Maltese Terrier Mix
The Maltese Terrier mix might be a small dog, but it has a personality that’s larger than life.
This teacup dog is a hybrid of two adorable canines – a Maltese and a Terrier. Affectionately called a Morkie by dog lovers, this breed is one happy, intelligent, and loyal lap dog. Its diminutive size makes it a great pet for someone who lives in an apartment or a small home.
The Maltese Terrier mix is friendly, playful, and gets along well with other pets. It loves to be the center of attention and with its abundance of cuteness, it’s hard to imagine this dog not getting what it wants. However, this demand for attention could result in the Morkie being emotionally dependent on its human.
This little dog is so confident and full of life that it can dominate a room. It might be small enough to fit inside a handbag but because it got the best traits of the Terrier and the Maltese, there’s no way it won’t be noticed.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Maltese Terrier
- It can suffer from separation anxiety. The Maltese Terrier quickly becomes attached to its owner and can be demanding of their time and attention. Its dependence on its owner can cause anxiety if its human is away for long periods. This could lead to destructive behavior and annoying barking.
- Has a tendency to bark. While barking is part of a dog’s repertoire, the Morkie takes it to a different level. This little dog has a strong pair of lungs on it and will bark incessantly as a means to get attention.
- It’s hard to housebreak. The Maltese Terrier is smart but stubborn. It takes longer to housebreak than other small breeds. Owners have to be patient and should know various strategies involving positive reinforcement.
3 Reasons Why You Should Get a Terrier Maltese
- It’s a cute and loving dog. As the offspring of two adorable small dogs, there’s just no way for a Morkie to be anything but cute. It’s also very loving and will shower its owner with lots of affection and kisses.
- Can be a good guard dog. Despite its small stature, a Terrier Maltese is protective and loyal. It’s quick to bark and warn its owners if someone is in their territory.
- It doesn’t need a lot of exercises. A Maltese Terrier mix is low maintenance as far as exercise is concerned, making it perfect for busy owners. A 30-minute daily walk is enough to keep this dog healthy.
Appearance, Personality, and Traits of a Maltese Terrier Mix
|Weight||Male: 6 to 12 lbs|
Female: 4 to 8 lbs
|Height||Male 7 to 10 inches|
Female: 6 to 8 inches
|Coat Type||Soft and flowing|
|Coat Color||Brown, Black, Black, and Tan, Tan and White|
|Amount of Shedding||Low to none|
|Temperament||Inquisitive, excitable, fearless and independent|
|Life Expectancy||10 to 15 years|
|Kid Friendly||Not suited for young children|
|New Owner Friendly||Yes|
The Maltese Terrier mix can be likened to a canine jackpot. The breed has inherited the Terrier’s confidence, independence, and intelligence and the Maltese’s loving and trusting personality. There’s also a big chance it inherited its Maltese parent’s hypoallergenic coat.
A lot of energy and personality has been packed into this little fur ball. This dog loves to run around and play, especially within the confines of its home. Don’t be surprised if playing fetch is your Morkie’s favorite activity.
Its confident temperament means it will be able to get along well with other similarly sized animals. Letting your Terrier Maltese mix play with larger dogs is not a good idea. The size difference puts your Morkie in danger of getting injured during playtime.
The Maltese Terrier easily develops a strong bond with its owner and like a true “Velcro” dog, it loves nothing more than to be snuggled by its human’s side or sitting on their lap. However, this can lead to it being dependent on its owner for love and attention and cause behavioral problems like separation anxiety and destructive behavior.
Terrier Maltese Mix Puppies for Sale
It’s not surprising that breeders would crossbreed the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier, as the two breeds are very popular and well-loved.
Terrier Maltese mix puppies are tiny, with first generation pups usually born in litters of three or four. Due to their size and being categorized as toy or designer dogs, Morkies can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.
You should never buy a Morkie puppy from a pet store or online ads as there’s a big chance it would cme from a puppy mill. These organizations are involved in large scale dog breeding, often without any regard for the health of the dogs.
A better option is to look for small scale or local breeders of Maltese Terriers. Look for breeders who are willing to show you their kennels and how they operate. Trustworthy breeders will be open to prospective dog owners checking the dogs’ living conditions.
Here are some breeders that offer Terrier Maltese mixes:
Grooming Your Maltese Mixed With Terrier
You can’t tell for certain what a Maltese mixed with Terrier puppy will look like. What you can definitely bet on is that this hybrid will have a beautiful coat, something that its purebred parents are famous for. The Yorkshire Terrier has beautiful long hair while the Maltese are renowned for its snow white, hypoallergenic fur.
A Maltese Terrier will likely have long hair that rarely sheds. It essentially makes them hypoallergenic and an ideal companion for those who want an allergy-free pet. However, the Morkie’s flowing hair needs to be maintained regularly.
You have to brush your Terrier Maltese pet daily to prevent its hair from developing knots or getting tangled. It also helps keep the hair in the best condition.
Give your Morkie a bath once a month to keep its coat and skin healthy. It’s best to use a good dog shampoo and not the one you use for your own hair. Pay special attention to the hair around your dog’s eyes, leg, and feet to prevent dirt from accumulating. Brush your dog’s teeth several times a week to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
You should also bring your dog to the groomer at least once a month to trim and maintain its hair.
Terrier Mixed With Maltese Health Problems
As a responsible and considerate dog owner, you want to make sure that your Terrier mixed with Maltese is in the best possible health.
Hybrid dogs are usually healthier than the parent breeds, but they can still be susceptible to some of the conditions that plagued their parents.
Your Terrier Maltese mix is lucky to have received some genes from its Terrier parent as it means it can enjoy a long lifespan. Most Morkies live up to 15 years or more. Of course, its lifespan and quality of life will be affected by factors like diet and exercise.
A Maltese mixed with Terrier is generally healthy but due to its size, it is fragile. Make sure you handle and play with your Morkie in a gentle manner. It’s not built for the roughhousing that bigger dogs are fond of. This is also why this dog is best suited for a sole owner or a couple with older children. Very young children don’t understand a dog’s fragility yet and could accidentally hurt their pet Morkie.
There are other health issues to watch out for with this breed, like:
- Tear stains: Most Morkie owners will see tear stains or black or dark brown marks around their dog’s eyes. This is a trait inherited from its Maltese parent.
- Reverse sneezing: Small dog breeds are prone to reverse sneezing, which is actually more of a spasm that happens when their soft palate is irritated. It’s not a life-threatening condition and will pass without any need of a medical intervention within a few minutes.
- Tracheal collapse: This is a serious, progressive disease that usually afflicts small breeds. It leads to difficulties in eating, frequent coughing, and other respiratory problems.
- Cataracts: Your Maltese Terrier might develop cataracts, an imperfection in the lens of the eye that progresses to cloudiness and results in vision problems.
- Glaucoma: This affects more than 40% of dog breeds. It causes a buildup of pressure and prevents fluids from draining from the eye. The condition can cause damage to the optic nerves.
Maltese Crossed With Terrier Food Requirements
A Maltese crossed with a Terrier is a small dog with a huge appetite. Responsible pet owners should not give this dog free rein on kibbles though as it could lead to obesity and other health problems.
Since it’s a toy breed, it would usually need 40 calories per pound of its body weight. A Terrier Maltese crossbreed puppy should only consume about 300 to 500 calories up to its first 18 months. Once it reaches maturity, 200 to 300 calories a day is enough.
You can feed your puppy four meals a day for the first six months before gradually weaning it down to just two meals a day. Make sure your dog gets enough protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Carbohydrates are also OK as long as it’s kept to a minimum.
Choose a high-quality dry dog food for your Morkie. Dry dog food also helps with your dog’s dental health. Here are some good brands out in the market today:
- Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food: This protein-heavy, dry dog food lists turkey meal, deboned turkey, chicken meal, peas and potatoes as its main ingredients. It also has some carbohydrates but only in small amounts and derived from vegetables. Aside from the needed vitamins and minerals, it also has chondroitin and glucosamine to help improve your dog’s bones.
- Natural Balance LID Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula: Unlike the Wellness CORE brand, Natural Balance opts to have fewer ingredients in their dog food. They instead try to recreate the type of diet a dog would get in nature, which is why chicken meal, chicken, dried peas, dried sweet potato, and dried garbanzo beans are the main ingredients. This grain-free dog food uses animal-based protein. It has no artificial flavors and the kibbles are designed to fit a Morkie’s small mouth.
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food: A lot of Morkie owners prefer this brand because it’s grain-free and uses high-quality protein sources from real roasted meat. It also has Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that help make your Maltese Terrier puppy’s coat full and shiny
Terrier Crossed With Maltese Exercise Requirements
A Terrier crossed with a Maltese is obviously not bred for intense exercises or activities like running or hiking. Owners would do well to remember that this dog is energetic, not athletic.
The Morkie’s small size means it has a low capacity for exercise. It can get all the exercise it needs from a 20 to 30-minute walk. Too much walking or running can actually hurt this little canine. It’s also a good idea to walk them on a leash to minimize the risk of injury.
While the Terrier Maltese might not be physically active outdoors, it can turn into a dynamo once it is indoors. Owners should not be surprised to see their Morkie running around for ten minutes at a time inside the house. This hybrid might have lowered physical activity levels but it needs a lot of intellectual stimulation.
Here are some great toys that will stimulate your Terrier Maltese mix physically and mentally:
- PetStages Dental Cleaning Chews: These colorful chews will keep your Morkie busy and give it an alternative target for its chewing. This breed is prone to dental problems so a toy that also cleans its teeth should be part of your dog’s toy box.
- iDogmate Mini Ball Launcher: This is one of the best and most unique toys out in the market today. This ball launcher will have your dog running and chasing balls to its heart’s content. You get to control how many balls will be launched and can even use it to teach your pet to fetch its toy. It’s also very compact, making it perfect for those living in apartments.
- VegXPet IQ Treat Ball: This toy combines two things a Morkie needs – balls and puzzles. Your Terrier Maltese will spend hours working hard at figuring this toy out and trying to get the treats out. It will keep boredom at bay and stimulate the brain while cleaning gums.
Maltese Terrier Mix Training
It might look like an angel, with its beautiful round eyes and white fur (if it inherited its Maltese parent’s genes) but training the Maltese Terrier mix can be challenging. This hybrid is undeniably intelligent but it can also be very stubborn.
The Terrier Maltese mix doesn’t do well with negative, forceful, and highly repetitive training methods. This style is actually counterproductive and will just find your dog digging in. Positive reinforcement is a better strategy for your Maltese Terrier. Use treats, play, and praises as a reward.
It’s vital that every member of your household has a hand in training your Morkie, especially as this dog needs a lot of attention. While previous experience with dog training is helpful, even new dog owners can successfully train this little dog. But they should be prepared to invest their time, attention, and patience to the endeavor.
Owners of a Maltese Terrier mix should also make a concerted effort to socialize their pet, especially within its first 14 weeks of life. This will help your Morkie learn to interact with other dogs and people and ensure that it doesn’t become too attached to you. Socialization will also help curb your dog’s separation anxiety and control their excessive barking.
Here are training tips you should also consider:
- Don’t give in to their begging. It will be hard to say no to your dog if it’s looking at you with its button eyes, but you must stop yourself from feeding your dog from the table. It will prevent him from getting fat and teach it control.
- Use rewards to teach your dog to come to you. Don’t expect your Maltese Terrier to come to you if there’s no incentive for doing so. Call your dog using a pleasant tone and reward it for obeying with a treat, a toy, or even a simple belly rub.
- Stop them from jumping. Never allow your Maltese Terrier, or any dog for that matter, to jump on guests. Your dog can’t distinguish between dog persons and those afraid of canines. It also can’t tell if the guest is a young friend or an 80-year-old relative with a hip problem. Ask your guest to turn away from your Morkie and ignore it until it sits quietly. Only then can you pay it attention.
- Be firm with leash rules. Don’t let your Terrier Maltese strain its leash and pull you to where it wants to go. Stand still and wait for your pet to relax. Only continue your walk once it has calmed down and is looking at you. Another option is to go in the opposite direction your dog wants to go.
Terrier Maltese Mix and Families
The Terrier Maltese mix is an affectionate dog that loves people and they love it back. This hybrid has a winning personality but can also be bullheaded. Someone with experience with small breeds is ideal but a Morkie can actually be good even with first-time dog owners. They are good companions for singles, seniors, and families with older children.
This is a playful dog that loves to run around. Older children will have a fun time playing with it. However, Maltese Terrier’s small size makes it fragile. It’s better off with a family that doesn’t have large dogs and very young children. Small kids don’t have the control or understanding yet to be careful with this little dog.
The Morkie is also very adaptable and can live practically anywhere, whether it’s a small apartment or a home with a large yard.
It’s so easy to fall in love with the Maltese Terrier mix. This dog is a genetic goldmine, having inherited the best traits of its parent breeds. It’s energetic, confident, intelligent, loving, and friendly. It takes so little to make this dog happy. Give it all your love and just the right amount of attention and it will be content. In return, you’ll get the sweetest dog around. However, it’s essential that your dog is also trained and socialized early to curb its negative traits, like anxiety and excessive barking.
- Caruana, Maryanne, et al. “Red Flags for Maltese Adults with Congenital Heart Disease: Poorer Dental Care and Less Sports Participation Compared to Other European Patients—An APPROACH-IS Substudy.” Pediatric Cardiology, vol. 38, no. 5, 24 Mar. 2017, pp. 965–973., doi:10.1007/s00246-017-1604-y.
- Simmerson, S.m., et al. “Clinical Features, Intestinal Histopathology, and Outcome in Protein-Losing Enteropathy in Yorkshire Terrier Dogs.” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, vol. 28, no. 2, 27 Jan. 2014, pp. 331–337., doi:10.1111/jvim.12291.
- Borg, Albert J., and Marie Azzopardi-Alexander. Maltese. Routledge, 2012.
- Biniok, Janice. The Yorkshire Terrier. ElDorado Ink, 2008.