Morkie: Get to Know a Hybrid Dog Breed

We're profiling popular mix-up pups (don't call them "designer dogs") and this week, it's all about the Morkie.

Kelly Pulley  |  Jun 28th 2012


The name “Morkie” may make you think of the amiable alien who lived in Colorado on the 1980s TV show Mork and Mindy. It might also make you think of the small dog which is a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier. Regardless, it’s obvious that, as Mork from Ork won our hearts with his hyper friendliness, naivety, striped shirts and suspenders and his catchphrase “Nanoo, nanoo,” the Morkie is winning dog lovers’ hearts with his enthusiastic affection, even temperament, and purse-size good looks.

Every Thursday we’ll be profiling popular mix-up pups (also see: Puggle, Labradoodle, Cockapoo, and Goldendoodle).

What Morkies Are Like to Live With

Morkies (the canine type) share a few characteristics with their alien predecessor. They are energetic and will greet you with enthusiasm even if you‘ve only stepped out to get the mail. Sometimes their liveliness can cause small catastrophes, such as Morkie hair caught on your buttons. Their soulful, dark eyes seem to prove their innocence even when you find your favorite pair of shoes under the dog bed.

This hybrid is even-tempered, stable, playful, and sweet and gets along with humans big and small and other pets, including canine and feline. They tend not to be as prone to Small Dog Syndrome (where a small dog thinks he can do whatever he pleases) as long as they’re trained.

Things You Should Know About the Morkie

Morkies are easy to groom but need short haircuts or to have their long hair brushed daily. Their eyes need daily cleaning as well. Because the Morkie is so human-centric, you should give your pet regular exercise to burn off some of their energy. This attachment to his family can cause separation anxiety. A Morkie should not be left alone for long periods so crate training from an early age helps ensure there is no damage to the house or the dog.

Owning a Morkie also means a great deal of lap time over his 14-to-16-year lifespan. Morkies may have health issues related to their Maltese and Yorkie parentage, such as cataracts, glaucoma and valvular heart disease.

Morkie History: Fast Facts

+ Like many hybrid dog breeds, the Morkie was developed in the 1990s.

+ The Morkie was developed at about the same time in Canada (Quebec) and the U.S.

+ The Yorkshire Terrier was chosen as a parent because of the breed’s puppylike looks.

+ The Maltese, the other parent, was chosen to accentuate these puppylike features in adult Morkies.

The Look of the Morkie

This hybrid, also called a cross-breed, often resembles a little teddy bear, with the compact body of the Yorkie and the silky fur of the Maltese. They can be white, apricot, brown, or black and tan. Their fur is usually straight. A Morkie usually weighs four to nine pounds and stands six to ten inches tall.

Quick Facts About Morkies

+ Morkies make good apartment dogs

+ They usually take to the sometimes controversial “dog purse“ and enjoy gallivanting around town with you

+ They are also called “Yorteses”

+ Nanoo, nanoo, and aroo!

Dogster readers: Do you have a Morkie in your life? Tell us what they’re like to live with.