- Not AKC Recognized
- Lifespan: 14-16 years
- Size: small
- Energy: medium to high
- Recommended Crate Size: 18" - 22" dog crate*
Table of Contents
When you cross a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier, you are bound to get an adorable and active, affectionate fluffy fellow that is full of life...and then some! Mischief and mayhem are often part of the Morkie personality too.
Morkies are breathtaking. Most have silky, long hair that elegantly flows as they gracefully sway about. They beckon you to pet and love on them and warrant a warm spot on your lap as well. But that’s not all you get with a Morkie.
This pup can put you (or any other human or animal) in your place with his defiant yapping that can go for hours on end. And if you elect for a stand-off, this hybrid breed can outlast them all.
He has a reputation of being head-strong and downright stubborn. Plus, he is in complete denial of his pint size.
The Morkie, or Morkshire Terrier as he is also called at times, got his start in the United States within the past few decades. Morkies have grown wildly popular in the United Kingdom and in Ireland in the past ten years.
Yorkshire Terriers are known to be very affectionate but willful at the same time. The Maltese can be independent and stubborn as well as loving and loyal.
It seems this mixed breed got it all. They are loving and affectionate but independent and stubborn too.
The popularity of the breed is his downfall as well. Since Morkies inherit risks from both pure sides, the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier parents, they already have enough potentially going against them without adding in the shady practices of greedy breeders.
Long-term health conditions and susceptibility to a number of medical woes plaques the population due to the irresponsible breeders.
Although he is a mix of two pedigree pure breeds, he cannot be registered with the AKC due to his du-heritage. Still, he is quite popular partly due to his low shedding and party due to his love-ability.
Being a hybrid dog, the Morkie can have a variance is appearance. Some are more expressive of the Maltese side of the family while others sport the Yorkshire Terrier appearance.
The dogs are small, no matter which side of the two parents they favor. Some are very tiny like those that are bred to be micro-sized Teacup versions.
Morkies usually weigh in somewhere between 4-15 pounds. Teacups weigh under 4 pounds. They usually stand about 9-12 inches tall. As a rule, females run smaller.
Their coat is generally soft and long with hair-like consistency that flows attractively. Most coats are shiny which is a very sought after look. Brown, white, apricot, and black are the most common colors of the coat.
Their color combinations can vary. They do not shed so those who suffer from allergies appreciate this mixed breed.
Their heads can be shaped like the rounded type of a Maltese or small with a flat top like Yorkshire Terriers have. Their ears are usually pointed as a Yorkie’s is or like the Maltese floppy ones. The jaws are usually fine.
Their legs are never very long. He is generally fine-boned with a sinewy body and a tail that is in a half-curl which tends to lean to one side or the other.
The Morkie striking dark, round eyes are like those of a Teddy bear and are quite expressive. He has a black button nose to go along with it.
Aside from his Teddy bear animations, the Morkie is also very regal in appearance. He was bred for an elegant look (which he aces) and is very self-confident and fully aware of how gorgeous he is.
It is recommended that pet parents provide food that is specifically formulated to your Morkie’s individual needs. They are small dogs, especially the Miniatures and Teacup versions.
They will not require a very large portion of food at all so you want to pay special attention to provide them with great quality, very nutritious dog food. Their eating frequency and the amount will change as they grow which is certainly something to discuss with his vet.
Morkies can be little pigs. Be cautious about feeding him too many treats lest he get overweight and a whole new set of health issues pop us. You must watch that he doesn’t under eat either.
Do be sure to keep plenty of fresh water readily available to your Chiweenie at all times and if you travel or go anywhere outside the house with him, bring some water and a bowl along with you.
If your Morkie shows signs of Hypothyroidism or any other blood sugar issue, you will need to follow your veterinarian’s instructions. You may need to provide small meals throughout the day for him and he may require a special diet.
As with all dogs, be sure to make plenty of fresh water readily accessible to him. His small size means he can even go less time without water. Encourage him to drink if you don’t feel he is drinking enough.
Fine and fluffy, the coat of the Morkie doesn’t require an extreme amount of grooming though you will want to keep him well-brushed to avoid tangles, mats, and knots. You will probably enjoy brushing him as much as he will enjoy you doing it.
Be sure to give him a good shampoo once per month with a gentle shampoo. Some owners are tempted to use human shampoo but due to the fact that human shampoos have a lower PH level, it is advisable to use only shampoos designed for dogs lest his hair get too dry and brittle.
The Morkie will need to be trimmed every 6-8 weeks so his hair doesn’t get out of control. It is much easier to manage with a shorter cut but some pet parents opt for a longer version.
Regular trimming of his nails is important, especially if he doesn’t go outside much to naturally wear them down. Keep his ears clean and dry. The long-eared versions need attention to their ears even more than the pointed-ear ones do.
Dental hygiene is imperative for Morkies. They tend to have dental issues and bad breath so keep their teeth brushed with a doggie toothpaste and your finger or a toothbrush.
In keeping with the Maltese side of a Morkie’s roots, he may get tear stains so be sure to keep his eye area clean and dry.
Morkies are little so they actually get a lot of exercise doing minimal exercise. When you take them out for a walk, their little short legs are working up a storm. One thirty minute walk or two shorter walks are plenty for them.
Be careful when you walk a small dog such as the Morkie, especially one that has the overly confident temperament of one. He is likely to show his independent “big” dog personality off if he crosses paths with a large or aggressive dog.
Also be careful of pulling on his leash too hard or if he pulls on it. His neck is fragile, especially if he’s a Teacup version. A harness may help in this situation.
Morkies are intelligent and can get bored very easily. It is a good idea to offer them mental stimulation like brain games to keep them out of trouble.
Expect to hear some barking when your Morkie hears noises or when someone is at the door. He is a makeshift guard dog and will alert you every time. You will want to train him to quieten down upon command. Good luck!
The best crate size for the Morkie is the 18" - 22" dog crate.*
Morkies have huge personalities. They do not have a clue how tiny and fragile they really are. They are courageous and fearless. They will fight until the end without giving up or, will stand their ground in other ways as well such as refusing to eat or mind you.
There is the flip side too. Morkies adore being in your lap. They love their long, flowing hair to be petted and brushed. They can be very needy at times and even possessive and jealous.
Energetic and playful, these pint-size packages are full of life when they aren’t napping on your lap. They will happily engage in play with you or with other dogs in the household, maybe even the cat. A Morkie can easily spend hours upon hours playing, sometimes the same game, like...chase the tail, fetch, or ball.
Morkies eat attention up. They cannot seem to get enough of it. If you don’t freely give it, they will get it anyway, by whatever means they find necessary. Their antics can be clever and humorous but they can also be obnoxious and dangerous at the same time.
This breed is devoted beyond measure. They are friendly and social. They don’t care for being left alone for long (or at all). Due to their small size, especially if a Teacup version, they shouldn’t be unattended for long intervals. They will need to be let out to potty more often than larger dogs are.
Morkies are good dogs for the elderly if they can find a means to have them exercised and can watch out for them properly. They have the potential to be good therapy dogs because they are very intelligent but their stubborn side might make that more difficult to achieve than some other breeds.
Clever and stubborn, the Morkie could be a class A student. But sadly, he’s usually not. He has all the potential but he’s so bull-headed at times, he’ll refuse to do as you ask...on purpose. The name of the game for Morkie training is to get his cooperation. Plenty of praise and a treat or two can certainly help win him over.
Attempting any other approach besides pure positivity is out of the question where Morkies are concerned. He will do almost anything for attention though so that is in the teacher’s favor.
If he cooperates, the sky is the limit. You can potty train him in no time and have him doing tricks too. He is even good at brain games exercises...when he wants to be.
You’ll want to socialize your Morkie right off the bat. If there are other dogs or cats, be sure to introduce them properly and don’t let him get an alpha attitude. He will probably try. Teach any children or rambunctious pets to be very careful with your Morkie, especially when he’s a young pup.
Training a Morkie requires patience and a lot of persistence too. But they are smart and when you’ve nailed it...you have an excellent dog on your hand.
Morkies get a double dose of genetic risks. The Miniature and Teacup versions are especially vulnerable. Keeping a vigilant and watchful eye out for medical ailments they are prone to help may save their lives.
Here are some of the common health issues Morkies tend to be at risk for:
Collapsing Tracheas is a condition that is seen a lot in Yorkshire Terrier breeds. The main airway to their lungs is malformed which can cause coughing and difficulty in breathing. Beware of giving him too much physical exercise or allowing him to play too hard if he has this deformity.
Cryptorchidism is a failure of both or one testicle to drop when born. It or they may be positioned beside the kidney which may cause additional issues.
Dental disease is not unheard of in the Morkie. You will want to tend to his dental hygiene in order to prevent cavities and gum disease. Bad breath may be a factor too. Regular dental check-ups at his vet clinic are a must.
Hypoglycemia runs rampant in Morkies. If your dog exhibits symptoms such as losing energy in between meals, getting irritable between meals or other struggles, have him checked. It may just be that you need to feed him small meals more frequently.
Hernias are something small dogs that don’t know they are small are prone to get. Due to overexertion or undeveloped muscles, he may get a protrusion in his abdominal wall that allows fat to poke out. Sometimes surgery is required.
Portosystemic Shunt is a condition where the blood that is on its way back to the heart and is passing through the liver to detoxify doesn’t circulate as it should. This can be a serious issue so if your dog is not acting normal and is sleepy and sluggish a lot of the time, be sure to get him tested.
Hip and joint issues are quite common in small dogs so if your Morkie begins to limp or seems to be in pain when he walks or leaps, you’ll need to have a professional investigate the situation at your vet clinic.
With careful monitoring and attentive care when needed, Morkies enjoy a long life expectancy of 12-15 years.
Is a Morkie a Good Fit for Me?
First and foremost, if you are “ordering” a Morkie from a breeder, be sure you know that...you just won’t know. You won’t know what he will look like. He may have pointed ears or he may have floppy ears. He may resemble a Yorkie or he may look more like a Maltese. His temperament you’ll not be able to guess either. Be prepared...for just about anything.
Even if you are a first-time dog owner, you should have no real problem with a Morkie. He can be very outspoken and does require a lot of special attention and watchfulness due to his size, but that shouldn’t pose much of a problem if you’re an attentive parent.
If you’re looking for a lap dog, you’ll love this hybrid dog warming you lap as you stroke his gorgeous mane. Just know that in no time flat, he is likely to bound from his perch to run around and yap or curiously check things out.
If you have rowdy kids or large, potentially aggressive dogs in the house, a Morkie may not be the best dog for you. He will start things with other animals at times and that can be dangerous for him because he knows no limits.
Morkies were bred to be a companion dog of small size, perfect for many things and many places. If you have them in small space living quarters, just be sure they have enough room to romp and get their exercise and don’t forget that walking is important because the two of you will bond.
Another reason for walking a Morkie is important is that it is a time to teach him that you are his leader. Always have him walk beside or behind but never in front of you. He will certainly get the wrong idea if you allow him to go first.
Morkies are very versatile and can travel with you almost anywhere you go. And...they will insist on it. They are quite needy when it comes to demanding attention. But, if that’s right down your alley, you are in for a wild and wonderful journey.
* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.