10 Facts You Should Know About Morkies (with Pictures)

Though Morkie may sound like the name of an adorable cartoon character, it’s actually the name given to a designer dog that is half Maltese and half Yorkshire Terrier (aka Yorkie). 

Designer dogs are crossbreeds between two purebred dogs of different breeds with the intention to combine the best attributes of both. Like both the Maltese and the Yorkie, the Morkie is a small and affectionate canine companion.

1. Where Does the Morkie Come From?

When the first designer dog, the Labradoodle, skyrocketed to popularity in the 1980s, many other “designer dog” breeds quickly followed. This influx of half-and-half mutts was quick and unorganized, thus pinpointing the origin of many of these mixes can prove difficult. The Morkie is no exception, originating somewhere in the United States a little over 20 years ago.

Morkies have also been called by the names Yorktese and Morkshire Terrier, among others. 

2. How Much Does a Morkie Eat?

Despite their diminutive size, Morkies have rather large appetites. Due to their propensity for dental issues including plaque and tartar build-up, you’ll want to feed your Morkie a high-quality dry kibble. They can also be prone to obesity, so make sure to follow serving-size recommendations from pet food manufacturers or instructions from your veterinarian. 

3. What Does a Morkie Look Like?

Morkies’ coats are usually soft and long, with colors ranging from solid white to black and tan or any combination of those. With the differences in appearance that Maltese and Yorkies may pass on to their offspring, it is nearly impossible to determine what a Morkie might look like before they are born.

Both Maltese and Yorkies are hypoallergenic breeds, so there’s a good chance their Morkie offspring will inherit this trait as well. This means that they can be less likely than other breeds to aggravate allergies in their owners.

4. How Big Is a Morkie?

Both breeds that create the Morkie are quite small, so the mixed-breed Morkie will be small as well. Most Morkies are between 6 and 8 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 4 and 8 pounds. Their size is determined by which parent they take after more. 

5. What Is the Temperament of a Morkie?

Like the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier parents, Morkies are playful, happy little dogs. They are known for rather big personalities contained in a small body. Their love of play will see them running around the home, chasing small toys, and engaging in playtime with their humans. Morkies usually get along well with other small dogs as well as cats. They are kid-friendly but do better with older children, as young children might accidentally injure these tiny breeds.

Morkies are true lap dogs. They form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy nothing more than cuddling and spending time with their human family. As a result, Morkies often do not do well when left alone for long periods of time. 

6. What Are the Exercise Requirements For a Morkie?

Despite their small size, Morkies have quite a bit of energy. Luckily, their small size means that they do not require vast amounts of exercise to tire out. A quick walk or play session in the yard, twice a day, is more than enough to burn off the excess energy your Morkie has and keep him or her fit and healthy. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog; Morkies that are not provided with adequate exercise will become bored and resort to undesirable and possibly even destructive activities. 

Note that when playing in a yard or other outdoor setting, it is important to keep a watchful eye on your Morkie. Even if your yard is fenced, dogs of this size have been known to be carried off by flying predators.

7. How Do You Train a Morkie?

Training and socialization are vital from an early age for any dog, and Morkies are moderately easy to train. These dogs are intelligent and eager to please their people but can have a significant stubborn streak as well. Their quick mind can make learning tricks and behaviors a breeze, but their hard-headed tendencies mean that many training sessions will require a boat-load of patience from their people.

Never use harsh methods like shouting or punishment; this will likely cause your Morkie to shut down in a training set. Instead, stick with positive reinforcement and keep training sessions short and fun. If you begin to feel frustrated, end your training session as soon as possible.

8. How Healthy is a Morkie?

As with any dog, Morkies can experience health issues. Here are a few health concerns Morkies are more prone to:

  • Eye, ear, and oral issues (reduce possible dental issues by feeding high-quality dry kibble)
  • Reverse sneezing (when air is pulled rapidly into the nose)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Patella luxation (a slipped knee joint)
  • Obesity

Overall, Morkies are a relatively healthy breed, with a life expectancy of as long as 16 years!

9. How Do You Groom a Morkie?

A Morkie’s coat is usually long and soft, requiring regular grooming; they should be brushed several times a week to keep to coat from matting or tangling. In addition, a monthly bath, as well as periodic trims by a professional groomer, are recommended.

10. Does a Morkie Make A Good Pet For a Family?

A Morkie is an incredibly sweet and loving dog. They bond quite strongly with their human companions and love nothing more than to snuggle up on your lap. They get along with all other members of the household, though young children or big dogs may harm them accidentally due to their size.

Morkies will likely love every person who comes into your home, making them the ideal small family dog.


Taylor Ritz

Taylor has a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. She is a former zookeeper and animal trainer. She has her own dog, Dobby, with whom she has bicycled across the U.S. and thru-hiked the Long Trail.