Canis lupus

Last updated: May 27, 2024
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
Steve Bruckmann/

Dorkies are so laid-back they sometimes need extra incentive to exercise each day.


Dorkie Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Dorkie Conservation Status

Dorkie Locations

Dorkie Locations

Dorkie Facts

Fun Fact
Dorkies are so laid-back they sometimes need extra incentive to exercise each day.
Laid-back and even-tempered

Dorkie Physical Characteristics

  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type
10 - 13 years
12 pounds

Dorkie as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Warm climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
7-12 lbs
Female weight
5-10 lbs

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A Dorkie is a loyal dog following its owners around everywhere like a shadow.

Breed a Yorkshire Terrier with a Dachshund and you get a Dorkie. Dorkies are hybrid dogs that date back to the 1990s. They have many of the best qualities of their purebred parents.

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Dorkies are known for their laid-back temperament. They have a gentle personality and are extremely loyal to their owner. A Dorkie is likely to bark when someone appears at the door or walks onto the property, so they are good watchdogs.

3 Pros And Cons Of Owning A Dorkie

An affectionate pet
Dorkies are gentle pets that love snuggling with their owner on the sofa.
Difficult to train
Though Dorkies are intelligent, they can be stubborn during obedience training.
Suitable for apartment living
Dorkies are small dogs and suitable in size for an owner who lives in an apartment.
Some skin and eye issues
This small dog is especially prone to skin and eye health issues that need to be monitored.
Good watchdogs
This hybrid has a loud bark that can alert the members of a household of someone at the door.
Prey driven
Dorkies are related to dogs bred to hunt small animals. So, they need to be watched around pets such as hamsters and rabbits.

History Of The Breed

Dorkie playing with a ball

The Dorkie originated in the 1990s, crossed with a Dachshund and a Yorkshire Terrier.

The dorkie is a mixed breed that was originally started in the 1990s, a cross between a dachshund and a Yorkshire terrier, or Yorkie, and are more commonly found in the United States and England. Like most mixed breeds, they don’t have a long history but their parent breeds do. The Dachshund originates in Germany, dating back to the 1500s, and was used as a small game hunting dog. They became popular in the 1800s as house pets

The Yorkie comes from Yorkshire, England, around the mid-1800s, and was originally bred from a variety of terriers brought to the area by Scottish weavers. The Yorkie was intended as a hunting dog, or a ratter, to catch small vermin but due to its beauty became popular as a family pet among the wealthy.

Health and Entertainment for your Dorkie

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Types Of

As a mixed breed, there is only one type of dorkie but they can come in many different varieties, depending on which parent breed it was mixed with. The dachshund comes in three varieties or types – smooth, wired, and long-coated and while there is only one official yorkie type, they come in seven different sizes and color variations – parti, teacup, Biewer, teddy bear, mismarked, black and designer.

Size And Weight

Male Dorkies grow to a height of 8 to 10 inches while a female reaches 5 to 8 inches tall fully grown. Males weigh from 7 to 12 pounds whereas females weigh 5 to 10 pounds, full grown. A Dorkie at 9 weeks old weighs around 2 pounds. These dogs are full-grown at around 10 months old.

Height (Male)10 inches tall
Height (Female)8 inches tall
Weight (Male)12 pounds, full-grown
Weight (Female)10 pounds, full-grown

Common Health Issues

Dorkies have a few common health issues including Patellar luxation. This condition occurs when a dog’s kneecap moves out of its proper position. A dog may be running along and suddenly start limping or hopping. Physical therapy is one treatment for Patellar luxation. A dog with severe Patellar luxation may need surgery.

A second common health issue is Retinal dysplasia. Retinal dysplasia is when the retina doesn’t develop correctly. An x-ray is needed to determine whether a dog has this condition. Retinal dysplasia can cause blindness. Unfortunately, there’s no treatment for this health issue. Dorkies are also prone to allergies which can cause red or dry skin and even bald spots in its coat (due to the dog scratching). This dog can be allergic to a number of things including certain foods, pollen, shampoo, and dust. Common health issues of Dorkies include:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Allergies

Temperament And Behavior

Cute Dorkie dog mixed breed of Dachshund and Yorkie

The Dorkie has a laid-back personality.

Dorkies have a sweet, affectionate temperament. This hybrid dog loves to relax on the sofa next to its owner. In fact, loyalty to its owner is one of this dog’s most notable traits. A Dorkie has a laid-back personality which means it sometimes has to be encouraged to go out for a walk in the neighborhood!

Normally, a socialized Dorkie will do well interacting with children. However, parents must keep in mind that younger kids may try to pick up and hold this small dog. After all, it kind of looks like a toy. If the dog feels unsafe or threatened, it could act out. The best path is to teach all the children in a family to treat this little pooch with respect at all times.

How To Take Care Of A Dorkie

The best way to take care of a pet Dorkie is to learn as much as possible about this hybrid dog. A Dorkie puppy and an adult dog need different types of care. Learn some specifics about the care of a Dorkie.

The Best Dog Food For Dorkies

Dorkie puppies and adult dogs are at different stages of life. Naturally, they need different types of nutrients to maintain good health. Fortunately, there is a wide range of dog foods specialized to minimize dogs’ allergies. Checkout some considerations for this dog’s diet:

Dorkie puppy food: Protein helps in the development of healthy muscles, tissues, and ligaments in a puppy’s body. Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to healthy skin which is important for a hybrid dog prone to allergies. Calcium builds strong teeth and bones. Vitamin C and E are important antioxidants in a Dorkie puppy’s diet.

Dorkie adult dog food: Lean protein is essential in an adult Dorkie’s diet to support healthy muscles and tissue. A limited portion of fat in an adult Dorkie’s diet gives it the energy it needs to move around without adding excess weight to its small frame. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids support healthy skin and hair. Calcium contributes to strong teeth, nails, and bones. Vitamin A is important for a dog’s eye health. This is valuable for a dog prone to Retinal dysplasia. Be sure to include fiber in an adult dog’s diet to support healthy digestion.

Taking all these points into account, A-Z Animals believes the best dog food for Dorkies is Stella & Chewy’s Wild Red Stews Wet Dog Food.

This unique formula eliminates allergy-inducing grains, legumes, fillers, and artificial preservatives. There’s beta-carotene for clear eyes and vision, and calcium for strong joints. The amino acids help build muscle and balance the immune system.

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Stella & Chewy's Wild Red Raw Blend Kibble Wholesome Grains Red Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Packed full of protein with beef, pork, lamb, bison, venison, and goat.
  • Crafted without potatoes or legumes.
  • Freeze-dried raw meat coats every delectable bite with added raw chunks.
  • 80% of its yummy protein is from actual animal sources!
  • Recipe uses “whole prey” ingredients, including muscle meat, organ meat, and cartilage.

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Maintenance And Grooming

How much does a Dorkie shed? Dorkie’s shed a low to moderate amount of hair. A Dachshund sheds more than the Yorkshire Terrier breed. So, the amount a Dorkie sheds depends on which parent it takes after.

It’s a good idea to brush a Dorkie’s coat two or three times a week. A simple pin brush can loosen and remove tangles from this dog’s coat. Be sure there are plastic covers on the tips of the bristles, so the dog’s skin is not harmed as it’s being brushed.

Sometimes an owner can remove a small tangle from a Dorkie’s coat by gently loosening it with their fingers. Keep in mind it’s never a good idea to roughly pull at a tangle.

Red or dry skin, as well as bald patches in a Dorkie’s coat, are all signs of allergies. A veterinarian can help to diagnose food or environmental allergies and provide a treatment plan for the dog.


A Dorkie’s laid-back personality mixed with a stubborn streak can make obedience training a little challenging. It’s a smart idea for an owner to have plenty of desirable treats ready to offer when a Dorkie has success during a training session. Words of praise are also effective in training this mixed breed. Plus, limiting a training session to about 15 minutes is a simple way to keep this dog’s attention.

Another terrier mix, namely a Rat Terrier, is an additional example of a dog with a stubborn streak that can affect its obedience training.


Dorkies need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Playing fetch in the backyard, walking a trail at a local park, or taking a walk around the neighborhood are all fun ways to give this hybrid dog exercise. They get along well with other dogs so a trip to the dog park would be a nice treat for this canine.

The small size of a Dorkie makes it a good companion for someone who lives in an apartment.


A full-grown Dorkie is still categorized as mini in size. So, it’s no surprise that Dorkie puppies are especially small! Owners have to keep this in mind when handling and working with a Dorkie puppy. They are mini or small so they can be hurt easily. Taking extra care with these mini puppies is essential.

Dorkie And Children

Socialized Dorkies are known to get along with children. They like to cuddle with kids and adults! It’s important that younger children understand the need to handle these little dogs with care. Accidentally dropping this dog or stepping on a paw can cause serious injury.

Dogs Similar To Dorkies

Other dogs similar to Dorkies include Rat Terriers, Border Terriers, and Doxiepoos.

  • Rat Terrier – Like Dorkies, Rat Terriers are known for being loyal to their owners. Also, both dogs are easy to groom. But, Rat Terriers have a lot more energy than Dorkies.
  • Border Terrier – Border Terriers and Dorkies can have a coat that’s a combination of brown/tan and black hair. Also, they both are known to be prey-driven. However, Border Terriers are taller and weigh more than Dorkies.
  • Doxiepoo – This Dachshund mix is similar to the Dorkie in that they both can have separation anxiety when left alone for long periods. One difference is a Dorkie gets along better with other dogs in a household.

Popular names for Dorkies are:

  • Teddy
  • Jack
  • Piper
  • Stella
  • Rosie
  • Penny
  • Henry
  • Sam
  • Millie
  • Gus

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
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Dorkie FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a Dorkie?

A Dorkie is a mix between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Dachshund. It is a mini breed of dog weighing no more than 12 pounds. These canines are loyal, even-tempered, and affectionate companions.

How much does it cost to own a Dorkie?

Dorkie puppies from a breeder cost around $700. This can be more or less depending on the breeder. These puppies are also available from Dorkie rescue organizations. A rescue organization is going to charge a much lower price for this dog. Also, any money a person pays will go to support the rescue organization and provide supplies such as food and housing for other dogs up for adoption.

The yearly vet costs for a Dorkie range from $400 and $600. The overall health of this dog can affect yearly vet costs.

The food budget for a Dorkie range from $20 to $30 each month. These dogs eat about a cup of food a day which helps keep their food budget reasonable.

Are Dorkies good with kids?

A socialized Dorkie is going to be good with kids. But be aware that these dogs are little and should be handled with care to avoid injury.

How long does a Dorkie live?

The lifespan of this dog is 10 to 13 years.

Do Dorkie dogs shed?

Yes, they shed a small to moderate amount of hair.

Do Dorkies bark a lot?

A socialized Dorkie barks when someone is at the door or when a stranger is on the property. Alternatively, a Dorkie that’s not properly socialized may bark a lot. But this behavior can be adjusted by the proper training.

Are Dorkies good pets?

Yes! This hybrid canine was bred to be a companion. They become very fond and protective of their owner.

How much are Dorkies worth?

Dorkies can be purchased from a breeder at a cost of around $700. They are also available for adoption from rescue organizations. A rescue organization is likely to charge a small fee.

How big do Dorkies get?

A male Dorkie can grow to be 10 inches tall while a female can measure 8 inches from head to toe. In terms of weight, a male Dorkie can weigh 12 pounds full grown, whereas a female can weigh 10 pounds full grown.

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  1. The Happy Puppy Site / Accessed April 15, 2021