Snorkies are crossbreed dogs – they have one Miniature Schnauzer parent, and one Yorkshire Terrier parent.
Generally, this hybrid is friendly, affectionate, and playful.
Because of the size of the parent breeds, they will be a small mixed breed. Snorkies can weigh up to 25 pounds as adults, growing to between 7 and 14 inches.
This article is all about what to expect from a Schnauzer Yorkie mix puppy – their appearance, personality, health, and how easy they are to train.
What’s In This Guide
Here are our readers’ most popular and frequently asked questions about the Snorkie.
- Are they good family dogs?
- How much exercise do Snorkies need?
- Are Snorkies healthy?
- Will a Snorkie be friendly?
Ideally, the Snorkie is the perfect combination of a friendly Miniature Schnauzer and an affectionate but sassy Yorkshire Terrier.
Snorkie: Breed At A Glance
- Popularity: Growing!
- Purpose: Companion
- Weight: 7 – 25 pounds
- Temperament: Protective, friendly, intelligent
Considering how adorable the name Snorkie is, you could almost expect it would be hard for the pup itself to measure up.
Snorkie Breed Review: Contents
- History and original purpose
- Fun facts about Snorkie
- Snorkie appearance
- Snorkie temperament
- Training and exercising your Snorkie
- Snorkie health and care
- Do Snorkie make good family pets
- Rescuing a Snorkie
- Finding a Snorkie puppy
- Raising a Snorkie puppy
- Snorkie products and accessories
History and Original Purpose
As for the Snorkie itself, no one really knows the exact date that a Yorkie and Schnauzer first came together to create the designer breed.
But this is common with mixed breeds of all sorts! Especially those done naturally without artificial insemination.
In fact, Schnauzer Yorkie cross litters probably cropped up for decades without mention before the catchy Snorkie moniker caught on.
To get a better idea of where it comes from, we need to take a look at its parents.
Yorkshire Terrier History
You may assume that the Yorkshire Terrier was originally created for English women of Yorkshire who wished to have a cute lapdog to show off in photos.
While this may have eventually gained an element of truth, it’s not the beginning of the cute breed’s history.
The Yorkie was actually created to be a hardy rat-catching dog, small enough to fit into the nooks and crannies of mills and coal mines.
Miniature Schnauzer History
As for the Miniature Schnauzer, it was bred from the Standard Schnauzer as a smaller version of the German farmhand.
At first Miniature Schnauzers were destined to become rat catchers too, but like the Yorkshire Terrier they quickly gained popularity as companion dogs instead.
Fun Facts about Snorkies
The Snorkie is a cross between Miniature Schnauzer and a Yorkie.
Since it is a crossbreed, that automatically makes it a breed for controversy.
Let’s talk more about that.
When someone takes two purebred dogs and purposely breeds them together, it’s sometimes known as a designer dog.
This is where you find Pomskies, Labradoodles, and the Cockapoo as well.
There are many differences between designer dogs and purebreds, which start with the differences in purebreds and mutts.
Pedigree breeders can be scathing of designer dogs, because they have invested many years breeding litters of puppies which consistently and reliably have the best features of their breed.
The Other Hand
However, pedigrees aren’t always perfect in every way.
Many pedigree breeding programmes contain a limited number of individual dogs.
If one of those dogs has an inheritable health problem, that problem can easily spread and become fixed in a large proportion of their descendants.
Are Mixed Breeds Healthier?
In fact, according to Carol Beuchat PhD at The Institute of Canine Biology, inbreeding (breeding dogs that are related) is a bigger contributor to canine health problems than cross breeding.
That said, when comparing purebreds and mixed breeds, the mixed breeds are usually less predictable in every way.
And that’s because there’s no way to predict what blend of qualities a mixed breed puppy will inherit from each parent.
A Yorkshire Terrier generally weighs about 7 pounds and stands 7-8 inches tall at their shoulder blades.
A Miniature Schnauzer is a bit bigger than the Yorkie with a weight range of 11-20 pounds. Miniature Schnauzers are a little less than twice as tall as Yorkies.
With this knowledge you can safely assume that a Snorkie will be somewhere in the range of their parents. Statistically, most Snorkies will end up at a weight halfway between their parents.
But some outliers could be very small like a Yorkie, or as big as a Miniature Schnauzer. There could even be a lot of variation among siblings in the same litter!
But they will hardly ever reach 25lbs unless overfed.
As far as appearance goes, the Yorkie is often seen as the “feminine” side of the Snorkie and the Schnauzer the “masculine” side.
The biggest difference between a Yorkie and a Schnauzer’s appearance is the length of their coat.
The Yorkie has a long, silky coat that is parted down the middle. Their muzzle is short and their eyes very dark.
The Mini Schnauzer coat is very different as it’s rough, coarse, and much shorter than the Yorkie’s.
So What To Expect
As designer dogs are unpredictable in appearance, a Snorkie puppy can have with the color and texture of either parent, and even something in between.
One thing Yorkshire Terrier and Miniature Schnauzer coats have in common is a high grooming requirement, and we’ll come back to that in just a bit.
The Miniature Schnauzer muzzle is long and squarish.
Their eyes also have a larger range in appearance, but can be much lighter than the Yorkie’s.
The Yorkie has a shorter muzzle and small V-shaped ears.
As small as it may be, the Yorkie makes a wonderful watchdog.
They are courageous, spicy, and inherit the traits of many other terriers.
They have big personalities and can come across as a bit bossy, but the right owner can use this to their strength with the right training.
The Mini Schnauzer is likened to the Yorkie in that it is brave and fierce when it feels that it, or his family members, are in danger.
Though both breeds are brave and fiery, neither are aggressive, so Snorkies are usually friendly dogs who get on well with others.
But There’s More!
Both of the parent breeds for the Snorkie are friendly pups, but they also both require regular exercise.
Yorkies are intelligent dogs with a hearty appetite for “work”. They need physical and mental exercise everyday.
Training and Exercising your Snorkie
As far as training goes, the Snorkie can be rather unpredictable.
The Mini Schnauzer is very eager to please and easy to train – they are very responsive and always paying attention. However, the Yorkie can be rather stubborn and requires greater patience.
To get the best behavior from your Snorkie, you’ll need to commit to ongoing training with positive reinforcement techniques.
Because the Shorkie is one of the smaller mixed breeds out there, it isn’t the most high maintenance for exercise.
It will need daily exercise. But this could come in the form of walks and short intense periods of play, like chasing a ball!
Shorkie Health and Care
Yorkshire Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers are both pedigree dogs, which inevitably means that they are more than averagely predisposed to some inheritable illnesses.
Some of these illnesses can also be passed on to Snorkie puppies.
One of the biggest major health concerns for the Snorkie (inherited from the Schnauzer) are pancreas-related diseases.
These include diabetes and pancreatitis.
It’s important to keep your dog healthy, exercised, and well-fed throughout its life to lessen the risks of diabetes.
Watch for symptoms including changes in appetite, increased urination, vomiting, cataracts and skin infections, and take your dog to the vet regularly.
Diabetes takes time, attention, and care, but it is manageable.
It can happen to any dog, but if your Snorkie has a history of diabetes in their family tree, it is more likely to be something you will have to face.
Miniature Schnauzers are also particularly vulnerable to heart problems, some of which could potentially be inherited by Snorkie puppies.
All Mini Schnauzers should have a full cardiac exam before they are used for breeding – your breeder will have the results of this and should be happy to discuss them with you.
Other Problems from the Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers are also prone to eye problems, skin disorders, epilepsy, and renal failure.
You can read more about all of these conditions in our complete Miniature Schnauzer breed review.
We don’t fully understand the inheritance of these illnesses, and how much (if any) protection being a Schnauzer Yorkie mix offers against them.
Keep in mind that with designer breeds, health concerns can often be unpredictable just as any other traits they may inherit.
A good breeder will know the medical history of their puppies’ parents and grandparents, so that you at least have an idea of which conditions could be passed on.
Other Problems from the Yorkie
Now let’s turn to Yorkshire Terrier health, and what conditions a Yorkie might pass down to a Snorkie.
These little dogs are prone to
- luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps)
- Legge Perthes disease (sudden degeneration of the hip joint)
- tracheal collapse (malformed cartilage supporting their windpipe)
- portosystemic shunt (where the blood system doesn’t serve the liver correctly)
- and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).
You can read more about all of these here.
Both the Yorkie and the Miniature Schnauzer are high maintenance dogs due to their long coats. Neither dogs’ coat sheds much, and nor will a Snorkies, but they will need brushed a few times a week to prevent matting.
If you are brushing, you may still find mats in their coat. Though the breed is hardy, you must still be gentle, and work it out slowly so as not to hurt the pup.
You might also find that Snorkie grooming is easier if you get a groomer to clip their hair regularly, or do it yourself.
Snorkie owners tend to bathe their dog every month or two, but this depends on the dog and whether it inherits more traits from the father or mother.
Do Snorkies Make Good Family Pets
How can you tell if a Snorkie dog is the right fit for you? These are the top factors to consider:
Both of the parent breeds of the Snorkie have lively minds and lots of energy. If you don’t have the time or resources at the moment for lots of exercise and training, a Snorkie might not be the right dog for you.
It’s important to groom Snorkies regularly as they are high-maintenance. If this sounds like a chore rather than a pleasure, you might not enjoy owning a Snorkie at this time.
Will your Snorkie need to get along with children?
Miniature Schnauzers have great reputations as family dogs, whereas Yorkies are more likely to lose patience and snap at clumsy or over-persistent children.
Rescuing a Snorkie
Because designer breeds are becoming more popular, it’s becoming easier to find them in rescue centers.
Often mixed-breed specific rescue centers are rare. But you can check breed centers for the parent breeds if you’re looking to rescue a Snorkie.
We’ve created a list of rescue centers for you to take a look at. Click here to jump to the list.
Finding a Snorkie Puppy
The good news is, because the most common health problems of Schnauzers and Yorkies don’t overlap, they are more likely to be mitigated rather than exacerbated in the Yorkshire Terrier Schnauzer mix.
Many genetic illnesses depend on inheriting the faulty genes that cause them from both parents.
A Yorkshire Terrier and Miniature Schnauzer are unlikely to have the same genetic weaknesses. So their puppies might be protected against some of the conditions we’ve listed (unfortunately it will take a lot more scientific research before we can predict exactly which though).
Good breeders make sure both parents have a complete veterinary check up before they mate, and will share all the results with you.
So the best way to find a healthy Snorkie puppy, is to find a reputable breeder.
What Makes a Reputable Breeder
Since designer breeds aren’t recognized by the AKC, getting a Snorkie can be tricky. However, there are many kennels and breeders out there who want to find perfect homes for their pups!
Though appearance is something to consider when finding “your” Snorkie, remember to ask the breeder about any health conditions that the parents have had. This can tell you a lot about the health of their puppies.
It might not drive you away, but if you don’t have the time or money to care for a dog who may have hereditary problems, that’s understandable.
Dogs are meant to bring us joy, but it’s our responsibility as owners to make sure they receive the care that they need!
Where to Avoid
Finally, bear in mind that sadly the trendy “Snorkie” label means that many puppy farms are currently willing to breed these little dogs in poor conditions to make a quick buck.
Use our guide to finding a breeder to make sure you don’t accidentally support this cruel industry.
Raising a Snorkie Puppy
Caring for a vulnerable Snorkie puppy is a big responsibility.
There are some great guides to help you with all aspects of puppy care and training. You’ll find them listed on our puppy care page.
Take a look at them here.
Snorkie Products and Accessories
Preparing for a new puppy can be tough. Especially when it can have a mixture of qualities from two different breeds.
Pros And Cons of Getting A Snorkie
Let’s re-cap the pros and cons of a Snorkie.
Will need a good amount of exercise every day.
The Shorkie needs a lot of grooming.
If they take after their Yorkie parent more, they may not get along with small children.
It’s impossible to predict exactly what your mix will be like.
Both breeds love spending time with their family.
When looked after properly, this breed has a beautiful coat.
Comparing the Snorkie with Other Breeds
The Snorkie is a popular mixed breed. But if you’re still not sure, we’ve got some great other breeds you can compare it to.
Take a look at some of these guides below.
Snorkie Breed Rescues
If you have decided you want to go down the adoption route, we’ve got some breed centers here for you to have a look at.
If you know of any others that we can add to this list, be sure to mention them in the comments.
And tell us about your experiences with the Snorkie!
References And Resources
- Gough A, Thomas A, O’Neill D. 2018 Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats. Wiley Blackwell
- O’Neill et al. 2013. Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs In England. The Veterinary Journal
- Adams VJ, et al. 2010. Results of a Survey of UK Purebred Dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice.
- Schalamon et al. 2006. Analysis of Dog Bites In Children Who Are Younger Than 17 Years. Pediatrics
- Duffy D et al. Breed differences in canine aggression. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2008
- Strain G. Deafness prevalence and pigmentation and gender associations in dog breeds at risk. The Veterinary Journal 2004
- Packer et al. 2015. Impact of Facial Conformation On Canine Health. PlosOne