Do you have a passion for small dogs, but love “big dog” personality? A Chorkie might be just what you’re looking for! Keep reading to learn more about this very popular designer dog.
Chorkie Dog Breed Overview
What is a Chorkie? It’s a cross between a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire Terrier. As is the case with most crossbreeds, the first Chorkies likely happened by accident, since until the explosion in popularity of designer breeds, most owners of purebred dogs didn’t want them breeding with others not of their kind. Somewhere along the line, one would assume, a few owners would have looked at the accidental results, and thought, “This didn’t really have such a bad outcome – maybe we need a few more of these little cuties!”
The rest, as they say, is history. By the early 1990s, Chorkies were well on their way to becoming among the most popular designer breeds. Unfortunately, when a breed or cross becomes in demand, bad breeding frequently occurs, so I want to get one thing out of the way before we go any further.
Although I am passionate about purebreds and make no apologies whatsoever for being a “dog snob,” I acknowledge the fact that many people adore crossbreeds. Some crosses, however, should not be bred. There’s nothing wrong with a cross, provided that both parents are of standard size. Teacup dogs, of any variety, are bred to be freakishly small, and often have serious health issues. Please, don’t even consider a teacup cross. The best-case scenario is that you’ll be encouraging an irresponsible breeder to do something that is harmful. The worst-case scenario is that you will end up with a dog that will bankrupt you with health problems, and probably die young. Now, back to the Chorkie – the standard Chorkie.
What does a Chorkie look like? A Chorkie is already small enough being bred to standard parents, Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers both being tiny dogs. As to the rest, the Chorkie’s appearance can vary a great deal, although typically they have a Chihuahua-like head and the Yorkie’s long hair. Usually, the ears are pricked, as they are with the Chihuahua, but some Chorkies do have floppy ears. In terms of color, they may sometimes take on the grey, black or tan of the Yorkie, but other colors and combinations are more common.
Chorkies typically take on the intelligence of both parent breeds. Consequently, they’re very trainable and eager to learn.
One thing you might notice about your Chorkie is that for a little dog, he can have the appetite of a big dog. In fact, Chorkies can be “recreational eaters,” consuming far more than they actually need. For that reason, this is one breed mix that I don’t recommend free feeding. Choose a quality dry dog food (ideally one formulated specifically for small dogs), and feed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise. Chorkies can gain weight quickly, and too much poundage on a small frame is not a good thing.
Chorkies are typically healthy dogs, tending to avoid the usual health issues that can plague either the Yorkie or the Chihuahua. They can, however, be prone to allergies and skin conditions, so be sure to examine your Chorkie’s coat and skin regularly – most issues can be easily treated with topical ointments or other medications prescribed by your vet, provided that they’re caught early on.
Despite their small size, Chorkies are energetic powerhouses and thrive on several short exercise sessions in any given day. They also require a lot of mental stimulation, so make sure that your Chorkie has plenty of opportunities to explore and socialize.
It’s very important to begin training early when it comes to Chorkie puppies. Although you’ll never have trouble physically controlling a Chorkie, you may be in for a battle mentally. These little guys can be very stubborn and spirited, so it’s important to let them know at the outset that you are the alpha. Once a Chorkie understands the hierarchy, though, you’ll find that he’s very easy to train.
It’s also important to note that, no matter what some owners will tell you, small dogs are almost invariably prone to be yappy, and the Chorkie is no exception. Socialization can help to combat yappiness, as can training. If you find that your Chorkie is constantly barking a lung up, let him do it.
I know, you’re thinking “What? Let him bark?” Yes. Let him bark. Then wait for him to stop. When he does, say “Quiet” and give him a treat. He’ll get the idea that when he stops barking, good things happen. Keep in mind, though, that it could take a while.
Chorkie Puppies for Sale
Chorkies right now pretty much top the list when it comes to popular designer breeds. Unfortunately, this means that there are more than a few bad breeders out there looking to make a quick buck, and also outright scam artists. It’s usually easy to identify bad breeders – puppy mill operators who keep breeding dogs in horrific conditions. They don’t want you to visit the kennel and will do everything they can to avoid having you meet the puppy’s parents or see the rest of the litter. It’s harder to identify the scammers, but it can be done.
Scammers are people who actually don’t have Chorkie puppies for sale – they just want you to think they do so that they can take your money and then disappear. According to the AKC, 80% of those ads you see online offering puppies for sale are scams. Red flags include the seller asking you to wire money or pay using gift cards, photos and text appearing on more than one website, ridiculously low prices, and sellers who won’t communicate with you by phone or who, if they will, tell you that their fractured English is due to a dental infection or another medical issue.
If you’re looking for Chorkie puppies for sale, the best thing you can do is ask around, and then research very carefully. It’s fine to look online, but check out the reviews. If anything looks the least bit off, remember the “80% rule,” and bail.
I’ve actually gone “undercover” a few times researching puppy scams, and I have yet to understand how a dental infection leads someone who is actually willing to talk on the phone to say things like “Yes, my wonderful friend, I am filling with happiness that you will be so kind as to adopt precious little girl. I am asking only one of thousand in Western Union transfer, and then will ship him to you Triple-A express, right to your door, overnighting.”
If it sounds off, it probably is off. If it sounds too good to be true, get out of there.
Speaking as someone who figures their hair looks good enough as long as it’s not scaring small children, it’s hard for me to get my head around hairstyles for dogs, but apparently there are a lot of Chorkie haircuts. Some you can do at home, while others might require the assistance of a groomer. Even if you’re going to cut your Chorkie’s hair at home, it is generally a good idea to see a groomer for the first go-round. Groomers can show you the best ways to do Chorckie haircuts and can offer other grooming tips as well.
Oddly enough, the show trim is the easiest to do, since it involves just taking off the split ends and removing about half an inch of the growth. You’d think that a show trim would be the most difficult since it’s… well… for the show! But you’d be wrong.
The most difficult trim is actually the 3-stack, or as it’s otherwise known, the 3-layer. With this cut, a 3-layer effect (yeah, I know!) is achieved, with the topknot and facial hair cut beneath the shoulders, the leg hair half an inch from the ground, and the body hair 2 or 3 inches above ground level. It might be best not to try this one at home!
Another popular cut is the puppy cut, in which the hair is trimmed to about an inch all over. Sometimes the leg, face and tail hair are left longer, about an inch and a half. You can do this at home, but don’t expect to get it exactly right on the first try.
The teddy bear cut is a lot like the puppy cut, but the hair on the tail, legs and face are sculpted and rounded, in order to make the dog look like… well, a teddy bear! This cut is best left to a professional groomer.
If you want to try grooming at home, and you’re not planning on showing, by all means, give it a shot. The worst thing that can happen is that you mess up your Chorkie’s haircut, but remember, it’s only hair, and it will grow back.
Chorkies are fairly long-lived, as are most small breeds and small breed mixes. A Chorkie that is well cared for will usually have a life expectancy of anywhere from ten to 15 years. They have a fairly high life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.
One of the most pleasing things about the Chorkie is his personality. Chorkies are playful and energetic, and typically take on the self-assuredness and confidence of the parent breeds. As previously suggested, though, they can be stubborn, so you’re going to have to be a firm owner. If you’re not, your friends and neighbors are going to be saying things like “Do you own him, or does he own you?”
I’ve also mentioned that Chorkies can be barky, but I’d like to follow that by saying that barking should not always be discouraged. It’s your dog’s job to bark if he perceives a threat, so not all barking is bad. It’s only bad when it’s excessive and for no apparent reason. Excessive barking can be “trained out,” but not all barking should be discouraged.
Chorkies are typically sociable and good with kids and other pets. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that Chorkies are tiny dogs, and might do best with older children who are less inclined to be rambunctious and less likely to inadvertently hurt a dog by playing too rough.
Chorkie rescue actually takes us back to scams. There are most definitely legitimate Chorkie rescue sites since any type of dog can end up in a rescue facility through no fault of its own. However, as is the case with dogs for sale, the more common the breed or breed mix, the more likely it is to be used in rescue scams.
Rescue scams often are perpetrated by people claiming to be “United States soldier, station in Afghanistan, with sincere desire to get my puppy out of war zone, and I hate to ask, but I know you are person of good character, so please, I beg you, send only cost of shipping by Western Union, and I will pay you back with interest when stateside.” Or “OMG, help me, please, my ex is threatening to kill my dog – I have to ship him to someone I can trust, and I can tell from your Facebook that you love dogs. I have no money right now, but my Mom is sending me a check and I’ll pay you back, I promise!” And so on. Don’t fall for it. There is no puppy. Probably no mom, either, other than the one who gave birth to the pond scum scammer.
If you’re looking for a Chorkie rescue, check out local animal shelters. They’re your best bet. And again, remember that about 80% of online sites offering Chorkie rescues or Chorkie puppies for adoption are scams.
1. How much are Chorkies worth?
Before they became so popular, Chorkies were worth essentially nothing – they were just accidents that would have been given away or sold for next to nothing. How much do Chorkies cost now? Anywhere from $400 to $1,500. In other words, a Chorkie can often cost you more than a purebred dog of either parent breed.
2. Are Chorkies good dogs?
Chorkies are smart, loving little dogs, and like most dogs, generally good.
3. How big will a Chorkie get?
A standard Chorkie will usually weigh between eight and ten pounds.
4. Are Chorkies hypoallergenic?
No dog is truly hypoallergenic. However, Chorkies don’t shed much, and a Chorkie can be a good choice for people who are prone to allergies.
5. What is a Chorkie Poo?
This is simply another “breed” that is not really a breed in the truest sense of the word. A Chorkie Poo is a mix of Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle, usually a mix of a Chorkie parent combined with a Toy Poodle. It is, in other words, a mutt.
6. How often do Chorkies go into heat?
Chorkies go into heat as often as other dogs – about twice a year.
7. Do Chorkies like to cuddle?
Chorkies are very energetic dogs and want to spend a lot of time playing and exercising. But once playtime is over, they will love to snuggle up with you!
So, after reading this post, are you totally in love with Chorkies? You’re not alone! These little dogs are very popular, and beloved by singletons and families alike. If you’re looking for a small dog with a lot of energy and intelligence, you can’t do much better than a Chorkie!