Morkie : Maltese x Yorkshire Terrier Mixed Breed Information + Pictures
Although commonly called a Morkie, this breed can be called a Morkshire Terrier, since the Maltese was for a time also called a terrier, even though it was not – wikipedia.org
The Morkie is one of the worlds most loved and desired breeds of small dog. Year on year more and more people are picking these impossibly cute and brave balls of fluff to be a part of their family, and it’s easy to see why.
The intentional breeding of a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier created the worlds first Morkie, and they have been a coveted addition to any household ever since. It’s no coincidence that the Morkie has the qualities that it does. In fact, the Morkie was specifically bred to be the perfect lap dog who loves playtime and adores (and reciprocates) affection.
Today we are going to take a look at the wonderful world of Morkies to discuss what they’re like, what they need, and some useful facts that no Morkie owner can be without.
What’s It Like Owning A Morkie?
It’ll come as no surprise to many people to learn that the Morkie is the perfect family dog. Just by looking at pictures of these adorable little fluff balls you’re able to instantly see their friendly demeanor and loving playfulness.
Morkies are well suited to owners who live in all kinds of environments. Their small size means that they are perfectly at home living the urban life in a condo (that wouldn’t be suitable for larger dogs). However, their adventurous nature also means that they are equally well suited to a country life exploring the great outdoors.
Morkies don’t need that much exercise compared to some larger dogs. Because they’re small they can get rid of most of their energy inside the house. But remember, wherever you are, Morkies love to play. Inside or outside, it doesn’t matter – they just wanna have fun!
Unlike some of the more “stubborn” breeds, the humble Morkie will happily play fetch for as long as they possibly can. Your arm will tire from throwing the ball before the tiny legs on these adorable little munchkins tire (or their attention fades).
Morkies are super energetic little critters, and to fuel this endless life of play they love to eat.
No really, they LOVE to eat.
Honestly, we can’t think of many other dogs that are this size that consume the amount of food a Morkie does. Be prepared to get some strange looks when you’re lining up with huge bags of kibble at the pet store with your little Morkie in tow!
One of the things that surprises many people about owning a Morkie is the speed at which they attach themselves emotionally to their new family. Even experienced dog owners are often astounded by the how quickly these little loveable fuzz balls are ready to attach to their new human family.
You should prepare yourself for affection that is off the charts when you first bring home a Morkie. As we mentioned earlier, they were bred to be the perfect lap dog (and the breeders succeeded). Living life with a Morkie in your household puts you in a world of endless doggy cuddles that is obviously quite addictive. If you ever go out of town you’re going to miss snuggle time with your little fuzz ball of joy more than you could ever imagine.
You have been warned!
Basic Morkie Information
How Easy Is It To Train A Morkie?
Morkies are a reasonably intelligent breed that will be able to understand commands and learn what good behavioral patterns are reasonably quickly. They’ll have no problem comprehending what you’re asking them to do.
But getting them to actually do it is another thing entirely.
Morkies can be notoriously stubborn, especially when they are young puppies. Due to this, they are considered a moderately hard dog to train properly. You either need to have a reasonable amount of patience (or some dog training experience) to have a stress free training period.
However, there are some simple golden rules that you should follow to make training easier and more effective (more on that later).
What Common Health Issues Do Morkies Face?
Like many smaller dogs, Morkies are prone to several health issues that owners need to be vigilantly watching out for. All Morkies are susceptible to the conditions we are about to mention below. But smaller teacup Morkies are much more likely to contract them than their regular sized cousins.
Some of the main issues are:
Collapsing Trachea – This is a harsh cough that will be mainly brought on by exercise and intense activity. Obese Morkies are much more susceptible to this, so it’s important to keep them from overeating and provide them with adequate exercise (which isn’t all that much).
Dental Health – The Morkie has a reasonably weak jaw, even for a dog of this size. Additionally, the teeth and gums of the Morkie are especially prone to issues (It’s the most common problem area). This problem is exacerbated by the seemingly endless appetite of the breed. Regular dental checkups with a vet are considered to be essential for any responsible Morkie owner.
Glaucoma – This health issue is inherited from the Maltese side of the Morkie’s genetic makeup. If not treated fluid can build up around the eyes and potentially lead to painful infections, and in some cases even blindness.
Other issues that you should be aware of are:
- Portosystemic Shunt
- Reverse Sneezing
Despite all these potential issues Morkies can (and do) quite easily live a happy healthy life most of the time. They are not a particularly unhealthy breed in the grand scheme of things (but they are not the healthiest either).
Keeping your Morkie in good shape, giving them exercise, and keeping an eye out for common issues (and treating them early) will go a long way to avoiding issues.
We’ve already mentioned how Morkies are energetic and love to cuddle up to their owners whenever the opportunity arises, so we won’t cover that again. But there is much more to the temperament of the Morkie than just cuddles and playtime.
Morkies are the dog equivalent of a cat thinking it’s a tiger.
To us, they are small little adorable balls of fluff and love, but to the Morkie, they are fearless lions ready to take on any challenge.
For example, if a Morkie is attacked by another dog it will stand its ground and bark and bite its way out of the situation. They are literally fearless fluff balls that are totally oblivious to their impossibly small size. This may seem like an endearing quality, but in the wrong circumstances, it can lead to trouble.
Their small size means that they are an incredibly fragile breed. While they will happily play rough with humans and dogs alike, they can often come out of the encounter injured. Due to this, they should only be left alone with dogs that are of a similar size.
Additionally, this fragile nature means Morkies are not really suitable for families with very young children. Simply hugging and squeezing one of these little guys is enough to cause an injury (that can sometimes be fatal). Even young toddlers possess enough strength to do this – that’s how fragile these dogs are.
Morkies are also excellent watchdogs who will raise the alarm at the slightest sign of disturbance. Morkies are perhaps a little “too good” at this and one of the most common complaints their owners have is that they will bark loudly and repeatedly at the smallest sound or movement.
How Expensive Are Morkies?
Like all dogs, the amount you’ll pay for a Morkie depends on the quality of its breed. Morkies aren’t actually recognized as an official breed that can be classed as a pedigree yet, but breeders are doing their best to fix that. The parents of the Morkie can often be pedigree Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers, if that’s the case you’ll end up paying more.
On average you’ll be able to pay around $800 at a minimum for a Morkie. Some Morkies with pedigree Maltese or Yorkshire Terrier parents can reach up to $1500 and above.
How Long Do Morkies Live?
Morkies have an exceptionally long lifespan compared to other dogs of a similar size. Thanks to the excellent genetic makeup of the Yorkshire Terriers that created the breed, Morkies will live to be around 12-15 years old on average.
6 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Morkie Puppy
Fact 1: Praise, Praise, And Praise Again
As we mentioned earlier, Morkies are a super stubborn breed – especially when they are young and untrained. But with a little patience (and more importantly the right technique) you’ll have a well-behaved dog in no time at all.
The biggest mistake many people make when training their Morkie is that they treat the breed like they would treat any other dog. Traditionally when a dog does something you don’t want it to, a loud shout and a light tap on the nose should convey the message to them loud and clear. They’ll understand your repetitive negative conditioning, and over time, they’ll learn to not do it anymore.
However, Morkies aren’t most dogs.
Their stubborn nature means that when they are chastised they’ll give you the doggy version of the middle finger and resent you for shouting at them.
When training a Morkie you need to focus on positive reinforcement instead of punitive shouting. Whenever they do something you want, give them lots of fuss, lots of love, and most importantly – lots of teats!
This is the ONLY way to train a Morkie properly. By keeping the shouting and chastising to a minimum and focusing on positive rewards instead you’re going to make the training period much quicker, easier, and more enjoyable than you ever thought possible.
Fact 2: Get Ready To Enjoy Combing
The Morkie has one of the most enjoyable, soft, and fluffy coats of any breed. The idea of having an unstoppable ball of fluff running around in our day to day lives (before cuddling on your lap to rest) is what attracts many people to the breed in the first place.
However, the coat of a Morkie requires a certain amount of care and attention to keep it in tip-top condition. You’re going to ideally need to comb their coat once every two days for best results. Most owners will probably comb their Morkie around once a week, which isn’t ideal – but it’s considered “acceptable”.
The good news is that Morkies usually love to be combed. Additionally, they’re small dogs so the entire process from start to finish will only take you a few minutes. Just keep a comb handy and whenever they come and cuddle on your lap (which will be often) give them a quick brush.
Fact 3: Get Grooming
If you’re the kind of owner who is realistically unlikely to stick to the strict combing regimen we mentioned above, then you need to consider trimming your Morkie’s hair. This transforms the look of the dog into something that is less cute and cuddly (but we still love it).
Even if you do comb, you’re still going to have to trim your Morkie from time to time to keep things under control. At a minimum, you should be trimming the hair around the anal cavity and the eyes once every 30 days. This will help avoid infection (at both ends) and keep your doggy happy and healthy.
Fact 4: Morkies Are Social
Morkies absolutely love being around other humans and animals. They are one of the most friendly and social breeds on the planet (which is another thing that attracts so many people to them). However, their social nature also means that they are renowned for suffering from separation anxiety.
If you’re planning on leaving your Morkie at home while you go to work for the day, be prepared to get complaints from the neighbors – because these little guys will howl the house down. Separation anxiety can often be trained out of a Morkie, but it’s hard work.
If you do live a life where you’re going to need to leave your Morkie alone for a decent amount of time most days, then consider getting a second dog to keep them company. This can often reduce separation anxiety (providing the other dog doesn’t make the problem worse).
Just remember to get a dog of a similar size, because as we mentioned earlier – Morkies are fearless yet fragile. Injuries will almost certainly occur if you leave a Morkie and a big dog alone to play together on a regular basis.
Fact 5: Morkies Can Be Anti-Social
The very nature of the Morkie is to be social, it’s part of the breed. However, Morkies have a curious trait. If they are not exposed to social interaction with other dogs when they are young, they become super anti-social.
Morkies who don’t get to play and engage with other dogs while they are puppies will feel anxiety and fear when they reach maturity and interact with other dogs. This can either result in cowering, or aggression.
It’s super important to ensure a Morkie has as much interaction and fun with other dogs as possible from a very young age. The Morkie loves to play and make friends, but unless they are shown that there’s nothing to be scared of early on – they’re going to have a bad time around other dogs.
Fact 6: Morkies Are Fragile
We’ve already mentioned that Morkies are super fragile little dogs. They can easily be broken, scratched, bumped, and hurt in a variety of different ways. Even the most careful Morkie owner will probably have to end up dealing with a small injury from a seemingly harmless accident at some point or another.
However, small issues are not the worst that can happen. Each and every year many Morkies are accidentally killed by their owners. While this is horrific enough in itself, what makes it worse is the fact that the Morkies are often put in the lethal situation due to their inherent loving nature.
Any Morkie owner will be able to tell you that given the chance your Morkie will jump in bed with you to sleep. They just can’t stay away! And while this is adorably cute, it’s also quite dangerous.
Rolling on top of a Morkie during the night is a serious issue that can (and does) claim the life of a dog with alarming ease. Be super careful if you are planning on letting your Morkie share the bed with you. This happens much more often than you may think.
So there you have it, everything you ever wanted to know about the wonderful world of the Morkie.
There’s no other dog on the planet that has the same temperament and demeanor as this adorable little breed. Their impossibly brave attitude combined with their tiny size and cuddly fluffy coat is something that many people simply cannot resist.
Combine this temperament with the never-ending love and affection Morkies provide to their owners from day one, and it’s easy to see why they are rapidly becoming one of the worlds most popular breed of small dogs.