The creator of the Mi-Ki breed is a woman named Maureen Van Wormer, who was an AKC Shih Tzu breeder in the 1970ʼs. Maureen wanted to create a distinctive breed smaller than the Shih Tzu, with the same appealing look and sweet temperament. She started selectively breeding other toy breed mixes to her Shih Tzus. The exact combination of breeds or degree of mixture is not known because she didnʼt keep accurate records. It is believed that the Maltese, Papillon, Japanese Chin and Yorkshire Terrier were the main breeds added to her Shih Tzus.
During the 1980ʼs she named this strain she created Mi-Ki, after her childhood nickname Micki. The strain was small, with a long, silky, hair-like coat. Their calm, loving temperament and adaptability gained them popularity. Around 1991 she started the first Mi-Ki club with her friend and neighbor Mary Zennes, which she called the Imperial Toy Mi-Ki Club (ITMC). She then set forth the original Mi-Ki Standard:
Origin: Milwaukee, WI USA
Height: Maximum 10 inches
Weight: Maximum 10 pounds
Color: All colors and combinations acceptable
Life Span: Teens
Coat Type: Long, silky, non-shedding
Trainability: High/Eager to please
Temperament: Intelligent, clever, gentle and affectionate
Maureen is retired from breeding and the IMR is the Club that Maureen has named to carry on with her Mi-Ki breed. The IMRʼs foundation stock was obtained from Maureen from 1996-1999. We took those Mi-Kis and through a strict Breeding Program, DNA profiling and Health Certifications have developed them into the New Breed that was accepted into the CDHPRʼs program for developing breeds in 2008. This is the first step to recognition with the United Kennel Club, Inc. Since then, our little breed has been officially recognized by the UKC. As of January 1, 2016 we are included as an UKC breed listed in the companion group.
The International Mi-Ki Registry is a National Breed Club for the Mi-Ki.
Why A Mi-Ki?
The Mi-Ki is intelligent, calm, sweet natured, affectionate and their activity level is low to moderate. They have a long, silky, non-shedding coat that is easily groomed and can be clipped to suit any taste. Generally,
Mi-Kiʼs bark very little, but some also make a sound much like a yodel or joyful twitter. The Mi-Ki can climb much like one of their ancestors, the Japanese Chin and act catlike as they pounce on, chase and swat at their toys or playmates. They are extremely social and are good with children as well as the elderly; because of this they make wonderful therapy dogs. The Mi-Ki is adaptable enough to fit most situations, is easy to train, and seems to adjust easily to a variety of lifestyles. Their small size makes them great apartment dogs and they are able to get most of the exercise they require inside, but they also enjoy playing outdoors, even in the snow!