More than one recent study has documented, beyond a doubt, that owning a dog can help:
- reduce stress
- improve your enjoyment of life
- encourage an active lifestyle by promoting more exercise
- improve depression
- lower blood pressure
- and more
But there’s lots more: dogs are even trained to detect oncoming epileptic seizures and diabetic shock.
Getting an epilepsy-predicting dog is a reality
There are special service dogs trained to predict an epileptic seizure. They can alert the person by barking, or send an alarm to a caregiver. These dogs have also been trained to:
- lie next to someone having a seizure to prevent injury.
- put their body between the seizing individual and the floor to break the fall at the start of a seizure.
- fetch medication
(Approximately 65 million people around the world have epilepsy.)
Called Seizure Dogs, they’re a tremendous resource for anyone who lives wondering when the next attack might come. For children especially, a Seizure Dog can protect them from injuries, such as falling, and also give kids the confidence to llive with the daily struggle of epilepsy.
Even more amazing is the fact that many people report that their family dog already predicts and protects people in his family — with no formal training!
Joretta has had epilepsy since she was fourteen and utilizes Atco as her seizure alert dog. She has violent, partial complex seizures at least once or twice a week and needs assistance from a family member at those times. When Joretta had a seizure during her first days of team training, it was Atco’s body laying over her that kept her lying down and safe. Now, when Joretta has a seizure, Atco pushes the ‘life alert’ button which notifies her partner, who works seven miles away. Atco also provides balance and stability when Joretta is feeling weak.
How do dogs do it?
Gregory Holmes, a neurologist at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire, says the dogs could be detecting a change in smell.
“People have autonomic changes, such as increased sweating, which a dog could pick up on.”
According to Douglas Nordli, director of the children’s epilepsy center at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, such external changes could result from a small electrical discharge that occurs in the brain before the full blown electrical seizure. (New Scientist Journal)
The DAD or diabetes alert dog
Other specially trained, medical alert assistance dogs, can alert their owners to an oncoming diabetic episode of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. They seem to smell the change in the person’s breath, as a result of the dangerously low sugar levels in the blood, and alert the owner. The diabetic can take action before he becomes shaky, confused, disoriented – or even passes out.
Rocket the poodle brings a diabetes emergency kit to his owner Annegret Pross in Margetshoechheim, Germany, on March 17, 2015.
The dog’s unique sense of smell
Besides alerting a medical condition, dogs have been used for many years in law enforcement, sniffing out bombs and other explosive devices, missing people, drugs and even the dead. These seeming miracles can be explained because of the dog’s unique sense of smell.
Estimated to be at least 40 times greater than the human sense of smell, dogs have a super STRONG sense, plus the smells remain ‘separate’ for them. So where a person walks into a home and smells stew, a dog smells each and every ingredient, separately.
Where we have about 6 million olfactory receptors in our nose, dogs have 300 million!
So the diabetic-episode-alerting-dog can smell out a volatile chemical compound that diabetics release just before an attack, even though scientists themselves have not yet been able to identify that exact compound!
James Walker, former director of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University, www.pbs.org
Do you understand your Morkie and why he behaves the way he does? Is your Morkie more Yorkshire Terrier or more Maltese? And what are the differences between the two breeds?
Your Morkie’s looks, personality and health are inherited from both parents. And not always in equal proportions. The more you know about the Yorkshire Terrier and the Maltese, the better.
Let’s start with a detailed look at the Yorkshire Terrier.
The big dog in a small body
Yorkies are energetic, bright little dogs with big personalities. In fact, they need plenty of socialization and training to keep that ‘big personality’ on track. They’re affectionate and loyal. Though small, the Yorkshire Terrier is active, loves attention and is protective of his owners. The Yorkie is no passive lapdog.
Originally part of the Terrier family of dogs, Yorkies are a relatively new breed. They were developed in the 1850s in northern England. There, they were bred as working dogs. Their task? Chase rats and other vermin in factories and mines around Yorkshire. Even today, they like to have a job to do.
Although they started as working dogs, they are now in the Toy Dog category along with the Maltese. But they kept a great deal of that lively terrier character.
The Yorkie’s Appearance
Yorkshire Terriers have a long, single coat that’s glossy, fine, straight and silky. This coat takes a lot of care, with daily combing and brushing, although some owners prefer to keep their Yorkies in the short “puppy cut.”
Born pure black, it takes Yorkie puppies almost 3 years to develop their final colour. Adults are black and what’s called “steel blue,” (a blue-gray) with tan on the head, high chest, and legs. Some have more blond on them than others. All are beautiful.
The Yorkie coat is hair, not fur. Most dogs have FUR. Fur is two layered, made up of an outer coat with stiff bristle-like hair plus a soft, downy undercoat. That undercoat sheds periodically, either on a seasonal schedule or all the time. Dogs that shed cause the most allergies because they let loose the fluffy under fur, dust and dander. The relatively few dog breeds with hair, are considered good bets for people with allergies.
Yorkshire Terrier Quick Facts:
Average lifespan – typically 12 to 15 years.
Size 5 to 7 lbs., 5 to 7 inches high at the shoulders.
Temperament Big dog in a small body! Yorkies are affectionate, lively and brave.
Easy to house train? Potty training a Yorkie isn’t alway easy… but with some patience it can be done.
Grooming needs. Yorkies need regular grooming. The full coat is preferred, not the puppy cut. And for show dogs it is a must: hair cannot be cut. Ever. Their long hair is kept out of their eyes with a topknot.
Bark a lot? Well they are terriers, and terriers are barkers. Plus the more spoiled any dog is, the more he barks. The more a dog who needs companionship is left alone, the more he barks.
Exercise needs – at least one daily walk.
Intelligence – above average. In fact Yorkies are in the top third of the doggie intelligence pack – ranking 27th out of the 132 breeds tested. (*Dr. Stanley Coren, an expert on animal intelligence).
Good with children? Although Yorkies are good natured, they’re not ideal for young children. That’s because they’re smaller than they seem and their bones are quite fragile. It’s easy for a small child to get carried away and hurt the Yorkie without meaning to.
Wonderful as they are, no breed is perfect. At a glance, here are some of the more common concerns with Yorkshire Terriers:
- hereditary/genetic health problems that come with any purebred
- barking too much – they’re terriers so barking is bred in their makeup
- can harder to housebreak than many small breeds
- lots of grooming needed if you want to keep that long flowing coat that makes them unique
Plus Yorkies can be needy – they can suffer from separation anxiety more than some other breeds.
Yorkshire Terrier Temperament
The Yorkshire Terrier is high-spirited, confident, feisty, very loyal and affectionate.
Like most terriers, they can be stubborn. The Yorkie truly embodies the small dog who thinks he’s the big dog. Introduce another dog or a new person to the Yorkshire Terrier and you won’t see anything timid or curious about the Yorkie. He’s comes out barking and stands tall in the alpha dog position. He’s ready to protect his master.
Yorkshire Terriers are lively, bold and very smart
Given their working class background chasing rats, it’s no wonder they still need some adventure and the odd bit of trouble!
With a strong personality, the Yorkie is a very independent dog. He will come and go as he pleases, checking out every shadow and every corner of the home. So it’s no surprise the Yorkie isn’t willing to be locked in a room for long hours, and he isn’t willing to be ignored if you’re home.
Yorkies shine with an owner who can gently assert himself and is willing to lavish love and attention on this little monkey!
The word Terrier comes from the French, terre or earth… Terriers were bred to flush prey from the earth. They came in handy as hunting dogs, able to chase foxes, badgers and other small animals from their burrows. The modern Yorkie loves nothing more than playing fetch with a small stuffed toy.
Are you thinking about getting a Morkie, Maltese or Yorkshire Terrier? Before you do, be sure you know the differences and which one is right for you and your family.
In this 110-page ebook, Yorkie, Morkie, Maltese: Small Dogs That Don’t Shed, you’ll learn more about what makes each one special… and unique. Instant download for just $4.99
NEXT: The Maltese Dog
Wait, don’t all dogs shed?
Yes. Technically all dogs shed – because like us, they cast off microscopic bits of skin daily called dander.
But there ARE dogs who don’t shed fur regularly. That’s because they have HAIR, not fur. That fluffy soft undercoat of dogs with fur, sheds and along with it, drops dust, dander and all sorts of allergens throughout the home.
Fur vs Hair
There are two basic kinds of coats on dogs: single coats (hair) and double coats (fur).
Single coated dogs with hair (much like ours) DO lose hair just like we do. Hair will fall off and come out in combing. Not a lot at a time, and there’s no fluffy undercoat that’s continuously shedding. The coat is the same, on the surface and underneath.
Dogs with fur on the other hand, shed their fluffy undercoat seasonally or in some cases, non-stop! You can easily see the difference when you run your hand through the coat.
The length of the dog’s coat has nothing to do with how hypoallergenic he is or not. Even with a long coat, the Yorkie, Maltese and Morkie are all low-allergy pets.
Single coated dogs don’t shed much. Double coated dogs shed a lot. But there are always exceptions! Some double-coat dogs do NOT shed, such as the Miniature Schnauzer. They have a double coat; the exterior fur is wiry and the undercoat is softer, but doesn’t really drop off.
And of course… there are some single coat dogs, such as the Afghan Hound, who do in fact, shed.
It’s not about the hair or fur…
When all is said and done, dogs with a fluffy undercoat and coarse guard hairs (fur not hair) tend to shed a lot of hair, dander, dust and anything else that clings to their coats. And it’s not so much the hair/fur that’s the problem, it’s the dog DANDER.
It’s all about the dander, saliva and even urine. That’s what most people are allergic to and what can trigger an asthma attack.
Yorkies hardly shed at all and they have less “dander” — the stuff that makes us sneeze, than most dogs. Hair comes out mostly only when they are combed. Maltese are the same. Morkies, like their Yorkie and Maltese foundation breeds, are single-coated, non shedding dogs. So they can be tolerated little better by people who suffer from allergies.
Although technically there is no such thing as a non- or truly hypo-allergenic animal, since all shed some dander, the Morkie comes very close.
More popular small dog breeds that don’t shed
These are very popular small dogs, and all have single coats instead of double coats of fur. So their shedding is absolutely minimal. And because they’re so small, what they do shed, is hardly noticeable.
- Bichon Frise
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire Terrier
Exotic small dog breeds that don’t shed
The African Hairless is a rare breed.
Some other small dogs that don’t shed include hairless varieties including the Chinese Crested; American Hairless, African Hairless and the Xoloitzcuintli from Mexico.
Other low-shedding dogs you don’t see a lot of are:
- Brussels Griffon
- Coton de Tulear
- Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Looking for a non-shedding pet? The Morkie, Yorkie and Maltese are all great choices. They are small and clean, and have hair not fur. Even when their coats are kept long, most people with allergies and asthma can easily tolerate them.
Wondering which dog to get – Yorkie, Morkie or Maltese?
In my ebook, Yorkie, Morkie or Maltese? Pick the perfect pet, you can read all about the 3 breeds, and decide if one is right for you and your family.
This is a 110-page e-book you’ll learn all about each dog — the Yorkshire Terrier, the Maltese dog and the Morkie — and how their behavior, qualities and concerns affect you the owner. Read more here on our ebooks page.
And why it matters
If you’re thinking about getting a Morkie, that combo of Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese dog, it’s good to understand the basic differences between these breeds.
First, if the Morkie is first generation cross – that is, his mother was a Yorkie and father a Maltese, or vice versa, then it’s hard to say which breed will dominate. It’s not as simple as a 50/50 blend. Over time, conscientious breeders will choose the best Morkies to breed with one another, to produce the desired qualities in a dog.
The problem is, there aren’t that many Morkies to breed to one another, so the gene pool is pretty shallow, as they say. That means that some of the less-than-perfect genetics get passed along and in fact multiplied. That’s happening to Giant Pandas who are now bred in captivity. The result for Pandas is low birth rate, infant mortality and infertility.
But back to Morkies…. to understand them, it’s key to realize that their parent breeds hugely impact what they will be like.
Similar but different
While Yorkies and Maltese dogs have lots in common, they do come from very different origins.
A Maltese puppy having a run.
The Maltese is one of the very few ancient breeds. It can be traced back to about 500 B.C. and was a very popular pet for the elite of the Roman Empire. Aristotle himself was intrigued by them, although he DID compare Maltese to a type of weasel! (370 B.C.)
Over the years, the Maltese has been continually bred to be an affectionate. beautiful and loyal laptop companion. It has been downsized by cross breeding to poodles and miniature spaniels. The pure white coat is a result of very selective breeding primarily in the 17th century to eliminate any other colours.
The Yorkshire Terrier on the other hand, is a very “new” breed. It was developed in the 1800s in England by factory workers, to help them catch rats. If you know any Yorkies, you know they are very determined little creatures, and will play “fetch and shake” with their little toys all day long.
Yorkies are the result of breeding a number of different terriers together to get the qualities the original working-class owners needed in a helpmate.
Then British aristocratic ladies discovered them, and Yorkies were selectively bred to be even smaller and more affectionate. (By the way, they were downsized sometimes with Maltese dogs!) Their pet status was certainly cemented by the time the Yorkshire Terrier was introduced to Kennel Clubs in England and America in the 1880s and 1890s.
What’s bred in the bone
Those early origins of the breeds that make the Morkie are important. One is a companion animal through and through, bred to be a loving and glamorous pet. The other comes from a working class background, scrabbling to pay his way as a rat-catcher.
What your Morkie will become, or which way he’ll lean, isn’t really known and is certainly part of the fun of a mixed breed!
Yorkie, Morkie, Maltese – three of the cutest toy dogs around
Which small dog is right for you?
If you’re thinking of getting a toy dog, you’ve probably considered one of the most popular breeds – the Yorkshire Terrier. Yorkies are smart, spunky and affectionate.
Yorkies are a relatively “new” breed – they were developed in northern England during the Industrial Revolution (the 1860s) to chase rats and other vermin from factories and mines.
Maltese dogs on the other hand, are also very affectionate and playful but since they’re not terriers, they’re a little less high-spirited.
They are one of the most ancient breeds – dating back centuries. Pictures of Maltese have been found on ancient Greek urns going back to around 500 B.C.!
Both breeds feature long, glamorous coats and both are hypoallergenic meaning they have HAIR not FUR, so they don’t shed. They don’t have an undercoat that sheds fluffy light fur and they have much less dander, the dandruff-life substance that is the real source of allergies.
Morkies – the Yorkie + Maltese
If you can’t decide which dog breed you prefer, you could always look at a Morkie – Morkies are the cross-breed of a purebred Yorkshire Terrier and a purebred Maltese dog. They can come in a wide variety of colours, from beige, to nearly white to nearly black, reflecting the Maltese dog’s pure white coat and the Yorkie’s black-and-tan coat.
The Morkie’s behaviour and personality is also a combination of both breeds, but in what proportion is random. So your Morkie could be much more aggressive and terrier-like like the Yorkshire Terrier or much more calm and placid like the Maltese.
Before you make up your mind, you might want to read the downloadable e-book Yorkie, Morkie or Maltese? Your Playbook to Picking the Perfect Pet.
For just $7.00 you can download this book immediately in PDF format, and read it on your computer or reader device like a Kindle or Kobe. You can also print it if you like. With the clickable table of contents, you can go right to the section you want to read about.
Yorkie, Morkie or Maltese? Your Playbook to Picking the Perfect Pet features:
- a full comparison of both breeds and their cross-breed, the Morkie
- their characteristics
- health problems that are common to both breeds
- plenty of pictures and tables
- information on the best places to find your perfect pup
To read more about this e-book, click here.