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The Morkie is one of the smaller designer crossbreeds and while still not common in the UK, it is growing in popularity around the world due to their loving nature and fluffy looks.

The breeds that make up the Morkie are another two fluffballs, the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier, but depending on how they have been bred, this crossbreed has a lot of variety in terms of size, shape, colours and coat types. The Morkie can be a first cross (with one Maltese and one Yorkshire Terrier parent),they can be bred back to one of the original breeds, or be two Morkies bred together. But in all cases this is a very small and friendly companion dog.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Little toy dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Don't mind
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Height: The height of a Morkie depends on the size of the parents used, but it’s usually between 19 and 25cm
Maltese:  not exceeding 25cm
Yorkshire Terrier: 18–20cm
Colours: The colours of a Morkie can vary as well and can be any mixture of the colours of their parents
Maltese: Pure white but slight lemon markings are permissible
Yorkshire Terrier: Steel blue and tan
UK Kennel Club Groups: Toy


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 1/5


Like most crossbreeds, the personality of a Morkie depends on the parents and how they have been bred and reared. But with both parents being affectionate dogs, who bond closely to their owners, the little Morkie will usually inherit these loveable qualities.

The Maltese

Despite their small size the Maltese is a comparatively robust little dog who as long as they are well-bred and socialised, are active, friendly, trusting and alert. They bond very closely to their owners and will want to go everywhere with them.

The Yorkshire Terrier

This is an intelligent, lively terrier who is affectionate with their owner but has no idea that they are a small dog! They are fearless, tenacious and protective of their home and their people. They will enjoy games and are constantly on the go. They’ll love nothing more than to be a part of everything their owner does.

From looking at the two breeds that make up the Morkie, the result can only be a small companion dog who will enjoy training and games and loves being in their owner’s presence at all times.

The personality of a Morkie seems to be more consistent when they are first crosses (F1). As a line is successively bred, they can be either bred back to one of the original breeds (and so strengthen either the Maltese or the terrier personalities) or be bred to another Morkie, in which case there is less predictability in temperament (and in-breeding becomes more of a potential issue).

Responsible breeders should be prioritising behaviour as highly as health and so it is important to find a good breeder. A well-bred Morkie should be outgoing and confiden, not nervous, shy or fearful.

History and Origins

Like many of the designer crossbreeds, the Morkie originated in the United States in a quest to find a small companion dog that would fit into any family’s lifestyle no matter how small their home and garden.

The two breeds that go into the formation of the Morkie are the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier.


Country of Origin: Malta

The Maltese is one of the earliest small companion dog breeds. The earliest records are from the early 1800s where they became known as lapdogs of the nobility, frequently appearing in paintings of the time. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries they became increasingly popular both in Malta and wider afield, and thanks to both their appearance and their temperament they quickly found fans around the world. Their first appearance as a show dog was recorded in in England in 1859.

Yorkshire Terrier

Country of Origin: England and Scotland

There is still some mystery surrounding the origin of the Yorkshire Terries, but it is believed that Scottish weavers brought a small terrier with them during a period of immigration from Scotland to Yorkshire and Lancashire during the 1850s. These 'Broken-Haired Scotch Terriers,' interbred with local small terriers to provide a working dog who quickly become popular as a very effective vermin-killer for factory and mining. The added bonus was its size, small enough that could be carried in their owner’s pocket.

Further breeds were used to perfect this Northern ratter including possibly the Manchester Terrier, the Maltese, the Skye Terrier, the Dandie Dinmont terrier, and the now extinct Paisley and Clydesdale Terriers. Shown as the Scotch Terrier in 1861, the dog later became known as the Yorkshire Terrier and was recognised by the Kennel Club in 1886.

While the breed was a working ratter, the Yorkshire Terrier soon became popular with wealthy ladies as a companion and this popularity lead to selective breeding to make them even smaller. Interestingly, while the dog got smaller, their coat length stayed virtually the same - hence the long coats that can still be seen on show dogs.

The Morkie can have any combination of the two breeds in their appearance, behaviour and temperament.

Ideal Owner

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Potential issues

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Morkies

Training Morkies

Family Friendly Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

Morkies are really tiny at birth, weighing usually a little less than 140 grams.

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