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Jorkie (Jack Russell Terrier & Yorkshire Terrier Mix): Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

jack russel yorkshire

Height: 6–14 inches
Weight: 4–14 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: Multicolored, black and tan, tricolored, red and white, tan and white
Suitable for: Semi-active living, families with older children, individuals looking for a companion dog
Temperament: Loyal, feisty, playful, vocal, adventurous, brave, bold, independent, affectionate

Jorkies, or Jack Russell Yorkie Mixes, are an extremely popular designer dog breed, the result of crossing two purebred terriers to create a truly unique lapdog. With the spunk and bold attitude of the Jack Russell Terrier combined with the confidence and companionability of the Yorkshire Terrier, Jorkies are said to have the best traits of both breeds while still retaining that classic terrier spirit. Though they’re less than 15 pounds, these toy hybrids have enormous personalities and they’re not afraid to prove it. They can even adapt well to apartment living but these little dogs are quite vocal when they want something.

Here’s everything you need to know about this brave, courageous designer dog breed.

Divider 1Jorkie Puppies


Jorkies are fairly popular hybrids, coming from two well-established purebreds.

You will love this loyal and affectionate pup and will find they make a perfect companion. They are feisty and playful so be prepared for lots of cuddles and play time. The Jorkie is also pretty vocal so while they would be great if you live in an apartment, if you have neighbors who might complain, be sure to train your pup from early on.

The parent breeds of Jorkie
The parent breeds of Jorkie: Left – Yorkshire Terrier (Mirko Fabian, Unsplash) | Right – Jack Russell Terrier (Ksenia Chernaya, Pexels)

3 Little-Known Facts About the Jorkie

1. Jorkies have been around for a while.

Although the term “designer dog breed” is new to the dog world, the idea of two purebred dogs being bred is not an old concept. Whether purposely done or due to accidental breeding, Jorkies have been around for a while.

2. Jorkies are high-energy dogs.

Though their small size may fool most, Jorkies are high-energy dogs that need walks and playtime to burn it all off. These dogs need to have their exercise to prevent a plethora of problems, including boredom, obesity, and stubbornness during training.

3. Jorkies are incredibly smart and mischievous.

Jorkies come from two confident, intelligent breeds, so it’s no surprise that this is true for them as well. They’re relentlessly determined and will find their way into unthinkable situations, due to their curiosity and mischievous personalities.

Divider 3

Temperament & Intelligence of the Jorkie 🧠

Jorkies are not purebred dogs and their temperaments can wary wildly, but they’re similar to their parent breeds. Since Yorkies and Jack Russels are both terriers, they tend to have a commonality that most terriers have. Let’s take a look at the temperaments of the Jack Russell Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier:

Jack Russell Terriers are bold and brazen, known for their spunky and feisty demeanors. Once bred to hunt small prey, these dogs are intensely motivated by anything that interests them. Jack Russells can become overprotective of their families, so early socialization is a must to establish polite manners with strangers. They’re highly intelligent and active dogs, which can be a challenge for inexperienced dog owners. However, if their needs are met, they are seriously affectionate and devoted to their families.

Yorkshire Terriers, known for their luxurious coats, are little dogs with big dog personas. Often described as self-aware and courageous, Yorkies have been the breed of choice for many. They’re strong-willed dogs that will demand attention, so they enjoy spending lots of time with their favorite person. Temperaments aside, Yorkies are far more intelligent than they may seem and can learn a long list of tricks fairly quickly.

Jorkies will vary in temperament, but there are a lot of similarities in the parent breeds. Since both parent breeds are terriers with bold personalities, Jorkies will probably have the same spirited temperament. However, there’s no guarantee that your Jorkie will act a certain way and it’s best not to expect a specific set of personality traits.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Yes and no. Jorkies can be good for some families that have older, calmer children. Jorkies are tiny and can be fragile, but they’re also not very tolerant of rambunctious children or extremely rough play. It’s essential for their safety that all children understand how to properly handle animals in general, but especially for small dogs and pets.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Jorkies can get along with other dogs that are around their size, but bigger dogs may pose a few problems. Some Jorkies are fine with big dogs, while others will bark furiously until the dog leaves. Jorkies do best with dogs that they’re raised alongside and may become territorial to any new family dogs. For small pets and cats, it depends on how strong your Jorkie’s prey drive is. We recommend slowly introducing your Jorkie to the established pets to prevent any fights or behavioral issues.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Jorkie

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Jorkies are quite energetic for being toy-sized, so they need diets to support their activity levels. They’re also prone to dental problems as other small dogs are. We recommend a diet with at least 20% protein and fortified with daily vitamins and minerals. Dry dog kibble will help remove plaque from the teeth and gumline. Along with dry kibble, consider feeding wet canned food for added flavor and nutrition. For a more customized diet, consult with your veterinarian about your puppy’s options.

Exercise 🐕

Many often mistake little dogs for being less active for some reason, which couldn’t be further from the truth. While Jorkies can be great lapdogs, they need to burn off their energy first. A few short, fast-paced walks a day and some off-leash playtime is usually enough for daily exercise, though your Jorkie will have no problem asking for more. Mental exercise is equally as important, so we recommend getting a few puzzle toys to entertain and challenge your Jorkie.

Jorkies come from two athletic breeds, which can be a great attribute in a pet. Agility and other canine sports are great ways to connect with dogs, while also tiring them out. Consider getting your Jorkie into tracking or agility, since Jack Russells and Yorkies both have skills in these activities. Contact your local canine training center to see what options you and your Jorkie will have.

Training 🦮

Small breeds are notorious for being stubborn and difficult to train, but the problem usually lies elsewhere. Jorkies are very sensitive dogs and need positive reinforcement training methods since aversive and harsh methods will only cause them to be more stubborn. However, the key to training dogs, in general, is consistency. Daily training in small periods (no longer than 15 minutes) is a great foundation for obedience, especially for smaller dog breeds.

Small dogs have a bad reputation as being difficult to housebreak, but that’s usually due to their tiny bladders. Start housebreaking your Jorkie right away to help reduce inside accidents, making sure to take them out frequently. If they’re truly not catching on, we recommend hiring a professional dog trainer to guide you.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming your Jorkie will depend on its coat, especially if it has inherited the Yorkie’s long, silky coat. Expect to brush it out at least once a week, though frequent brushing may be needed. Your Jorkie’s coat may also need to be trimmed if it grows more like human hair, which can be done at the groomer’s salon. Bathing can help reduce odors, but frequent bathing can be extremely drying and irritating to the skin. In addition to coat maintenance, your Yorkie’s nails need to be trimmed on an as-needed basis. Since small dogs are also prone to dental decay, consider a tooth-brushing routine as well.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Since Jorkies are mixed-breed dogs, there isn’t much information on their overall health and lifespan. To get a better idea of what your Jorkie’s health may look like, let’s take a look at the most common health conditions of the Yorkshire Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier.

Most Common Health Conditions of the Yorkshire Terrier
  • Portosystemic Shunt
  • Bronchitis/Breathing problems
  • Cataracts
  • Collapsed Trachea
  • Digestive Issues
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Dental Decay
Most Common Health Conditions of the Jack Russell Terrier
  • Pulmonic Stenosis
  • Legg Perthes Disease
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Various Eye Issues
  • Deafness
  • Dental Decay
  • Obesity
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Allergies

While both the Jack Russell and Yorkie seem to have long lists of possible health problems, most of these conditions are common and treatable.

Divider 5Male vs Female

Male and female Jorkies are similar in temperament and trainability, despite the myths surrounding training males versus females. Aside from a slight size difference with male Jorkie being slightly bigger, the decision of male or female Jack Russell Yorkie Mix is a personal one.

Divider 3Conclusion

Jack Russell Yorkie Mixes, or Jorkies, are spirited and spunky designer dogs, coming from two well-known companion terrier breeds. Though they may be small, they can be a handful for those who haven’t handled a high-energy small breed before. Jorkies bond to their owners and require a lot of daily attention, which can be ideal for seniors, at-home workers, and individuals looking for a companion dog.

If you’re looking for a small dog that has a big personality, the Jorkie will be a great fit.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Left – JESHOOTS-com, Pixabay, Right – Oldiefan, Pixabay

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