The luxurious, flowing coat is one of the things that may have drawn you to a Morkie. It’s part of his cachet.
With the Yorkie’s range of brown, black and gold colors plus pure white from the Maltese, a Morkie’s coat is beautiful and unique.
But then you get your new baby home. You’re not quite sure how to look after all that hair. Soon the dog gets matted, and you head out to a groomer, who almost always recommends a “cute puppy cut.” But there’s only one thing. Thanks to the mats, the dog needs a real shave down. That puppy cut looks like an extreme buzz cut you’d see on a punk band in the subways of New York. Now your adorable, cuddly Morkie looks more like a skinny, trembling little rat.
Why shave down your Morkie? They don’t shed!
All animals, even us – shed dander, so there’s technically no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. However, both the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier come close, along with breeds like Poodles. That’s because these breeds do not have fur.
Like their parents, Morkies have hair so their coat doesn’t shed. Morkies aren’t like Golden Retrievers, shedding big gobs of fur all over your house.
- They have a single layer of hair, with no undercoat that sheds every season
- There’s no fine undercoat floating around in your house, and far less dander (dander is basically animal dandruff, except that it’s natural; and can be controlled).
What about summer? Shouldn't I cut my dog's hair then?
Contrary to popular belief, the Morkie’s long hair does not make him hotter in the summer.
Dogs with short hair or white coats are more susceptible to insect bites and the sun’s harmful rays. Each sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer later.
Three of the skin cancers that our vets commonly see in dogs are squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and mast cell tumors. Each of these dog skin cancers has somewhat different symptoms, and tend to strike some breeds more than others.
But here’s the good news!
You CAN keep your pup’s long, flowing hair yourself in just minutes a day at home,
How to start:
You CAN learn how to keep your Morkie well-groomed in a long, beautiful coat and you can do it all yourself. Grooming your Morkie is not only a great way to bond and stay close to your dog, it saves you time and money, too.
You’ll learn how to handle the 4 essentials:
- Brushing and combing
- Nail trimming
- Ear care
I wrote this blog because I hear from lots of people who love luxurious, flowing coats. But they don’t know how to groom their dog. Don’t worry, if you’re not trying to trim his hair, orr shave it down, it’s easy to groom your Morkie yourself at home and keep his hair long and flowing.
Let's get started
1. Start Slowly - Let your Morkie get used to being handled this way
You can teach your Morkie to love (OK, like) grooming if you start early. And you can teach an older dog to like grooming. The key is frequent, short sessions.
No need to make every grooming session long and tiring. Just a few minutes a day can keep him well-groomed and mat-free.
Mats are irritating and painful and they can lead to skin diseases. They’re the main reason owners end up clipping their dogs down. The more frequently you comb your Morkie, the lower the chance of a matted coat.
If your dog is really fussy, just handle him all over a couple of times a day, as if you’re combing – without the comb!
3. Start with VERY short combing sessions
If your dog seems nervous or afraid, make the combing sessions VERY short at first – like 1 minute. Gradually incease the time and introduce a brush. Over time, he’ll get very used to being combed and brushed and may even like it.
If you’re also giving your Morkie a bath, give him a comb-out before you put him in the water. Wet mats are even hard to get out. Towel dry him gently after, use a dryer, then start combing and brushing again.
2. Get some decent equipment
Your new friend: the comb
Combing (not brushing) is at the core of a well-groomed Morkie.
Although it is handy to have a good brush, I recommend that you focus on the comb. Select one with average-spaced teeth. (There are combs with very fine teeth, but they are for finding fleas.) Metal is best, with a sturdy rubber handle for your comfort. Expect to pay between $10.00 and $20.00 for a superior comb that will last for years.
Select a quality brush
For the brush, pick a “Wire Pin Brush.” As the name suggests, each stainless steel wire or pin is rounded at the end for the dog’s comfort. Wooden brushes are comfortable for you, but personally I prefer a rubber-handled brush. Expect to pay between $15.00 and $25.00 for a brush that will last your dog’s lifetime.
4. Be consistent - shorter sessions, more often
The best and proven way to prevent mats? Comb your dog’s hair at least every other day. Just 3 or 4 minutes will do the job. More frequent, shorter sessions are better.
Once your Morkie is looking gorgeous again, consider a natural treatment like Argon oil. Also called Moroccan oil, it’s traditionally used to treat skin diseases, and as a cosmetic oil for skin and hair. You can buy it for less at beauty supply stores, or order online at Amazon and similar outlets. I pour a little into my palms, rub well, then spread lightly on the surface of my dog’s coat. It leaves her shiny and smooth, and less likely to get tangles.
The Secret Weapon: a de-matting comb
Get a de-matting comb. Look for a well-made one with a comfortable rubber handle. The de-matting comb has few, single teeth set far apart like the rake, but there’s a big difference. The teeth are actually sharp blades on one side. (These teeth have rounded tips to protect your dog’s skin.)
Gently drag this through your Morkie’s coat in the direction of hair growth. Mats will be sliced apart and tangles cut out, without pulling! It works on loose hair, knots and debris.
This is one piece of equipment that I would recommend for any size dog with any kind of coat. They’re great for cats, too. Like the coat rake, these are advertised as essential tools for dogs like Golden Retrievers with their heavy undercoat. But you’ll be glad to have one for your Morkie.
In this BEFORE and AFTER picture, this little guy looks naked without all his hair – and nothing like a Morkie. But with regular, frequent combing your Morkie can have long, flowing hair.
Looking for more information about grooming your Morkie yourself?
Groom Your Morkie at Home takes you through the steps you need to know to groom your Morkie yourself at home, and keep his hair long and luxurious.
Plus you’ll learn:
– the truth about shampoos (and how to make your own)
– how to safely clean your Morkie’s ears and under his eyes
– how and why to brush your dog’s teeth
– what equipment you need for grooming at home
– removing mats and tangles
– how to do the top knot …and lots more
Complete with illustrations.
Easy to read style
You’ll enjoy the author’s trademark easy-to-read style and insight. Deb is not a Veterinarian, and she is not specially trained in animal care. But she is a dedicated and life-long animal lover with a particular fondness for dogs.
Order your ebook today and read it on any device.
Want to take better care of your Morkie?
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Or read more about the MORKIE MEGA GUIDE e-book.