One of the many reasons that Morkies are so popular is that you have a loveable companion lap dog crossed with another loveable companion lap dog. The assumption is that you are bound to get an obedient little dog that just wants to please you. But is this the case? Are Morkies highly trainable or are there problems to watch out for?
What to expect
Morkies can be a bit of a handful when it comes to training. While there are some traits that make them great students, and they can learn a lot as they grow up, there are also issues to watch out for. For example, while you might love this dog for its cute high-spirited personality and appreciate its intelligence, you may also experience its stubborn side.
There is the recommendation that Morkie pups should only go to experienced owners because of these traits. Inexperienced owners that don’t understand the appropriate training method could struggle and get frustrated. But, it all depends on your dedication to learn and do right by your pet. If you follow these tips, you should find that your experience is a lot easier.
The intelligence and the affection side of the Morkie are blessings.
Let’s start with the positive side of training Morkies. These little dogs are smarter than you may expect. They have the capacity to put up on different commands and desired behavior traits quite quickly. This intelligence also means that they are great fun to play obedience games with or other games that test their mental agility.
Then there is the fact that these little companion dogs are keen to please you and get plenty of praise and affection. Obviously, they are smart enough to know that the more obedient they are, the more they will receive. So, you would think that training these dogs would be a breeze with these factors combined, right? Well, unfortunately, it is a little more difficult than that.
Morkies are also stubborn and may develop selective hearing.
The stubborn nature of this little dog is where many new owners have difficulty. It doesn’t matter how much they understand the commands and your desires if they have no intention to carry them out. This can happen quite often in training sessions for any stubborn breed of dog. If they get bored or just want to act out for some reason, they won’t bother to continue to listen to you.
Is selective hearing real in dogs? Well, there is some debate about that. Some experts say that it actually comes from inconsistent training and poor comprehension. But, it can feel as though some stubborn dogs like Morkies only hear commands when they want to.
Then there are the problems of housebreaking Morkies and separation anxiety training.
These are two areas that could be a little more difficult for these pups, regardless of their stubborn nature. Morkies can struggle with housebreaking because of their Maltese heritage. These dogs tend to take longer to get the hang of things for some reason. There is no guarantee that this will happen with your Morkie, but keep it in mind as you may need to be a little more patient. As for separation anxiety, these animals can get very attached and struggle to be left alone. You can read more about leaving Morkies alone here.
Of course, there are a lot of other areas where Morkies require training. Licking is a common problem, again, check out our other guide on that. Barking isn’t usually too big a problem here, but it is worth keeping control of nice and early. You don’t want them getting too yappy. You also need to make sure that they are socialized with other people and animals. Of course, basic obedience for sitting, staying, etc is a must too.
What can you do to make things easier when training Morkies?
Your approach to training and your attitude will make a big difference when training Morkie puppies. First of all, you need to make sure that you start all your training from an early age. This means that there is less time for your dogs to develop bad habits. Don’t encourage “cute” naughty behavior as this will backfire on you later on. Start early with socialization, housebreaking, separation issues, barking, licking, and general obedience. It sounds like a lot, but the sooner you start, the easier it is.
It also helps to create a consistent regime with lots of short sessions.
Consistency is essential here. You need to make sure that you ask for the same thing, the exact same way, with the same outcome. This will show that you mean business and give your Morkie no loopholes to try and get their own way. At the same time, it is best not to spend too long going over something in one day. Don’t get your pet the opportunity to get bored and act out.
Stick with positive reinforcement at all times.
Positive reinforcement is essential when working with these dogs. You can’t deal with a stubborn mindset through negative tactics. To be honest, no dog should deal with scolding or overtly negative approaches when positive praise, correction and treats work so well. Also, Morkies can get quite sensitive and withdrawn when dealing with these negative situations. They are then even less likely to respond and may lose some trust in you. Show them what to do, heap praise upon them when they do it, and offer simple corrections when they are wrong.
Are Morkies easy to train?
In short, there is no denying that training Morkies can be very challenging. Unless you stick with a clear program from an early age, your pet could develop bad habits and a stubborn mindset. But, those that are patient and consistent with their new companions will find that the hard work pays off. Eventually, you will end up with a fully house-broken, obedient pet that is a joy to have at home. Selective hearing may or may not still occur, but it won’t get too bad.