The adorable cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier, the Morkie is a tiny designer dog breed that has gotten increasingly popular in recent years.
Morkies can cost between $800 and $2500. A quick check with several breeders yielded results ranging from $1000 to $2000 for Toy Morkies and between $1500 and $2500 for Teacup Morkies. A Morkie bred from two show-quality purebred parents can cost upwards of $5000 and come with registration papers and years of health guarantees.
Out of 197 breeds that the AKC (American Kennel Club) recognizes, the Yorkshire Terrier is ranked the 9th most popular, and the Maltese ranks 33rd. Naturally, the cross of the two popular breeds, the Morkie, has taken off in a big way.
What Are Morkies?
A relatively new designer dog breed, Morkies were bred to be teacup small, energetic and confident. Their diminutive size is misleading; Morkies can be little balls of vibrant energy in a pint-sized body.
Because they are a mixed breed, they can take after either parent, leading to a significant variance in height and weight. They can stand from 7 to 10 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 4 and 12 pounds.
Teacup Morkies are bred to be small and weigh in at the lower end of the scale at about 4 to 7 pounds. Toy Morkies might take after their Maltese parent at the higher end of the scale and weigh in at about 10 to 12 pounds.
Their coats range from slightly wavy to fine, long, and silky. They have moderate grooming needs and are most likely hypoallergenic. Both the Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese are classified as hypoallergenic dogs by the American Kennel Club.
Morkies are playful, affectionate, and loyal dogs that make good family pets. Their easy temperament makes them suitable for inexperienced or first-time owners. More about the Morkie temperament here.
What Affects The Price Of A Morkie?
1. Quality Of The Breeder
A quick check on Craigslist also yielded some breeders touting Morkies for sale for $400. Yeah, right.
We try to be objective, but please, never buy from Craigslist, eBay, or other free sites. Breeders that sell cheap puppies on these sites with no screening process are 99.9% sure to be puppy millers or backyard breeders. If you are unfamiliar with the term “puppy mill,” we’d like to suggest reading this article. It isn’t pretty.
Not only are puppy mills and backyard breeders immensely unethical, their puppies often have a myriad of behavioral and physical problems.
They typically don’t socialize puppies or give them adequate healthcare. A puppy from a mill is a disaster waiting to happen and will likely cost you a fortune in veterinarian and training bills.
Finding A Reputable Breeder
First and foremost, before even going on a breeder hunt, check your local shelters and rescue organizations. No harm trying to save a life, and save yourself a bunch of money in the meantime.
Dogs given up to shelters do not necessarily have behavioral problems. They are often given up because of lifestyle changes, family problems like divorce and could even be placed there because of the death of their owner.
If you choose to buy, Morkies cost between $800 and $2,500 from a decent breeder. Finding a breeder is no easy feat. Here are a few things to look out for when selecting an ethical, responsible breeder:
- They are happy to show you around their facilities.
2. The parent dogs are active, happy dogs that are likely to participate in various activities like obedience, agility, or dog shows.
3. They ask you more questions than you ask them. Good breeders want their puppies to go to good homes and have a stringent selection process.
4. They have spay/neuter contracts and will want to see proof of health for months after the sale.
5. They have good references from other dog owners and veterinarians.
6. They will take the puppy back if you ever have to give it up. No exceptions.
7. All the certificates and DNA tests are in place.
8. They have litters infrequently, usually just once a year or even less.
Since the Morkie is a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier, AKC registration papers should be available for both parents.
A Morkie bred from two purebred parents will cost more than a Morkie bred from two other Morkies.
Morkies bred from two show-quality purebred parents can cost upwards of $5000! The steep price comes with a host of other benefits.
The puppies of premium parents are likely to have health guarantees for several years, if not a lifetime. They have DNA tests and might have OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certificates clearing them from genetic deformities.
Bonus Tip: Be wary of breeders that price their puppies based on color or looks. Puppies bred for looks can come with a host of health and temperament problems. Some breeders price differently for males and females. This difference in pricing, while not strictly unethical, is a pretty grey area.
Four-month-old puppies are likely to be lower priced than 8-week old puppies. Puppies can leave their litter at eight weeks, never before.
Puppies older than three months that aren’t sold could be priced lower for the breeder to get them to homes. This doesn’t necessarily indicate that the puppy is of inferior quality. It can simply mean the breeder wants a good home for the pup more than they want the dollars they get.
Be wary of buying an older puppy. The most crucial time in a dog’s life is from birth to about 16 weeks. This is a critical period in life that will they will learn more than any other period. Good breeders will socialize puppies from a very young age and help them develop social skills that they will use throughout their life.
An unsocialized puppy will cause a host of problems down the road with behavioral issues. An older puppy of four to five months should show confidence, curiosity, and affection. Shyness or fear usually means a puppy that hasn’t been socialized right.
This boils down to the economics of supply and demand.
The geographical location of a Morkie breeder sometimes can affect their prices. A breeder located in a state with five other similar breeders would probably price their litters competitively.
In comparison, a single breeder in a state where Morkies are popular is better positioned to price their litters higher to fit the demand. Prospective buyers are given the choice of paying a prettier penny or driving out of state.
Initial Costs For Your New Morkie?
In addition to the initial purchase price of your new puppy, you’ll need a bunch of other stuff. A quick trip to your local pet store should fix this. Some pet owners have reported spending about $500 in initial setup costs.
Bonus Tip: Stores selling live puppies usually purchase from and inevitably support puppy mills. We don’t condone this, but essentially it’s up to you.
Vacuum: Your new Morkie puppy is likely to be hypoallergenic, even though this is not guaranteed. Both the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier are breeds recognized by the AKC as hypoallergenic dogs.
Despite Morkies being low shedding, there will be hair. A decent vacuum cleaner is going to be a friend when you bring your new puppy home.
Enzymatic Cleaners: Gosh, we love these. Every pet owner in the world should know and use enzymatic cleaners. They penetrate on a cellular level and work on biological matter, attacking protein, oils, starches, and carbohydrates. They will make short work of pee stains and drool.
Bonus Tip: We only use certified pet-safe products. Harmful toxins have no place in our homes and near our pets.
Odor Eliminators: Your pup that pees in one spot will pee in the same spot again. Dogs are creatures of habit, and once the habit forms, it is ten times more challenging to untrain. A natural pet-safe odor eliminator should fix that.
Air Purifying Bags: Charcoal-activated air purifying bags work great near crates or bedding. They absorb moisture, odors, and bacteria, and some are certified safe for use near pets or babies.
Now you’ve prepared yourself for your new puppy and the mess that’s about to follow, here is another list of products that will help you care for your new furkid.
Crate – Dogs (Canis familiaris) come from wolves (Canis lupus). Canines are naturally denning animals that want a safe, secure place in which they can hide. Enter the crate.
Crate training done right is a dog parent’s ultimate right hand. Not only will your puppy love his new home, but it also makes potty training a breeze. In addition, it keeps your puppy safe if you can’t watch him 100% of the time. Puppies get into everything; toxic food in the trash, electrical wiring, electronics, and many other things that could hurt both your pup and your wallet!
Grooming supplies – In your grooming arsenal should be a shampoo, brush, toothpaste, canine toothbrush, and nail clippers. If you’re unsure about your Morkie’s grooming needs, seek professional help from a reputable groomer.
Bonus Tip: Your new Morkie puppy is going to be a fragile little bundle of dog. We would recommend a natural, organic shampoo to avoid poisoning your new pup with harmful chemicals. There are many organic shampoos in the market.
Toys – We constantly resist the urge to shower our Cavachon, Kirby, with toys that would make the Queen’s Corgis jealous. However, just a couple is enough. A couple of dental bones for your teething puppy and an interactive dog toy or two might be enough. The Classic Kong has been around for 40 years and continues to be a hot favorite with dog parents.
Food and Water Bowls – While a water bowl can be any old container lying around that is BPA-free, we love the slow feeders for the kibble. Dogs that are gobblers are at risk of a whole bunch of gastrointestinal problems like overeating and bloat.
A slow bowl can slow the rate of eating up to ten times. The bonus is that your dog will have fun chasing kibble through a maze of ridges, keeping him mentally stimulated. Check this one by Pet Impact out; it’s made of sustainable and natural materials such as bamboo fiber and corn starch.
Leash and Collar – Morkies are tiny dogs that won’t pull you around too much. Consider a harness instead of a leash to avoid any problems or damage to the sensitive trachea. We favor leashes and collars made of organic materials like hemp and bamboo. After all, the collar will flat against your puppy’s skin.
Bedding – Your pup is going to chew. A lot! Perhaps save that expensive dog bed for later in his puppyhood and go with old blankets to line the crate. Ensure that there are no buttons or removable parts that he can chew off and choke on.
Food – Your new Morkie is going to need primo nutrition. Puppies do most of their growing in the first 12 months. You’ll need puppy food, not dog food.
Puppy food has a higher nutrient content that is critical to your puppy’s development than dog food. Think about it as feeding a toddler adult food?
Ongoing Costs Of Your Morkie
- Keeping up with vaccination schedules ($100 – $250)
- Vet visits in case of emergencies (variable)
- Pet insurance ($30-$50). This is entirely optional, but emergency procedures can run into the thousands. Pet insurance is affordable and allows you the flexibility to make decisions based on what’s best for your pup, not what’s best for your wallet.
- Replacing what the puppy destroys.
- Spay/Neuter procedures typically cost about $400 to $600.
- Training or puppy school. Pups can attend puppy school to socialize, learn good behaviors and be pups without the pressure of training performance. Think about it as preschool or kindergarten.
- Pups can also start formal obedience training at six months. Obedience school for puppies below 12 months should be different from adult dogs. Liken it to middle or high school as opposed to a full-time job.
- Expect to spend about $30 to $80 per session on formal training.
The Morkie is an absolute gem of a dog. The Yorkshire Terrier genes can be tricky at times and stubborn, but they will reward you with a lifetime of love and affection with a bit of patience.
We wish you the best of luck in adding a Morkie into your family and many happy years ahead!