Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix – Your Complete Breed Guide To The Shorkie

Do you love small dogs with huge personalities? Are you looking for a tiny but energetic pooch that is well-suited to apartment living? If you answered yes, you’ll find the Shorkie to be a great option for you.

What exactly is a Shorkie? A Shorkie is a tiny designer dog that is the result of crossing a Shih Tzu with a Yorkshire Terrier. Also referred to as a Yorkie Tzu or a Shorkie Tzu, the Shorkie is a very lovely dog with a bubbly personality.

The Shorkie is a high maintenance doggo, so it’s important to know what to expect before committing to getting yourself one. In this article, we’ll take a look at all the crucial information about Shorkies, including how to feed your Shorkie, the kind of exercise they require, health issues to watch out for, and how to groom Shorkies. Before that, however, let’s get one question out of the way; are Shorkies mutts?

Is A Shorkie A Mutt?

Despite being a mixed breed, the Shorkie is not a mutt. This is because Shorkies are the product of intentionally cross breeding a purebred Shih Tzu with a purebred Yorkie to produce a designer hybrid with the best qualities of both parents.

Due to their being hybrids, Shorkies are not recognized by the AKC. However, Shorkies are officially recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry and the American Canine Hybrid Club.

What Kind Of Dog Is A Shorkie?

Shorkies are small dogs, with the majority of Shorkies measuring about 5 to 9 inches, with their weight falling in the range of 5 to 11 lbs when fully grown. So, what age is a Shorkie full grown? Shorkies will have matured fully by the time they are 12 months old.

Their physical appearance falls between that of the Yorkshire Terrier and the Shih Tzu. They have medium density coats with long, silky hair. Shorkies’ tails are often docked for aesthetic purposes, but without docking, the tail is usually thin and curled.

Is A Shorkie A Good Family Dog?

Shorkies are awesome family dogs that will form strong attachments with everyone in the family. They will even get along well with other pets if they were brought up together.

The Shorkie’s high energy also means that they’ll make good playmates for your children. If you have small children, however, any play between them and the Shorkie should be supervised. This is because the Shorkie’s small size makes them prone to injury from children’s rough play.

Image from Instagram:@lonestar_lucy

What Is The Lifespan Of A Shorkie?

Despite their small size, Shorkies are hardy canines with long lifespans. The average Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix has a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years.

Shorkies are generally healthy dogs. However, they can still be affected by some of the health conditions that the parent breeds are susceptible to. Some of the common health issues that you need to watch out for if you own a Shorkie include:

Portosystemic Shunt

Portosystemic shunt is a condition that is very common among small sized dog breeds. Both the Shih Tzu and the Yorkie are known to suffer from this condition, and therefore, it is possible for your Shorkie to be affected by the condition.

Portosystemic shunt is caused by inability of the kidneys to clean up toxins from your dog’s blood. With time, this condition can lead to death as the toxins build up in your doggo’s body to excessive levels. Actually, this is one of the most common conditions that Shorkies die from. 

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a condition that is very common among a lot of dog breeds, including the Shih Tzu Yorkie mix. This condition affects the knee joint, leading to a lot of pain when your four-legged buddy is moving around.


Hypoglycemia is another condition that occurs frequently in small sized dogs, including Shorkies. This is caused by the inability of the body to store enough glucose, leading to low blood sugar. Without proper management, this condition can easily become fatal for your canine buddy.

Image from Instagram:@louie.shorkie

How To Take Care Of Shorkies?

Dietary Needs

The small size of the Shorkie means that these dogs do not need a lot of food. However, the Shorkie is a high energy breed, so they need high quality food that will meet their energy requirements.

So, how much food should a Shorkie eat? One cup of food daily will be enough for the average Shorkie. Due to the risk of hypoglycemia, divide their food into several meals to ensure that your Shorkie’s blood sugar levels don’t fall too much in between meals.

Based on our experience, the best dog food for a Shorkie is Pet Plate’s dog food. Pet Plate dog food is packed with all the nutrients and calories that your Shorkie needs for growth and energy.

In addition to high quality food, we also recommend giving your Shorkie multivitamin chews and treats. These will make your furry buddy healthier and give them better immunity.

It’s also good to note that Shorkies are at a high risk of developing periodontal diseases. To prevent this from becoming an issue, invest in dental chews or additives to the drinking water for your Shorkie.

Exercise Requirements

Shih Tzu Yorkie mixes need regular exercise to keep them from becoming obese. Fortunately, their small size means that you can easily give them enough exercise without the need to take them outdoors. Ideally, you Shorkie needs to get 30 minutes of physical activity daily.

Sometimes, Shorkies do sleep a lot and will prefer napping to exercise. However, you have to act firm and ensure that they get the requisite exercise.

Are Shorkies Aggressive? Temperaments Of Shih Tzu Yorkie Mixes

Before bringing a Shorkie home, you definitely want to know how they behave. So, what is the temperament of a Shorkie? Shorkies are amazing dogs with a very cheerful personality. There’s nothing they love more than giving and receiving love and affection.

They’ll be comfortable with everyone in the house, from the kids to granny. They’ll even get along with other pets if they’ve been brought up together. However, they’ll sometimes chase after cats and other small animals. This is not to say that Shorkies do not like cats. It is just their prey drive at work.

Can Shorkies Be Left Alone? 

Shorkies are among the dog breeds considered to be “Velcro dogs” because of how clingy they are. Your Shorkie will follow you everywhere you go, and can’t handle being separated from you.

This means that Shorkies aren’t suitable for those who cannot afford to spend the whole day from home on a daily basis. Fortunately, their small size makes them easy to carry, so if your workplace allows pets, you can easily take them with you to work.

Are Shorkies Yappy?

Yes. Shorkies are very yappy dogs who will bark at everything and nothing. If you can’t handle their noise, your best option is to find a quieter breed.

Are Shorkies Hard To Potty Train?

Shorkies are stubborn, which can make potty training them difficult. For best results, you should start potty training your Shorkie from a very early age, and use positive reinforcement, rather than punishment.

Image from Instagram:@mochi.theshorkie

How Often Should I Bathe My Shorkie? Grooming Tips For Shih Tzu Yorkie Mixes

Your Shorkie will also need to be bathed every few months to keep their coat healthy and their hair looking neat and shiny. Note, however, that frequent bathing is not recommended as it can easily strip your doggie’s coat of the natural oils that keep it healthy.


The Shorkie’s long hair is highly prone to tangling and matting. To prevent this, your Shorkie will require daily brushing. To prevent damaging your Shorkie’s hair or injuring their skin, always use a professional brushing tool equipped with appropriate safety technology, such as the Furminator Undercoat Tool.


The Shorkie’s hair grows continuously and can easily become unmanageable if allowed to grow too long. Therefore, it is important to clip your fido’s hair regularly. Since Shorkie hair grows so fast, you’ll need to clip their hair after every 2 months.

To avoid stripping the natural oils and leaving your Shorkie’s coat too dry, be sure to use a canine shampoo with moisturizing formula, such as Mighty Petz 2-in-1 Oatmeal Shampoo And Conditioner.

Is A Shorkie Hypoallergenic?

Shorkies are not completely hypoallergenic. However, Shorkies shed very little, so they are a good choice for people with mild allergies.

Do Shorkies Change Color?

Yes, it is totally normal for a Shorkie to change color as they grow older. This is especially common in a Shorkie’s first year of life. Most color changes in Shih Tzu Yorkie mixes are caused by your doggo’s specific genetic makeup, but the changes can also be caused by other factors, such as licking, tear staining, or yeast and bacteria infections.

How Much Does A Shorkie Cost? The price of an average Shorkie puppy ranges between $500 and $1,000. Sometimes, however, Shorkie puppies can sell for as much as $6,000, especially when you are getting show quality puppies with all the papers. A Shorkie without papers will cost less, because there’s no way of verifying their pedigree.

Why Shouldn’t You Buy A Shorkie? Shorkies are delicate little dogs, and therefore, you shouldn’t buy a Shorkie if you won’t be able to provide them with the kind of care they need. You also shouldn’t buy a Shorkie puppy if you are someone who loves a calm and tranquil environment, because Shorkies are naturally noisy.

Can Shorkies Swim? Yes, Shorkies can swim. This means that it is totally okay for you to take your Shorkie with you when going for a swim at the beach, or even the pool. Still, it is important to supervise your Shorkie whenever they are in the water to avoid accidents.

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Pete Decker