As designer breeds have taken off, one that has become increasingly popular is the Chorkie. A mix between a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire Terrier, a Chorkie has a wide array of appearances and traits that they can inherit from each parent.
Still, they’re loyal pups and extremely smart. They can be the perfect snuggle companion on a rainy day and full of energy for games just a few moments later. Additionally, their small size makes them great travel companions.
6 – 9 inches
8 – 15 pounds
13 – 15 years
Brown, white, silver, blue, and black
Families without small kids, apartment living, and multi-pet households
Loyal, energetic, bubbly, loving, goofy, vocal, and smart
But is a Chorkie right for you or your family? Keep reading, and we break down everything that you need to know about these adorable companions.
Before you purchase a Chorkie puppy, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. While there are tons of perks for these adorable dogs, they’re not always the ideal pets for every home.
They’re a high-energy breed, but their smaller size means that they’re well suited for apartment living — you should still take them for a daily walk, though. While they’re extremely smart dogs, they can be challenging to housebreak.
Their smaller size means that they have a longer lifespan, and their designer dog status gives them fewer health concerns than most purebreds.
Finally, while they socialize well with other animals, their smaller size and playful attitude mean they can easily get injured around larger animals or small kids.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Chorkie
While the Chorkie can be a bit stubborn at times, especially while housebreaking, there’s little doubt that they are extremely intelligent dogs. If you’re looking for a pup that you can teach different tricks, a Chorkie is an excellent choice.
Just stick with tons of positive reinforcement because they can get timid and introverted when they feel like they’re in trouble.
But most of the time, these are incredibly loyal and playful pups. They have bubbly, energetic, and goofy personalities, making them fun dogs to play with. However, they’re known to be a little vocal, so expect a few yaps throughout the day. While you might not mind too much, it’s something that you’ll want to get control of early on. Otherwise, your Chorkie’s watchdog instincts will take over, and they will yap at every noise or movement that they hear or see. This might not matter if you have a house and a bit of land, but if you’re in an apartment, this can lead to problems with neighbors. Fortunately, you can let your pup know when they can bark and when they don’t need to with training.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
The Chorkie is a great family dog, although you should be a little wary if you have smaller children still learning to walk. While the Chorkie is loving and playful, they’re also small. If your child falls on your Chorkie, it can lead to the dog getting hurt or nipping the child. This can be exacerbated if your Chorkie actively seeks out your child to play with them. That makes them a great friend for your child, but it also increases the likelihood of an accident that can hurt either one of them.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
Just like a Chorkie is a great dog for kids, they get along amazingly well with other pets. However, their smaller size can present a problem. They seem to forget how small they are when around larger pups.
This means your Chorkie will try to play games with much larger dogs, which can lead to accidental injuries. Therefore, it’s best to avoid getting a Chorkie if you already have larger pets in the home.
But if you have smaller dogs, cats, or other pets, a Chorkie makes a great choice and will have no problem getting along with the other pets in the home.
Finally, keep in mind that, like with all dogs, early socialization is critical for the best chance of success. While a Chorkie naturally gets along with other pets, if you have an older pet that has never been around other pets, they can get scared. This can cause them to act out and lead to problems.
Things to Know When Owning a Chorkie
Before you head out to adopt a Chorkie, you need to be aware of a few basic care requirements. None of these factors should deter you from owning a Chorkie, but it should give you a better idea of what to expect when you bring them home.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Due to their smaller size, Chorkies don’t eat a ton of food. Typically, 1 cup of dog food a day is enough, but you should get dog food that’s made specifically for smaller dogs. This will give them smaller bits of kibble to chew, which is both easier and safer for them to eat.
Choose a high-quality kibble free of filler foods, as this is the best way to prevent future health problems. Due to the Chorkie’s smaller size, high-quality food doesn’t cost that much more per month and can save you a ton of money in vet bills and extend your pup’s life.
While a Chorkie might be a smaller pup, they have a decent amount of energy. They typically need 1 full active hour per day. Due to their smaller size, they can meet these exercise requirements in a small environment, like an apartment, but they still benefit from daily walks.
You should strive for about 5 miles of walking per week, but this isn’t a stringent requirement. Just try to get your Chorkie out as much as possible to keep them both happy and healthy!
Overall, a Chorkie is an extremely intelligent dog, which means you can train them to do a wide array of tricks. But while a Chorkie is smart, they do have a bit of a stubborn streak.
This is most evident during housebreaking. Both Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas are notoriously challenging to housebreak, and the Chorkie inherits this trait.
To train a Chorkie, both consistency and positive reinforcement are essential. While a Chorkie might be stubborn, they love to please their owners, a fact that you want to make use of when training them.
Since a Chorkie can have either a short- or long-haired coat, their grooming requirements vary slightly. For short-haired Chorkies, we recommend brushing them once or twice a week, while long-haired Chorkies might require daily brushing.
Additionally, bathe both short- and long-haired Chorkies once every month or two using high-quality shampoos and conditioners. Finally, brush their teeth a few times a week to keep up with their oral hygiene.
Health and Conditions 🏥
While the Chorkie is a relatively healthy breed, there are a few genetic issues that you should keep an eye out for.
To keep them happy and healthy, the best thing that you can do for your pup is to keep them on a healthy diet and meet all their daily exercise requirements.
Male vs. Female
While there aren’t many differences between a male and female Chorkie, there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, until neutering, males can be more difficult to housebreak, but after neutering, females become more difficult to housebreak.
Another difference is that males tend to need even more attention than females. But while females are a bit more independent, all Chorkies, regardless of sex, need a ton of attention.
Finally, while the biggest determining factor of their size is which parent breed they take after, males tend to be slightly larger than females. This doesn’t account for much of a difference, but a male and female with the exact same genetics might have an inch difference in height.
Neither male nor female Chorkies will be large, but females tend to be just a bit smaller.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Chorkie
1. You can have either a long-haired or short-haired Chorkie
Because of the differing hair lengths of their parent breeds, you can find both short- and long-haired Chorkies. Also, if your Chorkie takes after their Yorkshire Terrier lineage, they’ll be hypoallergenic, but if they take after their Chihuahua parent, they won’t be.
2. Chorkies are prone to separation anxiety
If you don’t have any other dogs for your Chorkie to hang out with when you leave the house, you and your Chorkie might run into problems. They don’t handle time alone well, so keep that in mind if you have to head to the office every day and are thinking of adopting a Chorkie.
3. Chorkies act like large dogs despite their small size
The Chorkie is considered a small companion/lap dog, but it seems like the Chorkie missed the memo. Despite their small size, they’re a bit fearless and love playing with larger pups.
While this can be adorable, if you have a larger dog that is a bit clumsy, they can accidentally injure your Chorkie.
Chorkies are great family pets that are highly adaptable to a wide array of situations. So, whether you’re looking for a companion to travel the world with you or a lap dog to snuggle with while watching your favorite TV shows, a Chorkie can be the perfect addition to your home.
Just keep in mind that they don’t like being left alone, so if you’re working a 9-5 job with no one at the house, this might not be the time to adopt one of these adorable pups.
Featured Image Credit: Ian McGlasham, Shutterstock