What is a Jorkie?

A Jorkie is a cross between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Yorkshire Terrier. In the late 20th century, breeders began cross breeding two purebreds to create hybrids which they termed “designer dog”.  A cross-bred dog is a “product of artificial selection – intentionally created by humans… with the purpose of enhancing desired physical, behavioral, or temperamental characteristics.”[1] The litter of two purebred dogs are known as first-generation. These litters are not considered a breed but instead called cross-breed because of their known lineage. This is different from a mixed breed dog whose lineage is uncertain.

LoubiCredit: SuzyQinOrlando

There is not a lot of information available about the Jorkie so I decided to offer up what I know from experience. First, I researched the Jorkie’s parents.

Jack Russell Terrier

Gizmo the Jack RussellCredit: By Widge292 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsBackground: The breed was named after a clergyman named Rev. John Russell who bred them in the early 19th century. The breed was originally “used as a small game hunting dog particularly for red fox, digging the quarry out of its den in the mid-1800s. Some of the Jack Russell's talents include: hunting, tracking, agility and performing tricks.[2]

Appearance: The Jack Russell is a small yet sturdy terrier. Its body length is in proportion to its height and its head is well balanced in proportion to its body. The Jack Russell’s compact body range in size from 10–15 inches tall and weighs between 14 – 18 pounds. The life expectancy of the breed is approximately 15 years plus. Their coat is smooth, yet rough or broken, without being woolly and provides it a certain amount of protection from the elements and undergrowth. White is the predominate color of the Jack Russell’s coat with tan, black or brown markings. It is very rare for tan coloring coat or brindle markings within the breed. [2]

Characteristics: The Jack Russell Terrier is a happy, cheerful, devoted and loving dog. The breed is very spirited and if trained correctly, obedient, yet absolutely fearless due in part from their inherited hunting instincts. They are intelligent and are therefore, highly trainable. The breed is highly energetic and require a “high level of exercise and stimulation”.[3] A few of the traits of the breed are to chase, explore, bark and dig. The Jack Russell also has the ability to climb and jump. “A Jack that stands 12 inches tall can jump a five foot fence.”[2]

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Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier kurzCredit: By Christian Glöckner (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsBackground: The Yorkshire Terrier (nickname “Yorkie”) breed was created, in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire, England, by working men from Scotland, who developed the breed for the purpose of catching the rats and mice that heavily infested clothing mills and mine shafts. Several different varieties of small terriers, “including the Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, Manchester Terrier, Maltese and the now-extinct Clydesdale (Paisley Terrier)”, were cross bred “with local types, such as the longhaired Leeds Terrier[4] to evolve the Yorkshire Terrier into the canine of today.

Appearance: The Yorkshire Terrier is a short-legged compact toy dog ranging in size of 6 – 7 inches tall, weighing pounds with a life expectancy of approximately 12 - 15 years.[4] Their coat consists of fur that is long, glossy, fine and silky hairs that fall straight down on either side. The standard coat colors of adult Yorkies on the body and tail is steel blue with the remainder of its body being tan. The hair on the top of the head is plentiful and to allow the Yorkies to see, some owners gather the hair into a band or clip; others, trim the hair on top of the head.

Characteristics: The Yorkie is a small toy dog who is highly energetic, inquisitive, loyal, overprotective, clever and love attention. Yorkshire Terriers are unaware of their small size. They are very eager for adventure. Yorkies are easy to train but can be stubborn if their owners don’t give them boundaries. This is especially true when it comes to potty training. They also tend to be yappy and make an excellent watchdog because of this characteristic. Excessive barking can be resolved with proper training and exercise.[4]

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Yorkshire Terriers For Dummies
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The Jorkie

MuffyCredit: SuzyQinOrlandoAppearance: The cross breeding of the Jack Russell and the Yorkie results in the varied appearance of the Jorkie. Because of the difference in appearance of the Jack Russell and Yorkshire Terrier, the Jorkie’s physique is one or other of its parents. Otherwise, the other physical characteristics possessed by the two breeds are blended in the resulting Jorkie. The Jorkie can have a long coarse coat and resemble the Jack Russell or have the long silken coat and resemble the Yorkshire Terrier. Jorkies inherit the tan, black, brown and steel blue color like those of its parents and at times, are red in coloring. However, the predominant white color and short coat of the Jack Russell gets lost in translation. The estimated adult weight is approximately 8 – 13 pounds.[5] Loubi as a PresentCredit: SuzyQinOrlando

Our Jorkie, named Loubi  (short for the shoe designer) who is two and a half years old, is a leaner version of the physique of her Jack Russell mother with a long, tan (almost red), coarse coat inherited from both of her parents. She is approximately 14 inches tall and weighs 14 pounds.

Characteristics: This cross combines the activeness and intelligence of the Jack Russell Terrier with the cuteness and mellowness of the Yorkshire Terrier.”[5] The cross breeding of these two breeds will most likely result in a happy, cheerful, devoted, loving, spirited, obedient yet fearless, highly energetic, intelligent, inquisitive, adventurous, loyal, overprotective, clever and loving dog. It is most likely that the Jorkie will need to be trained to control its excessive barking ability.

Loubi has the spirit and fearlessness of her Jack Russell mother and the high energy and cleverness of her Yorkie father. Loubi is a loving dog and adores attention. She can be stubborn at times so training her was a bit difficult especially in the potty training area but that issue has been long resolved. She loves to lick excessively and to chase, explore, bark, dig and can jump like a horse at an equestrian competition.

Loubi StayingCredit: SuzyQinOrlando

Loubi is so darn cute and is a wonderful companion dog. She gets along very well with our other dog, Wyatt, who is a designer dog known as a Havachon. If you’re considering bringing a dog into your life, a Jorkie is a wonderful choice.

Find your perfect designer dog

Designer Dogs: Portraits and Profiles of Popular New Crossbreeds
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