Morkie puppies are part of the wave of crossbred dogs currently enjoying newfound popularity. Learn more about them.
You may not have heard of the Morkie before, but this dog is another representative of the public's fascination with designer dog breeds.
Designer dogs are actually the result of crossbreeding two purebred dogs of different breeds. In this case, the Morkie is the product of crossing a Maltese with a Yorkshire Terrier. Both dogs are toy breeds, so Morkies are typically fine-boned lap dogs bred simply for the loving companionship they provide.
Facts About Morkie Puppies
How Big Do Morkies Get?
The typical Morkie pup is quite small and generally weighs between four and five ounces at birth. These puppies grow up to weigh somewhere between four and seven pounds when fully grown, but this largely depends on the size of the parents.
Due to the small size of the parent breeds, litters are fairly small. The average litter count is two to five pups.
Both Yorkies and Maltese have a similar body structure under the coat, but the Yorkshire terrier's color seems to be the most dominant. So, Morkie puppies tend to look a little more like their Yorkie parent, but white pups naturally favor the Maltese parent. The ears on the parent breeds are quite different, so Morkie puppy ears can be upright, drop-eared or partially upright but folded over on the tips. The tails are naturally quite short.
Both parent breeds have long coats that continue to grow throughout their lives, but the texture of each breed's coat is quite different. The Maltese coat has a cotton-like texture that tends to mat, while the Yorkie has a silkier coat. No matter which type of coat a Morkie pup inherits, he will need daily brushing, bathing and trimming to keep him in good condition. Morkies should be bathed once or twice a month and their eye area should be cleaned daily to prevent tear stains. Since neither parent breed shed very much, your Morkie is unlikely to be a big shedder. Their silky hair and lack of shedding also leads to Morkies being called "hypoallergenic." No dog can truly be hypoallergenic, but Morkies are less likely to cause problems for human allergy sufferers than other dog breeds.
Morkie puppies come in a variety of colors that include white, brown and shades of black and tan. Sometimes the colors on darker puppies will lighten as the pups grow. This is a natural tendency inherited from the Yorkie parent since most Yorkies turn a shiny, gunmetal gray and gold upon reaching maturity. A "Parti Morkie" is one with a multicolored coat that includes white somewhere on the body.
Morkies tend to be friendly, active dogs with a playful, energetic spirit. They enjoy children but should go to homes with older children who are more likely to respect their canine friend's small size. Morkies are known for getting along well with other pets in the home and can be wonderful companions for another dog or cats. When it comes to training, despite their cuddly, affectionate nature, they can display their true terrier heritage and gentle, patient positive training is a must. One behavioral trait that potential Morkie owners may not enjoy is their tendency to bark. Morkies, like other small dogs, can develop anxiety when left alone because they spend so much time attached to their owners when they're around. A less confident dog will become stressed when alone and bark to alleviate their anxiety. If you live in an apartment or condo, you will need to make sure you properly socialize your Morkie and help him to learn to be a confident dog who can handle time alone.
Morkie Life Expectancy
Morkies are fairly new on the designer dog scene, so it will be difficult to pinpoint an average life expectancy for these dogs until several decades have passed. So, you must look at the average life expectancy for Maltese and Yorkies in order to make an educated prediction about how long Morkie puppies may live. According to this info, Morkies have a strong chance of living to 12 years of age, and some may live even longer if they receive optimum care throughout their lifetime. Using a canine age chart, you can determine how long Morkies live in human years, which is approximately 61 years.
Morkie puppies inherit their health factors from their parents, so you must consider the health issues found in both breeds in order to understand which health issues these pups may possibly face.
Common Yorkie Health Issues
- Slipping kneecaps
- Collapsed trachea
- Liver shunt disease
- Retinal dysplasia
Common Maltese Health Issues
- Retinal atrophy
- Liver shunt disease
- Respiratory problems
Caring for a Morkie
Morkie puppies should be handled carefully due to their small size and delicate structure. Although they are spirited dogs, they are not ideal companions for young children. They do make excellent "alert" dogs and will bark to let you know if there's something they think you should know about.
All Morkies should receive standard vaccinations, and special care should be taken to provide warm living conditions free from drafts. Feed them two small meals daily and always keep fresh water available.
Finding a Morkie
You can find a Morkie through a reputable breeder or through a shelter or rescue group. When looking for Morkie puppies for sale, make sure you do a thorough interview with potential breeders and ask to see where the puppies are kept, how they are socialized and what their process is for selling puppies. You should also inquire about health testing and care provided to the mother and her puppies. A breeder who is secretive and who only takes your money without any type of screening process is one to be avoided. The average Morkie price will be around $850 to $3,700. Since Morkies are not an official breed, there is no breed association for them, but you can start your search using the Continental Kennel Club website.
If you're looking for Morkie puppies for adoption, use national websites for rescues and shelters like Petfinder and Adopt a Pet. Since Morkie is not a breed, you are not likely to find one listed under that name up for an adoption, so search for Yorkshire terrier and Maltese. An adoption organization is more likely to have a Morkie listed as a Maltese X or Yorkshire terrier X.
What the Future Holds for Morkie Puppies
It's too early to predict what the future hold for Morkies. Will they become a passing fad or will they gain the kind of sustained popularity that the Cockapoo, another designer dog, has achieved? Only time will tell.