1) Designer dog breed
The Shorkie is not a purebred dog, but a so called designer dog breed. Designer dog breed is basically just another fancy term for a crossbreed or a mixed breed, which is a cross of two purebred dogs, in this case, of the loving Shih Tzu and lively and brave Yorkshire Terrier.
Most of the designer dog breeds are new creations and the Shorkie is no exception. Of course, unintentional crosses of these two breeds could have existed for a long time, but it was not until probably 2000s, when these two dogs were first intentionally crossed together in order to create a new dog breed. But there is not much information about it. As a crossbreed, the Shorkie is not registered in any major kennel club, but it can be registered with the International Designer Canine Registry.
3) Parent breeds
The parent breeds have very different history. The Shih Tzu evolved from Tibetan small watchdogs such as Lhasa Apso and most likely Pekingese. It was beloved companion of Chinese royalty and it lived in Chinese palaces. Because of that they are pretty calm, loving, cuddly and affectionate. On the other hand, the Yorkshire Terrier utilization is very different. These dogs were developed in 1800s in Great Britain as a ratter, to hunt, chase and kill rats and other vermin. They are typical hunting dogs with brave and courageous, lively and kind of mischevious temperament.
So as you can see, the temperament and history of both parent breeds is quite different, so what is the temperament of Shorkie. Well, you will never know. They can inherit more Shih Tzu or more Yorkie like personality, but on average, they are somewhere in the middle. Most owners say, that their Shorkie is loving and affectionate dog, but that they are pretty lively, playful and energetic and that they do enjoy daily walks and fun playtime. But since they are small, they are very good for apartment living, as it is not hard to fullfill their exercise needs. They can live with other dogs or kids in the family, but it is always better if they are socialized from the puppyhood. And of course, you should never leave young child with any dog breed unsupervised.
Just like the temperament of these two dogs, the appearance can also differ quite a lot from one Shorkie to another, depending if they inherit more genes from Yorkie or from Shih Tzu. But typically, the Shorkie is a small dog with sturdy body. The head is most often round with shorter muzzle. The height of Shorkie is typically between 6-12 inch, which is 15-30 cm and weight is usually between 5-14 lbs, which is 2,5-6 kg. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
6) Coat and color
As you can see in this video and, well, just like with everything in crossbreeds, even the coat and color can differ quite a lot, but typically, the coat is medium to long, most often straight and silky. The main colors of Shorkies are black, brown, red, blue, fawn and white and any combinations of these colors.
7) Low shedding
Great fact is, that most Shorkies are very low shedding dogs, which is definitely a great benefit. Not only that you will not have your apartment full of dog fur, they can also be good choice for allergy suffereres. But it is important to say, that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic as they all produce some dander and saliva and even the Shorkie does shed a little bit, so it is always better to spend some time with the Shorkie to see if they will trigger the allergies or not.
Even though the Shorkie is low shedding dog, the maintenance and grooming is not the easiest. At least regular, ideally daily brushing is needed to keep the coat tangle and mat free. Some owners choose to get their Shorkies groomed and trimmed by a professional, which will definitely save some time, but it can be expensive. Just like with any other dog, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed. Take especially good care about the teeth, which can be prone to some dental issues.
These dogs are pretty active, lively, playful and energetic, but thanks to their smaller size, it is not hard to deal with this energy. Most of them will love to go outside almost anytime and it is important to provide them with enough outdoor walks or hikes. You should also provide them with plenty of playtime or fun training sessions so they stay healthy and happy.
The Shorkie has a good lifespan around 14 or 15 years. They can suffer from the same health issues as their parent breeds, which include already mentioned dental issues, some breathing issues especially if they inherit short brachycaphelic muzzle of the Shih Tzu, glaucoma, lens luxation or hypoglycemia. But generally the Shorkie is pretty healthy dog breed that stays active even at older age.