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Morkie (Maltese & Yorkie Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cute Morkie puppy snuggled in a pink blanket

Morkie (Maltese & Yorkie Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

The Morkie is an increasingly popular mixed breed due to their attractive appearance, small size, and hypoallergenic coat, as they make a great choice for people living in small homes and apartments. If you are thinking about getting a new pet, read on for a discussion of their temperament, exercise and grooming needs, and potential health conditions so you can see if they are right for you and your family.

Breed Overview

Height:

6–8 inches

Weight:

4–8 pounds

Lifespan:

10–13 years

Colors:

Black, white, tan, brown, silver

Suitable for:

Apartment dwellers, senior citizens, families with older children, first-time dog owners, and singles.

Temperament:

Affectionate, energetic, loyal, intelligent

The Morkie is a mix of the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier breeds. These small dogs inherit the Maltese’s affectionate, gentle nature and the Yorkshire Terrier’s high energy and intelligence. Since both parent breeds are low-shedding dogs, you can expect your Morkie to also be low-shedding, so they will be less likely to trigger an allergic reaction in people sensitive to pet dander.

Morkie Characteristics

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Morkie Puppies

A Morkie puppy has an irresistible charm and a playful and curious attitude. They will spend much of the day exploring your home and constantly craving attention. They will be naturally friendly but will need to spend plenty of time with people and other animals, so they will feel comfortable around them as adults. It’s a good idea to visit as many locations as possible for the same reason, and this is also when you want to start getting them into training and grooming routines.

High angle of cute Morkie dogs lying on comfortable couch and looking away
Photo by Sarah Chai, Pexels

Morkie Origin & History

The Morkie is a relatively new designer breed that got their start in the late 1990s. Breeders wanted to create a companion dog with a vibrant personality and a low-shedding coat for people to enjoy the companionship of a pup while living in a small apartment.

The Maltese parent is an ancient breed dating back more than 2,000 years, while the Yorkshire Terrier got started in England during the Industrial Revolution.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Morkie 🧠

The Morkie is an affectionate dog that loves to spend time with family members and often forms strong bonds with them. They thrive on interaction and will constantly seek out your affection, so they won’t like to spend time alone. However, they won’t let you get bored; their high intelligence and eager-to-please attitude make them easy to train, even for beginners, and plenty of fun to be around. They are expert problem solvers and quick learners.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Morkie is a wonderful family dog, as they enjoy being around people and are surprisingly protective of the people and things that they care for. They are easy to teach new tricks, and they can find a spot in any home. However, their tiny size makes them vulnerable to injury, especially from children too young to know how to handle a dog properly. They may also be a bit stubborn or high-strung if they take after their Yorkshire Terrier parent.

Morkie
Image Credit: Anne Richard, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

Morkies can get along well with cats and other dogs, especially if they spend time with other animals as puppies. Their friendly nature often makes them good companions for other pets, whom they will often encourage to play. However, they do have a strong prey drive and may chase after animals smaller than them, especially mice. Another potential problem is that their small size can leave them vulnerable to injury when playing with larger dogs, so it will be important to supervise them when playing.

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Things to Know When Owning a Morkie

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Your Morkie will require high-quality dog food that has real meat like chicken or turkey listed as the first ingredient. Follow the portioning recommendations on the package carefully, as it will be easy for such a small dog to put on weight, and limit your treats to no more than 10% of their total daily calories. Talk it over with your vet if you aren’t sure what food to use.

Exercise 🐕

You will want to set aside 30–60 minutes each day to play with your Morkie to keep them healthy and happy. You can break up the time into several sessions, and going for short walks, playing fetch, and even doing indoor interactive games will help them stay more active. Adjust the activity level based on the age and health of your pet.

Training 🦮

Morkies are great fun to train because they are eager to please and will try harder than many other dogs to figure out what you want from them and give it to you. Starting when they are still puppies can help significantly, as can holding short scheduled sessions consistently each day, preferably right after playtime, when they’ve had a chance to burn off extra energy and will find it easier to stay focused.

MorkiePoo dog
Image Credit: SuzyC, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Despite this dog not shedding much, you will need to brush their fur regularly to keep it looking neat and to prevent knots and tangles. A bath every several weeks with a high-quality dog-specific shampoo will also help keep the fur shiny and odor free. You will need to clip their nails when you hear them clicking on the floor; indoor dogs don’t usually wear them down enough, and overgrowth can lead to discomfort and injury. Check their ears regularly for signs of wax buildup or infection, and keep them clean and dry. You will also want to brush their teeth as frequently as possible with a dog-specific toothpaste to help guard against dental disease.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Minor Conditions
  • Tracheal collapse is a condition where the cartilage rings lose their rigidity, or the membrane becomes slack or sags, making it hard for air to reach the lungs.
  • Hypoglycemia in dogs is a condition where there is not enough blood sugar in the body, which can cause your dog to have a lack of appetite and energy. They may also suffer from disorientation and tremors. Medication and IV fluid therapy are common treatments.
Serious Conditions
  • Patellar luxation is a condition that causes the kneecap to slip out of place due to a stretched patellar ligament. It’s common in both parent breeds and leads to weakness in the hind legs, an inability to jump, and a reluctance to run or exercise.
  • Dental disease is a serious issue for dogs all across the United States, with some sources suggesting that more than 80% over the age of 3 have a form of it. Regular dental checkups and manual brushing can help you keep it under control for longer.
  • Another problem facing dogs across the United States is obesity, which some reports say affects more than half of canines. Obesity can lead to many other health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular issues.

Male vs. Female

Since the Morkie is mixed, the parent that they take after more will have a bigger impact on their appearance and temperament than their sex. There’s also no real noticeable difference in size.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Morkie

1. They Have a Color-Changing Coat

Morkies inherit these color-changing coat genes from their Yorkshire Terrier side. Puppies often start with a black and tan coat that lightens and may become more silver, gold, or cream as they age.


2. They’re Technically Hypoallergenic

While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, Morkies don’t shed much, causing most people to consider them a hypoallergenic breed, like both their parents.


3. They Were Developed to Be With People

Unlike many purebred dogs that breeders developed for hunting or sport, the Morkie is meant to be a companion dog.

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Final Thoughts

The Morkie is a wonderful dog, small enough to fit in almost any apartment and friendly enough to get along with nearly anyone. They form strong bonds with family members and are surprisingly protective, which can put them in danger if they are up against a larger dog. However, they usually get along with their fellow household pets and often instigate them into playing games. The Morkie is also an intelligent breed that is easy even for beginners to train, making them a good choice for any home.


Featured Image Credit: JStaley401, Shutterstock

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