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Originally called Yorktese, the Morkshire Terrier or Morkie is what you’ll get when you combine the charming looks of the Maltese and the tenacious personality of a Yorkshire Terrier.
Don’t let this pocket-sized hybrid fool you, though. There’s a lot to discover about this hybrid aside from its size.
Before you get yourself a toy dog that looks like a teddy bear, let’s do what any responsible owner should. We’ll help you get to know the Morkie better before you decide to buy or adopt one.
The Morkie’s adorable parents
Where did the Morkie get its irresistibility? A little Morkie history lesson would make us understand how this pooch came to existence.
An ancient breed hailing from the Mediterranean island of Malta, the Maltese dog is one of the most glamorous companion dogs, known for their long, hypoallergenic coat and sweet nature.
Even with their charm, the Maltese is one of those little dogs that aren’t aware of their size. With a height between 7 to 9 inches (18 to 23 cm) and a weight of under 7 pounds (3 kgs), these toy dogs are excellent watchdogs and are performers on the agility course!
Aside from looking elegant and being athletic, these tiny canines want plenty of attention and affection. They’d be happy indoors as long as they are with you, and they’re prone to suffering from separation anxiety.
The Yorkshire Terrier
From the not-so-glamorous beginnings of catching rodents to becoming one of the famous and favorite lapdogs in the US and UK, the Yorkie exudes intelligence, confidence, and independence.
This tiny powerhouse of a dog can grow between 7 to 8 inches (18 to 20 cm) and weigh up to 7 pounds (3 kgs). With its petite size and the silky coat, the Yorkie is definitely one adorable dooncg.
While prestigious kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC) has granted recognition to the Maltese and Yorkie, these purebreds’ adorable little offspring is not officially recognized. As for now, the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR) and Designer Breed Registry (DBR) are the only clubs where the Morkie is registered.
What does a Morkie look like?
Although the Yorkie and Maltese are both toy dogs, it’s still unpredictable what your Morkie puppy would look like. Your Maltese-Yorkie mix’s appearance will always depend on the attributes that your pup will inherit from each parent.
What gives the Maltese-Yorkshire Terrier hybrid its cute factor are its pointy or floppy ears, short snout, and big eyes!
Generally, the Maltese and Yorkie cross is fine-boned, their back and neck are typically lean and sinewy, and their tail would either curl upwards or to one side.
They have an amazingly soft and beautiful coat that is straight or wavy. You can usually see Morkie’s hair with combinations of white, black, brown, or apricot.
How big can a Morkie get?
Did you know that a Morkie puppy can be as light as 4 ounces? That is less than the weight of a glass of water! Just look at how tiny and cute that puppy is!
Once full grown, your Yorkie Maltese mix can stand around 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) in height and weigh approximately 6 to 10 pounds (3 to 4 kgs).
If you think you can handle a small dog with a big personality, then the Morkshire Terrier can be the dog for you. But what are they like?
Don’t be deceived by the teddy-bear appearance of this crossbreed. Since their looks are unpredictable, the same goes same for their characteristics.
The Morkie’s temperament: is it a good family dog?
If you spend more time at home and have kids, and you don’t want to have to worry about apartment rules, then the Yorkie Maltese mix will fit right into your family! They quickly adapt to their environment, even in small homes.
This hybrid was practically born to be a devoted lap dog. The Morkie loves to either spend time cuddling with you or entertaining you while they play indoors for hours.
Morkies will also have no problems getting along with older children who know how to handle such a delicate pup.
They can quickly get attached to their owner, so make sure that you don’t leave them alone for long periods.
Just a warning, though, Morkies bark a lot. Their barks are usually a cry for attention as they’re prone to separation anxiety.
Prevent the noise from turning into chaos by giving your pet enough attention.
Dealing with other pets or people
Be prepared to have a little troublemaker as your Morkie is the perfect example of a toy dog that is fearless, confident, and assertive.
They can get themselves in trouble with other dogs, especially larger breeds. You’d be surprised at how they stand their ground when faced with other animals, people, or even their vet!
The question is, how do you turn your yappy little Maltese-Yorkie hybrid into the perfect lap dog? The key is training.
How smart are Morkies?
Breeders and owners almost always describe this breed as smart but stubborn. Training will require a lot of time and patience, but it should be a rewarding experience.
Don’t forget, as with any other breed, it’s best to use positive reinforcement.
Even if your Morkie is being willful, never treat her harshly. Punishment may encourage aggression in your dog.
You can start training your Morkie through socialization, which may be easier for your dog since it’s a more natural process.
Try introducing your pup to different environments, other animals, and people; socializing your dog during its first 14 weeks would be perfect.
Try to avoid large or giant dogs when socializing your Morkie as it’s possible that your dog would get hurt during playtime.
You can also enroll your furry baby in puppy kindergarten classes. Some areas that you should focus on when training your new pup would be:
- Potty training
- Basic commands like “sit”
Check out this cute little Morkie performing tricks:
You can try to use clicker training once your Morkie starts following simple rules that deserve praise. This kind of training works well with one of its parents, the Yorkie.
Though the clicking sound is more consistent than your tone of voice, you still need perfect timing when providing praises and rewards.
This way, your Morkie will eventually learn that the clicking means they did something right and a treat or a snack is coming.
Aside from the mental stimulation, this is an excellent time for some one-on-one attention that they always crave from you. You’d also be building your Morkie’s skills while ensuring that you’ll have a happy, well-behaved dog.
The energy level of the Maltese Yorkie mix
Morkies are more energetic than athletic. They don’t need a lot of outdoor activity; a 30-minute daily walk should be enough to stretch their legs.
Make sure to keep them on a leash even when they’re in your garden or backyard.
Thanks to their Yorkie parent, the Morkie can have a high prey drive.
The Maltese-Yorkie mix is more of an active indoor pooch, so it’s a great pet for people with mobility issues, like seniors.
Through mentally stimulating games and toys, you can still give them the exercise, training, and attention they need without having to go out!
Taking care of your Maltese Yorkie mix
Like most small dogs, Maltese-Yorkie crosses may need a little more care. Here are a few more things you need to keep in mind before you get your own Morkie.
How should a Morkie be groomed?
Although they have a long, hypoallergenic coat, grooming the Morkie is one of the most important aspects of caring for this hybrid. Regular grooming ensures that their fluffy coat is in tip-top condition and that they’re comfortable, too.
The easiest way to care for a Morkie’s coat is to have a professional groomer do it. You can also do these grooming steps on your own to save money and bond with your furbaby:
- Brush its coat daily to prevent knots.
- Bathe them every month or when needed with a mild dog shampoo.
- Give your Morkie a haircut every 6 to 8 weeks.
- Brush their teeth with a finger brush and a toothpaste specifically for dogs.
Start a grooming routine while your Yorkshire Terrier-Maltese hybrid is young to get them used to being handled.
The Morkie’s diet: What do they eat?
Would you believe that this toy dog has a huge appetite? It can eat more than it’s supposed to so it’s imperative to keep an eye on their diet.
To keep your Morkie safe from heart problems and joint issues linked to obesity, be strict with their meals and snacks. You should also control the number of doggy treats you hand out during training.
Smaller dogs would typically require 40 calories per pound of their weight. For the first six months, start your pup with four meals every day then reduce it to 2 meals as they grow up.
Maltese-Yorkshire Terrier pups require 300 to 500 calories a day for the first 18 months, while full grown Maltese Yorkie mixes may need 200 to 300 calories daily.
Talk to the breeder about the food your Morkie puppy’s been eating and stick to that diet. This breed doesn’t take well to changes in their diet since they have sensitive stomachs.
By strictly regulating your Morkie’s diet, you can keep your dog safe from problems like diarrhea and vomiting.
What health problems do Morkies have?
Even if crossbreeds have hybrid vigor and they’re generally healthy, Morkies are still prone to the health concerns of their purebred parents. Morkies can also inherit the skin issues and stomach issues common in Yorkshire Terriers.
Aside from genetic conditions, these health issues are more common in teacup or toy dogs:
- Collapsing trachea
- Dental disease
- Portosystemic shunt
- Patellar luxation
- Reverse sneezing
The good news is that many of these diseases can be diagnosed through early health screening. This is why it’s important for you to get your Morkie puppy from a legitimate breeder, who will have cleared his puppies from conditions such as glaucoma and patellar luxation.
Taking your Maltese-Yorkie hybrid to the vet for regular checkups will also help ensure that it’s in the best health possible.
If it’s been properly checked and provided with the right diet and exercise then you can expect your Maltese Yorkie mix to have a lifespan of 13 to 15 years or maybe more!
Finding your new Maltese Yorkie Mix
First-generation Morkies are usually born into litters of 2 to 4 puppies. Because of the small litter size and other factors like the hybrid’s popularity and the puppy’s pedigree, Morkie puppy breeders may charge between $1,500 to $3,000 for each dog.
Always keep in mind that a high price doesn’t assure you of the pup’s health, behavior, or appearance.
You have to make sure that the Morkie breeder you choose is reputable and is affiliated with local or national breed clubs.
The breeder should not only be happy to answer your inquiries but should also ask questions that are necessary for the sake of the puppy. A trustworthy breeder will also be willing to show you the pup’s parents and its living conditions.
Here are some breeders that you can check out if you want to buy a Morkie for your family:
- Yorkies, Morkies, and More (Maryland)
- Contented Puppies Paradise (Florida)
- Gray’s Precious Puppies (Missouri)
Morkie rescue options
As a designer hybrid, the Maltese Yorkie mix doesn’t show up often in rescue centers or shelters. You can always visit your local shelter to look for a Morkie and it give a forever home.
You can also try asking around Maltese and Yorkie-specific rescue organizations to see if they have Morkies for adoption.
- American Maltese Association Rescue
- Save a Yorkie Rescue
- Metropolitan Maltese Rescue
- Florida Yorkie Rescue
Not everyone can provide a suitable home for an older dog, so you have to make sure that you’re up to the challenge.
The Morkshire Terrier vs other breeds
Morkies are always compared with other toy dogs like the Maltipoo and Shorkie.
Even if these crossbreeds have a lot in common, they still have their unique characteristics and their own advantages and disadvantages, too.
But, no matter which dog you pick, you’ll end up with a cute toy dog!
Morkie vs Maltipoo
This active and charming hybrid got its best qualities from its parent breeds – it’s smart like the Poodle and sweet like the Maltese.
Like the Morkie, the Maltipoo is an affectionate little dog who would love to stay in your lap. Both breeds are playful companions who enjoy spending time with you indoors or out in the yard.
However, an adult Maltese-Poodle cross can be a little bigger than the Morkie. Maltipoos can grow to be around 8 to 14 inches tall (20 to 36 cm) and weigh between 5 to 15 pounds (2 to 7 kgs).
Morkie vs Shorkie
With a height that can reach 9 to 11 inches (23 to 28 cm) and a weight of 5 to 12 pounds (2 to 5 kgs), this feisty little designer hybrid is what you’ll get when you combine the Shih Tzu and a Yorkie.
Like the Morkie, the Shorkie is a toy dog that has such a big personality! Both breeds tend to be brave and alert and won’t back down against larger dogs. These crossbreeds definitely inherited the tenacity of the Yorkshire Terrier.
Because of their small size, Shorkies are best suited for families with older kids who are experienced with dogs.
Is a Morkie the right dog for you?
The cuteness of the Maltese Yorkie Mix isn’t enough reason for you to get one right away.
This tiny companion is best suited for couples or an individual that lives in a smaller home or an apartment.
Families with small children aren’t suitable for Morkies as these toy dogs are fragile and can easily get hurt.
A Morkie needs an owner who knows how to balance attention and affection. If you leave your dog alone, you will get an extra-clingy Morkie with behavior issues and separation anxiety.
This pint-sized crossbreed is not the right pet for you either if you’re looking for a canine companion for running, swimming, or hiking.
Do you own a Maltese Yorkie mix? We’d love to hear your tips and stories about this adorable designer hybrid! Share your experiences with this crossbreed in the comments below.