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Silky Tzu

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

silky tzu

The Silky Tzu is a small mixed dog in the breed group toy who’s parents are the purebreds Shih tzu and Silky Terrier. She has a life span of 12 to 15 years and is a very affectionate and cuddly sweet dog who can could be good for people with allergies.

The Silky Tzu is more suited to being the companion to an older owner, a couple or single owner. This is because she is not always great around children, other animals or other dogs so needs early socialization. She is though a very cheerful, affectionate and sweet dog and will be a great new best friend.

Here is the Silky Tzu at a Glance
Average height 6 to 8 inches
Average weight 8 to 13 pounds
Coat type Double, thick, silky, wavy
Hypoallergenic? Can be (Silky Terrier is)
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low to moderate
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Somewhat sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Low to very good, depends on coat type
Tolerance to Cold Low to very good, depends on coat type
Good Family Pet? Good to very good
Good with Children? Good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Moderate to good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Moderate to good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Good to very good
Trainability Moderate easy
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Above average
Major Health Concerns Legg-Calve-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Tracheal collapse
Other Health Concerns Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, reverse sneezing, snuffles, dental problems
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $200 to $1000
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $530 to $630

Where does the Silky Tzu come from?

The Silky Tzu is a mixed dog deliberately being bred, part of a trend in so called designer dogs. Probably bred first in the last 10 years though designer dogs themselves have been popular for two decades now. As with most of these dogs there is not much information known about where and why she was bred. Some breeders are working with care on these first generation dogs, and some are just in it for the money so make sure you are not funding a puppy mill when you are looking for your puppy. To get a better feel for the Silky Tzu we can look at the parents for some ideas.

The Shih Tzu

The Shih-Tzu is thought to be in the top 14 oldest breeds around, coming from either Tibet or China. They were treasured as companion dogs and can be found in paintings and documents across Tibetan and Chinese history. They were referred to as little lion dogs and were docile, intelligent and happy. The first breeding pair to leave China and come to England happened in 1928.In 1969 he was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

The Shih-Tzu today is still very much a companion dog. He wants to please and be with you, he is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He will spend as much time as he can in your lap and is a happy little dog when he has lots of attention. He can be lively and likes to play and is friendly too.

The Silky Terrier

In the late 19th century in Australia the Silky Terrier was developed by crossing the Yorkshire Terrier with a native terrier dog. He was both a hunting dog (for vermin) and a companion. Back then it was common for some to look more like one terrier or the other but eventually their look became more uniform as they are now. Eventually an agreed standard was reached in 1926. In 1955 his name in Australia became the Australian Silky Terrier and it remains that now. In the US though he is known just as the Silky Terrier.

He is a friendly, smart and lively dog with a lot of self confidence. He still likes to chase small animals and he is alert. Though he is independent he is still very loyal and loves to be around people. He also travels very well.


The Silky Tzu is an energetic and lively dog who loves to have fun and play by day and then cuddle on your lap in the evening when it is time to relax. She is very affectionate and friendly and loves to get new toys to play with. She is a great companion dog but is also a good family dog. She has a cheerful nature and enjoys being around people. She is very sweet and enjoys socializing with people and other dogs.

What does the Silky Tzu look like

She is a small dog weighing 8 to 13 pounds and standing 6 to 8 inches tall. She has dainty feet and a small face with dark eyes. Her coat can be double, and can be like the Yorkie or the Shih Tzu. Often it is long and a little wavy, thick and silky. Colors that are common to her are red, white, reddish brown, black, brown, cream and tan.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Silky Tzu need to be?

She is only a slightly active dog so something like two short walks 10 to 15 minutes each a day will be good. She will also play a lot indoors as she loves her toys and balls so that will be a part of her activity too. Try to ensure some of her toys offer her some mental stimulation. Her small size and low activity needs means she is well suited to apartment living. A yard would be a bonus place for her to explore and play in but it is not something she needs.

Does she train quickly?

Keep the training fun for her and stay positive with treats, rewards and praise and training should be easy and go fairly quickly. Be consistent and firm in case she has one of her stubborn moments but avoid any scolding or being impatient. Early training and socialization are important to help her become the best dog she can be. She can be harder to house train though so that may need you to be patient for longer.

Living with a Silky Tzu

How much grooming is needed?

She should be brushed daily as her long coat can tangle easily and pick up debris. She can be hypoallergenic but if allergies are an issue you should visit the puppy before buying to check for reaction. She should be bathed just as she needs it, when she is especially dirty or smelly using a dog shampoo only. Too frequent bathing or using the wrong shampoo can dry out her skin otherwise. Her ears should be checked for infection and wiped clean once a week. There are dog ear cleaning solutions you can buy, just dampen a cotton ball and wiped them down without inserting anything into the ear. Her nails need clipping when they get too long and her teeth need to be brushed two to three times a week. She will need her coat trimmed regularly at a groomers too.

What is she like with children and other animals?

Really the importance of early socialization can be seen in her interactions with children, other dogs and other pets. She needs help to better around them and it would be best if she can be raised with them too. Older children are better than younger as the young ones are not as careful and can be rough. Small pets she can see as something to chase still and she tends to challenge other dogs even if they are significantly larger than her.

General information

She is an occasional barker but she can be noisy breathing too and may snore. She will need to be fed ½ to 1 cup of good quality dry dog food a day, split into two meals. She can overheat in hot weather so make sure she has water and shade when she is out.

Health Concerns

She can inherit health issues from her parents as is possible with any dog. Problems the Shih Tzu and Yorkie can pass on include Legg-Calve-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Tracheal collapse, bladder and kidney problems, eye problems, umbilical hernia, liver problems, Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, reverse sneezing, snuffles and dental problems. To lessen the chances at running in to these problems ask the breeder to show you health clearances for both parents. Also visit the puppy before buying to see the conditions they were bred in and how well they are being cared for.

Costs involved in owning a Silky Tzu

The Silky Tzu puppy can cost between $200 to $1000. Other costs include getting a carrier, crate, collar and leash and having the puppy blood tested, vaccinated, dewormed, micro chipped and eventually spayed. These come to between $360 to $400. Annual basic medical costs come to between $435 to $535 for check ups, flea prevention, pet insurance and shots. Annual non-medical costs for treats, license, training, grooming, food and toys come to between $530 to $630.


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Featured Image Credit: Ivan Popovych, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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