Morkies are one of the cutest, fluffiest little designer dogs available. With their soft, silky fur and adorable doggy eyes, they will undoubtedly capture your heart with love at first sight. However, everyone that has owned pets understands that they can be a lot of work, especially smaller breeds, and they must be perfectly compatible with the particular personal and living situation of the owner to allow the relationship to thrive. Below, the needs and characteristics of Morkies will be further examined to ensure the best match possible before making the purchase and commitment. Important topics to consider are food needs, grooming requirements, associated health problems, life expectancy, activity level, general lifestyle, safety strategies, and more.

male morkie

Lifestyle and Personality

While Morkies are petite much like other small hybrid dogs, their energy, excitement, and happiness is quite significant. Therefore, it is necessary to possess a certain amount of endurance to accommodate those characteristics effectively. Additionally, Morkies are very friendly and sociable, which is very convenient for family households with additional animals. Unfortunately, this trait also implies that they require constant love and affection to remain happy, eliminate boredom, and reduce barking. Their loyalty and apprehension with strangers can make them great watchdogs and devoted pets.

Breed Profile

morkie puppyWhile Morkies are not particularly old, they are commonly known and bred. The breeding of a Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier will produce this wonderful puppy. Additionally, Morkies can mate together to produce offspring, which also results in more reliable character traits. Their body structure is consistent with the Maltese, and the coloring is more aligned with the Yorkshire Terrier. Although, due to the mixed breeding, the appearance can be inconsistent and varied.

Morkies are recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry as a designer dog, but the authorities on pedigree, such as American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club, and many other canine registries do not list them on their websites. Morkies will likely require many more years of breeding to even be considered for that recognition.

Common Health Facts

The life expectancy ranges from 12 to 15 years, which is longer than the average dog lifetime of 10 to 13 years. Therefore, you should seriously consider the necessary long term commitment before visiting the breeder, especially considering their struggle to adapt to strangers and unknown situations. The lifespan can be extended by an active lifestyle with proper care and nutrition and no predisposition to unhealthy diseases.

While cross breeding can eliminate certain health problems associated with the individual breeds, it is also possible for Morkies to be predisposed to those conditions. The common problems of the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier are collapsing of the trachea, heart disease, kidney failure, and eye issues, such as glaucoma. These conditions are characteristic of many different dogs; therefore, treatment is widely available but often expensive and extensive.

Appearance

As previously stated, Morkies appear quite similar to the Maltese. Therefore, they are very small; their weight ranges between 4 and 15 pounds, and average height is about 7 inches tall. With short snouts, fluffy ears, and big eyes, they often appear quite burlesque but cute, especially during the puppy years. Their coat is perfect for petting because it is usually long, soft, and silky smooth. Their tail is short and curls upwards with naturally longer hair; similar to the ears, which can be pointed or floppy. Common color patterns are similar to the Yorkshire Terrier with a dark black or brown topside and lighter brown or even white underside. However, spotted and solid colors, such as white, black, and brown, are also possible.

Activity Level

Morkies naturally have very healthy amounts of energy and playful desires. Although, their tiny size suggests long periods of exercise is not necessary because they will often become tired relatively quickly. The preferred games and activities include playing catch with a medium sized ball, short walks down the street, and various other toys that are not too big to manage or too small to cause a choking hazard. They also play well with other animals and adults; small children and big animals can introduce higher chances of injury from playtime that is too rough.

If consistent and frequent attention and exercise is not provided, Morkies can become extremely restless and bored. The consequences of this are often drastic, including excessive barking, damaging furniture, inappropriate urinating or defecation, and scratching doors and molding. Therefore, it is optimal for owners to stay at home throughout the day. If leaving for work is a necessity, some options included finding an additional pet, hiring pet sitters, or choosing a different breed.

Grooming Requirements

Considering Morkies have naturally longer hair and shorter bodies, frequent grooming and bathing is a necessity. The combination of the short height and long coat causes more dirt, bugs, and other filthy objects to become embedded in their hair while using the bathroom or walking outside; therefore, shaving or trimming the coat and weekly or monthly baths with good quality dog specific shampoo are great options to remove that excess grime, help prevent diseases and bug infestations, and promote a healthy coat. Watering eyes can also become a problem, so daily whipping of the area, special eye drops, and trimming the facial hair down are options to reduce the effects of this issue.

Food Recommendations

premium morkie foodPremium dry dog food is a great choice for Morkies because they provide the required nutrients and promote healthy teeth and gums. However, it should use natural food preservation methods, contain no byproducts, and sized appropriately for petite dogs. An organic, chicken choice is highly suggested. Another suggestion is limiting the amount of table food eaten because it is not nutritious enough and often contains dangerous foods, such as large amounts of sodium, grapes, chocolate, and garlic. Additionally, feeding from the table can turn the dog off of their regular food, which can cause a lot of unnecessary problems that can be prevented simply by not dropping food. The best treats are also high quality and organic with an emphasis on teeth cleaning; they should be given only when training or showcasing appropriate behavior, not after barking or using the bathroom. Smooth, sodium free peanut butter is a good alternative to help cut the cost of pet ownership.

Morkies can have big appetites, so correct portioning is important to prevent unhealthy fatty tissue from developing and providing the optimum nutrient levels to boost energy and overall health. Unhealthy diets with excess fat and harmful ingredients can reduce the lifespan of dogs by years, and good diets with proper amounts of vitamins and protein can increase the lifespan.

Early Training

Starting training early is important for any pet to prevent the development of any poor habits and character traits. Many of the negative features connected with certain breeds can be eliminated with good quality training methods. The devout loyalty found in Morkies allows for easier training. The following benefits can be created by simply enrolling in a Morkie puppy training classes.

  • Restricting bathroom use to only outside of the house.
  • Simple tricks, such as “roll over.”
  • Following basic commands, like “sit” and “quiet.”
  • Reducing the amount of unnecessary barking at strangers and noises.
  • Eliminating bad habits, such as scratching doors and ruining furniture.
  • Socialization with other animals to eliminate timidness.
  • Professional courses are the best option to ensure that the proper techniques and methods are utilized. Aggressive and loud tactics will not work well because the Morkie will become scared and cower instead of following instructions. Appropriate treats and rewards should certainly be used though to provide recognition that this before is correct and worth rewarding.

safety for dogsSafety Precautions

The petite frame of Morkies can open up more opportunities for potentially dangerous situations that can injure them, especially during the puppy years. While you may want to cuddle with them during the night, the bed should be low to the ground to reduce the risk of damage from jumping down. Additionally, rolling around on the bed needs to be limited, and members of the household should be be aware about where they step, especially during the night when darker coats are almost invisible. The force used during exercises and playful activities and hugging or petting should be limited to assist in preventing injuries. For this reason, younger children and bigger pets are not the best companions for Morkies.

If you are looking for a small dog that can associate well with people and other pets, Morkies are a great choice. They are well known and commonly bred. No drastic health problems or requirements are associated with this breed either. Usually, the only caveat is requiring a lot of attention and companionship to prevent boredom and barking. The best owner suited for a Morkie is an adult that works from home that loves to go for daily walks around the neighborhood or a retired person looking for companionship of up to 15 years and has enough time to properly care for this animal by providing frequent playtime and grooming.