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Nicole Cosgrove

June 21, 2021


The Morkie is a cross breed the result of breeding a Maltese with a Yorkshire Terrier. Both parents are toy breeds so the Morkie is too. While mostly bred to be a lap dog for companionship he does also participate in agility events. He has a life span of 10 to 13 years and is quite needy, will shadow you around the home but is also playful and very loyal and loving. He is also sometimes called a Yorktese.

The Morkie is a tiny dog with a lot of personalty and is perfect for people with older children, or as a companion for seniors or singles living in apartments as long as you can devote time to him. He is needy and would do well being left fully alone every day if you have to go to work.

Here is the Morkie at a Glance
Average height 6 to 10 inches
Average weight 4 to 12 pounds
Coat type Fine, long, silky, straight
Hypoallergenic? Can be
Grooming Needs Moderate to high
Shedding Low
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Very sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? No can suffer from separation anxiety
Barking Occasional to frequent
Tolerance to Heat Moderate
Tolerance to Cold Low to moderate
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Good with older children
Good with other Dogs? Good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Low to moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good to excellent
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Fairly active
Tendency to get Fat Moderate
Major Health Concerns Patellar luxation, eye problems, liver problems, hypoglycemia, Collapsed trachea,
Other Health Concerns Reverse sneezing, white dog shaker syndrome,
Life Span 10 to 13 years
Average new Puppy Price $850 to $3700
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $550
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $410 to $500

Where does the Morkie come from?

Morkies are one of the many mixed breed dogs that have come about with the public’s love of designer dogs. Designer dogs started in the US and are usually two purebreds bred together to create a ‘new’ offspring. Most are given names that blend the two parent’s names together. There is a growing split between dog lovers over designer dogs, some see them as nothing more than over priced mutts and some see them as the potential beginning of new pure breeds. The reason designer dogs are viewed less favorably by some is because of how many poor breeders there are out there, making these dogs with either not much understanding or not much care. The key here is for people to stop buying from these breeders and only use trustworthy ones. The Morkie has no specific origins known about him so we have to look at the parents to get a feel for him.

The Yorkshire Terrier

In England in the 1800s Scottish workers came looking for work in Yorkshire and brought with them a dog called the Paisley Terrier or Clydesdale Terrier. They were bred to catch rats and mice around the mills. These were crossed with other terriers and in 1861 we see the first Yorkshire Terrier then called a broken haired Scotch Terrier. In 1870 they began to be called Yorkshire Terriers because that is where most of the development happened. He came to America in 1872.

Today the Yorkie as they are often referred to is a confident and clever small dog with quite an intrepid spirit. They can have a range of personalities, some are more cuddly, some are more active, some are mischievous. One thing most Yorkies have in common though is if you spoil them too much they can become quite a handful!

The Maltese

The Maltese is a dog that has quite a long history behind him. You can find him mentioned for over two thousand years by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians though his actual origins are not specifically known. Some think it was in the Mediterranean on the Isle of Malta, some think it was Italy and some think it might even have been Asia. By the 1400s he was adored by the French nobility. By the 1500s he was a favorite in England. But in the 1600s and 1700s he was not doing as well. Attempts were made to breed him to the size of a squirrel and it failed and nearly ended the breed. Breeders had to use other breeds to save him which led to a few new breeds being developed. The Maltese came to the US in the late 1800s.

Today he is a natural entertainer with a very lively and outgoing personality. He loves being with people and responds very well to positive reinforcement so he is easy to train. He is a sweet dog who tries to make friends with everyone and every animal. He is good at getting his own way but can be hard to house train. Some have digestive problems and can be picky eaters.


The Morkie is called a lapdog but that is not all he is. He is extremely loyal, affectionate, clever and friendly. He is needy and often will follow you around the house. He needs to have company and can suffer from separation anxiety if left for too long. He is a kind and loving dog but he can have his stubborn moments. He is wary of strangers and can act as a watchdog. He loves to play and run around the house with his toys and likes children.

What does the Morkie look like

The Morkie is a toy dog weighing 4 to 12 pounds when fully grown and standing 6 to 10 inches. He has a small bone structure and can look like either parent dog. He can have either pointed ears or ones that flop over or even a mix of the two! His tail can be long or docked, almond shaped eyes that are deep set, a small muzzle and a black nose. His coat can be fine, long, straight and silky. Colors can be either like a Yorkie, black, tans, browns or like the Maltese, cream or white. Often colored versions of the Morkie lean more towards the Yorkie and the white puppies lean more towards the Maltese in looks.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Morkie need to be?

For a small dog he is moderately to fairly active and will need regular exercise as well as mental stimulation to maintain good behavior and well being. He will love to run around the home and to play with his toys, but he will also need some time outside too. If he does not get enough exercise he will become bored and bored dogs are often destructive. A short but brisk walk twice a day on top of his play, a trip to a dog park now and then are enough. He can live in an apartment as long as you take him out each day, access to a yard is just a bonus.

Does he train quickly?

Training will not go super fast but may not be be too slow either. It can very because though he is smart and loves to spend time with his humans, he does have a stubborn side. Be patient, use positive techniques as he is sensitive and will not respond well to harshness. Early socialization and training are important in helping him deal with children, situations, other animals and dogs. Some find that he is hard to house train and that may take a little longer.

Living with a Morkie

How much grooming is needed?

Since he is so small and delicate grooming should be done with great care. He has moderate to high needs as not only will he need brushing daily to remove mats and tangles, he will also need regular visits to a professional groomers. He is a low shedding dog and can be hypoallergenic though that should be tested before buying. He will need his ears checked and wiped clean once a week, his eyes cleaned regularly, his teeth brushed at least twice a week, and his nails clipped when they get too long.

A bath should only be given when he needs it to avoid affecting the natural oils in his skin.

What is he like with children and other animals?

He is good with children but is best with older children because of his fragility. Small children can be too boisterous and not careful with their play and may hurt him accidentally. He will happily play and cuddle with older children though and may even stay with them when they sleep. Training and early socialization can help him get along with other pets and dogs too. Children should be shown and taught how to be careful with him and play and pet safely.

General information

He will bark if a stranger comes to the house so can be a watchdog. He will need ¼ to ½ cup of good quality dry dog food each day, split into two meals. He does bark and that is something to consider if you have noise rules in your apartment building or if you have close neighbors. He is best in moderate climates.

Health Concerns

Morkies can inherit health conditions from their parents so issues that could come up include Patellar luxation, eye problems, liver problems, hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea, reverse sneezing and white dog shaker syndrome. Buying from trustworthy breeders can reduce your chances at having a sickly dog and always ask to see health clearances before you buy.

Costs involved in owning a Morkie

A Morkie puppy will cost between $850 to $3700. This is one of the higher ranges for a designer dog because they are popular. Smaller, low shedding and hypoallergenic mixed breeds are usually more in demand than any other. As well as that there are possibly some other initial costs such as a crate, carrier bag, bowls, collar and leash, blood tests, deworming, micro chipping, neutering and shots. These will come to between $360 to $400. Then there the ongoing basic costs for food, medical check ups, treats, pet insurance, treats, license, training, long hair grooming, shots and flea prevention. These come to between $845 to $1050 a year.


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The Morkie is a tiny dog with a lot of personalty and is perfect for people with older children, or as a companion for seniors or singles living in apartments as long as you can devote time to him. He is needy and would do well being left fully alone every day if you have to go to work.

Featured Image Credit: Ursula Page, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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