Kelly Roper
Chorkie; Copyright: Shannon Neal at

If you're fascinated with designer dogs, check out the Chorkie.

About the Chorkie

The Chorkie is known by a number of names, including the Yorkiechi and the Chiorkie. This dog is the combination of breeding a Yorkshire Terrier with a Chihuahua, and the result is a small dog with a lively attitude and an interesting coat. In fact, these dogs fall in the "so homely that they're cute" category. Although they aren't likely to win any beauty contests, they do win a lot of hearts with their adorable personalities.

There is no record of who first began pairing these two breeds on a regular basis, and the dogs are still mainly produced by pairing one parent from each breed. This may be because these dogs do not "breed true" when two Chorkies are paired together. This means they do not retain the ideal characteristics found in the first generation breeding.

Common Chorkie Characteristics

Chorkies vary slightly in looks from one dog to the next, but they do share a variety of characteristics.


Due to the small size of the parent breeds involved, these dogs average around eight to ten pounds.


The Chihuahua and Yorkie; Copyright: Anna Utekhina at 

Bodies on these dogs are similar to their parent breeds. They are generally rectangular. Many specimens have the longer tails of their Chihuahua parent, but there is some variance in length.

The heads tend to be shaped more like the Yorkie on average, but they may be more rounded if the Chihuahua parent had the appropriately apple-shaped head. The ears are typically pricked, although some specimens are drop-eared.


Any color combination is possible, especially due to the Chihuahua heritage. However, many of these dogs wind up somewhat grizzled in color due to their Yorkie heritage. Yorkies lighten out to a gun metal gray as they reach maturity.

The coat may be medium length, long or a mix of the two, depending a lot on whether the Chihuahua parent was a long or short coat specimen. The texture is typically soft or silky, although some specimens are a bit rougher.


Chorkies tend to be very upbeat little dogs, and they have a lot of energy. They are bright, but training them takes a lot of consistency and positive encouragement, especially when it comes to housebreaking because both Chihuahuas and Yorkies can be difficult to house train. Although most small dogs typically get enough exercise running around the house or yard, these dogs do benefit from a daily walk around the block.

Chorkies are also prone to barking because they feel the need to alert their people to anything that may be going on nearby.


These dogs do need regular brushing to remove loose hairs and tangles. One to two baths per month are usually sufficient to keep them clean. Watch for excessive hair growth inside the ears because this blocks air flow and can cause ear infections. It's best to gently pull the hair out of the ears periodically to prevent this. The toenails should be trimmed every other week, and the teeth should be brushed at least once a week to prevent gum disease.

Health and Life Expectancy

Both Yorkies and Chihuahuas are delicate dogs, but they can live relatively long lives when provided with good care and regular veterinary check ups. In light of this fact, Chorkies can live at least ten years on average, but some may live quite a bit longer.

As for health issues, you really need to consider the health problems that affect both parent breeds. Although some breeders argue that crossing two purebred dogs produces more vigor, that same crossing still passes on a genetic predisposition for diseases/conditions to which the parent breeds are most susceptible. These can include the following.

  • Skin problems
  • Eye infections/injuries
  • Slipping patellas

Although the Chorkie makes a charming pet, these dogs are not suitable for every family. They are a bit too small to make good companions for families with young children, but they can work well for families with older children who understand the need to be careful with their little pet.

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