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Form and Function
A Morkie is a cute crossbreed between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier. This small and playful dog is often called a “designer breed,” a popular label for a dog originally bred to combine some of the very best attributes of its parental breeds, for example, the playfulness of a Yorkshire Terrier with the friendliness of a Maltese. With these two, the cute factor is way off the charts, as well! It’s important to remember that mixed-breed dogs, like all dogs, are individuals and could reflect traits of one or the other parent. Because each pet’s personality can vary depending on how those genes get sorted out, it’s a good idea to read up on the Morkie’s parent breeds when exploring options for your new pet. Unlike purebred dogs, “designer breeds” don’t have breed standards that try to guarantee a size, fur type, or personality, so one Morkie might look a bit different from another!
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Friendliness To Dogs
Friendliness To Other Pets
Friendliness To Strangers
Ease of Training
Terrier (Yorkshire Terrier), Barbichon (Maltese)
Area of Origin
Date of Origin
While some accidental breeding occurrences certainly happened over the years, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that wide-scale intentional crossbreeding of the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier took place, inviting the Morkie into family homes. It’s suspected that they were originally bred in North America. Morkies are highly desired for their low-shedding fur and their sweet and approachable lap-dog personalities. Their size is also perfect for people who have a lifestyle that would best fit a smaller dog, because the Morkie usually maxes out at around 13 pounds or so.
How does such a big personality fit into such a tiny dog? It’s hard to say, but Morkies have gained themselves a reputation for lots of character and tons of energy, all packed in a cute small package. They are smart, as many terriers are, but so smart that they may even become stubborn, so patience is key in the training process. They like to alert their parents of anything they feel is out of the ordinary, and the best way to do that is with their bark! Morkies can be attention hogs, and often bond with one person. That does not mean they can’t get along with everyone in the home, but they might be well-suited for a one-person household. They may also do better with older children who can respect their boundaries and small size. Morkies do best with slow introductions to other animals, or with proper socialization at a young age. They may prefer to be the only pet in the household, especially since they like to be the very center of your attention, and your Morkie might insist on having you all to themself!
Due to the endearingly stubborn terrier in the Morkie, mixed with a high energy level, these dogs do require some exercise daily. They’re usually content with a half-hour walk a day, or some active play sessions to burn off energy. You’ll want to make sure your Morkie has an active play life to avoid any destruction in the home due to boredom. When walking your Morkie, it may be best to use a harness rather than a collar, since they can be more prone to trachea collapse due to their small stature.
Morkies have fur that requires regular brushing to avoid matting or knotting. They don’t shed a lot, so may also require periodic trips to the groomer to keep their coat well maintained. As with any breed, regular bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning and teeth brushing is also required.
- Major concerns: Dental disease, Glaucoma, Hernia
- Minor concerns: Trachea collapse
- Occasionally seen: Reverse Sneezing
- Suggested tests: Eye, Heart, Knee, Hip, Thyroid
- Life span: 10-14 years