The trend for ‘designer’ hybrid dogs began some decades ago when discerning breeders realised that they could produce pretty, good-natured dogs – often with low-shedding coats so great for people with allergies – that would make ideal family pets or a fine choice for a first-time dog owner. The potential for such breeds has been exploited – to the delight of many owners – in the form of very popular family pets such as the Yorkipoo, Labradoodle,and the Cockapoo, among many others, but for something a little smaller, we bring you the Morkie!
Not the most commonly-seen breed, when it comes to the Morkie, cute is the word! This extremely attractive little dog – a Morkie, a cross between a Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier, should grow no taller than 8inches – is a playful and loyal one, too, and makes a great choice for someone living alone in a smaller property. Let’s check out the Morkie in more detail.
Origins of the Morkie Cross Breed
Cross-breeds have become more popular over the past few years as people begin to realise that the temperament of the breed has been carefully considered. In the case of the Morkie, the two small and fun parent dogs are chosen for their loyalty, size and friendly nature, and the fact the dog sheds less than most is a bonus.
The Morkie was first bred in the USA, as a designer lapdog – a purpose it serves very well – but has since become popular as a small and friendly, if vivacious and strong-willed, breed across the world. It is important that you understand the modern hybrid cross-breed is a far cry from your average mongrel; this is a dog that has had its parents picked very carefully, and that has been bred by a reputable and experienced breeder.
For many people, the advantage of the Morkie lies in its small stature; this is a dog that will happily curl up on your lap – and make little mark as it weighs no more than 8lb – and that will sleep on your bed at night. In fact, such is the love and loyalty of the Morkie, you may find that it follows you absolutely everywhere! It makes a great family pet, will play for a long time and is intelligent, and if trained from an early age, will also integrate happily with other dogs and pets. For this reason, socialising the dog at an early stage is a strongly recommended part of its training.
We can’t stress how important it is that you buy your Morkie puppy from a reputable breeder; this gives you the advantage of knowing that the parents have been carefully selected not just for looks, but for health reasons. Never buy from a pet shop, and if you do choose to look at rescue dogs, make sure you have all the information you can on the dog’s past.
So, let’s talk a little more about the characteristics and temperament of the Morkie, and why it might just be the dog for you.
Morkie Breed Characteristics
The choice of hybrid cross breeds available means you can choose from larger dogs, medium sized and smaller animals, and make no mistake the Morkie comes firmly in the latter category! That makes it perfect for people who want a dog but have minimal space, and you will find the Morkie to be a great family pet that provides many hours of excellent fun and enjoyment.
Once again, we also can’t stress too much how important it is that you find a breeder with a good reputation from whom to buy your Morkie puppy. The peace of mind that comes with knowing the parents have been carefully chosen is something that you will find of great benefit. There are many such breeders around, and you should be prepared to travel to find one that comes highly recommended.
As the Morkie is bred from two dogs with known temperaments – the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier – it naturally offers you the combined nature of these two wonderful animals. In short, a well-bred and trained Morkie will be a fun, playful and obedient animal that is perfect with older children, and that makes an almost unsurpassable choice of family dog. However, be aware that as the Morkie is a terrier, and has considerable intelligence, it can also be a stubborn dog, so make sure you are firm with your training at an early age.
A few pros and cons when it comes to owning a Morkie:
- Like many such cross-breeds, the Morkie is often promoted as low-shedding, but you should remember they do shed some hair
- It is a friendly and loyal breed, and one that will bring many years of enjoyable fun to the family.
- Morkies are easy to train and receptive to instruction and learning, so you will find your dog soon understands you.
- The Morkie will be a great dog for older children, as it enjoys playing games and is very intelligent.
- Your Morkie will, with the right training, become a friendly and loyal dog, and if you socialise from an early age, one that also enjoys the company of other pets and people.
- This is a very small dog so will be perfect in an apartment or flat, and is ideal for a first-time owner.
- As with all do,gs it will need exercise, but given its size, not as much as many bigger breeds
- The Morkie is – first and foremost – a lap dog, so if this is not the sort of pet you want, it might not be for you.
- It has a coat that is high-maintenance, so will require grooming on a regular basis and professional attention every now and then
- As with all breeds, there are certain hereditary diseases and ailments that the Morkie can suffer from, so talk to your breeder for reassurance
- The Morkie will be relatively easy to train, but it can also be a stubborn animal – that’s terriers for you – so you need to have a firm hand when training your puppy.
- This might be a small dog, but it is one that will eat a lot, so be prepared to have food handy!
- This can be a pro or a con but be aware that some Morkies love water!
All in all, a Morkie is a lovely, easy-going but energetic and fun small dog that will make a perfect pet for a family, or for someone living alone.
There is no easy way to see this: the cuteness factor with a Morkie is almost unbeatable. This is a very pretty dog, with a gorgeous little face that is always attentive, and one that is enhanced by its lovely fluffy coat, inherited from both parents. Indeed, you will never tire of people stopping you and telling you what a beautiful and attractive dog you have, and its diminutive size simply adds to the picture.
The Morkie has a coat that often appears somewhat untended – that’s another typical terrier trait – and that is generally soft and long, but there is no recognised coat type or style, as this a cross-breed and no guarantees can be given. But, it’s that face that says it all; coupled with a general attractiveness that is wonderful to look at, you will never be alone with your Morkie, and you can find them in a variety of different colours.
As with all such cross-breed dogs, there is no standard colour palette for the Morkie. It will depend entirely upon the parent dogs, and even then, no breeder can absolutely guarantee the colour of your puppy. We can tell you that your Morkie will most likely be in one of the following colour variations, but this is by no means an absolute guide, so talk to breeders about their most popular and common results:
- Brown – Quite a common colour for a Yorkie – and therefore for a Morkie – brown is particularly attractive with black or white, or both
- Red – Not the most common of colours, but one that is very attractive if you can find a puppy in this shade.
- Silver – For many people, this silver/blue shade is a personal choice, and is one of the most attractive of all the Morkie colourings.
- Cream – there are several variations on the theme with cream coloured coats, and each is very attractive indeed.
- Apricot – once again, the shades can differ, but this wonderful and unusual colour looks great in every option.
- Black – all dogs look amazing in black, and a black Morkie puppy will be subject to an endless stream of compliments – they really are quite stunning!
This is by no means a comprehensive list of Labradoodle coat colours, but should give you a good idea of the sheer choice available. Talk to your breeder about colour options, and you may find they can offer you a great choice from their current brood, or have an idea of upcoming litters. It may be worth talking to more than one breeder for greater choice.
How to Groom a Morkie
Being such a small dog does not mean that a Morkie won’t need grooming. In fact, the coat of a Morkie – being generally long and fluffy – is quite high maintenance, and you will need to groom your dog regularly to prevent tangling, especially if it is a dog that spends time outdoors. A small brush and a quick going over every couple of days will be enough, and will also ensure your Morkie is happy being groomed.
This is important because, as with all dogs, you should have your Morkie groomed professionally every now and again. The results will be very impressive, and will allow you to have a beautiful and comfortable – as well as healthy – dog around you at all times, and one that everyone will stop and admire!
The Temperament of a Morkie
We have mentioned temperament as an important factor when choosing a dog, and while many people find smaller dogs perhaps less receptive to training than the larger breeds, this is often down to the approach to training. A well-trained, well-bred Morkie will be a very affable, friendly and loyal dog, if one that perhaps needs a little more training than others – but we’ll cone to that in a moment!
As the Morkie is a cross-breed, the temperament of an individual dog cannot be guaranteed. However, this is the reason you go to a professional breeder. They will have carefully selected parent dogs that are proven to have reliable offspring. In fact, it is often the case that breeding two Morkies – rather than Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier – produces a much more easy-going animal. The simple fact remains, however, that in general the parent breeds are good-natured and non-aggressive dogs that produce offspring with very amiable temperament.
We could list many reasons why a Morkie makes an excellent pet, either for a family or for a single person, and one is that it will soon build a bond with the owner that is unbreakable. Be prepared to have your little friend follow you around the home everywhere you go, and want to get involved in everything that goes on. This is a dog that is guaranteed to provide you with many years of wonderful companionship, without a doubt.
The Morkie makes an excellent family dog for many reasons: it is a playful animal that will be great with children and one that can be easily trained to get on with other pets, including dogs and cats. There is an element of loyalty in these dogs that goes far and beyond that you may find in some other breeds, so you need to be prepared to accept your new puppy as one of the family.
If there is a downside to owning a Morkie it is that it will not take kindly to being left alone for long periods. If you live in a house where there is nobody in all day, this is definitely not the dog for you. A quiet dog by nature, a neglected Morkie will – like all dogs – bark for attention, and come become easily scared if it does not feel it has the protection of its owner around it at all times.
In many ways, the Morkie is just about the perfect family dog, is relatively easy to train and will soon learn who is in charge if you are willing to take the time, and will get to know its place in the home. If you follow our tips on training – read on for those – and select a well-bred dog from a reputable breeder, you will enjoy your Morkie for many years to come.
Living with a Morkie
Making a decision to buy a dog is not one to be taken lightly, whether you want a Morkie or another breed, so we recommend that you take the time to talk to owners about their experience with these lovely little jobs. It is also important that you check out breeders. A reputable breeder will be more than happy to show you around and introduce you to the parent dogs, and it gives you the peace of mind that you are buying a well-bred dog with the right temperament.
Both the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier are breeds known for being bright, but they also come with that certain Terrier tenacity! Intelligence in a dog is a two-way thing: on the one hand, you get the benefit of an animal that is relatively easy to train – we will come back to this – and on the other you get a strong-willed dog that can on occasions be somewhat naughty, or shall we say inquisitive? Nevertheless, train your Morkie well, and keep it occupied and entertained as required, and the result will be a very enjoyable pet.
The great thing abut the Morkie is that it makes a fine family pet. Be aware that a young dog may find persistent attention from younger children unwanted, and can react in a way that may seem aggressive, so as with all dogs make sure you supervise in this situation. For older children, and for people living alone, the Morkie is a perfect dog, and is happy with limited exercise in the form of regular short walks, so will be great even in the smallest of homes.
One good thing about the temperament of the Morkie is that it does not have a strong prey drive; some dogs will instinctively chase other dogs or small animals. A Labradoodle, if well-trained, will leave your neighbour’s cat alone, but be aware if something moving quickly catches its eye, it may be inclined to go after it. A well-trained Morkie should return to the owner when called, so this must be instilled in it from an early age.
Be prepared to enjoy walks with your dog – and with other dogs and people too – which is one of the pleasures of dog ownership. It’s great exercise, and also great fun!
In brief, living with a Morkie is a pleasurable experience, and one that will certainly bring you many years of enjoyment and companionship.
Training Your Morkie
If you are sure you want a Morkie puppy – and who doesn’t want such a gorgeous and endearing little dog – you need to understand what it takes to train. The combined nature of the two terrier parents means that this is a dog that while easy to train, may present some obstacles along the way!
The Morkie, an intelligent breed, is also a stubborn one, so you need to be prepared to give it more attention than most. It will respond to the right approach, but get it wrong and you may find the puppy becomes confused or scared, and does not learn as required. Here’s a few tips on what not to do when training a Morkie:
- Shout – The Morkie is a small dog that will respond well to positive instruction; while you need to be firm with your puppy, needless shouting – or anger – will serve only to frighten your dog, and make life more difficult for both of you.
- Use physical reactions – Toy dogs such as this can be fragile and easily hurt, so you need to train your Morkie without the need for physical intervention.
- Lock it away – Never shut a puppy away on its own for being ‘naughty’; remember, the dog is just young and has a lot to learn and won’t take to being left alone.
And some advice on what can bring the best results:
- Start early – this is an essential in dog training; the earlier you start training your puppy, the sooner it will learn how to behave.
- Socialize – it is very important that you get your Morkie puppy to socialise early in its life, both with people at home, elsewhere, and with other dogs and animals. This will help it know how to handle such occasions in later life.
- Be positive and firm – Your Morkie is an intelligent animal and will notice how your tone of voice and attitude changes; positive is good, and as it is a stubborn dog at times, a firm approach is also best if you are to get the right response.
- Patience – be prepared to take the time to spend with your dog on a regular basis. Training a puppy will take a long time, and remember, it has a very steep learning curve.
Enjoy your training time with your Morkie puppy, and you will find you get much more out of your lovely dog.
Morkie Health Care
The Morkie, like all dogs – and not just the cross-breeds – can be susceptible to hereditary health problems. This is one of the major reasons why finding a reputable breeder is important. Your breeder will be able to assure you that the parent dogs are healthy, and that your puppy will stand the very least chance of inheriting one of the health problems that are seen in Morkies.
Be prepared to travel to find a breeder that can offer you the reassurance you need, and we recommend that you check out more than one breeder. If you don’t want to buy a puppy you can always choose a rescue dog, as mentioned below.
Getting Your Own Morkie
We have mentioned the pitfalls of getting a rescue dog already, so be aware that while this is a viable option, we strongly recommend you source a carefully bred Morkie puppy from a reputable and experienced breeder. A dog is not a meagre investment, and a Morkie puppy will cost you around £600. This is a small, investment for such a wonderful addition to the family!
Breeds Similar to the Morkie
If you want to look at other cross breeds, and don’t want a dog as small as a Morkie or as large as some of the bigger breeds, we strongly recommend you check out the Cavachon and Cockapoo. These dogs have a similar temperament, are equally attractive and will also give you years of pleasure.
Morkie Last Word
For anyone looking for a very small, very friendly, lively and fun-loving dog – not to mention one that will provide endless loyalty to its owners – there is no doubt that the Morkie is a great choice, so check out breeders now, and you may soon have a beautiful puppy in your life!