The Silky Terrier, also known as the Australian Silky Terrier, is a pint-sized dog with an enormous personality. Silkys are quite similar in appearance to the Yorkshire Terrier—both in the coloring and in the silky texture of their fur. In fact, they originated by the crossing of the Yorkshire Terrier with the native Australian Terrier in the later part of the 19th century.
8 –10 pounds
Black, blue, gray, silver (all can be mixed with tan), cream, fawn, and platinum
Active families, those living in apartments or houses with yards
Energetic, intelligent, bold, friendly, curious
Silky Terriers are small dogs with long silky coats, triangular ears held erect, and a perky little tail that is held up high and is typically docked. They come in a nice variety of colors that includes but is not limited to black, blue, gray, and silver (all come mixed with tan as well), as well as cream, fawn, and platinum.
Silky Terrier Characteristics
Silky Terrier Puppies
The Silky Terrier is a very high-energy dog that is also a healthy and relatively long-lived breed. They are easy to train but might try to do things their own way if you’re not consistent, and they can be friendly with people but have a high prey drive and might chase other animals.
When you bring your new puppy home, have food, water bowls, toys, a comfy bed, and plenty of treats ready so they feel welcome in their new home. Remember that training classes and grooming sessions are important for Silky Terriers to be happy and healthy.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Silky Terrier
The Silky Terrier is a highly intelligent dog that absolutely adores love and attention from its owner and family. They get along with strangers but will bark at anyone approaching your home and therefore make great watchdogs.
Bear in mind that these dogs are barkers, and while they are small enough to live in an apartment, their barking might drive the neighbors crazy. While they are affectionate with their families, Silky Terriers might be aloof with others as they are cautious by nature.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Yes, indeed! The Silky Terrier makes an amazing family dog but only for families with older children. They enjoy playing with children but will have no patience for little ones and might even react negatively if a child hurts them (whether or not it’s by accident). Always educate your children about treating all dogs, especially the family pet, with respect.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
As long as your Silky Terrier has been socialized well as a puppy, they do get along fine with other pets. However, they do have a very strong prey drive, and they might be prone to giving chase if you have smaller pets. Silky Terriers are also known to be a little bossy with other dogs and might be somewhat aggressive with dogs of the same sex, so socialization is key.
Things to Know When Owning a Silky Terrier:
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Silky Terriers should be fed high-quality dog food meant for their size, activity level, and current age. If you’re not sure about how much to feed your dog, consult the guidelines on the back of the dog food bag and speak to your vet. Particularly if you’re concerned at all over your pup’s weight and health.
While the Silky Terrier falls into the Toy Group, they are very energetic and typically need more exercise than most other toy dogs. About 20 to 40 minutes of exercise every day should be adequate. Still, you’ll need to find other outlets to help expend your dog’s energy so they don’t become bored. They have the urge to chase small animals, so ensure your Silky Terrier is supervised at all times and always on a leash while outside.
Silky Terriers love to please their owners, and they are quite intelligent, so training isn’t too difficult. However, they are also somewhat opinionated, so they will respond well to praise and treats. Housebreaking might be challenging, and early socialization is vital if you want an adult dog that is comfortable around others.
The Silky Terrier has hair like the Yorkshire Terrier, which means the consistency is closer to human hair. This also means they are considered hypoallergenic, shed very little, and aren’t as likely to have that doggy smell. They need brushing at least two times a week with a soft bristle or a pin brush, and if you can’t keep up with this, you’ll need to keep the coat trimmed short. Give your pup a bath every 4 to 6 weeks with a good dog shampoo.
Health and Conditions 🏥
The Silky Terrier is a healthy breed, but like all purebreds, she does have a number of health conditions she needs to be screened for.
The vet will check your Silky’s eyes and run allergy tests to rule out any issues.
The vet will check your Silky’s knees and hips and will run a complete physical exam that includes blood and urinalysis tests to screen for any of these conditions.
Male vs Female
Probably the most obvious difference between male and female dogs is the spaying or neutering surgery, which is usually a necessary part of dog ownership. Spaying the female is a little more complicated than the neutering procedure and is also more expensive and requires a slightly longer recovery time.
However, it can help increase your Silky’s lifespan and reduce some of the more unwanted behaviors such as running away and aggression.
The Silky Terrier is about 9 to 10 inches tall and weighs about 8 to 10 pounds. Since female dogs tend to be a little smaller than males, you might find the Silky female closer to the lighter and smaller side and the male to be on the heavier and taller side.
Finally, some dog lovers believe that there are differences in behavior between male and female dogs. Such as male dogs tend to be more territorial and, consequently, more aggressive, and females more affectionate. However, temperament is usually shaped by how the dog was raised and trained since puppyhood.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Silky Terrier
1. The Silky Terrier Is Small But Mighty
While this breed does look like a pretty little lap dog, they have the feisty and tough nature of the terrier breed.
2. The Silky Terrier Cannot Be Left Alone For Long
They tend to have a high-pitched bark and will be more than happy to bark incessantly and even destroy property if they are left alone too often or for too long. They are happiest when spending time with their families.
3. The Silky Terrier Is An Escape Artist
These dogs love to dig thanks to their terrier background and can easily dig holes out of your backyard if left alone for too long. They are even known to have the ability to climb fences, so you might need to make adjustments—or just never leave them alone when in the yard.
If you’re looking for a Silky Terrier puppy, there are quite a number of breeders across North America that you can speak to. Obviously, you’ll want a breeder close to your location, but remember that a good breeder is more important than a convenient location. You might run the risk of bringing an unhealthy puppy with negative traits into your home.
As already mentioned, you could also consider adopting a puppy or adult dog from a rescue group. There are even groups that rescue specific breeds, such as the Silky Terrier Rescue.
The Silky Terrier is a beautiful little dog that will make an energetic and playful companion for the family. As long as you do all of the necessary research and understand how well this breed will fit into your household and that you have the time and energy to devote to her, the Silky Terrier might just be the best companion you could ask for.
Related Reads and Breeds:
- Yorkshire Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier Mixes
- 17 Small Dog Breeds that Don’t Shed (with Pictures)
- Silkyhuahua (Silky Terrier & Chihuahua Mix)
Featured Image Credit: Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock