i love new yorkiesEvery now and then, a dog or a breed comes along that just steals your heart. For many people, that dog is the Yorkshire Terrier. In fact Yorkies are the #6 most popular pure breed dog in America and in some cities, like New York, they’re #1.

The Maltese dog on the other hand, is not as popular. Maltese ranks as the 29th most registered breed in 2014, behind uncommon dogs like the Pomeranian, Havanese and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Both the Yorkie and the Maltese are wonderful companion animals, with plenty in common, but enough differences to make their offspring – the Morkie – a very interesting little pup too.

Yorkies are smart, feisty little terriers, in brown and tan. They are relatively new as far as pure breeds go, developed in northern England in the 1850s to work in coal mines and factories to catch and kill rats and mice.

Maltese on the other hand, are an ancient breed, developed strictly as lapdogs since the time of Aristotle. Their most treasured qualities are their affectionate, loving nature and beautiful, pure white coat.

If you decide to go with a Morkie, you’ll find the characteristics, looks, behaviour and health of both parents, the Yorkie and the Maltese, apparent in the Morkie. But since the Morkie is so new, you don’t really know which breed’s qualities will dominate, and even which parent the Morkie will most resemble physically.

yorkie plus maltese equals morkie

Every breed has its pluses and minuses

What behaviors are so built-in to Maltese and  Yorkies that they never change? In other words,


What’s bred-in-the-bone?

Bred-in-the-Bone is a very old expression meaning something is deeply instilled or firmly established, as if by heredity. When speaking about people, we might say his loyalty is bred-in-the bone.

It also means persistent and habitual; for example, he’s a bred-in-the-bone conservative. You’ll hear similar expressions like these:

  • the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
  • blood will tell
  • he’s a chip off the old block

Bred in the bone = Deep-seated and can’t be changed

This doesn’t mean that the characteristics above can’t be changed; nor does it mean that EVERY Maltese dog will be a sweet, loving dog for example. Training and environment also have a very big part to play in how a dog behaves.

But generally speaking, the REASON the dog was originally bred, will come through loud and clear in their everyday behaviour, even if that original reason isn’t valid any more.

Maltese - what's bred in the bone?

  • pampered lapdogs
  • super sweet
  • very affectionate
  • generally calm, quiet although they do have a very playful side
  • loves to sit with ‘their people’
  • will bark to warn you that someone is approaching

Yorkie - what's bred in the bone?

  • explorers and hunters
  • love chasing small animals and toys
  • very alert and inquisitive
  • despite their small size, can be aggressive and feisty

One more thing.... the size debate

The Maltese is a sturdy little Toy dog that ideally weighs no more than 7 or 8 pounds when fully grown. Males should be 8” to 10” tall at the shoulder, while females should be 8” to 9” tall.

The Yorkshire Terrier is very similar; an ideal dog is a minimum of 5 pounds according to breed standards, and not over 7 or 8 pounds.

Smaller than that is NOT ideal and in fact, you want to beware of breeders who offer “teacups.” A Maltese, Yorkie or Morkie that weighs less than four pounds when fully grown is a runt. That dog is more prone to genetic disorders and is at a higher health risk in general.