Morkie is a crossbreed Dog that combines two of the most popular dog breeds – Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese. If you had been longing to get your hands on one of these small puppies that are not much of a hassle to look after, you might consider adopting a Morkie. To understand everything there is about this designer dog, read on!
Morkie History & Background
Although the origin of its name remains unclear even today, the Morkie had been part of the canine breeds in the US for the last 20 years or so. In the previous decade, it managed to gain popularity in the regions of UK and Ireland as well.
It is often referred to as the Morkshire Terrier, but that sounds like a mouthful, so let’s stick with Morkie – the simpler version!
According to sources, the first Morkie was born in the 1990s, but that’s all there is about its brief history. It is, hence, a relatively new breed, even in the United States. However, its parents – Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier – have quite the lineage.
While the Maltese go back 2000 years, the Yorkshire has been around for almost two centuries. The Maltese were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888, and the Terrier was accepted in 1885.
The AKC does not recognize the Morkie as a separate dog breed, but it has been accepted by the International Designer Canine Registry and Designer Breed Registry.
Morkie Dog Temperament
This canine is generally categorized as a loving, fearless and sociable breed, but aggression and stubbornness are quite the evident traits!
It tends to remain happy and friendly most of the time. Some people have described the Morkie as a happy-go-lucky canine that is full of spirit and character. It can be found chasing a ball around the house or in the park, and dog toys are its ultimate favorite.
Use these toys as incentives to have it exercise on a daily basis, and you won’t feel any stubbornness associated with your tiny fluff ball.
Since these puppies are tiny, houses that have smaller children should avoid keeping a fragile canine such as this. You could potentially be endangering the fragile mutt by allowing toddlers to play with them as young children tend to be careless, no matter how well-behaved they are.
As the Morkie is high spirited and full of energy, it does well around other animals, children, and strangers. However, make sure to invest time in early socialization or else its hunting instincts become active when it is around smaller, defenseless pets.
With strangers, it works as a brilliant watchdog if it senses danger. Incessant barking becomes prevalent in threatening situations.
Morkie Dog Appearance
It is a generally small canine that weighs only about 5 ounces at birth. A Morkie can grow up to a maximum weight of 10 pounds, standing tall at 11 inches from the ground. You may easily fit one in your hand-carry while traveling. A medium-sized dog weighs between 6 and 10 pounds and comes with a height of 8 to 11 inches.
The overall appearance of these dogs depends mainly on the attributes that it inherits from each parent. A Morkie has a small, round face that supports a medium length muzzle.
Its eyes are dark and striking, and the neck is lean. The tail tends to be somewhat curled on one side, and it features straight but short limbs. The ears can be either long and floppy similar to the Maltese or erect just like its Yorkshire parent.
As for its coat, this canine has a soft, long coat that comes in a variety of colors such as white, brown, black, tan or a combination of these. The coat can grow quite long, so grooming is vital!
Morkie Grooming Tips
Since the coat is fluffy, if it isn’t brushed regularly, it could develop tangles and knots. Hence, weekly brushing is mandatory a few times during the week. Moreover, to keep the coat clean, healthy and shiny, a monthly bath is essential. Make sure to use a quality mild shampoo and conditioner to prevent the coat from developing a coarse texture.
In addition to this, if the coat grows too long that it becomes unmanageable, you must trim the hair and give your dog a nice, fresh haircut. Trimming may be done every six to eight weeks.
The Morkie requires great oral hygiene on a regular basis. You may use a finger brush to brush its teeth with dog toothpaste on a regular basis to keep its gums and breath fresh and bacteria-free. Its eyes and ears must also be cleaned thoroughly and monitored on priority.
Make sure to keep these grooming essentials in mind, and you’ll have your Morkie living a healthy and happy life with minimal health issues. It’s important to take care of your Morkie to ensure its long life.
This fragile, small mutt is full of energy, but its exercising requirements are not too stringent. It must be taken out every morning for a stroll around the neighborhood. Additionally, a brisk walk in the evening would help it remain healthy and active.
As for its playtime, that won’t be an exercise requirement because you will find your canine making the best of its playtime all by itself. Give it its favorite dog toys, and it will be in the best mood.
Make sure to have these fragile puppies play in a fenced backyard because losing sight of them could mean potential danger. Also, put them on a leash if you intend to take them to strange places, especially where there is a large, unknown crowd.
If you reside in an area where there are too many large, aggressive birds such as eagles, don’t make the mistake of leaving the Yorktese unsupervised! There have been cases of flying predators snatching a small dog from the yard.
Without sufficient and adequate exercise, you might see destructive behaviors in your pet such as incessant barking and destruction of property. Separation anxiety can also be a significant cause of aggression and destructive behavior, so make sure to keep it company at all times and give it daily exercise daily.
Feeding Maltese Yorkie Mix
If you thought this little dog didn’t eat much, you are in for a surprise! These dogs are fond eaters, and you can treat them at any particular time of the day with special dog treats. However, as puppies, the diet has to be especially observed so that they don’t end up consuming toxic dog food such as onions and chocolate.
Yes, chocolate is not good for Morkie puppies. Their tiny stomachs cannot handle foods that have not been recommended by the vet.
Despite their super-large appetites, don’t be tricked by their adorable eyes into giving them more than necessary food. Stick to the recommended servings prescribed by a veterinarian or pet food manufacturer.
The food must contain all adequate nutrients required by them. Keep the dog food premium quality, or else they might end up developing dental issues that are commonplace in this breed and its parent breeds.
Dry food works best for protecting against cavities, plaque, gum infections, and bad breath. Avoid giving them mushrooms, grapes, coffee and chocolate at all cost!
Since the Morkie can be stubborn at times, training may not be as simple and straightforward as you’d thought. However, if trained with the aid of positive reinforcements, these mutts are relatively simple to teach basic and advanced skills.
They tend to be quite smart and intelligent, thereby making training an otherwise speedy process. You may need patience, especially when their tantrums kick in, but that’s normal behavior of these designer dogs.
The most important aspect of training is teaching them to socialize from a tender age. Otherwise, they could develop destructive behaviors when introduced to new faces, places, and sounds.
The harsh and loud pitch used while training will not serve you any good. It will only invite a sullen and uncooperative behavior from this aggressive canine. Make sure to use only positive techniques and incentives to keep it engaged in long training sessions.
Morkie Health Issues
A Morkie is expected to have an average lifespan of 10 to 16 years if kept healthy and happy. This designer canine is prone to several health issues that are inherited from its parent breeds. These comprise the following:
The Maltese Yorkie Mix is a fragile puppy with small jaws and teeth, so strong chewing is not its forte. Foods that require extensive and powerful chewing cause tart build-up and periodontal disease in the mouth. Therefore, bring your dog in for a regular checkup and ensure regular brushing.
This is another common health issue prevalent in Morkies. Glaucoma is inherited directly from its Maltese parent and causes drainage within the eyelids. This may then lead to loss of vision, discomfort and fluid pressure in the eyes.
If the muscles in the abdominal walls are not fully developed, fat and other structures tend to protrude below the skin, causing hernias. This condition is most common in younger dogs.
Lack of sugar reserves in the body can cause extreme weakness among these dogs, especially at a younger age. Hence, all affected dogs must be fed small portions of meals while administering oral glucose until the disorder goes away.
In this condition, either one or both testicles fail to descend from their original position to beneath the scrotum.
This one is inherited directly from the Yorkshire Terrier and causes malformation of the central airway, which results in coughing during exercise or exertion. If your dog is obese, this condition is most likely to get worse.
A few Morkie breeds are born with an accessory blood vessel that tends to bypass normal blood circulation through the liver, leading to impairment of the brain and other functions in the body. If your dog is affected, it won’t be as active as other pups.
In addition to these health issues, other common medical problems in Morkies include eye and ear infections, reverse sneezing and slipped knee joints, also commonly referred to as patellar luxation. To prevent these conditions from emerging and exacerbating, make sure the dog is brought to the veterinarian facility for a regular checkup.
How Frequently Does a Morkie Shed?
Morkie is a high-maintenance designer dog that requires extensive grooming owing to its beautiful and fluffy coat. This question may be answered once the shedding frequency of its parents has been established.
Yorkshire Terrier & Shedding
It is categorized as a non-shedding canine since it tends to shed moderately. The Yorkshire is covered in hair, so the coat is beautiful and not as coarse as furry coats. This hair tends to grow long and thin over time, and shedding is experienced throughout the year, but it’s not as rampant as it is with furry coats.
This shedding is minimal, and there isn’t much dander spread all over the place, so you won’t have to worry about allergies. Thus, this breed is considered hypoallergenic.
Maltese & Shedding
As for the other parent, the Maltese come in a single coat of ‘hair,’ not fur. The only shedding prevalent in these dogs is when these long hair strands are replaced with new strands of hair.
This type of hair loss, or shedding as you might like to call it, happens throughout the year, but there isn’t dander to worry about. Maltese have also been recognized as hypoallergenic dogs.
Does This Prove That a Morkie Is Hypoallergenic?
Absolutely! Both its parent breeds are hypoallergenic and come equipped with hairy coats that trigger only minimal shedding. Similarly, the Morkie has a fluffy coat that requires frequent trimming but is considered hypoallergenic. Thus, if you have allergies, it’s safe to bring home an adorable and loving Morkie.
How Much Does a Morkie Cost?
Usually, the price varies, depending on how young the dog is at the time of purchase. However, to give you a rough idea of how much a Morkie will cost you, keep a range of $800-$2000 in mind. Regardless of the age, you can get yourself a Morkie within a budget that spans this particular range.
Best Ways to Get a Morkie
There is a total of 3 legit ways that you can choose to bring home this designer canine. You may decide to BUY a puppy from the various breeders available out there. However, a recognized breeder could be challenging to find since a Morkie is an unrecognized breed, so you may choose to ADOPT one.
There are local and government-run shelters such as SPCA that enables adoption of pets. Lastly, you may bring home a Morkie by RESCUING it from a rescue organization or facility.
Avoid resorting to a pet store or online platforms for buying a Morkie. There are higher chances of scams and fraud over the internet.
Choosing a Dog Breeder
If you wish to bring home this bundle of joy, there are a few guidelines to take into account while choosing a dog breeder. These have been listed below:
- Do your research about the various breeders available and find a responsible one. Please make sure the breeder you have shortlisted is ethical and humane in their work.
- Be very selective in your choice. One red flag and you must consider other possible options.
- Arrange a meeting with the dog and possibly with either of its parents. Once you have observed the parent, you are more likely to understand the offspring’s temperament and appearance.
- Check the place where these dogs are kept. See if it’s clean, healthy and odor-free. There could be potential signs of malnutrition, illnesses, and Have the entire place checked for all of this before finalizing anything with the breeder.
- Ask for medical history and reports such as OFA and CERF screenings of the puppy and its parents. Breeders must share these details with you willingly. If they seem reluctant, it’s a red flag.
- Ask them all the necessary and relevant questions that you have researched about. Once you are satisfied with the responses, you can proceed with the decision of adopting a Morkie.
- You must sign a contract with the breeder, stating all agreed terms and conditions to avoid future disputes.
Don’t forget to follow the steps mentioned above or else you might end up paying for a fake! If you are looking out for potential Morkie breeders, check out the following:
Adopt a Morkie
If you wish to adopt a Morkie from recusing facilities, the following options are ideal: