The Yorkshire Terrier of show class

Morkies can look like any combination of the Yorkie — black haired, pointed ears – or the Maltese – pure white, floppy ears.

So what’s a Morkie?  A Morkie is the result of breeding a purebred Yorkshire Terrier and a purebred Maltese dog.  Sometimes, these Morkies are bred with one another.

A Morkie’s looks, personality and health are inherited from both breeds, and not always in equal proportions.  The more you know about both Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers, the easier it will be for you to decide if a Morkie is right for you.

Or if you already have a Morkie, the easier it will be to understand your pup’s behaviour and characteristics.

Size:  Like their parents, anywhere from about 4 or 5 pounds to 8 to 12 pounds and stand from 6″ high at the shoulder up to 11″ or 12” high.  Morkies have a compact body, and the traditional canine head: rounded dome and mid-length muzzle.

the many faces of morkie

Meet the Yorkshire Terrier


The Yorkie is a perky little dog, originally bred as a terrier to chase down rats and other vermin in factories in England during the 1880s.

Yorkies are active, bright little dogs with very big personalities.  In fact, they need plenty of socialization and training to keep that ‘big personality’ on track. They’re very affectionate and loyal.

Though small, the Yorkshire Terrier is active, loves attention and is protective of his owners.  The Yorkie is no lapdog!

Originally part of the Terrier family of dogs, Yorkies were bred in the 1850s in northern England, where they were first used as working dogs to chase rats and other vermin in factories around Yorkshire.  Even today, they like to have a job to do, and like most terriers, Yorkies can be stubborn and aggressive.

Today Yorkies are classified in the Toy Dogs category along with the Maltese.  However they retain their original terrier character.

The Yorkie Coat

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 almost pure black, it takes Yorkie puppies about 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.

The Yorkshire Terrier is high-spirited, confident, feisty and very loyal and affectionate. However, Yorkshire Terriers can be very “assertive” and noisy.

What’s the downside with Yorkshire Terriers?

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 after all!
  • can harder to housebreak than many small breed
  • lots of grooming needed
  • Yorkies can be very needy – they suffer from separation anxiety more than some other breeds

Meet the Maltese


Often called a Maltese terrier by mistake, the Maltese is part of the TOY family, not terriers. It’s an ancient breed, treasured for centuries as a lap dog.

Like the Yorkie, the Maltese features a beautiful, flowing coat – but in pure white… no other colours are allowed in a purebred Maltese although they were originally bred in different colours, hundreds and even thousands of years ago.

That hair must be perfectly straight, and the longer the better. In a show dog, the hair hangs to the ground.  Like the Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese do not have an undercoat. Black lips, dark brown eyes and a black nose complete the little Maltese – which shouldn’t exceed 7 pounds.

Maltese have a slightly rounded skull, with a finger-wide dome, and a black button nose and eyes. The body is compact and fine-boned but sturdy; it’s slightly longer than it is tall with a level top line. The Maltese chest is deep.

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