Your new puppy

Getting ready for puppy!
Getting a puppy?

Then you’ve got lots to do – shopping, puppy proofing,  getting a dog license, finding a Vet….phew!

Here’s some help:

  • a downloadable shopping list for new dog owners – grab it here
  • read about puppy proofing below
  • some gear you might need for your Morkie
Puppy proofing
Morkies are inquisitive and curious so be sure your home is safe, and keep your little Morkie pal healthy and happy!

Step 1: See things from your Morkie’s perspective
To really see what’s getting your Morkie’s attention, take a look from his perspective. Literally! Get down on the ground and take a visual inventory of what might be interesting to a Morkie. Anything small, shiny or interesting-looking can pose a threat.

Step 2: Secure all cupboards
Don’t let your Morkie find your meds or cleaning supplies.

Step 3: Remove all Toxic Plants
You’ll be amazed at how many house plants can kill a pet!

Step 4: Secure electric cords & block stairs

Step 5: Remove everyday “chewables” from your Morkie’s reach. All puppies love chewing on shoes and socks, especially Morkie puppies!

It’s not only annoying for you but it’s potentially very dangerous to your Morkie. A swallowed shoelace or piece of leather could get wrapped around the intestines causing serious injury or death.




The first day home

At last! You’ve made all the preparations, and it’s finally time to bring your new friend home. Give him the best welcome possible. With love, patience and gentle guidance, he will feel like part of the family in no time.

Start off on the right foot (paw) with your Morkie, with these tips.

Day one
When you bring your new Morkie home, leash-walk him around outside your home so that he can take in the smells of the turf and relieve himself.

Pick a special place and encourage him to potty there. Be patient; it may take 10 or 15 minutes. Always praise warmly when he relieves himself in an approved spot.

Next, enter the house and show him around the one room where he’ll start off spending most of his time. (No need for him to tour the entire house on the first day.)

Day Two
Time for your new Morkie to meet his housemates: other dogs or cats.

Introduce the newcomer to one pet at a time.

Be sure all animals are healthy, have current vaccinations and have been tested and treated for parasites like worms and fleas.

All pets meeting for the first time, should be leashed.

Make the meeting fun with a walk, and some treats as a reward for good behavior.

Take the introductions slow, and make sure all animals are calm. Give the resident dog or cat lots of extra attention, assuring him that everything’s OK (but don’t let him bully the new Morkie). If the other animal is not OK, introduce them later.

Watch for warning signs such as fur raised on the back, or a curled lip. If one dog reacts aggressively, don’t punish the aggressor; remove him to a neutral place and ignore him. Try again later in the day.

As the first week progresses

Introduce your new Morkie to other people who come and go in your home – friends, neighbours, etc. Show him the rest of your home.

Explain to the visitor that your Morkie may want to sniff him before he’s comfortable being patted.

Ask your guest to stay calm and quiet when meeting your Morkie (no matter how adorable your pup is!) and to avoid anything exurberant like rough housing or tug of war.

Read cues from your dog: how comfortable does she appear? Many dogs love new people, while others feel overwhelmed. Expect your new dog to engage in behaviors you’ll need to correct, such as growling or jumping on people. Allowing a small dog to jump on people is a common mistake, so avoid frustration later, by teaching him the off command from the start.

Do take it slow. Your new dog, puppy or adult, will make mistakes. Some days you’ll wonder why on earth you decided to get a dog… but be patient, this will pass and soon you’ll have a great little dog who’s a faithful and loving companion.

Feeding your puppy
Talk to your breeder about what food your Morkie has had so far. If you decide to switch foods, do it very gradually so the puppy doesn’t get an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Now’s the time to start good eating habits.

1. Avoid snacks and treats that are people food. And be very careful buying commercial snacks; they’re often recalled for suspected salmonella and other bacteria. Ugh!

2. Be sure your puppy has plenty of fresh water at all times. You an choose to give him his food on a schedule, or leave it out for ‘on demand’ feeding. Talk this over withe the breeder, and with your Vet.

3. Don’t start feeding your Morkie at the table. Begging is cute at first. But it gets old fast, and by then your Morkie is in the habit.

4. Study up on all the people foods that can make your Morkie seriously ill. You can find a printable list here.

Picking a Veterinarian

High-quality Veterinary care sets the foundation for your dog’s overall health.

Find a veterinarian you can trust and visit regularly. Keep these tips in mind during your search:

♦  Be honest with the veterinary staff — tell them why you are searching for a vet, and specifically what you are looking for.

♦  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

♦  Work with your Veterinarian — ask about routine care and questions about diseases or procedures that you are unsure about.

At the same time, think carefully about vaccinating your Morkie, and make an educated decision about which vaccinations will be given, how often.

Don’t wait until you really need a Vet

Arrange to meet the Vet on your own

Make an appointment for your Morkie

Some questions you might ask

♦  What is available for 24-hour emergency care? (Note the number now)

♦  In an emergency overnight situation, will someone be at the clinic non-stop?

♦  Ask if the office accepts insurance plans if you have one, or credit cards or payment plans if you don’t.\

♦  Does the doctor refer very difficult cases to colleagues who may have more experience in that area?

♦  Is the clinic is equipped to handle x-rays, blood work and other diagnostics? (to potentially save you time, hassle and money).

♦  Do they offer discounts for multiple pets from the same household? For senior owners?

Feeding your Morkie

What do dogs need?
MEAT! Directly related to the wolf, dogs need meat. But they’re also “opportunistic” eaters – they’ll eat anything, so can thrive on other foods as well, including veggies and some carbs.

But their teeth clearly prove that they’re meant to rip and tear flesh.

The ideal food should be heavy on animal protein and good quality animal fats. Quality dog food should be lower in carbs like grain, corn and rice. Obviously a good food shouldn’t contain artificial preservatives, colouring or mysterious chemicals.

3 worst ingredients in commerical food
1. Meat by-products near the top of the ingredient list – If it’s called just ‘meat,’ then animal parts used can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination.

In fact, any kind of animal can be included in meat and meat by-products: including the infamous “4-D animals” (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, and even roadkill and animals euthanized at shelters! These “4-D” animals were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food.

Look for named meat such as beef or chicken. Avoid anything named ‘by-products’ ‘meal’ or ‘digest.’

2. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT ) and Ethoxyquin (an EPA-regulated pesticide)  These are highly carcinogenic additives that are used to preserve dog food for longer shelf life. Besides cancers, these chemicals have been linked to thyroid, kidney, reproductive and immune related illnesses.

3. Corn – no redeemable nutritious value in any dog food listing this as their first ingredient. Corn is a useless filler that is a known cause of allergies and is difficult for dogs to digest. Small dogs don’t  need to fill up on corn.


More garbage: avoid food with this stuff
Once scraps, trimmings and meat from sources youdon’t even wnawt to know about is highly processed, it gets a different name and might sound ok.

It’s not.

Avoid any commercial foods that contains:

⊗  meat by-products 

⊗  “meat” as opposed to a named protein such as chicken, beef or lamb

⊗  meat meal, or any ‘named meat’ meal like beef meal

⊗  ‘animal fat’ as opposed to a named animal fat like chicken fat

⊗  anything that’s RENDERED

⊗  beef tallow, propylene glycol, sorbitol, corn gluten, wheat gluten, sugar, cane molasses, corn syrup, sucrose, fructose or ANIMAL DIGEST


Dog food labels and other fiction
Pet food labels and/or television commercials lead petsumers to believe the pet food is made from fresh meat and fresh vegetables. Yummy!

Some products show images of grilled meats on the label –however, not one pet food is made from grilled meat. Some include pictures of prime cuts of steak or include a specialty meat in the product name.

It means nothing at all. Manufacturers are not held to any truth when it comes to marketing their food. These terms have no legal definition when it comes to pet food:

♦  premium

♦  natural

♦  organic (must say “certified organic”)

♦  fresh

♦  delicious

♦  meaty 

A pet food label can show you fresh food, when the truth is far from it:




Rethink these popular foods
Well known foods you might want to reconsider, based not these ingredients:Well known foods you might want to reconsider, based not these ingredients:

1. Alpo – chicken by-products and poultry by-product meal. Corn is the #1 ingredient. 

2. Beneful – Corn as the #1 ingredient, use of chicken by-product meal and  animal digest 

3. Eukanuba – Use of Chicken By-product Meal, Fish Meal, Dried Egg Product & Fish Oil

4. IAMS – Use of Chicken By-product Meal, Fish Meal, Dried Egg Product & Fish Oil

For some excellent commentary on commercial foods – and assessments by brand name – please visit the Dog Food Advisor –



Coming soon! A book that cuts the bullsh*t
I’ve been working hard researching and writing a look at commerical dog food from a pet lover’s point of view. 

I’m not a Vet, a scientist, or a [rich] Big Pharma sales rep… I’m just like you and I want to know what’s in  the dog food theye’re selling us.

This is the result – coming soon!





When to start potty training
Start training your Morkie the day you bring him home.

Talk to the breeder for tips and advice, and then jump right in.

The rate at which the puppy succeeds is determined by the amount of consistent training that you, as the owner, give him.

Everyone’s excited about the new puppy,… until those “little accidents” around the home get really frustrating!!

Potty training your small dog is a real test of your patience, but it is also one of the first opportunities that you and your Morkie puppy will have to bond.

Dog house training is a lot of hard work, but it is necessary. In fact, it’s job one.

Just keep in mind, when it comes to house training, every dog succeeds at a different rate. Morkies – being among the smartest and yes, most mischievous, can be especially challenging. But with some patience and sense of humour on your part, you WILL survive Morkie puppy training!

Potty training tips

Three shortcuts to easier housetraining

First, be consistent in letting your Morkie know where you want him to go

  • do you want her to go on papers, puppy pads or in a litter pan – or outdoors?
  • you can’t mix methods or switch from one to the other
  • use the same phrase every time, whether it’s “go potty,” “do your business” or whatever you choose – many dogs can be trained to go on command, just by using this simple phrase!

Second, be consistent with feeding times.

  • because they’re so small, most dogs like Morkies, Yorkies or Maltese, should be fed three times a day to avoid low blood sugar shock, or hypoglycemia
  • usually, they will need to eliminate within 10 to 20 minutes of eating, as well as upon rising and before bed time and
    in between as needed
  • if you see your dog looking around and sniffing, be sure to take him out or to his papers right away
  • Use your action phrase often!

Third, be lavish in your praise, and avoid all old school, cruel training like whacking the dog with a newspaper.

  • never, ever rub your dog’s nose in a “mistake,”
  • never use her name in a “no” statement like “No, no! Bad Bella. Bad dog.”
  • just a firm, “no no no” will do
  • trainers tell us that this old style of training is really bad, since the dog probably doesn’t even know why you’re mad
  • swatting your dog with a rolled up paper is definitely not the way to do it
  • all these negatives will leave your pup confused and upset
  • instead, focus on all the times your dog does well, and give her lots of praise, using her name then and keeping your tone positive
When to take your Morkie to "his spot"


1.  When your Morkie wakes up, even from a short nap, take him to the potty place.

2.  Feed your Morkie on a regular schedule which will eventually be three to four times a day. After he eats or drinks anything, take him to the potty place.

3.  After your Morkie plays or exercises, take him to the potty place.

4.  Withhold water for two to three hours before your Morkie goes to bed.

5.  Just before bedtime, take him to the potty place.

THE #1 Secret
Your Morkie will be very confused and accidents will happen if you train him to go outdoors AND also indoors on papers or training pads…. that’s the reason to choose one method only and then stay with it.

Going outside – “house training” means your Morkie can never go indoors, even on puppy training pads or “pee pads” as we call them in our household.

Pick one and stay with it.

Changing house training methods will confuse your Morkie and will ultimately lead to accidents.


Basic dog obedience training
Once your Morkie is on his way to being potty trained, obedience training is next… this is training the dog to obey certain commands such as sit, stay, come and teaching them to heel.

Not only does it make dog ownership more enjoyable, but obedience training can literally save your dog’s life in key situations – think of your Morkie slipping out the door and running into traffic…. if he responds to stop, sit or stay, he’s safe.

Why train my Morkie?

The #1 cause of death for dogs in Canada and the U.S. today is euthanasia. Yup, putting your dog down because you cannot deal with his behavior problems, aggression or destructive patterns.

So, training is not only important – it’s life and death for many dogs.

Training for young puppies should include house training, fear and aggressiveness control, chew training, and basic commands like sit, come, stay, and familiarizing her with leash and collar.

Begin with simple training and adopt a soft and gentle approach when your dog is young. She is going to lose attention and get frightened if you adopt a harsh training regime.

At young age, your dog’s attention span is low. Do not bore her with lengthy and serious training sessions.

Lengthy and harsh training sessions will make your dog averse to learning.

The goal: at least 15-30 minutes of training every day.

You can get there with small 3-5 minute sessions spread all through the day. Spread it out and try to incorporate training in whatever she does.

Make training fun, not boring for your Morkie.

What to teach your puppy to get started:

  • The Big Three: Sit, Stay, Come
  • Three more: Down, Off and walking on a leash

Should you microchip your Morkie?

Millions of dogs get lost each year. Tragically, few are reunited with their owners. Many lost dogs end up in shelters, where they are adopted out to new homes or euthanized.

That’s why your dog needs identification at all times. Collars and tags are essential, but they can fall off or get damaged. A microchip is permanent identification.

How it works

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It is a tiny computer chip housed in a type of glass made to be compatible with living tissue.

A Vet implants the chip between the dog’s shoulder blades with a special syringe. There’s little to no pain – most dogs don’t feel it. Microchips can be detected with a handheld scanner that displays the chip’s unique code.

Did you know? All dogs must be microchipped in the U.K. If they’re not, the owner can be fined approximately $750.



Things you should know about microchips

  • they are designed to last for the life of a dog
  • no need to charge or replace a battery
  • a microchipped dog can be easily identified by anyone with a special scanner

No single method of identification is perfect. Keep up-to-date ID on your dog at all times, consider microchipping as a backup, and never let your dog roam free.

Do microchips cause cancer? Apparently not.

Studies conducted in the 1990s suggesting microchips may cause cancer have recently resurfaced. One was published recently by the Associated Press.  The story gained some momentum and was picked up by the New York Times, ABC News and other major media.

But, there has been no evidence connecting microchips and cancer in cats or dogs in the last 10 years.

A leader in advanced Veterinary Care, Dr. Walt Ingwersen, commented:

“This is extremely rare, although there appears to be a higher incidence in certain families or lines of animals indicating a genetic predisposition. This predisposition does not simply apply to microchips but to ALL products/items that end up in a subcutaneous location, including vaccines, foreign bodies, etc.”


Five Reasons to get a Dog License


It’s the law – a local license is mandatory virtually everywhere.


Fees from licenses (usually between $10 and $20 for the year) support local shelters.


It proves your dog has up-to-date rabies shots (be sure and bring your rabies certificate when you apply for a license).


It could help your Morkie get back home if he gets lost.


It’s cheaper than the fine you can get for NOT having a license (often $200 to $300).