Written by Natalie Decker

Small dog, big heart: The Morkie is considered affectionate and friendly.

The Morkie is one of the designer dogs created by deliberately crossbreeding two purebred dogs. The Morkie’s parents are a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier. Alternative names for this petite Maltese-Yorkie mix include Yorkese or Morkshire Terrier. In terms of appearance and personality, it has a few surprises in store.

Appearance: Mix of Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier

The Morkie is a so-called hybrid dog, resulting from the planned crossbreeding of a purebred Maltese with a purebred Yorkshire Terrier. Depending on which genes are more dominant in the mix, it may resemble either the Maltese or the Yorkshire Terrier more closely. A balanced mix of both parents’ traits is also possible.

How Big Does a Morkie Grow?

Morkies are small dogs, usually reaching a shoulder height of 24 to 30 centimetres and a weight of two to seven kilograms. Additionally, Morkies are bred in the controversial extra small Teacup variety.

Beware of Unethical Breeding

Animal welfare advocates warn against miniature designer dogs as they often suffer from health issues related to breeding, such as hydrocephalus (water on the brain).

In some countries, Teacup dogs are even classified as unethical breeds, and their breeding is banned.

When Is a Morkie Fully Grown?

The Morkie is fully grown at about one year old.

Coat and Colour Are a Surprise Package

The Morkie has medium to long hair that can be straight or slightly wavy. The silky fur feels soft and can come in white, cream, brown, grey or black. Combinations of several colours, as seen in Yorkshire Terriers, are also possible.

The Morkie has a rather small head, with big, dark brown eyes, it looks alert and curious. Its ears may be floppy or erect, rounded or pointed, and it has a short, fanned tail.

Character: Friendly Family Companion

Just like the appearance, the Morkie’s temperament is somewhat unpredictable. It depends on which breed’s genes dominate this hybrid variety.

The Maltese is known as a clingy, cuddly companion dog, that due to its calm and patient nature, is perfect for families and seniors. In contrast, the Yorkshire Terrier is typically more independent and can be more stubborn.

The Morkie Loves Being the Centre of Attention

Generally, the Morkie is a friendly, intelligent dog.

It bonds closely to its favourite person and needs a lot of attention. It does not like being left alone for long periods.

Is the Morkie Easy to Train?

When bored, the lively, people-oriented hybrid dog may display behaviours like excessive barking or a certain destructive streak.

It usually gets along well with other dogs, smaller pets, and children. However, it should be well socialised and exposed to various stimuli from puppyhood.

Training the small mix requires patience, clear communication and loving consistency, but is typically manageable for first-time dog owners.

Care and Entertainment of Morkies

Thanks to its small size, the Morkie is suitable for apartment living or city life. Despite being a hybrid breed, it’s not overly active.

Even the little Morkshire Terrier needs daily exercise. Moderate walks and playtime indoors or in the garden are usually enough to keep this compact dog entertained in a breed-appropriate way.

Play and Fun with the Morkie

The lively, social dog enjoys its family’s attention. It loves frolicking with children or dashing around with fellow canines at the dog park.

Thanks to its intelligence, the Morkie is capable of learning various tricks – or even intricate routines for dog dancing.

Morkie Grooming: Best Brushed Daily

The Morkie’s soft fur is quite high-maintenance. Ideally, its coat should be brushed daily after walks to remove dirt, pests, and plant debris.

If combing is neglected, the fur can become matted, leading to painful knots and the spread of skin fungi.

Approximately every three months, the Morkshire Terrier should be trimmed, and the hair around the eyes should be regularly checked nd trimmed if necessary to prevent eye infections.

Is the Morkie Suitable for Allergy Sufferers?

The Morkie is one of the dogs that shed very little. Therefore, the designer dog is often described as hypoallergenic and recommended for people with dog allergies.

However, there is no guarantee that allergy sufferers can keep a Morkie without issue. If in doubt, one should thoroughly test living together before acquiring the dog.

Should the Morkie be Bathed?

Depending on activity level and coat length and texture, the Morkie should be bathed occasionally. It is important to use products like dog shampoo and conditioner that do not harm the skin’s protective layer.

Bathing should be limited to a minimum and occur no more than once a month.

Proper Nutrition: What Does a Morkie Need?

Morkies require high-quality food with a high meat content.

They often react sensitively to fillers, preservatives, and artificial colours. As they tend to eat a lot and don’t move excessively, they are prone to overweight.

If one chooses to feed dry dog food, it should be a variety for small dogs with appropriately sized kibble.

Watch Out for Dental Problems

Since Maltese-Yorkie mixes are prone to dental issues, providing dental sticks & chews is essential.

In addition, it’s wise to get the hybrid dog accustomed to tooth-brushing from puppyhood.

Health: What Diseases May Occur?

Experts disagree on whether hybrid dogs like the Morkie are healthier than pure breeds. It is clear, however, that designer dogs can inherit predispositions for genetic diseases from both parents.

This is especially true if breeders don’t focus on selecting healthy parents.

Eye Diseases Are Common

The Morkie is prone to eye conditions such as cataracts (grey star), glaucoma (green star) and progressive retinal atrophy.

This is because it can inherit a weakened lens suspension from the Yorkshire Terrier.

How Old Can a Morkie Get?

In addition, the Yorkese is susceptible to kidney problems, patellar luxation, heart valve diseases and reverse sneezing. Another potential issue is tracheal collapse, where the windpipe falls inwards.

Nevertheless, the Morkie has a relatively high life expectancy of twelve to sixteen years.

Origin: A Young Hybrid Dog Breed

Little is known about the Morkie’s origins. Most likely, Maltese were first crossed with Yorkshire Terriers in the late 1990s in the USA.

The goal was to create a small dog with silky fur that would serve as a faithful companion to singles, retirees and families with children.

Other Yorkie Mixes

Neither the international canine federation FCI nor most regional breeding associations have recognised hybrid dogs like the Morkie as independent breeds.

Other popular mixes with Yorkie involvement include the Yorkiepoo, a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Poodle, and the Chorkie, a mix of Yorkshire Terrier and Chihuahua.

© Joan Huot/Wirestock Creators /
Morkie is one of the most relaxed dogs, but it also appreciates walks and likes to play.

Breeding and Purchase: How Much Does a Morkie Cost?

There are no fixed standards for Morkie breeding, due to the lack of breed recognition. Unlike with pure breeds, even reputable breeders are not part of any association that could monitor the adherence to specific breeding criteria and goals.

This makes it challenging for prospective owners to find a responsible Morkie breeder.

Caution with Untrustworthy Breeders

Due to the hype around designer dogs and lack of breeding regulation, there is room for unethical practices. In essence, any amateur breeder without any knowledge can cross Maltese with Yorkshire Terriers and subsequently sell the puppies at a high price.

Because the demand is high, the price for a Morkie typically starts around £1200.

Where Can I Find a Healthy Morkie?

To ensure buying a healthy puppy, one should ask the breeder many questions: Have the parent dogs been tested for genetic diseases? Are the puppies raised in a home environment? Of course, one should also inspect the breeding facility: Is everything clean? Are the dog parents purebred and healthy? Do the puppies seem fit and lively?

It is advisable to avoid apparent cheap offers on online portals, which are often associated with the notorious puppy mills, producing puppies in abysmal conditions without any care for health of the parent or baby dogs’ health.

Conclusion: Cute Surprise Package on Four Legs

What the adult Morkie will look like and how it will behave is hard to predict in puppyhood. After all, the planned Maltese-Yorkie mix is a crossbreed that does not have to meet any breed standards. Therefore, adopting a hybrid dog like the Morkie always carries a certain risk.

Therefore, it is all the more important to find a reputable breeder who cares about the health of their beloved dogs – and not about making quick money.

Morkie Profile

Special Features: | Hybrid dog, resulting from the crossbreeding of Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier.

Character: | Friendly, affectionate, sociable, socially engaging

Wither Height: | 24-30 cm

Weight: | 2-7 kg

Coat: | Smooth or slightly wavy in white, black, brown, or cream; multicoloured possible

Coat Care: | High-maintenance, daily brushing and regular clipping necessary

Exercise: | Rather low exercise needs, can be entertained with play or dog dancing

Suitable for First-Time Owners: | Yes

Barking Tendency: | Quite bark-happy

Life Expectancy: | 12-16 years

Typical Diseases: | Eye diseases, kidney issues, patellar luxation, heart valve diseases, tracheal collapse

Price: | Around £1200

FCI Group: | Not recognised

Origin: | USA

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Natalie Decker
Profilbild Natalie Decker (mit Pferd)

"A life without a pug is possible, but pointless," Loriot once said. I would unreservedly agree and add: "A life without horse, cat and rabbit as well!" My heart beats for all animals big and small and I have the great fortune to be able to write about my passion as a freelance author. With my articles I would like to raise awareness for animal welfare and give useful tips to animal lovers.

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