The Shorkie is a mixed breed dog, combining the best of the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier traits. The key characteristics you will find in the Shorkie are loyalty, faithfulness, and an excellent choice for a noisy watchdog. They are a great choice for a family pet, as they are loving and affectionate, yet the ideal size – not too big and not too small. One of the best things about the Shorkie breed is that you will be hard pressed to find two that look exactly alike. Even within the same litter, each runt can have a completely different appearance from the others. Here are 10 other things you are not likely to know about the Shorkie.
1. They are an intelligent breed of dog but prone to a stubborn streak.
This makes them easy to train and can adjust to any number of family environments without stressing out. While this trait may vary in degree from one litter to another or one puppy to another, the underlying reason for its difficulty in training depends on how stubborn the dog is. This makes it a matter of stubborn, not intelligence. The proper training is likely to overcome this minor fault.
2. They have only been professionally bred for about 10 years.
The main reason for breeding the Shorkie was to create a lapdog that is family friendly while working to genetically eliminate some of the less desirable traits of both breeds – mainly stubbornness. Every breed of dog has some genetic flaw that creates problems for owners, so the Shorkie is another step towards the breeding of a healthy and happy companion.
3. Dry kibble is the preferred food for their diet.
Shorkies are prone to any number of dental health problems, including tooth decay and gum disease. You can periodically add some wet food to their diet, but overdoing it is asking for trouble and higher vet bills. If you have never brushed a dog’s teeth, it is a skill you will need to develop before deciding on a Shorkie.
4. The size and weight of a Shorkie can vary widely.
While the size and weight of a breed generally falls within predictable ranges, a Shorkie’s size and weight is much broader than normal. You may find one weighing as little as 7 pounds or as much as 15 pounds. Their height can vary from 6 inches to 14 inches tall at the withers. This means you can almost be guaranteed to find a Shorkie that is the right size and weight for you.
5. They are a very affectionate type of lapdog.
This trait takes on both positive and negative qualities. Two words need to be kept in mind here: separation anxiety. The lap dog quality of a Shorkie will find its way onto your lap more often than not, but if they get too clingy you are almost certain to have problems with separation anxiety. The only way to prevent this is to make sure they are properly trained at an early age to deal with times when there is no one at home.
6. The Shorkie is a great choice for apartment dwellers.
It needs to be understood that the Shorkie is a watchdog, not a guard dog. While they may bark their little head off when something smells or sounds amiss, do not expect them to staunchly defend you. This makes them ideal for people who live in apartments because there is little chance of getting sued because the dog bit someone. They also don’t require much room to play and burn off their considerable energy, so they don’t need miles of space to roam and be happy.
7. Daily brushing of their coat is a must.
Remember the two breeds that have been combined to make the Shorkie. Both have coats that require a fair amount of attention, and failure to tend to the dog’s coat will create snarling and end up with a matted coat. Many owners of Shorkies choose to take their dogs in to be professionally groomed, usually once every couple of months. This tends to make both owner and dog happy.
8. Shorkie puppies require plenty of attention and early housebreaking training.
Some experts suggest the best time to get a Shorkie is when they are almost newborn, so you can acclimatize them to their new environment and get started with the task of housebreaking and discipline training. You will understand what it takes to train them, and they will quickly adjust to their new environment, understanding the importance of being housebroken. Because of their size, crating can be used as a method of effective housebreaking.
9. Currently there are no purebred Shorkies.
It takes a total of seven generations of puppies to create a purebred dog that is accepted by national and international kennel associations. The Shorkie is in the middle of this evolution, so you need to be aware that if a breeder tells you a Shorkie is pure bred, you need to move on to another breeder. This might make you want to delay getting a Shorkie, but unless you are looking to breed the dogs yourself, its lack of breed purity should not be an issue.
10. Harsh training methods are counterproductive in training.
Whatever your position is on training your dog, when it comes to the Shorkie you will be dealing with a dog that is likely to have a serious stubborn streak built in. Patience is key to training them at any age, and their natural stubbornness will turn into them becoming virtually untrainable if you are too harsh in your methods. They respond well to rewards such as treats, and they need enough time to relax and understand the purpose of the training.