Maltese vs. Morkie: Which Breed to Get?

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Maltese vs. MorkieIs it better to go for a parent breed or a designer breed – that is the question. The Maltese and the Morkie are very closely related, but how does that impact their differences and similarities?

Is one more suited to your lifestyle and routine than another? You should make sure you know everything there is to know about both before making your decision.

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Maltese and Morkie History

The Maltese – a bichon-type breed – has an extensive history and one which cannot be precisely traced. The breed is incredibly old, experts know that for sure. In fact, the breed is so old that it is often called the “ancient toy breed.”

What experts aren’t certain of, though, is where and when the breed originated. Some theories link the Maltese to Malta (hence the name), where it is thought that it developed from Mediterranean spitz-types.

Others trace its origins to Italy, or to East Asia. The one common thread, however, is that the breed developed from spitz-type dogs.

Once the breed developed, it found its way to Europe. We know this much thanks to the proof in portraits and other documents of the British royals keeping the breed as a pet in the 16th century and the French aristocrats doing the same in the 18th century.

The breed seems to have been well-loved for a long time, so much so that breeders actively worked to save it when it began to be bred too small and neared extinction.

The Morkie, alternatively, is a designer breed with quite a short history. It is the result of combining the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier and was developed in the late 1990s.

It is believed that the breed developed in North America, but a lot of designer breeds emerged around this time, so the specifics aren’t certain.

Designed to create a friendly, affectionate lapdog with a low-shed coat, the Morkie quickly hit the market and people just wanted more. The breed continued to rise in popularity and the breeders continued to breed for it.

Maltese vs. Morkie: What Are the Breeds Like?

Next, we’ll take a look at what these two breeds are like.


The Maltese is a very esteemed-looking dog. The breed has silky white, long straight hair that covers its entire body. With a rounded skull, black nose, and adorable dropped ears, the breed is incredibly sweet.

It will typically measure between 8” and 10” tall and will usually weigh approximately 7 lbs.

The Morkie gets most of its colorings from the Yorkshire Terrier, and as such has a coat that can be black, brown, white, or even golden.

The breed can have dropped ears like the Maltese or erect ears like the Yorkshire Terrier. The Morkie, like its parent the Maltese, is considered to be a non-shedding breed.

Size-wise, the breed stands between 4” to 8” tall.

Life Expectancy and Aging Profile

Since both the Maltese and the Morkie are small breeds, they have longer life expectancies than many larger breeds would. This is because smaller breeds, typically, have slower metabolisms.

This allows them to grow slowly, developing fewer structural or skeletal injuries than larger breeds might. Likewise, the breeds are likely to develop any fatal conditions much later on in life than the larger breeds.

As such, the Maltese has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years old, and the Morkie’s average life span is 10 to 14 years. As puppies, however, both the Maltese and the Morkie will grow rapidly, only slowing once they reach their full size.

A Maltese’s growth will slow by the time they are about 12 months old. They will likely still fill out, but at that point, the breed is unlikely to get much taller.

The Morkie will reach its full size at a similar age, usually around the 10-month mark.


The Maltese is a great dog to have around as a pet. Small yet packed full of fun, the breed is affectionate and goofy, excitable, bubbly, and sweet.

This breed will love cuddling with you on the couch just as much as it’ll love running around when you are out on walks. Often, owners report that the Maltese is a little bit spoiled, but this is usually just because the owners find it hard to say no to them!

The Morkie is, more than anything, a very sociable dog. The breed loves other dogs and people and will do anything to be the center of attention.

They have a huge personality and plenty of energy, so whilst they may slow down long enough for a cuddle, you’re likely to spend most of your time playing rather than relaxing on the couch. For anyone looking to liven up their household, the Morkie can definitely help.


The Maltese and the Morkie are both intelligent breeds. The Maltese is a pretty intelligent dog that will be able to learn most basic commands and maybe even some beyond that.

The breed takes really well to positive reinforcement and loves to please, so will usually be more than happy to partake in some training.

The Morkie benefits from the Maltese’s intelligence, but also has the added bonus of the Yorkshire Terrier’s intelligence, too.

But owners should be aware that where the terrier in the breed does add intelligence, it also adds stubbornness. Owners will need plenty of time and patience to train a Morkie.

Maltese vs. Morkie: Which One Is Easier to Keep?

Below, we’ll discuss which of these breeds is easier to keep.

Required Living Space

The Maltese and the Morkie are both super small dogs, and even though the Morkie is incredibly high energy, they generally do not require loads of space.

Whether you’re in a big family home, an apartment, or even a studio, both the Maltese and the Morkie will be absolutely fine – so long as they are given sufficient exercise and mental stimulation on a day-to-day basis.


The Maltese will require daily brushing to stop their long silky hair from matting, and will also need their face wiped after meals and throughout the day to prevent staining.

Bathing will be required every week or so. On top of this, their teeth will need cleaning and their nails will need trimming. It is also important that owners check their Maltese’s ears regularly for signs of infection.

The Morkie, on the other hand, simply needs regular brushing to prevent knots from forming and will need bathing every few weeks. The breed, like all breeds, will also need its teeth cleaned and nails clipped regularly.

Walking and Exercise

Providing dogs with enough exercise each day can help to keep them healthy, and happy, and can stop them from being destructive.

In this case, the Maltese needs roughly an hour of exercise each day and the Morkie requires around half an hour.

Maltese vs. Morkie: How Much Do They Cost?

When looking at getting a dog, the cost is a huge factor. Owners should be sure to consider the long-term costs as well as the upfront costs. Things like food, vet insurance, treats, toys, and grooming can all be quite costly.

In terms of purchasing, though, owners should expect to pay between $600 and $2,200 for a Maltese and around $800 to $2,500 for a Morkie.

Maltese vs. Morkie: Which Should You Get as a Pet?

In addition to all of this, it is important to check that the breed you’re looking at will fit in with your daily routine and lifestyle.

Those with small children, for example, should opt for the Maltese rather than the Morkie, as the Morkie is smaller and easily injured. Even with the Maltese, parents of young children should be wary.

Those with other pets should ensure the safety of both the old and new animals; luckily, in this case, both the Maltese and the Morkie can live with other animals, although the Morkie may be injured by bigger dogs.

Anyone who hopes to leave their dog at home alone during the workday, however, should look for another dog breed, as both the Maltese and the Morkie are prone to developing separation anxiety if left alone during the day.


The Maltese and the Morkie are gorgeous and wonderful pets, but they require a lot of attention and can be quite a lot of work.

For a busy, work-oriented house, these breeds are not ideal, but for a household with the time and love to give them, a Maltese or Morkie would fit in wonderfully.

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