The Chorkie is a delightful and small mixed breed pup and is a hybrid between the Yorkshire Terrier and the Chihuahua. They make for excellent and cuddly fur-babies and will be that proverbial handbag dog that you’ve seen in the movies. Known for their playful and feisty natures, they will make a brilliant companion pet and will be best suited to families with older children or those with experience of smaller breeds. Since they are so small, they are well-suited to apartment dwelling but will need a daily exercise and play to stimulate their brain.
Owners usually report their Chorkie companions as being fun-loving, playful, energetic, and loyal to their humans. They are a brilliant companion pet and with the right training and socialization will learn to play well with other pups and humans.
History of the Chorkie
The Chorkie originated in the United States in the 1990s and is thus a fairly recent breed of dog. This Yorkie/Chihuahua mix might be tiny, but their big personalities make up for their size. They are now recognized by a number of prestigious kennel clubs and have gained popularity in recent years.
Who Are the Parents?
The Yorkshire terrier is a small breed of terrier that hails originally from a northern part of England known as Yorkshire. They were developed in the 19th century in cotton and woolen mills and derive from a number of terrier breeds that were brought to England from Scotland.
Yorkshire terriers are characterized by their small size (usually only 7 pounds or so) and can come in an array of colors from the traditional silver and tan, to cream, or gold. They are known as being brilliant companion dogs and have energetic and playful tendencies despite their small size. They adore cuddles and attention and will be loyal to their owners but can also have a feisty and curious streak. The term dynamite comes in small packages, couldn’t be truer than when it comes to this breed. They are also known to be barkers, and this makes them brilliant alter dogs. However, this barking could become a problem with neighbors and it is thus best to take them to behavior classes from the get-go.
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Chihuahuas originated from Mexico and are said to have descended from a dwarf dog in Ancient Mexico. These dogs were known as Techichi’s and were companion animals to the Toltec people. They have thus been around for thousands of years. They are in fact the smallest breed of dog and thus the perfect pet for apartment dwelling or smaller homes.
There are smooth coat breeds who boast a short hair appearance, and long coat breeds who have longer hair. In terms of their head shape, there are also two varieties. Namely, the apple head and the deer head. Apple head chihuahuas have rounder heads and their eyes are closer together. Deer head chihuahuas have flatter heads, further apart eyes, and bigger ears. In terms of their size, they are usually between 6 and 9 inches and they usually weight 4 to 6 pounds. They are thus teeny-tiny pups!
The breed is known for its fierce loyalty to their human, but due to their small size might become easily afraid. However, they might not show this fear and are also known to be feisty and alert. It is imperative to socialize them from a young age and get them used to other dogs and humans.
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- The Chorkie is a pretty new breed of dog and was only developed in the 1990s. Nonetheless, their parents (the chihuahua and the Yorkie) have a rich and long history.
- Despite their small size, they are usually pretty confident and self-assured. However, they can also have a feisty streak. Thus, they need firm boundaries, positive reinforcement, and lots of behavior therapy to ensure they know their place in your pack. Positive reinforcement is super essential if you want to train them well, as punishment can cause even more problems and end up hurting your pup.
- They can be prone to barking and thus make brilliant alert/watch dogs. This can, however, be curbed with some training. Ensure that they are well socialized from a young age and can happily engage with other dogs and humans.
- They can weigh anything from 8 to 10 pounds and thus are the perfect size to carry around and cuddle all day. If you ever had dreams of carrying your pup around in a Paris Hilton style purse, this might just be the breed for you!
- They might be small, but they need lots of stimulation and play! They also need a short daily walk to stimulate their brain. They say that for a dog, walking is like reading the newspaper. It’s essential for their brain development and the new smells and experiences will enhance their happiness and wellbeing.
- They can live from 14 to 18 years and thus have a long life expectancy.
Things You Should Know
So, let’s have a look at the Chorkie breed in more detail. Before selecting a breed it’s important to think about a myriad of things and consider whether they will be the perfect fit for your family. You need to think about their temperament and responsiveness to training, their exercise habits, possible health concerns, and training. Studying these aspects of your prospective pet is imperative if you want to choose a breed that fits your lifestyle and will slot in easily with your family dynamics.
Chorkie owners share that they are playful, energetic, loving, and outgoing pups. They are known to be loyal companions and will likely form a deep attachment to their human. Despite their small size, they can be active and energetic and will thrive in a home where they are given ample playtime and short walks to stimulate their brain.
Thanks to their Yorkie heritage, they also make for good guard dogs and will often bark to alert their owners when new people arrive. While this can be useful, it can also become a problem is left unchecked. They will thus benefit from socialization training and positive reinforcement. However, it is important to remember that this barking stems from their loyalty, and as a member of the pack, they are just trying to protect you.
Like many little dogs, they don’t do well with being left alone for hours on end. They are happiest when they are with their families and included in the pack. Thus, it’s important that you will be able to spend lots of quality time with your Yorkshire Terrier/Chihuahua Mix. They thrive on attention, cuddles, and love.
Despite all these positive attributes, they have also been known to have a stubborn streak and this means owners will have to practice patience and tons of positive reinforcement.
They ultimately make for delightful family pets and will be better suited with older kids who can respect their space and treat them with gentleness and love.
As mentioned above, Chorkie’s have been known to display a stubborn streak. Despite their small size, they have big personalities and if left unchecked, could think they run the household. It is thus super important to take them to dog training classes from the get-go. The moment you get your Chihuahua/Yorkie puppy (and once all their important vaccinations have been completed) you will want to enroll them in a puppy class. This will enhance their socialization skills and set a positive tone for future training. They are however super-intelligent dogs and with the right amount of training, will soon learn a myriad of amazing skills and tricks.
When it comes to training it is important to use positive reinforcement methods. This type of training rewards good behavior, rather than punishing mistakes. Punishment training can evoke fear and is not a good way to build a strong and trusting bond with your pooch. Positive reinforcement includes treats and praise and shows your pup that great behavior will lead to loads of great things.
If you’re feeling stuck and are facing issues like excess barking, separation anxiety, lack of toilet training, or any aggression, it’s best to consult a behavior therapist. They will come to your home and be able to analyze the situation and offer you proactive steps towards rectifying the behavior. Many owners deal with some behavior issues at some point and there is an abundance of brilliant help around that will get you sorted in no time.
Since Chorkie’s are a tiny breed, it is really important not to overfeed them. Small dogs who overeat and are not given enough exercise have the tendency to gain weight and this can put pressure on their vital organs and cause a number of health issues.
It is really important to feed your Chorkie high-quality, vet-approved food. Good food should be free of GMOs, soy, wheat, and various colorants, preservatives, and artificial flavors. It should be rich in Omega 3, 6, and 9 for healthy coats and skin, and contain healthy proteins, antioxidants, veggies, and various vitamins and minerals. Vet approved brands, or home-cooked meals are best as these will be free of harmful ingredients.
Be sure to follow serving suggestions when it comes to quantity and opt for brands that are specifically tailored to smaller breeds and their tiny mouths. If you are opting to feed them kibble, choose smaller kibble that will be easy for them to chew.
It is also best to save feeding for strict mealtimes as ‘free-feeding’ can lead to weight gain. while Chorkie’s are small, they might still have a big appetite and it can be easy to give in to that temptation. Save healthy treats for positive reinforcement training and save their food for your designated mealtimes.
For more guides on choosing the right dog food, you may wish to check out our reviews of the best dog food for small dogs, organic dog food, dog food for shedding, dog foods for sensitive stomachs and cheap dog food.
The grooming needs of your Chorkie are moderate. This breed of the pup will shed lightly but will need gentle daily brushing and the occasional bath. If you don’t feel confident in cutting their nails or fur, it is a great idea to take them a professional groomer. They will know the breed and the best haircuts for them. You can make the daily brushing a lovely bonding activity. Brush your Chorkie while they are snuggled up next to you on the couch.
Like many pure-bred pups, the Chorkie is susceptible to certain conditions. It is important to take them to your vet for regular check-ups and you might want to invest in a health insurance package to cover these costs. When it comes to your Yorkshire/Chihuahua mix you will want to keep an eye on:
- Skin issues
Your Chorkie might struggle with rashes or allergies and these can be caused by a number of environmental issues. If you notice your pup excessively scratching or see a skin rash, take them to your vet so that they can diagnose the problem and give your pooch the appropriate medication.
- Low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia)
Chorkie puppies are usually susceptible to low blood glucose and when dealing with a hypoglycaemic episode they might be cold to the touch and very lethargic. They need to be fed during these episodes and it is best to consult your vet so that you can feed them properly and ensure they are getting enough nutrients.
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- Dental problems
Since the Chorkie has a delicate jaw it might fail to align correctly. In such an instance there might not be enough room for all their teeth, and this can lead to an overcrowding problem, which in turn can cause a build-up of bacteria. This can lead to tooth decay or gum problems and might require a dental extraction at your vet. Your vet should check their teeth during their annual check-up.
- Eye problems
Terrier breeds can be prone to eye problems and thus need to be checked out regularly by your vet. Some Chorkie’s may suffer from a degenerative condition known as Progressive Retinal Atrophy.