yorkshire terriers in park settingDo 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

Bella-the-YorkieYorkies 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.

baby tinker on pink blanketYorkshire 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).

YORKIE very cute tilted headGood 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

Yorkshire-Terrier_running to cameraGiven 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!

Terrier Trivia

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.

Read more

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 ebookYorkie, 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