If you’re looking for a Morkie, you might be attracted to the idea of a teacup Morkie. And no wonder – we love things that are tiny and vulnerable. They’re just so cute!
BUT… teacups are not a breed or type of dog. They’re simply first or second generation runts. Too-tiny dogs bred to too-tiny dogs. They have all sorts of health issues and don’t live as long.
Tiny dog: big scam
On top of all that, there’s a scam circulating among unscrupulous breeders:
Breeders will advertise – and sell – puppies as young as 5 or 6 weeks old, as 12 week or older puppies. The result, the dog is MUCH smaller than you’d expect, so you believe it is indeed a so-called teacup.
Problems of dogs weaned too early
If the pup is not really a teacup — and that’s good after all– there’s still a big problem. Puppies removed too soon from their mothers have lots of physical and behavioural problems. Puppies taken away too early can be biters – because their litter and mother haven’t had time to socialize them against biting. They can also be:
Getting a Morkie? Chances are you will buy it from a reliable person who breeds them as a hobby. Or, you’ll choose to get one from a shelter or rescue site.
What are the pros and cons of getting a shelter or rescue Morkie? And are rescue dogs damaged or otherwise ‘second class’ goods?
Should you buy a Morkie or get one from a shelter?
It’s always better to get a dog from a shelter. In America alone, about 1.2 million healthy, adoptable dogs are euthanized every year. That’s more than 2 dogs per minute put down in U.S. shelters each year. Whenever you can find a dog YOU want, and save a life at the same time, it’s a win-win.
Aren’t shelter dogs “flawed”?
One of the most harmful myths about shelter dogs is that they’re bad. They’re unmanageable or they can’t be trained. That’s how they ended up in a shelter. But that’s just wrong. Consider this:
Dogs end up in shelters because OWNERS have made bad choices. Not because they are bad dogs.
8 main reasons dogs are given up:
lifestyle change – owner divorcing, moving, military deployment, owner dies
lack of training – owner didn’t bother to train the dog, so is frustrated now that the pet is badly behaved, with problems in potty training, socialization or obedience
lack of time – owner didn’t think it through and finds he doesn’t have the time to devote to a pet
cost – dogs cost money. Food, grooming, vet care, training and regular immunization all add up
too many pets in the home – clearly a lack of thinking on the owner’s part. Pets are not impulse items!
dog is sick or old – people may shirk their responsibility to their animals and take the easy route out – let the shelter deal with those hard decisions
the animal was seized from an abusive environment
allergies develop in the home – could be a new partner, child or other who has allergies, or allergies could suddenly develop.This is the one reason that isn’t the owner’s fault — but it represents just 7 to 8% of the reasons given why the animal was turned in according to Petfinder.
MYTH: Shelter dogs are “damaged goods” and there’s no hope for them as pets.
This myth comes back to the mistaken belief that it’s the dog’s fault he’s in a shelter. The truth is, it’s the owner’s fault. The owner didn’t think it through, or didn’t plan well. Or circumstances changed in the owner’s life and now the dog isn’t part of the plan. Perhaps the owner didn’t train the dog and so now, he’s now fed up.
Sometimes – and it’s rare – a family member develops an allergy to the pet. THAT is not the owners’ fault. Or the dog’s fault.
But even allergies can be minimized. Extra grooming and special shampoos can reduce the allergens the dog gives off. And since Morkies, Yorkies and Maltese have hair, not fur they don’t shed. That means they’re a better choice for allergy-sensitive people.
To think “I don’t want a second-rate pet from a rescue” is both shallow and short-sighted. Take a look and you’ll see that these are great little dogs with the same potential as any to become your treasured, life-long companion.
One more factor to consider with shelter dogs: they are been fostered while they wait for a forever home.
These foster families are well-versed in how to train and take care of dogs. They to work with them dogs to rehabilitate any shortcomings the dog may have. Many shelter pets receive training and socialization before adoption. That makes the transition to their new family easier.
It’s sad to think of an animal kept in a shelter for months and months and even years. But the web is overflowing with stories about the discarded dog who’s found a happy home with a new family.
Despite past abuse and hurt, he’s a sweet and devoted family member. It is just another demonstration of the power of dogs to forgive us.
In answer to our headline question: Should I rescue a Morkie from a shelter? Our resounding answer is
Please consider adoption when you’re looking for a new pet.
A very, very sad story today on the news out of California… a family bought a beautiful Morkie puppy from a Craigslist seller. Within just 6 days, Copper, the Yorkie Maltese mix, was dead.
As buyer Kathy Nixon said, “It’s very upsetting to see my children go through this.”
Her Veterinarian confirmed that the puppy would have been sold already suffering from the parvovirus. And of course, the Craigslist seller refused to cover the nearly $900 vet bill.
Getting a Puppy? NEVER buy from Craigslist, Kijiji and the like
Because of puppy mills, both Kijiji and Craigslist have been targets of international petitions demanding they remove the sale of animals and only promote adoption from registered animal rescue groups and shelters, and the re-homing of family pets (for a small adoption fee).
After this backlash, both sites have backed off pet sales to some degree, but do allow people to advertise to re-home their own pet to a forever home. So now, unscrupulous puppy mill breeders pose as regular dog owners, hoping to re-home their pet. There is a “small” fee which is usually anywhere from $200 to $650 and up, supposedly for shipping and other ‘costs’. As one writer put it:
“I thought I would be doing a good deed and providing a forever home. Instead, it was a breeder scam.”
Be sure to ask to visit the breeder’s kennel or home, and see the other Morkies and dogs they have. Otherwise, you could be buying blind.
If the seller insists on meeting you at a halfway point, or somewhere other than where the other puppies and parent dogs are, it’s a sure sign you’re dealing with a puppy mill.
The California Case
Ironically, there is a law in California that protects people who buy dogs. But this seller insists she’s not a “real breeder.” If you buy from a breeder, defined in California as someone who sells at least twenty puppies or three litters a year, you have rights if a dog becomes sick within the first 15 days.
You can return the dog for a refund and get your vet bills covered up to the dog’s purchase price.
Exchange the dog and get your vet bills for to the amount the dog cost.
Or keep the dog and get up to 150% of the price to cover the vet bills with proof of the illness
Want more tips on avoiding sick puppies, scams and puppy mill dogs?
Download my free e-book, “The 7 Things You Need to Know Before You Get a Morkie.” Among other tips, this e-book tells you how to avoid getting stung like Kathy Nixon.
Warning signs that you’re probably dealing with a puppy mill or unscrupulous backyard breeder
The “breeder” is local, but no, you can’t visit. Instead, he or she wants to meet at a halfway point, a mall or car-park.
You can visit – but you see 3 or more different dog breeds running around. This is a red flag that the breeder isn’t committed to one breed or hybrid and is just breeding whatever dogs she has around in order to make money.
Dirty or stinky facilities. Genuine breeders love their dogs and put their care first. The home and puppy area should be clean and tidy and a safe environment for the puppies and parents.
Hand-painted signs on the road, advertising puppies for sale.
Puppies are always available, and the breeder will let you take one at Christmas, Easter, etc. No good breeder will release a puppy during these high-stress times and no responsible breeder always has a handy supply of puppies.
Stay away from anyone who’s selling puppies at a public place like a flea market, yard sale, swap meet or pet store, or out of the back of a pickup truck, car or van.
Be suspicious of the breeder who doesn’t demand that you spay or neuter your puppy. A genuine breeder will ask you to sign an agreement that your dog will NOT be bred.
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.
Want to read the 7 Things You Must Know Before You Get a Morkie!
Get your FREE downloadable report – 7 Things You Must Know Before You Get a Morkie!
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(Although this says “add to cart, there is absolutley NO CHARGE)
Zoonoses is scientific term for infectious diseases passed from animals to humans, or humans to animals (called reverse zoonoses).
This includes diseases that are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. Depending on the disease, zoonoses can be spread in a number of different ways – from bites, contact with urine, feces or saliva or even simply airborne. Some can cause only mild illness, while others, like rabies, can be fatal. But don’t be alarmed – you’re more likely to get most of these illnesses from raw or undercooked food.
So just what CAN you catch from your Morkie?
The most common illnesses that MIGHT be passed from your dog to you and your family are: Roundworms
roundworms are not common in North America but do infect about 1
you do not want to see this
in 4 people in developing countries
dogs (especially puppies) and cats shed roundworm eggs in their feces. You or your children can become infected by accidentally swallowing dirt that has been contaminated with dog or cat feces that contain the infectious eggs, and the cycle begins
symptoms include fever, fatigue, coughing, wheezing, or abdominal pain
there are lots of different kinds of hookworm – one in particular can be passed from animals to people called animal hookworm
people don’t get infected directly from animals; instead
Here’s how animal ringworm – a fungus – looks on human skin.
they walk barefoot on ground surfaces that have been contaminated by dog feces (a good reason to ALWAYS wear shoes or sandals outside)
puppies and kittens often carry the larvae and it’s easily picked up by barefoot children
what happens is the larvae of this hookworm penetrates the skin and causes red, itchy raised rings on the skin
it can also be accompanied by abdominal pain and diarrhoea
although it’s POSSIBLE to get this serious poisoning from dogs, it’s mostly passed to humans via reptiles, mice and rats, and more commonly picked up by people from food sources like raw meat and raw eggs
dogs can carry salmonella germs and not be affected themselves; instead, they simply expel the germs when they poop (another reason to wash, wash, wash after caring for your dog)
Ringworm Which isn’t a worm by the way — it’s a fungal infection …
ringworm is contagious and very easily passed from one individual to another
many species of animals are susceptible to ringworm, including both dogs and cats
people can become infected infected with ringworm through contact with infected pets; however, they can also become infected through contact with other infected people and through contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.
What diseases and illnesses are NOT from your dog?
Pinworms – Pinworms are a common problem for people, particularly for children. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), pinworms are the most common worm infection in the United States and throughout many parts of the world.There’s often confusion about how people get pinworms: only humans can transmit this type of infection.
The 3-step solution? Hygiene, common sense and keeping an eye on your dog
good hand washing goes a long way in deterring these zoonoses
keep your dog clean as well – regular bathing and combing helps and it also lets you check on the condition of his skin and coat, often leading indicators of illness in dogs
clean up dog poop and urine right away
wash your dog’s bedding regularly
keep water and food dishes clean, and separate for each pet
get your pets wormed regularly and consider heart worm medication
make sure they have veterinarian check ups at least annually
feed your dog a quality diet
infants, the elderly or anyone with a compromised immune system, should be extra vigilant about exposing themselves to dangers
Watch your dog
keep an eye on your dog: don’t allow him to eat garbage, dead animals or birds or hang out at bird feeders (birds can a number of zoonoses)
beware of pet food recalls – especially pet snacks like jerky treats. They are often recalled because of salmonella dangers (visit DogFoodAdvisor.com for regular updates)
don’t let your dog eat poop or drink out of the toilet (which would be quite a feat for a Morkie!)
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.
The ASPCA and other animal associations are celebrating shelter dogs this month — and it’s easy to see why when you read about some of the success stories… like Jane, adopted in New York a year ago:
“February was the one-year anniversary of the morning I saw Jane’s face on Petfinder and brought her home four hours later from the ASPCA Adoption Center. I never imagined myself with a points card at a pet store, having to slap my own hand to stop me buying another dog sweater, chew toy, grooming tool or accessory—but that’s me now.
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.”
“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.
When more than 80 small dogs were seized from a private home in Paris, Ontario a few weeks ago, people were livid when they heard about the horrendous conditions and treatment these tiny dogs received.
But now, 17 of the 33 dogs who ended up at the Cambridge SPCA, are brushed, groomed and ready to go! [et_lb_testimonial image_url=”” author_name=”” author_position=”” author_site=”” css_class=””] “They have no manners,” stated Deekon, adding the dogs may have a tendency to jump up or even nip. “They need love and attention and with a little bit of time they will learn all of those things.” [/et_lb_testimonial] The adoption process will take some time
According to Bonnie Deekon, executive director at the Cambridge and District Humane Society, these dogs won’t necessarily go to first-come first-served families. Instead, she and her team will be working hard with potential new owners to ensure the fit is just right.
Although the place where they were raised isn’t technically a puppy mill, all the dogs have been subjected to dreadful conditions, neglect, underfeeding and total lack of medical care. So they will, naturally, take some time to adjust to a loving home.
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
health problems that are common to both breeds
plenty of pictures and tables
information on the best places to find your perfect pup
MorkieRescue.com is a new site, devoted to Morkie resources for adopting and rescuing Yorkie-Maltese mixes.
That’s great – you won’t be disappointed. Today, shelter and rescue group staff work with you to find a great match.
And contrary to some myths out there, dogs at shelters are not “bad” or “damaged.” They’ve usually been turned back because the owner’s life has taken a bad turn.
Petfinder.com and Petango.com have thousands of up-to-date listings.
To find an adoptable Morkie, you can check one of the big “shelter aggregator” sites – these are websites that pull together all the shelters, humane societies and rescue groups across Canada, the United States and Mexico – they show you who is available, where. You just enter the kind of pet you’re looking for, the breed and where you live. You’ll see dozens of options.