The feisty little Scorkie will win you over with this loving and devoted nature, as well as his intelligence and energy. These small dogs are full of zest, and their cheerful and active disposition leaves no one indifferent. Ideal both for life in an apartment and house with a backyard, the Scorkie will need a family that will provide enough exercise for him to stay happy. You see, while petite, this designer dog has terrier lineage, which means they will need to be challenged to prevent boredom and behavior issues.
As a hybrid breed, the Scorkie comes from two purebred parents- the Yorkshire Terrier and the Scottish Terrier. This is an unusual combination, and this designer dog breed is one of the more rare and recent mixes. Nevertheless, Scorkies have proven to be wonderful companions and surprisingly good watchdogs, not unlike both of the parental breeds.
Even though the Scorkie is a cute and lovable little dog, they might not be the perfect pet for every family. These dogs don’t mix well with young kids unless socialized on time, as they don’t have the patience for a pushy toddler and will nip if they feel threatened. Similarly, people who don’t have any previous experience with terrier breeds might find this ‘double trouble’ combo too much to handle. If you have your heart set on a Scorkie, though, read on to find out what these dogs are like- and what they need from you to be happy and healthy.
The Scorkie is a terrier by all means- these small scrappy doggos have a lot of spirit and big hearts.
There is a lot that Scorkie’s parental breeds share about their origin and history. The courageous Scottish Terrier gained his official status as a breed in the 1870s, though dogs of this breed existed centuries before, as a part of the Skye Terrier group. The spunky Yorkshire Terriers also had their start in the late 19th century, when they were developed as a separate breed from Waterside Terriers. Both of the breeds were originally bred to be vermin hunters, with a strong prey drive and compact size that would allow them agility and speed they needed for hunting. Over time, both the Scottish Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier were selectively bred for roles of companions, show dogs, and family pets, rather than rat exterminators.
The mixed breed offspring of the two terriers, though, has a lot less clear origin. The Scorkie is a designer dog breed, and as such, has a pretty mysterious past. The trend of crossbreeding purebreds is not a new one- although it did see its peak in the last 20 years. While there were no breeders to step out and claim the Scottish Terrier and Yorkie mix as their own, it’s safe to assume that the breed has a start similar to many other hybrids. This would put Scorkie’s origin in the United States, sometimes in the last decade or two.
The Scorkie is a designer dog breed with purebred parents. This hybrid is a 50-50 percent mix between a purebred Scottish Terrier and a Yorkshire Terrier. These types of crossbreeds are also known as first generation mixes- their parents are always purebred. While many believe that this contributes to the good overall health of the designer dogs, it’s not a rule. Good breeding is essential- a breeder has to select healthy, exemplary parents for his litter to display only the best traits. So if you want to make sure you get a Scorkie puppy that won’t be sickly or mistreated, avoid getting one from a pet store or dubious backyard breeders. Designer dogs might not get official pedigree papers, but a reputable breeder will offer you health guarantees and insight into their family tree.
Of course, it’s not only 50-50 percent mixes of the two breeds that are considered to be Scorkies. Although there are rare, there are so-called multigenerational Scorkies, which have a different ratio of the Yorkie and the Scottish Terrier in their family tree. For instance, some are the offspring of two Scorkies, others are Scorkies with more Yorkie in them, etc. As this is a young breed in development and a hybrid breed at that, there are no set standards for breeders to adhere to- so there are many variations of Scorkies out there.
Scorkies are a small terrier breed and will require a diet that is tailored to their unique nutritional needs. Not unlike most dogs, these spirited canines also need a well-balanced meal plan that would include meat-based protein, healthy fats, and fiber, all fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. The most convenient way to get your pet all of the nutrients they need to stay healthy is to opt for dry food. Naturally, not every type of kibble is good for your dog. Choose high-quality dry food, made from natural ingredients, without added artificial dyes and additives. Once you find the suitable quality, check that the formula is appropriate for your Scorkie. Usually, they do well on small breed formula– it checks the boxes for their size and activity level both.
Portion control is another important aspect of Scorkie’s diet. These pooches might be petite but, boy, can they eat! If you let them, they will gobble up more than their share, and, long-term, that would lead straight to obesity. Usually, these dogs don’t need more than a cup of premium kibble a day. If you’re not sure how much food your Scorkie needs to stay fit and healthy, consult a vet.
While undeniably intelligent, these dogs are also quite stubborn and willful, and they’re not the best fit for first-time dog owners.
If you haven’t had any experience with dogs, or more precisely- with housebreaking and training one, chances are that a Scorkie will be too much of a challenge. While undeniably intelligent, these dogs are also quite stubborn and willful, and they’re not the best fit for first-time dog owners. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that Scorkies are impossible to train without the help of a pro- it just takes the right approach and a bit of patience.
Not surprisingly, the Scorkie will respond best to positive reinforcement methods. Praise and yummy treats would pave a way to anyone’s heart, and your new furbaby is no exception. Reward their good behavior and a task well done and they’ll quickly realize what’s expected of them. Owing to their impressive intelligence and active, playful nature, Scorkies can be fantastic contestants in agility, flyball, and other dog sports.
Make sure to train and socialize your Scorkie on time- they are prone to behavioral issues such as small dog syndrome or not getting along with kids and other animals. Work with them on time to prevent any less desirable traits of their character from surfacing.
Scorkie comes from two petite parents- so he’ll also be quite compact. On average, these dogs weigh between 15 and 19 pounds.
The Scorkie is a terrier by all means- these small scrappy doggos have a lot of spirit and big hearts. Their energy, drive, and intelligence are impressive, but it’s nothing compared to their affection and devotion. If you want a dog that will love you to bits but won’t be too clingy or needy, terrier breeds such as the Scorkie can be a great match. This cute mix has a dose of independence to him that won’t make him a velcro pooch prone to separation anxiety, but they are still loving and sweet with their close family members.
Owing to their ancestry, these dogs do have a high prey drive and will try and bolt after any small critter that they notice in their turf (or outside it). This is why it’s important not to let them off leash or without supervision in a backyard without a high fence. Similarly, this also means that a Scorkie might not be the best roommate for your hamster or bunny. Their tenacity and drive can be channeled into competition and sports if the pooch shows interest in it. Otherwise, regular exercise will keep your little troublemaker out of trouble’s way.
Common Health Problems
A sturdy little pooch, the Scorkie is a generally healthy dog. With healthy parents and a healthy lifestyle, these mixed breed dogs can get to live out their days relatively trouble-free. Of course, there are always certain health issues your Scorkie might be more prone to, simply owing to his family tree. As the crossbreed offspring of the Yorkie and the Scottish Terrier, he might be affected by any of the issues that his parents are at risk for- even if that risk seems to be reduced.
The common health problems that affect his parental breeds and, in turn, could affect Scorkie include patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve Perthes disease, collapsed trachea, and hypoglycemia.
The average lifespan of a well-cared for Scorkie is 12 to 15 years.
Active and sassy, the Scorkie might come in a small package but they’re bursting with energy! These dogs have bright minds, curious nature and surprising stamina for a dog of their stature. As a result, these designer dogs require a fairly active owner by their side. These pooches won’t be content with a short walk around the block or manage to get all of their energy burned off indoors. They need someone to take them for a few walks each day, to play fetch or tug of wars with them- they’d even benefit from having enough outdoor space to play on their own or with a four-legged sibling. Ideally, a Scorkie would get circa 60 minutes of deliberate exercise each day.
While many people focus on giving their terriers an outlet for their physical energy, many often overlook their need to be mentally stimulated, too. Scorkie will love playing with puzzle toys and they will also help stave off boredom- crucial if you want to make sure that your new pet doesn’t start chewing furniture or other valuables out of frustration.
These designer dogs require a fairly active owner by their side.
As a mixed breed dog, the Scorkie is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or any of its international counterparts. There are, however, smaller clubs enthusiastic about taking hybrid breeds under their wing. The Scottish Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier mix is accepted by American Canine Hybrid Club and Dog Registry of America under the name Scorkie and as Scorkie Terrier by the International Designer Canine Registry.
While the Yorkshire Terrier and Scottish Terrier do share some similarities, their coat is definitely not one of them. One is prized for his silky soft hair, and other’s charm lies in his scruffy, rough coat. So what’s one to expect from their mixed breed offspring? Well, all bets are off when it comes to any designer dog’s hair, Scorkie included. These cute crossbreeds might have a longer or shorter coat, fluffier fur, velvety locks, or shaggy hair. You can never know with certainty- and it’s just a part of the Scorkie’s unique charm. On average, though, most of these dogs have medium length hair that sheds moderately and is not too demanding to keep in shape.
Scorkie puppies are a cute, mischievous bunch of tiny furballs. You’ll go bananas for your scruffy little dog and their rowdy ways from day one! Of course, their cuteness can also be their disadvantage- as many pet owners spend most of their time snuggling and cuddling their puppies instead on training and socialization. No matter how cute you find your Scorkie, it’s important to let them know you’re calling the shots and it’s not he who is the leader of the pack- otherwise, you’re in for some trouble.
Start training and socialization as early as possible to ensure the best results. With a little bit of patience and effort, your Scorkie puppy will grow up to be a fantastic companion for the whole family and a pet that brings you joy every day.
Photo credit: Photelling Images/Shutterstock
A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
More by Angela Vuckovic