Teacup Morkies – good idea?
They’re so tiny and adorable, who wouldn’t want one, but before you decide, please read up on so-called teacups, teensies or baby dolls and the problems in “miniaturizing” purebreeds like Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese and Morkies.
National kennel clubs around the world set out the breed standards for all purebreed dogs, and those standards state that the Yorkshire Terrier is “ideally four to seven pounds.” Even professionals dog handlers who show Yorkies for a living prefer their dogs around five or six pounds, so smaller isn’t better. The Maltese breed standards are a tiny bit heavier – the ideal specimen weighs in at about 5 to 8 pounds.
When dogs are too small – under four pounds – owners face at least five serious problems including:
- feeding – very sensitive stomach, plus tooth problems – too many in a small mouth
- house-training – very, very tiny bladders so don’t expect much when it comes to being potty-trained
- organs are often underdeveloped and can suddenly fail
- sudden low blood sugar that can lead to shock and even death!
- One of the big concerns in a super small dog is just how delicate the dog is. Their bones are VERY fragile and can be broken by jumping off of a couch, falling off of a bed, being stepped on or worse. They’re not for children of course because of their fragility.
Besides their size, are Teacups different than the ‘regular’ or ‘standard size’ version of the breed?
Breeding runts to runts
No — “teacups,” “teenies” and “baby-dolls” are just cutesy labels for Yorkshire Terriers that are far too small. Puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders are “miniaturizing” popular toy breeds and using these adjectives to make them sound even more adorable. Meanwhile they’re selling genetic misfits, fragile dogs who will probably have lifelong health problems.
Toy dogs under 4 pounds are at risk for the diseases above, but can also have a very short lifespan. Sometimes they live only 5 or 6 years.
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It’s very sad that even someone who wants to buy a puppy, can be victims of scams and greed.
If you’re looking for a Morkie, that magical blend of Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese dog, the search can be challenging. You want to avoid puppy mill dogs and unscrupulous breeds, and now there’s a whole new level of greed: the free puppy scam.
The more you’re aware of these despicable tactics, the better your chances of avoiding the free Morkie scam.
Four types of scams
The first trick these people will do is feature gorgeous-looking little dogs on their website for sale. Should you actually buy one, you’ll notice that your puppy looks nothing like those you saw. That’s because the scammer has stolen pictures from the website and even books and portrayed these as the dogs he is selling.
Meanwhile your little dog has been bred and raised in the cruel conditions of a puppy mills, where animals are bred and bred for profit, with no regard to their comfort or safety. Imagine a dog spending her entire life in a tiny wire cage, having litters two or three times a year until she dies!
You can avoid this scam by visiting the prospective member of your family in person. Look around and ask lots of questions. If the person you’re buying from can’t answer them, seems vague and there is no sign of the Yorkie or Maltese parent around, chances are good you’re dealing with a puppy mill.
Registered and ‘approved’ dogs
Anyone can claim their puppies have been registered, implying they are high quality healthy specimens. Even crosses like the Morkie can be offered with designations from The American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and International Designer Canine Registry® (IDCR).
Unfortunately, The American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and International Designer Canine Registry® (IDCR) aren’t recognized by anyone in the animal world and they don’t even check the dogs they ‘certify.’ Once again, you get a very inferior animal for the price of a show dog. These designations mean nothing!
Free to good home, or super cheap Morkies
This one really hurts, because in all likelihood there isn’t even a Morkie behind this offer.
Instead, the scammers lure you in on price, and when the hook has been set they ask you to pay for shipping, which is suspiciously consistent at $400. Buyers are asked to send all payments via a Western Union wire transfer or money order. These methods are favorites among scam artists because they are the equivalent of sending cash—the money can’t be recovered by the victim.
Puppies in a basket, free-to-a-good-home?
Since you don’t suspect them, you send the money off – usually to another country, and the dog of course never arrives.
The ASPCA has identified another despicable scam. Sellers put up a website featuring terrible pictures of animal abuse, and claim they are rescuing dogs from a puppy mill. There’s no rescue; they ARE the puppy mill and the dogs are sickly, weak and nervous. Instead of doing a good thing by helping dogs, you end up with heartbreak on your hands.
You can tell this is a scam when you see the price tag — the “adoption fees” for these dogs often exceed $1,000! Breed rescue groups charge nominal fees—usually no more than a few hundred dollars—because their goal is not to make money, but to find wonderful homes for their rescues.
Avoid being scammed
- Be sure to deal directly with a breeder, not a broker.
- Always visit. Honest breeders and rescue groups will be more than happy to offer you a tour.
- Always pick your puppy up at the kennel or breeder. Do not have the puppy shipped or meet at a random location. If the seller suggests meeting at a mall or parking lot – run!
- Always ask for references, from others who have purchased dogs from this breeder and follow up on them.
- Ask for a reference from the veterinarian the breeder works with as well.
- Never send Western Union or money order payments.
- If you are told that there will be no refunds for a sick puppy, you are most probably dealing with a puppy mill. A reputable breeder or rescue group will always take the puppy back, regardless of the reason.
Armed with some knowledge, you can avoid being scammed in your search for the perfect little dog, the Morkie.
Read more: ASPCA’s stories about pet-related scams
Looking for a dog or cat? Adopt safely and ethically on Pet Finder.
Every year, VPI Pet Insurance runs a survey from among its 485,000 + insured pets to determine the most popular dog and cat names.
In 2012, Max and Bella topped the list once again, for the fourth consecutive year. And while these would be great Morkie names, strangely, Max and Bella are ALSO the most popular CAT names!
Other names rounding out the top 10 for male dogs in 2013:
Top female dog names in 2013:
(You can see the top 100 here at Dogtime )
What about the least popular names?
Or at least, the dog names that are out of fashion now. VetStreet.com reports on the drop in popularity of these former-faves:
- Scooter – #34 in 2003, now #98
- Brandy – #42 in 2001, and off the top 100 list now
- Dakota – #43 in 2009, and off the top 100 list now
Other names that have gone the way of your shoulder pads, parachute pants and big, big hair…. Rudy, Misty, Spike, Holly and Lucky. So over.
Rising stars in the dog name world?
Dexter – which rose from #99 last year to #25. Luna, Thor and Layla are others that are climbing up the ranks, along with Gunner, Piper and Nala (think Lion King)
What drives these pet name trends?
Experts say pop culture is clearly one inspiration for many pet names – Bella has taken off since the Twilight series became popular. Another trend is picking regular people-names, like Leo, Penny and Zoey for example. Again these are all great names for Morkies.
And then there are the just plain weird….like Bunny Money Dogg (a long-haired miniature dachshund from New York City, Potato Chip ( a Boston terrier from California) and Captain Underpants, who got his name from his goofy and spunky personality.
For more, check out WackyPetNames.com and try their very cool wacky-pet-name generator – it’s hilarious!
Sometimes the world seems divided between two kinds of people: those who feel pretty self-righteous for rescuing a mutt and those who feel a little guilty for owning a pedigreed or pure breed dog.
But as author Ted Kerasote points out, the real problem isn’t ‘which one is better?’ but instead is all about:
- antiquated shelter systems
- careless breeding – by both professional breeders and everyday people
Add to this, people see dogs as way to make some quick cash – the whole puppy-mill-to-pet-store continuum, and it’s a disaster.
“Some dog lovers feel that buying a purebred dog is ethically questionable because of health problems associated with overbreeding and inbreeding. At the same time, two million to three million shelter dogs in the U.S. are put to death every year.”
–Mark Derr is the author of “A Dog’s History of America: How Our Best Friend Explored, Conquered and Settled a Continent” and “Dog’s Best Friend: Annals of the Dog-Human Relationship.”
“Our out-dated approach to shelters relies on two choices for unwanted animals: euthanasia (the so-called high kill shelters) and trying to adopt out pets one-at-a-time in very ineffective and inefficient ways.”
For Kerasoste, careless breeding includes the so-called professionals who sacrifice a breed’s health, temperament and well-being to looks — witness the number of large dogs with hip dysplasia, small dogs who can hardly breath because of their extremely shortened muzzles and more.
One thing’s for sure: assigning blame to one side or the other won’t solve a thing.
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.