Can Shorkies Be Left Alone? (Useful Tips for Owners)

A Shorkie is an adorable mix of a Shih Tzu and a Yorkie. They’re small, spunky, and love to cuddle, making them a top-notch choice for single individuals, couples, and even families with small children. But if you have an upcoming trip or are starting a new job with longer hours, you might wonder whether or not your Shorkie can be left alone.

Shorkies are companion dogs that are fiercely loyal and love to cuddle. That said, while they can be left alone for 6 to 8 hours, the shorter, the better. It’s recommended to keep isolated time to no more than 6 hours (8 hours on rare occasions) as Shorkies are prone to separation anxiety.

Knowing whether or not your hound can be left alone is critical for its well-being. After all, the last thing you want to do is to put your Shorkie through unnecessary stress that could potentially harm its health. This article shares whether or not Shorkies can be alone, how long they can be alone, and other critical information.

Can Shorkies Be Left Alone?

Your Shorkie can be left alone, but not for very long. So if you’re someone that likes or needs to spend many hours away from home, this breed may not be the best option for you – regardless of how unbelievably adorable they are.

But why?

Shorkies are loyal little dogs that love to snuggle. Sure, they require their fair share of exercise – about 30 minutes inside or outside the house is fine. But for the majority of their time, they prefer to be snuggled. So, an extensive period away from human contact can render their separation anxiety.

It all comes down to the two breeds that make up the Shorkie – the Yorkie and the Shih Tzu.

  • Yorkie – The Yorkie is not very independent. Adult Yorkies can spend about six hours maximum home alone before distress sets in.
  • Shih Tzu – This breed isn’t much better. In fact, it’s mentioned that while Shih Tzus can be left for around 7 hours, they can start to feel distressed much sooner than this.

When we look at the needs of the Yorkie and Shih Tzu, it’s clear why the Shorkie should not be left alone for long periods. 

How Long Can Shorkies Be Left Alone?

Shorkies can be left alone for approximately 6 to 8 hours, but the shorter amount of time, the better. Essentially, just because you can leave your Shorkie alone during your full-time, 8-hour workday doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

This amount of time is even shorter for the Shorkie puppy. Like any other kind of puppy, a Shorkie puppy requires a great deal of time spent with its owner. They need to be trained, taken outside to use the restroom, played with, etc. That said, Shorkie puppies should never be left alone for longer than 2 to 4 hours. Again, the shorter the amount of time, the better.

The same is true for elderly Shorkies. Although the Shorkie can live up to 16 years, that doesn’t mean they’ll be in perfect health the entire time. Shorkies are prone to many health conditions, ranging from dental disease to hypoglycemia. Regardless of health, your aging Shorkie shouldn’t be left alone for longer than 4 hours per day.

Can A Shorkie Be Left Alone for 6 Hours?

Your Shorkie should be OK to be left alone for up to 6 hours. As a general rule of thumb, try to keep the amount of time you’re away from your Shorkie as short as possible. 

Can A Shorkie Be Left Alone for 8 Hours?

Your Shorkie should be able to handle being alone for up to 8 hours on rare occasions. The keyword here is rare. You should not make it a habit to leave your Shorkie alone for a long time. It can be detrimental to your Shorkie as they may begin to develop separation anxiety.

So, while a stint here and there of 8 hours should be alright, it’s better to avoid the 8-hour mark whenever possible.

Are Shorkies Prone to Separation Anxiety?

Shorkies are the combination of two well-known companion dogs, the Yorkie and the Shih Tzu, both of which are prone to separation anxiety. That said, it’s not surprising to learn that Shorkies are prone to separation anxiety, too. 

Signs of Separation Anxiety

Are you concerned that your Shorkie may be dealing with separation anxiety? There are a few tall-tell indicators that your pooch is struggling with separation anxiety.

  • Urinating/Defecating in the Home

Your Shorkie will need to use the restroom while you’re away, especially if you’re gone for longer than 8 hours. You should have a particular area where your Shorkie can use the restroom while you’re away. Make sure that they are trained to use the bathroom in this spot.

If your Shorkie is trained to use the provided restroom area but is instead urinating and defecating throughout the home, it may indicate separation anxiety.

Your Shorkie may even begin to consume its feces due to the large amount of stress (otherwise known as coprophagia).

  • Persistent Barking/Howling

Shorkies are known for being relatively vocal. For instance, they’re not afraid to alert their owner when the mailman brings a package to the front door. Well, they’re also vocal when it comes to their separation anxiety.

It may signify separation anxiety if you notice your Shorkie barks or howls incessantly while you’re not around (or you get the memo from a concerned or annoyed neighbor). 

Barking and howling associated with separation anxiety won’t dissipate while the owner is gone. There will be no other triggers, such as a visitor or nearby dog barking. The Shorkie will simply bark and howl most of the time they’re left alone.

  • Destructive Behavior

While your Shorkie is typically an adorable snuggle bug while you’re around, the same won’t be true when it’s alone and struggling with separation anxiety.

When a Shorkie has separation anxiety, they will become destructive when their owner is away. This can result in all types of destruction, from chewing at door frames to ruining household objects like shoes and toys. 

  • Pacing

Shorkies with separation anxiety will likely pace when their owner leaves. This is typically done in a back-and-forth line near the front or back door. However, pacing can also be done in repetitive circles.

How to Prepare a Shorkie to be Left Alone

Are you interested in getting a Shorkie, or recently got one, and want to fend off separation anxiety? There are a couple of ways you can prepare your Shorkie to be left alone.

Prepare Them Gradually

The last thing you want to do is to go from leaving your Shorkie alone for 20 minutes to leaving it alone for 8 hours. This will cause undue stress for your hound. Instead, gradually leave your Shorkie for more extended periods. Keep in mind that you should never go beyond the 8-hour mark, though, and in general, you want to keep your Shorkie’s alone time to 6 hours or less.

Spend More Time With Them

Another great way to ease your Shorkie into a more extended period of alone time is to spend more time with them – especially before you leave. For example, you can take them for a brisk walk around the neighborhood for 10-20 minutes before enjoying a 10-minute cuddle. This will not only help to tire your little furry friend out but will provide them with some quality time.

Leave Food and Water

Don’t let your Shorkie get hungry or thirsty while you’re away! Self-dispensing food and water bowls are a great way to ensure your Shorkie gets enough food and water in its system while you’re away.

Don’t Forget Entertainment, Too

Think beyond the “basics.” Your Shorkie needs to have some fun and expel some energy while you’re away. Sure, they won’t need a huge backyard to play in (Shorkies shouldn’t be left outside, by the way!), but they’ll need something to keep them occupied. Leave behind a few special toys and turn on the TV.

Visit Your Shorkie

If you have the option of visiting your Shorkie during the day, do it. Your Shorkie will greatly appreciate it, especially if you’re going to be gone for longer than 6 hours. 

Enlist Some Help

If you can’t visit your Shorkie on your lunch break but know you’re going to be gone for longer than 6 hours, you might consider enlisting some help. Have friends or family members stop by to spend time with your furry pal. You can also hire a pet sitter to ensure your Shorkie has someone to hang out with day in and day out. Doggy daycares can also be utilized!

Shorkies Can Be Left Alone, But Not For Too Long

The most important thing to remember is that your Shorkie is a lovable lap dog that would prefer your company rather than being left alone. So, while most Shorkies can handle 6 to 8 hours, it’s always best to keep their alone time to a minimum. This will ensure a happy and healthy Shorkie without separation anxiety.

More on Shorkies

If you’re simply in love with Shorkies and can’t get enough, then check out our other posts below:

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