Shorkie

Although a relatively new breed, the increasingly popular Shorkie – a Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier cross – combines all the best elements of the Shih Tzu personality with an extra dash of Yorkie confidence and attitude. You'll recognise the affectionate and loyal nature of the Shih Tzu, but the Shorkie will take that loyalty to the next level and won't hesitate to protect his territory. He may be tiny, but he thinks he's pretty fierce!

Exercise

Shorkies are a little bit more energetic than Shih Tzus, so expect to factor in additional playtime. The Shorkie is quick on his feet, although he doesn't need a huge amount of outdoor exercise; short walks and indoor playing (catching and fetching-based games are Shorkie favorites) will usually suffice.

Like Shih Tzus, Shorkies are ultimately lapdogs and, once they've exhausted themselves, they love nothing better than a nap with their human. In fact, Shorkies become extremely attached to their owners and don't like to be left alone for extended periods of time. If this happens, they are likely to become depressed and destructive. Shorkies make for great family pets and, with appropriate supervision, it's fine for them to be around children.

Diet & Health

The Shorkie diet is relatively straightforward and similar to that of other small dog breeds. They should be fed high quality kibble – wet food is not recommended as, like Shih Tzus, Shorkies can tend to have dental problems. The kibble should be balanced enough to meet the needs of these small but energetic dogs. As well as oral health issues, Shorkies commonly experience kidney and liver disease, and retinal apathy.

Like the Shih Tzu coat, the Shorkie coat requires quite a bit of maintenance. Daily grooming is required to ensure the coat stays soft and silky and does not become matted. While there are a number of officially recognised Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier coat colors, the Shorkie's ambiguous breed status means that there are currently no standard coat colors or patterns, so you can expect to see a range of markings and color varieties, with at least two colors being common. Regular bathing and trimming will help keep the Shorkie's coat in great condition.

Training

When it comes to training, Shorkies are smart, friendly and eager to please, but they're also quite a bit more stubborn than the average Shih Tzu. They are more than capable of learning a wide range of commands, but their training needs to be approached with a lot of patience as they can generally only manage short training sessions. Training should take the form of positive reinforcement at all times, and the Shorkie should be praised and rewarded throughout – any kind of negative feedback will simply cause the Shorkie to turn his attention elsewhere and lose trust in his owner.

As for housebreaking, this again will take time and patience as Shorkie puppies can be difficult to housetrain, but puppy pads and crates can help with the training process, and owners should keep a close eye out for signs that their Shorkie puppy needs to go to the bathroom.

These issues aside, it's certainly worth sticking with consistent training because the Shorkie is bright and inquisitive dog that will delight in showing off his tricks and lapping up all the attention! Hugely adaptable to their environments, the Shorkie is the perfect pet for families, singletons, the elderly, and just about anyone else. They make truly delightful little companions and are guaranteed to bring joy, fun and a little bit of sass to any home.

Shorkie Facts:

Shorkies grow to between 6 to 14 inches tall and weigh between 5 and 15 pounds.

Like most other small dog breeds, Shih Tzus crosses such as the Shorkie have a life expectancy of between 12-15 years.

The Shorkie is not yet considered a standalone breed. At least seven generations of breeding will be required for the Shorkie to potentially be officially recognised as a breed in its own right.

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