The Morkie is a breed of dog that is referred to as a crossbreed or a hybrid because it is half Maltese and half Yorkshire Terrier. In the last few years, hybrid dog breeds, also known as designer breeds have become increasingly popular because many undesirable traits of both parent breeds are eliminated while the more desirable traits are maintained. This is the case with the Morkie.
People who are considering owning a Morkie should know that the Morkie is not a purebred and will not be able to be registered by a purebred registry even if it is a first generation and both parents were purebed and registered. As designer dog breeds become more popular, hybrid registration agencies are opening and registering designer breed dogs.
A Morkie will usually have a coat that is very soft. The colors of the Morkie may range depending on the coloring of the parents, but many Morkies are apricot, white, brown and most common black and tan, which in later life fades to a silver grayish color. Due to the fact that both parent breeds are small breed dogs, Morkies are also usually small as well. The actual coat of a Morkie will usually be long and flowing. Owners may choose to dock the tail like a Yorkshire Terrier or allow it to be long like a Maltese. The ears may take after either breed and be dropped like a Maltese or erect like a Yorkie.
Also known as a Yorktese.
As is the case with most other hybrid breeds, the Morkie is prone to taking on characteristics and personality traits from either parent breed or from both. Both the Yorkie as well as the Maltese are known for having a lot of personality, so it should not be a surprise that a Morkie would as well. Like the Yorkie, the Morkie may crave and even demand attention from its family. This breed of dog is also likely to be very dedicated to its family, which makes it ideal as a family dog as well as a watch dog. From the Maltese side, the Morkie may inherit a sense of fearlessness as well as energy. They are easily excitable and happy to greet anybody they see when properly socialized. Sometimes they can be overly confident and this can be a problem when for example they run up to an unfamiliar dog and even though they are excited and happy, the other dog may not be. They are small so the price of food, treats and toys is very easily managed. They are lap dogs to the core and strive to please their owners.
The health of the Morkie tends to be rather good although it may suffer from some of the same health issues as both parent breeds. These health concerns may include tracheal collapse, cataracts, medial patellar luxation, hydrocephalus, chronic valvular heart disease and glaucoma. If a prospective owner is concerned about the possibility of such health conditions, it is a good idea to research the dog's parentage to find out whether there have been cases of such health issues and if so, the severity of those problems. When provided with good care and regular checkups, the Morkie will typically live between 14 and 16 years.
The Morkie was originally bred to bring out some of the best traits of both parent breeds. This is fairly common in many designer breeds, which is one reason why hybrids have become so popular in the last few years.
The original Yorkshire Terrier was in fact a larger dog that weighed an average of 17 lbs. It was breed with the Maltese a smaller dog to reduce the sizing of the Yorkshire, and to tone down its temperment as the Maltese is known for being a more relaxed dog.
One of the advantages to the Morkie is that it is a low to non-shedding dog, but prospective owners should still be aware that the Morkie will need to either have a short haircut or be brushed daily. In addition, it will be important to be sure that the hair around the Morkies eyes is kept clean on a regular basis. This needs daily attention, meaning cleaning out the eyes with a wet wash cloth as well as maybe some tear remover on hand. This will help to ensure that the hair does not build up around the eyes as well as to prevent dirt and debris from building up as well. Like many small dogs, the Morkie will typically need to have its teeth brushed a couple of times per week to help reduce problems with dental health issues. Due to the small size of this dog, most owners will find that the Morkie will do better when provided with three small meals per day rather than a single large meal. When grooming, pay special attention to the hair around the feet and legs as this will be where most of your knots can be found. Since they are so short and close to the ground you will find things stuck in their fur all the time, such as small sticks, bark, thorns etc. When exposed early, bath time will be pleasant, easy and short due to their size.
The Morkie is best suited for an environment in which it can be close to its family. It will do equally well in an apartment or condo as well as a house. The Morkie does not require a large yard for exercising as it is a small dog and will be able to get most of its exercising on its own. It will enjoy taking a walk and playing outside on occasion. Prospective owners with children should keep in mind that while the Morkie is energetic, it is also a small breed dog and as a result it can be somewhat fragile. Play with children should generally be supervised to ensure that the Morkie does not become accidentally injured. Ideally, the Morkie should be able to spend plenty of time with its family and should not be left alone for long periods of time in order for it to be happy and healthy.
The Maltese and Yorkshire acutally enjoy extended walks and this is held true with the Morkie who has both their characteristics. If you find your Morkie to be unsettled in your home with to much energy a walk of at least an hour to a max of four hours will burn that energy and give you a well tempered lap dog. A Morkie with too much time on its hands and not enough exercise will turn to other things within your home to occupy themselves ie: chewing random items, not using their puppy pads, being a pest to guests. Morkies are good with children when introduced to them and the child understands that screaming, waving their arms, or sitting down and crying are all signs to the dog to be protective, caring, and playful. A childrens dilema is an open invitation to a dog that does not understand the child wants no part of the dog, who wants nothing more than to be a playmate and protector to the child.
Keep in mind that these dogs are always wanting and needing attention. If you have a life style where it wouldn't be a problem to bring your dog with you while you run errands then this is a perfect breed for you. They love to go for rides and see new people. They will recognize many people with just a few visits. They do well with limited socialization with other dogs so if you have family members or friends with friendly dogs, this breed will love to have occasional visits. Just like children have play dates, these dogs love their play dates and it is very important to ensure that they are not aggressive or fearful of every other dog they see.