A Snorkie is a cross between a Yorkie and a Schnauzer. To understand Opie’s character a little better – his hatred of squirrels, birds, hiss incessant need to track, track, track — I decided to do a little research on his breeding.
Here is what I found.
On the Yorkie side of the family this is what we get.
Not surprisingly, Yorkies are from the British Isles. They were brought to Yorkshire by Scottish workers. The British dog snobs say they were bred by common people, and that’s why they know so little about them. There’s some folderol about this dog and that dog being the originators of the breed, but that’s dull and uninteresting to me. What is interesting is that Yorkies have always been thought of as brave little dogs. They are described as “bold and active.” The article goes on to say “that the Yorkshire terrier is active, loves attention, very overprotective and should not show the soft temperament seen in lap dogs.” I am not too sure I know what they mean by the “lap dog” temperament. I followed the link and they defined lap dog as a small dog able to be held in the lap that has no working function other than that of a docile companion. Well, I’ll say this. Opie is definitely not too small and not that docile. He does fit on my lap, but he’d rather lie on the couch next to me. He’s not a “lap dog.” He’s feisty! Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshire_Terrier#Similar_breeds_and_crosses
Of course, we all know what Yorkies look like, their distinctive dark brown, grey coats. Silky smooth seems to be the common grooming doggie do for these cute little doggies. They have a host of interesting genetic characteristics. Delicate stomachs and skin allergies seem to be most prominent among them. Opie does have a delicate stomach. There’s no doubt about that. However, so far we don’t have any skin issues, especially since we dealt with the flea issue. A pure bred Yorkie seems to be a good little pup. Did I mention they are also hypoallergenic? You’d thing with all that hair they’d be an allergy sufferers nightmare, but not so. I might not have minded a Yorkie — however, the boys wanted a bigger dog, not so delicate.
Okay now let’s talk about the Schnauzer side of the family.
Well, this seems to be where all of Opie’s hunting instincts come from. Schnauzers were bred to be ratting dogs. They are originally from German.y (Wow, big surprise!) They have a great temperament — Alert, friendly, obedient, anxious to please and neither too timid nor too aggressive. This makes sense. Opie is an alert little fellow, and for the most part, he will sit when told to sit. He does love to please us, and I wouldn’t say he’s too timid. The research also states that Schnauzers are territorial and protective. They were bred not only to ferret out rodents but also to protect children, and guard the family farm. I’ll say yes to all of that. Opie is territorial, that’s for sure. You can easily translate read his bark to strangers on the porch — Who are you? Get off my porch. Yes MY PORCH, Get off, Get going! Schnell! Go! Go! Go!
I can often picture Opie walking a beat with a little night stick in his mouth and a tazer strapped to his little waist. “Burglers, squirrels and mailmen — beware! I’ve got teeth and I know how to use them!” On his morning walk he glues his nose to the pavement until he runs into a tree and a squirrel perched in the upper branches. Then I have to haul on the leash to get him back in gear. We’re still working on his loose leash walking. He has good days and “meh” days.
Schnauzers need a lot of socialization with people and animals so that they don’t go nuts. That’s probably why Opie loves the dog park so much, and why we feel compelled to give him at least two good walks during the day. He actually gets three, but the mid day one is really just a potty run. Schnauzers are active dogs who will “make their own fun” if they aren’t given good activity and stimulation. Does Opie make his own fun?
Mama: Opie did you make your own fun in the house today while we were out?
Opie: Well Mama. I saw my leash in the top of the basket, and there was all this other interesting stuff in it, and I jumped and it all fell down and went boom. And since it was all on the floor anyway… Your book didn’t’ taste that good, but I found candy wrappers under the boys’ bed and I thought you said that those sandals hurt your feet and why does your desk have so many books and papers piled up? They block my view of the window and I had to take them down and, I lost my bully stick! And Did you know that Gregory left a French fry on the dining room table? And you locked the trashcan again!
Yes, I guess I did make my own fun, but you were gone for days, and days and weeks and weeks and months and months and years and years….[ At this point, puppy dog eyes come into play]
Mama: Opie we were gone for 20 minutes.
Does Opie make his own fun? Yep!
He’s protective, and he likes to play and be active.
We can work with all of that. He can’t help his hatred of rodents. I’m not that fond of them myself. ( Nasty disease carrying little creatures!) He’s got a few hundred years of this hatred imprinted into his genetic code. Hey, it’s nature!
Bottom line — he’s our little Snorkie and we love him!