More about the Morkie – do Morkies shed?

More about the Morkie – do Morkies shed?

Do Morkies shed? No… and yes.  ALL creatures shed to some degree, but when it comes to low shedding dogs, Morkies are among the lowest of the low 🙂

 

lowest of the low... shedders

 

 When it comes to shedding, that is.

If we’re comparing dogs, then the Morkie is right up there, with dogs who are the MOST hypoallergenic, and the MOST allergy free.

They may not be perfectly so, but Morkies are every bit as hypoallergenic and allergy-free as any dog, be it Poodle, Schnauzer or Shih Tzu.

That’s because all those breeds have hair, not fur. So there’s no undercoat that’s light, fluffy and always shedding. Shed fur carries with it dander from the skin, along with dust and micro debris. This is a big problem if you have allergies.

Do Morkies shed?

Dogs with hair instead of fur, lose that hair just like we do, one strand at a time.

The American Kennel Club says this about hypoallergenic dogs:

While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, there are a variety of breeds that do well with allergy sufferers. These dogs have a predictable, non-shedding coat which produces less dander. Dander, which is attached to pet hair, is what causes most pet allergies in humans.

They’re quoting from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Instead of a double layer of fur like most dogs, Morkies have a single layer or coat that is hair, like humans. Each hair grows from a follicle, which eventually dies and the hair drops off.

Most breeds have double coats, including the Collie, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Lab, and most terriers. Double coated dogs actually have three types of hair – whiskers, guard hair, and undercoat. The soft, fluffy undercoat sheds continually or at certain times of the year, in significant amounts.

Maltese, Yorkies and therefore Morkies have hair, not fur so don’t shed like most dogs.

Besides being hypoallergenic or not, there are some other differences between hair and fur on a dog.

FUR provides warmth and cooling insulation during hot weather. HAIR is simply decorative.

FUR protects dogs better from insect bites, sun and scrapes, and bumps. HAIR doesn’t offer that kind of protection.

What does it mean to be allergic to dogs?

Pet allergies typically appear as coughing and wheezing, red, itchy eyes and a runny, stuffed nose, or you could suffer from raised, red patches of skin (hives), Eczema, or Itchy skin.

When it comes to allergies, keep in mind:

  • Two dogs of the same breed can each give off very different levels of allergen.
  • Dander – flakes of skin – is a harmless substance, but it is the #1 cause of allergic reactions for people allergic to dogs
  • Dogs’ coats carry lots of other allergens, including pollen and outside dust

Dealing with Allergies

People handle allergies to dogs in different ways: 

  • completely avoid them – pretty tough, since more than 50% of homes in Canada, the U.S.A, and Great Britain have one or more dogs
  • clean fanatically, and use a HEPA filter on your vacuum to catch the extra small allergens
  • use air filters throughout your living space
  • keep the dog out of your bedroom
  • speak to your doctor about using antihistamines and decongestants to relieve allergy symptoms. Some people find that allergy shots are a good option, but they take years for a full course of treatment

Regular brushing can be beneficial, but experts say bathing then dog more often doesn’t usually help.

 

Another irritant for allergy sufferers: dog saliva 

Some people are allergic to the saliva or urine of a dog (or other animals) so the coat has no bearing at all on their suffering. Even the American Hairless Terrier wouldn’t work for them.

You can read more about these energetic, alert little dogs at the AKC site here.

The American Hairless Terrier

Dog hair and dander are the triggers for nearly all pet allergies…. or are they?

Pet allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins found in an animal’s skin cells, saliva or urine. But how much is caused by shedding fur?

Dueling experts: conflicting opinions about dog allergies

The renowned Mayo Clinic says that most often, pet allergy is triggered by exposure to the dead flakes of skin (dander) a pet sheds along with fur.

But the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (phew) says that the main source of dogs allergen is saliva. So-called hypoallergenic cats and dogs may shed less fur than shedding types, but no breed is truly hypoallergenic.

I’d agree with the Mayo Clinic, since pet dander, being airborne, can remain in the environment longer and be recirculated by the slightest movement of air. It’s so small it easily collects in furniture and can stick to your clothes.

 

morkie with funny messy hair

Want to read more about Morkies?

Check out this site from Great Britain: Barking Royalty.  

They have a special section on Morkies… which they adorably call MORKSHIRE TERRIERS.  Enjoy!

Morkshire terriers

 

 

The Morkie Temperament: What to expect

The Morkie Temperament: What to expect

Morkies are the popular offspring of a purebred Yorkshire Terrier and a purebred Maltese dog. Both these parents are tiny, non-shedding dogs that stay small. But temperament-wise, Yorkies and Maltese are quite different. So what can you expect in a Morkie?

Most of us assume a mix of Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese dog results in the best of both breeds — a loyal companion who’s smart as a Yorkie, and as loving as a Maltese.  The Maltese can soften the Yorkie’s more aggressive side. Meanwhile, the Yorkie can add more brainpower to the Maltese side. 

But what if the mix results in the worst of both breeds? It CAN happen. The Morkie could be aggressive like a Yorkie and hard to housetrain like a Maltese. That’s why it’s so important you’re OK with the pros and cons of each breed.

 

The Yorkie

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 or they can become too assertive and even bossy.

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

The Maltese

Like the Yorkie, the Maltese features a beautiful, flowing coat – but pure white, no other colors are allowed in a purebred Maltese.

Bred thousands of years ago, Maltese dogs were developed to be pampered lapdogs, and they take that job seriously. They are among the most gentle of all dogs and are sweet natured and affectionate. Maltese are the ideal companion – loyal, vigorous and devoted.

a morkie is half and half yorkie and maltese

How smart are Morkies?

Dr. Stanley Coren is a noted animal behaviorist who has ranked intelligence in dogs on 3 different scales:

  • instinctive intelligence: what a dog was bred for. The Yorkie as bred to chase and kill vermin in Victorian England. The Maltese was bred as a prized lapdog of royalty.
  • adaptive intelligence: what a dog can learn to do for himself. Examples include remembering where treats are kept or how to undo a latch.
  • working and obedience intelligence: what a dog can learn in formal training.

Dr. Coren has tested and ranked all 132 recognized breeds; the Yorkie is #27 which is above average; the Maltese is #59 of 132, or just below average. 

Where would the Morkie rank? Of course somewhere between #27 and #59.

Watch out for Small Dog Syndrome in your Morkie

Whether your Morkie is more Yorkie or more Maltese in temperament, there’s one more factor that can influence behavior, and that’s small dog syndrome.

Not to be confused with Canine Anxiety Disorder, small dog syndrome is a learned behavior. Small dog syndrome, or the tendency for tiny dogs to be yappy, untrained, snappy and generally obnoxious, is not something that is natural or common to small breeds by nature. It’s learned behavior that is brought about by the way we owners treat our toy dogs.

As humans, we are programmed by Mother Nature to coddle and take special care of creatures we perceive as ‘babies.’ No surprise, it’s a biological response, and it’s how our race has survived.

The problem is, toy dogs, with their big eyes and tiny size, bring out that same “babying” tendency in us, even when they are adult dogs. So we keep over-compensating for their small size (carrying them everywhere!) and overlooking bad behavior that we would never tolerate in a medium or large size dog.

The good news is, with some understanding of the roots of the problem and active steps to counteract it, you’ll have a happier, healthier and more centered small dog soon.

The #1 Cause of Small Dog Syndrome

If your toy dog is a pain in the neck, he’s probably suffering from small dog syndrome and the problem originates with — YOU!

What small dog syndrome is NOT

  • it’s not a high-spirited, outgoing dog.
  • it’s not a happy, sociable dog.
  • it’s not a high-personality dog.

How to conquer small dog syndrome?

Remember, your Morkie is:

  • first an animal.
  • then a dog.
  • then the breed – a Morkie.
  • then, and only then, your pet named “X.”

Once you understand your role in treating your Morkie like a little person, not a dog, then you can start taking steps to combat the problem including:

  • stop carrying your little dog all over – do you see a 15-year-old human child in a stroller?
  • don’t let your little dog jump up on you – would it be OK if your dog were a Rottweiler?
  • let your dog know with a sharp verbal correction, incessant barking and yapping are not acceptable. Or withdraw your attention to make your point.
  • don’t let your small dog sit on you to “claim you.” As the owner, you set the time for snuggles.
  • ensure your little dog has his own bed and designated quiet area; a corner or an open door crate works well.
  • don’t encourage hysterical behavior by comforting your dog; just ignore it.

20 Things Your Dog Hates

20 Things Your Dog Hates

You really love your little Morkie so you might be surprised to learn there are a bunch of things we people do that dogs HATE. Are you guilty of any of these?

20 Things Your Dog Hates

1. Hugging – to your dog, you are asserting your dominance. A dog may feel threatened or fearful or just hate the feeling.

2. Patting his head – your dogs will put up with it, but experts say it’s better to gently pet a dog’s back or under the chin.

3. Patting his face – if he pulls back or leans away, he definitely doesn’t like it.

4. Lack of structure, rules, and routine.

5. Constant changes to routine.

Dogs love routine and count on everyday life being the same.

6. Keeping the leash too tight on walks. With a sense of smell thousands and thousands of times better than ours, they want to SNIFF!

7. When you’re tense, dogs know it and tense up themselves. Take a deep breath.

8. Teasing – stupid stuff like pulling a dog’s tail Not funny to the dog and you might get bitten. Teasing makes him shy, insecure or aggressive.

9. Staring CAN be perceived by your dog as a challenge. Look into his eyes for just a few seconds then break off. Staring can be very disturbing to a dog.

10. Yelling = angry barking to him. Cool it.

STOP STARING AT ME!!!

11. Being left alone all the time. Dogs are highly social animals and depend on us for the basics, as well as love and affection.

12. Being in the house 24/7.

Dogs like to get outside to explore.

13. Waking him up suddenly. Yes, dogs dream too and they don’t like the abrupt switch back to reality.

14. Forcing him to play with other dogs.

15. Fireworks, lightning, and thunder.

16. Picking up upside down, or suddenly scooping up from the ground.

17. Putting on an alpha dog act – leaning over a puppy, for example, can frighten him.

What dog DOESN'T hate the vacuum?

18. Expecting him to understand words instead of using your body language.

19. Bugging your dog for kisses when he hasn’t offered first. He will think that again, you’re trying to make him submit. Try belly rubs instead.

20. The vacuum – a dog fears the vacuum’s vibrations; to him a vacuum signals danger is near.
er a puppy, for example, can frighten him.

Enjoy this wonderful graphic by talented Lili Chin.

Lili Chin drawing

 

Why does my dog lick me so much

Why does my dog lick me so much

Let’s face it, dogs can do a lot of weird stuff. Like following us into the bathroom, staring intently at us for no apparent reason, and sleeping on top of us in the night. But one question comes up over and over: why does my dog lick me so much?

Dog experts say there could be a number of reasons dogs lick so much

Sure, one reason dogs lick us so much is simple affection. It’s what dogs do. Short bursts of lots of licks usually mean love. That’s the most common reason for face licks. (More about love licks on this post.)

Heart symbol

But other reasons for a lot of licking can include:

  • obsessive or compulsive behavior
  • it could be stress or anxiety
  • because we taste good (sweaty and salty)
  • he’s grooming you
  • or he’s letting you know that he’s trying to avoid conflict.

OK, so why DOES my Morkie lick me so much if it's not love?

Compulsive licking

Licking a lot can be a sign that there’s something else going on with your dog. Something has caused a compulsion or even obsessive-compulsive behavior.

It’s not that likely that licking YOU ‘too much’ is caused by obsessive or compulsive behavior problems though. Dogs who lick compulsively tend to lick themselves, or some strange object like a pillow or even the wall.

Stress or anxiety licking

If he’s licking you, the couch or something else for more than a few of licks, it can mean he’s looking for stress relief. And licking can be soothing.

Maybe he hasn’t had enough exercise and is bored, or something else is causing him stress. What’s changed recently in his environment?

The yummy lick

Dogs love the taste of salt, so if we can seem like a tasty treat sometimes.

Maybe you’re just out of the shower and all of a sudden you feel that familiar little tongue on your legs. That’s a sign he’s trying to help you dry off, plus he may like the novel taste of soap. (Sometimes big dogs will actually steal soap and run off to eat it!)

Grooming licks

Like nearly all animals, dogs will groom one another as a sign of submission. Your Morkie might be showing you he’s no threat and that you’re the boss, or he might just like grooming you.

The OK now leave me alone kiss

Putting your face right up to your dog can seem aggressive to a dog; sometimes dogs will give you a quick lick or two because they know from experience, you’ll leave them alone then. It’s a passive, appeasing response.

Over-the-top dog kisses

 Want your Morkie to stop licking you so much?

Try to distract him as he approaches for kisses. His favorite toy or a little treat might do it. However, as Certified Professional Dog Trainer Nick Hof says, you DON’T want to inadvertently reinforce the licking behavior with a treat or chew. That could actually increase the licking.

One simple way to kick your dog’s licking habit is to simply to walk out of the room  when he starts. He’ll soon understand that licking too much means you’ll leave. And that’s the last thing he wants.

Two other kinds of licking: paws and the air

Paw licking

Dogs licking their feet a lot usually signals an allergy, to either food or the environment. Allergies to flea bites can also be the trigger, or a new diet. Vets say that dogs who lick or chew their paws a lot are probably dealing with allergies.

Try wiping down your Morkie’s paws with a damp cloth when you come in from outdoors to get as much pollen off as possible, and consider switching to a low-allergen food like lamb and rice.

If your Morkie is still licking his paws like mad, it’s time to talk to your Vet about allergies or some other cause.

Read more: why does my Morkie lick her paws?

Air licking

When a dog licks his own lips and looks away, or constantly flicks his tongue out, it usually means he’s stressed.

But he might lick at the air for other reasons. 

A little bit of licking can mean he’s hungry; a lot of air licking could mean gastrointestinal problemsIn fact, dog constantly licking the air could be suffering from nausea.

Or, your Morkie may lick the air or his own lips a lot to signal that he needs your assurance.

Now it’s up to you to find out the cause.

 

Wait, are dog kisses even SAFE?

The jury is out on this; some say they’re just fine and others are worried about dog kisses.

John Oxford, professor of virology and bacteriology at the Queen Mary University in London, warns that a dog COULD pass along bacteria, viruses, and germs of all sorts. Plus, ringworm can be passed to people from dogs fairly easily.

Common sense takes over: if your dog looks sickly or he hangs out by the garbage cans in an alley, then no, don’t do kisses on the mouth. And definitely discourage children from dog kisses since kids are more vulnerable to picking up something.

Read more about what worms you could catch from your dog: Symptoms of worms in dogs

Now there’s an app for that!

Called Dog Decoder, this app for iPhones and Androids is amazing. It can definitely help you figure out what your dog’s saying and is recommended by Vets and animal behaviorists.

The app was developed by Jill Breitner, who has spent almost 40 years studying canine body language. And bonus — it features the adorable illustrations of Lili Chin.

Why your Morkie is NOT a hybrid dog

Why your Morkie is NOT a hybrid dog

Someone’s trying to tell you that a Morkie or other designer dog is a hybrid dog? Don’t listen. Morkies and other designer pooches  are NOT hybrid dogs and they’re not necessarily any healthier thanks to “hybrid vigor.” Here’s why.

 

Hybrids are different species

Dogs are all the SAME species

Dogs are all the same species: Canis lupus familiaris

In the scientific world, all dogs are members of the genus Canines. Check out the direct line from the grey wolf to our dogs today.

 

where dogs fit in the animal kingdom

 

Are designer dogs HYBRIDS?

Well, actually…..There’s really no such thing as a hybrid dog… unless you’re crossing a dog and a cat.

A mule is a hybrid animal since it comes from breeding a donkey and a horse which are two different species.

 

donkey plus horse equals a mule

The Myth of Hybrid Vigor

Are designer dogs actually healthier?

Some fans of the mixed breed believe that the offspring of two different breeds are actually healthier than purebreds.

The theory goes that mixed breeds with their deeper gene pool – are less likely to have common genetic disorders found in virtually all purebreds. By combining two different breeds, these problems in effect, cancel one another out. But in reality, combining two different breeds can result in the problems doubling!

For example, both Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese dogs can be prone to collapsed trachea or windpipe. It’s important when breeding Morkies, that the breeder watches for this tendency in either parent.

 

All dogs are the same species

No matter how different they look from one another, all dogs are the same species: Canis familiaris.

All originate from the grey wolf.

Thousands and thousands of years ago, there were five distinct types of dogs:

  1. Mastiff
  2. Wolf-like dogs
  3. Greyhounds
  4. Pointer-type
  5. Sheepdogs

 

Over the centuries, interbreeding, genetic mutation and man’s desire to ‘refine’ certain qualities in some dogs, resulted in the 400+ distinctive dog breeds we know today.

Morkies: Designer dog or mutt?

Morkies: Designer dog or mutt?

Truth be told, the combo of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Maltese dog is a mixed breed dog or as we used to say, a MUTT. But what’s wrong with that? And why do some people insist that a Morkie is a designer dog? Or even a hybrid? What’s the difference?

yorkie plus maltese dog equals a morkie

First, let’s meet the parents

Purebreed dogs

A purebred dog is the result of 2 pure breeds from the same breed, mating. Pretty simple. This is planned, and the parents are usually carefully selected to avoid certain hereditary problems common to that breed. 

The puppies are identical in almost every way, to the parents. Everyone knows what to expect.

Purebred dogs are often registered with that country’s Kennel Club:

  • in the USA, it’s the AKC or American Kennel Club
  • Canada, the CKC or Canadian Kennel Club
  • Great Britain, it’s simply The Kennel Club

Among other things, these clubs exist to uphold the breed standards of dog. For example, the AKC standards, approved in 1964, call for: 

General Appearance: The Maltese is a toy dog covered from head to foot with a mantle of long, silky, white hair. He is gentle-mannered and affectionate, eager and sprightly in action, and, despite his size, possessed of the vigor needed for the satisfactory companion.

The standards dictate that the neck should be like this:

Neck: Sufficient length of neck is desirable as promoting a high carriage of the head.

 

show dog maltese

A true show dog, this Maltese meets all the breed standards.

Meet the Mutt

Parentage of the mutt is usually unknown, and the breeding is probably not planned. So of course, the size, characteristics, and temperament of the offspring are unknown too. 

Mutts are often adopted from a shelter or rescue or shared among family and friends. Typically it costs about $300 to adopt which covers neutering, vaccinations and any other medical needs the dog might have.

Mutts are great for people who want a surprise, and for people who want a unique, one-of-a-kind dog. Mutts are really trending now too, with stars like Jennifer Aniston, Kate Upton, and Ellen proclaiming undivided love for their mixed breeds. 

 

Top right, Ryan Gosling and his lovable mutt

Top bottom: Ellen and her mutts

 

 

And now, the Designer Dog

The key difference between a mutt and a designer dog? Planned. Designer dogs are the offspring of two different pure breeds. The mating is planned and the results are planned, or hoped for!  They’re not always 50/50. Combining different breeds doesn’t mean you will end up with the best of both, and it doesn’t mean a 50/50 split of characteristics. Lack of consistency in the dogs is one of the major hurdles for designer dogs looking to breed a new combination.

The cost of a designer dog can be quite high – typically between $1,000 and $2,000 which is usually much more than the purebred parents.

While some less-than-honest breeders of designer dogs may say their pups are registered, mixed breed or designer dogs, cannot be registered. There is no Kennel Club to hold them to account. And there is no central registry for information about the parents,  grandparents, and great-grandparents. 

maltese mix puppy

Some Maltese mix designer dogs

Maltese x Miniature Pinscher = Malti-Pin
Maltese x Miniature Schnauzer = Mauzer
Maltese x Norwich Terrier=Nortese
Maltese x Papillon = Papitese
Maltese x Pekingese = Peke-A-Tese
Maltese x Pomeranian = Maltipom
Maltese x Poodle = Malt-A-Poo
Maltese x Pug = Malti-pug
Maltese x Schipperke = Schipese
Maltese x Scottish Terrier = Scottese
Maltese x Shih Tzu = Mal-Shi
Maltese x Silky Terrier = Silkese
Maltese x Westie = Highland Maltie
Maltese x Yorkshire Terrier = Morkie

So what’s the beef with designer dogs?

If you google “Morkies” you’ll find a ton of people selling Morkie puppies, some fans and some real haters out there. Why the negative response to so-called “designer dogs?”

Some people, me included, object to ‘backyard breeders.’  These are people who are into the dog business purely for the money.  You’ve heard about them and you’ve seen the heartbreaking pictures of puppy mills. Just no excuse on earth for that kind of inhumane cruelty.

But there are other breeders who are interested to see what happens when favorites like Yorkies and Maltese, are combined. Is there anything wrong with that?  I don’t think so; after all, how did ANY dog breed come into being? From combining selected offspring from litters and breeding them with one another.

Some of us like purebred dogs, some like mutts from the pound and others want a one-of-a-kind blend… so to all the haters out there, lighten up and enjoy!  Even the most highly-bred show dog got its start somewhere!

What matters is WHERE you get your dog.

Some of my favorite books about dogs

Some of my favorite books about dogs

I was scared off reading books about dogs when I was 11. That’s when I read Old Yeller and I thought I would NEVER get over it. I mean, who writes a book about a  kid who has to shoot his best friend, a yellow dog? By now, many years (ok decades) have passed, and I’ve finally started reading books about dogs again. Here are some of my favorites.

Books about dogs - Old Yeller

The plot of Old Yeller

From Wikipedia

“In the late 1860s in Texas, young Travis Coates has been working to take care of his family ranch with his mother and younger brother, Arliss, while his father goes off on a cattle drive. When a “dingy yellow” dog comes for an unasked stay with the family, Travis reluctantly takes in the dog, which they name Old Yeller. The name has a double meaning: The fur color yellow pronounced as “yeller” and the fact that its bark sounds more like a human yell.

“Though Travis initially loathes the “rascal” and at first tries to get rid of it, the dog, a Black Mouth Cur, eventually proves his worth, saving the family on several occasions, rescuing Arliss from a bear, Travis from a bunch of wild hogs, and Mama and their friend Lisbeth from a loafer wolf. Travis grows to love Old Yeller, and they become great friends. The rightful owner of Yeller shows up looking for his dog and recognizing that the family has become attached to Yeller, trades the dog to Arliss for a horned toad and a home-cooked meal prepared by Travis’ mother, who is an exceptional cook.

“Old Yeller is bitten while saving his family from a rabid wolf. Travis is faced with the harsh decision that he must kill Old Yeller after the fight with the wolf, which he does because he cannot risk Yeller’s becoming sick and turning on the family. Old Yeller had puppies with one of Travis’ friend’s dogs, and one of the puppies helps Travis get over Old Yeller’s death. They take in the new dog and try to begin a fresh start.”

A few of my favorite books starring dogs

The  Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein.

The hero in this book is a dog called Enzo. He’ s funny, he’s philosophical and he’s obsessed with opposable thumbs. Enzo watches a lot of TV to learn about people. He also listens carefully to his owner, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming racing car driver.

As he looks back on his life, Enzo realizes that racing isn’t just about going fast; turns out, you can use some of the principals needed on the race track, to successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.

And Denny does go through ordeals; he loses his wife and must fight for custody of his little girl. And more.

This book is mostly funny, and partly sad and moving. But as a dog lover, you’ll love it!

 

available at amazon

 

Books about dogs - Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Books about dogs - Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the Octopus, by Steven Rowley

“From the cover: When you sit down with Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride. The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without.

“For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog. Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.”

available at amazon

Sounder, by William H. Armstrong

A family classic, Sounder was written in 1969. It is the powerful story of a poor sharecropper family in the Deep South, and the boy’s coon hound, Sounder.

When the family finally gets a break – they find some food – the Sheriff isn’t far behind. But Sounder never leaves their side.

Written for 8 to 14-year-olds, this is a timeless story of struggle, faith, loyalty, and redemption for all ages, told through the love of Sounder.

 

available at amazon

Sounder by William Amstrong
The Gift of Jazzy, by Cindy Adams

The Gift of Jazzy, by Cindy Adams.

Not a true classic, this book is still enjoyable and has special interest to us Morkie, Yorkie and Maltese lovers.

New York Post columnist Cindy Adams is deeply distraught over the death of her husband, and the gift of a small dog from a friend is the last thing she wants. But ultimately, Jazzy, the tiny Yorkie went from being an unwelcome surprise to a beloved family member.

Written in Cindy Adam’s trademark wise-cracking style, The Gift of Jazzy is a short read that’s funny, moving and hopeful.

 

available at amazon

Fifteen Dogs, by Andre Alexis.

 Imagine the ancient Greek gods, Hermes and Apollo, playing a game; they wager a bet on what would happen if dogs were given human intelligence. Would they be happier than mankind? Or less happy? 

The 15 dogs chosen by the gods are overnighting at a Toronto Vet Clinic. With human intelligence, they’re soon divided against each other. Each struggles with new thoughts and feelings and each develops a unique life. Goodreads calls it, “By turns meditative and devastating, charming and strange,” and that’s not the half of it!

 

available at amazon

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
Marley and Me, by John Grogan

Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, by John Grogan.

Here’s one instance where the movie lived up to the book. Starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. In the story, Marley is a lovable but incorrigible Lab.

He fails out of obedience school and has a habit of doing the very worst thing he can at many moments. (I love the scene where he crashes into the swimming pool at a posh real estate open house).

Heartbreakingly funny, sad and wise, Marley & Me is the story of a life lived with an exceptional dog.

 

available at amazon

Finding Gobi, by Dion Leonard.

Dion Leonard, an ultramarathon runner, crosses paths with a stray dog while competing in a 155-mile race through the Gobi Desert in China.

This is an incredible true story, of a tiny dog with a huge heart, and how she opened the hardened heart of her finder. Amazing, triumphant and heart-stopping – before he could take her home, Gobi went missing in the sprawling Chinese city where she was being kept. A real page-turner.

 

available at amazon

Finding Gobi, by Dion Leonard

And of course, who could forget these 3 classics!

How many times have you read these to a child?

Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman

Go Dog, Go!

By P.D. Eastman and edited by Dr. Seuss. From big dogs and little dogs to red, green, and blue dogs, dogs going up and dogs going fast . . . who knew dogs were so busy?

available at amazon

Harry the Dirty Dog, by Gene Zion

Harry the Dirty Dog, by Gene Zion

Illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham, this book was first published in 1956 and remains a solid favorite. The family dog Harry is fed up with bathtiime. So he buries the bathtub scrubber and runs away from home. Will the family recognize him when he returns, dirty?

available at amazon

101 Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith.

101 Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith.

This 1956 story has been adapted dozens of times but remains the same at its core: the Dearly family’s two Dals, Pongo and Missis, give birth to 15 puppies. Newly married, the Dearlys panic, the dogs are stolen and the game is on!

available at amazon

What is it about books about dogs?

woman crying over dog bookWe know it’s just a story, but the tears come anyway.

Psychology Today says that it has to do with oxycontin. Not the drug Oxycodone, but the powerful natural hormone that works on the brain. Experiments have proven that empathy was highly correlated with the spike in oxytocin.

So we cry at movies and at sad books because oxytocin is imperfectly tuned: it doesn’t recognize that it’s “just a story” and kicks in anyway. Our sense of empathy is turned WAY up, and the tears follow. But don’t be embarrassed; empathy is a vital part of intelligence and is high among successful individuals.

(And by the way, women release more oxytocin than men, and are more empathetic. But both cry.)

 

Here's what I'm working on

So far, love the title 🙂

What’s YOUR favorite book starring a dog?

Share with us in the comments below. Thanks!

The feature photo comes from a painting by Albert Edelfelt [Public domain] called Good Friends (Portrait of the Artist’s Sister Bertha Edelfelt)  Click to see a larger version of this lovely work.

Smartest dog breeds: how smart is your Morkie?

Smartest dog breeds: how smart is your Morkie?

Ever wonder, ‘how smart are dogs?’ And are Morkies and their parents among the smartest dog breeds?  Most Morkie owners would tell you, when it comes to intelligence, my Morkie is Genius! but let’s find out.

Dogs are very smart, say experts. But each in their own way.

Canine Intelligence is measured on 3 dimensions

Instinctive intelligence

or a dog’s ability to perform the tasks it was bred for, such as herding, pointing, fetching, guarding, or supplying companionship. Yes, snuggling counts.

Adaptive intelligence

means a dog’s ability to solve problems on his own. In other words, the dog’s ability to independently problem solve and learn from previous experiences.

Working and obedience intelligence

refers to a dog’s ability to learn from humans. How well does he do when taught by a human? How much does he remember?

So just how smart are MORKIES?

A lot depends on how much Yorkie is in your Morkie, versus Maltese.

Yorkies originated in the terrier family. They tend to be more aggressive than many other dogs. They also tend to be smarter, more loyal and yes, louder! Terriers were bred to think and to work. It’s part of their heritage.

Yorkshire terriers may not be the Einsteins of the canine world, but they are intelligent. Very intelligent, actually, according to the Official Yorkie Guide. Tracy Barr and Peter F. Veling agree in “Yorkshire Terriers for Dummies,” saying that while they’re not up there with the smartest of the smart dogs like border collies and poodles, Yorkies’ intelligence is well above average.

from The Nest: Pets

Maltese, on the other hand, are not terriers, and so don’t have that same strong, instinctive intelligence. They were bred as lapdogs, not to work. So intelligence – obeying commands, performing tasks – just wasn’t as important in developing the breed.

morkie kissing a yorkie

However…

If smart is defined as doing what the dog is taught, then a good argument can be made that the so-called super smart dogs, like German Shepherds, aren’t necessarily SMART, but they’re GOOD at doing what they’re told.

“Dumb” may really be independence or stubbornness, even aloofness.

Here’s how dogs compare, breed by breed. 

In his groundbreaking book, The Intelligence of Dogs, Dr. Stanley Coren, a professor of canine psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, helps us understand dog brainpower.

Through extensive testing based on the 3 dimensions of canine intelligence, he was able to rank 132 registered breeds on a smart scale.

Since his work, updated in 2006, other assessment methods have been developed. They are aligned to what Dr. Coren discovered.

The Border Collie is generally accepted as the smartest dog, across all 3 components of canine intelligence.

Yorkies rank quite high – #27 out of the 132 breeds tested. That puts him in the top 20%. 

Maltese are just about midway, ranking 59th smartest dog.

Someone has to be last 🙁  That’s the beautiful Afghan Hound, ranked at #132.

Top 10 Smartest Breeds

Border Collie
Poodle
German Shepherd Dog
Golden Retriever
Doberman Pinscher
Shetland Sheepdog
Labrador Retriever
Papillon
Rottweiler
Australian Cattle Dog

10 Least Smart Breeds

Basset Hound
Mastiff
Beagle
Pekingese
Bloodhound
Borzoi
Chow Chow
Bulldog
Basenji
Afghan Hound

Want to test your Morkie’s smarts?

WikiHow shows you how to conduct some standard tests that help rate your dog’s IQ. Read more about dog intelligence testing here.

The Greatest Gift

The Greatest Gift

As we approach the Christmas season, let’s take a moment to be thankful for one of our greatest gifts, our dogs. There’s simply no other animal on earth that we love as much.

Dogs are unique, in the position they’ve taken in our hearts and minds. From that mythical wolf club thousands of years ago, who captured the imagination of that Neanderthal by the fire, dogs have grown to be an integral part of our lives. And for that gift, we’re truly thankful.

He’s the funniest little guy I’ve ever met. The way he picks up random objects and tries to hide them, physically sits on a kitchen chair and eventually makes his way up to sitting on the table. He just does the funniest things.

Humans domesticated dogs and dogs domesticated humans.

Rock art depicting man hunting with dogs. Tadrart Acacus, Libya. An early cave painting in Libya of dogs chasing a deer in the Akakus Mountains. Photo courtesy of Peter Boekamp and the Bradshaw Foundation.

Why are humans and dogs so good at living together?

According to Psychology Today, dogs have a special chemistry with humans that goes back many tens of thousands of years. Researchers investigated this special evolutionary relationship from a number of different angles. Their results are surprising.

Domestic dogs are descended from wolves so recently that they remain wolves in all biological essentials, including their social behavior. Wolf packs have some intriguing parallels with human families:

They are territorial.

They hunt cooperatively.

Pack members are emotionally bonded and greet each other enthusiastically after they have been separated.

Dogs are extraordinarily attentive and have an uncanny ability to predict what their owners will do, whether getting the dog a meal or preparing to go on a walk. Experiments show that dogs and wolves can be astute readers of human body language using the direction of our gaze to locate hidden food a problem that is beyond chimps.

Dogs also seem attuned to the emotional state of their masters and express contrition when the owner is annoyed, for example. Otherwise, the capacity to express affection – unconditionally – makes the dog a valued “family member.”

Dogs acted as human’s alarm systems, trackers, and hunting aides, garbage disposal facilities, hot water bottles, and children’s guardians and playmates. Humans provided dogs with food and security. The relationship was stable over 100,000 years or so.

I have never felt forever love like this before. He makes me feel like his favorite person in the world every single day. Just the look in his eyes and his excitement when he sees me always makes my heart happy.

When humans pet dogs, their bodies release oxytocin, a hormone associated with not only happiness, but bonding and affection as well.

  • from a study conducted by J.S.J Odendaal in 2003

10 Things Your Dog Would Tell You

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful: remember that before you get me.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me – it is crucial to my well being.

4. Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.

5. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I only have you.

6. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understands your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.

7. Be aware that how ever you treat me, I will never forget.

8. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.

9. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate,or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting too old and weak.

10. Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: “I cannot bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death. Remember that I love you.

Your Morkie’s amazing nose

Your Morkie’s amazing nose

A dog’s sense of smell is amazing. Dogs have 300 million scent receptors compared to our 6 million, and can smell early stages of cancer, a diabetic attack, even 1 bedbug deep in a mattress.  There’s only one word to describe a dog’s sense of smell:

amazing

It’s hard to picture just how powerful a dog’s sense of smell can be: anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 better than ours!

Picture 2,000,000 barrels of apples. Your Morkie could snuff out ONE BAD APPLE from the 2 million barrels!

 

rotten apple

Who smelled it better?

OK, to recap: the number of receptor cells that make up a dog’s sense of smell: 300,000,000. In people, 6,000,000.  A dog’s ability to process that sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more efficient than ours. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times bigger.

Keep your Morkie’s nose in good shape – read more.

Just look at what Morkies can snuff out!

  • bedbugs – even just one, deep in a mattress
  • early stage cancer in small samples of human urine, saliva or expelled breath
  • the spikes and drops in human blood sugar that is diabetes
  • dogs can smell fear, anxiety, even sadness
  • adrenaline, so they know if someone’s about to run
  • a dog can detect CDs and DVDs (layers of ‘polycarbonate plastic) in bags and packages, inside a truck. These dogs alert police to large stashes of pirated movies
  • narcolepsy service dogs can detect a subtle biochemical change in the form of an odour when an attack is coming on
  • migraines – dogs can alert sufferers up to 2 hours ahead, that a headache is on its way

We come home and smell beef stew cooking. Your Morkie can smell each and every spice, ingredient and liquid — separately. According to author (“Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know”) and dog expert Alexandra Horowitz, while we might notice if our coffee has had a teaspoon of sugar added to it, a dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools worth. Another dog scientist explains that dogs smell in 3-D; each nostril can register different scents separately.

Nose to nose who wins out?

Dogs – 1 zillion

People – 7

Happy Morkie Valentine’s Day!

Happy Morkie Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day Morkie fans! A couple of reminders for the day to keep your Morkie safe….

Chocolate can literally kill your Morkie!

It’s the Theobromine in chocolate that can poison your Morkie.  The darker the chocolate, the more deadly. Just a single square of Baker’s Chocolate can be enough to cause serious illness and even death, according to Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Typical early symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, bloated stomach and restlessness. This usually happens 1 to 4 hours after the dog has eaten chocolate. Without treatment, seizures and muscle spasms follow, then cardiac failure (coma) and death. If you suspect your Morkie has had chocolate, get him to the Vet or emergency clinic right away.

 

 

Dogs can’t eat candy

 

Morkies are sweet enough! Even if the candy doesn’t have chocolate in it, high levels of sugar can send your Morkie into a mild diabetic coma. Plus, getting him used to sweet treats sets the stage for annoying begging, tooth decay and overweight. Remember, no Porkie Morkies 🙂

 

Artificial sweetener can be deadly for dogs

Xylitol is a next-generation sweetener that is in a lot of foods and treats. And it’s very toxic for pets. Although Xylitol is found naturally in berries, plums, etc. even small amounts of Xylitol in the manufactured form, can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or death in dogs.

 

 

6 more things that can make your Morkie very sick

  1. alcohol of any kind – wine, beer, liquor
  2. grapes and raisins – experts don’t really know why, just that only a couple of grapes or raisins can lead to seizures, coma and death
  3. Macadamia nuts can bring on vomiting, tremors, joint pain and diarrhea. They’re extremely toxic for dogs.
  4. Garlic and onions are surprisingly toxic to dogs and cats. That’s because they contain chemicals that damage red blood cells in some animals, to the point where the cells can’t carry oxygen throughout the body. Cooking these foods does not make them any safer.
  5. Avocado, especially the pit, will bring on severe diarrhea and vomiting in your Morkie.
  6. Cellophane, ribbons and glittery stuff that chocolates and gifts are wrapped in, can get lodged in your dog’s intestine, making expensive emergency surgery necessary to save his life. Keep all wrappings out of harm’s way.
Should you breed your Morkie?

Should you breed your Morkie?

The short answer is No, and here’s why.

Ethical breeding isn’t a hobby. People who work hard to breed purebred dogs, or in this case, cross breeds of two purebreds, have invested a lot of learning, money and effort into what they do. And once the puppies are born, can you devote at least 8 solid weeks to the puppies’ care, night and day? Do you have buyers for the pups?  Dog breeding is very complex, and it can be very expensive too.

 

Over population.  There are waaaaay too many dogs and puppies in shelters… adding your own litter means fewer of those dogs have a chance.

The ASPCA  estimates that in U.S. Animal Shelters alone, 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year, simply because there’s no room for them. That’s more than 7 pets every minute, every day. 

 

 

 

Your pet should be spayed or neutered for health’s sake. 

 

Females that haven’t been spayed have a 25% greater chance of dying of cancer. Females that haven’t been spayed can quickly develop Pyometra, a deadly uterine infection.  (http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/)

Male dogs who have been neutered live, on average, 40% longer. Plus they can’t of course, get testicular cancer.

 

“But I want my kids to see the miracle of birth.”

Sure, the birth part is a miracle. But what about the life after birth? If the puppies don’t land in a good home, or if you sell them to people you don’t know and have not screened, then that’s a hard lesson learned for the dogs. And it might even teach kids that life is cheap. There are lots of great videos on birth and some shelters have live webcams of birthing.

 

This sums it up.

 

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