The history of crossbreeding between Dobermans and Yorkshire Terriers, also known as the “Dorkie,” is a fascinating tale of combining two distinctly different breeds. While crossbreeding often happens organically over time, the deliberate mixing of these breeds is relatively recent and driven by specific considerations.

Breed Group:Mix:
Height:7-25 inches
Weight:4-100 pounds
Lifespan:10-15 years
Suitable for:Varied living environments
Temperament:Loyal, alert, varies by traits inherited
Energy Level:Moderate to high, daily exercise is needed.

Unfortunately, top kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC), Continental Kennel Club (CKC), and United Kennel Club (UKC) do not recognize TThe Doberman Yorkshire Terrier Mix because they are a mixed breed.


The Doberman Yorkshire Terrier Mix is not a naturally occurring breed but rather a product of controlled crossbreeding. It’s essential to note that not all mixed breeds have well-documented histories, but in the case of the Dorkie, breeders sought to create a dog with a unique blend of characteristics.

Reasons for Crossbreeding:

  • Temperament: Dobermans are known for their loyalty, alertness, and protective instincts, making them excellent guard dogs and companions. Yorkshire Terriers, on the other hand, are known for their spunky, affectionate, and feisty personalities. By crossbreeding the two, breeders aimed to create a dog that combines these different temperament traits, resulting in a friendly yet alert and protective companion.
  • Size Considerations: Size was another factor that influenced the crossbreeding. Dobermans are medium to large dogs, while Yorkshire Terriers are small toy breeds. People who wanted the loyalty and guarding abilities of a Doberman but in a smaller, more manageable size found the Dorkie to be a suitable solution.
  • Appearance: The Dorkie often inherits a unique blend of physical characteristics from its parent breeds, including its coat color and texture. These aesthetic qualities make it an attractive choice for those who appreciate diversity in appearance.

In essence, the deliberate crossbreeding of Dobermans and Yorkshire Terriers aimed to create a dog that combined the best of both worlds in terms of temperament, size, and appearance.

Physical Characteristics:

The Doberman Yorkshire Terrier Mix, or Dorkie, possesses a distinctive physical appearance that reflects the blending of its parent breeds’ traits.

Size: Dorkies are typically small to medium-sized dogs, inheriting their smaller stature from the Yorkshire Terrier parent. They generally weigh between 5 to 25 pounds (2.3 to 11.3 kg) and stand about 7 to 12 inches (18 to 30 cm) tall at the shoulder.

Coat Color and Texture: The Dorkie’s coat can vary in color, often exhibiting a combination of colors inherited from both parent breeds. Common coat colors include black and tan, blue and tan, or a mix of other shades. Their coat is usually short to medium in length and may have a smooth, silky texture, reminiscent of the Yorkshire Terrier.

Distinctive Features:

  • Ears: Dorkies may have erect, triangular ears like the Doberman, or floppy, small ears like the Yorkshire Terrier, depending on their genetic inheritance.
  • Tail: Their tail can be either straight or slightly curved, again influenced by the genetic mix.
  • Face: Dorkies typically have a sweet and alert expression, often inheriting expressive eyes from both parent breeds.

Images of Dorkies can provide a visual representation of their unique appearance, showcasing their blend of characteristics from the Doberman and Yorkshire Terrier.

Temperament and Personality:

The temperament and personality of a Doberman Yorkshire Terrier Mix, or Dorkie, are influenced by the characteristics of its parent breeds. Understanding these traits can provide valuable insights into what to expect from this crossbreed.

Intelligence: Dorkies are known for their intelligence, a trait inherited from both the Doberman and Yorkshire Terrier parents. They are quick learners and often excel in obedience training and problem-solving tasks. This intelligence makes them adaptable and responsive to training.

Loyalty: Both parent breeds are known for their loyalty, and Dorkies are no exception. They form strong bonds with their owners and are protective of their families. This loyalty can result in them being excellent watchdogs.

Alertness: Dorkies are naturally alert and attentive, thanks to their Yorkshire Terrier lineage. They have a keen sense of their surroundings and are quick to alert their owners to any unusual sounds or activities, making them great watchdogs.

Affectionate: Dorkies are affectionate and enjoy spending time with their human companions. They often seek attention and love to be a part of family activities. They can be cuddly and make loving lap dogs.

Potential Behavioral Traits: While Dorkies generally have a well-rounded and friendly temperament, it’s essential to be aware of potential behavioral traits that can arise from their parent breeds. For example, their protective instincts from the Doberman side may lead to territorial behavior, which can be managed through early socialization and training. Additionally, their Yorkshire Terrier ancestry may result in occasional stubbornness or a tendency to be vocal.

In summary, Dorkies are known for their intelligence, loyalty, alertness, and affectionate nature. Their temperament can make them wonderful companions for families and individuals alike.

Exercise and Training Needs:

Ensuring that your Doberman Yorkshire Terrier Mix (Dorkie) receives appropriate exercise and training is crucial to their well-being and behavior. Here’s what you need to know:

Exercise Requirements: Dorkies have moderate exercise needs, striking a balance between the Doberman’s more active nature and the Yorkshire Terrier’s smaller size. Daily exercise is essential to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Activities may include:

  • Daily Walks: Regular walks are essential to maintain their health and provide mental stimulation.
  • Playtime: Engage in interactive play sessions, such as fetch or tug-of-war, to burn off energy.
  • Dog Parks: If appropriately socialized, Dorkies can enjoy off-leash playtime in dog parks.
  • Mental Stimulation: Puzzle toys and obedience training exercises can keep their minds active.

Training: Dorkies are intelligent and can excel in training, but they may inherit a stubborn streak from their Yorkshire Terrier parent. Here are some training tips:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise to motivate them during training sessions.
  • Consistency: Be consistent with commands and expectations to avoid confusion.
  • Socialization: Start socializing your Dorkie from a young age to ensure they are well-adjusted around other dogs and people.
  • Basic Commands: Teach basic obedience commands like sit, stay, and come, which are essential for their safety and well-being.
  • Patience: Be patient, as Dorkies may take a bit longer to grasp certain commands due to their independent nature.

Training Challenges: Dorkies may have a tendency to bark, especially if they inherit the vocal nature of the Yorkshire Terrier. Consistent training can help manage this behavior. Additionally, early socialization is crucial to prevent any potential aggression or territorial behavior inherited from the Doberman side.

Health Considerations:

As with all dog breeds and mixes, Doberman Yorkshire Terrier Mixes (Dorkies) may be prone to certain health issues due to their parent breeds. Responsible ownership includes being aware of these potential concerns and taking preventive measures. Here are some common health issues and recommended actions:

Hip Dysplasia:

  • Both Dobermans and Yorkshire Terriers can be prone to hip dysplasia, a condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly. It can lead to pain and mobility issues.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular exercise to maintain muscle tone and weight management can help reduce the risk. Breeders should screen for hip dysplasia in parent dogs.

 Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):

  • Yorkshire Terriers are known to be susceptible to PRA, an inherited eye disease that can lead to blindness.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular eye check-ups by a veterinarian can help detect early signs of PRA. Responsible breeders screen for PRA in parent dogs.

Von Willebrand’s Disease:

  • Dobermans are prone to Von Willebrand’s disease, a bleeding disorder due to a deficiency in clotting protein.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular blood tests and clotting factor checks can help diagnose and manage this condition. Responsible breeders screen for Von Willebrand’s disease.


  • Both parent breeds can be prone to hypothyroidism, which can lead to weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues.
  • Preventive Measures: Routine thyroid function tests can help detect and manage this condition.

 Dental Issues:

  • Yorkshire Terriers often have dental problems due to their small size and crowded teeth.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular dental care, including brushing teeth and providing dental treats or toys, can help maintain oral health.


  • Obesity can be a concern for Dorkies, especially if they inherit the Yorkshire Terrier’s small size combined with a hearty appetite.
  • Preventive Measures: Monitor their diet carefully, provide appropriate portion sizes, and ensure they get enough exercise to prevent obesity.

It’s essential for Dorkie owners to establish a regular veterinary care routine, including check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive measures specific to their dog’s potential health risks. Responsible breeders should provide health clearances for parent dogs.

Grooming and Maintenance:

The grooming needs of a Doberman Yorkshire Terrier Mix (Dorkie) can vary depending on their coat type and individual characteristics. Here are some grooming considerations:

Coat Care:

  • Short Coat: If your Dorkie inherits a short coat similar to a Doberman, they will require minimal coat care. Occasional brushing to remove loose hair and dirt should suffice.
  • Silky Coat: If they inherit a silky coat like a Yorkshire Terrier, they will need more attention. Regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling is essential.


  • Bathe your Dorkie as needed. Avoid excessive bathing, as it can strip natural oils from their coat and lead to skin issues. Use a mild dog shampoo.


  • Check and clean their ears regularly to prevent wax buildup and potential infections.


  • Trim their nails every few weeks to prevent overgrowth, which can lead to discomfort and difficulty walking.


  • Brush their teeth regularly to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental issues.

Specific Grooming Routines:

  • Dorkies with longer or silkier coats may require professional grooming, including trimming and shaping.


  • Some Dorkie owners prefer to give their dogs a shorter haircut to reduce grooming needs and keep them comfortable, especially in warm weather.

Living Arrangements:

The suitability of a Doberman Yorkshire Terrier Mix (Dorkie) for different living environments depends on their size, energy level, and exercise needs. Here’s a discussion of their adaptability to various living arrangements:

Apartments: Dorkies can thrive in apartments, provided they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation. Their smaller size makes them well-suited for apartment living. However, it’s crucial to ensure they get daily walks and playtime to burn off energy.

Houses with Yards: Having a yard can be a bonus for Dorkies, as it gives them more space to roam and play. It’s important to note that they are not as large as purebred Dobermans, so they don’t require an expansive yard. A small to medium-sized yard with secure fencing is sufficient.

Exercise Needs: Regardless of the living environment, Dorkies need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Daily walks, play sessions, and mental stimulation activities are essential. They are adaptable and can adjust to different living situations as long as their exercise needs are met.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Living: Dorkies are adaptable and can live indoors comfortably. However, they should not be left outside for extended periods, especially in extreme weather, due to their smaller size and susceptibility to cold or hot temperatures.

In summary, Dorkies can thrive in various living environments, including apartments and houses with yards, as long as their exercise and mental stimulation requirements are met. They are well-suited to both urban and suburban settings.

Feeding and Diet:

Feeding your Doberman Yorkshire Terrier Mix (Dorkie) a balanced diet is crucial to their overall health and well-being. Consider the following recommendations when determining their diet:

 Size and Age:

  • Dorkies come in a range of sizes, so it’s essential to choose a dog food appropriate for their size. Puppies, adults, and seniors may have different dietary requirements.

 High-Quality Dog Food:

  • Opt for high-quality commercial dog food that is specifically formulated for small to medium-sized breeds. Look for options with real meat as the primary ingredient.

 Portion Control:

  • Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent overfeeding, especially if your Dorkie has a smaller build. Follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food packaging, but adjust as needed based on their activity level and age.

Avoid Table Scraps:

  • Refrain from feeding them table scraps or human food, as it can lead to digestive issues and obesity.

 Fresh Water:

  • Provide access to fresh water at all times to keep them properly hydrated.

Dietary Restrictions or Allergies:

  • If your Dorkie has specific dietary restrictions or allergies, work with your veterinarian to select an appropriate diet that meets their needs.

Regular Feeding Schedule:

  • Establish a consistent feeding schedule to help regulate their digestion. This typically includes feeding them two meals a day.


  • Use treats in moderation for training and rewards, choosing low-calorie, healthy options to avoid excessive calorie intake.

These are other Doberman mix Breeds: 

The Doberman Greyhound Mix

The Doberman Pug Mix

The Doberman Jack Russell Terrier Mix

The Doberman Pitbull Mix

Shiba Inu Doberman Mix


Setare Afshar is a seasoned veterinarian and an accomplished writer with a passion for dogs. With over five years of dedicated experience in the field, she has become a trusted expert in dog breeds, behavior, and dietary needs. Setare's journey began with a profound love for animals, which led her to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine.

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