Designer dog breeds are popping up all over the world, but the Morkie tends to be one of the most sought-after breeds. A cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier, this adorable breed is certain to tug at your heartstrings. What do you need to know before adding one of these wonderful dogs to your family?
The Morkie is a small dog with a mighty personality. They love to curl up on your lap just as much as they love a good game of fetch. This breed can do well in families and with other pets when properly socialized at an early age.
If you think a Morkie might be the right fit for your family, here is the ultimate guide to help you decide.
What is a Morkie?
If you have spent any time at all looking into designer dog breeds, the odds are that you have come across the Morkie. They are an adorable breed that can seamlessly blend into your family in no time at all. This breed is creating by combining the best genetics of both a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier (commonly known as the Yorkie) into one compact package.
The Maltese has a long and storied history dating back thousands of years to the Mediterranean region. Their trademark style is the long and silky white fur that reaches to the floor. Not only are they extremely striking dogs, but they also have a great immune system. This allows you to rest easy that your new Morkie pup is less susceptible to certain health conditions.
The Yorkshire Terrier or Yorkie is a bit more active than the Maltese. They were originally bred to help their owners capture rats and other small rodents. As a result, they tend to have a rather high prey drive and an intense desire to be active.
This specific cross between the two breeds first occurred in the United States in the 1990s. Since this time, the Morkie has surged in popularity, with many pet stores and breeders now offering this beautiful breed. You may find them under other names, such as the Morkshire Terrier or the Yorktese.
Predicting the size of a mixed-breed dog like the Morkie can be a bit of a challenge. Because they are still a relatively new breed, there aren’t many standards when it comes to size. However, you can rest assured that these dogs will definitely be on the smaller side. Both parents tend to be fairly small dogs, so the apple won’t fall too far from the tree.
Most Morkies weigh between seven and thirteen pounds. At the shoulder, they are usually somewhere between four and eight inches tall.
Keep in mind that male dogs do tend to be larger than their female counterparts. While the size difference may not be huge, you can typically expect the average male to weigh a bit more than a female. While this may not always be the case, it is a good rule of thumb.
Are They Hypoallergenic?
Allergy sufferers can rejoice! The Morkie is as hypoallergenic as they come. The truth is that no dog is truly hypoallergenic. It is not the fur that most people are allergic to but rather the protein that comes in their saliva. As your dog grooms itself, that protein is transferred to the skin. Dander or dead skin flakes off with shed hair, causing allergy symptoms.
The good news is that Morkies inherit hair rather than fur from both of their parents. This means that they are far less likely to shed. As a result, you will have less dander and pet hair covered in the protein floating around your home.
You can minimize a small amount of the shedding by keeping up with their grooming. Regularly brushing the fur allows you to control when and where that loose hair comes out. By grooming them daily, you can minimize the allergy symptoms you suffer from.
What Do Morkies Look Like?
Besides being relatively small dogs, many owners want to know what they can expect their new Morkie puppy to look like. The truth is that the appearance of your pup can be rather difficult to determine. Even within the same litter, you may have dogs that look completely different.
Some dogs will take after the Yorkie parent with the telltale black and tan coloring. Others may take after the Maltese parent and have a pure white coat. In other cases, they may appear to have something in between.
It is also a known phenomenon that your Morkie’s appearance may change as they age. Puppies sometimes look more similar to the Yorkie parent at birth with black and tan coats. However, as the soft fur of the puppy grows out into its adult coat, it may begin to closely resemble the Maltese parent with a bright white coat. There is no way to predict what your Morkie will look like in the months or years ahead.
The one thing you can expect is a long coat of silky hair. Both parent breeds have long hair, so it is a given that your new puppy will have the same.
Despite its small size, the Morkie is well known for its fearless attitude and confident nature. You may want to take caution when taking your Morkie out around other dogs. They will not think twice before bounding up to a dog twice their size and vocalizing their desire to play. It is not uncommon to find your Morkie injured from roughhousing with dogs that are not in their size category.
Morkies also have quite a bit of energy. They love to play games and run around the house. Many owners report that they are curious about the world around them and often get into things without the proper training.
Despite their energy, the truth is that the Morkie is a well-known lap dog. Most dogs of this breed bond intensely with one person and seek to be near them constantly. If you are on the couch to watch a movie, your Morkie will want to be snuggled up by your side. In fact, if you leave them alone for too long, you will likely find that they get into trouble. Separation anxiety is rather common with this breed.
Designer Dog World took to Instagram and interviewed the owners of this cute Morkie named Jameson. Check out what they had to say below!
Jameson is the life of the party. He loves playing with any breed of dog. We taught him to ring a bell when he has to go outside. He will also use it when we’re eating dinner to let us know to save him some leftovers. He loves kids, going on long walks and playing fetch at night. I would highly recommend this breed!!Jameson’s Fur Parents
Next up DDW attempted to interview this Morkie Instagram star BUT she told us to set up an appointment with her agent.
Last but not least DDW caught up with this adorable Morkie from NYC…
Rocky loves to cuddle and is a true lap dog. He also enjoys hanging out with mom, playing fetch and eating as many treats that he can lay his paws on.Rocky’s Fur Parents
Aren’t they the cutest Morkies?! Be sure to check them out on Instagram!
Lifespan and Health
The small Morkie breed will be with you for the long haul. They tend to live an incredibly long time for a dog, with some reaching the ripe age of fifteen or older. However, the average lifespan of a typical Morkie is close to ten to fifteen years.
Mixed-breed dogs like the Morkie do tend to be healthier than their purebred counterparts. Many of the health issues faced by both the Maltese and the Yorkie are eliminated when you mix the two breeds together. Still, your Morkie may face some common health issues.
One of the more troublesome conditions is glaucoma. This disease results from too much pressure inside the eye. Your dog may be suffering from this condition if you notice they have eye pain, watery discharge from the eye, swelling of the eyeball, or a cloudy appearance to the eye. Eventually, your Morkie may lose their sight altogether.
Cataracts are also a common eye issue with the Morkie.
Another problem that your Morkie may face is a collapsed trachea which results in respiratory issues. Common symptoms include coughing or difficulty eating.
Other common health issues associated with the breed can include:
- Dental issues
- Reverse sneezing
- Injuries due to their fragility and size
Feeding and Diet
Like many dogs, your Morkie is likely to consume anything you put in front of them. If you give them a portion that is too big, they are likely to consume the entire thing. This is why it is so important to give your dog the proper portions and to feed them the appropriate kibble.
There are many different types of food available on the market. Some formulas are designed for specific life stages and for small breed dogs. For example, you might purchase puppy kibble when you first get your dog, transition them to a formula for adults at the one-year mark, and eventually switch them to senior food.
Each food you purchase should come with a recommended serving size based on the average weight of your dog. A good rule of thumb is to feed your dog 40 calories per pound of body weight. Puppies may need more than this to account for the extra energy required to grow.
Cleaning and Grooming
Your Morkie’s coat is likely long and luxurious with hair rather than fur. Just like you wouldn’t skip a day of brushing your own hair, you can’t skip days brushing your Morkie either. Their hair quickly becomes tangled and can develop some serious knots if you aren’t diligent about keeping up with their grooming routine.
In addition to daily brushing, they also need baths at least monthly. Because of their hair, it is best to use both shampoo and conditioner to keep things silky and smooth. It will make brushing their healthy hair much easier.
If your Morkie takes after the Maltese parent and has a beautiful white coat, you may also notice that they develop tear stains. This is nothing to worry about, but many owners prefer to reduce this type of discoloration around the eyes. As long as you are careful around their eyes, you can clean these areas with a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide.
You may also notice that their long hair falls into their eyes, causing irritation. Many owners opt to have their Morkie’s hair trimmed by a groomer to help keep them comfortable. A shorter coat is also easier to maintain at home.
The Morkie is prone to developing dental issues, so you should start teaching them to enjoy a good tooth brushing early on. You can purchase meat-flavored tubes of toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs at the pet store or on Amazon. Try to work this into your daily routine when you brush their fur to keep up with the habit. In addition, you should also have their teeth cleaned regularly by the veterinarian.
You can see in this video below some basic tips on grooming your Morkie:
How Much Exercise Do They Need?
While the Maltese was bred to be a lap dog, the Yorkie is an active breed. As a result, your Morkie is likely to need a fair amount of exercise to stay tired and happy. Many dogs get enough of their energy out simply by running around the house during the day. However, it is best if you can devote time specifically to exercising your Morkie.
Daily walks should be considered a must for this breed. Some people find that breaking up their walks and taking two short walks each day is ideal.
In addition to walking, you want to play some games with your Morkie throughout the day. They may love a good game of fetch or a quick game of tug. Some dogs also love the sport of agility or obedience. The idea is to mentally stimulate your dog as well as physically. A tired dog is a happy dog who gets into fewer things and exhibits fewer undesirable behaviors such as barking or destructive chewing.
Do Morkies Bark a Lot?
Unfortunately, one of the characteristics that tends to drive new Morkie owners crazy is their propensity to bark. This breed might be small, but they believe they can stand guard over their domain in your home. If you wanted a dog who alerts you to every passerby and doorbell ring, then the Morkie might be the right fit for you.
They also tend to be vocal if they feel that they aren’t receiving enough attention from you. This can be a troublesome behavior that is hard to correct. The important thing is that you do not give in when this happens. If your Morkie wants attention, food, or some playtime, they need to wait patiently. Giving in to their barking will only reinforce the behavior and make it more likely that they will bark for the same things in the future.
How Much Do Morkies Cost in 2021?
If you think you are ready to add a Morkie to your family, it is time to start budgeting. Most dogs of this breed will range in price from $800 to $2,500. Toy Morkies are a bit larger and tend to be less expensive than Teacup sizes. A Toy Morkie ranges in price from $1,000 to $2,000 while Teacup Morkies range from $1,500 to $2,500.
Despite this price tag, you may find that your Morkie is even more expensive. If they come from parents who are champions in the show ring, you might be looking at a higher price tag. These dogs typically come with registration papers and a lengthy health guarantee. When this is the case, it is not uncommon to find that they cost upwards of $5,000.
Are They Good Family Dogs?
Many people have a family or other pets at home that they want their Morkie to interact with. Are they good with children and other pets? The answer is yes if they are socialized and trained from an early age.
Morkies do tend to get along well with other animals, as long as they are roughly the same size. Pairing your Morkie with a large-breed dog may be problematic as your Morkie can get hurt if they start to play too roughly. If you do have larger pets in the house, it is best to supervise their playtime and interactions carefully to ensure everyone’s safety.
Children are also great for your Morkie, though they tend to do better with older children. Older children are less likely to handle your dog roughly and cause injury. Morkies are a small and delicate breed. Small children may inadvertently harm them by picking them up, dropping them, or simply playing too roughly.
Are They Easy to Potty Train?
If you are committed to adding a Morkie to your family, you may be wondering how easy it will be to potty train them. Unfortunately, it may be a bit challenging if you’ve never done this before. A small dog like the Morkie will have a smaller bladder, requiring more frequent bathroom breaks.
Even if you have plenty of time in your schedule for potty breaks, you might still have a hard time potty training your Morkie. These little dogs tend to be quite stubborn and can resist your best attempt at training.
The best way to train your Morkie to go to the bathroom outside is to use positive reinforcement. Take them out often to the same place each time. When they do the deed, reward them with praise and a tasty snack. Each time they do what is required of them, offer them a positive reward and experience. This will encourage them to stick with the good behavior of going outside.
If you need more tips and tricks for potty training your Morkie, we have a complete guide here.
Bringing a Morkie into Your Family
This breed has a lot to offer you and your family. They are lovable and adorable dogs that you will love to take on walks through the neighborhood or to the local dog park. Much like any dog breed, they need your unwavering love and commitment to training them to be the absolute best they can be. Be sure to do your research before deciding whether the Morkie is right for you!
More on Morkies
If you’re simply in love with Morkies and can’t get enough, then check out our other posts below:
- How Long Do Morkies Sleep?
- Why Does My Morkie Smell?
- Do Morkies Have Docked Tails?
- Do Morkies Get Cold?
- Why Do Morkies Lick So Much?