Morkies are bred to be loving fluffballs packed with adorable charm. Find out all about them in our latest guide.
Height: 25 – 30cm
Weight: 4 – 6kg
Lifespan: 10 – 13 years
Pedigree Breed (recognised by the Kennel Club?): No. The Morkie is a crossbreed between a Maltese and a Yorkshire terrier, both of which are pedigree dogs.
Positives and Negatives of the Breed
- Independent and clever
- Awesome for families
- Exceptionally small and soft
- Lots of character
- Often suffer badly from separation anxiety
- Sometimes prone to barking
- Needs a fair bit of grooming
- Demands a lot of attention
Morkies are exceptionally small and bred to be loving fluffballs packed with adorable charm. You may have heard the name Morkie in passing but what is a Morkie?
They combine Maltese dogs with Yorkshire Terriers, two clever pedigree breeds, and thus, Morkies are intelligent and intuitive super-small dogs that are highly popular amongst families.
Morkies were bred to be a lap dog and they are excellent contenders as one of the best breeds for those living in apartments or small dwellings.
That said, they are rarely the couch potato type and demand energetic stimulus from their owner.
This is a dog that loves their owner more than many dogs and they tend to be quite clingy, also suffering from separation anxiety due to the devotion and attachment they build with their families.
Because of this, some Morkies will be happiest amongst families where the stimulus is generally high. This may often seem contrary to their lapdog persona.
Whilst it is true that Morkies do love snuggling and quiet times in the company of their favourite humans, it’d be wrong to think of them as a static dog.
This is part of their awesome character. They’re a bit lively, a bit stubborn, even quite brave and bullish, all in one of the tiniest packages imaginable!
Of course, their loveable charm has helped make them one of the most popular small crosses around and they continue to surge in popularity.
By all accounts, Morkie dogs are straightforward creatures for the most part and they’re intuitive and receptive to train. It is true that they’re well suited to small spaces, you can’t not be when you’re that small!
Morkies have become city dogs loved by urban dwellers, though caution must be exercised if you intend on spending long days outside of the home away from your Morkie as they will miss you dearly!
Morkies like many other small designer dogs surged in popularity throughout the 80s and 90s. Before then, they would have existed naturally but weren’t officially recognised or purposefully bred.
This began in the US in the early 90s, maybe late 80s, and owners quickly saw the adorable and unique qualities of cross-bred small dogs.
This era was the centre of a craze for smaller, cuter and flexible dogs suitable for novice owners. More people wanted dogs and with urban living on the rise, the Morkie was a purposeful entry in an adorable sequence of designer dogs.
Indeed, like many other lapdogs, the Morkie became a firm favourite amongst families and independent people who lived in small spaces.
It has risen in popularity since and is amongst one of the world’s most loved small dogs. Now, breeders are trying to push boundaries even further by shrinking the already tiny size of the Morkie.
Many of these breeding practices are unethical and looked down upon by accredited and respected Morkie breeders.
The flexibility of a dog this small makes them very easily marketed to novice owners and owners with other pets. As a sociable, clever but small and compact dog, the Morkie is now one of the world’s most popular lap dogs.
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Morkies are known for their blunderbuss-type attitude, they’re silly, excitable and playful when they’re up and relaxed and quiet when they’re just chilling out.
They’re very intuitive with the energy or vibe of whom they are with which makes them an excellent dog for kids, as they feed off each other’s energy and tend to have quite longlasting stamina.
Of course, like any dog, especially small dogs, supervision is urged for when any dog plays with children.
This is especially important as the Morkie is supremely small and quite petite. Unlike other small dogs, the Morkie can’t really be considered that durable at all and they will injure easily, so you’ve got to take care of them during play.
Morkies grow very attached to their owners and best friends around the house. They are at their best when they’re with people and the downside of this is that they can get depressed when left for long periods of time.
This is can be problematic for owners that spend hours out of the house each day, it is crucial to play and show affection to your Morkie when you’re home, even if you’re very tired, etc.
Morkies are not a static dog like many expect and for those that spend half of their time out and half of their time on a sofa or in bed, a Morkie may easily grow discontent and depressed.
Depressed Morkies want to play less and may resign themselves to their bed away from their owner.
This would be very uncharacteristic of what a happy Morkie would do and owners need to ensure their Morkies are happy to see them and lively when called upon for play or physical exercise.
Morkies, like other crossbreed dogs, are very likely to be healthier than their pedigree ancestors. This is the strength with cross-breeding, it tends to produce healthier pups with greater longevity than pedigree breeds.
This will, however, depend on the breeding so it is essential to use a reputable breeder to grab a Morkie from healthy parents in healthy lineages.
Like many dogs, though, Morkies are at extra risk of some disease including hyperglycemia, eye and ear problems and throat problems.
One thing to be aware of is this extra-small Morkies, also known as ‘tea-cup Morkies’, are usually the result of unethical breeding practices. Dogs are not meant to be unnaturally small, a normal size Morkie is small enough!
Morkies are also generally prone to sight and ear problems in old age. These areas must be cleaned regularly to avoid the build-up of wax or other dirt and impurities.
Hypothyroidism is another issue that might go hand in hand with separation anxiety in unhappy Morkies. Owners must remember that Morkies are active and excited little dogs when they’re happy.
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Morkies are lap dogs and that conjures images of a couch potato. Whilst it’s true that Morkies love to spend time snuggling, they are also excitable dogs that love to play.
Exercise helps keeps Morkies relaxed and stress-free and it’s best to go out with them twice a day whenever possible.
Poorly exercised Morkies are much more likely to engage in destructive behaviour including chewing and barking.
Morkies are playful and engaged dogs and they’re pretty clever too so will enjoy the mental stimulation of some toys that involve problem-solving or motor skills.
Of course, Morkies are small dogs and you won’t need to go far with them to keep them exercised, nor do they need large areas to play by themselves.
As mentioned, Morkies generally surprise owners with their exercise requirements and whilst they not demand it and maybe content sitting around and sleeping, the influence of exercise on a Morkie usually has a powerful impact on its mood.
Sunlight, flowers, grass and dirt, the Morkie loves it all just like any other dog and shouldn’t be locked up inside by account of its size and lapdog status.
Morkies are quite easy to train and rarely pose many problems. Barking is probably their biggest gripe as Morkies are fairly suspicious and don’t mind noisy environments. They tend to like their own voice and any excitability translates into yapping.
Socialisation from a young age is vital to keep barking low as your Morkie will learn to be less suspicious of strangers that its owner trusts to be around.
Even then, barking may persist as an issue and it may end up as something you simply have to tolerate as an owner, even if it is problematic in small apartments or houses.
Morkies have small and petite bodies and necks and lead training should be done carefully to help avoid pulling. Harnesses are recommended for walks as they virtually eliminate the chance for a Morkie to damage its neck.
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Morkies are often cited as low-shed dogs that are relatively hypoallergenic and this is true, With curly but silky low-shed hair, Morkies do need brushing a few times a week.
Their coat easily mats, knots or pick up dirt and dust. As a small dog, grooming is quite easy and shouldn’t take long – all the less excuse to not do it!
Always clean around the ears and eyes as these areas may get dirty easily and are most vulnerable to infection.
Morkies are pretty obedient when it comes to grooming but they’re sleight and sleight and nimble and may easily wriggle out from under your hands! When cutting nails, etc, be careful not to strain your Morkie when holding them in place.
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