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.