Morkie Lifespan: What’s Morkie’s Average Life Expectancy?

Last Updated on April 23, 2023

A Morkie is a delicate, tiny dog. Sometimes also called a Morkshire Terrier, these dogs are a hybrid mixture of Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese.

They are full of confidence, very playful, and so cute that everybody just wants to touch them. They are very affectionate and look more like a toy.

A Morkie dog sitting on its owner's lap
A Morkie resting on its hooman’s lap

In fact, this dog is so tiny it could easily fit into your handbag. 

Because of their size, these pocket-sized puppies are so adaptable that they could easily stay in a small apartment and only need minimal exercise daily to stretch their legs.

However, they require daily brushing and regular washing and clipping, for they are very low shedding. 

If you’re thinking about getting one of these pocket-sized pooches, you may be wondering just what the life expectancy of a Morkie is and what health concerns you need to watch out for during your dog’s life.

We will unpack all that and more in the article below.

How Long Do Morkies Live?

A senior Morkie sticking its tongue out
Source: @_lazy_days_of_daisy_ / IG

Small dogs tend to have a much longer life span than big dogs, and the Morkie is one tony breed.

Being fine-boned, they weigh about 5 to 10 lbs (2.5 to 4.5 kg) and measure around 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25cm) tall.

The Morkie has a remarkably long-life expectancy of 10 to 13 years. Some manage to stretch their lifespan even past 15 years of age.

What is the average life expectancy of a Maltese Yorkie?

The average life expectancy of a Maltese Yorkie is 14.5 years.

Depending on their genetics, breeders might be able to give a close guess to how old a Maltese Yorkie will get, for a puppy’s life span will be quite like that of their parents or grandparents.

It is likely that your dog will live somewhere between 10 and 17 years.

What is the longest a Morkie has lived?

Morkies are known to have reached a maximum of 17 to 18 years if they stay very healthy. The Morkie is among the dogs with the longest lifespan, being a small lap dog.

This loveable little canine is intelligent, very loyal, and needs a lot of attention, so getting one is a lifelong commitment.

Can Morkies live for 20 years?

Although these small doggies are very healthy, a Morkie living for 20 years or more has not been recorded yet. Their small size causes these dogs to be very fragile, so they can get hurt easily.

Are Morkies Healthy?

A Morkie standing indoors
Source: @olly_the_morkie / IG

Although Morkies are usually very healthy, they are prone to some illnesses like trachea collapse or respiratory problems. But their lifespan is longer than that of large dogs.

Morkies should be very gently cared for due to their tiny, fragile size, for they could be hurt easily. 

Meet an adorable Morkie puppy named Lily in this video: 

Does the Morkie’s genetics affect its lifespan?

Yes, the Morkie’s genetics do affect its lifespan. There are a few common health problems that emerge in this breed mix.

Morkies predominantly die of one of these; therefore, it’s so good to know about the pup’s ancestry and what diseases you need to be aware of in this regard.

What Health Problems Do Morkies Have?

A Morkie sitting on a couch

The most common health problems that Morkies face during their lives are patella luxation, hypoglycemia, reverse sneezing, collapsed tracheas, and portosystemic shunts.

Proper breeding and health tests can help you to avoid some of these health issues.

Collapsed Trachea

A Morkie is prone to a collapsed trachea, especially when they are a bit overweight.

This is when the ring of the trachea collapses on itself, resulting in respiratory issues, difficulty eating, and frequent coughing.

Portosystemic shunt

If you encounter a Morkie puppy that seems smaller and somewhat more sluggish than its litter mates, you can almost certainly know that the little guy has been affected by a portosystemic shunt. 

Usually, blood passes through the liver to be detoxed and harmful bacteria removed. The blood then returns to the heart.

Sometimes, a Morkie can be born with an accessory blood vessel that, bypassing the regular route, causes impairment of the brain and other functions because foreign products and waste materials are not taken care of. 

Sluggishness and even tinier pups are the outcomes of this condition.

Reverse sneezing

Some Morkie dogs have a condition known as paroxysmal respiration or most commonly known as reverse sneezing.

With this nasty condition, the air culminates into the nose. It can have a distressing result, although the disease itself is not really so harmful.

Forced, rapid breathing and even gagging can be caused.


A Morkie lying down on its bed
Source: @morkie_04.29 / IG

Also known as low blood sugar, Hypoglycemia is a disease where your dog has a lack of sugar reserves in the body.

Tiny Morkie puppies with hypoglycemia have a very high metabolic rate, which has them struggling to eat enough to provide for the demand of their bodies after weaning.

It causes profound weakness and makes them unable to feed. 

Frequent force-feeding of smaller divided meals and administering of oral glucose are done in order for the pups to outgrow this genetic disorder.

Patellar Luxation

A hereditary condition in dogs, Patellar Luxation, is a condition where the kneecap pops out of its usual location.

Morkies can live with this condition, but if it’s not appropriately treated, it can become excruciating, and eventually, surgery may be needed. 

These pups sometimes have a skip in their steps or run on only three legs. After a while, though, they may be back on all fours as if nothing lacks.

This can be a clue for the owner to plan a vet visit.


A Hernia is a condition where the abdominal wall muscles do not develop perfectly, and other structures protrude and sit just below the skin, mostly around the umbilicus or the inguinal canal in the groin.

It is commonly detected in young Morkie puppies.

Glaucoma and oral health issues

Glaucoma is one eye condition that Morkies can inherit from their Maltese parents.

This is caused by inadequate drainage leaks resulting in a build-up of fluid pressure in the eye. This can be a very irritable, uncomfortable condition and eventually blindness. 

Allergies, eye infections, chronic dry eyes and pink eyes, and inflammation of the tissues lining the eyeball are all eye problems that may occur in a Morkie.

There are also several ear problems that may occur with Morkies, but the most common ones are caused by bacteria or yeast. 

Regular proper cleaning of the eyes and ears and annual visits to the vet can prevent many painful conditions if appropriately treated and discovered early. 

Because Morkies are a mixed breed, they are overly susceptible to crowded teeth, abscesses, and cavities.

Tartar build-up and periodontal disease are common in Morkies because their small jaws and teeth are not conducive to strong chewing.

Plaque can harden into the calculus, which can cause irritation and even inflammation of the gum line.

So, these toy doggies must get regular dental check-ups and daily tooth brushing.

How Can You Guarantee a Long Lifespan for Your Morkie?

A Morkie looking at berries
Source: @floofsville / IG

If you want to guarantee a long lifespan for your Morkie, the best way would be to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

Daily exercise is essential for a Morkie to keep your dog at a healthy weight. 

Be sure to feed the correct quantity of good quality food to keep your pooch lean, active, and happy. Rather than fatty treats, give your dog veggies, like sweet potatoes or carrots.

Because these dogs are so tiny and fragile, they are not recommended for families with small children. Older children, however, would have so much fun and joy playing with a Morkie.

You should also be sure that you or part of the family will always be present with your pup. Owners who leave the pup alone for too long will have to deal with separation anxiety.

Surprisingly these doggies can be stubborn and bull-headed, so experience with small dog breeds would also be very beneficial.

Visits to the vet should be regular and even more as your pup grows older.

Any bad or harmful medical condition can be tracked early and treated to prolong the pup’s health and life expectancy.

How Long Do Teacup Morkies Live?

A Teacup Morkie sitting on a couch
Source: @buddy_the_teacup_morkie / IG

Teacup Morkies are actually a cross of a Miniature Yorkie and a Miniature Maltese, and they are exceptionally tiny. They have a lifespan of 10 to 13 years.

Due to their size, they are prone to a number of health issues that can shorten their lives compared to regular Morkies.

Should You Get a Morkie?

Morkies are described as loving fluffballs. They love their human family and are loyal to them. Socializing with other pups and people comes naturally.

The Terrier present in them causes them to be very stubborn sometimes, which makes it hard for them to train, but they make excellent watchdogs, for they are very alert and observant. 

These dogs are very talkative and thrive on attention. Morkies are also good among family pets but should not be kept with very small children, for they are fragile and must be treated very gently. 

For all of these reasons, a Morkie would be an excellent pet if you have the finances to buy one.

The owner, whoever he is, should be aware that Morkies are prone to be obese, so he has to be prepared to give daily exercise, attention, the right food and treats, and regular vet visits. 

Alongside obesity, these dogs are prone to developing allergies or infections that can cause redness, but most of the time, this is caused because the Morkie’s ears, eyes, and teeth are not cleaned regularly.

Some vets also argue that Morkies are found to have the worst dental predisposition of all other breeds.

Because of their remarkable long-life expectancy, as well as their great quirky temperament and cute, heart-melting looks, the Morkie can be the perfect companion for almost every dog lover if you are prepared to give your dog the attention and care it requires.

Do you have a Morkie at home? How old is your dog? We would love to learn more about your pet in the comments below.

Further reading: Learn more about the lifespan of other dog breeds

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