Morkie Dog Breed

Tan Morkie
iStock.com/HMetal
  • Other names:
  • Yorktese
  • Malkie
  • Malki
Overview

The Morkie is a very small hybrid dog cross-bred from two toy breeds: the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier. Although the Morkie will inherit characteristics from both parent breeds, not all Morkies will get the same traits — not even those within a single litter. Your Morkie will be a bundle of lovable contradictions: tiny in size but big in attitude; highly playful but very fragile; easily excited but quite intelligent. Members of this breed can do well with other pets if socialized early but, remember, one of their parent breeds was a ratting dog so they may have hunting instincts toward small critters. They make great family pets, are excellent watch dogs require a great amount of maintenance in grooming, exercise and attention.

Morkie Breed Details

Breed Specs
TypeLifespanHeightWeight
Hybrid12-15 yrs.6-10 in.4-12 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

Below are the details and specs for the Morkie dog breed.

Morkie Breed Description

The Morkie is not called a Toy Terrier for nothing: once mature, their basic weight is 4 to 12 pounds, and they stand about 6 to 10 inches tall. They love attention, and it should not be difficult to carry them in a handbag, backpack or even a large pocket.

Their big attitude may come as a surprise to those who mistake the Morkie's small size for meekness, but they are still very playful, friendly and loyal dogs. Children should be taught to be gentle with them, however, and strangers will prompt a bevy of barking.

Morkies are not meant to be left alone, ungroomed or untended. They need lots of attention, daily brushings and frequent walks and play time. They don't shed much, and their hair grows constantly so they will need several annual trips to the groomer as well.

Morkie Breed History

The Morkie is a somewhat new hybrid; because of this, there is no real detailed history — although it is believed that the first Morkie was conceived in the 1990s in the United States. Fortunately, there is quite a bit of history regarding the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier breeds.

The lineage of the Maltese goes back approximately 2,000 years. This toy dog has been depicted in the ancient art of Egypt, Greece and Rome; even Aristotle described the breed as "perfectly proportioned." Just as the many other treasures that passed through this miniature Mediterranean archipelago — along with the many conquerors that laid claim to and thereafter lost the island — the Maltese may have first been noted on Malta. In any case, what is known is the dog was highly coveted, and even before Christianity was born, the dog was an ornament without which no noble woman was fully dressed.

With the fall of Rome came the Dark Ages, but not for the Maltese; the dog thrived as a currency in the Far East even as the West fell into murder, disease and despair, and dog-breeding was all but lost. With the Renaissance, dog-breeding was again brought to the fore, and it was during this rebirth that the Maltese gained one of its nicknames from being used in lieu of water-bottles to ease body pain: "comforter dog." The Maltese was said to have been initially imported to the United States from England in the late 1800s but didn't gain nationwide popularity in the U.S. until the 1950s. The Maltese was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888, and these days it is one of the most popular show dogs in the nation.

The Yorkshire Terrier, on the other hand, is not even two centuries old — but the breed has a rich history replete with detailed records since shortly after its inception. They were raised as ratters, but quickly became popular as lap dogs. Ultimately named for the north England region from which they came, Yorkshire Terriers were conceived in the 1850s when various Terriers were cross-bred among people seeking work in the area during the early Industrial Revolution. The Terriers were taken along by the workers for one basic reason: as ratters to control the vermin population in the mines, factories and mills where the men were employed. The remarkably small dog could literally be carried in their pockets and could easily chase down rodents in the small spaces where they hid. Despite its humble beginnings, the Yorkshire Terrier quickly became a favorite of English Victorian royalty. These days, it remains one of the most popular toy-sized dogs in many countries including the U.S., UK and Australia. It was recognized by the AKC in 1885.

Morkie Appearance

The Morkie is a cross-breed that will get its genetics from both parent breeds: the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier; some will get more Maltese and others will get more Yorkshire Terrier — and yet there will be those that get a balance of both breeds. Regardless of your Morkie's mix, she will be a small dog with long hair, soft coat and a big attitude! Perhaps the only real difference of whether your Morkie shows more Maltese or Yorkshire Terrier are the ears: if they flop over, they are like the former but if they are erect, that means they are more Yorkie.

Morkie Coloring

The Morkie's coat colors tend to be white, brown, black or tan.

Morkie Size

This toy terrier's typical size is 4 to 12 pounds when mature, and stands about 6 to 10 inches.

Average Adult Height

6-10 in
*Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs.

Average Adult Weight

4-12 lbs

Morkie Variations

Generally, Morkie variations are F1 (the direct offspring of a Maltese and a Yorkie), F1B (offspring of a Morkie and either a Maltese or Yorkie), or F2 (offspring of two Morkie parents). For the most part, professional breeders offer either F1 or F1B Morkie puppies for sale.

A Morkie's coat is usually long and silky, and is a combination of its Maltese and Yorkie parents' coat traits. If the parent Yorkie has a wiry coat (generally considered a rarity), its Morkie offspring may reflect that, and the Morkie hair may be wiry as well. Also, many Yorkies are genetically predisposed to changing colors as they age--a trait which a Yorkie parent may pass on to its Morkie offspring.

And Morkie size doesn't normally vary too much; most full-grown Morkies weigh 4-12 pounds and are 6-10 inches in height.

Morkie Temperament

Expect your Morkie to be playful, loyal and full of moxie! It can't be told it's a small dog, and the stubbornness will belie size. This dog will be very social and highly energetic, and must be trained and socialized very early. Training must be done with a very gentle hand and plenty of patience; yelling and similarly harsh methods will not work.

Morkie and Children

Although Morkies will get along well with children, they are very small dogs that are better suited to older children who can be made to easily understand his physical and mental fragility.

Morkie and Other Pets

Your Morkie should be socialized very early with other pets, and they should get along just fine with them. It should be kept in mind that it was not so long ago that they were bred as ratters, however, and their hunting instincts may be triggered around very small, non-canine pets.

Morkie and Strangers

Your Morkie is sure to be a good watchdog as he will most likely be very alert to strangers and his environment; he will bark when unknown people, events and noises occur.

Morkie Photos

Below are pictures and images of the Morkie dog breed.

Black & Tan Morkie
Cream Morkie
Tan Morkie

Morkie Maintenance

Morkies are high-maintenance dogs in most every way: grooming, exercise and attention. On the bright side, they don't have many health problems. While they get most of their exercise on their own, they still need walks, demand attention and require frequent grooming (preferably by professionals).

Grooming Requirements

Get ready to groom! Your Morkie will require a great amount of maintenance as he will almost definitely have long hair, a lot of energy to be burned and a seemingly perpetual demand for attention. Eyes, ears and teeth should be frequently brushed, washed and monitored; two or three times weekly is strongly recommended. As they tend to not shed much and are relatively hypoallergenic, several annual trips to the groomer will be needed as well.

Exercise Requirements

Morkies tend to get a fair amount of exercise on their own, but a couple of brief daily walks should be included as should at least a fair amount of play time with balls, bones and other toys. Left alone and with little or no exercise, Morkies are prone to acquiring destructive habits.

Living Requirements

Morkies can easily adapt to being small apartment dogs or having the luxury of large yards in which to run and play. (Just be sure that if they are allowed outdoors, they are in a secure area that will protect them from predators as well as prevent them from chasing down rodents!)

Temperature Range

There are no documented temperature restrictions for this breed. They are quite small and shouldn't be left in extreme weather conditions. They will most likely be indoor dogs, in which case they can be kept in any climate.

Random Details

Some interesting facts about this mixed breed:

  • Morkies sleep a lot: For some reason, these dogs tend to sleep more than other toy-sized breeds. Morkies' sleep cycles tend to be like that of cats: they'll sleep for hours during the day, but are often wide awake at 2 a.m.
  • "Ugly Morkie" Christmas apparel: Some clothing lines offer comically hideous holiday-themed sweaters and T-shirts with an "Ugly Morkie" logo, complete with an image of a Morkie on the front.
  • Tiny puppies, tiny litters: A Morkie puppy generally weighs only 4-5 ounces at birth, and is smaller than the size of a tennis ball. A Morkie's litter size is small too, averaging only 2-4 puppies (as opposed to 6-8 puppies on average for other breeds).
  • Celebrity Morkie owners: Well-known owners include pop star Miley Cyrus, actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, hip-hop star Drake, and actor Orlando Bloom.

Morkie Health

Morkies tend to have eye and ear problems due to their long hair, but they also have respiratory concerns because breeding for the desirable small, short and pinched snouts. Overall, they don't have many health problems, and of the small handful that may affect them, some of them can be prevented along with the daily and weekly grooming.

  • Collapsed Trachea
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Portosystemic Liver Shunt
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Reverse Sneezing
  • View all 6...

Morkie Breed Recognition

The following dog breed registries and organizations recognize the Morkie as a dog breed:

  • American Canine Hybrid Club
  • Designer Breed Registry
  • Designer Dogs Kennel Club
  • International Designer Canine Registry

Morkie Breeders

Interested in the Morkie? Contact a breeder below:

Breeder Name
Wee Puppy Paws
Fancypoo4u
All breeders with 'Quality Breeder' recognition have met our Quality Breeder Requirements.
* Please note - we are not endorsed or affiliated with any of the breeders listed above. However, we do our best to only list reputable and established breeders.