While Chihuahuas are a beloved dog breed, just as many owners love the Chihuahua mix called a Chorkie. These adorable little dogs inherit genes from the Chihuahua and the Yorkie, which makes them the best of both worlds. Guilty of the small dog syndrome, they typically do not notice that they’re the smallest animals in the room and will let people know their thoughts and feelings on the situation. This Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier mix is equal parts sassy and portable. They can practically fit in your pocket and love the world around them. Often called gremlins because of their small size, these dogs have different qualities and features that you need to know about before buying one.
What You Need to Know About Chorkies
- Chorkies weigh between eight and 15 pounds
- They’re typically six to nine inches tall
- Chorkies have a life span of 10 to 15 years
- They reach full maturity around the age of six to 12 months
- Some of the colors they display include tan, red, gray, black, brown and white
The History of the Chorkie
The Chorkie is a designer dog and a mixed breed. They are very confident and self-assured and can be stubborn and sassy at times. Most of these dogs have a Yorkshire Terrier as a mother and a Chihuahua as a father. Some call them little divas because they have an attitude that few other breeds have. If you change their routine or even switch to different food, you’ll see that attitude come out. This Chihuahua mix can also come from a Chihuahua mother and a Yorkshire Terrier father. To call into this breed group, the parent breeds must both be purebred.
Chorkies were not always as popular as other designer dogs are today. Their popularity grew as more people realized that they could get the best from two different breeds in a tiny dog that would do anywhere. If you search the web today, you’ll find some of these mixes represented on social media with Instagram and Facebook accounts that detail everything they do and everywhere they go. Once you lay eyes on a Chorkie puppy, you may want to start it some social media accounts too.
The origin of the Chorkie dates back to the 1990s as more people began looking for small dogs. Chihuahua mixes were already popular at the time as the dogs were small and cute. Breeders decided to mix this dog with the Yorkshire Terrier, which was around the same size and equally sassy. The popularity of the Chorkie spread from the United States to Europe and then other destinations around the world.
Using a Chorkie Breeder
The best place to find a Chorkie puppy is through a breeder. While some breeders own both parent dogs, others have only the mother. They either pay for the male dog to inseminate the mother or give the owner of that dog a free puppy from the litter. You can’t turn to the American Kennel Club and other organizations for help finding a breeder because the AKC does not recognize the Chorkie as an official breed. The American Canine Hybrid Club and the International Designer Canine Registry may offer help finding this and other designer breed dogs such as the Yorkie-Chi.
Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers who breed with other dogs can have a litter that ranges from as little as three puppies up to a maximum of five to six puppies. Each puppy in that litter can vary in color and size and have different temperaments based on the genes they get from their parents. Some of the characteristics of this breed can develop over the coming months as the puppy grows. To get a Chorkie puppy, you’ll likely spend $400 to $600. The cost will vary based on whether the parents were show dogs or came from show dog families.
How Long Do Chorkies Live?
Small dogs almost always live longer than big dogs do, and the Chorkie is no exception. The average life span of this dog is 10 years with the possibility that the dog may live to be 15 years old or even older. Your dog’s life span depends on factors such as its general health and whether it inherited any medical conditions from its parents. The amount of activity and how much it eats can affect its life span too.
How Big Can a Chorkie Get?
Chorkies are not big and fearsome dogs. They typically weigh just a few ounces at birth and are small enough that you can fit the puppy in one hand. They will slowly put on weight in the coming months and reach their maximum weight and height at 12 months of age. Adult Chorkies can weigh between eight and 15 pounds and stand six to nine inches tall. Those that inherit more from their Yorkshire Terrier side can be slightly longer. As long as you do not overfeed your dog and get it the daily exercise that the pup needs, it shouldn’t get much bigger. Pet stores sell tons of carriers that let you take a Chorkie with you to the store or dog park and carry it on a plane or in a car.
Are Chorkies Lapdogs?
You should know that Chorkies are not lapdogs. While adorable and small, they are also little bundles of energy. They have more enthusiasm than almost any other breed and will likely greet you at the door with hugs and kisses. If you give the dog enough energy, it will also like cuddling up with you for some loving too.
Though Chorkies are friendly and like new people, they are also very local to those who are familiar to them. If you bring a new friend home, you may want to slowly introduce the dog to that individual and let the dog feel comfortable. As friendly as they are, these dogs aren’t suitable for homes with young children. Their attitude makes them want to be the center of attention and they won’t like anyone who gets in their way. A Chorkie can bark and even snap at small children they view as threats. You should always supervise these dogs as they play around small kids.
Feeding a Chorkie
Chihuahua Yorkie mixes often require less food than you would expect. Adults weigh less than some puppies do and only need a handful of food a day. Their stomachs are so small that they can only eat a small amount before they’re done. Most of these dogs need no more than ½ cup of dry kibble every day, and some need as little as ¼ cup. You should look for a type of dry food that has no more than 400 calories per daily serving.
As with other small breeds, Chorkies do better on dry food than wet food. While wet food has extra moisture that keeps them from becoming dehydrated, it adds moisture to their mouths. This makes them salivate and drool, which can increase the bacteria in their mouths and plaque on their teeth. Dry kibble crunches between their teeth and scrapes off some of that plaque. Some companies make dog food specifically designed for small breeds. It contains a good mixture of vitamins, protein, minerals, fats and carbohydrates to help your dog grow.
Following a set meal plan is important for a few reasons. It helps your dog stick to a schedule, which can help with potty training. The dog learns what it will eat and when it’s time to go outside. A set meal plan also helps them get the calories they need and avoid the issues associated with weighing too much or too little. Chorkies also love treats but can eat too many if left unsupervised. One treat a day is enough for this dog.
Yorkie Chihuahua Mix and Exercise
As Chorkies are quite small, you might think that they don’t need much exercise. They have tons of energy though and need some stimulation every day. You can take your dog on one short walk around the block every night and play with it in the morning to make sure it gets the stimulation and exercise that it needs. Most of these dogs work off their excess energy when they play at home. They can burn enough calories playing with their favorite toys while you’re at work. Even if you assume that your pup gets enough exercise when you’re gone, you should still try to take at least one walk a day. A 30-minute daily walk is all that a Chorkie needs.
Games and Playtime
Little dogs can benefit from playtime at home with their families. One of the easiest games that you can play with your dog is fetch. The Yorkshire Terrier in them makes them want to chase balls and toys all around the house. As long as you can throw the ball and tell the dog to bring it back, you can play this game. Pet stores sell balls that are safe for dogs to chew on and small toys that fit the small size of a Chorkie.
You can also stimulate your dog on your regular walks. Sticking to the same route day after day is just as boring to your dog as it is to you. Try switching things up and walking in the opposite direction or taking a detour down a new street. Chorkies will love the new smells they pick up in the air as well as the new things and sounds around them.
Chorkie Training Basics
Many people who own these Yorkie mixes feel overwhelmed when it comes to training them. As we already said before, these are sassy and stubborn little dogs. Those with less experience may want to give up because their dogs don’t listen to them. As frustrated as you are, your dog probably feels the same way because it never had anyone telling it what to do or giving commands before.
The best way to train these bundles of energy is with regular sessions that end with rewards and treats. If you want to teach your dog how to sit, you can give the command and help the dog get into the right position before rewarding it with a treat. This is a form of positive reinforcement that the dog likes. Chorkies also love any affection that you can give them, including rubbing its stomach and telling it that it’s a good boy or girl. It’s helpful to reward this crossbreed when you see it do something good too as this reinforces that behavior. You might reward your dog when it runs to the door instead of peeing on the floor or if it hears the mailman outside and doesn’t bark.
How Important is Socialization?
Socialization is very important for Chorkies and other toy breeds. These dogs often like seeing new people or animals and get excited whenever someone new is around. That excitement can lead to accidents on the carpet or scratches on a friend’s leg. A Chorkie may get so excited at the sight of a new animal that it tries to hump another dog or cat. Socialization is something that you should start from the moment you pick up a Chorkie puppy. You can get your dog accustomed to people of different ages as well as other animals.
The best way to socialize your dog is with regular trips to the dog park. You may want to keep it on a leash and harness for your first few trips. This keeps the dog from escaping through the gate and from jumping on other dogs. Once it feels familiar with those surroundings, you can start letting the dog play without wearing a leash. Regular walks around the neighborhood will also introduce your dog to new people and places.
Socializing your Chorkie can help it beat the boredom at home too. They learn how to stimulate their brains with toys and activities around the house. When you’re at work, you can feel comfortable letting the dog out of its crate. Small dogs that are bored when no one is around can destroy some of its favorite toys and some of your favorite clothing, shoes and furniture too. Chorkies that are better socialized are less likely to act out.
What Health Problems Affect Chorkies?
Most hybrid breeds suffer from common health issues and conditions such as skin problems. They can suffer from allergies to the food that you buy and from particles in the environment. Those allergies cause dry and itchy skin and can leave behind a rash. Atopic dermatitis affects many Chorkies and can come from environmental issues or their genes.
Chorkies can also develop other health concerns such as Patella Luxation, which occurs when the knee cap dislocates. This can happen if the dog jumped too high or suffered a fall, but it can also happen for no reason that you can find. Dogs suffering from a dislocation will often have trouble walking and favor their other legs. It can worsen over time and require surgery to fix. If you notice your pup walking with a limp or having issues standing or running, talk to your vet.
Grooming Your Chorkie
The small size of the Chorkie makes them a member of the Toy classification. They have fluffy coats with medium to long hair and do not shed. While not officially a hypoallergenic dog, their light shedding can make them suitable for some people who have allergies. That lack of shedding also means that you need to vacuum and clean less often than you would with other breeds. As fluffy and soft as these dogs are, their coats can develop an oily sheen that will require a bath. Though you can use any type of dog shampoo, you may want to look for sensitive skin shampoos and those designed to kill fleas, especially if your dog spends a lot of time outside.
Caring for a Chorkie at home requires weekly and sometimes daily brushing. Their thick coats can become tangled or develop large mats when not brushed at home. A groomer can trim the coat to a short length and also trim their nails and check their ears. The hairs in their ears can grow so long that it affects their hearing, which is why groomers will trim those hairs too. Trimming will also reduce the risk of your dog developing an ear infection caused by bacteria lodged in their ears.
As a Chorkie parent, you also need to care for your dog’s teeth and nails. Their nails can grow so long that they wrap around the edges and grow into their paws. Most groomers can both trim the dog’s nails and give its teeth a good brushing. With dental treats and special chews, you can make sure that the dog’s teeth stay healthy in between vet check-ups and grooming sessions.
The Chihuahua Yorkshire Terrier mix known as a Chorkie is a popular designed dog that many love for their small size and adorable little faces. They are so small that you can take one in a carrier or a bag when you leave the house, but you’ll still want to put the dog down and let it walk around. Though they are susceptible to some health conditions, the Chorkie dog is generally easy to care for and makes a good companion pet.