The Morkie is a designer dog, with a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier for parents. Although hybrid puppies can differ a lot from one another, the typical Morkie temperament isn’t too hard to predict. These lively pups are usually friendly, affectionate, noisy and prone to separation anxiety. They fit well into smaller homes where someone is around for much of the day. As a pet they do best when they’ve had plenty of socialization during puppyhood, and have benefited from positive reinforcement training.
Friendliness and Affection
Morkies are generally known for being friendly and affectionate dogs, especially with their own families. However, exactly how outgoing and confident they are can vary between individual dogs. Make sure you meet both your Morkie’s parents to predict exactly how friendly your dog will be.
Morkies will form strong attachments with their families, so they will want plenty of attention and affection. If you’re looking for a small dog that you can spend lots of time cuddling and interacting with, the Morkie is a great shout.
Both parent breeds for the Morkie are intelligent, so your mixed breed pup is likely to be intelligent too. Intelligence is an important part of training, but so is finding what really motivates your dog to take part!
Your Morkie might be very food motivated, or they might find their favorite toy or game more rewarding.
Training should be consistent and patient. Don’t try to intimidate your Morkie. They will respond best to positive reward training. If you are consistent and patient with your training, you will get great results from your Morkie.
Intelligent dogs are easily bored. If your Morkie doesn’t have enough entertainment or mental stimulation, he is likely to show some destructive tendencies. This can include barking, digging, chewing things they shouldn’t, and more.
You can keep your dog properly entertained with training and exercise. But, you might also want to invest in some interactive dog toys for those times that you can’t interact with your dog yourself!
Do Morkies Bark A Lot?
If you’re looking for a quiet dog, the Morkie temperament won’t suit you. This is a very vocal dog in general.
Both parent breeds – the Yorkie and the Maltese – are prone to barking. So it’s pretty certain that a cross between them will too.
Morkies will be sure to alert you whenever anyone approaches the house, but they may also bark out of boredom, excitement, and frustration! They can make great little vocal watch dogs. But, this can be problematic if you live in an apartment.
Is The Morkie Temperament Playful?
Morkies are surprisingly energetic, especially if they take after their Yorkie parent. They will need daily exercise, and plenty of playtime with you. Dog sports such as agility and obedience are a great way to combine exercise and training.
This small mixed breed won’t need as long walks or as much space at home as larger dogs, so they can suit people with smaller homes or apartments. But, they will need at least a daily walk, and lots of games to play at home.
Is The Morkie Temperament Ever Aggressive?
Morkies are known for being friendly, affectionate dogs, especially with their families.
The Yorkshire Terrier parent was originally used as a rodent pest control dog. So, they are likely to have natural chase instincts for smaller animals. They may also display aggression towards bigger dogs and animals too.
The Maltese was bred to be a lapdog, but they can still show aggression to strangers, their owners, and animals.
Studies on Aggression
A 2014 study looked at aggression in the 30 most popular AKC breeds using the C-BARQ questionnaire. It found that the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier breeds scored higher than average for stranger-directed aggression, dog-directed aggression, owner-directed aggression, and dog rivalry.
In fact, the Maltese breed scored the highest for owner-directed aggression. However, this doesn’t mean that all Morkies will be aggressive. Read more about dog bite statistics in this guide.
Even though Morkies are small dogs, it’s important to do all we can to prevent aggression. Socialization as puppies is the best way to do this. A lot of aggression is fear-based. Socialization will reduce this because it will help get your puppy used to new situations and experiences.
Numerous studies can be found that link early socialization to reduced aggression. So we can’t stress the importance of this enough to ensure Morkies grow up to be friendly and affectionate with everyone.
Are Morkies Good with Children?
These small mixed breeds tend to form strong bonds with their families. They can display aggression, but this chance is minimised if they are properly socialized.
The main problem concerning Morkies and small children is the size of this breed. They can be easily injured by young children who don’t know the right way to play and interact with a little dog.
Are Morkies Good with Other Pets?
Morkies will often do well if they are raised with other dogs. However, there is still the issue of their size. They are delicate little dogs. So, big dogs can accidentally hurt them.
The main potential problem with Morkie temperaments and other pets is the natural chase and hunt instincts that could be inherited from the Yorkshire Terrier parent.
If they do inherit this natural instinct, a Morkie may be prone to chasing other small animals in your home – including cats. If raised alongside these other animals, you may be able to reduce this tendency. But it’s not a guarantee.
So, generally, Morkies will do best in homes with no other small pets that roam around freely.
Evelyn Reed says
I have a 2-year-old Morkie fun loving and playful the only problem I have is the barking,he constantly barks at everything and everybody and he doesn’t like going outside he’s potty trained to the wee wee pad and doesn’t like being lonely but fortunately I’m the only one in the home and I have to go out sometime to shop I feel bad leaving him home alone but I know that he’ll be okay I usually be back as soon as possible. I do take him out for walks around the block but he be pulling to get back in hopefully he’ll get used to going outside.
We have an 8 month old toy chihuahua and love her to pieces but she is so energetic that we can’t keep up with her wanting to play all the time non-stop! Tomorrow we are going to see about a Morkie girl who is 4 1/2 months old and are seriously thinking that this might be a good playmate for our Chi. Hopefully they will get along and all will be good..fingers crossed lol. Excited to meet this little Morkie anxious at the same time…wish us luck!
We have a sweet little Morkie named Moxie. We also have a Jack Rat, named Zeke who is about 8 yrs old. Moxie came into our home where Zeke,, 2 cats, and a couple of gerbils already lived here. Moxie is an adorable little thing! Very affectionate, energetic, possessive, a tad bit crazy! She is a lap dog and loves to sleep on my lap, or under my chin! She fully believed that she is the queen and the other pets her subjects! She’s a great pup and we are over the moon with her!
My Morkie is 11mos. old. She the sweetiest little girl. She weighs all most 8lbs. Physically she she has the hair of her father, he was a Yorkie. When I got her she had the coloring of a Yorkie & the ears of a Maltese her ears flop over. But after her 1st hair cut she came home blond!
She was hard to house break but finally after 8mos. it sunk in. Now if she needs to go potty during the night she will come up to me & very gently bite me on the nose to wake me.
She gets along perfectly with our Mini Schnauser. They love to take turns chasing each other around the backyard. And when they do they can get pretty noisy.
She loves curling up in my lap while I watch TV or read. She loves people & thinks anyone that comes to the house is there to see her. She loves going to the Dog Park to play with her friends, old & new.
She’s still young but so far she a wonderful little girl & I wouldn’t trade her for anything.
I have a 14 month old morkie I call Joy. I love her too much. I am retired spend lots of time with her walks two to three times a day. Only problem she wants my attention continually. We have play time and she still wants me to just sit on the floor when she chews on a bone. I seldom leave her alone fortunately I have lots of babysitters. Is the only way to train her to let me work is to ignore her.
Barbara Wariner says
I adopted Ned my morkie 4 years ago. He is such a lover. I say I’ve never had anyone love me as much as Ned. He is very smart but stubborn. He barks at everything and everyone. He especially barks at visitors but when they come into house he acts like they came to see him…demanding their attention. My husband passed away 2 years ago and I don’t think I could stand the loneliness if I didn’t have Ned. I thank God every day for my sweet Ned.
I have a 2-year-old morkie I got him when he was 6 months old. He has a very friendly disposition and a slightly aggressive side at times. Especially when he’s around strangers. I also have a cat they don’t get along all that well initially but they are getting along better the longer they are exposed to each other but because he is a part Yorkie he wants to chase the cat all the time. He is very affectionate and attached to me. He can be a lap dog at times. But he pretty much never leaves my side he’s always next to me even at night he climbs in the bed and lays next to me. He is average size not the smallest and not the biggest of his breed he weighs about 12 lb. His looks are more towards the Maltese with the longer hair. His name is Riker Data.
brian s says
We have a morkie. We got her from the pet store and she was like a rat sized thing. Now shes grown up and is still pretty small. She had some health issues, her eyes were getting fused shut from irritation and she has occasion issues with her leg / knee getting dislocated (which is something that can be popped in with proper technique). Her eyes ended up healing well with some steroid medication.
She is an adorable little thing who is happy and loves us much. She was raised with 2 other dogs (medium and large) and gets along pretty great with the big one. The medium one was a bully to her so she occasionally gets into fights with her (snapping teeth and what not). We have to break them up so they dont get hurt!
Muffin loves to sit on your lap, you wont even know shes there sometimes. She loves just being next to you and cuddling against you.
She barks sometimes, usually when shes excited about something. It isnt rediculous. She does bark if she gets put in her cage. Her barks are individualized BUFFS!!! and its kinda cute actually. It certainly isnt out of control by any means.
My biggest problem is she absolutely hates going outside. She has accidents ALL the time. We conceded to this fact and just put down a matt and do our best to send her out often. She lately has been volunteering to go out about 75% of the time, which has been a real blessing and surprise.
Shes about 8 years old now.
brian s says
Oh yeah, she also has some stomach issues, she throws up alot but its ususally just water. i think she just drinks too much.
she also seems to like to eat poop. Sigh.
She really is a great dog though, and despite the frusterations about the potty issues we love her much. very special and unique dog. shes got her tiny little wagging finger tail.
We recently took in a Morkie & just found out what this furry girl is. Every now and then she likes to start a conflict with our other dog who is larger than her. Thank goodness the other dog is gentle. They do play together & sometimes our larger dog gets a bit rough but the little girl holds her ground.
She’s a barker and will take off when she gets the chance but will come back when called.
I have a ten year old morkie. He is very attached to me, as I am to him. I also have a ten year old yorkipoo and 2 cats. They all grew up together. However my Morkie still chases the cats. Not sure if instinct or jealousy(possessiveness). And growls when smaller children come to the house, which is not good. He recently had bout of stomach issues, which resolved, and now cut back on his healthy treats. But in general, both are loving great dogs, do not run when off leash in front yard. Come when called, and they love their on leash walks.
My Morkie is a year and a half. He is stubborn as heck he chews everything in sight and whines if he doesn’t get what he wants. He is a barker too, but that is the least of our worries. My husband and I are retired so we spend a lot of time with him, we play ball with him and I take him for long walks but he still has a lot of energy. I would like to know if getting another calmer dog/puppy would be good for him and help keep him busy and happy. He is loving but not overly affectionalte unfortunately. Perplexed.
. Ichelle says
MOXIE IS A GOOD DOOGIE
SHERRIE R. Smith says
Hi my name is Sherrie and I have a two-year-old Morkie.
She is the sweetest little gal &I wouldn’t give her up for anything..She loves everyone, babies, kids, other dogs…
Never aggressive & doesn’t have a mean bone on her body..Totally loving & kind, on my Lap ( a sidekick)….However, she hates to be alone &,will get a sitter occasionally.. .Wonderful choice for patient people who are home a lot…I do take her out shopping & most places that allow dogs.
Susan Schenkers says
I have a 13 year old morkie I love more than i can ever put into words! He is super sweet and loving . I’ve had teeth issues with him and now get his teeth cleaned every six months to prevent plaque build up, He has an extremely sensitive stomach and has pancreatitis.
I wouldn’t trade this little cutie for anything in this world
He doesn’t really like kids that are young he’s been through several grandkids and he can do without
i can take this little guy anywhere as lo no as he’s sitting on someone’s knee he is content and happy
His best friend is my poodle and he hates the cat and will nip at him if he gets too close
Kim Overstreet says
The best and most beautiful dog I have ever had, was my morkie named Baby. One slight variation. Her mother was a purebred Maltese, her father a pug Shire emphasis on the pug. The father had short hair, pug markings, the bug eyes of a pug and the muzzle of a Yorkie, with a really hilarious underbite. Baby was hilarious. She was a cuddle bug for sure. She did like to wrestle with her father they lived in the same household. She could jump close to 6 ft high. Her mother The Maltese was an escape artist so she inherited that from her. I called her pica girl because she loved to eat pencils, shoes, charging cords, basically anything that was not food if she was left alone. Sometimes even if she wasn’t left alone. She had an amazing personality and expressions that would kill you. She was one of those dogs who smiled when she saw you. Constantly my shadow, so much that my mother would sing me and My Shadow when she saw us. Hands down one of the best, most fun, most entertaining dogs I have ever seen. High energy level. Very lovable and affectionate. Not so noisy unless she was inspired by other dogs to bark. Suffice to say I miss her terribly.
I have a male Morkie who is 8 months old. I enjoyed the article and liked the fact that it mentioned the unpredictability of the breed. In preparation of getting my Morkie, I read all the articles I could to get an understanding of what to expect. However, I was in for a treat. I’d say my Morkie is the most easy going dog I’ve ever known. He gets along with anyone – strangers on the street, children (as young as infants)
, small dogs, big dogs, etc. I joke he’s the worst guard dog ever but he is still the most loving pup you could imagine. He’s in no way a picky eater – anything from dry dog food to plain lettuce. The only time this dog ever barks is when he’s playing or wants me to give him attention/wants to play. If he has enough stimulation, he won’t make a peep. He’s extremely loving and loyal. Very intelligent, easy to train. And at the end of each day, loves to cuddle up and go to sleep next to his Mama. This breed is one I’d recommend to anyone looking to have a pup join their family.
Carol Carr says
I have a 6 yr old Morkie very picky eater. I think I throw out more than she eats. I’d prefer dry food but when I got her she.was eating Cesar’s. Tried the dry version but was rejected. So instead of throwing dry dog food away have started giving the rejects to my daughter to feed her goats and geese.
Very social with extended family members and friends. Lays in her bed looking out window. Most of day. Squirrels excite her. She will sit on lap but when she decides that she has had enough jumps down lays on floor with back to me and pouts. Thankful she is not a chewer and non stop barker. Ninety five percent trained. Sometimes I think she needs medication to help her to keep from laying around so much.
Hi, I have a 2 year old Morkie, who is a gem..I got her at 10 was 0ld & was a terror until recently…Had the zooming often, loves her toys & is totally a mama’s dog! Was food picky until recently & now lives to eat .The only problem is running & won’t stop when called!! I would love ideas or suggestions for help with this.
Loves kids & other dogs; seems to have no fear of size.
LOVE Her. MIMI. .
Robin Smith says
A couple of other things – my Morkie has bad teeth even though only 4 years old. We had a deep cleaning, and he lost some teeth before we rescued him. He also has a tricky stomach – sometimes it gurgles and he clearly has an upset stomach. But it resolves itself within the day. In the beginning he might gently bite if you pulled on him by accident. He is very aware that he is very delicate, and tries hard to avoid any potential harm. He will hide under a table while his bigger sister plays tug with one of her toys. A smart dog. Very gentle and loving with his family and defensive of intruders. We love hiim.
Hey, my morkie has stomach issues too. The vet recommended a GI diet and famotidine. She went from vomiting 1-3 times a day to once every few months. She’s a picky eater and wasn’t too fond of the prescription GI food (tried several of them), so I switched to OTC Sensitive skin and stomach and she loves it (naturally, had to try a few types before she willingly ate and didn’t require bribing lol). Also, feeding her more frequently, instead of twice a day, helped. Good luck!
Robin Smith says
Enjoyed this article. We adopted a 4 year old, 8 lb male Morkie as a rescue. We just did his DNA and he is full Morkie! The site’s best description – “he can dance on two feet, is a real show-off, and will roll around, making sure you are watching him. That is our dog! He is very delicate, and shy – will jump 3 feet if he thinks you might step on him. He is a little suspicious – particularly regarding food. Even though he is food motivated, he is VERY picky about what he eats. He is great with our 16 lb mix breed terrier (part Maltese) – he follows her around and emulates her. He is extremely bonded to his female owner. He follows me around constantly and barks if I am not in the room with him. He sleeps with me on one of my pillows. I am retired, so have a lot of time to spend with him which is good. His energy level is pretty low, and is definitely a lapdog. But he enjoys his walks with his sister. He is a joy – wouldn’t want to leave him alone too long. He seems great with another compatible dog.
Joanne Boyland says
I have an F1b Morkie I adopted from a shelter and dna tested Morkie. He has more Yorkie than Maltese. He is very high maintenance wants to be #1 dog and can be jealous if I pay more attention to the other dog. He is always in my face and can a bit food aggressive. His hair is soft silky thick and fluffy and grows fast. He is smart but failed training class 2 times for barking at other dogs and has been hard to leash train. I’ve had his teeth cleaned 3 times and he’s 6. I wouldn’t buy one. I also have a purebred Silky Terrier and it’s a more balanced dog.
Joanne Boyland says
Oh and he is very playful but uses his teeth too much on my other dig so I always must correct him. I love him but…..his name is Scamp and he earned it. Scamp would run off given a chance. He also has a very sensitive tummy and must have prescription food for gastroenteritis. I’ve known other morkie owners whose dogs are allergic to vaccines. So. Again I wouldn’t buy one but I adopted him so I have adjusted to accommodate his quirks.
Kay Henady says
I have a Maltese Yorkie. Best dog ever. She was so easy to train. Usually just snap my fingers and somehow she knows what she is suppose to do. She doesn’t bark unless somebody comes to the house. She loves to play with her toys and go for a walk with me. When she wants picked up she turns herself so it’s easy for me to do. She weighs about 11 lbs and loves to be held and cuddled most of the time. She is so in-tune to me that if I take a breath that doesn’t seems normal, she will look at me until I say “I’m ok.” She is 11 years old and is still very energetic and playful but when I’m sitting, she is next to me or in my lap. I’ve never seen a dog so attached as she is. Hate the thought of losing her some day.
Annie McKee says
Your Morkie could be mine, so much alike. She is a rescue and very attached to me although there are two others in my household. She loves to sleep and my vet said lots of sleep is her breed. She also turns to help me pick her up. She is truly a lap dog but when we walk she runs and plays. She’s three years old and I can’t imagine ever losing her.
Your fur baby sounds like my morkie. She was just beautiful, long blonde hair. So playful and funny and a cuddler. Best dog I ever had. I still very over her passing in December. Just no fun without her I’m glad someone else has the same feelings over their pup as I do!