If you love Chihuahuas as well as Yorkshire Terriers, the Chorkie may be the perfect pup for you!
What Is a Chorkie?
Chorkies (also known as Yorkchis) are mixed-breed pups, created by crossing a Yorkshire terrier (Yorkie) with a Chihuahua. They began popping up in the mid-90s, and they’ve become even more popular since then.
Most people who welcome a Chorkie into their life are overjoyed with their pup, but it’s important to understand the characteristics, needs, and habits of both parent breeds before taking the Chorkie plunge!
Before Adding a Mixed-Breed Pup to Your Home
Mixed breed pups often make awesome pets, and their mixed ancestry often means they possess a unique look. Of course, you should always do your homework before adding any new pet to your family, but this can be kinda tricky when you have your heart set on a mixed-breed dog.
Remember that even purebred dogs vary widely from one individual to another. Siblings from the same litter can vary in terms of body structure, color markings, personality, intelligence and health. Obviously, mixed breed dogs can display this much variation and then some!
All this simply means that you should take your time when selecting a Chorkie. Whenever possible, try to meet several pups in a litter before making your decision.
Chorkie 101: What’s a Chorkie All About?
Size: Small. Typically 6 – 9 inches high.
Weight: Typically 8 – 10 lbs
Life Span: 10- 15 years (average for most small breeds)
Energy Level: Moderate to High Energy. They’ll require plenty of play time around the house and at least semi-frequent walks (although short walks should be fine).
Training: Chorkies are very intelligent, like both their parent breeds. They are generally quite trainable, but require firm leadership and guidance.
Grooming: Moderate. Chorkies are generally light shedders, but their long, glossy fur is certainly more maintenance than a Chihuahua’s short-haired coat. Daily brushing and detangling is recommended.
Vocal Level: Like Chihuahuas, Chorkies can be more on the barky side – they’re often eager to notify owners of intruders or unusual activity. This makes them a good choice for intruder deterrence.
Health Problems: Because Chorkies are a mixed breed, they do not commonly suffer from any particular health problems that affect the parent breeds. However, they can be susceptible to allergies and skin issues.
Lifestyle: Chorkies will be comfortable in apartments or houses. They will be best suited in families with older children or living with adults or seniors. Chorkies likely won’t thrive or do well in homes with small children. They also don’t generally care for the cold.
Check out this video of Penny, a 10 week old Chorkie, exploring a park!
How Well Do These Breeds Blend?
For the most part, Chorkies are a wonderful combination of the Chihuahua and Yorkie breeds, who immediately endear themselves to their owners.
Yorkshire terriers contribute an adventurous, yet affectionate, spirit to the mix, while Chihuahuas contribute plenty of attitude and swagger. Both are relatively similar sizes, which helps limit the structural problems that sometimes occur in mixed breeds comprised of very different sized breeds.
All in all, it’s quite a nice mix! However, it is important to consider some of the primary traits of each breed, so you can understand what you may get when you mix the two.
Most Notable Traits of Chihuahuas
Among other things, Chihuahuas are known for being:
- Sassy (the AKC actually describes them as “graceful, charming, and sassy”)
- Playful, but not excessively so
- Unlikely to stray far from their owners
- Quite intelligent
- Very easy to train
- Can be prickly with other dogs
- Occur in a variety of colors and patterns
- Require minimal grooming and maintenance
- Typically easy to housetrain
Most Notable Traits of Yorkies
Some of the most notable traits of Yorkies include:
- They are typically quite affectionate
- They are bursting with energy and exuberance that exceeds their size
- Are usually healthy and rarely experience health problems
- Relatively unlikely to become obese
- Somewhat friendly with other dogs
- Very sensitive dogs
- Typically clad only in brown, grey and black tones
- Require a lot of grooming and maintenance
- Often difficult to housetrain
What Qualities Usually Come Out in the Mix?
You can never be certain what you’ll get when you mix a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire terrier, but most share a few common characteristics.
While there are surely countless exceptions, most Chorkies exhibit the following traits:
Chorkies typically have the long, silky locks of their Yorkshire terrier parent.
Chorkies may have either the deer or apple-shaped heads of their Chihuahua parent.
Chorkies may possess either pointy and alert, or droopy and relaxed ears.
Chorkies tend to come in a variety of different color patterns.
Chorkies rarely shed very much.
Chorkies usually bond very strongly with their families, and are always eager to show it
Potential Red Flags to Note
Many people opt for a mixed breed puppy after having a positive experience with either of the parent breeds. But unfortunately, this can cause problems when the pup’s parent breeds exhibit very different characteristics.
A few examples of these types of problems include:
Chorkies require much more exercise than your average Chihuahua.
This often causes problems in those who adopt Chorkies without realizing this important difference.
Chihuahuas are quite playful, but they don’t need to get out and run like many Yorkies and Chorkies do. You’ll probably need to take your Chorkie on at least one long walk per day (or spend 20 to 30 minutes playing outside).
Some Chorkies are too nervous and nippy for families with young kids.
Proper training and socialization often help to limit these types of problems, but Chorkies frequently lack the kid-friendly nature of their Chihuahua parents.
This is not likely to be a problem for older children, who can be taught the proper ways of interacting with the family’s new dog.
Chorkies often inherit the social skills of their Chihuahua parent, which can make them antagonistic to other dogs.
Early socialization can help curtail this problem, but Chorkies are rarely as dog-friendly as Yorkies are. This is an important characteristic to note if you spend a lot of time at the dog park or have other dogs.
However, if you live alone and don’t plan to get out and about very often, this isn’t a big deal.
Chorkies often require more maintenance than Chihuahuas do.
For example, because Chorkies often possess the long hair of their Yorkie parent, they usually require much more grooming than many former Chihuahua owners are prepared for. Fortunately, like both of their parents, Chorkies don’t shed very much.
Chorkies can be challenging to housebreak.
Some Chorkies learn the dos and don’ts of pooping and peeing pretty quickly, while others will provide a lifetime of accident-related headaches. Unfortunately, this is not something that you can predict when picking out a puppy.
Crate training is usually helpful, but many will have accidents for the duration of their life.
Are You a Good Match for a Chorkie?
If you are interested in adopting or buying a cute little toy dog, who is a great combination of sassy and sweet, a Chorkie may be a great option for you.
They can make good pets for first-time owners, although you may run into a bit of difficulty housebreaking your new pup. They aren’t a good choice for owners who are away from the home a great deal, nor are they ideal for families with small kids, but they will make great companions for most others.
Have you ever parented a Chorkie? How did it work out for you? Let us know all about it in the comments below!