What is a Dorkie?
Lively and laid-back with a strong love for affection, this small designer breed Dorkie (Dachshund Yorkshire Terrier mix) has a big heart with an even bigger attitude making them an ideal companion dog.
This affectionate little Dorkie inherited some of the best qualities from both parent Dachshund and Yorkshire Terrier breeds in their temperament and size. As small companion dogs, they crave attention and love to snuggle. Dorkie is a fun combination of feistiness and lap dog. It’s no wonder first-time dog owners choose this breed.
If you’re not sure whether a Dachshund Yorkshire Terrier mix is right for you, keep reading to learn more!
Quick Comparison: Dachshund Vs. Yorkshire Terrier Vs. Dorkie
|Type||Hound dog||Terrier hunting dog||Designer dog|
|Country of origin||Germany 1400||Northern England 1800||The United States 1990,|
|Height||8 to 9 inches||7 to 8 inches||Up to 9 inches|
|Weight||16 to 32 pounds||3 to 7 pounds||7 to 12 pounds|
|Life span||12 to 15 years||14 to 16 years||10 to 13 years|
|Coat||Smooth short-haired, long-haired, wire-haired||Long, fine, and straight||Can be long or short|
|Shedding||Yes, for all three coat types||Very low||Low|
|Colors||Black, brindle, tan, chocolate, gray||Blue and tan||Black and brown or brown and tan.|
|Grooming||Minimal needed||Yes regular clipping||Minimal care needed|
|Brushing||Long-haired every day||Daily||2 to 3 times a week|
|Trainability||Yes, if consistent||Yes, easy to train||Yes, smart but stubborn|
|Temperament||Energetic, loyal, stubborn, curious, friendly, happy||Affectionate loves attention, feisty and smart||Sweet, affectionate, feisty, and smart|
|Dog-friendly?||Yes, if introduced early and socialized||If socialized properly||Good with socialization|
|Kid-friendly?||Yes, if children are kind||Moderate, if socialized properly||Very good with kids but should be socialized|
|Good family dog?||If introduced to kids correctly.||Yes||Very good|
|Apartment friendly?||Yes, if trained||Yes, if trained||Yes|
|Good with other pets?||No||Yes||Good, but can be prey driven|
|New owner-friendly?||Moderate||Good starter dog||Good, but does well with an experienced owner|
|Solitude friendly?||Yes||Low||Low to moderate|
|Tolerant to cold?||Wire-haired and long-haired do better than short-haired||Prone to chills||Low|
|Tolerant to heat?||Short-haired do better than others||moderate||moderate|
|Tendency to bark?||high||high||sometimes|
|Best exercise?||30 to 60 minutes daily||10 to 20 minutes daily||Needs activity|
|Gain weight easily?||Yes||yes||Yes, if most like a Dachshund|
READ MORE: Top 24 Popular Dachshund Mixes with Pictures
- Easy-going: Dorkies are laid-back dogs. They aren’t easily upset or prone to worry.
- Energetic and lively: Inside the house, they’ll be energetic and playful, but outside they’re happy to go for a short walk. Because they’re so small, they don’t need too much exercise.
- Affectionate, cuddly: If you’re on the couch, your little buddy will be there too. In fact, if you don’t give them attention, they’ll nudge your hand to let you know they need to be petted.
- Super cute: They are so cute with their sweet face and perky attitude.
- Great lapdog: They love snuggling up with their owners.
- Great family dog: Dorkies like their people. They are loyal and enjoy being with their family outside or inside.
- Work well in condos or apartments: Dorkies work well in small spaces because of their small size and they aren’t yappy dogs which is great if you live in an apartment.
History and Original Purpose of a Dorkie
Like most designer dogs, Dorkies originated in the United States sometime in the last 30 years. It’s not known why this breed was bred, but it could have been simply to create a sweet-natured companion breed. Designer dogs are especially popular for apartment dwellers, single-households, large families, and the elderly. Basically, these cuties fit into any type of household.
Pros and Cons of getting a Dorkie
Pros of Dorkie
- Do well in apartments and condos because of their size
- Not much shedding: They are moderate shedders, but they aren’t hypoallergenic.
- Easy to train, smart: Dorkies learn quickly so they’re easy to train.
- Not yappy: They aren’t prone to barking.
- Affectionate and cuddly: Sweet-natured and loving dogs, they stick close to their owners.
- Travel well: They want to be with you all the time. They’re good-natured little travelers, not prone to excitability.
Cons of Dorkie
- Not hypoallergenic: Some allergy suffers find they don’t bother them
- Not a good guard dog. They’re too little to guard and usually don’t bark at strangers.
- Not good for jogging or running: Dorkies have too short of legs to be good runners, although they like to walk.
Dorkies are affectionate and cuddly. They love being close to their owners to snuggle with or be petted. They’re smart and playful, but also gentle. Depending upon which doggie parent they lean towards in temperament, some Dorkies are more hyper while others are laid back.
These petite dogs are good companions for anyone who gives them lots of attention. Dorkie owners say this breed is sensitive to human emotions and will try to comfort its owners if they’re sad. Although they aren’t good runners, they like to play, walk and stay busy. This breed is easy to handle on trips because they enjoy being with you wherever you go. Dorkies are smart and feisty but have a stubborn streak. They need mental stimulation to keep them from getting into trouble like chewing or digging. Interactive puzzles or toys are great ways to stimulate their brains for several hours.
Dorkie’s get along well with other pets, but because these pint-sized pooches don’t realize they’re so little and larger dogs are sometimes threatened by the Dorkie’s confidence. Because of this, be sure to protect your pup from large dogs when walking them out in public.
What is the life expectancy of the Dorkie?
The life expectancy for the Dorkie is anywhere from 13 to 16 years depending upon the health and lifestyle of the dog.
Size and Appearance of Dorkie
Dorkies are a small breed, but their exact size is hard to predict since it depends on which parent breed they resemble the most. This breed typically has long, straight but thick fur. They have floppy ears and a little head. Their body is long with shorter legs. A Dorkie’s tail can be medium to long and it’s furry. Generally, breeders try to produce smaller Dorkies since they are the most popular. You can guess your puppy’s adult size by using a couple of simple calculations.
Divide your 20-week old puppy’s weight by 20 weeks (their age) and then multiply by 52. So, if your puppy weighs 3 pounds at 20 weeks, the equation would be 3 ÷ 20 x 52=7.8 pounds.
A full-grown adult Dorkies can be up to 9 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 7 to 12 pounds.
Dorkie Coat and Colors
This breed’s coat ranges from short to long. It grows fluffy and thick. Typically, the Yorkshire Terrier genes are more dominant when it comes to the Dorkie’s coloring, so the puppies’ common colors are brown, black, red, blue, or white. They also come in two-toned colors of brown and blue.
Most popular Dorkie color now? The most popular color right now is brown or the two-toned colors blue and brown.
Does the Dorkie shed a lot?
A Dorkie usually sheds only moderately, but they’re not considered hypoallergenic dogs.
How much grooming is needed for the Dorkie? Grooming a Dorkie’s medium-length hair is simply a daily brushing to remove dead or loose hair and keep them looking good and an occasional trim.
Trimming a Dorkie is especially important if you live in a warm climate or during the summer. Use clippers set on not more than ½ inch with a guard to shave your Dorkie. Follow the grain of the hair. Trim your dog’s face with grooming scissors. After the trim, your Dorkie might enjoy being pampered with a bath.
How active does the Dorkie need to be?
Dorkies are lively while inside your home, but because of their small size, they don’t need lots of exercises to stay healthy. In fact, sometimes this breed can be lazy, enjoying cuddling up on the sofa to sleep. They are smart and curious and enjoy playing games with their owner. Games you can try with your Dorkie include
- Throwing the frisbee
- Retrieve a ball
- Agility activities like running through a long cloth tube
- Puzzle toys keep their brain busy
- Walking for a short amount of time
Typically, a Dorkie needs only 30 minutes of daily exercises, such as playing a game or walking around the block.
Is it easy to train a Dorkie?
Dorkies are smart and easy to train. They should be socialized early to adjust well to dogs, other pets, and kids. Like other small breeds, they are stubborn sometimes. These little cuties like to please their owners, so training can be easy if you give lots of praise. If your Dorkie gets bored during training, but ready for the stubborn streaks to come out. Try different positive rewards like praise, treats, or playtime to motivate your pooch. Just be careful not to give too many treats since they’re prone to gaining weight. Be consistent with your commands and practice the commands daily.
Socialization should include exposing your pup to different experiences like car rides, parks, stores, or dog parks. The more they become familiar with traffic, strangers, other dogs or vehicle sounds the less they’ll be prone to bark at these things.
Leash train your puppy early on. Teach them to heel by walking next to you, gently direct them back to your side if they stop or get too far ahead. Practice makes perfect when it comes to walking a new Dorkie puppy, but because they’re so smart, they’ll learn quickly.
Dorkie Health Problems
Here’s a simple breakdown of the major, minor and occasional health problems a Dorkie may experience.
Major health concerns for Dorkies:
- Patellar luxation: The dog’s kneecap shifts out of alignment. Often in both legs.
- Intervertebral Disc Disease: A gradual age-related degenerative disease that affects the dog’s spinal cord.
- Retinal Dysplasia: hereditary disease, retina affected causing sight problems.
- Tracheal collapse: a progressive respiratory condition when the tracheal rings of cartilage collapse, causing breathing problems.
- Portosystemic shunt: due to an abnormal connection between the heart and circulatory system, the toxins, proteins, and nutrients aren’t absorbed correctly.
Minor health concerns in Dorkies:
- Entropion: It’s a condition that causes the eyelids to roll inward so that the dog’s eyelashes rub against their eye, leading to irritation.
- Color Dilution Alopecia: Genetically inherited recessive, causes patches of thinning hair loss and itchy skin. It’s most common in dogs with blue, or fawn-colored coats.
- Corneal Dystrophy: a rare genetic disease that affects a dog’s cornea. Cloudy or blurry vision.
- Acanthosis Nigricans: Increases the dark pigment of the skin, found in the folds of the dog’s skin and areas where there is friction. Hereditary found in Dachshunds.
Occasional health concerns for Dorkies:
- Deafness: Hearing loss in dogs usually due to injury or disease. Terriers are prone to deafness.
- Cataracts: Cloudy look of a dog’s pupil. They can be removed to improve your dog’s sight.
- Hydrocephalus: Excess cerebrospinal fluid leaks in the dog’s skull, causes brain swelling. Leads to brain damage and death.
Small dogs are prone to obesity, so it’s essential to keep your Dorkie healthy with the right amount of food. They should get only one to two cups of dry dog food like a good quality kibble daily. Divide the Kibble into a morning and evening feeding and provide plenty of freshwater for your Dorkie to stay hydrated. Choose a well-balanced dog food that provides a daily supply of protein, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid giving your Dorkie too many treats because the extra calories can cause them to gain extra weight.
Is Dorkie good with children?
Yes, Dorkie gets along with kids, but as with any dog, you should supervise small children around your Dorkie because they’re such a little dog.
Does a Dorkie get along with other pets?
Yes, Dorkie is great with other pets, but they should have supervision around other animals. Some Dorkies tend to be prey-driven due to their parent breeds hunting instincts. If you notice this with your dog, keep them away from other small pets, especially hamsters, mice, or gerbils.
How much does a Dorkie cost?
You’ll pay anywhere from $600 to $800 for your cute Dorkie puppy. Typically, the first year of owning a puppy is expensive. It can run between $1,600 and $2,000. This includes
- Spaying or Neutering
- Veterinary care
- Dog food
- Boarding and daycare
- Preventative medications such as fleas, ticks, and heartworm meds
- Pet insurance
So, is a Dorkie right for you?
A Dachshund Yorkshire Terrier mix is a sweet doggie companion that loves attention. If you live in a small apartment or condo, a Dorkie could be the right dog for you since they’re so small and they aren’t yappy dogs.
Of course, this loveable dog could spend the day on your lap cuddling with you, but you’ll need to give them a little exercise. They need approximately 30 to 45 minutes a day at the most.
Like any dog, you’ll need to spend some time training your puppy to stay in a crate, be housebroken and learn basic commands. Small dogs are known to be stubborn at times, so your Dorkie may decide they don’t want to listen because they’d rather play with you instead. But a Dorkie’s desire to please and their ability to learn so quickly makes them easy to train. Dorkie would be a good dog for you if you’re a first-time dog owner.
Of course, it’s your decision whether a Dorkie is a right dog for you, but this breed has so many great qualities to offer. They’ve definitely inherited the best traits from their parent breeds, making them a great choice for anyone looking for a dog. If you choose a Dorkie, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll have the sweetest, cutest companion dog that loves to be with you all the time. What could be better than that?
Other Dachshund Mixes
You might want to see more Dachshund mixes, check out the list below: