Why Do Morkies Change Color? All You Need to Know


Why Do Morkies Change Color

If you are a proud owner of a Morkie, you will know how friendly, energetic, curious, and social your Morkie can be. You will have seen him grow up from a small ball of puppy fur to a small ball of adult fur, and as he grows, your Morkie, like most of his kind will change and mature. These can be seen in the way he behaves, his temperament, his preference, and sometimes, you can see these changes physically.

You’ve probably seen that as he grows, your Morkie’s fur sometimes changes color. Is that even possible, you might ask.

Can Morkies change color?

Why do Morkies change color?

Let’s take a look at how and why your Morkie changes color.

Why does your Morkie change color?

Pigment

Sometimes, as your Morkie ages, the color of your Morkie’s coat will change due to loss in pigmentation. It takes a lot of energy for a dog to make pigment, and usually, the body focuses on expending energy towards more important activities.

Your Morkie is already a small breed, and as such, his energy is expended towards daily functions like running around, eating, and looking adorable. So as he ages, he will spend less energy to make pigments, resulting in a change in the color of his fur. 

Another reason involving pigment change is when melanocytes, the cells responsible for giving pigment to the dog’s coat, die and no longer cause the hair to color the same way. An autoimmune disease or simple genetics can cause this condition.

Age

Humans and dogs alike can develop white hair as they age. It is not uncommon to find specks of grey around your Morkie’s muzzle. While they do not grey as much as other breeds do, you can still see enough to warrant a change in their colour.

Shaving or clipping of fur

Shaving your Morkie’s coat can also make the fur prone to change color. Clipping or shaving your Morkie’s coat can change both texture and color. Any damage to the follicles will affect and subsequently change the color of hair as it re-grows. It isn’t much different for humans, actually. 

Injury

A veterinarian can tell you that sometimes, any cuts, marks or previous trauma like an incision from a surgery your Morkie might have had, or a clipper burn, or even a hot spot can and will change your Morkie’s colour and cause his coat to darken in those regions.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is not common to smaller breeds of dogs but it does not hurt to have your Morkie checked out. When your dog’s thyroid levels are low, it can cause his fur to change color and lighten. It can also cause his fur to thin, and cause his usual store of energy to run out and you’ll notice that he will become lethargic. Keep an eye out for these symptoms

As long as you see no irritation, redness or patchiness on the actual skin, a change in the colour of you Morkie’s fur is okay. But, you can always take him to a vet to get checked out if you are worried.

Read on to find out different ways that a Morkie, based on his base coat, will change colour as he ages.

Different ways in which a Morkie can change color

  • If your Morkie was born white, they can grow into a cream, beige or tan coloured coat as they become adults. 
  • If your puppy was born with black fur, he can lighten out into a dark or mid-brown coat as he ages. I prefer to think he’s a nice warm chocolate tone. Black puppies might also grow up to have dark grey, mixed in liberally with brown.

As they age, there isn’t just a change in the colour but also the pattern of colour across his body. The fur will either darken out or lighten, depending on his base coat, and as specified earlier, his muzzle will turn grey with age.

The American Kennel Club has narrowed it down and recognises five different combinations:

1.     Black and tan

2.     Black and gold

3.     Black, tan, white

4.     Tan and white

5.     Beige and tan

The Yorkshire terrier and the Maltese

Ah, mom and dad, the usual culprits. Of course, let’s blame them.

Your Morkie’s superpower to change colors is largely inherited from the Yorkshire terrier, but also partly from the Maltese.

Morkies that bleach out as they age, from a nice tan or beige to white or greyish-white, note that this is the Maltese in them that’s turning up.

Yorkshire terriers will mature into their coats within a year. The colours will be two-toned and separate and the pattern can be seen distinctively on their bodies. So, by the end of his first year, a Yorkie will have grown out of his black coat into a steel-blue hue, with tan hair that is dark at the roots and light at the tips.

Now, Morkies are most like the Yorkies. Even their names rhyme! They too, start to change color by the end of their first year although the rest of the change is gradual. It is important to understand that your Morkie is not a purebred. There is no guarantee of how his coat will change color, or that it will even change color at all. If the Maltese traits is more dominant in your Morkie-although it rarely is- then the color change will be slighter and lighter in terms of the actual color. Your Morkie will also typically be of one tone throughout, albeit darker versions of that color around the ears and muzzle.

If it is the Yorkshire terrier’s traits that are dominant in your Morkie, then your Morkie will usually be dark toned and will change colour accordingly.

Final Thoughts

So, you can expect your Morkie’s color to change. Take out a camera and snap some shots to observe and enjoy the transition, just like you would with your human babies. For many of you, Morkie owners out there, watching your Morkie change color, like the seasons change the leaves’ color, it’s an absolute joy to watch and capture. Just keep an eye out for those signs your read about in this article that might indicate that the color change isn’t natural, and you should be fine.

More info on Morkies

Sources:

1) Morkies: The Ultimate Morkie Manual- Everything you always wanted to know about the Morkie dog by George Hoppendale

2) https://www.dogzone.com/crossbreeds/morkie/

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