• Mi-Ki Dog Breed
  • Mi-Ki in Great Britain
  • Mi-Ki Dogs
  • Mi-Kis in the UK
  • Mi-Ki Breed
  • Mi-Ki
  • Mi-Kis in Great Britain
  • Mi-Ki Dog
  • Mi-Ki in the UK
  • Mi-Kis
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Weight: 2 - 5kg M | 2 - 5kg F
Life Expectancy: 13 - 14 Years

Thinking of buying or adopting a Mi-Ki?


The Mi-Ki is a recent and rather rare canine from the US. It's descended from three different dog breeds and has a small build with a flowing coat and distinctive ears. A relatively new breed, it inherited a combination of traits of its parent breeds but with different physical attributes. Very smart, affectionate, and calm, this cat-like dog is a wonderful companion for families and individuals.

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The name of this breed is said to mean “new life” or “new beginning.” However, how the Mi-Ki came to be is puzzling as there are conflicting stories about its development. One version said that this canine emerged after Micki Mackin crossbred small Shih Tzus with the Maltese, Japanese Chin, and the Papillon. This story was not verified as there were no documents kept that supported the crossbreeding’s progress.

Another version said that Milwaukee, Wisconsin resident Rev. Maureen van Wormer developed this small canine over a period of 30 years. The process began in 1959 after she secured two Shih Tzus imported from England. She then bred one of these Shih Tzu’s offspring to other breeds. She picked those that had traits she wanted to include in the new dog breed. Aside from the Shih Tzu, the other breeds are the Papillon, Yorkshire Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel, Maltese, and Japanese Chin.

The crossbreeding reportedly involved 30 dogs until 1989, when a pair of crossbreeds was considered the final version of the Mi-Ki. Van Wormer, as the story goes, named the dogs after her childhood nickname, “Mikki.” It has since been considered a purebred as it is bred Mi-Ki to Mi-Ki.

Although there are more versions to the history of this new canine, there are facts that Mi-Ki breeders generally agree on. One is that the dog emerged in the 1980s and was created as a companion dog. Further, the Maltese, Japanese Chin, and Papillon are part of its mix. Today, the Mi-Ki is still not recognised by The Kennel Club and remains small in number. Despite this, it is gradually growing in popularity in other parts of the world.

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Appearance and Grooming

The Mi-Ki’s average height is no more than 28 cm. Its weight reaches up to 4.5 kg. Because of its small stature, it was called the “pocket” pet. It has large round eyes on its slightly rounded head, with a black or self-coloured nose. Its winged ears, which are one of its most distinctive features, can be dropped or erect and has some feathering.

Its compact body size is proportionate to its overall frame and does not look stumpy or long-legged. It has a straight and level topline with a chest that is medium in depth. Its tail, called a “crowd pleaser” among owners, is set high and curls over its body.

The Mi-Ki’s coat can be 2 types: long or smooth. The long-coated variety has a single-length straight and silky hair. It also has a beard and a moustache on its face. The short-coated type has medium-length fur. Unlike the long-coated kind, the smooth coat variety has no beard or moustache.

The Mi-Ki coat comes in a wide variety of colours and combinations. It can be black, brown, chocolate, mahogany, beige, tan red, blue, apricot, sable, gold, brindle, fawn, silver, or white. Solid coloured Mi-Kis are rare.

Despite the coat being rather hairy, this breed’s fur is easy to maintain. Shedding is minimal, although occasional clipping is necessary. Combing out its hypoallergenic hair weekly helps to loosen tangles.

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Temperament and Intelligence

The Mi-Ki is playful, affectionate, happy, sweet, and loving. Its charming expression, calm demeanour, and eagerness to please add to its allure.

This breed is also known to be more like a cat than a dog. It likes to wash its own face, sit in the sun, and perch on high places overseeing things from above. However, it is not one to withhold its affection as it loves people. It is a very sociable pooch that can live in a variety of settings, even in apartments.

As a lap dog, it loves cuddling and clowning about. It gets along with other animals in the home. It is not a very vocal breed but will bark as a warning. Despite this, it is not recommended as a watchdog.

Although originally bred as a companion, the Mi-Ki is gradually gaining a reputation for being sensitive to the feelings and needs of patients. It has since been tapped to serve as therapy dogs.

This dog should be socialised and trained at an early age to help it become a well-balanced pet. As it is a very intelligent pooch, it can be easily trained. It does very well with families that can shower it with a lot of attention. It is good with children, although it needs to be supervised when playing with young children for its safety.

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Nutrition and Feeding

It is important to provide Mi-Ki with high-quality dog food that fits his age and breed such as specially-formulated dog food for small breeds. It is particularly designed to cater to the nutritional needs of small dogs like the Mi-Ki.

Avoid choosing commercial dog food even if it costs less than premium-quality ones. Most commercial food contains artificial additives and cheap fillers. Always provide fresh water for your Mi-Ki to make sure he is properly hydrated.

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Health and Exercise

The average Mi-Ki lifespan is 13.5 years. Although this breed is known to be a healthy one, it may be affected by the following health issues:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Respiratory problems (from short muzzles)
  • Distichiasis (extra eyelashes)

This dog is moderately active, thus requiring a daily walk and playtime to keep it happy. It can thrive on a 30-minute walk, or simply allow it to play freely as exercise.

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Cost of Ownership

If you are set on caring for a Mi-ki dog, be ready to pay at least £600 for a well-bred puppy. To ensure it stays healthy at whatever age, you need to spend £20-£30 a month on high-quality dog food. You also need to factor in the initial cost for dog accessories and equipment such as food bowls, leads, collars, and beds, which will likely be about £200 depending on the brand.

When it comes to healthcare, you need to be prepared in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. You can offset some medical bills if you get a pet insurance, which can range from £10 a month for a time-limited cover up to £15 a month for a lifelong insurance cover. These are the quotes for year 2020 for a 4-month old puppy. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, size and weight, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.

Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £800 annually. Roughly, you will be setting aside £30-£50 a month for recurring expenses, depending on the type of insurance cover you choose. This estimate is exclusive of walking or grooming services that you might want to use at times.

Mi-Ki Breed Highlights

  • This dog may have cat-like traits but it is affectionate and sweet to its owners.
  • It is very intelligent and easy to train.
  • The Mi-Ki is adaptable and can thrive in apartments.
  • It is generally a quiet canine and not likely to bark excessively.
  • Its grooming is low maintenance and its coat sheds minimally.
  • This purebred is great for families but is not recommended as a watchdog.

Are you sure the Mi-Ki is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

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Is the Mi-Ki too challenging for you? Take our Pet Finder so we can help you find more manageable dog breeds.

The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.