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I would be lying to you if I said that there are no such things as dogs that I really don’t think should be bred. For more on this, see Why You Should Walk Away From Teacup Dogs. On the other hand, I’m not entirely averse to a good crossbreed, provided that you don’t fall into the trap of believing that, if you choose a cross, you’re actually getting something of real value – something that is actually a recognized breed of dog.
It wasn’t all that long ago that a crossbreed dog was something that would either be given away, or sold for very little money and people weren’t generally happy with the breeding. It was more along the lines of “The Golden Retriever down the street jumped my fence, and now my Beagle is bred, and what the heck am I supposed to do with the offspring?”
I suppose that today you’d sell them as, oh, I dunno, maybe Golden Retreagles?
See how nicely I’m segueing into my topic for this post? Mom, are you out there? Ain’t I writing nice?
Back to the point, though. I’m still steering you away from designer, teacup-type dogs because they’re simply a bad idea. They’re bred for defects – abnormally small, and very difficult for veterinarians to treat. Teacup dogs are, quite simply, just going to bring you grief.
But what happens if you cross-breed normal size dogs with other normal size dogs? Well, sometimes you can get a pretty decent result.
So, with that in mind, I’d like to talk about the Chorkie. It’s a mix. You’ve no doubt heard the term “Chorkie” used in my other posts about dogs that you should never buy, and that’s because usually what you’re getting when someone is trying to sell you a “Chorkie” is an abnormally tiny Chihuahua crossed with an abnormally tiny Yorkshire Terrier. In other words: one of those teacup dogs that you should walk away from.
If you were to consider a puppy from a normal size Chihuahua bred to a normal size Yorkie, though, that’s a whole different thing. You could actually end up with a pretty decent dog, although still one that you really shouldn’t be spending a lot of money to acquire.
From what I’ve observed, breeders (and I use the term loosely) of crosses charge as much as, or even more than, breeders of genuine, purebred dogs do for their crosses. Why would you want to pay a small fortune for a Chorkie, which is simply a mix, when you could have a purebred Chihuahua or Yorkshire Terrier for the same amount of money, or sometimes even less?
Okay, let me date myself here again. I remember several years ago when KFC was giving away a toy along with their family meals. They called it an “Oopie.”
What exactly was an “Oopie?” It was an inflatable beach ball. It was made from cheap plastic, and was usually good for maybe an hour or two of fun in the pool before it deflated, never to be revived. But hey, it was an OOPIE! And it was proof that you can hang a “fun name” on just about anything, whether or not it actually has value, and people will assign value to it. Just based on the name.
So, to reiterate, there is nothing of real value in a Chorkie. It’s a mix that has nothing much to recommend it beyond the individual characteristics of the Chihuahua and the Yorkshire Terrier, and you can buy a show-quality Chi or Yorkie often for less than you would pay for your Oopie – oh, sorry, I mean your Chorkie.
Let me say at the outset that I absolutely abhor these cutesy names. Chorkie. Doxie-Poo. Peke-a-Poo. My friend Neila says she’s waiting for someone to breed a Rottie-poo. I’m holding out for Boxerhuahuas, but that’s just me. I much prefer, when we’re talking about Chihuahua/Yorkie mixes, to go with the term “Chihuahua Yorkie Mix,” but hey, for the purposes of this post, I’ll go with Chorkie.
Well, again, dating myself, I remember the days (not all that long ago) when a crossbreed would go for under $100, and I just can’t get my head around the same price, or even a higher price for a cross over a purebred.
Of course, value doesn’t always have to do with money. In What the Heck is a Shollie, I told you about German Shepherd/Collie mixes, and I also mentioned that my Leroy had sired a litter of Boxermans with a female Dobie. The puppies were beautiful, but I didn’t try to market them as “Boxermans.” It was just a way of naming them and I definitely didn’t ask a premium price for my share of those puppies.
A cross can have value, just not monetary value, from where I’m sitting. A cross can have value in that a lot of the health problems that are common to one type of purebred dog can be “bred out” when a dog is crossed with another purebred dog. You can also end up with a very beautiful dog. But valuable? I just don’t see it.
Now, with Chorkies, what you will get if you cross a pure Chihuahua with a pure Yorkshire Terrier is a dog that will be beyond adorable, and very feisty. Chorkies have only been in existence since about 1990, and they probably gained most of their fame when Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie were carrying around dogs in ridiculously expensive purses, essentially using them as fashion accessories.
I often wonder what happened to those dogs; I mean, they were on the radar for a few years and then they disappeared.
Okay, I don’t even want to think about it.
Most people want Chorkies because they’re small. In other words, they’re purse dogs. Usually, they’ll weigh anywhere from 8-15 pounds. I’m not even going to talk about teacup dogs here because they’re just such a bad idea; true Chorkies will have a reasonably healthy weight.
Appearance-wise, they take their characteristics from both sides. Usually a Chorkie will have a long coat (which it gets from the Yorkie) and will take its small size from the Chihuahua.
As to the legs, you might find that your Chorkie’s legs are lanky (from the Chihuahua) or short (from the Yorkie). Usually, Chorkies take their ears from the Chihuahua, so they’re pointed, although it’s not unheard of for a Chorkie to have droopy ears (from the Yorkshire Terrier). The coat can come in many colors: red, black, grey or brown.
You can pretty much assume that your Chorkie will take his personality from both sides of the family. Both the Chihuahuas and the Yorkshire Terriers are spirited, brave and affectionate. These dogs don’t know that they’re little – and that means that you really have to look after them when they’re around other dogs. Left to their own devices, they’ll happily take on a Rottweiler or a Doberman, and you have to know that unless the Rott or the Dobie is disposed to give in, there will be no good outcome for your Chorkie.
A mix of Yorkie in your dog might work to dial back the aggressiveness a bit since they’re a lot less confrontational than Chihuahuas, but you’re still likely to be dealing with a dog that can be quite assertive. This translates into “yappiness,” so if you want to live compatibly with your neighbors, it would be a good idea to try to train your Chorkie and socialize him. You don’t want to own the scourge of the neighborhood, so in your Chorkie’s early days, expose him to a lot of people, other dogs, and various experiences.
Your Chorkie is likely to be very affectionate, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that all he wants to do is be a lap dog. These are very active dogs, and will need at least a couple of vigorous walks a day as well as playtime with toys.
It’s worth mentioning, too, that Chorkies do very well when taken to the dog park. They’re very receptive to other dogs, and will love to run and play with them. Just keep an eye on your dog, though, as Chorkies can be a bit confrontational. You don’t want to have to try to break up a fight that your little buddy has picked, and is almost guaranteed to lose thanks to his small size.
Exercise is also very important for your Chorkie because this type of cross is very prone to undesirable weight gain. So, maintain a good exercise schedule, and watch what you feed.
One of the best things about Chorkies, though, is that because they’re small, you can actually exercise them indoors. That makes them ideal of seniors or other “shut-ins” who might find it difficult dealing with outdoor exercise.
Kids? No. At least not toddlers. The problem here is that Chorkies are very small dogs, and a rambunctious kid can hurt your dog without meaning to. If you want to introduce a Chorkie to your household, it’s best to wait until the kids are older, and understand that they need to be careful around the dog.
Chorkies are usually very smart dogs. This is a double-edged sword, though, because they’re so smart, they might not be willing to see you as the “Alpha.” You’ll need to train your Chorkie with firmness and patience, and not get frustrated easily. They’re no different from any other dog, though, in that they’ll respond better to positive reinforcement than to punishment.
Now, a word on house training: this could be a problem with your Chorkie. It’s not that he’s trying to be “dirty”; it’s just that his bladder is small, and he might not be able to hold his water for a long time. Please don’t punish your Chorkie if he messes on the floor. He can’t help it. Just clean it up and show him the door. Give him a treat when he gets it right.
One great thing about Chorkies is that they don’t shed much. Most are shorthaired, but if you have a longhaired Chorkie, even then, you can usually get by with just brushing a couple of times a week.
Chorkies are probably a lot like other mixes, in that some of the problems that are peculiar to either breed of origin get “bred out.” That said, though, chorkies haven’t been around that long, so you should be on the alert for conditions that might be common in the “parent breeds,” like allergies, heart problems and eye issues. You don’t have to expect them, just know that they’re possible.
Chorkies are cute as the dickens. They’re also energetic and very affectionate. I’m going to tell you again that they’re really not worth the price breeders ask for them, but if you want an adorable little guy that will love you forever and amuse you like crazy, you’d probably do a lot worse than to choose a Chorkie. Just not one of those horrible teacup things, okay? And remember: a Chorkie is a mix, not a breed!