Chorkies: All About the Chorkie Dog Breed

A close-up of a small dog, specifically a Chorkie puppy, with pointy ears and reddish-brown fur, looking upward against a clear blue sky. This image showcases the distinctive features and adorable appearance of the Chorkie dog breed.

So, you think you can handle the mighty... Chorkie? Don't underestimate this pint-sized pup! Packed with personality and brimming with love, the Chorkie is a delightful mix of Yorkshire Terrier and a Chihuahua. This designer dog breed might have a name that sparks a giggle, but their playful spirit, loyalty, and surprising sass will quickly win you over. The Chorkie dog breed is a cross of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Chihuahua.  

This guide will delve into everything you need to know about this interesting breed, from their appearance and temperament to their specific care needs. Whether you're a seasoned dog owner or simply curious about Chorkies, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to decide if a Chorkie might be the perfect fit for your family. 

Chorkie Quick facts   

  • Other names: YorkieChi or a Chiyorkie. 

  • Origin: United States, 1990s  

  • Size: Toy to small breed dogs 

  • Lifespan: 12-15 years. 

  • Appearance: Chorkies come in all colors that Chihuahuas and Yorkies can, from brown to white to silver to black to tan.  

  • Temperament: Stubborn, but sweet lap dogs. They are outgoing, yet territorial and protective. 

  • Compatibility: Active, loyal dogs who prefer their family’s company to stranger’s. Caution with young children is recommended. 

  • Exercise & Energy: Mildly to moderately active. Okay for apartment living, but benefit from a daily release of energy with a short walk.  

  • Grooming Needs: Depending on the coat length and texture your individual pup gets, grooming needs vary from twice weekly brushing for those with longer, easily matted coats to monthly baths and brushouts for those with shorter, smooth coats.  

  • Training: Both breeds tend to be vocal, territorial and stubborn. Training early on with positive reinforcement is the best way to produce quick and lasting results when training a Chorkie. 

  • Health: Prioritizing dental health is essential to avoid loss of teeth early on. Some issues like luxating patellas come on at a young age, while others like heart disease typically do not manifest until the geriatric years. 

  • Highlights: Their small size and moderate energy make them great apartment dogs and great dogs for elderly people.  

What Makes Chorkies Great 

  • Perfectly Suited for Apartments: Chorkies thrive in smaller living spaces! Their compact size makes them ideal for apartments, condos, or cozy homes. If you're looking for a furry friend who won't overwhelm your living area, a Chorkie might be the perfect fit. 

  • Loyal and Loving Companions: Chorkies form strong bonds with their families and shower them with affection. They're happy to cuddle on the couch or follow you around the house, offering unwavering companionship. 

  • Manageable Energy Levels: While Chorkies are playful and enjoy daily walks or playtime, they don't require extensive exercise routines. This moderate energy level makes them a good fit for families with busy schedules or those seeking a lower-maintenance canine companion. 

  • Minimal Shedding: If you're looking for a dog that won't leave fur tumbleweeds all over your house, Chorkies are a great option. Their coats shed minimally, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers or those who prefer a cleaner living environment. 

  • Great for First-Time Owners: Chorkies are intelligent and eager to please, making them well-suited for first-time dog owners. Their trainability and relatively manageable needs allow new pet parents to learn the ropes of dog ownership with a furry friend by their side. 

  • Adaptable to Different Lifestyles: Chorkies can thrive in various living situations. Whether you're an active individual who enjoys daily walks or a retiree looking for a cuddly companion, Chorkies can adjust their energy levels to match their owner's lifestyle. 

Chorkie Dog Appearance  

When it comes to Chorkie characteristics, they come in all the colors that Chihuahuas and Yorkies can, from brown to white to silver to black to gray to tan and are sometimes a fascinating mixture of any or all of the above. They have adorable perky ears and typically have a medium to long coat length that requires regular grooming maintenance. Their small, slender build makes them fragile, but perfect for lap lounging. A full grown Chorkie weighs from 7 lbs to 15 lbs. Height from the shoulder ranges from 6 inches to 10 inches.  


For what they lack in size, they make up for in a bold personality of stubbornness and sass. Chorkies tend to be loyal and protective of their pack which can lead to them being territorial. In this breed, this may manifest at them being standoffish around or even barking at strangers or other animals observed in their space.  

They tend to be very clingy to their owners, resulting in a predisposition for separation anxiety. For this reason, it is best they are not left alone for long periods. This can lead to excessive barking and may be a nuisance to neighbors, especially in an apartment or condo setting. Training them to stay quiet while alone when they’re young is essential, but they make great little watchdogs. 

Training Your Chorkie 

Because of their stubborn temperament, training a Chorkie takes a lot of patience. They are very intelligent, but have a mind of their own. They respond best to positive reinforcement when it comes to training, including lots of praise and treats. Shorter, more frequent training sessions work better for these small pups. 

Starting training early is essential to a Chorkie learning how you want them to act in your home. Socialization as soon as they are fully vaccinated aids in getting them used to new people and animals during the learning period of their development. Early socialization and training can help prevent excessive barking and separation anxiety in Chorkies.  

Chorkies with Human and Animal Family Members 

Chorkies are typically calm and loving when interacting with their family. They can get along well with other household pets after an introduction period. They can be good with children once children are of an age to understand a dog’s boundaries. Chorkies can make a great family dog. They are active and small, so are easy to bring on family adventures, but caution must be used because with their small stature comes fragility. 

A Chorkie dog posing in a photoshoot, looking all shaggy with its fur yet adorable with its expressive eyes, wearing a white bandana with a dress. This image displays the unique blend of Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier which results to a Chorkie.

Living and Care Needs 

On top of a predisposition for separation anxiety, Chorkies have a small bladder limiting the amount of time they can be left home alone. They are a great size for apartments but may not do well alone for more than 6 or so hours. As with any dog, they should be fed a high-quality, balanced, AAFCO approved dog food labeled for their current life stage. It is important to check the chart on the food bag label for the appropriate amount to feed per day based on your Chorkie’s ideal weight. 

Chorkies tend to have the longer coat from their Yorkie, or even long-haired Chihuahua parent and therefore need routine grooming to maintain a healthy coat. Shedding levels are dependent on which breed their coat is most influenced by. The Yorkie sheds minimally, while Chihuahuas tend to shed a bit more.  

Chorkie Health   

Chorkies are generally a healthy breed but can be prone to a few specific issues. As with any dog, annual veterinary visits are essential to finding and treating any problems quickly. Common health issues for Chorkies include: 

Mitral Valve Disease: While this mostly comes from the Chihuahua parent, it is not uncommon for Yorkies to develop heart disease in their old age either. As they age, the valves between the atrial and ventricular chambers of the heart degenerate, leading to back flow of blood which manifests as a heart murmur. As heart disease progresses, owners may notice a cough, increased respiratory effort, and exercise intolerance. If managed promptly, many dogs can live years after diagnosis, but some do go on to develop congestive heart failure, in which fluid builds up in the lungs. 

Luxating Patella: This comes mostly from the Yorkie parent, but can be seen in Chihuahuas as well. Patellar luxation is a common congenital issue in several small breeds. These pups are born with a shallow patellar groove from which the patella, or kneecap, pops out. This dislocation can lead to discomfort, limping and early onset of osteoarthritis. Depending on severity of disease, surgical correction may be warranted. 

Dental Disease: Just as each of their parents, Chorkies have small mouths prone to tooth crowding and quicker buildup of dental tartar than other breeds. These smaller breeds often require more regular routine dental cleanings to avoid needing extractions. Brushing your pup’s teeth regularly can help maintain a healthy oral cavity and prolong time between professional cleanings. 

Insurance For Your Chorkie 

Just like any dog, unexpected illnesses and accidents can occur with your Chorkie. While preventive care and a healthy lifestyle go a long way, dog insurance can provide valuable peace of mind and help you manage veterinary costs if these situations arise. 

Chorkies can be prone to certain health issues like dental problems and luxating patellas. These conditions, along with others, can be expensive to treat. Having a pet insurance plan in place can help alleviate the financial burden if your Chorkie develops one of these conditions, and every plan with Embrace includes a dental plan to keep your Chorkie’s teeth in tip top shape. 

Enrolling your Chorkie in a pet insurance plan while they're young and healthy ensures they're covered for any future health issues before they're classified as pre-existing conditions. Since most pet insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage, getting your pup covered early provides the most comprehensive protection. 

 Consider adding a wellness plan to your pet insurance to help budget for the cost of preventative care, including routine dental cleanings—which are important for Chorkies' dental health—as well as vaccinations, checkups, and even grooming! 

Pet insurance cost is a worry for a lot of pet parents, but by planning ahead, you can ensure your Chorkie receives the best possible care throughout their life, at a surprisingly affordable rate that is specifically tailored to your dog’s needs. 

History of Chorkies  

The Chorkie originated right here in the United States in the 1990s. This designer breed has the adorable physical traits of both breeds while mixing the bold, active personality of the Chihuahua with the quiet, sweeter personality of the Yorkie. The Chorkie is considered a mixed breed and is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) at this time. 

Getting a Chorkie 

Finding the perfect Chorkie puppy requires careful consideration. While their charm is undeniable, prioritizing a reputable breeder is key. Responsible breeders ensure breeding parents are free of genetic health issues, giving your pup a strong foundation. These experienced breeders go further, providing essential veterinary care, such as deworming and vaccinations, and crucial socialization during those important first 8 weeks. By doing your research and choosing a reputable breeder, you can welcome a happy, healthy Chorkie into your life.   

Chorkie FAQs 

Do Chorkies make good pets for families with young children? 

Chorkies are loyal and affectionate, but are best for families with children old enough to understand a dog’s boundaries. They are small and therefore fragile. 

How long can a Chorkie be left alone? 

Due to their small size, they have small bladders, and they also have a tendency for separation anxiety. Most Chorkies can be left alone for around 6 hours. 

How long do Chorkies live? 

Chorkies are known for their relatively long lifespans, typically living between 12-15 years with proper care. 

How much exercise does a Chorkie need?  

Chorkies are known for their moderate energy levels. Daily walks or playtime indoors can fulfill their exercise needs. However, keep in mind their small size and avoid strenuous activities that could strain their delicate joints. 

Do Chorkies bark a lot?  

Chorkies can be prone to barking, especially if they feel bored, anxious, or territorial. Early socialization and training can help curb excessive barking. Providing them with mental stimulation and addressing any underlying anxieties is also important. 

How much do Chorkies typically cost?  

The cost of a Chorkie puppy can vary depending on location, breeder reputation, and pedigree. On average, expect to pay between $500 and $1,500 for a Chorkie puppy.