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Shorkie! This designer dog breed is a gem of a pet! They not just prove to be great watchdogs but can be the best buddy on earth you would ever have a chance to make friends with.
They are a mix of Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier; thanks to the parent breed genes, Shorkies shed a lot less and hence can be a good company to people suffering from allergies.
Statistics show it that owing to its childish nature and playfulness, Shorkies are surprisingly growing popular in the United States.
Shorkie Infographic And Video
Shorkie Fullgrown Size & Weight
Here’s a quick fact sheet about the terrier mix dog breed;
Size – They grow up to 6 -11 inches and an adult Shorkie can be anywhere between 7 – 14 inches.
Weight – They could weigh between a range of 7 and 15 pounds
Shorkies are mostly sturdy and small with a few exceptions when the pet is lean with not much height but that’s really rare. They come in a variety of attractive colors ranging from Black & Tanned White to Particolored (the mixture of gold, white, black and chocolate).
An average Shorkie can live to be between 12 and 15 years. This again depends on the health of the little one; proper care and diet can help it sustain up to 17 years.
There isn’t clear evidence to support this lifespan range but based on the life expectancy of its parent breed, 17 years can be regarded as the maximum for a healthy Shorkie.
Shorkies are very affectionate and can easily get along with anybody; perhaps due to this ‘get-along-with-all’ feature, this breed usually cannot be used as a watchdog.
Few salient features of a Shorkie:
Energetic and Playful Personality – You definitely need to keep yourself boosted to run around with it for a quick game.
Excess Barking when Abandoned – Shorkies love to have company 24/7; slight ignorance can stress them out and hence result in excessive barking.
May Snap if Threatened – This behavior can be expected only if the pet feels threatened or abused; hence it’s necessary to be around when your pet plays with your little kid.
How To Train A Shorkie?
Shorkies are always high-spirited and happy and would love taking frequent strolls with the same enthusiasm that they had when you took them out for the first time.
They are extremely playful but not very demanding. They are quite sharp hence taking a look at these tips can help you train your pet better;
- Train them when they are attentive – Shorkie dogs are less attentive and can be hard-headed sometimes. So it’s mandatory that you wind up your lessons before they lose interest.
- Give Short Lessons – Train him for small games at first such as fetching toy bones, catching balls, etc
- One Command At a Time – Don’t bombard them with a list of training sessions. Give them one order a day and keep repeating until they master it.
- Take them to the same spot for training – You can easily train a Shorkie when given classes in the same place. Once they become familiar with the surrounding, they feel at ease while practicing or exercising.
- Reward them – Take consistent lessons and appreciate them whenever they succeed in accomplishing a task; give them a toy or a treat they love most.
Feeding A Shorkie
Like every designer breed, Shorkie too suffers from genetically transmitted diseases like low blood sugar level; hence it’s mandatory that the pet is fed with a balanced diet at regular intervals.
Here’s a guide to food habits based on the age of the pet;
First 4 months – Basically at this time, the puppy needs to be with the mother and be fed on dog milk alone.
Starting from 5 Months – It is high time that you introduce your pet to dry food. So if it is a branded dry kibble that you have decided to feed your dog with, then try dipping it in water and feeding; this makes digesting the food easy.
This is the stage when the puppy needs to have optimum muscle growth so make sure that the food you give consists of the required nutrients.
8 Months and Above – By this time, train your pet to have just dry food. You can decide the feeding quantity and frequency. You can split their meal structure into 3 portions or even two based on their requirement.
The point is, your pet needs to be healthy but that doesn’t mean it should be overfed.
If you suspect your pet to be suffering from hypoglycemia in the early months, then give them a little honey or maple syrup to keep a balance.
Interesting Facts About Shorkie
Dental issues are quite common in dogs but Shorkies are more likely to suffer from tooth loss and other dental problems.
They are easily distracted. Yeah, you read that right! So if you are planning to train your pet, do it while it’s still paying attention.
Isolation and ignorance can lead them to be more destructive and aggressive.
They love Squeaky Toys. Try it yourself if you don’t trust me; give them one and they will chew on it the whole day.
Shorkies need to be groomed regularly to avoid tangled hair. Their hair texture is extremely smooth and double coated. It tends to grow long if left unattended; so try to keep it short during summers and let them have an extra coat for warmth during winters.
Shorkies can literally hate being crated sometimes. They usually love being surrounded by people so if you try putting them in a crate or kennel; they will claw their way out, sometimes hurting themselves in the process.
Shorkie Health Problems
Shorkies are cross-bred so they tend to suffer most from genetically transmitted diseases.
Here’s a list of common health concerns associated with the Shorkie;
- Liver Disease – This is completely a genetic disorder where the blood might bypass the liver. Such issues lead to hepatic encephalopathy where toxins accumulate in the blood and may have the poisonous effect on the little one’s brain.
- Hypoglycemia – Low blood sugar levels are quite common in this breed type; proper nutrition can help balance the sugar level.
- Patellar Luxation – This involves dislocation of the kneecap from the normal groove of the thigh bone. This health condition can be quite painful at times leading to lameness in the pet.
You can correct this with a surgery but as the old saying goes – Prevention is better than cure; never take a small knee injury lightly and get your pet treated when there’s still time.
- Collapsed Trachea – This is a progressive disease that occurs in small breed dogs that are prone to suffer from prolonged respiratory issues. Sometimes the dogs have it from birth and sometimes they acquire it gradually.
- Tooth Loss – Tooth loss, gum bleeding and various other dental issues are quite common in all dogs; regular cleaning and brushing of teeth can help stay away from such dental problems.
Shorkie puppies can cost anywhere between $350 and $2000 based on their size, age, and health. If you are to buy a Shorkie from a professional breeder then it would cost a little more than the usual rate.
Few breeders might tempt you into buying their breeds for lesser than the standard rate. Don’t get enticed by such false promises; you are probably talking to an unprofessional breeder.
Talk to the breeder before you make the purchase, and it would be an ‘icing on the cake’ if he agrees to sign up papers guaranteeing the pup’s health.
Paying a little extra would do no harm if you have a healthy, lively pup at home. Vaccinate them regularly.
Use the tips presented in this article to train, groom, and feed your Shorkie. Take your pet to the vet at least once in every 2 months; never ignore even the slightest injury to its legs and thigh bones.
Once you get attached to these cuddly pups; it would take a great deal to let them go, so pamper them, take care of them and ensure they live in comfort for an extended lifespan.
As mentioned earlier, Shorkie is an outcome of a crossbreed between Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. The parent breeds must really be healthy; only then would the child breed be healthy with no genetic disorders.
Hence make sure you buy your Shorkie from a real reputable Shorkie breeder.
Avoid purchasing a Shorkie from a puppy mill or farm because these breeders do not worry about the accuracy of the outcome but keep breeding different mixes in order to get a large number of puppies.
Such Shorkies are mostly hostile and snappy in nature because they are not exposed to people in the first place.
Always insist to see the parent breed before buying a pup; a good breeder would allow you to see the parent. It is always better to double-check instead of regretting your choice later.