A Morkie is a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier.
The result is a relatively small dog that can resemble either of their parents.
Morkies have proven a popular cross breed given they can excel in a companionship role.
The Maltese Yorkie cross tends to be a low-shedding dog with some hypoallergenic qualities.
While the parents of the Morkie are recognised by the American Kennel Club, the cross breed hasn’t been granted status by the AKC.
Having said that, this hybrid mix is recognised by the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America.
In this article, we’ll speak to four different Morkie owners to learn more about the dog breed from people with firsthand experience of the mix.
We’ll speak to Peake Pups (@peakepups), Hattie (@hattiemaethemorkie), Mikko (@mikkomorkie) and Otis (@otis.the.morkie).
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What Is A Morkie?
Here’s Morkie owner Jess to explain:
A Morkie is a small, mixed-breed dog, generally with one parent being a Yorkshire Terrier (“Yorkie”) and the other a Maltese. Although, there can be variations in the composition of each breed for any given Morkie pup.
Morkies can go by a variety of different names, including the Yorktese, Malkie, Malki, Maltiyork and Yorkiemalk.
Morkie are a relatively small mixed dog breed, ranging from 8 to 10 inches and 4 to 7 pounds. Usually the designer dog won’t exceed a height of 10 inches.
Karen explained to us that Mikko is a larger example of a Morkie.
Mikko is on the larger side of the spectrum. Weighing at 14lb at 1.5 years old. He came home at 9 1/2 weeks weighing only 3.5lbs. Standing about 1 foot high at his shoulders, he’s longer lengthwise than he is tall.
Morkie can vary in appearance from black, white, blue, silver and fawn. They’ll usually have brown eyes and a black nose. Their coat length tends to be quite long, while their coat texture is usually straight.
Here’s what Kara’s owner had to say about this particular Morkie’s appearance.
Kara is tall and slim with a mischievous looking face. Her face and legs are white in color and her head and back are a dark grey. We keep her head and tail hair long and body short.
Stephanie shed light on the appearance of her Morkie, Hattie.
My little Morkie, Hattie Mae, is mostly white in appearance, with a few golden/blonde patches. Morkies come in all different colors and the coloring changes a lot while growing. Unless you’re really white (Maltese breed) like Hattie. Her coloring hasn’t changed that much.
These dogs may be small but they can have big personalities. Morkies can make excellent companion pets so they’ll like to give affection to their owners and receive lots of cuddles. Although Morkies can have a reputation for being yappy dogs, this can be something dog owners can tackle with help from a dog trainer.
Karen gave us an insight into Morkie temperament based upon her experience with Mikko.
They’re very intelligent, playful, easy to train and adaptable. Depending on the person, he tends to match their energy level.
Do Morkies Get Along With Other Dogs?
Kara is an example of a sociable Morkie.
Kara gets along well with other dogs, especially her brother Riley who she is very bonded to. We fostered 13 dogs in 2020 and Kara got along well with all of them. She can be nervous around bigger dogs sometimes but eventually warms up if given some time.
Hattie, meanwhile, can be a little territorial.
Hattie is very territorial. She loves her humans and will “fiercely” (as much as a 9 lb fluffy dog can be fierce!) protect us if she feels she needs to.
Are Morkies Easy To Train?
Just like any dog breed or mix, it’s a good idea to train your Morkie from a young age. They can benefit from basic puppy training as well as puppy manners classes. Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers are two relatively smart dog breeds so there’s a good chance your Morkie will be intelligent.
Kara was a breeze to train!
Kara has been easy to train. She’s great on leash and knows how to sit, lay down, stand up, high five, cross her paws and roll over.
Morkies Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety can affect dogs when they’re left at home alone. Some companion dog breeds can struggle when they’re separated from their pet parents. It usually occurs when dog owners leave the home, resulting in barking, howling, whining, destructive chewing or digging, and in some extreme circumstances, defecating or urinating inside the home.
Karen explained that Mikko does experience some separation anxiety, exacerbated by the coronavirus lockdown.
He does, especially due to the lockdown that started when he was only 6 months old.
The amount of time a Morkie can be left alone will vary between each dog, considering factors such as age and training. Jess explains:
For example, I wouldn’t dare leave my 7-month old puppy alone for 8 hours. He still requires being let outside every 2-3 hours. On the other hand, Tiffany was able to be unsupervised for longer periods of time.
As a relatively small dog breed, Morkies won’t need a lot of exercise. Having said that, this hybrid dog will still need some mental and physical stimulation. Dog walking website WAG recommend around 30 minutes of exercise a day for a Morkie dog.
Kara enjoys a five-mile hike.
Kara doesn’t need much exercise but does need some. She loves to go for hikes (can go about 5 miles). On days where we are busy we just do a couple rounds of fetch indoors and she is good.
Are Morkies High Maintenance?
Jess doesn’t consider Morkies to be overly high maintenance.
Some Morkies can be high maintenance, but Morkies aren’t generally known to have the long, high-maintenance silky hair seen in some Yorkie breeds so the upkeep is minimal in this regard. My Morkies only get haircuts every 8 weeks.
Do Morkies Make Great Family Pets?
Morkies are friendly, loving and social dogs, but their small size means they’ll need to be handled with care. The Maltese Yorkie mix could thrive in a family setting but children will need to be educated on how to handle these dogs given their petite frames.
Kara has thrived in a family setting.
Kara is a great family dog. She is good with kids and has a good mix of energy levels. She loves to snuggle and sleep but also enjoys playing fetch and long hikes. Her absolute favorite place is the beach.
Karen recommended dog owners keep a close eye on Morkies around children due to their petite frames.
Yes, but due to their small size will require adult supervision around young kids.
Do Morkies Like To Cuddle?
Morkies tend to be dogs that like to receive and give affection. So if you’re looking for a companion pet, you won’t go wrong with this mix breed. Jess loves how cuddly her Morkie are.
YES – this is the best part! They are a very loving breed.
Are Morkies Clingy?
Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers are sometimes stereotyped as clingy dogs. They’re sometimes dubbed velcro dogs as they’ll be found stalking their owners around the home. However, every dog is different.
Otis and Tiffany are examples of self sufficient Morkies who aren’t clingy.
No, for as loving as they are, they are also self-sufficient. Although they show signs of separation anxiety, I would not consider them a clingy breed. I work from home and my dog only pays attention to me when he needs to go out or eat. I’m the one bothering him throughout the day. Same with Tiffany.
Are Morkies Hard To Potty Train?
Some small breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers can be notoriously difficult to potty train. Morkies can be difficult to potty train like Yorkshire Terriers. The trait won’t be inherited by all Maltese Yorkie mixes.
Stephanie had no trouble potty training Hattie.
She potty trained easily. She’s trained on puppy pads inside and trained to go outside as well.
Are Morkies Hypoallergenic?
The American Kennel Club write on their website that there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog breed. They do put forward a number of dog breeds with hypoallergenic qualities, including the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier.
Although Morkies are considering a hypoallergenic cross breed, Jess’ experience with her Morkies highlights how ‘hypoallergenic’ doesn’t mean a reaction won’t occur.
To my knowledge, the Morkie is considered hypoallergenic, as both the Maltese and Yorkie are as well. That being said, my boyfriend is allergic to dogs (and cats) and had/has minor reactions (i.e., congestions, watery eyes, scratchy throat) to both my Morkies.
Mikko is an example of a hypoallergenic Morkie.
He is hypoallergenic but he requires daily brushing to prevent matting. Fur grows very quickly and thick. We give him a haircut every 2-4 weeks.
Do Morkies Shed?
So Morkies are unlikely to be dogs that shed a lot – if at all. It’s important to remember that the amount of dog hair can vary from each owner.
We asked about Kara’s owner about shedding and her response was succinct.
Kara does not shed.
Do Morkies Need Regular Grooming?
Morkies will benefit from regular grooming given they’ve got medium-to-long hair length. It’s a good idea to brush a Morkie a few times a week to prevent their hair from becoming matted and tangled.
Hattie requires a trip to the groomers every six weeks.
Hattie goes to the groomer every 6 weeks, for a basic sanitary cut, and to get her nails trimmed.
Do Morkies Have Any Health Problems?
Morkies are a mixed breed and crosses have a reputation for being healthier dogs. Having said that, Maltese Yorkshire Terrier mixes can inherit some health issues from their parent breeds. Some of the issues include:
• Portacaval Shunt
• Tracheal Collapse
• Patent Ductus Arteriosus
• Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Jess kindly shared some of her experiences with Morkie health problems.
My first Morkie, Tiffany, suffered from a “floating patella” or “floating kneecap” at a very young age, which evidently is a common problem in the Yorkie breed. It’s mitigated by weight control and exercise. Towards the end of her life, Tiffany developed chronic hypertension and kidney failure, which eventually caused her to go blind and ultimately led to her passing at 12 1/2 years old. However, I’m not sure if that’s common among the breed.
Are Morkies Expensive?
If you’re thinking about getting a Morkie, you could first contact your local rescue shelter to see if they have a Morkie who needs a forever home. Some Morkie, or other Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers mixes, can often be found at rescue shelters.
For prospective dog owners who are looking to buy a puppy from a breeder, you should do careful research. It’s a good idea to ask to see your Morkie puppy’s parents, seek proof of health and vet checks and go visit the breeder’s home.
Morkies appear to have a price range from around $1,000 to $5,000.
Jess explained her experience when it came to getting Otis.
With the increased interest in “designer breeds” in recent years, Morkies have seen a significant increase in value. They vary in price, ranging from $900 to as much as $5,000 or more. In my experience, the more a particular puppy resembles one breed (either the Maltese or Yorkshire Terrier), the higher the price. For example, my Morkie, Otis, heavily resembles a Yorkshire Terrier and was priced on the higher end of the range I provided when I purchased him last year.
Kara is an example of a rescue Morkie.
They can be, we got Kara from a rescue and found out after we adopted her what she was. Kara is actually half Maltese and half Biewer terrier which is a new and rare breed derived from the Yorkshire Terrier (yorkie). So Kara is a very unique type of Morkie.
Are Morkies Fussy Eaters?
Some Morkies could be fussy eaters for a variety of different reasons, whether it’s a sensitive stomach, a food allergy or a behavioral problem. In my experience, dog food delivery companies who provide balanced and complete meals are the best options for dogs. You can read more about the best USA options here and UK options here.
Kara isn’t fussy and enjoys her Just Food For Dogs meals.
Kara eats anything and is not fussy at all. We feed her JustFoodForDogs Brand which is a human grade fresh food.
Hattie gets a varied diet of chicken, fruit and veggies.
Hattie’s favorite food is whatever is on your plate! She prefers fruits and veggies (as I eat a plant based diet). She is not food/treat motivated for commands/tricks. We feed her all natural chicken breast, fruits and veggies.
Would You Recommend Morkies To First-Time Owners?
Stephanie would have no hesitation recommending a Morkie.
I would 100% recommend a Morkie to anyone! Hattie is my first Morkie, and of course, I’m in love! She is feisty, very talkative, and knows all basic commands (however, she’s stubborn, so she obeys when she wants!). Fun fact: She walks on two legs all the time and can do it for a lengthy time!
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Morkies?
Kara: They are cute little non shedding dogs with a fun personality.
Mikko/Karen: Incredibly smart dogs and very trainable; He knows about 37 tricks at this time; Our household is multilingual, he’s able to understand much of what we say to him; Very alert of his surroundings; Matches owners’ energy level; Loves attention; Velcro dog; Food oriented; Loves to be carried.
Kara: There aren’t any cons from my perspective but everyone has different preferences.
Mikko/Karen: – Skittish – he’s not very brave, he would rather hide than bark; Mouthy – he doesn’t bite hard but he will uses his mouth when he is frustrated; Gets into mischief when he’s tired; Likes to scratch on walls and bite baseboards; Demands attention.
We’ve reached the end of our Morkies feature.
These small dogs can make excellent companion dogs and much-loved family pets.
Morkies will usually be pretty small, reaching a height of no more than 10 inches.
The Maltese Yorkie mix will be affectionate, friendly and loyal dogs that will relish being in the company of their pet parents.
This cross breed can often be found in rescue shelters but you can also locate Morkie breeders.