The Corkie is a small, sweet-natured crossbreed that pairs the petite good looks of the Yorkshire Terrier with the amicable, loving nature of the Cocker Spaniel. Despite their tiny statures, these are dogs with big personalities. Playful, mischievous, and almost relentlessly cheerful, they’re guaranteed to win your heart. Find out more about this adorable breed as we reveal 10 things you didn’t know about the Corkie.
1. They’re a mix of Yorkshire Terrier and Cocker Spaniel
Over the past few decades, designer crossbreeds have taken off in a big way. Accidental pairings have resulted in mixed litters throughout history, but these days, breeders are taking control of the process and deliberately engineering new breeds of dogs that combine the best qualities of their parent breeds. The Corkie, as its name hints at, is a cross between the Cocker Spaniel and the Yorkshire Terrier. The Cocker Spaniel is a sporting dog with an active, good-natured personality, appealing good looks, and a firm place in the hearts of dog lovers. The Yorkshire Terrier is no less loved: mischievous, playful, and endearingly loveable, it’s one of the most popular dog breeds around.
2. They’ve been officially recognized
It may not be a purebreed, but that hasn’t stopped the Corkie from earning official recognition from several kennel clubs. Although it’d be ambitious to expect the notoriously finicky American Kennel Club to recognize the breed anytime soon, other clubs have been more welcoming. According to dogbreedinfo.com, the Corkie has so far been extended recognition by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Breed Registry, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the Dog Registry of America, Inc., and the International Designer Canine Registry.
3. They’re a small breed
The Yorkshire Terrier is tiny. The Cocker Spaniel might be a little larger, but it’s by no means what you’d describe as a ‘big’ dog. So, it stands to reason that their offspring will be similarly petite… as, indeed, the Corkie is. Like most cross breeds, sizes vary considerably. Corkie litters that take after the Spaniel side of the family tree will typically be larger and stockier than those that take after the Yorkshire Terrier. But regardless of which side they lean most towards, the Corkie will never be anything other than a small breed. Most weigh between 8 and 20 lbs and measure 14 inches at the shoulder.
4. They’re good family pets
If you’re looking for a dog that will fit well into your family, the Corkie could be your ideal match. Friendly, amicable, and always cheerful, they’re good socializers who get on well with both kids and other pets. However, as with all breeds, they need plenty of early socialization to grow into the sweet-natured dogs they’re capable of being.
5. They have an independent streak
The Corkie is adorable. It’s sweet, it’s friendly, and it’s a delight to have around. But none of that is guaranteed. Without adequate training and early socialization, Corkies can be a very different proposition. Like the Yorkshire Terrier, the Corkie has an independent nature and a strong will of its own. Due to a strong stubborn streak, they can be slow to train. But slow doesn’t mean impossible. With consistency, patience, and plenty of positive reinforcement, the Corkie can be trained, socialized, and taught just as well as any other breed.
6. They’re not free of health problems
Usually, crossbreeds are healthier, stronger, and more robust than their pedigree counterparts. Mixing two or more breeds together generally reduces the risk of any breed-specific health complaints being passed on through the generations. Unfortunately, however, the Corkie isn’t completely free of health problems. As wagwalking.com (https://wagwalking.com/breed/corkie) points out, the major health concerns to watch out for include Patellar Luxation, Entropion, Ectropion Exposure, and Keratopathy Syndrome. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for Cataracts, Atopic Dermatitis, Retinal Dysplasia, Seborrhea, and Lip Fold Pyoderma.
7. Their coats are magnificent
If there’s one feature that the Corkie can be most proud of, it’s their coat. Gloriously long and silky, it’s truly their crowning glory. Coat colors vary tremendously: in the same litter, you might see sable coats, white coats, sable and white coats, red roan coats, gold coats, cream coats, blue roan coats, blue roan and tan coats, silver coats, red and white coats, red coats, buff and white coats, buff coats, brown, white, and tan coats, brown and white coats, brown and tan coats, brown coats, black coats, white and tan coats, black and white coats, black and tan coats, and black coats. Other distinguishing features include a long torso, a sturdy, compact body, short legs and tail, and a short muzzle with a glossy black nose.
8. They hate being alone
If you spend your days at the office, your nights at the bar, and your weekends at the gym, the Corkie might not be the breed for you. This is a dog that thrives on human interaction. Left alone for long stretches, they can become lonely, miserable, and prone to showing their frustration in destructive behavior. Although separation anxiety isn’t inevitable, you’ll need to invest plenty of time and effort into their training and socialization to avoid it.
9. They need lots of grooming
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet, then look away now. Whatever else the Corkie is, low maintenance it isn’t. Their long silky coats may be beautiful, but they need a lot of work to keep them looking that way. Without regular brushing, a Corkie’s mane can easily succumb to matting. Daily grooming with a stiff bristle brush, a metal comb, and a slicker brush for finishing is an essential requirement for this breed. If that wasn’t enough to keep you occupied, they’ll also need to have their nails clipped once very few weeks, their ears cleaned once a week, and their teeth cleaned 2-3 times a week.
10. They need plenty of exercise
While some small breeds require little more than a run around the yard a few times a day, the Corkie is a very different proposition. The Cocker Spaniel is an active dog, and its offspring is no different. As petguide.com notes, the Corkie will benefit from two 15 minute walks per day, along with off-leash time in an enclosed, safe environment. Like all dogs, they also benefit from plenty of mental stimulation, so be sure to invest in some interactive toys for them to play with.