Feature Image Credit: @sakabo5424 (IG)
Until today, many people frown upon the practice of crossbreeding. However, there can be several benefits to producing mixed breeds that cynics may not know about.
Aside from the lowered risk of inheriting pre-existing health conditions, you can have a unique-looking pet with the combined temperaments of its parents.
One of the many interesting designer dog breeds is the Shorkie Poo. While the name itself sounds adorable, this mixed breed is nothing short of this adjective. As a mix between the most lovable toy breeds, a Shorkie Poo is infamous for its high energy and impulsiveness.
If you’re ready to meet and possibly keep this dog as a pet, you will surely benefit from reading this article. I will help you assess if the Shorkie Poo is truly the right dog for you.
What Is a Shorkie Poo?
A Shorkie Poo is a bubbly crossbreed produced from the combination of a Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, and a toy Poodle. From this mix, you can expect this dog to be small in size but big in personality. They are very active and intelligent dogs that are mostly friendly, especially with kids.
They love playtime as much as they love a good cuddling session. Due to their high prey drive, you will normally find them running around the yard, hoping to catch squirrels, birds and often enough, the neighbor’s cat.
You might also need to warn your local mailman about the loud barking. The Shorkie Poo likes to be vocal and announce any stranger’s presence.
Shorkie Poo History and Origin: Where Does the Shorkie Poo Come From?
Before gaining popularity in the United States, Shorkie Poos were first known in Britain and Ireland. By the 2000s, designer breeders began breeding Shih Tzus with Yorkshire Terriers in the country.
You might also be wondering where the Poo is in the equation. To explain it better, a Shorkie is a mix between a Shih Tzu and a Yorkshire Terrier. When the Shorkie is mixed with a toy Poodle, we get a Shorkie Poo.
Similarly, a Yorkipoo or a Yorkie and Poodle mix can be bred with a Shih Tzu. It can be a bit of a headache, but I hope that was clear enough.
Shorkie Poos were originally bred to become small companions well-suited for apartment owners and people who generally prefer lap dogs.
Since they are mixed breeds, they aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, Shorkies are acknowledged by The American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and can be registered to the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
Shorkie Poo Characteristics: What Does a Shorkie Poo Look Like?
If you think that a Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier and a toy Poodle each have their own unique charm, then you can just imagine the overload of cuteness a Shorkie Poo has.
There is no standard appearance for a Shorkie Poo, but generally, they have straight, medium-to-long coats like a Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. However, there are cases when the curly genes are stronger, so they might end up looking like a teacup Poodle.
As for their coat, Shorkie Poos can have a mix of their parent’s color, which can be either one or a combination of these shades: blue, black, brown, fawn, red, and white. They also have those signature puppy eyes and a small button nose to match.
Their small size won’t give you any trouble with carrying them around. They are light and cuddly and always looking alert.
Shorkie Poo Size and Weight: How Big Does a Shorkie Poo Get When Fully Grown?
Predicting the final height and weight of mixed breeds is more difficult than in purebreds. There are only a few standards for Shorkie Poo’s weight and height. To get an idea, let’s compare the average weights and heights of the individual dog parents.
A full-grown Shih Tzu weighs 9 to 16 pounds and stands between 8 and 11 inches. As toy breeds, they tend to mature faster and reach their adult size at 10 months old.
For Yorkshire Terriers, their average height falls between 8 and 9 inches, and their weight is preferably 4 to 6 pounds. However, their size can be inconsistent. According to some owners, their Yorkies weigh around 14 pounds.
As for toy Poodles, they can weigh around 6 to 9 pounds and grow up to 10 inches tall.
From this comparison, we can say that Shorkie Poos weigh anywhere between 4 and 14 pounds and have a height of around 8 to 11 inches.
However, there have been accounts of dogs weighing 15 pounds and only reaching 6 inches in height while others grow as tall as 14 inches.
Shorkie Poo Temperament and Personality: Do Shorkie Poos Make Good Family Dogs?
Many Shorkie Poo owners describe their dog’s personalities as energetic, friendly, and affectionate like their parents. They easily get along with humans, making them excellent family dogs.
They are extremely loyal to their owners and form a strong bond with each family member. This is why they may experience separation anxiety which can result in excessive barking.
Speaking of which, Shorkie Poos love to bark, especially at strangers. This can be a problem for neighbors, so you also might consider this if you live in an apartment.
The instinct to bark a lot is most likely the result of the combined traits of the Yorkie and Shih Tzu. The former is known for being a courageous breed, and the latter for its alertness. On the positive side, this temperament makes them good watchdogs for the family.
Shorkie Poos are also great with children, although it’s advisable to supervise them during playtime. Because of their size, small kids might accidentally step on them or pull their tails. This usually triggers an aggressive response from the dog.
To see some active Shorkie Poo puppies playing and running around, watch this short clip:
Shorkie Poo Lifespan and Health Issues: How Long Do Shorkie Poos Live?
The life expectancy of a Shorkie Poo is around 10 to 15 years. Any owner would love to have their dog live until their senior years. However, because of some common diseases, their lifespan can decrease.
As mixed breeds, Shorkie Poos are at risk of having the same health conditions as their parents.
Some of these illnesses you should watch out for are the following:
- Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome: This refers to a set of upper airway abnormalities such as narrow, underdeveloped nostrils, elongated soft palate and laryngeal collapse. Brachycephalic syndrome is very common in Shih Tzus, which causes difficulty in breathing through the nose and lethargy in most cases.
- Dental Disease: Because of their narrow jaws, they can easily have crowded teeth and periodontal disease. This condition starts as an inflammation of the gums that can cause the tooth to fall out when left untreated.
- Glaucoma: This is an eye disease caused by the inadequate drainage of the aqueous fluid, resulting in increased pressure within the eye. Over time, this can damage the retina and optic nerve.
- Hypoglycemia: When dogs experience low blood sugar, they develop a condition called hypoglycemia. It is often caused by an underlying health condition or exposure to harmful substances. A dog may often feel weak, lethargic, and have decreased coordination.
- Lens Luxation: Most common in terrier breeds, lens luxation occurs when the lens ligaments are weakened, causing the lens to move from its normal position. This can be very painful for your pup and even cause permanent blindness.
Like with other dogs, regular vet visits are needed to detect any of these health issues or other diseases that they may experience in their lifetime.
How to Take Care of Your Shorkie Poo?
Depending on the breed, a dog can have unique needs that the owner needs to wholeheartedly provide. While some dogs are easier to maintain than others, toy dogs like Shorkie Poos need extra care and attention due to their size.
For instance, you might notice that your Shorkie Poo is peeing very frequently. Remember that small dogs have small bladders, so it’s no surprise that they need more potty breaks than larger dogs.
If you want to keep your house free from the smell of pee, consider buying diapers or washable pads for your pup.
You also need to consider their poor resistance to harsh weather conditions. To keep them protected during the summer, you may need to apply dog sunscreen to the ears and nose. During winters, a warm and fuzzy coat is needed to keep them extra warm.
Feeding and Diet
When feeding Shorkie Poos, you should consider a diet formulated for small breeds with high energy. They usually eat small portions of dog food each meal, so it’s important to divide them throughout the day.
Only two meals a day is suggested to prevent overfeeding. Since they are prone to being overweight, you might also need to cut down on treats even if their puppy eyes beg for it. Replace these treats with healthy alternatives like chopped carrots and celery.
As they get older, you need to switch from puppy food to adult dog food. They may also be sensitive to certain ingredients and develop skin conditions. If your Shorkie Poo has sensitive skin, consider feeding them with fish oil supplements.
Hydration is also important in getting the right nutrients for your Shorkie Poo, so keep your dog’s water bowl filled at all times, especially during hot weather.
Cleaning and Grooming
When you own a Shorkie Poo, you won’t be surprised to find that they dived into a pool of mud or got stuck in the bushes. Always check their eyes and ears for any dirt, debris, or pests acquired from playing outside.
Due to their long coat, they require daily brushing and professional grooming every six weeks to keep their coats healthy and shiny. They need to be bathed every two weeks and their nails should also be trimmed once or twice a month.
Like their parents, Shorkie Poos are prone to many dental problems. Maintain their oral hygiene through brushing their teeth daily or finding a good dental chew.
These measures, along with regular teeth cleaning visits, will help avoid the expensive cost of dental treatment.
Some Shorkie Poos also develop tear stains due to overactive tear glands. If your dog is looking teary, you need to gently wipe around their eyes with a clean cloth whenever needed.
Training and Exercise
Due to their intelligent and highly trainable parents, Shorkie Poos are good candidates for socialization and early training. But because they have short attention spans, you may need to add variety to your training method.
Repetitive tasks will bore them easily, and they will most likely not respond. However, starting at a young age will help curb this stubborn streak.
With diligence and positive reinforcement, you can expect a friendly and well-behaved dog that can impress anyone with their learned tricks.
As for exercise, you need to walk them once or twice a day for at least 10 to 15 minutes to burn those calories and stay healthy. Be careful not to overdo it to avoid any bone or joint problems.
Shorkie Poo Puppy Prices & Expenses: How Much Does a Shorkie Poo Cost?
As designer breeds, you should expect a Shorkie Poo to be on the expensive scale of dog prices. If you wish to purchase one, you need to allocate a budget of around $1,000 to $2,000 for a Shorkie Poo puppy.
The final price usually depends on the puppy’s bloodline, health, quality, color, and age. The breeder’s reputation and location are also considered.
As expected, a breeder that can provide complete paperwork, including a medical certificate and registration papers, will charge higher than those who don’t. Additional costs for shipping may also be charged.
For a budget-friendly option, you can contact rescue organizations to adopt a Shorkie Poo puppy or adult. You can expect to pay $300 to $800 depending on their age.
You also don’t need to worry about the dog’s health because the adoption fee usually covers vaccination and checkups.
Once the purchase is settled, you need to prepare for your puppy’s arrival by purchasing these essential items:
|Type of Expense||Average Cost|
|Dog Crate and Bed||$200|
|Leash and Collar||$20 – $50|
|Dog Food and Treats||$60|
|Food and Water Bowl||$20|
|Total Initial Cost||$380 – $410|
Places to Find Shorkie Poo Puppies for Sale or Adoption
Shorkie Poos aren’t as widely available as their purebred parents. But if you are looking for a place to purchase a healthy Shorkie Poo puppy, a breeder is the best choice. Adopting a dog from a rescue is also a good option if you are cutting down on expenses.
I added this section to help you contact different breeders and rescue groups to find an available Shorkie Poo for you.
Here is a list of Shorkie Poo breeders and directories:
- TLC Puppy Love – This is a family-owned kennel in Florida that specializes in breeding small purebreds and designer breeds, including Shorkie Poos. They operate on a first-come, first-serve policy and allow visits to the facility before adoption.
- Little Darling Pups – This breeder focuses on producing high-quality designer breeds for families in Colorado. The puppies come dewormed, vaccinated, and complete with a health guarantee.
- Greenfield Puppies – This website gives you a directory of breeders that produces both purebred and mixed breeds. Each available puppy has its own profile with an overview of its age, temperament, and health condition.
- Infinity Pups – This is another platform where you can easily find Shorkie Poo breeders. Interested buyers can enjoy a short video clip of each available puppy in action (if available) along with important details about the pup and the breeder.
Here are some rescue organizations that may offer Shorkie Poo puppies and adults:
- Save A Yorkie Rescue – Although this rescue mainly puts Yorkies for adoption, there are cases where they include Yorkie mixes like Shorkie Poos in their list of available dogs. Since 2002, they have been rescuing over 2,500 dogs from different states.
- Shih Tzus & Furbabies – This rescue organization from Georgia has been rescuing Shih Tzu and Shih Tzu mixes since 1997. Over time, they also rescued other small breeds from different scenarios.
- Wee Rescue – This is another rescue dedicated to saving small breeds like Shih Tzus and other mixes from shelters in Texas. They provide medical treatment, spaying/neutering, and microchipping to all their dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shorkie Poos High Maintenance Dogs?
It’s no secret that Shorkie Poos are high-maintenance dogs. Because of their size, they require extra care and protection. As mentioned in the previous sections, they are not resilient to heat and cold weather.
They also need regular grooming due to their coat. Owners also have to be extra cautious about their oral hygiene. They should also be constantly monitored due to their impulsive tendencies.
Do Shorkie Poos Shed a Lot?
You won’t have to deal with fur on the bed or furniture because Shorkie Poos don’t shed. Their hair only grows, but they won’t fall off seasonally.
Their coats can be long and silky like a Shih Tzu or Yorkie or curly like a Poodle, so they still require a trip to the grooming salon. Regular brushing is also recommended to avoid tangles and help keep the fur shiny.
What Kind of Hair Do Shorkie Poos Have?
The Shorkie may have two different hair types depending on the dominant gene that they possess. If they inherit the traits of their Shih Tzu and the Yorkshire Terrier parents, they will have long coats with soft, almost human-like hair.
If the Poodle’s genes are stronger, they will have soft, wavy hair as a puppy, and as they become adults, it will develop into a thick, curly coat.
Are Shorkie Poos Hard to Potty Train?
For many owners, potty training with Shorkie Poos can be quite challenging, especially when they live in an apartment. You may even have to buy puppy diapers so they can do their business without ruining your carpet.
But since they are intelligent dogs, you can easily train them to go potty in a designated place. You may need to pay attention to signs when they need to relieve themselves. When you see them circling and sniffing the ground, then you should take them outside immediately.
Are Shorkie Poos Hypoallergenic?
People with allergies don’t have to hesitate to get a Shorkie Poo because they are hypoallergenic dogs. But don’t get too excited!
The term hypoallergenic doesn’t necessarily mean that they are allergen-free. It only means that they are less likely to trigger your allergies, which is still ideal.
Final Thoughts: Is the Shorkie Poo the Right Dog for You?
With all this information about Shorkie Poos, you’re probably thinking if this cute designer breed is the one for you. If you are looking for a small dog to be your companion at a small apartment, then they are a good choice.
They can be great watchdogs for the family and bring joy to each member, especially kids. Shorkie Poos may be high-maintenance dogs, but they are definitely loyal and affectionate to their owner.
They are smart and highly trainable, although this may require some treats and quite a bit of patience.
Nevertheless, the answer still lies in your capability to be a responsible dog owner that can attend to their needs and, of course, give the love and affection they need.