What do you get when you cross two of the world's tiniest dog breeds? A furry little ball of intense cuteness, otherwise known as a chorkie puppy. Although it's difficult to know exactly what you'll get with a mixed breed, taking a look at the chorkie's parent breeds, the chihuahua and the Yorkshire terrier, should give you an idea of what to expect.
A chorkie is an example of a "designer dog," a mixed breed made up of two popular dog breeds. You might have heard of a labradoodle or a cockapoo, both of which are designer dogs that mix a poodle with a Labrador retriever and a cocker spaniel, respectively. In the case of a chorkie puppy, the parents are a chihuahua and a Yorkshire terrier. Although such crossbreeds are considered high end, they're really no different from other mixed breed dogs in that it's impossible to predict exactly which traits they'll inherit from their parent breeds. In other words, they don't "breed true" to an established breed standard.
The chihuahua is the world's smallest dog breed, named for the Mexican state in which members of the breed were first discovered. Although they appear fragile, chihuahuas actually are hardy little dogs who are known for their big attitudes and lack of awareness of their tiny size as much as for their big ears. They tend to be intensely loyal, affectionate, intelligent and playful, with an affinity for toys and stuffed animals. They generally prefer laps to other surfaces, and tend to be enthusiastic barkers, which makes them great watchdogs. Chihuahuas come in long-haired and short-haired varieties, and their coats come in every color and range from solid to various combinations of markings.
The Yorkshire terrier, or Yorkie, is a member of the Toy group. Originally considered a working-class breed, the Yorkie was bred in the 19th century for catching rats in textile mills, it didn't take long for these diminutive dogs with silky coats to climb their way up the social ladder. Known for being brave and determined little explorers, Yorkies tend to be laid back and highly adaptable, which makes them great travel companions. Their distinctive long, silky coats with blue and tan markings make them easy to identify.
Purebred dogs tend to have genetic predispositions to various medical conditions, and chihuahuas and Yorkies are no exception. Although mixed breed dogs tend to be hardier than their purebred parents and less likely to inherit the congenital defects of either breed, if you're considering a chorkie puppy, you should be aware that Yorkies and chihuahuas are predisposed to hypoglycemia, patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap) and tracheal collapse.
By Jean Marie Bauhaus
Chihuahuas: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual; C. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
American Kennel Club: AKC Meet the Breeds -- Get to Know the Yorkshire Terrier
My Yorkshire Terrier: Common Health Issues
Dog Breed Info Center: Chorkie
Dog Breed Info Center: Designer Dogs
About the Author
Jean Marie Bauhaus has been writing about a wide range of topics since 2000. Her articles have appeared on a number of popular websites, and she is also the author of two urban fantasy novels. She has a Bachelor of Science in social science from Rogers State University.