Morkie dogs are undoubtedly one of the cutest toy dog breeds around and are more popular than ever, for good reason. These lovely pups make great pets for people living on their own and families alike. They’re small, friendly, energetic little creatures with plenty of love to give and little to no aggression in their nature.
In this article, we’re going to look at everything you need to know about Morkie dogs, from their breeding lineage to their personality traits and how to care for them.
Read on to find out absolutely everything about Morkie dogs.
The History of the Morkie
As their name suggests, the Morkie dog, or Morkshire Terrier, is the result of crossbreeding between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Maltese Poodle. The resulting Maltese-Yorkie mix was first bred in the United States in the late 1990s and gained popularity in 2007, thanks largely to Britney Spears and other famous celebrities. Britney specifically was known to keep Morkie dogs as pets, which skyrocketed the breed into the public eye, turning them into a sought-after designer breed.
Since then, they’ve earned a bit of a reputation as lap or handbag dogs due to their calm and confident temperaments and adorably good looks.
Needless to say, they make stellar pets for the same reason, faring particularly well in family environments where they can expend a lot of energy.
Currently, the Morkie (also sometimes referred to as the Yorktese or Maltese-Yorkie Mix) is not recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club.
This isn’t stopping Morkie enthusiasts, though, who continue to campaign for their place in the official AKC roster.
What Does a Morkie Dog Look Like?
Morkies are bred to adopt the physical characteristics of both their parent breeds, particularly with regard to their beautiful coats.
Even as mixed breed dogs, they have the signature appearance of many toy breeds, small and short with a silky coat of medium to long hair, small, bright dark eyes, and round black noses.
On the topic of their coats, they are considered a good option for allergy sufferers, as they have long soft hair, not fur, and often inherit the hypoallergenic coat of their Maltese parent.
With that being said, and given their status as a relatively new breed, it is difficult to say with certainty which parent they will take after more. This is especially true for their coloring.
Depending on the litter, Morkies may be brown and black or brown and tan, like Yorkshire Terriers, or they may be lighter in color, even white, like the Maltese. As they become older, their hair can change to a grey-silver color.
How Big Does a Morkie Get?
Morkies are not big dogs at all. Like their parent breeds, they are unlikely to reach heights greater than 6 to 10 inches tall (15 to 25 centimeters), and they usually weigh between 6 to 12 pounds (2.7 to 5.4 kilograms).
Depending on their lineage, they may tend to be on the ever-so-slightly bigger side, taking after their Maltese parent, or on the smaller side like their Yorkie parent.
In either case, neither breed is a big dog, and the size difference between them is minimal.
In fact, they’re bred as lapdogs, so expect a tiny companion if you’re looking to take home a Morkie.
Male Morkies are usually a bit bigger than their female counterparts, but this does differ from litter to litter.
How Much Does A Morkie Cost?
You won’t find a Morkie at a shelter or adoption center. These designer dogs need to be purchased from reputable breeders specializing in Morkshire Terriers for quite a hefty price.
Generally speaking, Morkie dogs can cost anywhere from $1500 to up to $3000.
The reason for this is that they are not common or easily bred. Litter sizes are small, with females producing three to four pups, or in some cases only two.
While Morkies are not recognized by Kennel Clubs as an official breed, their parent dogs are. True first-generation Morkies are bred from pedigree Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese Poodles, which adds to their purchase fee.
Personality Traits of Morkie Dogs
Morkie dogs are intelligent, confident, sometimes feisty, and always affectionate, making them a great choice for families with children or people living independently.
From their Yorkie parent, they are known to inherit some sassiness and a bold, adventurous streak. This is beautifully balanced by the traits of their Maltese parents, who are loving, caring, affectionate, and calm.
There is no saying which of these traits will be dominant in a particular Morkie but rest assured that they make for a good combination either way.
With that being said, they can be high maintenance, requiring plenty of attention and affection from their owners in return. Packed full of energy, they need regular walks and play sessions, or they can become quite destructive.
Furthermore, they can be vocal and boisterous if they’re not trained from a young age.
When it comes to Morkie dogs and young children, opinions vary. Some say that young kids can easily harm these delicate dogs, while others feel their small size is advantageous for preventing injury to a toddler or child.
Whichever choice you make, the onus is on you as the owner to provide a safe environment for both your pets and your children, and the best way to do this is to supervise play until you’re confident neither will get hurt.
If you’re living independently and considering purchasing a Morkie as a canine companion, you’d be making an excellent choice. As well as being affectionate, these little dogs are extremely loyal and will make wonderful pets so long as they receive plenty of your undivided attention.
Morkies and Other Dogs
What could be cuter than a little pack of Morkies?
These playful pups are social and non-aggressive, so they get along well with other dogs, especially other small dogs.
If you have big, playful pups, however, you may need to exercise some caution before adopting a Morkie.
As they’re so small, bigger dogs can accidentally injure them during play or just by running around with them. Older, bigger, senior dogs are less risky, given that they’re less playful and active.
Either way, keep an eye out if you’re introducing a new Morkie to your existing pack to ensure no harm or unintended foul play takes place.
Regarding cats, Morkie dogs pose little threat, as they’re roughly the same size or smaller than most felines.
Training a Morkie
Like any other dog, it is necessary to train a Morkie to avoid it raining terror down on your household. Their small size aside, they are a force to be reckoned with if untrained and left to their own devices for too long.
Just because they are less dangerous than big dogs doesn’t mean they can’t adopt naughty behaviors. While they’re intelligent, Morkies can display a stubborn streak and be quite unmoving, and for this reason, they can be tricky to train.
The best way to ensure proper training is through diligence, patience, and plenty of positive reinforcement. Your Morkie will need to be trained over several months, with plenty of consistency and repetition.
They should be rewarded for good behavior in the form of treats and a positive tone. Scolding them is ineffective and can be met with a negative reaction, so rather opt to ignore them if they’re naughty until they realize their tricks do not have the desired effect.
House training question? Click here to read specifics about How to Potty Train a Dog.
It is also extremely important to socialize Morkies from a young age to not become aggressive towards other dogs or cats.
Exercising a Morkie
Morkies have plenty of energy but can expend most of it with normal play with their owner or short walks.
Because of their small dogs, their regular exercise requirements are relative to their size.
If you love taking your Morkie for walks, keep an eye out for when they become tired. Their little legs aren’t made for running great distances, and too much physical activity can cause them pain.
Furthermore, avoid letting them play in public areas off-leash. This heightens their chances of getting hurt.
In big, open yards, it’s also best to keep watch over your Morkie, as airborne predators have been known to attack them in rare instances.
And always remember, bored Morkies (like untrained Morkies) can become destructive, so make sure their energy needs are being met.
What to Feed Morkies
Morkies don’t have a huge appetite due to their small stature. Fully-grown Morkies only need 200 to 300 calories per day, consisting mostly of fat and protein.
While they’re still puppies, they need a bit more than this to grow and develop.
This breed can be picky eaters, so you may have to experiment a bit until you find the right food for your pet.
Ask your breeder what they advise, or consult your local vet practice.
Grooming and Caring for Morkie Dogs
If you’re seriously considering adopting a Morkie or already own one, you’ll likely know they require quite the regular grooming routine.
Their long hair needs daily brushing, and they should be bathed with a mild dog shampoo at least once a month.
This is so that their beautiful coat doesn’t knot and tangle or become matted. It alsoo removes unwanted dirt from their skin.
To keep the hair out of their eyes and maintain their cute, rounded, teddy-bear appearance, you can take them to a groomer every six to eight weeks for a cut.
You can find further grooming information on our website at How to Groom a Morkie. Also, if you are interested in creating stylish Morkie hairdo’s check out 5 Easy Morkie Hair Cuts for all your pup’s hair care needs.
Health Concerns of Morkies
One of the greatest risks Morkies face is injury due to their small size. They can get hurt easily if they fall or get trampled on.
Accidents aside, the breed can suffer from some common health issues that are prolific among small toy breeds in particular.
These include dental issues from poor dental hygiene or eye and ear issues. Fortunately, if infections are caught early, they can be dealt with and eradicated before too much damage occurs.
Reverse sneezing and tracheal collapse are further health issues to watch for in this breed, and any sign of difficulty breathing warrants an urgent trip to your vet.
Furthermore, in rare cases, Morkies can suffer from patellar luxation or hyperglycemic, which requires chronic treatment.
When shopping for a Morkie, go to a reputable breeder if you want to avoid health issues. Their focus is on eradicating hereditary illness, and therefore they take care when breeding their dogs.
Also, avoid the promise of the so-called (undersized) teacup Morkies, which are usually a consequence of poor breeding practices and are resultantly full of health problems.
How Long Does a Morkie Live?
Smaller dogs are expected to live longer than larger breeds. The average life expectancy of a Morkie is between 10 to 16 years.
That being said, you should take your Morkie to the doctor for their primary vaccinations, booster shots, and veterinary checkups. This is the surest way to trace future health conditions or genetic disorders upfront and ensure they have the best quality of life possible.
So Much Joy….
There is so much to love about Morkies. From their sweet faces to their bigger-than-life personalities, they are an exceptional and adorable designer hybrid bound to bring their pet parents nothing but joy.
Keeping up proper training, exercise, grooming, and caring for their health needs will ensure a solid relationship between you, your dog, and your family.
Have you ever interacted with a Morkie, or do you have one as a pet? Let us know your experiences with this delightful breed in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.