Morkie vs. Yorkie: What’s the Difference?

Morkie Yorkie Yorkshire Terrier

If you’ve ever wondered what’s the difference between a “Morkie” and a “Yorkie,” then this is the blog post for you!  Let’s get the biggest common misconception out of the way right now. Even though the Morkie and Yorkie look like twins, they are not actually the same breed with two different names. But they […]

If you’ve ever wondered what’s the difference between a “Morkie” and a “Yorkie,” then this is the blog post for you! 

Let’s get the biggest common misconception out of the way right now. Even though the Morkie and Yorkie look like twins, they are not actually the same breed with two different names. But they are related. Consider the Morkie the half-brother of the Yorkie, as in, a Morkie is half Yorkie (purebred Yorkshire Terrier) and purebred Maltese. 

Now that we quenched your burning curiosity, let’s dive into the meat of how these two breeds came to be, and what makes them different.


The Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie, is a sturdy, compact, toy terrier, covered with a coat of long, straight, blue, and tan hair. Yorkie’s have small, slightly rounded heads, tapered muzzles, black noses, dark, medium-sized eyes, and small, erect, v-shaped ears. Yorkies are hypoallergenic, and they live a long life of 13 – 16 years!

As the name implies, Yorkshire Terriers hail for the county of Yorkshire in Britain. In the early 1800s, Scottish who migrated to Britain took with them their terriers, and when in Yorkshire, bred a smaller, fearless terrier dog. This was the first Yorkshire Terrier. 

Though very small, Yorkies belong to the “working dog” class of canines. This is because they were bred to hunt mice and other rodents in the textile mills and factories of Yorkshire where their owners were working. In the factories, Yorkies also fetched whatever items their owners needed. To this day, Yorkies are highly helpful and energetic. They have retained their instincts to hunt and often bring their owners the mice, bugs, and other pests that they’ve heroically killed, preserving the safety of the home. 

Not long after this new breed was introduced, in 1886 the English Kennel Club recognized Yorkshire Terriers as a popular breed. At this time, the Yorkshire Terrier became a companion dog to the Victorian upper class. As the English Kennel Club considered this new useful breed, across the pond, the equivalent American dog club, the American Kennel Club, also recognized that Yorkshire Terriers should be a valid breed.    

Due to their high energy and eagerness to please, Yorkies make wonderful companion dogs and are trustworthy to execute complex tasks. As their history indicates, Yorkies are meant to assist their owners all day long. When allowed to contribute to their owners needs on a moment to moment basis, Yorkies are happiest. As you might imagine, your Yorkie will quickly grow sad and anxious if left all by himself with nothing useful to do. 

What is a Morkie


Just kidding! There’s no such thing as a “Morkshire Terrier.” Ah-hem, we mean “Morkies.” 

Originally called the Yorktese, but now more commonly called the Morkie, is a cross between the Yorkshire Terrier and the Maltese breeds. A Morkie’s appearance varies widely, some expressing more of a Yorkshire terrier appearance and some a more Maltese look from its Maltese parent.

Having originated in Italy and the Mediterranean Basin, the Maltese purebred dog breed has existed for thousands of years. That’s right, designer breeds go back that far!

This small-size dog is accustomed to the laid-back breezy life that comes with living along the European seaside. Maltese is a purebred dog breed that is uniformly white in color with a mantle of long, silky, white hair from head to foot. It is gentle-mannered, affectionate, and sprightly in action. Despite its small size, Maltese puppies possess enough vigor to keep up with their owners and be affectionate companions. Maltese are not fearful dogs, even though they’re quite small. And the Maltese is among the gentlest-mannered of all little dogs, yet it is lively and playful as well as vigorous.

Breeding a Yorkshire Terrier with a Maltese was first attempted in America in the early 1990s. As compared to the Yorkie and other longer-established dog breeds, the Morkie is relatively new and young. For this reason, Morkies are not listed with the American Kennel Club as purebred dogs. They are currently considered hybrid dogs.  

Morkies are active and playful, and are said to possess “fearless spunk.” They form strong attachments to owners as well as desire a lot of attention from their owners. Morkie puppies are social and love to play. They are excitable, energetic, confident, and loyal. For this reason, Morkies do best when they are with their owners 24 / 7. This might always be realistic for some people who have to work and can’t bring their Morkie with them. But other accommodations, like having friends stop in on your Morkie or hiring a dog walker, might be in order if your Morkie suffers from separation anxiety while you’re gone. 


Both the Yorkie and the Morkie make excellent, loving companion dogs. Both are small breeds and cute. And both have a lot of playful energy. So, which toy breed should you get, a Morkie or a Yorkie? 

Since these breeds are so similar, your choice might boil down to whether you want an ever-so-slightly calmer and larger (albeit still very small) dog, or a slightly spunkier and smaller dog. The calmer breed is the Morkie, thanks to its Maltese heritage. 

That being said, we recommend that you stop in your local pet store to meet their Morkies and Yorkies. See if you can differentiate their personalities. Perhaps one of the puppies in particular will steal your heart. 

If you’re near any of our Petland Texas locations, we invite you to come in to pet and play with our Morkies and Yorkies. Both of these adorable toy breeds are great with older children. See for yourself which breed dogs best suits your personality.