Morkies are easily attached and lovable, yet stubborn fluffballs. They’re a cute mix between Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier, known for their big hearts and limitless energy.
The Morkie is excellent for small families or those who live alone, as long as you give it plenty of attention. It’s a playful and loyal breed that socializes well with people and other pets. That’s why being alone is hard for them, and early training is necessary.
Although not too high maintenance, we recommend regular grooming and vet visits to keep their looks and health in check. Let’s discuss everything you need to know about this adorable puppy:
- Meet Morkie — A Mix Between Maltese & Yorkshire Terrier
- Appearance — The Ultimate Teddy Bear Look
- Morkies’ Bright, Yet Stubborn Persona
- Nutrition — a Small Dog With a Big Appetite
- How Healthy Is a Morkie?
- Morkie’s Price
Meet Morkie — A Mix Between Maltese & Yorkshire Terrier
The Morkie is a popular crossbreed between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Maltese. They’re not recognized as an official breed, yet they’re highly sought-after as adorable lap dogs and companions.
Its Origin Is Rather Murky
There aren’t many details about the breed’s story, but we know it originated in the late 1990s in the US. Morkies were bred to be energetic and affectionate, perfectly combining their parents’ characteristics.
The new breed was initially called Yorktese and was also known as a Morkshire Terrier, Malki, or Maltiyork. Perhaps due to pop stars like Britney Spears and Drake getting this breed, the Yorkie Maltese mix became even more popular as a designer lapdog in the 2000s.
Morkies Are Yet to Be Recognized as an Official Breed
Although the Morkie is a mix between the already loved Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier, the AKC or other major clubs don’t officially recognize the breed yet. Because of this, you can’t really find registered Morkie breeders, and their process isn’t well regulated.
Appearance — The Ultimate Teddy Bear Look
The small and gentle Morkies come in many colors and sizes. Their long coat doesn’t shed much and allows for numerous cute hairstyles. Still, these fluffy pets require regular grooming and care.
Their Personality Is Big, but Their Size — Not So Much
The Morkie may be small, but it has a colorful character. Its looks and size vary depending on its inherited traits. At any rate, Morkies are always on the smaller side.
They usually weigh between 5–13 pounds and are 4–10 inches tall (with the coat). The Morkie size makes the breed more prone to injury. That’s why we recommend them to families with older children or single adults that would be gentle with them.
They Have a Soft & Rather Long Coat
Morkies’ coats can be black, gray, brown, white, gold, or mixed. The colors can also change with age.
Like other tiny dog breeds, Morkies are also considered low-shedding. Their hair is long and soft and should leave the coach relatively hairless. Generally, the breed can be a good choice for dog lovers who suffer from allergies. But is the Morkie hypoallergenic? Even though they can be classified as low-allergen dogs, Morkies aren’t entirely hypoallergenic.
When it comes to grooming, these small dogs are definitely not low-maintenance. Morkies need regular brushing (ideally daily) to prevent knots and matting, especially if their hair is longer. You should bathe them at least once a month with a gentle shampoo.
The Morkie’s coat grows long, so you must trim it every 6 to 8 weeks. If it’s shorter, brushing and bathing will be easier and less time-consuming. It’s essential to either cut or tie the hair that falls over the dog’s eyes. On the positive side, if you leave the coat longer, you can try out various Morkie haircuts.
The breed is prone to dental issues, so you should also brush its teeth daily. We also recommend regular professional cleanings at the vet. Don’t forget to check the ears weekly and clean them when necessary.
Morkies’ Bright, Yet Stubborn Persona
Morkies may be small, but their personality is big and energetic. They can be a bit stubborn in training, but they’re always ready to cuddle and stay close to their favorite person.
A Bullheaded Ball of Fluff
Morkies are as lovable and playful as they are fluffy and cute. They get very attached to their owners and love to socialize with other pets, especially if you introduce them gradually.
The Morkie temperament can be a bit feisty. It’s a moderately active breed, and a 30-minute walk should be enough for the day.
The Ideal Lap Dog for Urban Dwellers
Their small size means that Morkies can work out most of their energy by playing and running around inside, making them easy to take care of in apartments or smaller houses. That said, they tend to bark, especially when there’s someone on the door or animals make noise in the backyard. You should consider this if you have neighbors close by or really thin walls.
A Strong Attachment to the Family
One of the core Morkie traits is that they require a lot of love and attention. Sometimes they get more attached to one family member while still having fun with the rest. That makes them perfect for smaller families. But it also means that it’s not a good idea to leave them alone at home for long. If they don’t get the attention they require, they’ll throw a tantrum and sometimes even pee inside, even if fully trained.
A Morkie feels best in a home with more people, where someone can keep it company during the day. That said, you shouldn’t overindulge in their devotion. It might make them too dependent and cause separation anxiety and destructive Morkie behavior. Still, you can avoid this with early training and socialization.
They’re Relatively Easy to Train
Just like Terriers, Morkies are intelligent but stubborn dogs, so teaching them can require a bit more persistence and patience.
When training your pup, try to focus on positive reinforcement. Being impatient and harsh will only make your Morkie less cooperative. If it gets annoyed and grumpy, it’s best to continue the next day. Also, you can use yummy dog food and treats to encourage your dog.
It’s best to start training as soon as you welcome your puppy home. The same rule applies to socializing with other people and pets — the sooner, the better. With proper training, the Morkie dog breed is consistently friendly and well-mannered.
Nutrition — A Small Dog with a Big Appetite
A healthy Morkie diet should correspond to its small stature and big energy. These dogs can overeat easily and gain weight. We recommend using a regular feeding schedule of about three meals per day and limiting yummy treats. Remember to consult the serving portions on the food packaging, too.
Generally, a Morkie that weighs between 4–8 pounds would eat around 200–300 per day and up to 500 calories if it’s still a growing pup. It’s always best to consult your vet for the best diet, based on the dog’s size, age, and health. A professional may suggest vet-recommended dog chews, kibble, or wet food, specifically tailored to your pet.
When it comes to tiny dogs like the Yorkie Maltese mix, you should be extra careful with unhealthy and toxic foods. For instance, even in very small doses, chocolate or onions can be fatal for such a tiny dog.
How Healthy Is a Morkie?
Even as a small dog, a Morkie is generally healthier than its parents. Still, it’s prone to some hereditary conditions and should receive regular vet checkups.
The Morkie has an average life expectancy of 10–15 years. Most Morkies live at least 10–11 years. Regular vet visits, high-quality food, and appropriate care can further extend the Morkie lifespan and avoid major problems.
Common Health Issues
Recent studies show that mixed breeds are less likely to have genetic disorders. On the other hand, tiny dogs have more issues, especially breeds like Teacup Yorkie puppies. Thankfully, Morkies are bigger and healthier. But they still might experience health conditions typical for Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers.
An obvious concern for the Morkie is its fragility. You should handle this breed gently, which is why families with small children may not be the best option. Vet checkups are crucial for this fluffball. Now, let’s see the conditions that may affect your Morkie.
Eye, Ear, and Oral Problems
Dogs with crowded teeth and tiny jaws are prone to dental issues, most commonly tartar buildup that can lead to serious problems. Daily tooth brushing is crucial for prevention.
Other common Morkie health issues have to do with their eyes and ears. If you notice tear stains or dark marks around the eyes, that might indicate a Maltese-inherited problem. Also, the mix can develop cataracts or glaucoma.
Tracheal collapse is a progressive condition that affects the dog’s respiratory system. It’s more common in smaller dogs, and Morkies inherit it from the Yorkshire Terrier. The condition causes breathing problems due to the damaged windpipe. Major symptoms include difficulty eating and a hoarse cough, often caused by heavier exercise or exertion.
Reverse sneezing or paroxysmal respiration is a condition that causes the dog to pull air into its nose quickly instead of blowing it out. It’s not dangerous but can be upsetting for your pet as it disrupts breathing and can cause gagging. If the issue reoccurs often, a vet visit is a safer bet. To help your Morkie at home, hold its nostrils closed for a second and gently massage its throat to soothe it.
Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is another condition that might affect the Yorkie Maltese mix. Typical symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite and even the desire to drink
- Lethargy and weakness
- Impaired coordination
- Trembling or twitching
- Skin and gums losing color
Sometimes hypoglycemia can occur due to stress from:
- Bad nutrition
- Being cold
- Episodes of eating less while exercising vigorously
A portosystemic shunt is an abnormality where the blood bypasses the liver before reaching the bloodstream. The shunt is a serious condition that can be either congenital or acquired. That’s why it’s crucial to know if the puppy’s parents have been tested for it. Symptoms include:
- Weight loss or stunted growth
- Poor appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea (could contain blood)
- Problems urinating
- Unusual Morkie behavior
Patella luxation means dislocated knee joint. Dogs with this condition may start skipping or running on three legs. When severe, it may lead to:
- Intensified pain
- Reduced mobility
Usually, in those cases, the pet would require surgery. Still, many dogs can live without arthritis or pain with grade I or II of the disease, especially with help from medications and exercise.
The Morkie price is an important factor when getting a new puppy. These dogs are rare and don’t come cheap — $800–$3,000 on average. Besides, it’s hard to find reliable Morkie breeders since the breed isn’t registered. Make sure to carefully research the breeder you select, as well as the dog’s bloodline and medical history.
Finding Morkie puppies for adoption may be difficult, but it’s still possible. When looking up rescue organizations, consider Yorkshire Terrier or Maltese centers as they usually look after mixed breeds, too.
Final Thoughts: Should You Get a Morkie?
You should learn as many details as possible before getting a new dog. That will ensure finding the best companion for you and a happy and healthy life for the puppy.
Morkies are fun and relatively easy to look after, but you need to consider their size and fragility if you have small kids or bigger pets. Also, you should be ready to deal with their big personalities, need for attention, grooming, and potential health conditions. A Morkie will give you all its love, but it needs yours just as much.