Designer dogs tend to be adorable, and the incredibly cute Morkshire terrier, or simply morkie, is certainly no exception. Prospective puppy owners looking for a perfectly manageable fluff ball to accompany them to the beach, cafe, or on the sofa at home will love morkies in all of their silliness. As a mixed breed consisting of a Maltese and a Yorkshire terrier, the morkie is a purely designer breed that inherits much of the qualities from both breeds.
Morkies are tiny-sized dogs with plenty of character to match, and sometimes contrast, their cute, cuddly outer appearance. They look like little teddy bears and have a small skeletal structure but a fluffy coat of long, silky fur on the outside.
This breed has colour patterns and variations, depending on the inheritance from one or both of his parents, including black, brown, tan, cream, white, and apricot. Solid or combination colours are both possible.
Their gait is energetic and consists of many small footsteps to get wherever they’re going, and they’re always alert to their surroundings. Their muzzles tend to be short with little button noses and their eyes are almond-like. Their ears may either fold over by their faces or be erect, depending on the breed mix.
As a mixed breed, morkies may resemble either a Maltese or a Yorkshire terrier more closely or may be roughly half and half in terms of appearance.
How big do morkie dogs get?
Height: 15-25 cm
Weight: 1.8-5.5 kg
The temperament of morkies is one of excited, joyful companionship at all times. Morkies are affectionate and love being around their owners, family members, and they also get along well with other dogs and pets despite having a bit of a stubborn streak at times and a strong prey drive which leads them to chase.
Although they share many similarities in temperament with other crossbreeds of designer dog, morkies do not suffer from ‘small dog syndrome’ that many others do.
They are highly adaptable to various environments and consequently are an ideal choice for apartments, urban environments, and small homes.
Are morkie dogs intelligent? Yes.
Are morkie dogs affectionate? Extremely.
Do morkie dogs have high or low energy levels? High energy.
Are morkie dogs loyal? Yes.
Are morkie dogs playful? Extremely.
Are morkie dogs aggressive? No, but they can be stubborn.
Are morkie dogs easy to train? Yes.
Are morkie dogs good guard dogs? No, but they are excellent watchdogs.
Morkies are amongst the most demanding mixed breeds, which means that they thrive on interaction and social behaviour whilst becoming bored easily and potentially naughty if neglected for any length of time.
It’s important that your morkie puppy is well-trained and disciplined in order to reduce their often ‘yappy’ nature and to limit their stubbornness. Morkies get along well with most other pets, although they are prone to chasing small birds and pets around the home. They absolutely love to play with anyone or anything they find.
Morkies are perhaps one of the best breeds for the elderly, but they also get along well with adults and older children. Around young children, it’s advised that they are well supervised since morkies can be silly and clumsy and perhaps cause unintended harm.
Do morkie dogs get along with other pets? Yes, although they have a high prey drive and will chase easily.
Do morkie dogs get along with other dogs? Yes, most of the time.
Are morkie dogs good with kids? Yes, very, but they’re better for older children.
Are morkie dogs good with strangers? Yes, most of the time.
The demanding needs of morkies means that they are best suited for elderly, retired owners that can provide them with all of the affection and joy that they will reciprocate in kind. Morkies do not need large, open outdoor spaces to keep happy and healthy and will be just fine staying at home most of the time, but some outdoor exercise is always recommended.
Since they tend to chase easily, always have your morkie on a lead outdoors in public spaces.
Morkies do tend to bark quite a bit, although excessive barking can be reduced with proper training and positive conditioning and rewards for good behaviour.
Are morkie dogs good for first-time owners? Absolutely.
Are morkie dogs hypoallergenic? No.
Are morkie dogs prone to drooling? No.
Are morkie dogs a good breed for apartment living? Absolutely.
Do morkie dogs shed a lot? No.
Do morkie dogs bark a lot? Yes.
Can morkie dogs be left alone at home? No, not even for short periods.
Can morkie dogs handle the heat? Somewhat.
Can morkie dogs handle cold temperatures? No.
Are morkie dogs sensitive to loud noises? Yes.
Compared to most other breeds, morkies are generally quite healthy. They do, however, have many common health problems to which they may be prone given that they are a mixed designer breed, so hereditary problems from the Maltese or the Yorkshire terrier may present themselves in a morkie.
It’s best to have your veterinarian perform routine checkups on your morkie to ensure that he’s happy and healthy.
Some health problems that morkies are prone to include:
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): often starting out as partial blindness during the night, progressive retinal atrophy can develop into full blindness;
Chiari malformation Syringomyelia (CMSM): Chiari malformation is a developmental abnormality that leads to the skull and brain of the morkie being uncomfortably tight. This can be tested for, although DNA testing will not find it;
Hereditary deafness: morkies have a high incidence rate of inheriting hereditary deafness. This can be diagnosed by a veterinarian;
Entropion: also referred to as closed eyelids folding inwards, entropion can be quite painful and requires ongoing treatment. More intensive surgery may be required.
How long do morkie dogs live? - 10-13 years
Most morkies are fairly easy to please and don’t require too much exercise, but a good half an hour per day outdoors will keep them entertained and stimulated physically and mentally. They are extremely demanding in terms of attention, so owners should always be near their morkie, or at least a family member should care for them at home, but in terms of outdoor exercise a brisk walk or playtime in the yard is sufficient.
Young puppy morkies shouldn’t be overexerted too much, so adjust your exercise time to their needs and avoid forcing exercise when they’re still young.
Since they inherit many of the qualities from their Yorkshire terrier breed, morkies do have a high prey drive and are highly prone to chasing small pets or birds whenever they find them. They may also act mischievously if left to play in a garden, such as digging up plants or soil in search of bugs or rodents.
How much exercise does a morkie dog need? - At least 30 minutes per day
Do morkie dogs like water play? Yes, but they should always be supervised.
Owing to their small stature, morkies don’t require as much food as many other larger breeds. Nevertheless, a quality diet rich in whole proteins, minerals, and vitamins will go a long way towards keeping your morkie happy and healthy.
Morkies can be fed kibble, or with the advice of a veterinarian, alternative diets such as raw food or fresh dog food may be suitable (or preferable).
Adjust your feeding schedule as necessary, accounting for the weight and age of your morkie, but keep a routine regimen to their feeding and keep an eye out for any early signs of weight gain.
Always consult your veterinarian if in doubt regarding the proper feeding habits for your morkie.
Are morkie dogs prone to weight gain? Yes.
How much should I feed a morkie puppy? About 40-80g per day, in three sessions.
How much should I feed an adult morkie dog? About 50-110g per day, in total.
Morkies are very easy to care for and maintain. Routine grooming is made easy since they do not shed much and their silky hair is rather easy to brush and comb. When it comes to emotional care, however, morkies are very demanding and they will suffer from separation anxiety quickly if left to their own devices and are neglected for even short periods of time.
- Grooming: at least once per week, brush down the fur of your morkie. Check his behind and remove any clumping, and also check his ears frequently for signs of infection. Inspect his teeth regularly and seek assistance if you suspect he has dental problems.
- Emotional care: morkies should not be left alone, even for short periods. They are highly social and require constant attention. A lack of emotional care can lead to excessive barking or destructive behaviour.
As with many mixed crossbreeds bred for designer purposes, morkies are relatively new in the world of dog breeds. They were first bred in North America in the 1990s and soon thereafter morkies were introduced to the UK, Australia, and elsewhere.
Morkies are bred from Yorkshire terriers and Maltese breeds, two elegant and beautiful breeds on their own, so the combination makes morkies an exceedingly cute and adorable companion that is beloved by many owners and families here in the UK.
This breed is not yet formally recognised neither by the Kennel Club nor by international kennel clubs, so proper care and due diligence should be exercised when choosing amongst reliable breeders.
Morkies are becoming one of the most popular designer breeds in the UK in recent decades.
Morkies are one of the only designer breeds to not suffer from ‘small dog syndrome.’
Since 2007, it has been illegal to dock the tails of morkies in the UK.
Since morkies are not formally recognised as of yet by the Kennel Club, it’s imperative that prospective owners understand their responsibilities and the risks associated with choosing amongst breeders. Consult our buying guide and make more informed purchasing choices. Avoid puppy mills or breeders that engage in unethical breeding practices. If you’d like to purchase a morkie, we list reputable and reliable breeders here in the UK.
How much does a morkie cost to buy? - About £450-£700.
How much does a morkie cost to feed? - An adult morkie costs about £0.60-£0.80 per day to feed.
How much does insurance for a morkie cost? - About £15-£40 per month.
Sensible alternatives to purchasing a new morkie puppy include rescue and adoption.
Additional resources can be found via morkie registries and associations such as: