Morkies are the result of breeding a purebred Maltese dog and a purebred Yorkshire Terrier.
The Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier are similar in size, around 5 to 7 pounds. Both have the classic dome-shaped canine head, with a medium-length muzzle. And, both have long, fine hair that hangs straight, from a part down the back, to the floor. Most dogs have fur, but Maltese, Yorkies and Morkies have hair, so they don’t shed. They are ideal for people with allergies.
The Maltese is pure white, while Yorkies are black, brown and tan. Some Yorkies are almost blond in color. So the Morkie can be any combination of colors, including beautiful tri-color.
Morkies get their looks, personality, and behavior from both the Yorkie and the Maltese breeds, so let’s…..
MEET THE PARENTS!
MEET THE PARENTS!
Maltese and Yorkie
What is a Morkie? Here are the Morkie parents.
The Yorkshire Terrier
The big dog in a little body
A relatively new breed, the Yorkshire Terrier wasn’t recognized as a breed until the 1860s.
Before that, the Yorkie had to earn his keep by killing rats and other vermin in coal mines and textile mills of northern England.
That Yorkie was scrappy and aggressive and was very much a working man’s dog. Eventually, the Yorkshire Terrier caught the attention of well-to-do ladies in Victorian England, who took up the Yorkie as a lapdog-in-training. Eventually, the Yorkie evolved into an affectionate and loyal toy companion.
Today the Yorkie is the 6th most popular registered dog in the USA.
Here’s an idea of what that earlier version Yorkshire Terrier looked like:
More about the Yorkie
- a long, fine coat of hair not fur, so they don’t shed
- good for people with allergies
- hair is straight and silky and requires daily combing and brushing
- some owners prefer to keep their Yorkies in the short “puppy cut”
- an adult Yorkshire Terrier weighs about 5 to 7 pounds. Can be up to 10 or pounds or more.
- the Yorkshire Terrier, which has been around for less than 150 years, started out much larger than today’s version. Bred to work with men in fabric mills and mines to chase out vermin, the original Yorkshire Terriers were probably around 35 pounds. When movie star Audrey Hepburn had her famous Yorkie (called, of course, Mister Famous) in Hollywood’s heyday of the 1950s, he looks like he’s around 15 pounds. Today, consumers are eager to find 3 pound or 4 pound Yorkies.
- (there’s no such thing as a teacup Yorkie or miniature; super small dogs are just the runts of the litter.)
- born almost pure black, it takes Yorkie puppies about 3 years to develop their final color
- most adults are black and what’s called “steel blue,” (a blue-gray) with tan on the head, high chest, and legs
- some come in various shades of blond and dark brown
The Yorkshire Terrier is high-spirited, confident, feisty, loyal, and affectionate. But beware, Yorkshire Terriers can be very assertive and noisy.
- smart, bright natured
Yorkies are smart, in the top third of all dogs.
What’s the downside with Yorkies?
At a glance, here are some of the more common concerns with Yorkshire Terriers:
- hereditary/genetic health problems that come with all breeds
- barking too much – they’re terriers!
- can be harder to housebreak than many small breeds, because they can be stubborn
- lots of grooming needed
- Yorkies can be very needy – they suffer from separation anxiety more than some other breed if they are left alone too long every day
The Maltese Dog
Born to love and be loved
Bred thousands of years ago, Maltese dogs were developed to be pampered lapdogs, and they take that job very seriously. The Maltese
In the 1600s and 1700s, the breed was made even smaller by cross-breeding with poodles and miniature spaniels. It has been the same small size since then.
This portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, from about 1580, shows her little lapdog, a Maltese.
More about the Maltese Dog
- like the Yorkie, the Maltese has a long, fine coat of hair, not fur, so they don’t shed
- good for people with allergies
- hair is perfectly straight and silky and requires daily combing and brushing
- some owners prefer to keep their Maltese in the short “puppy cut”
- in show dogs, the hair hangs down beyond the ground
- 5 to 7 pounds is the ideal breed standard, established by Kennel Clubs around the world
- the body is compact, with the length equaling the height
- Maltese have been tiny dogs since they were introduced centuries ago
- Maltese are pure white, although some tan is “allowed” in purebreds, around the tips of the ears
- no other color is allowed
Maltese were bred from the beginning to be luxurious companions. They love human companionship and are very loyal to their owners. Maltese are lively and playful, but always gentle. Even as a Maltese ages, his energy level and playful personality remain strong.
Maltese are cuddly, playful, spirited, and loving. The Maltese is active within a house, and, preferring enclosed spaces, does very well with small yards. So they do well in apartments and townhouses, an ideal urban pet.
Maltese are average in intelligence.
What’s the downside with Maltese?
At a glance, here are some of the more common concerns with Maltese:
- Like the Yorkie and ALL purebred dogs, the Maltese has some potential hereditary/genetic health problems, including slipping kneecaps and Cushing’s Disease
- Maltese can bark a lot, even though they are not terriers
- lots of grooming needed
Is the Maltese a Terrier?
NO! Although some people refer to the Maltese as a “Maltese Terrier,” the Maltese is not a terrier. The breed’s long bloodlines are through the Spaniel group, not terriers. Maltese do not have terrier characteristics, such as being aggressive and chasing prey.
There’s also no such thing as a ‘teacup’ or ‘miniature’ Maltese; these are just smaller (and often unhealthy) dogs – the runts of the litter.
And here's the Morkie!
Morkie Quick Facts
Like the parents, Morkies typically range from 5 pounds up to 8 or 9 pounds.
Both Yorkies and Maltese live a long time compared to most dogs.
- average lifespan of all dogs (who die from natural causes) is 12 years and 8 months)
- average Morkie life span estimated to be 15 to 16 years
Smaller dogs live longer, and crossbreeds live longer. DOUBLE BONUS!
Many Morkies live a long, healthy life to 14, 15 or more. The key? Medical and dental care as needed, and maintaining a healthy weight with a good diet and exercise.
Morkies come in a variety of unique coat colours, including a beautiful brown, black and white tri-colour.
You can keep their coats long and luxurious, or take them to a groomer for a puppy cut. Either way, they're adorable.
WORRIED YOUR MORKIE DOG IS FAT? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE.
How big will my Morkie get?
People are sometimes concerned that their Morkie puppy will grow up to be "too big." As long as he is healthy and not overweight, his size shouldn't matter.
Very small dogs (4 pounds and less) can have PROBLEMS, including the following --
- they can get low blood sugar, and go into shock quickly
- super small dogs can get injured more easily
- their health isn't as robust as larger dogs of the same breed
- risks are higher during an operation, even for something as simple as neutering
- feeding your tiny, tiny dog can be challenging
- Yorkies, Morkies and Maltese under 4 pounds don't live as long as their bigger littermates
Don't look for a Teacup Morkie - there's technically no such thing. They are simply the runts of the litter - smaller, weaker, sickly.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT YOUR MORKIE DOG'S SIZE AND HOW BIG YOUR MORKIE PUPPY WILL GET.
Your Morkie's ears - Yorkie or Maltese style?