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A rising star in the crossbreed world, the Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix is a bubbly little canine that’s the cross of the Shih Tzu and the Yorkie.
In this article, we’ll tell you all about this brave, tenacious, and alert hybrid, also called the Shorkie or the Yorkie Tzu. Keep reading to learn exciting facts about this tiny dog with a big personality.
Basic breed info on the Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix
This feisty little guy is the perfect pocket-sized companion for individuals and families alike. He’s small but protective, smart, and energetic.
Since a crossbreed’s looks and temperament significantly depends on the genetic information passed down by their purebred parents, it makes sense to take a look at the Shih Tzu and Yorkie to get a better idea of the Shorkie.
The regal Shih Tzu
Dubbed as “lion dogs” by Chinese emperors and royalty, these intelligent and smart lap dogs were originally bred from Lhasa Apso and Pekingese dogs.
The outgoing Shih Tzu can grow between 9 and 16 pounds (4 to 7 kgs) and can grow as tall as 10 inches (25 cm) at the shoulders, so it fits perfectly on its owner’s lap.
The Shih Tzu is generally friendly to strangers but loyal to its owner, mostly behaving like a shadow of its human. Despite their loyalty, Shih Tzus also have a stubborn streak, which it may pass down to the Shorkie. They’re even notorious for being loud barkers.
Shih Tzus are prone to many health problems, but if adequately cared for, this dog can live from 10 to 16 years.
The brave Yorkshire Terrier
Loved due to its tenacious and larger-than-life personality, this small yet feisty dog will keep you on your toes. Yorkies can grow to weigh around 4 to 6 pounds (2 to 3 kgs) and be between 8 and 9 inches tall (20 to 23 cm).
Yorkies are known for their alertness and bravery despite their size, but they’re still fragile pooches. This breed is more suitable for a family that has older kids who know how to be gentle with their pets.
The Yorkie also has to be socialized and trained as a puppy to discourage aggressive behavior.
Since the Yorkshire Terrier and the Shih Tzu are both pretty popular dogs (10th and 20th, respectively, out of 192 breeds on AKC’s list of most popular dogs for 2018), we can safely say that their offspring – the Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix – is going to be a big hit as well.
Now let’s dig deeper and discuss what a Shorkie looks like and its characteristics.
The Shorkie’s physical traits and temperament
The Yorkie Shih Tzu Mix can either have straight hair like the Yorkie or a slightly wavy coat like the Shih Tzu.
They have an undercoat that feels like fleece, while their top layer is soft, silky, and flowy. Their coats come in colors like red and gold, black and white, black and tan, or brown and white.
A Shorkie puppy can weigh as little as 2 pounds (1 kg) around 8 to 10 weeks of age, which is the same age that they should be ready to go home with you.
At 12 months, your dog will be full-grown. From there, a Shorkie can weigh approximately 5 to 12 pounds (2 to 5 kgs) and can grow between 9 to 11 inches tall (23 to 28 cm).
The size of its parents should give you a clue about the size of your Shorkie as well.
The unique personality of the Yorkie Shih Tzu Mix
The Shih Tzu Yorkie cross may be a small dog, but it has tremendous character!
Though these hybrids can be stubborn, they’re intensely loyal and are excellent watchdogs. They inherited the braveness of the Yorkie and may appear to be unaware of their size.
This loyalty and protectiveness are why Shorkies are great family dogs. They’re happiest when spending time with family members and they love to please their humans.
And, like its parent breeds, the Yorkie Shih Tzu mix can get extremely attached to its owner. That means extra cuddles for you!
Potential problems with this hybrid
Aside from not being keen on young children’s grabby hands, Shorkies tend to be distrusting of strangers.
They have a natural guarding instinct, and they won’t tolerate anyone bothering or teasing them.
Add these qualities to their unfaltering enthusiasm, and you’d understand why the Shorkie is fond of barking.
Since they love being with their humans, they tend to be extra needy and clingy, which means they’re one of the breeds that are prone to separation anxiety.
You’ll notice this in their sad or upset expression if you’re leaving the house without them!
Due to their size, Shorkies are not suitable for families with small kids. Young children may see these tiny dogs as “living toys” or stuffed animals, and they might unintentionally cause harm.
A Shih Tzu Yorkie hybrid may even suffer from internal injuries if they’re held or picked up the wrong way.
If you have your heart set on this dog, make sure you can keep an eye on your kids and your pet while they’re playing together.
The Shorkie’s training and exercise routine
The Yorkie Shih Tzu Mix is an intelligent dog, but that doesn’t mean training it wouldn’t be a challenge. With this hybrid’s stubborn nature, drills would be a stimulating experience.
You can easily persuade Shorkies through treats, so make sure you have plenty of tasty snacks on hand for each training session. Positive reinforcement always shows the best results when it comes to teaching positive behavior to the Shih Tzu Yorkie mix.
Early socialization and a consistent routine will also help with your Shorkie pup’s development.
Clicker training may be beneficial for strong-willed dogs like this one. With proper timing with the clicking sound and treats and making sure that your Yorkie-Shih Tzu cross is focused, you’ll soon have an excellent lap dog.
Check out this clever little Shorkie performing tricks:
How about potty training a Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix? Housebreaking can be a struggle, too. One thing that can help is being consistent in letting your dog out to do its business first thing in the morning, after every meal, and before going to bed.
Don’t underestimate this lap dog! This energetic hybrid has enough energy for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. They love to go on adventures with their humans, even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood.
Remember to keep an eye on your Shorkie as you’re out and about, as he can run out of breath more easily and he can’t cope very well with hot weather.
How to care for a Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix
Taking care of a vulnerable puppy is a big responsibility, but you shouldn’t let that scare you. We have guides to help you with getting a jumpstart on puppy care and training:
- Getting started with training your puppy
- House-training your puppy
- How to deal with common housebreaking problems
Grooming the Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix
The Shih Tzu and the Yorkie minimally shed and have hair rather than fur, making them less likely to trigger allergies.
So you can count on the Shorkie to be hypoallergenic.
Prevent knots and mats by brushing her hair daily or at least twice a week.
Despite their low-shedding coats, Shorkies’ hair can grow quite long. Be ready for some high-maintenance grooming!
Depending on how fast its hair grows, get your Yorkie-Shih Tzu hybrid groomed at least every 4 to 6 weeks and regularly clipped every eight weeks.
Take into consideration the climate or weather where you and your furry baby live. The warmer it is, the more often you should get your dog groomed.
What kind of haircut do Shorkies get?
A lot of owners and breeders have their Shorkies get a “teddy bear” or a “puppy” cut. It’s where their face is trimmed into a round shape to accentuate their cute face!
Not only does the puppy cut make these adorable dogs look like a small Chewbacca, but it also helps keep food or debris from sticking to their face.
The right food for your Yorkie and Shih Tzu cross
Small breeds weighing less than 20 pounds (9 kgs) generally use up 40 calories per pound of their body weight per day, so make sure you pick out nutritious dry kibble that is made specifically for small active dogs.
Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix puppies will be breastfeeding every 2 hours during their first four weeks after being born. If the mom isn’t available to feed your pup, use a dog milk replacer and reduce the feeding gradually after eight weeks.
You can also start to try feeding them dry dog food mixed with water to make the adjustment period easier.
Feed your Yorkie and Shih Tzu cross a half-cup of kibble split into four meals until they’re six months old. After six months, give your dog 1 cup of dog food and divide it into two meals per day.
Avoid wet food if possible as it can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Don’t forget to make sure your dog has access to plenty of clean water for drinking.
Health issues that your Shorkie might have
Despite the possibility being healthier than their purebred parents due to hybrid vigor, your Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix may still suffer from some health problems.
Let’s discuss what these health issues are:
- Dental disease – Because of its narrow jaw and short muzzle, the Shorkie is susceptible to dental overcrowding and periodontal disease. Its teeth may rub against each other, removing the enamel and leaving sensitive exposed to bacteria.
- Glaucoma – The Yorkie has a long history of glaucoma, which means the Yorkie Shih Tzu mix will be vulnerable to this condition, too. Your pup’s parents should have undergone health screening and eye tests to rule out this health issue.
- Hypoglycemia – If its glucose level becomes too low, your dog can become lethargic. This potentially fatal condition is common with weaning puppies in the toy or mini size.
- Lens luxation – This occurs when the ligaments in the eye break down and allow the lens to dislocate from its normal position. Common in Terriers, this eye problem can often be a cause of glaucoma and requires surgical correction.
- Patellar luxation – Common in small dogs, this happens when the patella (knee cap) moves out of the trochlear groove. Patellar luxation can result in lameness, pain, and osteoarthritis
- Portosystemic Shunt – This condition prevents detoxification of waste that occurs within the liver, causing the potential spread of harmful substances throughout the body. Both the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier are predisposed to this.
Another problem is that the Shorkie comes from parents that are considered brachycephalic breeds. The Shih Tzu-Yorkie cross is likely to inherit the flatter and broader skull shape of its parents, resulting in problems with breathing and temperature regulation.
What can you do to avoid these health problems
Before you take home a Shorkie puppy, you have to make sure that the pup comes from a healthy set of parents.
You can do that by asking breeders to show you the health clearances of the puppy and its parents. The breeder should be open to discussing the health problems that your Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix can have.
Look at the shape of the face of the Shih Tzu Yorkie mix puppy and its parents. Choose your new pet from a litter bred from Shih Tzus and Yorkies that have long muzzles and wide nostrils. Unfortunately, though, you can never completely rule out brachycephaly.
If you’re sticking to a Shorkie despite its potential health issues, you’ll be glad to know that a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix has an average lifespan of 11 to 16 years.
How much does a Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix cost?
A Yorkie Shih Tzu Mix litter would usually consist of 1 to 5 puppies, and given the costs of breeding and producing each offspring, a Shorkie puppy’s price tag can be quite hefty.
A Shih Tzu Yorkie mix puppy can cost around $300 to $1,500.
However, higher Shorkie prices don’t mean better quality, which is why you still have to do your homework and make an effort to visit the puppy and its parents. This way, you’ll get an idea of the Shorkie’s temperament before you take it home.
Shih Tzu Yorkie mix breeders
Before you hand over your hard-earned money, make sure you’re buying from a reputable breeder.
A trustworthy breeder offers puppies that are thoroughly health-tested, with stable temperaments. They’re not breeding to earn money but to improve the breed and produce first-rate puppies.
A legitimate breeder has his Shorkie puppies checked by a veterinarian and microchipped, as well as treated for worms and fleas. They make sure that the puppy is completely ready for you to take home by the time it’s eight weeks old.
A good breeder also asks you questions about your home and your lifestyle, since he wants to make sure that the puppy will go to a loving home.
Here are some Shorkie breeders for you to check out:
Adopting or rescuing a Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix
A noble way to add a dog to your family is by adoption. We understand that this is not ideal for all owners and that an older dog isn’t the best option for all homes, but it’s something you should consider.
You can visit your local shelter or breed-specific shelters in your area to see if they have a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix for adoption or rescue.
These are some of the rescues for Yorkies and Shih Tzus:
- Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue
- Yorkie Rescue of America
- Shih Tzu Rescue Inc. (Florida)
- Save a Shelter Shih Tzu (Ohio)
Other Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier mixes
If you’re still on the fence about the Shorkie and you want to look at similar dogs, here are some comparable crossbreeds from the Shih Tzu or the Yorkshire Terrier:
- Morkie – Maltese and Yorkie Mix
- Chorkie – Chihuahua and Yorkie Mix
- Shichi – Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mix
- Shih Poo – Shih Tzu and Poodle Mix
- Yorkie Poo – Yorkie and Poodle Mix
Our verdict on the Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix
One thing you can be sure of with the Shorkie is that it will melt your heart!
If you have the time and attention to give this affectionate pooch, you definitely won’t regret getting a Yorkie-Shih Tzu hybrid.
Few crossbreeds are more loyal and protective than the tiny, feisty Shorkie. They’ll love spending time with you and cuddling up to you on the couch.
Unfortunately, the Yorkie and Shih cross might not be the ideal pet for your family if you have small children and already own huge dogs.
Consider choosing a different crossbreed, too, if you won’t be able to commit to early training, socialization, and regular exercise.
And better look for a more mellow dog if you live in an apartment with thin walls . Shorkies love to bark and you may get a lot of complaints from your neighbors.
Do you have tips or advice for those who want to bring home this crossbreed? Leave comments below because we can’t wait to hear about your stories!