A lap dog, also known as Dorkie Terrier or Doxie Yorkie, is one of the cutest breeds around! They have some of the best qualities that you would want in a canine pet, that this crossbreed inherited from its parents.
If you want to know this pooch better, stay with us and find out the amazing facts about the Dorkie.
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What kind of dog is a Dorkie?
When you mix a Dachshund and a Yorkshire Terrier, you get their designer breed offspring, the Dorkie.
No one exactly knows how long the Dachshund Yorkie mix has been around, but they were intentionally bred during the ‘90s, somewhere in the US. As with most mixed breeds, the intention of creating Dorkies is to minimize the illnesses that its parents are prone to while producing a companion dog that is laid-back and adorable.
Although they’re not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), some organizations recognize them and other crossbreeds like the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Breed Registry (DRA), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), and International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
The feisty, short-legged Dachshund
Dachshunds were developed in the 1500s to be the perfect badger hunting machine.
Called by different nicknames like Wiener or Sausage dog, Hotdog, or Doxie, this fido’s spunky temperament helps them take down their prey. Their loud bark is perfect for signaling hunters of their location, and their big paddle paws are ideal for digging while waiting for their owners. Once they’ve done their job, their long flagpole tail becomes a handle for pulling them out of the dens.
Born of German origins, the Dachshund lost popularity after WW2 but quickly regained their status as family pets due to their charms.
They even made their way into court as Queen Victoria was known for keeping Pocket or Teacup Dachshunds who are only 9 inches (23 cm) tall and weigh 11 pounds (5 kg) or less.
Standard-sized Dachshunds have a height of 13 inches (33 cm) and above and can weigh 16 to 32 pounds (7 to 14.5 kg).
Don’t judge a Yorkshire Terrier by its cover
The 9th most popular dog breed in the US is the Yorkshire Terrier, and for a good reason. They have beautiful, hypoallergenic, and silky coats like human hair, and they’re almost loyal to a fault.
These lovable terriers went from ratters to house pets due to their charming nature.
You can find a cuter version – Teacup Yorkies weigh only around 2 to 4 pounds (1 to 2 kg) and stand at only 5 to 7 inches (13 to 18 cm).
Standard sized Yorkies have an average weight of 7 pounds (3 kg) and are 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) tall.
Despite their long locks, Yorkies have been described as “tomboyish” because of their strong and bubbly personality.
What does a Dorkie dog look like?
This designer dog generally has the endearing face of a Yorkie, with the short-legged compact body of the Dachshund.
They usually come with big floppy ears, brown eyes, and a black nose. All these add to their “aww” factor and create a forever-puppy effect.
How big will a Dorkie puppy get?
You can expect a Yorkie Dachshund mix to have a height of 5 to 10 inches (12 to 25 cm) and a weight of 5 to 12 pounds (2 to 5 kg). Females are often slightly smaller than males.
Yorkshire Terriers can keep growing until the age of 4, while Dachshunds reach their full-grown size by 12 months. For their mixed-breed offspring, their age of maturity can vary from 1 to 4 years old.
Whether your Dorkie falls on the smaller or larger part of the scale, they’re an excellent choice for apartment dwellers as they won’t need a lot of space to be happy.
Coat & Color: Are Dorkies hypoallergenic?
Dorkies aren’t allergy-friendly, but they’re considered low shedders. It’s still advisable to visit or spend a little time with this crossbreed to see if it would trigger your allergies.
If shedding isn’t an issue for you and you love surprises, you’ll be glad to know that this pooch can come in different coat types and colors!
The Dorkie can have a short, long, or wiry fur, just like the Dachshund. Aside from bi-colored pups, they can also come in combinations like blue and tan, black and tan, black and brown, or blue and gold.
Temperament: Are Dorkies good pets?
Yes, they are! But all dogs come with their pros & cons. Dachshund & Yorkie mixes are friendly and affectionate toward humans, so you can’t expect them to make good guard dogs.
If you have children, supervision is crucial, especially with toddlers. With the size of this breed, they’re really fragile. And if they’re not properly trained and socialized, they might nip when hurt or threatened.
Do you have other pets? Your Dorkie will get along well with them, but don’t leave her with big dogs. Most of the time, toy- and small-sized breeds aren’t aware of how little they are that they tend to challenge larger canines.
Don’t leave her with small pets, either. Your Dorkie may inherit its Dachshund parent’s high prey drive, and that’ll be a disaster.
Most of the time, unwanted behaviors can be avoided with exercise. But the Dorkie is happier being a lapdog than being active. They’re not lazy, though. This designer dog is curious and will still require physical and mental stimulation, but not excessively.
With that said, intelligent canines can tend towards being stubborn or destructive. Untrained doggos will divert their attention to your garden, favorite shoes, or furniture.
Do Dorkies bark a lot?
This is a very vocal dog, so if you or your neighbors are easily annoyed by barking or howling, then the Dorkie isn’t the best choice for you. But it’s their way of telling you how they feel or when they’re trying to communicate.
If you want a well-behaved fur buddy, training should start as soon as you bring her home. This particular crossbreed is receptive to positive reinforcement and clicker training.
But you should know that Dorkies have short attention spans, so keep sessions short – around 5 minutes each.
No matter where you do your training with your pet, keep her on a leash. You wouldn’t want her getting distracted and running after a squirrel or a bird. Doing so will also help stave off her hunting instincts.
On the other hand, socialization keeps them from being too shy or fearful of strangers.
Experienced owners wouldn’t think that this pooch is hard to train, but toilet training can be a bit of a challenge due to their small bladders. It’s best to keep pee pads around the house or bring her out for frequent pee breaks.
Caring for your Dorkie requires more than cuddles
One of the most important things to remember is that the Dachshund-Yorkie mix’s skin is sensitive to extreme weather.
If you live somewhere warm, apply sunscreen to your Dorkie’s nose, ears, and hairless areas of her body, especially during the summer months.
During winter, keep your pet warm by putting a sweater on her.
Keeping your Dorkie in tip-top condition with grooming
Since their coat can vary, it’ll also require different care. Wire-coated Dorkies will need twice a week brushing to remove dead hair.
Long-coated ones have to be brushed up to four times a week. When the weather’s scorching, it’s best to trim her coat with a half-inch guard.
For her eyes, regular cleaning is needed to prevent tear stains. For ear care and dental hygiene, it should be done daily. You can also give your fur baby some dental chews to help prevent tooth decay.
In case you catch your Dorkie scooting or dragging her behind on the floor, it means she needs her anal glands expressed. If you’re uncomfortable doing this, you can ask a professional groomer to do it, including trimming her nails.
If you have the tools and the experience of clipping your dog’s nails, do it once or twice a month.
How much food should a Dorkie eat?
You should base the amount and type of food you give your pet on her age, weight, metabolism, and health. We recommend feeding your Dorkie only one cup of high-quality dry kibble, divided into two meals a day.
Not many owners notice that they’re overfeeding their dogs, which includes passing small table scraps. Not only is this unhealthy for your Dorkie, but it also encourages terrible habits like begging.
“But my dog doesn’t like her kibbles!”, then you can mix it with wet food, which is more palatable for picky eaters. If you have the time and budget, then you can consider BARF or a raw diet.
Dealing with your Dorkie’s zoomies
Even couch potatoes still need to move for a short time every day. For Dorkies, 10 to 15 minutes a day is sufficient. If your fido is more active and eats a lot, then 30 to 45 minutes a few times a week will be better.
Most small canines have short bursts of energy, and you can deal with it with a quick fetch game. Their short legs will tire quickly, so don’t overexert your dog.
Health problems your Dorkie might have
Dorkies are considered a hardy breed with a lifespan of 10 to 14 years. But as with many designer dogs, they can inherit health issues from their parents.
The most common problem with this pooch is skin allergies. Other illnesses to watch out for are portosystemic shunt, collapsing tracheas, canine disc disease, patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, hypoglycemia, and Legg-Perthes disease.
Since most Dorkies have long backs like Dachshunds, you have to handle them carefully to avoid hurting their spine. Aside from carrying them with two hands, keep your pet from jumping from the couch or the stairs.
How much are Dorkie puppies worth?
Dorkies have a price of $400 to $800, but some can cost up to $1,000. This will depend on the breeder, their purebred parent’s bloodline, the kennel’s popularity, and the availability of puppies. For reference, they have a litter size of 2 to 5 pups.
Before settling on the final price, make sure you meet the parents and littermates of the pup you’re interested in. This will give you an idea of what your Dorkie will look like and how they react. It will also let you see if they’re being cared for, which means little to no health problems were passed on to the puppies.
While you’re there, request to see the medical records of the dogs. Most reputable breeders will even give a health guarantee and take back the puppy if things don’t work out since their main concern is finding the right match for their canines.
Dorkie breeders & rescues
But since it’s quite challenging to find crossbreed puppies for sale, maybe you can find one for adoption. Did you know that most hybrids end up in shelters for many reasons? If you’re open to this option, here are some Dachshund and Yorkshire Terrier specific rescue organizations that also cater to their mixes.
- All American Dachshund Rescue (Lewisburg, TN)
- Little Paws Dachshund Rescue (Fruitland, MD)
- Yorkie Rescue Houston (Spring, TX)
- Save A Yorkie Rescue (Milton, PA)
Crossbreeds that are similar to Dorkies
If you adore designer dogs, there are a few that are just as cute and tenacious as the Dorkie. Here are some of the adorable Dachshund hybrids and Yorkie mixes:
Yorkshire Terrier Poodle mix (AKA Yorkie Poo)
This confident pooch is great with kids and isn’t known for nipping, but barking is a favorite hobby of the Yorkie Poo.
Like its Poodle parent, this designer dog loves showing off, but repetitive training will bore him. And even if they can adapt to apartment living, they require much more exercise.
This Doodle mix is also a low shedder and an excellent companion.
Dachshund Corgi mix (AKA Dorgi)
If you want a royal canine, look no further than the Dorgi. Despite his noble lineage, this designer dog is described to be a toddler – stubborn yet goofy. He will keep you on your toes as he needs an hour of exercise daily.
On top of that, his dense, gorgeous coat doesn’t shed easily, so he’s also a perfect option for dog lovers with allergies.
Maltese Yorkshire Terrier mix (AKA Morkie)
Morkies are low shedders and have hair instead of fur (which can cause tangles), so it’s less likely to trigger allergies. They’re ideal for single-pet households because he requires plenty of exercise and attention.
They’re more energetic and would be ecstatic to go on long walks with you. You can bring them along for adventures, like trekking.
If you’re looking for a shadow, the Dorkie is the pet for you!
Dorkies are needy and aren’t ideal for those who cannot spend a lot of time with them.
Their size is perfect for urban dwellers, especially since they’re happy to lounge with their owners.
All kinds of owners – novice, experienced, retirees, singles, or families – can own this hybrid, as long as its human would be able to commit to training.
Have an adorable Dorkie? Tell us about him in the comments below.