The Morkie Temperament – Good With Kids? Good Watchdog? Find Out Here

One of the main reasons for its popularity – the Morkie temperament

The Morkie dog is actually a hybrid dog breed. It is a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Maltese. It’s also possible to breed 2 Morkies to produce 2nd generation dogs.

Of course, the Morkie temperament and appearance have elements of the Yorkshire Terrier and of the Maltese, but this can vary quite widely depending on the original parents. So, you are not guaranteed a specific appearance nor temperament to the degree that you would be with a pure-breed type of dog. Hybrid dog breeds always have an element of ‘pot luck’ to what you actually get.

Morkie puppy

Morkie Temperament

All Morkies are essentially happy dogs, ready to play, chase a ball, and generally goof off. They have more energy than their small size suggests, and will keep going as long as they have something to interest them. Some first-time owners are surprised at this little dog’s energy levels.

Unfortunately, these little guys do not tend to settle down for a snooze if left alone for long. They quickly get bored, and can become destructive in the search for something entertaining. For a small dog, they can rip up a surprising amount of furniture!

So it’s important to realize that, despite the Morkie’s appealing looks and playful behavior, they need human company. They do not do well when they are left to amuse themselves in an empty house. For this reason, they are not really the best choice if you are going to be out at work for several hours every day.

Morkies are very affectionate, and love being in a family. They do well with children who are old enough to pay carefully, as Morkies may be hurt by rough play. This love of being in a family is at the root of their separation anxiety. They hate being left alone for long periods.

They are best suited to a household where there is likely to be someone at home most of the time.

Morkie Breed History

It is generally believed that the Morkie originated as a recognized hybrid dog breed in the U.S.A. around the year 2000. Although there will have been accidental matings between Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese dogs before that time, resulting in “Morkies”, these dogs were regarded as mongrels or ‘mutt’ dogs back then, and didn’t receive much attention.

But when professional dog breeders turned their attention to hybrid dogs, they picked the best Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese dogs in an effort to produce a hybrid that was low-shedding, small and affectionate, and with an appearance similar to a teddy bear. The ideal small companion dog!

As a hybrid dog breed at this time (2021) the Morkie is not recognized by any official kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club or The Kennel Club (U.K.), but this is only of importance for the show ring. Their will need to be several generations of Morkie breeding with Morkie until the dogs breed ‘true’ (ie. predictable size, weight and coloring, plus consistent temperament).

You should only buy a Morkie from a reputable dog breeder, such as a registered Yorkshire Terrier breeder. You should always ask to see the parent dog and bitch, too. Make sure that the premises are clean and that all the dogs look clean and well cared for.

Vital Statistics;

Height;  6 to 8 inches

Weight; 4lbs to 8lbs

Life Span; 11 to 13 years

Gracie the Morkie, sent to us by Christine MacGregor from Maine, USA

Read more about Gracie (above) at her page HERE.

Morkie Temperament – Ease of Training

All Morkies will tend to have some of the attributes of the Yorkshire Terrier and some of the Maltese. This can make the Morkie a little stubborn at times, but they are intelligent and eager to please their owners. With a careful and considerate approach they can be trained successfully.


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It can seem like the playful nature of the breed makes it quick to pick up new tricks and games, whilst house-breaking and walking to heel and recall off the leash take more time, being less entertaining for the dog. You must remain patient, and keep a consistent approach. Like most dogs, the Morkie will respond best to rewards and attention.

We recommend puppy training classes as soon as your dog is old enough, to introduce the concept of training and learning new things, and also to expose your new dog to other dogs, people, sights and sounds.

At 1 year old, it is a great idea to have some adult dog training sessions, either in a class or 1 – on – 1 with a professional dog trainer. While this may cost a bit more, it will be well worth it to have a well-behaved and happy dog. A dog that knows and understands the rules and knows how to behave will be a more secure, happy and loveable pet.

Morkie Temperament – Protection

If you are looking for some protection from unwelcome guests, this hybrid breed will serve you well in alerting you to strangers. They bark at anything odd, and sometimes bark for no obvious reason.

But apart from acting as an early-warning system, there’s not much more you can expect in terms of protection. These little fellows are simply too small to bother an intruder. If you need protection, I suggest you look for a larger breed of dog.

Morkie – Grooming

The coat can vary in texture, length and colors, depending on how close the dog follows it’s Yorkshire Terrier or Maltese parents. Generally the coat is soft and shaggy, and is considered low-shedding. Many people are attracted to the ‘hypo-allergenic’ reputation of this breed, but this can be variable from dog to dog.

This makes grooming quite easy. For a start, this is a small breed, so there just isn’t much dog to look after! A daily going-over with a soft brush will be enough to remove loose hairs and stop any knots or tangles from building up. You should also gently clean around the eyes and ears with a soft damp cotton cloth to remove any build-up.

Most owners find that a bath once a month with a dedicated dog shampoo will keep the fine hair and skin in good condition.

Morkie Health Considerations

There are few health concerns with this hybrid breed, where experienced and reputable breeders are involved, as they will pick the potential parents carefully. The issues to be aware of include (but are not limited to);

  • Ears and eyes
  • Patellar luxation
  • Liver problems

Famous Morkies

I couldn’t find any Morkies who are famous in their own right – as opposed to being owned by someone famous. Please let me know if you ae aware of one, by using the Contact Me link. Thank you!

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