Yorkie Shih Tzu mixes, also called shorkies and shorkie tzus, are one of several "designer breeds" in the dog world. Following in the footsteps of other mixed dogs becoming their own breeds, such as the shihchon, yorkiepoo and cockapoo, shorkies are available through many breeders who only specialise in that breed. Possessing some of the most desirable characteristics of both yorkies and shih tzus, shorkies are typically adored by their owners. However, before you take a leap into this designer dog's world, there are a few things to consider.
Yorkie Shih Tzu dogs are generally well-behaved and playful. Like a yorkie, shorkies are quite active and are perfect for families who are the same, states MixedBreedPups.com. Shorkies often make good therapy dogs, as they are typically calm when they need to be, along with being pleasant and outgoing.
Because they are social, yorkie shih tzus do not like to be left alone for long periods of time and crave constant affection and companionship. In addition, shorkies, as with most dogs, should be socialised when they are young--with both humans and other dogs--to become familiar with them and so they are not afraid as they grow into adulthood. Furthermore, yorkie shih tzus often become attached to their owners, making them very loyal companions, but have a tendency to be quite stubborn.
Some shorkies look more like shih tzus, while others look more like yorkies. Moreover, some yorkie shih tzus look like neither breed---it all depends on what the parents looked like and their genes. However, most shorkies weigh between 2.27 and 7.26kg. and are 5 to 11 inches tall. Shorkie hair colour varies; some are gold and have black masks on their faces like yorkies while others are all red, solid gold, black and tan or a combination of gold, black, white and chocolate.
In general, mixed-breed dogs are healthier than purebred dogs; however, shorkies are prone to their own set of problems. Yorkie Shih Tzu crosses often develop hip dysplasia and eye and thyroid problems, according to GreatDogSite.com. However, despite their health issues, shorkies typically live between 14 and 19 years of age if taken care of properly.
Most shorkies do require a bit of grooming in order to maintain healthy coats. If the hair is long, it should be brushed at least every couple of days to keep the tangles at bay, although daily brushing is best. Shorkies should be bathed once a month to keep their skin and coat clean, and typically need their nails and the hair around their faces and anal areas trimmed about the same time. If you choose to keep your shorkie in a puppy cut--when the hair is cut short all over its body--it will need to be maintained about every eight weeks.
As small dogs, shorkies do well in just about any environment, states GreatDogSite.com. Since they are quite active, these dogs require a bit of room to play and run around, although yorkie Shih Tzu dogs are perfectly content in apartments, condos, town homes and houses. Walk and exercise your shorkie at least once a day to maintain its physical and mental health.
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