What is a Mi-Ki?
The Mi-Ki is intelligent, calm, sweet natured, affectionate and their activity level is low to moderate.
They are very social with people and are sometimes catlike. They seem to adapt
their activity level to your life style, making them great apartment pets. They can be very
happy with an occasional walk, a small yard or even a sunny window to perch in (yes, it’s
that cat thing again). Generally speaking, Mi-Ki’s are a quiet breed. Barking occasionally.
They will bark when someone comes to the door, or alert you when something is amiss.
Some Mi-Ki’s can climb very well, my own five pound girl scales my king size pillow
top bed. They chase, swat, and jump on their toys. We believe this is the Japanese Chin
coming out. They thrive just about anywhere there are people. They are good with children,
the elderly and those with special needs. They are perfect to use as therapy dogs; easy to train,
and are wonderful at adapting to your style of living. They are quite devoted to their owners.
Mi-Ki’s generally are between 4 and 10 pounds and come in several colors but what you
see as a puppy may not be what you get as an adult. Light pups can get darker coats as they
get older. The same holds true for darker puppies. They may lighten considerably or change
color as they grow into adulthood. Check out our “A Mi-Ki of a Different Color” page that
shows a brown, white, and black a pup become Champaign-White;
and a Black and White become Blue (gray) and White.
The ears on a Mi-Ki can be the up, winged, or down. All three-ear types are acceptable in
the breed standard. For more information on the standard please visit the International Mi-Ki
Registry at www.imrmikis.com
The Mi-Ki is a rare breed started in the 1980’s by a woman from Milwaukee, WI. She went by
several names, we know her as Maureen Westberg or Maureen Mackin. She was breeding AKC
Shih Tzus and decided to develop a new strain of dog that she called Mi-Ki (pronounced Mee-kee).
Maureen decided on the name Mi-Ki for two reasons. Her nickname since she was a little girl in
school was Mikkie; and the Asian name MiKi, means new life or new beginning.
It is said that she wanted to have a dog that looked like a gremlin. The first Mi-Ki’s on record, are
listed as one of the three different kennel’s Maureen used at that time. The kennel names that were
used are, “In Chan Ting”, “Kea Huna”, and “Tee-Nee”. These different kennel names all appear in
the Mi-Ki pedigrees, since all Mi-Ki’s came from the same bloodline. At least 25 years have past
now, and the bloodlines are extremely well established.
We are one of several breeders listed on the International MiKi Registry website. All Mi-Ki
dogs must have DNA testing done to ensure that there is no crossbreeding among the breeders.
As members of the IMR, we abide by the Gold Star Mi-Ki Breeders Alliance, and are required to do
CERF and OFA as well to ensure that we comply with the Official Mi-Ki Standard.
Maureen started developing this new strain of toy dogs from the Papillion, which contributes to
the breed's high intelligence and lovable manner; the Japanese Chin, which gives them their
shortened nose, long haired turned up tail and eye set; and the Maltese which gives them their
beautiful coat and the pure white color, we often see. The small Shih Tzus give the Mi-Ki a non-
shed coat and a variety of colors. In 1993 she introduced a Papillion/Yorkshire terrier mix stud to
some of her females. However, she did not keep accurate records, so unfortunately the degree of
mixture or combinations of the breeds is not known. She did however start the first Mi-Ki club in
1991 and wrote the original Mi-Ki breed standard that set a standard for a long silky, non-shed coat;
a toy breed not to exceed 10 lbs or 10 inches tall at the shoulder.
Like other small dogs they tend to need more dental work then larger dogs that have more bone
mass in their jaws. It’s best to eliminate sweet treats, feed a small piece of cheese a few times a week
and to brush your dog’s teeth. Getting them accustomed to this early in life makes it much simpler
for you, the owner. Mi-Ki’s don’t enjoy spending extend time outdoors in extreme heat or cold. Plan
on a coat or a blanket in the cold, and monitoring your dog in the summer’s heat.
I do screen our breeding stock for heart, eye and knee issues that are common in some other
small breeds. Some Mi-Kis may experience a higher then average liver enzine. This is due to the smaller veines in the liver. This condition is called Microvascular Liver. This condition appears in 3 of the 5 breeds in the foundation breeds that make up a Mi-Ki. Useing a Liver friendly diet is helpful.
Mi-Ki’s have a very sweet temperament. Honestly, that was the reason that I was drawn to the
breed. They all seem to really enjoy meeting new people, being fussed over, and being loved by
strangers. Please don’t be fooled though, their owners hold a special place in that big Mi--Ki heart!
Did someone say “cuddle me”. Typically when placed on your shoulder, they will put their head
down and just snuggle in. I’ve had a vet tell me once, (that never saw them before) that they were
very nice. And he just stood there with my dog cupped in his hand talking away. It made me feel
great to know I made the right choice.
As with any family members, you will notice many similarities, but there are also differences in
personalities. Just like you, and a sibling are different, so are the puppies in a litter. Traits are a
general thing. One may love to climb and be very athletic; another may be more of a couch potato
or a princess (there seems to be a lot of those). Like children, when they first come home they are
babies and will need to learn many things. Something that didn’t occur to me at first, could possibly
have had disastrous results. As puppies, they don’t understand that jumping out of your arms could
be dangerous. Please hold your little friend carefully! They just don’t understand height yet. Also, if
you are over indulgent with your baby Mi-Ki when it first comes home, your pup won’t understand
why you changed the rules later on. Be consistent, and consider taking a puppy class with your new
baby. They are so small when they come home, that I put bells on mine for a while, so I wouldn’t
step on them.
Mi-Ki’s are quite playful, they play with each other constantly even into adulthood. They do
very well with other dogs of all sizes. We have a German Shepard that my little one just constantly
wears out. My friend, on the other hand, has two large cats and her Mi-Ki’s want to play with them
too. The cats get along fine with the dogs and will even keep a watchful eye over them. They have
brought a lot of joy into our lives, and we laugh at their playing around every day.
The Mi-Ki is a compact, well-balanced toy breed. It is lively, light and stylish in action. The
Mi-Ki’s have expressive eyes, with a bone structure that can range from fine to heavy. The coat on a
Mi-Ki is a non-shedding coat, it should be soft, long, and flowing. There is not an undercoat,
making it be more like hair than fur, and therefore considered hypoallergenic. A silky straight coat
is desired. The long coat should hang gracefully over the sides of the body and flow with movement.
There are two cuts for a Mi-Ki; one is a short pet cut and is easier to maintain (I use this one
which is long and flowing with the head and feet shaved. This cut requires less cutting, but more
brushing, at least twice a week. Their tails curl up over their back with a long flowing plume.
They move with an easy, smooth flowing step. Lively and graceful, characterized by a jaunty
The Mi-Ki appears in several different color combinations, all colors are expectable within the
breed standard. The combinations could be Black and White, Appricot and White, Tricolor and White,
Solid White, Brown, and Black. Some MiKi’s may also have the grizzle markings that are made up
of many different color hairs blending together. The colors tend to change in some manner as the
first year progresses. The Mi-Ki’s weight is to be proportional to the height. Weights range from 4 to
10 lbs., with the height being 10 inches or less at the shoulders.