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Shorkie Tzu

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Shorkie Tzu is a small cross with a life span of 13 to 16 years. His parents are purebred dogs, the Shih Tzu and the Yorkshire Terrier. He is a mellow and loyal mixed dog well suited to most owners, even potentially ones with allergies.

The Shorkie Tzu is a loyal dog who would be great for most people looking for a small lapdog type companion. He is happy and affectionate and will make you smile with his antics. He does not need a yard or a lot of outdoor time but his house training may require more patience as he can take longer than many other dogs in this respect.

Here is the Shorkie Tzu at a Glance
Average height 6 to 14 inches
Average weight 7 to 15 pounds
Coat type Medium to long, silky
Hypoallergenic? Can be (Yorkshire Terrier is)
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low to moderate
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Low to moderate
Tolerance to Cold Moderate to good
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good to excellent
Trainability Moderate
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Fairly high
Major Health Concerns Patellar Luxation, eye problems, kidney and bladder problems, liver problems, Umbilical hernia, PSS, hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea,
Other Health Concerns Allergies, Hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, reverse sneezing, snuffles
Life Span 13 to 16 years
Average new Puppy Price $375 to $1750
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $530 to $630

Where does the Shorkie Tzu come from?

The Shorkie Tzu is a deliberately bred mixed dog, one of many in a group now referred to as Designer dogs. It is understood that he like a lot of these dogs was first bred in the United States. The intention was to probably to create an attractive lapdog who is friendly and smart and possibly hypoallergenic. Some breeders intend to take him past first generation breeding and enter the stages necessary to create eventually a purebred dog. When buying a designer dog be careful to research the breeder carefully first as there are a lot of puppy mills and bad breeders out there that have used this trend as a means to make money. Also keep in mind that with first generation dogs there is little control that can be had over the genes so the looks and personalities can vary even in the same litter.

The Shih-Tzu

The Shih-Tzu comes from either Tibet or China and is one of the oldest breeds still around. They were treasured as companion dogs and were referred to as little lion dogs. They were docile, intelligent and happy. The first breeding pair to leave China and come to England happened in 1928. In 1969 he was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

The Shih-Tzu today is still a great companion dog. He wants to please you and be with you, he is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He is happiest when in your lap and is a happy little dog when he has lots of attention. He can be lively and likes to play and is friendly too.

The Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier comes from dogs brought by the Scottish to Yorkshire during the Industrial Revolution in England. Those dogs were larger and were thought to be ratters, catching rats and other vermin in mills and places of work. They were then crossed with other terriers leading to a small dog first seen in 1861 in a bench show. In 1870 the breed he was called a Yorkshire Terrier because that is where most of the breeding was done. In the 1870s he came to America.

The Yorkie as he is often called is a great companion, small, endearing and adventurous. There are a range of personalities, some are calm and cuddly, some are are more spirited and outgoing. Yorkies should not be spoiled though as they can have a tendency to adopt bad habits quickly and then be very difficult about training them out of them. Early socialization and training are important with him to get him used to children, other pets, and other experiences.


The Shorkie Tzu is a sweet and affectionate dog who loves to be with people and loves to have fun and play. He can be shy and mellow but he can also be strong willed. He loves to receive attention and affection and he is quite sensitive. He does not like being left alone for long periods of time. He is often very dedicated to his owner and can be energetic.

What does the Shorkie Tzu look like

He is a small dog weighing 7 to 15 pounds and measuring 6 to 14 inches tall. He can look like either parent and his coat can be medium to long, silky and soft. Common colors are golden, brown, tan and black though other colors or combinations are possible.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Shorkie Tzu need to be?

The Shorkie Tzu is just slightly active so he is small enough to be happy in an apartment and could be a good choice for owners who are not able to be too active. He can be energetic and playful and his indoor play with his toys and you is a part of his mental and physical exercise. He also needs some time outside but a couple of short walks is sufficient. He would enjoy the occasional trip to a dog park though or a place where he can be social and run free in safety. He is very quick so make sure he is in a secure area or very well trained. He loves especially to play with a small ball.

Does he train quickly?

Shorkies are usually moderately easy to train but some can be strong willed and they can have shorter attention spans so sessions need to be kept short and interesting. Be firm but fair and consistent and use positive techniques like rewards, praise and treats. He is sensitive so impatient and scolding are not going to work for him. House training can be harder though so expect that to take longer. Do not neglect early training and socialization just because he is small, it is still very important for him and for you.

Living with a Shorkie Tzu

How much grooming is needed?

He has moderate needs when it comes to grooming. His coat can tangle easily so daily brushing is needed. This will also keep it looking healthy and remove small debris. A bath should be given to him when he needs it and only a dog shampoo should be used. You may need to wipe his face daily to take care of tear stains. Taking him to a groomers to have him trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks is a good idea. They can also take care of his toe nails when they get too long. If his coat is like the Yorkies it will be low shedding and hypoallergenic. If it is more like the Shih-Tzu it may shed a bit more and is not hypoallergenic. Brush his teeth two to three times a week and check and wipe his ears once a week.

What is he like with children and other animals?

He is good with children, will be happy to play especially with older ones who know how to be careful with his size and will roll a ball around for him to chase. He is good with other pets too but can need some help especially with early socialization.

General information

He barks occasionally though some owners find he barks more often than that but training can help. He is alert and will bark to let you know of an intruder. He should be fed ½ to 1 cup of good quality dry dog food a day split into two meals.

Health Concerns

The Shorkie Tzu could inherit health issues from his parents such as Patellar Luxation, eye problems, kidney and bladder problems, liver problems, Umbilical hernia, PSS, hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea, Allergies, Hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, reverse sneezing and snuffles. Ask the breeder to show you health clearances for both parents to lessen the risk. Also visit the puppy before buying to see the conditions he is raised in.

Costs involved in owning a Shorkie Tzu

The Shorkie Tzu puppy could cost between $375 to $1750. Other costs include a carrier, crate, collar and leash, deworming, blood tests, shots, micro chipping and neautering and they come to between $360 to $400. Yearly basic medical needs like check ups, shots, flea prevetion and pet insurance come to between $435 to $535. Other yearly costs for things like food, treats, licsens, toys, training and grooming come to between $530 to $630.


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Featured Image Credit: Sue Thatcher, 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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