-Chi, Yorkiehuahua, Chihuahua Yorkshire Terrier mix
Average height 6 – 9 inches
Average weight 8 – 15 pounds
Coat type Long, can be soft or coarse
Hypoallergenic? Can be if have the coat like the Yorkie
Grooming Needs Moderate to moderate high
Shedding Low to none
Brushing Low to Moderate – two to three times a week if she has long hair, once a week if not.
Touchiness Moderate
Tolerant to Solitude? Not at all
Barking Moderate
Tolerance to Heat Low to moderate
Tolerance to Cold Low
Good Family Pet? Good to very good
Good with Children? Low to Moderate – neither parent dogs are great for children either
Good with other Dogs? As above
Good with other Pets? As above – early socialization helps
A roamer or Wanderer? Low to moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Yes
Good Pet for new Owner? Good – training can be harder than some
Trainability Moderate to good, they have the intelligence but can be stubborn
Exercise Needs Moderate
Tendency to get Fat Low to moderate
Major Health Concerns Slipping patellas, heart problems
Other Health Concerns Skin problems, allergies, eye problems
Life Span 10 – 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $400 – $700
Average Annual Medical Expense $450 – $550
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $500 – $700

Where does the Chorkie come from?

With an increase in popularity of new designer dog breeds the Chorkie is presumed to have been first bred around the 1990s. Not much is known about where or by whom though the idea would probably have been to create a breed with the best of both dogs. However the problem with hybrids or designer dogs is there are no guarantees when it comes to the offspring. You may get a great blend of their best traits, you may get one of their worst traits. In many cases of hybrids the parents may themselves be cross breeds already getting second, third and so on generations. In the case of the Chorkie though they are always a cross of a Yorkie and and Chihuahua as Chorkies themselves do not always breed true. Their small size make them popular and while they may not get awards for beauty they are certainly cute dog. Here is a look at the Yorkie and Chihuahua to get a better sense of the Chorkie.

The Yorkshire Terrier

In England in the mid 19th century Scottish workers came looking for work in Yorkshire bringing with them a dog called the Paisley Terrier or Clydesdale Terrier. They were used for catching rats and mice around the mills. These were crossed with other terriers and in 1861 we see the first Yorkshire Terrier in a show called a broken haired Scotch Terrier. In 1870 they started to refer to them as Yorkshire Terriers because that is where most of the breeding and development had happened. In America the earliest record of one being born there is in 1872. Today the Yorkie as they are often referred to is a confident and clever small dog with quite an intrepid spirit. They can have a range of personalities, some are more cuddly, some are more active, some are mischievous. One thing most Yorkies have in common though is if you spoil them too much they can become quite a handful!

The Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is thought to be either a dog descended from Central or South American origins or one that is descended from dogs brought over from China to Mexico by traders. There are two varieties the long haired and the short haired. The short-haired was discovered in Chihuahua a Mexican state in the 1850s and Americans visiting loved him and brought him home. The long-haired variety is believed to have been created by breeding them with the Pomeranians or the Papillons and they became quite popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Today he ranks 11th in popularity out of 155 breeds recognized by the AKC. He is a confident and bold dog who has a lot in common with the terrier. He is alert, sensitive and loves company and affection. Quite often he bonds with one person more closely in a family and can be reserved with people he does not know. He can also be a little timid if he has not been socialized from a young age.


The Chorkie is an affectionate and sweet dog, loving, playful, and energetic too. She can be willful sometimes which means training is not always smooth sailing though she is smart enough. She has a lot of confidence and sometimes suffer from small dog syndrome (challenging dogs of other much larger sizes). They need strong leadership as otherwise they can have behavioral problems. She is loyal though, bubbly and bright and happy. She can be scared around strangers and needs socialization to bring out the best in her. She can also be somewhat excitable.

What does a Chorkie look like

She is just 6 – 9 inches tall and weighs between 8 and 15 pounds. She is a small dog and may be called a toy dog. She can look more like a Yorkie or more like a Chihuahua and appearance can vary quite a bit even in the same litter. Generally they have a medium to long coat of the Yorkshire Terrier that can be soft or coarse with a head shaped like the Chihuahua and ears that can be either pointed or droopy. Common colors are brown, chocolate, black, gray, white, speckled, merle, spotted and red. Legs are sometimes tall, but they can also be short and the body tends to be long and athletic looking. Her nose is small and black and her eyes are brown or black and bright. She has small feet and a sickle tail that she carries high but that can vary in length.

Training and Exercise Needs

How much exercise does she need?

Considering she is such a small dog she still needs a surprising amount of activity to keep her healthy and release her energy. She will get a lot of that in the house or apartment, add in some play time with you too. Then she should get a couple of short daily walks and perhaps some fetch time, a trip to the dog park, and so on. She will get mental stimulation too this way and it will lead to her being a lot calmer and having less of a yappy dog attitude. Since she is prone to weight problems exercise will help with this. If you have access to a yard of any size that will be a great bonus.

Can I train her easily?

She is a smart cookie so training is not too hard for in terms of intelligence and not understanding what you want from her. The problem could be that she has inherited some stubbornness and is deliberately not doing what you want her to do. They key to her training is establishing yourself clearly and firmly as her pack leader. She must know she is not the boss, you are. Be calm, fair, consistent. Use praise and treats to reward her when she does what she is supposed to. Avoid getting frustrated, she may be sensitive to harsh tones. Get it right and she will train fine, though you may need to work at first on housebreaking as they are prone to peeing where they want to even though they are meant to be house trained.

Living with a Chorkie

Grooming requirements

Usually the Chorkie is a light to no shedding dog so you will not have to worry about hair on your work clothes or furniture. Some Chorkies are better for allergy sufferers than others if she takes after her Yorkie side. But if you have a long haired Chorkie there is going to be extra work needed on that coat as it can tangle easily and you may have to take her to a groomers to get it taken care of which add to the cost of ownership. Bathing should be done once a week or at least once every two weeks as the hair is more like human hair and can start to smell. The hair around her eyes, ears, inside the ears and around the nails will need trimming regularly too.

Apart from this she will need her teeth brushed two to three times a week, her nails trimmed and her ears wiped clean once a week. Nail clipping is not like human clipping – dogs have blood vessels and nerves low down in their nails so you cannot clip very short or you will hurt them and cause bleeding. This may be something you decide to also leave to the groomer to do.

What she is like with children and other animals

Really if you want her to be good with children you have to socialize her and train her from a young age, and raise her with them. She is small which makes her nervous especially around small children who do not know how to touch her gently and she may snap as a result. Neither parent dogs are known for being especially great with children either. This is not to say she is not any good in a family with children, it just means it may be better to wait till the children are older so they know how to act with her. When it comes to other dogs the Chorkie can be aggressive and forgetful of her size so again socialization is key and it maybe an idea to keep her on a leash when out.

Other information

She will need ½ to 1 cup of quality dry dog food each day split into two meals. She is something of a barker and will bark each time someone walks past for example. They will also bark when they play. With the size she is, the Chorkie is best in moderate weather. If you do live somewhere that has especially cold winters get some doggy sweaters for her and watch her feet in any snow. She is suitable for apartment living as long as she gets to burn off some energy.

Health Concerns

Health concerns are not widely known at the moment being that they are fairly new but all puppies could inherit their parents health conditions or the things they may be prone to. For the Chorkie she could suffer from heart problems, allergies or skin problems, eye problems and slipping patellas.

Costs involved in owning a Chorkie

There are always costs involved when becoming a pet owner and it is important you are prepared for that so that you are properly able to look after her. The price a Chorkie puppy at the moment is about $400 – $700 depending on how trendy they are, the health and age of the puppy, the breeder and where you are. If the breeder has not already done so you will have to pay for certain initial medical care like deworming and blood tests. She will need to spayed and have micro chip put in too. You will need a carrier, a collar and leash, food bowls and a crate also. These will be about $400 – $500. If you have a long-haired Chorkie she may need long hair grooming and then other ongoing costs will include food, emergency savings for medical care, training, medical check ups, licensing, toys, treats. This could be about $975 – $1100.


Getting a Chorkie may be a great choice if you live in an apartment and have no barking rules to worry about, want a lap dog for company, have older children. They are loyal and will likely bond more closely with the person who is their main care taker. They may be harder to train but they will be a wonderful warmth of love when the y curl up with you, and they will certainly make you laugh on many occasions.

Featured Image Credit: Ian McGlasham, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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