Canis lupus familiaris

Last updated: September 29, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© ARENA Creative/

The Torkie has a soft silky coat

Torkie Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus familiaris

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Torkie Conservation Status

Torkie Locations

Torkie Locations

Torkie Facts

Main Prey
Name Of Young
Group Behavior
  • Pack
  • Social
Fun Fact
The Torkie has a soft silky coat
Estimated Population Size
Biggest Threat
being crushed or ran over
Most Distinctive Feature
guarding instincts
Distinctive Feature
hunting instincts
Gestation Period
2 months
Sweet, Intelligent, Vigilant and Protective, Easy to Potty Train, Playful, Good Lap Dog
require training, can be stubborn
Age Of Independence
3 months
Average Spawn Size
3 pounds
Litter Size
1-3 puppies
Average Litter Size
  • Pack
  • Social
Favorite Food
Common Name
Special Features
watchdog instincts
North America
Number Of Species
North America

Torkie Physical Characteristics

  • White-Brown
  • Multi-colored
  • Black-Brown
Skin Type
Top Speed
10 mph
13-15 years
7-10 pounds
8-9 inches
9-10 inches
Age of Sexual Maturity
12 months
Age of Weaning
2 months

Torkie 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
7-10 lbs
Female weight
7-10 lbs

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The Torkie has a soft and silky coat.

Torkie Introduction

The Torkie is a crossbreed between a Yorkshire Terrier and Toy Fox Terrier. The Toy Fox Terrier was bred in the 1930s as a vermin hunter and circus performer. The Yorkshire Terrier was bred in England one hundred years ago to hunt rats. This dog belongs to the Terrier group and is classified as a toy dog due to its small size. 

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The breed has a high prey drive due to its ancestors being vermin hunters. They are sweet, affectionate dogs with high energy levels. They are not good around children and are best suited for seniors or singles.

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Torkie Fun Fact

The Torkie has a soft and silky coat. 

Owning a Torkie: Pros and Cons

Torkie dogs are light shedders.Torkies will run off to hunt if not leashed outside.
They are alert and make great watchdogs. They are prone to barking a lot.
They will get along with other dogs.Torkies require a lot of training and socialization.

Torkie Size and Weight

These are very small dogs. In fact, they tend to be the same size regardless of which sex they are. These little dogs are 8-9 inches tall and weigh between 7 and 10 pounds. Puppies are 3 pounds at birth, on average. 

Height (Male)8-9 Inches
Height (Female)8-9 Inches
Weight (male)7-10 Pounds
Weight (female)7-10 Pounds

Torkie Common Health Issues

Smaller dogs in general are prone to oral health issues. Also, this specific breed of dog suffers from patellar luxation, meaning loose knee joints. Torkies have weak windpipes which sometimes collapse. This results in a chronic cough. 

Torkies suffer from low blood sugar, a condition called hypoglycemia. They also have vision issues as well. Namely, ctaracts are a common concern in these little dogs. They may need surgery to prevent blindness as they age.  This breed of dog sometimes suffers from a liver shunt.

Health and Entertainment for your Torkie

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  1. Plaque Build up
  2. Patellar Luxation
  3. Collapsing Windpipe
  4. Hypoglycemia
  5. Cataracts

Torkie Temperament and Behavior

Torkies are high-energy dogs with cheerful personalities. They are loving and loyal in their behavior towards their owner. Torkies are known to be velcro dogs, sticking closely to their favorite people. They are cuddly and enjoy their role as lap dogs. 

This breed of dog is not good around children. Small children may mishandle them which will make them feel threatened and possibly nibble at them. Torkies have a curious and smart personality but are stubborn when it comes to training. 

Due to the hunting instincts of its ancestors, one must be careful letting this dog breed off the leash. These dogs are terriers, so they have a high prey drive towards smaller animals. Plus, Torkies are alert creatures and make good watchdogs. Sometimes they are loud, noisy barking can be a problem. 

How To Take Care Of A Torkie

Thirty calories per pound of body weight are sufficient for the average dog. Toy dog breeds have a fast metabolism and require ten pounds more than an average or bigger dog would require. It is important to feed this dog efficiently to aid against hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar. Have your Torkie eat a square meal ninety minutes before exercising to avoid blood sugar crashes. 

The Best Dog Food for Torkies

The Torkie is a toy dog breed. This means you will not have to feed it a lot of food. One cup of food a day is sufficient for this small canine. Specifically, you should opt for dry food to help mitigate dental issues. It is important to not overfeed this dog so that it does not become overweight and further complicate patella luxation. 

Torkie puppy food: As puppies you will need to feed the dog four hundred calories a day. Adult dogs of this breed require one hundred and one hundred fifty calories a day. Dry food is good for this breed of dogs because the texture helps scrub the plaque off the teeth. 

Torkie adult food: Dogs in general need protein, fruits, and vegetables in their diet. Fish oils will help maintain the Torkie’s coat. Carbohydrates are good for energy and fiber and are easy to digest in dogs with stomach problems. Any dog food with omega three or omega six fatty acids are good for this breed. 

Therefore, at A-Z Animals, we find that the best dog food for Torkies is Eukanuba Adult Small Bites Dry Dog Food.

Firstly, the crunchy texture and proprietary, S-shaped ‘3D DentaDefense’ kibble pieces are engineered to remove tartar and plaque for healthier gums and teeth. What’s more, the calcium-phosphorus combo helps with Torkies’ oral health, too. The natural animal protein from real chicken delivers glucosamine for the joints, and beta-carotene enhances eye health.

Try out Eukanuba Small Bites dog food, available on Chewy and Amazon.

Best Small Bites Formula
Eukanuba Adult Small Bites Dry Dog Food
  • Small bite blend suited for dogs with smaller jaws
  • DHA and antioxidants for brain health
  • High protein to provide energy
  • Supports lean muscles and healthy joints
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Maintenance And Grooming

The coat of a Torkie is low maintenance. They do not shed much. A light brushing daily prevents knots and tangles. Behind the ears need to be wiped weekly. They rarely need to visit the groomer. Toe nails will need to be clipped monthly. Brushing the teeth will help prevent plaque build up. 

Training For Torkies

Torkies are intelligent dogs. They have a reputation for being stubborn sometimes. The fact that both parents to this dog are Terrier breeds they have a bit of “attitude”. It is important to be assertive early on and use positive reinforcement. Socialization with people, and other dogs is important early on to ensure you will have a friendly dog. This dog should not be put with smaller animals due to their predatory instincts; they may view the smaller animal as a snack instead of a roommate. 

Exercise Regimen

This dog is happy to engage and play with the owner but will be just as quick to jump in your lap and sit. They require little exercise but respond well to daily walks. A thirty minute walk daily is sufficient for this small canine. This dog breed is perfect for an apartment or small family home. 

Torkie Puppies

©Plains Photography/

This breed is highly possessive over its owners and toys. Early in the morning it is beneficial to bring your puppy outside to the same general area which will help train it to use the bathroom outside and get used to being outside. Leash training is crucial to preventing it from running after smaller animals outside. Intelligence and eagerness being strong traits of this breed make it easy to teach the puppy new and amusing tricks.

Torkies And Children

This breed does not do well around small children. Small children often do not know how to play with this small canine and unintentionally are rough or mishandle the dog. This results in the dog feeling threatened or alarmed and starting to nip or bite. 

Torkies And Other Similar Breeds

Similar breeds to the Torkie include the Toy Fox Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, and Pomeranian. The Torkie is a fifty percent Toy Fox Terrier and fifty percent Yorkshire Terrier. While the Pomeranian is a whole other kind of breed altogether, it is similar in size. 

  • Toy Fox Terrier – This is a small breed of dog located in North America. The lifespan of this breed is eleven to fourteen years. They reach a maximum of fourteen pounds in weight. This small canine is loving and loyal in its nature. This dog is intelligent, energetic, and learns fast.
  • Yorkshire Terrier – This small canine breed originated in Europe. They are alert and have the spirit of  bigger dogs. They make good guard dogs. Yorkies shed lightly and don’t need much exercise. Puppies weigh four pounds at birth and max out at fifteen pounds as an adult dog. 
  • Pomeranian – This small dog is of Nordic descent. This dog weighs eight pounds when it is fully grown. The Pomeranian stands seven inches tall. They are intelligent canines. 

Nicknames For The Torkie

  • Baxter
  • Bella
  • Charlie
  • Coco
  • Lily

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AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Torkie FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does the Torkie cost to own ? 

The cost to obtain a Torkie is between $500 – $1000. Annual expenses run start at $300 and go up if the dog experiences health problems. 

Is the Torkie good with children?

This breed is not good with small children. If mishandled the dog will feel threatened and bite. This dog is fragile. 

How long do Torkies live?

Torkies live to be thirteen to sixteen years of age. 

Is the Torkie an aggressive breed?

No, however, they need to be socialized from a young age with other people and pets. They need to be kept away from smaller animals and must be on a leash when outside.

Do Torkies bark a lot?

Yes, they are alert and very vocal creatures. They make great guard dogs.

Are Torkies easy to train?

Yes, if positive reinforcement is used and you are assertive early on. They are especially easy for owners with previous dog experience.

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  1. - Patellar Luxations, Available here:
  2. (1970)

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