There are many reasons why prospective dog owners may choose a specific breed. Some are looking for working dogs, while some value dogs who do well with children. Others seek a dog to fulfill certain therapeutic needs. There are almost as many reasons why owners choose their dogs as there are breeds themselves! Of course, the number one reason why most people choose their pup isn’t even remotely practical. It all comes down to cuteness. Chorkies are without a doubt one of the cutest breeds of designer dogs available to the modern dog owner. A relatively new breed created in the early 1990s, a Chorkie is the result of a crossing between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Chihuahua. So what happens when you put the two tiniest and cutest pups together? You certainly don’t end up with anything other than a cutiepie.
As with most mixed breed dogs, the Chorkie’s physical appearance can sometimes have subtle variances depending on the genetic contribution of the parents. However, like their parents, they are extremely small toy-sized dogs that make for excellent indoor pets. Chorkies generally retain the long and silky hair of the Yorkshire terriers and the head shape of the Chihuahua. Their ears are generally erect like the Chihuahua’s, but can sometimes be droopy. Unlike Yorkshire terriers which are usually tan, grey and black in color, Chorkies can come in a variety of colors due to their Chihuahua genetics. It’s all quite tricky to predict with hybrids, but rest assured that no matter which mixture of traits pop up in your Chrokie, the results will be absolutely adorable.
Some people also call these dogs Yorkie-Chi or Chiyorkie, but these are not common or official breed names.
Chorkies are without a doubt one of the cutest breeds of designer dogs available to the modern dog owner.
As is the case with most new designer breeds, origins are often hazy and obscured, with no dates known for certain. Although it is impossible to trace the first intentional Yorkshire Terrier and Chihuahua crossing, sources indicate that Chorkies were initially bred in the early 1990s. This is the time when the popularity of designer breeds soared, and many of the hybrids were created with success. Sadly, nothing more is known about where these pretty pups came from. However, they have since gained a great deal of popularity and are an extremely beloved choice of designer dog. They aren’t going anywhere. This breed is growing exponentially.
The Chorkie is the result of crossing Yorkshire Terrier with Chihuahua, two extremely popular small breed dogs. Although his parents are purebred, the Chorkie himself doesn’t enjoy the same status. That means that these beloved dogs are not recognized by the American Kennel Club as a “real” breed. As a mixed breed dog, the Chorkie is not eligible for official pedigree papers, but there are smaller clubs that do recognize this hybrid and that offer their own certification for designer puppies, if that’s important to you.
Yet, even without a well-documented family tree, the Chorkie is a canine with quite an impressive ancestry. Both the Chihuahua and the Yorkshire Terrier have been around for centuries and their companionship has been treasured by generations of pet owners. They are amongst the well known and best documented dog breeds out there! So, if the puppy was not bought from a pet store or a puppy mill, you can expect your lovely hybrid to grow up into a fantastic dog that boasts the best of two beloved doggo worlds.
Food / Diet
Like all dogs, Chorkie will do best on high-quality dry food for dogs. Kibble is a nutritionally complete food that meets all of your pet’s dietary needs (it also comes in a convenient and readily available form to boot). But how are you supposed to pick out the best dry food for your Chorkie? The key is to pay attention to all of your dog’s unique needs. Choose kibble that is suitable for their age (puppy, adult, or senior), size, and activity level (dog food formulated for small breeds).
In addition to picking out the right type of food, you’ll have to pay attention to the serving sizes. As a petite dog, Chorkie doesn’t need much kibble to be full, but their appetite is often voracious. Follow the recommendations of the manufacturers and never free fed your pet. They’ll gain weight quickly and their small frame doesn’t tolerate excess fluff well at all. Health issues pop up fairly fast if their belly gets too big.
As always, if you are ever worried about what to feed your Chorkie to suit their specific dietary needs, always consult with your veterinarian. While dog food manufacturers do their best at provided guidelines, all dogs are different and have their own needs. Only your vet will be able to identify the personal needs of your specific pup. So always look to a vet if you are worried about your doggo’s diet. That’s why you have a vet, after all!
Like Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas, Chorkies are extremely intelligent and are highly trainable.
Like Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas, Chorkies are extremely intelligent and are highly trainable. However, while their smarts and eagerness to please their owners certainly ensure that they pick up commands with ease, training this breed is not always smooth sailing. As the offspring of two small and spirited dogs, the Chorkie can have a stubborn streak just like his mom or dad. In that case, you’ll need just a little more patience with your new puppy and have to take the right approach! It’s important to assert yourself as the leader of the pack from the start. Don’t let your new adorable puppy boss you around as that will lead to behavioural problems that will last a lifetime. Exude confidence, be firm in your training routine and rely on positive reinforcement methods and you’re sure to succeed. Negative reinforcement and excessive punishment is abuse, not training. Not dog deserves that, so avoid it at all costs.
The Chorkie is also quite prone to small dog syndrome and excessive barking, so make sure you start training and socialization early on. It will help your pooch realize his own potential to be a perfect companion. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a grumpy, bossy, yappy small dog. No one wants that.
Chorkies usually weigh around 8 to 10 pounds. It’s obvious from the get-go that these are quite tiny doggos and that their space requirements won’t be all that great. A Chorkie can thrive even in a small apartment, and won’t need too much space to thrive under your care. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have space to spare and maybe even a fenced yard to play in, but they are not a prerequisite for a Chorkie. Whatever your options are, remember that these dogs shouldn’t be cooped up all the time, confined to small spaces, or left without room to relax or stretch. In these regards, not all housing will be appropriate. Just make sure they have enough free space indoors and outdoors to live comfortably and happily.
Temperament / Behavior
Like all mixed breed dogs, the temperament of an individual Chorkie can be a unique mix of its parents’ characteristics. It’s hard to predict and every Chorkie puppy tends to be a little bit different from the pack. Some owners may find this worrying, but it’s all just part of the fun of bringing a Chorkie into your life.
Both Chihuahuas and Yorkshire terriers are confident and self-assured breeds and Chorkies generally retain this same sort of temperament. Just like their parents, they are highly energetic and playful and require a great deal of exercise and play. They can also be extremely stubborn and willful if not provided with rules boundaries and limitations from puppyhood. Do not let their small size fool you. These dogs can be nightmares if not given proper leadership. They will think they run their home and rather quickly, you’ll feel more like a human pet than a dog owner.
Like Chihuahuas, Chorkies too often feel a need to bark and alert their owners of anything suspicious. This, along with the Yorkshire Terriers' courage, make Chorkies quite good guard dogs. Sure, they won’t be able to overpower any intruder, but they most certainly will be able to raise quite a racket and alert their owners of any trespassing. It’s also worth noting that they may also be on high alert and bark up a storm any time a person dares to visit your home. Yet another reason why it’s important to train and socialize your Chorkie as early as possible. Taking them to obedience classes is a good idea to ensure that your Chorkie is a well behaved little companion and not a doggo Napoleon. All in all, this is quite a versatile dog breed, suited for a variety of owners and environments.
Common Health Problems
Mixed breed dogs are usually much healthier than their purebred parents and tend not to inherit the hereditary ailments that affect either breed. Chorkies can however suffer from various skin problems and allergies. So that’s certainly something to keep an eye on and catch early.
Chorkies have a fairly high life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. This can be quite a surprising lifespan for such a fairly new designer breed. Especially if we consider that most dog breeds have a maximum lifespan of about 15 years on average. This means that you and your Chorkie friend will be able to spend a lot of quality time together, creating many wonderful memories along the way. Still, don’t think that this magical number of 15 years will come about all on its own. There is a lot that you will have to do to help them in this. Your responsibility as a diligent and responsible dog owner is to provide your pet with good attention and care throughout their lives. This means that you will always have to provide a good and balanced diet, regular vet checkups, plenty of exercise – and tons of affection. Only with these in check, can you hope your pet will reach their distant senior years.
Despite their tiny size, Chorkies are huge bundles of energy and require a great deal of exercise and play to remain in a balanced state of mind. And although they can get their required amount of exercise by playing around the house, it is important that you take them on short daily walks. This can provide the mental stimulation these dogs require to lead healthy and balanced lives. No dog likes being cooped up. They need to explore and socialize to live full and happy lives, just like their owners.
Like all mixed breed dogs, the temperament of an individual Chorkie can be a unique mix of its parents’ characteristics.
As with other designer dog breeds, the Chorkie is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. It is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the International Designer Canine Registry, Dog Registry of America, and the Designer Breed Registry.
Every doggo’s pride and joy is its coat. Be it short or long, shaggy or smooth, a dog’s coat is one of its most recognizable details. However, the coat will need to be maintained in order to remain beautiful and in order for your dog to stay healthy. Chorkies are generally light shedders, but their coats need daily brushing and detangling. A bath every week or every other week will often be sufficient to keep them clean. Owners should watch out for excessive hair growth inside their Chorkie’s ears because that can cause ear infections.
The best course of action is the adoption of a steady weekly routine. Brush lightly as often as every two days, or at the very least once a week. This helps remove all tangles and mats, and maintain your pet’s hygiene at the highest level. Baths are needed as well, about once or twice per month. Of course, if all this seems a bit overwhelming to you, don’t hesitate to seek the help of professional groomers. In a salon, they can quickly tidy up your pet. This will give you some headstart for learning the needed steps yourself. Once you get a groove of it, grooming your Chorkie’s coat won’t be an issue. Just keep in mind that proper hygiene is a huge part of your dog’s health and wellbeing.
We’re not going to lie: Chorkie puppies just might be the cutest thing that you’ll ever see! The litter size for this breed is small, so there are often only two or three furry siblings to choose from. And even in small numbers, Chorkie puppies make a feisty bunch! They will require attentive owners who understand the value of early training and establishing an alpha relationship with a gentle touch. Otherwise, these puppies will grow into tiny titans rather than calming companions.
These tiny babies are adorable, cuddly, and full of spunk and energy, especially during their puppyhood. Regardless, you should make sure to start with training as early as possible, as timely socialization and behavior correction will make sure you have a lovely, well-behaved pet.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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