Morkie Breed Profile: Maltese Yorkie Mix Essential Facts for New Owners

The Yorkshire Terrier and the Maltese are two small breeds with huge fan clubs, so it’s easy to think that a cross between these two breeds, the Morkie, would be a superstar breed in its own right.

The Little Morkie (sometimes called the Yorktese or Morkshire Terrier) inherits many traits from its parent breeds and has other quirks that make them unique. Whether you’re considering adding a Morkie to your family or already own one, here’s everything you need to know about this adorable breed.

breed characteristics

  • Origin: United States
  • Small size
  • Shelf life: 10-13 years
  • Energy level: high
  • Breed Group: Toy Dog/Designer Dog

Morkie’s appearance


Because the Morkie dog is a mixed breed, it’s impossible to predict exactly what each Morkie puppy will look like when they grow up. Morkies will take on some characteristics of the Yorkshire Terrier and some of the Maltese. Some dogs may prefer Yorkies while others prefer Maltese. Even in the same litter there can be puppies that look different.

One thing you can almost always expect from a Morkie is a long, luxurious coat, as this is a prominent trait in both parent breeds.

However, one cannot be so sure about the coat color. It can be black and tan like the Yorkshire Terrier, white like the Maltese, or something in between.

Morkies are small dogs, a trait they also inherit from their parent breeds. According to the American Kennel Club, the Yorkshire Terrier typically stands seven to eight inches tall and weighs about seven pounds. Malteses are similar in size, averaging between seven and nine inches tall and weighing seven pounds or less. You can rest assured that your Morkie will grow to about the same size.

Morkie toilet

Just one look at their beautiful coats should tell you that Morkie dogs really are not low maintenance when it comes to grooming.

Like the Yorkie and the Maltese, Morkies have long, silky hair similar to humans. It shouldn’t surprise you that they need to brush their hair every day to avoid tangles and knots.

According to PetGuide, Morkies also need a bath at least once a month. It is best to use a good quality shampoo. Y Conditioner to keep hair and skin soft and healthy.

Small dogs are prone to dental disease and should be brushed daily at home and regularly cleaned by your veterinarian.

Morkie personality


If you’ve ever spent time around small dogs, you probably know that most of them don’t have small personalities to match their small size. Morkies are no exception to this rule.

Morkie dogs are energetic and love to play. They love to play with balls or other small toys, and love to burn off energy by running around the house or yard.

Despite their high energy, Morkies are also very affectionate dogs who love to relax with a good hug. If you have a ride, your Morkie will find it and get comfortable.

They are also very attached to their owners. So if you bring a Morkie into your home, be prepared to have a little companion wherever you go.

Finally, Morkies are not generally quiet dogs. While not exactly great at keeping watch, Morkies make excellent watchdogs, alerting you to anything or anyone approaching.

perfect environment

Because Morkies are small dogs, they can expend a lot of energy running around indoors, making them perfect for small spaces like apartments and condos.

However, due to their tendency to bark, they can disturb neighbors, something to be aware of if you live around others.

Although Morkies enjoy spending time outdoors, they should never be let off the leash unless they are in a fenced area.

human ideal

Morkies are great for people of all ages, but they’re not ideal for homes with young children. Little Morkies are fragile, and despite their good intentions, toddlers aren’t always careful enough to avoid getting hurt.

For the same reason, they should not be in homes with large dogs. Even the nicest big dogs can play rough, and a Morkie has a very good chance of getting injured while playing with a big dog.

Although Morkie dogs can get a lot of exercise indoors, they still need daily walks (and twice a day is even better). You do best with someone who has the time and energy to go for a daily walk.

Being very attached to their humans, Morkies don’t do very well on their own. They are best paired with someone who spends a lot of time at home or in a household where at least one person is home most of the time.

train a Morkie

Morkies are intelligent but stubborn, a combination that can lead to many frustrating training sessions for both dog and owner.

Morkie dogs are smart enough to pick up any trick or behavior you try to teach them, but how you go about the training will determine if they want to cooperate.

The best way to master training a Morkie is to keep them happy. Achieve this goal by making it fun with treats and lots of praise. Rude behavior, yelling, and scolding are likely to have the opposite effect, causing your Morkie to stop and resist training.

While teaching your Morkie tricks is fun and imperative to potty train them as soon as possible, it’s also important that you move on with your Morkie training to something else as soon as possible. Bonding your Morkie with you can be sweet and endearing, but it can also be very problematic. Morkies have been known to develop separation anxiety, which can be damaging to your dog (as well as your home). Avoid this by teaching him to be alone from an early age, starting with periods of just a few minutes and gradually increasing to a few hours.

health of the breed


As much as we would like to, there is simply no way to predict if your Morkie will grow up to be a healthy, problem-free dog. But thanks to the magic of miscegenation, the likelihood of that happening is greater.

According to the Institute of Canine Biology, a recent study showed that mixed breed dogs were less likely to suffer from genetic disorders than their purebred counterparts.

Of course, Morkie dogs are always at risk of health issues that their parent breeds are predisposed to. Yorkshire Terriers are at risk for eye diseases and dislocated kneecaps.

The Maltese can have more serious health problems. The breed is also known to suffer from congenital liver problems, cardiac abnormalities, and encephalitis. While reputable breeders should recognize these issues, it’s always something to watch out for.

History of the Morkie

No one knows exactly when Morkie dogs first appeared in the United States, but fans of designer dogs have known them for at least 20 years. You shall be a new towering dog that does not shed.

But that only tells a small part of the story. To really know where the Morkie came from, it’s important to understand the history of its parent breeds.

Yorkshire Terriers were bred from Scottish Terriers by weavers in Scotland in the mid-18th century. Their small size made them perfect for hunting rodents that plague textile mills. Luckily for Yorkies everywhere, they didn’t stay in the workforce for long. Recognized by the England Kennel Club in 1886, Yorkshire Terriers became popularly known as lap dogs soon after. Soon she was seen more frequently on the knees of English ladies.

While Yorkshire Terriers have a long history, Maltese dogs make Yorkies a new breed. Maltese are ancient dogs dating back to the Phoenicians of Malta, empire builders who ruled the Mediterranean before the rise of Greece. And even then they sat on the laps of leisure ladies. They retained their royal status under Greek and Roman rule and became popular with Chinese breeders after the fall of Rome. There they were crossed with miniature Chinese breeds and shipped back to Europe. The Maltese were present at the first Westminster show in 1877, then called the Maltese Lion Dog.

Get a Morkie dog

Adopting a dog is not an easy decision as it involves big changes in your home (and sometimes in your pocket). Once you’ve weighed your options and decided that a Morkie is the dog for you, there are several ways to get a Morkie.

The two most popular options are adopting a Morkie through a rescue organization or buying one from a breeder. Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s important to explore all options.

morkie saves

Since Morkies are a new breed, there may not be many ways to find one through a rescue organization, but it is possible. A careful search of the web will uncover options for rescued Morkies, but you may have to go a long way to find one. If the organization isn’t in your area, do your research and ask questions to make sure they’re reputable.

There can be downsides to adopting a Morkie through a rescue organization. The dog you find may not be a puppy and you won’t be able to learn much about its past. However, their age can also be an advantage: an adult Morkie is likely to be housebroken and likely been socialized through rescue. He will also be spayed or neutered and have received all required vaccinations. All of this will significantly reduce the cost of ownership for you as well as the adoption fees which are usually much cheaper than the price of buying a Morkie from a breeder.

Breeders of Morkies

It is often more difficult to find reputable Morkie breeders as they are not an AKC registered breed and therefore are not listed among their licensed breeders. Before you commit to a Morkie breeder, do some research on them – your veterinarian or other local breeders can be a good source. During your visit, be sure to ask about any health issues in the dog’s lineage and discuss any genetic testing you may want to have done.

More about Morkies

Want to learn more about Morkies? Learn about their parents’ breeds!

To learn more about what it’s like to buy and care for a dog, here are some resources to get you started:


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