Highly affectionate and sociable, Morkies are a great choice for singles, older couples and seniors, and with early socialization of Morkie puppies, they can be trained into an excellent family pet.
As a "designer breed," Morkies are actually mixed-breed dogs, the result of crossing a Yorkshire terrier, or Yorkie, with a Maltese. As a result, Morkies, also sometimes referred to as Malkies, Yorktese or Morkshire terriers, possess the abundant energy and spunk of a typical terrier breed, tempered by the highly affectionate and sweet nature of the Maltese.
As a cross-breed, there is no breed standard for these dogs. Even within the same litter, Morkie puppies might vary in appearance, each bearing a stronger resemblance to one parent breed than the other.
Their coats consist of smooth hair instead of fur and typically don't shed. Morkies may be solid white, like the Maltese, or black and tan like the Yorkie, but they can also come in any combination of those colors and a surprising array of patterns. As with both parent breeds, the coat will continue to grow if not clipped.
Morkies possess big personalities tied up in tiny packages. As happy and playful as they are sweet and affectionate, they might look like cuddly little toys, but don't let their size or fluffiness fool you. Their terrier heritage gives Morkies a lot of energy and fearless spunk. They love to run and play, and they're always up for a game of fetch or chase. But despite their energy, they're also content to cuddle and curl up in your lap.
The terrier in Morkies also gives them a stubborn streak that can make them a handful, especially for inexperienced dog parents, says Dogtime. Morkie puppies who receive early socialization and obedience training generally grow up to be calmer, more obedient and more likely to get along well with other pets. Otherwise, Morkies might do better as only pets. They always need a firm but patient leader to keep them from running the show.
While Morkies love to play with older children and can get along well with everyone in the household, they tend to form strong attachments to a "favorite" family member, which makes them great dogs for singles and couples.
Morkies need at least half an hour of exercise a day to burn off excess energy, prevent boredom and help them stay calm. This can be accomplished with two or three 10 to 15-minute walks each day, plus some vigorous play time mixed in. Due to their small size, exercise sessions should be kept short in order to prevent injury. As much as Morkies love to run, their short legs make them unsuitable jogging partners.
As with most small breeds, Morkies are prone to gaining weight if they're overfed, and they're also prone to dental problems. It's generally best to feed them high-quality dry food made for small breeds with high energy levels, and to keep treats to a minimum. Regular dental checkups and daily tooth brushing will also help preserve their teeth well into their senior years.
Like both of their parent breeds, the Morkie's coat grows continuously and requires daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. While some pet parents will allow the coat to grow long, it's more commonly kept in a puppy clip, which requires monthly trips to the groomer for maintenance. It's also important to keep your Morkie's nails trimmed and to clean their ears regularly to prevent infections.
The most important thing to remember about Morkies is how fragile they are. Tread carefully to avoid stepping on them when they're underfoot, and be sure to check chairs, sofa cushions and underneath blankets before sitting down. On walks, use a harness in place of a collar to prevent the delicate trachea from getting crushed.
Energetic, loving and playful, the Morkie combines the characteristics of both the Maltese and the Yorkshire terrier. Often resembling small teddy bears, Morkie puppies are adorable and grow into highly affectionate little balls of fluff.