Everyone is familiar with Shih Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers. They take the world by storm, being some of the most favored small dogs you see around. So, what happens when you mesh these two adorable, silky-haired pups together?
White, blue, black, red, white, fawn, and brown
Single owners, families, apartment living, multi-pet households
Spunky, energetic, lovable, docile, brave
You get this adorable ball of fluff. These puppies combine the brave, high energy of the Yorkie and the relaxed, amiable nature of the Shih Tzu to make one a well-rounded canine. Let’s get to know this breed a little better.
Shorkie Tzu Characteristics
Shorkie Tzu Puppies
It seems even the prices of designer dogs keep going up, so expect some to be on the high end. We do recommend using some caution here. Because this is a hybrid breed, backyard breeding and puppy mill situations are, unfortunately, quite common. These situations happen when people acquire two dogs and overbreed them for profit or gain.
Many times, these dogs live in unfavorable living conditions and don’t receive proper health checks. Always make sure that your selected breeder is credible and has a history of successful litters.
If you love the idea of adopting, you can also try to find one of these hybrid cuties at a local rescue or shelter. If you adopt, vetting, spay or neuter, and microchipping have likely already taken place.
These lovable pups are the perfect apartment dog.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Shorkie Tzu
A Shorkie Tzu is a very spunky, intelligent pooch—and it’s not always a positive thing. This mix can be downright ornery and stubborn—especially if their agenda is different from yours. While Shih Tzu’s are a bit more relaxed, the Yorkie is notorious for having quite the attitude.
These frisky little boogers can be quite challenging for novice owners if they take after the Yorkie parent. They don’t have characteristics that make them incompatible with novice owners, but you might have your hands full for the first few years.
These little dogs can be the best companion animals because—although they want you to think they are tough, they are the biggest snuggle bugs on the planet. These dogs love nothing more than to be glued to their ownership.
This breed might be particular about who they favor.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Shorkie Tzus can make absolutely marvelous additions to many homes. These little dogs would be perfect for kids, older adults, and even people living in smaller apartments. However, these dogs might be a little yappy, so it will ultimately depend on how quiet you need them to be.
Because of the spunky nature of the Yorkie, we do recommend this breed for children 6 years and older. This way, the child is old enough to respect the animal and vice versa. Because they can be attention hogs and a little needy, they might get jealous, annoyed, or snappy and young children.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
The Shorkie Tzu can make an excellent playmate in a multi-pet household. However, this breed can suffer from little dog syndrome, thinking they’re much bigger than they are. If you have any potentially aggressive larger dogs, this can be a recipe for disaster.
Always use your best judgment and try to match up canine personalities accordingly.
Shorkie Tzus are so small that they can coexist peacefully alongside cats with no significant issues to mention. They might even wind up being the best of buddies.
Even though Shorkies don’t have a huge prey drive response, they should still never be around smaller cage animals without close supervision.
Things to Know When Owning a Shorkie Tzu:
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Shorkie Tzus can be quite picky little dogs regarding what’s going in their food bowl. You might find that plain dry kibble just doesn’t cut it. They might want something a little more savory to be satisfied.
Also, Shih Tzu’s are prone to dental problems, which can trickle down to the Shorkie. Softer food might work better for this breed—whether you choose a delicious wet food or semi-moist selection. You can even pour broths made for dogs over top of regular kibble.
Many owners are adopting the concept of homemade or raw dog food diets. These types are supposed to be a more natural approach where you have control over exactly what goes into your pup’s mouth. That way, you can avoid fillers and artificial additives that can impact the health of your dog.
Of course, any diet you choose for your Shorkie Tzu should have the approval of your vet.
Shorkie Tzus need lots of time to burn off steam, but they also love cuddle time, so a good balance is required. Even though the Shorkie Tzu will be full of energy, they don’t require too much strenuous exercise per day. They need roughly 30 minutes to stay happy and healthy.
You can break this time up for a morning and evening stroll—or take them out in the yard for some physical games.
The Shorkie Tzu is stubborn but easy to train for the most part. The biggest issue with the breed is house training, as is often seen in smaller breeds. These pups require patience and understanding—but most of all, they benefit from a strict routine.
Repetition and consistency are key to successful Shorkie training. These little guys and gals have brilliant minds and can easily pick up new concepts, being positively thrilled with praise.
Shorkie Tzus are bound to have long, silky hair like both parents. So, because of their unique fur situation, they require daily brushing and monthly professional grooming sessions. They need trims and cuts galore, leaving lots of room for pampering.
Like any other dog, these pups will need a bath every 4 to 6 weeks. We should note that Shorkies might be super sensitive and prone to allergies, so we recommend fragrance-free shampoos.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Because this is a hybrid breed, the Shorkie is susceptible to both of the parent breed’s health problems. This can pose some unique issues as they age. However, with regular vetting and appropriate breeding, most of these issues should be averted.
During their first year of life, your pup will get to know their vet very well. They will have routine checkups, vaccinations, spay and neuter surgery, microchipping, and any other applicable care. Afterward, they benefit from annual checkups unless there is another development in between.
Here are a few health issues your Shorkie might develop as they age:
Male vs Female
Because this is a hybrid, it’s hard to tell the differences between males and females. Yorkies are naturally smaller than Shih Tzus so that either gender could vary a bit in size.
One notable difference is that unaltered males might be prone to marking behavior. For this reason, it’s very important to get your Shorkie fixed once they reach the age of sexual maturity unless advised otherwise by your vet.
When it comes to personality, it’s hard to tell what you’ll get. Shorkies can be very versatile in their traits, but many males exhibit small dog syndrome more often.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Shorkie Tzu
1. The Shorkie Tzu can rock all sorts of cool hairdos.
Both parent breeds have long coats that need routine grooming. This means you can get super creative with your hairdo selections. You can choose from something traditional or something crazy—it’s up to you. Plus, you can decorate their coats with all kinds of cute accessories.
2. Both parent breeds are from very different parts of the world.
The Shih Tzu and Yorkie come from different continents—Europe and Asia. The Yorkshire Terrier comes from England, and the Shih Tzu comes from Tibet.
3. Shorkie Tzus are brachycephalic.
Shih Tzu’s are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have shorter muzzles than most dogs. Other breeds that share this characteristic are Pugs, Boxers, and Pekingese dogs.
If you want a fun-loving Velcro dog that will follow you wherever you go, the Shorkie will be a perfect pick. Despite their inclination to bark, they can make very good apartment companions—and they fit in with virtually any lifestyle.
If you’re really interested in one of these cuties, you can always adopt one from a local rescue shelter. If you plan to buy a pup, make sure the breeder is reputable to avoid bad breeding situations.
Featured Image Credit: Sue Thatcher, Shutterstock