Morkie vs Yorkie: What’s the Difference?

Published: August 9, 2022
Image Credit Seregraff/
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Upon a quick glance, you may not be able to tell the differences when it comes to the Morkie vs Yorkie (Yorkshire Terrier). They’re both toy breeds, and they look quite similar.

We’re about to give you an overview of the Morkie and Yorkie. Once you’re done reading this article, you’ll be able to distinguish between these two toy breeds, which includes telling them apart physically. You’ll also learn more about their backgrounds and personalities.

You may be thinking of these two breeds because you’re considering purchasing a dog soon. Knowing these differences will help you figure out which breed is a better fit for your home!

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Comparing Morkie vs Yorkie

Black Morkie dog waiting to play on the sofa, Isolated on white background
The Yorkie was bred to hunt small animals, while the Morkie (pictured) was bred as a lap dog.

Benny Marty/

Size8-10 inches tall; 7-13 pounds7-8 inches tall; 4-7 pounds
AppearanceSmall body that is somewhat prone to obesity. Can come in a variety of colors, including white, black, tan, beige, apricot, brown, and silver. Has a long, flowing coat that is hypoallergenic.Small body that is at low risk for obesity. Only comes in blue/black and tan/gold. Has a hypoallergenic coat.
AncestryOriginated in the United States in the 1990s; bred to be a lap dogOriginated in England and Scotland in the 1860s; bred to catch small pests in mines and mills
BehaviorVery friendly, brave, and high-energy, although it can be calm as well. Loves attention, is a good watchdog, and is not very tolerant of strangers.Very energetic, friendly, and loyal. Needs a lot of social interaction and may be prone to separation anxiety if left alone. Very protective of its territory.
HealthOverall healthy, but can be prone to many conditions, including collapsed trachea, glaucoma, reverse sneezing, patellar luxation, portosystemic shunt, hernias, and periodontal disease. Also may be subject to complications associated with obesity if obese.Overall healthy, but can be prone to many conditions, including collapsed trachea, glaucoma, reverse sneezing, patellar luxation, portosystemic shunt, hernias, and periodontal disease.
Lifespan10-14 years11-15 years

Morkie vs Yorkie: Key Differences

Yorkie in a dog bed
The Yorkie (pictured) is officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club, while the Morkie is not.


The main difference between Morkies and Yorkies is that the Morkie is a crossbreed between the Maltese and a Yorkie.

As such, the Morkie and Yorkie do have quite a bit in common. It’s only natural, considering that the Morkie is a crossbreed between a Yorkie and another toy breed. A Morkie can take after either its Yorkie or Maltese parent, so the way it turns out can be somewhat unpredictable. However, Morkies do have some general characteristics that set them apart.

On average, the Morkie is taller and heavier than the Yorkie. Also, the Yorkie only comes in combinations of blue and tan/gold colors, while the Morkie comes in a larger variety of colors.

Also, while the Yorkie is a purebred dog that is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Morkie is not. However, this crossbreed is recognized by other organizations, including the Dog Registry of America and American Canine Hybrid Club.

Additionally, the Yorkie originated in England, while the Morkie originated in the United States.

Let’s go into more depth about these differences now.

Morkie vs Yorkie: Size

Morkie dog playing at a river beach
The Morkie (pictured) is taller and heavier than the Yorkie on average.


One significant difference between the Morkie and the Yorkie is their sizes. The Morkie grows to be about 8 to 10 inches tall, while the adult Yorkie is usually 7 to 8 inches tall. Also, the Morkie weighs 7 to 13 pounds on average, while the Yorkie is only 4 to 7 pounds

You can see that even though they are both classified as toy breeds, the Morkie is significantly heavier and taller than the Yorkie on average.

Morkie vs Yorkie: Appearance

dog food for yorkies
The Morkie comes in a larger variety of colors than the Yorkie (pictured).


Given that the Morkie is half-Yorkie, it’s only natural that the breeds look similar. However, the Morkie comes in a more diverse assortment of colors than the Yorkie.

The Morkie can come in a wide variety of colors, including white, black, beige, apricot, brown, silver, and tan.

The Yorkie is considered to be a purebred dog. According to American Kennel Club breed standards, adult Yorkies are supposed to have coats that are blue steel and either tan or gold. Yorkie puppies often have some black fur, but it turns blue by the time they’re adults.

Both of these breeds have hypoallergenic coats and do not generally shed, but the Morkie’s coat tends to be longer than the Yorkie’s. The Morkie is also more prone to obesity.

Morkie vs Yorkie: Ancestry and Breeding

Young handsome Morkie playing in the park
The Yorkie originated in England and Scotland, while the Morkie (pictured) originated in the United States.


The backgrounds of these two breeds are quite different. Of course, the Yorkshire Terrier is the older breed, as it is a parent breed to the Morkie.

The Yorkie was originally bred by workers in England and Scotland. They bred the Clydesdale Terrier with other local terriers in the 1860s, giving rise to the Yorkie. The Yorkie’s original purpose was to catch small pests, such as rodents, in the mines and mills where these workers earned their living.

However, this changed when the workers brought the dog to America. Upper-class Victorian ladies liked the Yorkie’s appearance and personality; the Yorkie then became a well-known lap dog.

Unlike the Yorkie, the Morkie was meant to be a lap dog from the beginning. Designer breeders in the United States intentionally mixed Yorkshire Terriers with Malteses to create this breed in the late 1990s.

Morkie vs Yorkie: Behavior

Yorkshire terrier standing outside on a table
Morkies and Yorkies (pictured) are both friendly, energetic, and good watchdogs, although some Morkies may be calmer than Yorkies.


Both Morkies and Yorkies are very friendly, energetic, and brave. They’re also very loyal and constantly want attention. These dogs tend to develop separation anxiety if you leave them alone for long periods of time.

The Morkie is more likely than the Yorkie to be overprotective of their owners and intolerant of strangers. Both are good watchdogs, although the Yorkie may be slightly better in this way.

Yorkies are known for being very playful and spunky. Morkies can be like this as well, although they may also be more calm like their Maltese parents. It’s difficult to predict which parent breed any given Morkie will take after.

Morkie vs Yorkie: Health

Sweet Morkie Puppy looking directly at the camera
Morkies (pictured) and Yorkies tend to be healthy, but they are also prone to several conditions.


Both Morkies and Yorkies are generally healthy dogs. However, they are both prone to certain conditions, including collapsed trachea, glaucoma, reverse sneezing, patellar luxation, portosystemic shunt, hernias, and periodontal disease. Since the Morkie is more prone to obesity, it may be more likely to suffer from conditions associated with this.

Whether you have the Morkie or the Yorkie, it’s a good idea to take the dog to the vet for a checkup at least once a year.

Morkie vs Yorkie: Lifespan

Yorkshire Terrier standing on grass
The Yorkie (pictured) lives slightly longer than the Morkie on average.

egarc2 / Creative Commons

Another significant difference between the Morkie and the Yorkie involves the lifespans of these two breeds. The Yorkie lives a little bit longer than the Morkie on average, although of course lifespan of each individual dog depends on many factors. The average lifespan for a Morkie is 10 to 14 years, while the average lifespan for a Yorkie is 12 to 15 years.

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