Shorkie Breed Information and Buying advice


Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Shorkie?

Quick Shorkie Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
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Grooming Requirement
Medium (2/3)
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Medium (2/3)
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Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
Low (1/3)
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Medium (2/3)
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Low (1/3)
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Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Medium (2/3)
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Breed Group
Hybrid (8/8)
Yes (1/2)

Shorkie (Shih Tzu x Yorkshire Terrier, Yorkie Tzu, Shorkie-Tzu)


Shorkies are small, affectionate dogs that love being with their family. Shorkies are one of the newer hybrids and have quickly become a popular breed for families as they are excellent with children and make loyal companions. The Shorkie doesn’t realise their size and has the attitude of a big dog. This feisty breed is charming, courageous and determined. The Shorkie has an adorable appearance, they look a bit like a teddy bear with short bodies, short legs and silky coats.

Physical Appearance 

A Shorkie can look like either parent breed, some Shorkies resemble Yorkshire Terriers more closely while others resemble Shih Tzus. Some Shorkies look like a mix of the two. Either way, Shorkies are cute dogs that are well proportioned. The breed is compact with a small head, a short muzzle and a black nose. The Shorkie has medium-sized, dark brown or blue eyes that have an intelligent and cheeky sparkle in them. The Shorkies ears are small, V-shaped and covered in hair. Their long tails are also covered in hair and are carried high when the Shorkie is excited. 

Shorkies have a soft, silky coat that is relatively long. Their coats come in a range of colours including black and tan, black and blue, red, white, cream, silver, gold, brown and black. As the Shorkie is a new breed there isn’t a breed standard that dictates their coat type or colour yet. 

How big do Shorkie dogs get? 

  • Height - Males: 15 - 35cm. Females: 15 - 35cm.

  • Weight - Males: 3 - 7kg. Females: 3 - 7kg.

Character Traits

Shorkies are popular dogs thanks to their affectionate nature and adorable looks. This small dog has inherited many positive traits from both the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. The Shorkie is energetic, playful and loves to be around their family. This breed is light-hearted, playful and isn’t too demanding. 

Shorkies have low energy levels and only need one or two short walks in a day. As a Shorkie is intelligent and eager to please, they are easy to train and highly adaptable. Although Shorkies like to bark and are quick to let their owners know what is going on around them, they are not the best guard dogs. This is the breed to choose if you are looking for a small, affectionate dog that is friendly and social but not too demanding.

Are Shorkie dogs intelligent? Yes (3/5).

Are Shorkie dogs affectionate? Yes.

Do Shorkie dogs have high or low energy levels? Low energy levels.

Are Shorkie dogs loyal? Yes.

Are Shorkie dogs playful? Yes.

Are Shorkie dogs aggressive? No.

Are Shorkie dogs easy to train? Yes.

Are Shorkie dogs good guard dogs? They are alert but their small size means they aren’t good guard dogs. 

Ability to Socialise 

Shorkies have a social nature so enjoy being around people and other dogs. As they have the Yorkshire Terrier breed in them they do have a high prey drive, this means care should be taken when around smaller animals and livestock. Remember, a Shorkie does not think of themselves as a small dog so have no problem chasing animals that are larger than them.  

Do Shorkie dogs get along with other pets? They tend to get on well with dogs and cats they have grown up with but take care around smaller animals.

Do Shorkie dogs get along with other dogs? Yes. 

Are Shorkie dogs good with kids? Yes.

Are Shorkie dogs good with strangers? They will often bark at strangers. 

Lifestyle Suitability

The Shorkie is a fantastic choice for first-time owners, this small dog is people-orientated and thrives on being with their families. Although a Shorkie can’t be left on their own,  they are highly adaptable and can happily live in an apartment, in a town, city or in the countryside. This breed can be known to bark but this can be stopped with some basic training. As Shorkies are such small dogs they get cold easily and need some extra care to keep warm, during hot weather care needs to be taken to ensure they do not overheat. Shorkies are considered to be hypoallergenic as they are low shedding. 

Are Shorkie dogs good for first-time owners? Yes.

Are Shorkie dogs hypoallergenic? Yes, they have mild hypoallergenic qualities. 

Are Shorkie dogs prone to drooling? No.

Are Shorkie dogs a good breed for apartment living? Yes.

Do  Shorkie dogs shed a lot? No.

Do  Shorkie dogs bark a lot? Sometimes. 

Can Shorkie dogs be left alone at home? No.

Can Shorkie dogs handle the heat? They don’t do well in extreme temperatures.

Can Shorkie dogs handle cold temperatures? No, they need a coat to keep warm in cold weather.

Are Shorkie dogs sensitive to loud noises? They can be quite sensitive.

General Health & Health Issues

The Shorkie has a life expectancy of 12 - 14 years. As this breed is new there is not as much information on hereditary health issues, however, the following disorders affect both the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier Breeds so can affect the Shorkie too: 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy - This is an eye condition that causes a gradual loss of vision. Unfortunately, this cannot be cured but many dogs can continue to live comfortably after losing their eyesight.

Primary Lens Luxation - This is when the eye lens moves from its position. This can cause pain and can even result in blindness. However, the condition can be managed and treated if caught in its early stages.

Hip Dysplasia - This is when the hip joint does not fit into the hip socket as it should. This can cause lameness, stiffness and pain but can often be treated without surgery, 

Chiari Malformation Syringomyelia - This is a disorder that produces cysts in the spinal cord. This can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, ears and sternum and can cause instability, dizziness, weakness, involuntary muscle movements, falling over while walking and more. Pain relief is a common treatment and surgery is an option too.

Breathing issues - Shih Tzu often struggle with breathing issues due to their pinched nostrils and soft palate. These issues can be helped with weight control and sometimes surgery is needed to help widen nostrils and shorten their soft palate.

Dental problems - Shih Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers are both prone to dental diseases. Symptoms can include bad breath, pain, difficulty eating and weight loss. Treatment for dental problems includes pain relief, antibiotics and dental surgery. 

How long do Shorkie dogs live? - 12 - 14 years

Exercise & Play Time

Although active dogs, Shorkies only need a short walk each day. This breed is not demanding when it comes to walks, but an interesting walk each day will help to keep them in good health. A walk around the local park is a good idea as then your Shorkie can interact with other dogs. It’s important to only let Shorkies off lead when they are in a safe, secure area away from livestock. When at home, Shorkies love interactive play and enjoy spending time in a secure garden too. 

How much exercise does a Shorkie dog need? At least 20 minutes per day.

Do Shorkie dogs like water play? Yes, they often love swimming and water play. 

Nutrition & Feeding

A Shorkie is a small dog that doesn’t need too much food to give them the energy and nutrition they need. Feeding a Shorkie too much will cause them to gain weight quickly so it is very important to feed them the right amount based on their age, weight and activity level. A Shorkie puppy needs between 55 - 150g of high-quality dry food per day depending on their age and build, this needs to be split into a few smaller portions throughout the day. This is only a rough guide, as every dog is unique it is important to have a personal dietary plan made. 

Are Shorkie dogs prone to weight gain? Yes. 

How much should I feed a Shorkie puppy? Between 55 - 150g of high-quality dry food per day depending on build. 

How much should I feed an adult Shorkie dog? Between 55 - 120g of high-quality dry food per day depending on weight and activity. 

Care & Maintenance

Grooming: The beautiful silky coat of a Shorkie needs to be brushed daily to prevent it from getting knotted. A Shorkie should also be professionally groomed every 6 weeks to keep their hair trimmed. Shorkies shed a very small amount and can develop tear stains which will need to be wiped away regularly. It is important to check a Shorkies ears regularly and clean their teeth regularly too.

Emotional Care: A Shorkie bonds strongly with their family and doesn't like to be left on their own. They aren’t particularly demanding and require a couple of short walks each day. Shorkies can get bored and frustrated if they don’t get enough attention and mental stimulation. Shorkies are intelligent, easy to train and love playing interactive games such as fetch.

History of the Shorkie

The Shorkie was developed in the United States and is one of the newest hybrid dogs as they have only been around for the last decade. These small, loving dogs have quickly become very popular as they make excellent family dogs. As this breed is still very new they are still finding their place in the world but there are lots of Shorkies in the UK and they have proven to be very popular dogs. 

The reason for crossing a Shih Tzu and a Yorkshire Terrier was to create a friendly, smart and good-looking lapdog while also bringing diversity into the gene pools. Whatever the motivation was behind creating the Shorkie, this breed has proven to be a hit for families in the USA and UK. 

Interesting Facts About Shorkie Dogs

  • Shorkies were developed in the USA.

  • This hybrid dog breed has only been around for the last 10 or so years.

  • The size and weight of this breed vary a lot.

Getting a Shorkie Puppy

If you’re ready for the next step, read our buying guide for advice and information on buying a puppy. Be aware of scams and never pay a deposit for a puppy you haven’t seen. At Puppies, all the breeders have been vetted to ensure they are responsible. Take a look at the Shorkie Puppies page to find available puppies in your area. 

How much does a Shorkie cost to buy?  £800 - £1600 

How much does a Shorkie cost to feed? £20 per month

How much does insurance for a Shorkie cost?  £30 per month

Shorkies are already gaining huge popularity in the UK. Another option is to rescue a Shorkie, we’d recommend having a chat with your local dog rehoming centre or contacting the associations below:

Rehome a Shorkie with the Dogs Trust