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The Chorkie is one of the smaller designer crossbreeds and while still not common in the UK, it’s growing in popularity around the world.

The breeds that make up the Chorkie are the Chihuahua (long coat or smooth coat) and the Yorkshire Terrier. The Chorkie can be a first cross (with one Chihuahua and one Yorkshire Terrier parent), can be bred back to one of the original breeds or be two Chorkies bred together - so there are varieties in size, shape, colours and coat types, but in all cases this is an extremely small companion dog.

  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Needs under an hour of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–15 years
Weight: 3.5–6.5kg
Height: 15–23cm
Colours: The Chorkie can come in any colour common to the Chihuahua or Yorkshire Terrier, including:
Brown, white, silver, blue, black, steel blue and tan
Their colouring can be solid or a mix of colours
Size: Small


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 2/5
Chorkie standing on the grass


Like most crossbreeds, the personality of a Chorkie depends on the parents and how they have been bred and reared, but both parents are affectionate dogs who bond closely to their owners.

The Chorkie may be a tiny dog - but they have no idea that they are! This is a tiny companion dog who will enjoy training and games (and possibly some impromptu gardening!) - but will mostly enjoy being with their owner.

The personality of a Chorkie is more consistent when they are first crosses (F1). As a line is successively bred, they can be either bred back to one of the original breeds (and so strengthen either the Chihuahua or the Yorkshire Terrier personalities) or else be bred to another Chorkie - in which case there is less predictability in temperament (and in-breeding becomes more of a potential issue).

History and Origins

The Chorkie likely originated in the United States in the early 1990s, when designer breeders purposely mixed the Chihuahua and the Yorkshire Terrier for the first time. The Chorkie quickly grew in popularity, thanks to its cute looks and small size, allowing it to fit into any family’s lifestyle, no matter how small their home and garden.

To understand this relatively new breed properly, it requires an understanding of the two breeds involved in its make-up. The Chihuahua originated in Mexico and is widely known as one of the smallest and popular breeds of all time. Despite this widespread popularity, no-one really knows much about their history and there are many theories surrounding it. Some believe that the Chihuahua dates back to the Aztec period where they were the companions of high-born individuals. The legend also states that when their owners died, their Chihuahua would be buried with them as they were thought to show them the way to the afterlife. Others think that the breed came much later in the Middle Ages and was the result of mixing Spanish lapdogs with the existing small breeds of the country. Whereas some people believe that Chinese dogs played a hand in creating the Chihuahua – which could be a possible reasoning for the long-haired variant. Although their roots aren’t clear, they were popular in Mexico during the 19th century and that extended to American visitors too who would take a Chihuahua back home as a memento.

Yorkshire Terriers on the other hand came from England and Scotland and it’s thought that Scottish Weavers brought a small terrier with them during a period of immigration from Scotland to Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1850s. These ‘Broken-Haired Scotch Terriers’ interbred with existing local terriers to provide a working dog who quickly became popular as a very effective factory and mining vermin-killer, and that was of a small enough size that could be carried in their owner’s pocket. Further breeds were used to perfect this Northern ratter including possibly: the Manchester Terrier, the Maltese, the Skye Terrier, the Dandie Dinmont terrier, and the now extinct Paisley and Clydesdale Terriers. Shown as the Scotch Terrier in 1861, the dog later became known as the Yorkshire Terrier and was recognised by the Kennel Club in 1886. While the breed was a working ratter, the Yorkshire Terrier soon became popular with wealthy ladies as a companion, and this popularity lead to selective breeding to make them even smaller. Interestingly while the dog got smaller, their coat length stayed the same - hence the long coats that can still be seen on show dogs.

The Chorkie can have any combination of the two breeds in their appearance, behaviour and temperament.

Health and Common Issues

One aim with crossbreeds is to dilute or eliminate any inherited health issues that may exist within one or other of the breeds. This dilution or elimination is only likely if only one parent is the carrier of any particular condition, and where this is a first cross (F1). As this can’t always be guaranteed, both breeds should be health tested prior to breeding:

Chihuahua - they can be prone to eye problems and also a potential windpipe problem. They can also suffer from hydrocephalus and like many small breeds can be prone to luxating patella’s.

Yorkshire Terriers - this is a fairly healthy long-lived breed, but like many small dogs can have issues with luxating patella and there are other common health issues too.

Information on DNA health tests for both breeds can be found on the Kennel Club’s website.

Responsible breeders should be prioritising behaviour as highly as health and so it’s important to find a good breeder. A well-bred Chorkie should be outgoing and confident and not nervous, shy or fearful, and never aggressive. This does require early and ongoing socialisation.

Exercise Needs

While this is a surprisingly active small dog, the Chorkie will be happy with half an hour walking each day (on a harness) - as long as they have plenty of gentle games and owner interaction. All exercise should be done with care however as this is a tiny dog who can’t walk quickly and can be easily frightened and injured by other dogs.

Space Requirements

This is a small dog who can live in a flat or a smaller property, as long as they have access to the outdoors for toileting and walks.

Nutrition and Feeding

Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Your dog’s diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed them at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of their particular food.

Grooming Chorkies

Chorkie coats can vary between long and silky to short and endearingly scruffy - and will also depend on whether the Chihuahua parent was long or smooth coated.

Find a good local groomer who can either look after your Chorkie’s coat or teach you how to do it yourself as their coat develops. It’s important to use appropriate grooming tools as this is a tiny, delicate dog.

Training Chorkies

The Chorkie is far smarter than many people think and they will enjoy learning tricks and playing gentle games - and should be trained to walk on a lead and harness as well as come back when called.

This is a breed that needs early and ongoing socialisation so they gain confidence with people and other dogs.

Best Family Dog Breeds

The Chorkie is generally too small and delicate (especially as a puppy) to make a good family dog. They tend to bond closely to one person and are not suitable for families with young children.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • The Chorkie is also known as the Yorkiechi, Chiyorkie, Yorkie-chi, Yorkchi, York-chi, Chiorkie and York Chi.
  • Chorkie’s aren’t currently recognised by the UK Kennel Club as they’re a mixed breed.
  • This dog breed is extremely intelligent and they’re known to pick things up very quickly!
  • They can be quite vocal and like the sound of their own voice so training will be required.

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