The Dorkie – The Hybrid You Probably Don’t Know About But Definitely Should 

The name may sound like something a schoolyard bully would invent, but the Dorkie really is anything but a dork. This adorable, intelligent, and feisty hybrid combines two of the world’s most popular purebreds to make a dynamic dog suitable for any active and outgoing family.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the Dorkie is the ideal dog for everyone. Are you considering investing in the Dorkie? If so, there’s plenty you should know.

Join us today as we take a deep dive into all things Dorkie and discover if this cute crossbreed is the perfect pup for you.

The Dachshund Yorkie Hybrid – Meet The Dorkie!

1 a Dorkie dog
The Dorkie is a unique-looking mix between the Dachshund and the Yorkie.

Type: Crossbreed

Parent Breeds: The Dachshund and the Yorkshire Terrier

Height: 5 to 10 Inches

Weight: 5 to 12 Pounds

Temperament: Active, Outgoing, Feisty, Playful, Clever, Curious

Best Suited For: Families with older children, active owners, owners with flexible schedules

Lifespan: 13 to 16 Years

Health Issues: Dental Disease, Collapsing Trachea, Canine Disc Disease, Patellar Luxation, portosystemic Shunt, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Obesity.

Overview Of The Dorkie:

Although crossbreed dogs have skyrocketed in popularity over the last two decades, there’s a good chance you’ve only recently heard of the Dorkie dog. A cross between the courageous Dachsund and the spirited Yorkshire Terrier, the Dorkie has only recently hit the scene.

But don’t count him out. This hybrid dog is making waves with its unique appearance and endearing disposition.

Of course, like all dogs, the Dorkie does have his quirks. This is a dog with a high prey drive and a tendency to be bossy. He is best suited for families with older, more gentle children and he will do best in homes where owners have plenty of time to devote to his training, mental stimulation, and exercise.

Without the proper care and commitment, Dorkie dogs can become bored and destructive. They are also easily prone to anxiety and depression if left on their own for too long during the day.

Do you have what it takes to raise a happy and healthy Dorkie? And what should you know about the crossbreed controversy?

We’re answering all your questions and more. Keep reading!

What You Should Know About Crossbreed Dogs And The Crossbreed Controversy

2 a dorkie up close
Crossbreed dogs are growing in popularity, but there is still some controversy surrounding the practice.

Crossbreed dogs like the Dorkie are quite popular these days, with Poodle mixes being some of the most sought-after hybrids in the canine kingdom. And while crossbreeding has been an ongoing practice for centuries now, it still raises some eyebrows and stirs some debate for dog enthusiasts worldwide.

What Is A Crossbreed?

Also known as a hybrid, designer dog, or mixed breed, a crossbreed dog is the offspring of two specifically chosen purebred parent breeds. In the Dorkie dog’s case, he is the offspring of the purebred Dachshund and the purebred Yorkshire Terrier.

Crossbreed dogs are different than mutts because they come from two specific parent breeds. These parent breeds have also been chosen specifically to combine the traits of each into one dog.

Originally, crossbreeding was used by breeders in an effort to make new purebred dogs with specific traits. In fact, nearly every purebred dog in existence today is the product of careful crossbreeding.

Still, it takes generations of perfecting and careful breeding before a crossbreed can be considered a purebred dog, and this is where some of the crossbreed controversies come into play.

What Is The Crossbreed Controversy?

Once upon a time, dog enthusiasts prided themselves on owning purebred dogs. However, over the past two decades, the popularity of crossbreed dogs has skyrocketed. These dogs sometimes referred to as designer dogs, were likely kicked off by the Poodle mix trend. In fact, one of the most popular crossbreed dogs in existence today is the Labradoodle.

The Labradoodle was initially bred as a therapy dog for those who suffered from allergies and could not obtain the traditional Labrador Retriever. However, people soon fell in love with the Labradoodle’s darling appearance, temperament, and hypoallergenic coat.

Alas, the designer dog craze was born. Today, there are countless crossbreeds to choose from, although there are those who say the buying and selling of crossbreed dogs shouldn’t be so popular.

This is because crossbreed dogs like the Dorkie mix are considered unpredictable when it comes to traits like temperament, physical appearance, and health. This is especially true if the crossbreed dog you’re interested in is a first, second, or third-generation crossbreed.

Furthermore, crossbreed dogs are not eligible for show by most major breed club standards. Many people also consider crossbreed dogs and mutts to be one and the same.

Still, crossbreeding dogs continues to grow in popularity and these dogs are often sold for just as much and sometimes even more than their purebred counterparts when going through a breeder.

We should also note here that some unscrupulous breeders have bitten onto the crossbreed trend and have decided to ride the wave to make a quick buck. For this reason, if you do decide you want to invest in a hybrid dog like the Dorkie, it’s important to go through reputable sources you trust.

With all of that noted, there are some pros that come with investing in a crossbreed dog. Take a look!

Pros and Cons of Crossbreeding A Dog

Crossbreed dogs are wildly popular, and there might be some benefits of going with a crossbreed dog over a purebred.

Have you ever heard of hybrid vigor? Hybrid vigor is the idea that crossbreed dogs may be healthier than their purebred counterparts thanks to their widened gene pool. Purebred dogs, unfortunately, have been overbred for centuries in an effort to maintain their breed standard.

This has led to an uptick in certain genetic health issues in specific breeds.

However, there are those who point out that genetics are genetics and that crossbreed dogs can be just as susceptible to genetic health issues as their purebred parents.

Furthermore, crossbreed dogs like the Dorkie may even have a longer list of health issues to contend with as they are the offspring of two different breeds.

But we will cover all of this in more detail further down. For now, let’s take a closer look at the Dorkie, beginning with his potential appearance.

What Does The Dorkie Look Like?

3 a dorkie looking past a fence
The appearance of your Dorkie dog could vary depending on his genetics.

As we mentioned above, crossbreed dogs like the Dorkie can be somewhat unpredictable when it comes to certain characteristics and traits, and this does include their appearance.

The Dorkie comes from two very different purebred dogs. The Dachshund, for example, is a dog that comes in two size varieties including standard and miniature. He is also available in three coat types including wire-haired, long-haired, and smooth-haired.

His elongated body is one trait that makes this dog so popular, earning him nicknames like sausage dog or weenie dog.

Dachshunds also have long, floppy ears, short stubby legs, and a long tail.

The Yorkshire Terrier, on the other hand, is a dog that generally weighs no more than 10 pounds. He has long, flowing hair that is considered hypoallergenic. Yorkies have pointed ears and they are born with long tails. Some breeders may choose to dock their tales during puppyhood, though this practice is becoming less and less common.

When you combine a Yorkie and a Dachsund to get the Dorkie, you could wind up with a number of physical traits. Your Dorkie could have a hypoallergenic coat like his Yorkie parent, or he could have a shedding coat like his Dachsund parent.

His ears may be long or short, or somewhere in between. The Dorkie’s body may also be elongated, though this is not always guaranteed.

On average, the Dorkie dog weighs between five to 12 pounds and stands between five to 10 inches.

If you want a Dorkie with a specific look, we recommend going through breeders who specialize in this type of crossbreed and who can offer you later-generation Dorkie dogs. Remember, first, second, and third-generation Dorkie dogs are going to be less predictable when it comes to appearance than dogs of a later generation.

You also have the option of rescuing a Dorkie dog that is over a year old. After one year, the Dorkie’s appearance is less likely to change and you have a more predictable sense of his look, temperament, and health.

And speaking of temperament, let’s find out what your Dorkie might behave like!

The Dorkie Temperament And Personality

4 a Dorkie laying down
Dorkie dogs are feisty, outgoing, and smart.

To better understand your Dorkie’s temperament, it helps to understand where he comes from. Although the Dorkie is a newer crossbreed to the scene, we can get a sense of his temperament and personality by taking a closer look at his parent breeds.

The Dachshund

The Dachshund is a German dog born and bred for hunting. His paddle-like paws, pointed muzzle, and incredible bravery once made him the ideal hunter’s companion, especially when it came to digging badgers from their dens.

For this reason, Dachshunds are known to have a strong prey drive. They are also diggers at heart and can be somewhat destructive if left to become bored.

With people, Dachshunds are friendly and outgoing. They love their family and are quite loyal. When properly trained, raised, and socialized, Dachshunds and Dachshund mixes can do well with children and other dogs.

The Yorkshire Terrier

Also known as the Yorkie, the Yorkshire Terrier was originally a bred ratting dog in Yorkshire, England. Considered one of the smallest terrier types, the Yorkie has a huge personality and a courageous spirit.

Somewhat bossy, Yorkie dogs enjoy exploring and have a strong prey drive. They are also highly devoted to their people and enjoy being cuddled as much as they enjoy running about their open yard.

In spite of their small size, Yorkies require routine exercise every day. They are also watchful guard dogs and are prone to barking when anything suspicious passes by.

Now Let’s Talk About The Dorkie Temperament

After looking at the Dorkie dog’s parent breeds, it’s easy to predict that this crossbreed is going to be friendly, outgoing, playful, and mischievous.

Dorkies can do well with children and other pets when properly raised, trained and socialized, but you should be aware that this hybrid will have a strong prey drive. Don’t leave him alone with smaller pets like rabbits or ferrets, and make sure you monitor very young children around this playful pup.

While he will enjoy playing with youngsters, the Dorkie will not tolerate being handled roughly. He could growl or nip if he feels threatened, so it’s important to work with small children on the appropriate ways to respectfully interact with the family dog.

Otherwise, Dorkies make active and fun-loving companions. They enjoy playtime but will also be happy to lay back and relax on the sofa or in their bed.

If you have a garden you’re fond of, you might consider investing in a dog run for your yard. Remember, the Dachshund in particular is a digger by nature, and this instinct could be passed on to your Dorkie.

Tips On Training And Socializing A Dorkie

5 a dorkie laying on the floor
The Dorkie will need training and socialization at an early age to grow up happy and healthy.

While the Dorkie is naturally a happy and friendly dog, he could also be prone to a few behavioral problems. These problems could be exasperated by improper training and socialization, so it’s very important owners take time and commit to training their Dorkie early on.

Like all dogs, the Dorkie should be socialized at an early age, ideally during puppyhood. Socialization should include introducing your dog to as many new people, places, sights, sounds, and experiences as possible.

Help your Dorkie get used to being handled by different people and be careful to ensure that first impressions are positive for him.

Avoid forcing your Dorkie into a situation you can see he is clearly frightened of, and stick with positive reinforcement methods like treats and praise to encourage him to explore the world at a pace he feels comfortable with.

And speaking of positive reinforcement, training your Dorkie should be a breeze with these same methods. Dorkie dogs are devoted little companions, though they can be somewhat stubborn.

Still, the Dorkie is likely going to be highly food motivated, so utilizing treats can help to hold his attention and encourage him to perform well for you.

Zuke’s Training Treats

When it comes to the best training treats, we recommend using treats that are small, smelly, and highly palatable. These types of treats are considered high-value training treats for dogs, and they are generally the best type of treats to train with.

If you’re not sure which treats to get for your Dorkie, we suggest Zuke’s Training Treats listed above. You can order them in different recipes depending on your dog’s specific taste, and they are specifically designed for training.

Avoid scolding your Dorkie or using force, fear, or pain during training sessions. This could lead to your Dorkie shutting down or becoming fearful, which can have an impact on your relationship and the trust built between the two of you.

Instead, use patience with your Dorkie when it comes to training and be consistent. We also suggest that you and your family consider learning basic canine body language.

Doing so will help you understand how your Dorkie communicates and will in turn help you to better communicate with your Dorkie down the road.

Keeping Your Dorkie Exercised And Mentally Stimulated

6 a dorkie running
Dorkie dogs need consistent exercise and mental stimulation.

Along with routine training, it’s also very important to ensure your Dorkie is properly exercised and kept mentally stimulated. In spite of this dog’s small size, the Dorkie requires routine exercise each and every day in order to stay happy and healthy.

Exercise is especially important for your Dorkie if he inherits his Dachshund parent’s elongated body type and shorter legs.

Proper exercise can help reduce spine and joint issues down the road, although it’s important to implement the right kinds of exercise to ensure your Dorkie is getting the workout he needs.

On average, the Dorkie will do well with walks that are between 30 minutes to an hour each day. He will also enjoy some free playtime in a safely enclosed backyard or play area.

If the weather is poor, you can always provide your Dorkie with some exercise inside the home. Games of tug of war, fetch, and even hide and seek using treats can help keep your Dorkie stimulated both physically and mentally.

If your Dorkie is well socialized, he could also be a good candidate for dog park adventures with dogs of the same size.

When you are exercising your Dorkie, it’s important that he is wearing the proper equipment. Remember, the Dorkie is a dog that comes from parent breeds bred for hunting. This means he is sure to have a high prey drive.

Refrain from walking your Dorkie without a proper leash and harness, as he could be prone to taking off after smaller animals, which could put him in danger.

The Voyager Step-In Harness

When it comes to the proper harness, we recommend a step-in dog harness like the Voyager Dog Harness listed above. This soft, mesh harness is designed to protect your dog’s sensitive throat and trachea while also fitting him comfortably and naturally.

It can be difficult to find a harness that fits the unique body shape of a Dachsund type dog, but this harness has been tried and tested on dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Without proper exercise and mental stimulation, the Dorkie dog can be prone to behavioral problems like destructive behaviors, chewing, barking, and marking. He may also be prone to anxiety and depression.

To avoid this, we suggest providing your dog with plenty to do while you’re away. He will enjoy learning new tricks with you while you’re home, but when you’re away you might consider puzzle toys or snuffle mats.

Puzzle toys can help keep your Dorkie entertained and challenged by utilizing treats that he can only get by solving puzzles. KONGS are also great toys for dogs who enjoy chewing.

For the Dorkie specifically, we do suggest a snuffle mat or a mat that allows your dog to tap into his digging instincts.

Routesun Snuffle Mat

The above Snuffle Mat can help encourage your Dorkie dog’s natural foraging and digging instinct without harming your garden or bedding. You can also utilize this mat as a way to feed your dog slowly or to provide him with stimulating play while you are away.

The Basics Of Grooming A Dorkie Dog

7 a dorkie that needs to be groomed
Dorkie dogs can grow long hair and may be prone to mats and tangles.

Your Dorkie dog could have a variety of coat types. Remember, the Dachshund in particular comes in three coat types that he could potentially pass on to his offspring.

Regardless, chances are that your Dorkie will have longer hair than the hair of a short-coated Dachsund. This means he could be prone to mats and tangles.

Since the Dorkie isn’t eligible for show, many owners opt to keep his hair trimmed in a puppy cut to avoid mats and tangles down the road. We also suggest investing in a quality grooming kit that contains a detangling comb.

On average, the Dorkie should be brushed at least once a week, but more often if his coat is longer. He should also have routine baths about once every four to six weeks.

When bathing your Dorkie, be sure to use a quality dog shampoo that is specified for canine use. Avoid shampoos that contain dyes, sulfates, alcohols, or other ingredients that could strip your Dorkie of the natural oils in his skin that help to keep his coat healthy.

The Dorkie may also be prone to dental disease, so it’s very important you invest in a canine toothbrush and toothpaste.

Arm & Hammer Dog Toothbrushing Kit

When it comes to smaller dogs like the Dorkie, we recommend the Arm & Hammer Dog Toothbrushing Kit listed above. It comes with dog-safe toothpaste that is flavored to help make the brushing experience more pleasant for your four-legged friend.

It also includes a traditional canine toothbrush as well as a finger brush to help reach those difficult teeth in the back of your dog’s mouth.

We also like that this toothbrushing kit helps to fight tartar.

For best results, we suggest brushing your dog’s teeth at least once a day, though twice a day is typically recommended.

It’s also important to trim your dog’s nails once every few weeks to reduce the chances of them cracking or splitting. For Dorkie dogs with long hair, do your best to keep the hair from growing too long in their eyes. This could lead to running eyes and other issues for your dog.

What You Should Know About The Dorkie’s Health Issues And Lifespan

8 two dorkie dogs being held
The Dorkie dog can be prone to suffering some unique health issues due to his elongated spine.

The Dorkie has an average lifespan of between 13 and 16 years. And while there is speculation that crossbreed dogs benefit from hybrid vigor, it’s still important to remember that the Dorkie could be prone to any and all of the same genetic health issues as his purebred parent breeds.

According to experts, the most common health issues prevalent to the Dorkie dog include:

  • Dental Disease
  • Collapsing Trachea
  • Canine Disc Disease
  • Patellar Luxation
  • portosystemic Shunt
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • And Obesity

While you can’t always predict the health issues your dog may inherit as he ages, you can opt to have your dog health screened using a canine DNA kit. Doing this can give you a better idea of what your dog may be susceptible to.

We also suggest following the below care tips to help ensure your Dorkie is healthy and happy throughout his lifetime.

Keep Your Dog On A Quality Diet

The Dorkie does best on a quality dog food specified for his age, weight, and activity level. Choose dog foods that are rich in real meat protein like chicken, beef, lamb, or salmon. Avoid dog foods that contain additives like corn, soy, wheat, gluten, by-products, or fillers, and consider investing in slow feeders or snuffle mats to help encourage healthy eating habits.

Remember, the Dorkie can be prone to obesity, and obesity can lead to worsened bone and joint problems as he ages.

Stick To Routine Vet Visits

Like people, dogs should be seen by their veterinarian at least once a year for routine checkups. In fact, many veterinarians recommend that dogs be seen once a year up until they reach age seven, at which point it’s wise to have them seen twice a year.

If you’re concerned about keeping up with vet payments, you always have the option of investing in pet health insurance.

Keep Up With Proper Exercise

Routine exercise is important for any dog, but it’s especially important for dogs with elongated spines and a propensity for bone and joint issues. Keeping up with routine exercise can help ensure your Dorkie stays at a healthy weight and has strong bones, joints, and muscles.

Consider Joint Supplements As Your Dog Ages

All dogs can be prone to bone and joint issues as they age, but this is especially true for dogs with elongated spines and shorter limbs like the Dorkie. Once your dog reaches age five, it’s a good idea to start him on some bone and joint supplements to help get him ahead of potential arthritis and other joint problems.

Mobility Bites

We like the above Mobility Bites for the Dorkie dog because they are made with quality ingredients like glucosamine, kelp, and vitamins C and E. All of these ingredients can help enhance bone and joint health and combat the early onset of arthritis.

Is The Dorkie The Right Dog For You? Let’s Find Out!

9 a dorkie puppy
Matching your lifestyle with the unique needs of a Dorkie dog can help ensure the two of you are a good fit.

The Dorkie can make an entertaining and fun-loving companion for the right owner. This is a dog that is intelligent, active, and somewhat mischievous.

Dorkies do best in homes with dedicated owners who have time to commit to training, exercise, and mental stimulation. They will also enjoy a home with a securely fenced yard where they can run and play, though a backyard isn’t necessary if you are able to routinely exercise your Dorkie each day.

These are also hybrid dogs that do well with older children and other pets like dogs and cats. However, they do have a high prey drive and shouldn’t be left alone with smaller pets like rodents, birds, or reptiles.

Dorkie dogs can also be a bit vocal, so keep this in mind if you live in small spaces or in a home with thin walls.

Overall, with proper training, socialization, exercise, and care, the Dorkie is sure to make a fabulous furry friend. Are you considering investing in a Dorkie?

Tell us what you think about this adorable dog in the comment section below.

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