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Dorkie (Yorkshire Terrier & Dachshund Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Dorkie (Yorkshire Terrier & Dachshund Mix)

Height: 5–10 inches
Weight: 5–12 pounds
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Colors: Black, red, brown, tan, blue
Suitable for: Families and individuals, looking for a laidback dog that is low maintenance
Temperament: Easygoing, lovable, friendly, tolerant

Despite the funny-sounding name, the Dorkie, or Doxieshire, is a lovable dog that can make an ideal companion for families and individuals who can give them the attention that they crave. The hybrid is a cross between the elegant and dainty Yorkshire Terrier and the happy-go-lucky Dachshund. Both share a long history as hunters before they found their way into our hearts as family pets.

The cross is the best of both worlds. The intelligent and sometimes lively nature of the Yorkie is combined with the tireless energy and friendliness of the Doxie. Both breeds have a streak of orneriness that we can easily dismiss when looking at their cute faces, and the same goes for the Dorkie. The American Canine Hybrid Club1 and Designer Breed Registry2 recognize the mixed breed.

The Dorkie is a natural cutie, and their parent breeds are among the most popular of the American Kennel Club.3 Both pass on desirable qualities, along with a few quirks that are worth knowing.Divider 1

Dorkie Puppies


Designer dogs always command a price and the Dorkie is no exception. However, because the two parent breeds are common and popular, the price tag isn’t as high as it is for rarer ones. If you’re dealing with a sincere breeder, the higher price can be worth it since they likely conduct genetic testing. We strongly urge you to consider only these options because of these breeds’ propensity for health issues.

Dorkies might not be easy to find at a dog shelter, but you can always ask if they have other designer dogs or mixed breeds that resemble the Dorkie. Adopting will always be less expensive and you can change a dog’s life at the same time.

Parent Breeds of the Dorkie
Photo Credit: Jumpstory

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Dorkie 🧠

A certain degree of stubbornness is part of the DNA of both the parents of the Dorkie. It is part of what endears them to us. You can say that having one is more like a relationship than just owning a dog. However, it’s all about balance. The laidback nature of the Dachshund is an asset, even if you have to spend some more time with training. It’s not as if they won’t learn new things, but they may have an opinion about it.

On the positive side, both breeds are people-pleasers. They seek attention and your approval because that means more love for them. They are smart enough to figure it out too. Dorkies are still a good choice for first-time pet owners. They will obey even if you have to give them a nudge with some treats.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Dorkies are good family pets. They are gentle and tolerant enough to put up with the antics of children. The main concern rests with the kids being too tough on them. If a Dorkie’s body shape is more like a Dachshund, their back is a vulnerable spot. They are not a big dog and might not take rough handling well.

Dorkies are family-friendly but don’t be surprised if they gravitate toward one person in the household. However, that doesn’t mean that they are overly protective or will snap at other people.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Yorkies and Doxies both have a history as hunters. Rodents were the target of the former, and badgers, believe it or not, were the bane of the latter. That means they will likely view other pets in the household as prey. An animal that runs away is an open invitation for a chase. However, Dorkies are dog-friendly since they would have contact with fellow hunters.

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Things to Know When Owning a Dorkie

Knowing what vulnerabilities or tendencies a breed has is the key to a happy relationship with your pet. Dorkies have their quirks both from the physical and mental fronts. A heads-up, therefore, is an essential part of being a good pet owner.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Like many smaller breeds, Dorkies set themselves up for some health issues regarding obesity. How can you resist not giving them a treat? The other concern is their activity level. Their easygoing nature, combined with their lower energy levels, sets them up for weight gain and the associated medical conditions.

A regimented feeding schedule is imperative to ensure the well-being of your Dorkie and a good quality of life. Use treats as a training aid only, and make sure that the kids know that too. Their appetite, unfortunately, does not have a stop switch.

Exercise 🐕

You’ll likely find that you need to coax your Dorkie to get enough exercise each day. They’d rather hang out with you and enjoy the occasional treat. These dogs aren’t intense, so you’ll never have to worry about them knocking any of the kids down while running after a toy. Daily walks will ensure that they get enough physical and mental activity to stay healthy and entertained.

Training 🦮

We won’t lie. A Dorkie may challenge you sometimes. Both parent breeds have a stubborn streak, albeit, for different reasons. The Yorkie grew up pampered. The Doxie was strong and fierce to battle their opponents, badgers. However, Dorkies are smart animals. They will catch on quickly to the association between your commands and the desired outcome.

Persistence and gentle reprimands are key. The Yorkshire Terrier in Dorkies is sensitive to harsh feedback. Treat them gently but firmly to curb undesirable behaviors. While they may dig, they are less likely to wander or howl excessively.

Grooming ✂️

The amount of effort depends on which parent has a greater influence on the coat. Yorkies require daily combing to prevent tangles and mats. For Doxies, it depends on whether they have a smooth-, long-, or wire-haired coat. If that’s an issue, you can keep your Dorkie trimmed short. It’ll save you time with maintenance and keep the dog more comfortable.

As with any dog with floppy ears, they will need frequent attention to prevent ear infections and mites. We suggest touching and handling them often to make this part of grooming easier for you and your pet.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Yorkies and Dachshunds share many of the same health issues that plague smaller breeds. While generally healthy, the main concerns involve the joints and legs. We strongly urge you to get a veterinary evaluation before you buy your pet. Don’t let the number of concerns deter you from a proper pre-screening.

Minor Conditions
  • Oral health issues
  • Cataracts
  • Allergies
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Collapsed trachea
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Legg-Perthes disease
  • Portosystemic shunt
  • Patellar luxation

Male vs. Female

Other than the size differences, the main things you’ll likely notice between the sexes are more of an easygoing nature with males and a more spirited demeanor with females. Otherwise, both are virtually the same, especially in spayed or neutered pets. Hormonal variations account for how they may behave. Remember that a lot depends on upbringing, which makes hard-and-fast rules unclear.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Dorkie

1. A Special Yorkshire Terrier Is a War Hero

American soldier Bill Wynne didn’t know how extraordinary his rescued pet, Smoky, was until she sprang into action by stringing communication wire through a culvert. Because of her trust, the troops were able to rig a former Japanese airfield for Army use during WWII. A monument to this clever pup stands in Cleveland’s Emerald Necklace Park.

2. A Doxie Makes History

You’ve probably have heard of Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned mammal. The Dachshund also has their place in medical history as the first cloned dog. Winnie and her twin, Mini-Winnie, made history in March 2014. It was her owner’s prize for winning a competition.

3. AKC Recognized the Yorkshire Terrier and Dachshund in the Same Year

Though they may look very different, the Yorkie and Doxie are part of the same 1885 class to gain recognition by AKC. Other breeds include the Fox Terrier, Greyhound, and Beagle among the 14 for that year.

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Final Thoughts

Dorkies are adorable. That is a given. Their parents are two breeds that have long endeared themselves to pet owners worldwide. They are so cute that you can forgive their sometimes stubborn nature. It’s a product of their evolution. They are friendly and adaptable enough for city or country life. Their small size is an asset, although they may not tolerate rough handling from children.

Dorkies have some health issues, many of which are shared with any small breed. Managing their diet is essential to avoid the complications of some of these conditions. If you’re looking for a dog with lots of personality and an adorable nature to match, a Dorkie is an excellent choice for both families and individuals who can give them the attention they need.

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Featured Image Credit: Steve Bruckmann, Shutterstock

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