The Chorkie: is it the right breed for you?
Although they might be small in stature, Chorkies are big characters.
A cross between the Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier, these petite pooches are outgoing and brave dogs.
Chorkies are known by a few different names including Chiyorkie and Yorkchi.
Let's take a look at what makes these small dogs so special.
- Fun and affectionate dogs
- Short/medium length coat
- Variety of colours including black, blue, brown, silver, tan and white
- Average size = 15 - 23 cm
- Average weight = 3 - 7 kg
- Chorkie Life expectancy = 12 - 15 years
- Estimated monthly cost = Medium
- Exercise needs = Medium
- Attention needs = Medium
- Sociability = High
Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.
Although they are lively and energetic around the home, Chorkies don’t need a lot of exercise. Around 30 minutes of walking a day will be enough to make sure that their exercise needs are met, although they can go for longer if you’re a keen walker.
To keep them happy and healthy, take them to a secure environment where they can run off-lead, with lots of interesting things to see and sniff. As with all breeds, be careful not to over-exercise them whilst they are still growing, as this can have long term effects on their joints.
A Chorkie is well suited to elderly owners, owners with disabilities, or owners who live in big cities. Due to their miniature frame, they are ideally suited to apartment living.
If you live in a heavily populated area without much green space, or simply don’t have much time for dog walking, a Chorkie may be the perfect furry friend for you.
They tend to be fearless dogs but they can be wary of strangers and visitors. Although they might not be the most harmonious breed, if they are well socialised from a young age they should get on well with people and other pets.
Chorkies are quite vocal dogs and they make good guard dogs, meaning they do have a tendency to bark at guests. Loving dogs that form strong bonds with their owners, Chorkies can develop separation anxiety.
It’s good practice to leave them on their own for small periods during training so that they can get used to being by themselves.
Because of their small size, they might not be suitable for households with small children, as Chorkies are fragile and can get injured easily.
They are better suited to homes with older children who are used to handling dogs and can treat the Chorkie with the delicateness they need.
Whilst they are still so young and receptive, it's a good idea to introduce your Chorkie to other dogs, people and livestock as well as car travel and unfamiliar noises, such as traffic.
If you’re looking for a fun-sized pooch with a bold character and plenty of charm, the Chorkie might just be the breed for you.
Although they can inherit dominant and possessive traits depending on their genetics, a Chorkie is generally a fairly straightforward breed to train.
They don’t respond well to heavy-handed treatment or scolding, instead preferring positive reinforcement, praise and plenty of treats. Owners may need to maintain an authoritative attitude towards their Chorkie, without being aggressive. Keep training sessions short, reward-based and different each time.
As is the case with all breeds, Chorkies will start to approach new experiences with caution when they are around 12 weeks old. Therefore, it’s really important for their development that they experience as many different situations as possible.
Although their hair can vary from dog to dog, Chorkies are not big shedders. Yorkies are one of the more hypoallergenic breeds, which means they shed very little hair. Chorkies moult small amounts of hair throughout the year, perhaps more heavily during the spring and autumn.
This low shedding combination means that the Chorkie makes for a great dog if you’re house proud. They also make a good option if you’re renting and you don’t own the furniture in your house or apartment.
They will benefit from a thorough brush a few times a week to make sure their coat stays in tip-top condition. You can get them used to this by starting the process when they’re young, working it into their daily routine.
Brushing provides a great opportunity to bond with your dog. They may also benefit from professional grooming every few months
When considering the lifetime cost of owning a Chorkie, remember to take into account the following costs:
- Food and diet for Chorkies
- Veterinary care
- Pet insurance
- Kennels or dog sitters
- Chorkie grooming costs
- Toys and equipment
- Preventative healthcare
As a rough guide, allow between £80 and £90 a month to cover the ongoing costs of owning a Chorkie. Our vets have drawn up this handy guide to save dog owners money.
Chorkies are prone to certain health problems, just like all breeds. This doesn’t mean your dog is guaranteed to contract any particular disease – it’s just something to bear in mind.
To keep your Chorkie as healthy as possible, monitor them closely and attend routine 6-month health checks with your vet. This will allow the vet to give your dog a thorough check-up and to pick up on minor (often symptomless) conditions before they have a chance to escalate into something worse.
Possible health complications for Chorkie include:
- Canine dental disease
- Canine obesity
- Allergies, inluding flea, plant and foods
- Joint problems
Before welcoming a new dog into your household, make sure you’re able to cover the costs of any routine or emergency medical treatment they may need. Pet insurance will help massively with this. Why not ask your vet about their recommended pet insurance policy?
Your Chorkie will need a balanced diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It’s best to feed them complete dog food to ensure that they are getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients.
Growing pups may prefer 3-4 smaller servings during the day, rather than two larger meals. This can be reduced to two meals a day as your dog gets older.
The recommended portion size will depend on your individual dog. You’ll need to take into account their activity level, age and metabolism. To avoid weight gain, make sure your Chorkie has a healthy and balanced diet and gets plenty of exercise.
Are Chorkies suitable for first time owners?
Chorkies can make great first-time dogs, due to their affectionate nature, intelligence and small size. They are happy in most environments and get on well with children.
If you have done your research beforehand, and have enough time to dedicate to training and walking, owning a Chorkie can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Need more info?
For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet. Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page.