The backgrounds of the parent breeds of the Shorgi couldn’t be more different. The Shih Tzu is an old breed with a history that goes back centuries to Asia. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi traces its roots to medieval times in Belgium, once known as Flanders. Both pups have distinct personalities that make the Shorgi a unique dog on many fronts.
10 – 13 inches
10 – 30 pounds
10 – 15 years
white, fawn, red, gray, black
Active families looking for an affectionate dog that is easy to train
Loyal, loving, friendly, intelligent
Both the Shih Tzu and Pembroke Welsh Corgi are adorable dogs, ranking 20 and 11 respectively on the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) list of the most popular breeds. When you get to know these pups, you’ll understand why. They make it so darn easy to fall in love with them! The two breeds differ in several significant areas. The dominant parent’s DNA will determine which traits stand out from the rest.
It’s always a smart idea to research a breed before you buy. Each parent has a long history in their respective roles. That will show up in the personality of the Shorgi, both good and not-so-good. Remember that early training and socialization can mold your pet’s temperament to something more well-suited for your family and lifestyle. However, some traits run deep.
The Shih Tzu is a laid-back dog that can adapt to city life. It is an affectionate pup but doesn’t like to be left alone. This one loves people too much! Likewise, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has an independent streak, which isn’t unusual for working dogs like this herder. However, it makes up for its short stature with a tendency to bark or howl to get attention. It’s a habit you’ll have to curb as a puppy.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Shorgi
Both parent breeds are sweethearts. They love people and adore making new friends. Early socialization is vital to make sure to encourage this quality in your pet. The more things you expose your Shorgi to as a pup, the less fearful it’ll be later in life. If you want an easygoing dog, that’s how to ensure it’ll happen. It’s also essential when dealing with an intelligent pet like this guy.
Your dog needs mental stimulation because it’s baked into its DNA. Bear in mind that puppies also go through a fear impact period between 8–12 weeks. Your job is to make sure that your pet has positive experiences when young to make them a good, well-behaved dog later in life.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
The Shorgi will make a delightful addition to your family because both parent breeds bring so many desirable traits to the table. Your pet will play nice with the kids and may even try to herd them. However, it’s essential to teach your children how to handle and play with your Shorgi without hurting it. As a herding dog, the Shorgi may be protective of your family. That makes introducing it to people vital.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Your Shorgi can get along with other dogs if you introduce your puppy to new canine friends early. Small animals and cats may prove challenging. Surprisingly, the prey drive is stronger in the Shih Tzu than in the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You may notice some wild chases before your cat sets the record straight about who is the boss in the household.
Things to Know When Owning a Shorgi:
With the preliminaries covered, it’s time to get down to the day-to-day matters of owning a Shorgi. The pup is a doll that needs some gentle guidance in the beginning. We’ve discussed the barking issues already. The other concern is mouthiness. Puppies often nip when young. It’s a habit that you’ll need to correct early on before it becomes a problem.
The other thing to consider is separation anxiety. Both parent breeds are less tolerant of being left alone for hours on end. That makes the Shorgi a better choice for families, especially if there’s always someone at home.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
It’s imperative to feed a food meant for your pet’s size and life stage. The nutritional needs of puppies differ from adults, where the focus is on growth and development. The former will have higher requirements for protein and fat as a result. We recommend starting with three to four small meals a day to ensure that your Shorgi’s blood sugar stays stable.
After six months, you can dial back to two times a day. Make sure that your pup has plenty of fresh water available at all times. We suggest keeping treats for training only. They should only comprise 10% or less of your Shorgi’s daily caloric intake.
Daily exercise is essential, given both parent breeds’ propensity for obesity. Walks in the neighborhood or runs at the doggie park are excellent ways to reinforce your pup’s canine social manners. It’ll introduce your pet to new situations, which is beneficial for your dog’s mental health. Both the Shih Tzu and Pembroke Welsh Corgi are playful pups. They’ll enjoy this active time.
Just remember that the Shih Tzu in your Shorgi doesn’t tolerate heat very well. Take it down a notch if the temperatures or humidity climb. You can confine outdoor time to the cooler times of the day to minimize the risk of any issues.
The Shorgi’s intelligence will make training easy peasy. The essential things to remember are that this pup is eager to please but sensitive to harsh words. Be patient with your pet because your dog wants to get it right and make you happy. You can make it easier for your Shorgi with daily lessons and some treats for motivation. Positive reinforcement is the key to success.
How much effort you must put into grooming depends on which breed is dominant when it comes to your pet’s coat. If your pup is more like a Shih Tzu, it won’t shed much, if at all. However, your pooch will also have long, thin hair that’ll require daily attention. A pin brush is ideal for keeping your dog’s coat looking its best and matt-free. Some find it easier to keep their pets in a puppy cut.
On the other hand, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi sheds—a lot. It has a thick double coat, which is necessary for a herding dog. Your pup will lose its undercoat in the spring and fall, leading to even more shedding. Brushing your Shorgi frequently can keep the hair in check. In either case, it’s also essential to check your pup’s ears often and clean them as needed. The same applies to its toenails.
Health and Conditions 🏥
While both parent breeds are relatively healthy, the concerns rest with the Shih Tzu if its brachycephalic traits are dominant. Their short faces and other related genetics can increase this pup’s risk of heatstroke, eye disease, and upper respiratory disorders. Pre-breeding testing of the parents and puppy health screenings are imperative.
Male vs. Female
Male and female Shorgis are relatively close in size, making it a non-issue in choosing either sex. The personality and enjoyment you’ll get from your pet depend on the care and training you provide. Either one will make a delightful addition to your family. Both sexes are excellent choices for the first-time dog owner.
We suggest discussing the question of spaying or neutering your Shorgi with your vet. Some research has shown an elevated risk of some cancers in Shih Tzus. There’s also the matter of pet obesity. Either surgery will require a diet adjustment to prevent weight gain.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Shorgi
1. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi Is a True Working Dog
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a working man’s dog. This pup was a jack-of-all-trades, taking on the role of guardian, herder, and of course, companion.
2. The Shih Tzu Has Friends in High Places
The Shih Tzu’s native land is China, where the breed was a favorite of the royal families. The breed was unknown to outsiders for many decades. The secret of this sweet and affectionate pup got out, and the rest, they say, is history.
3. Many Famous People Have Fallen for the Charm of the Shih Tzu
It’s hard not to fall in love with a Shih Tzu. Just ask Vidal Sassoon, Jane Seymour, or Queen Elizabeth.
The Shorgi is an ideal pet for anyone who wants a smaller pup that is affectionate and playful. That describes this dog to the tee. It’s a loyal companion that is eager to please with the intelligence to make training a snap if you’re consistent with its lessons. Positive reinforcement is the best plan, with treats to cement your bond and provide the necessary motivation.