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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Silkzer is a small cross breed who has two purebred parents, the Miniature Schnauzer and the Silky Terrier. He has a life span of 12 to 15 years and is also just known as a Silky Terrier/Miniature Schnauzer Mix. He is a lively and playful dog who is also very adaptable.
Here is the Silkzer at a Glance
Average height 9 to 14 inches
Average weight 8 to 15 pounds
Coat type Double, medium to long, soft, silky or wavy
Hypoallergenic? Can be (Silky Terrier is)
Grooming Needs Moderate to high
Shedding Low to moderate depending on coat type
Brushing Daily as coat tangles easily if like the Silky Terrier
Touchiness Somewhat sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Fairly tolerant
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Very good
Tolerance to Cold Low to very good depending on which coat it has
Good Family Pet? Good to very good
Good with Children? Good but needs socialization
Good with other Dogs? Moderate to good – socialization very important
Good with other Pets? Moderate to good – needs socialization, has high prey drive
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Good but best with experienced owner
Trainability Easy to train
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Above average
Major Health Concerns Eye Problems, Urinary Stones, Myotonia Congenita, Von Willebrands, Congenital Megaesophagus, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Other Health Concerns Diabetes, Epilepsy, Tracheal Collapse
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price Unknown
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $535 to $635

Where does the Silkzer come from?

A Silkzer as well as being called a mixed, cross or hybrid dog is also a designer dog. This is a term given to the purposely bred mixed dogs that have risen in popularity over the last 5 decades, though more so in the last ten years. There is some controversy about these dogs. The concern being a lot of puppy mills and bad breeders are breeding them with no skill or care because they are a big money maker. Therefore it is important to be careful about where you buy from. With designer dogs there can be differences between one dog to another even in the same litter. As with many of these newer mixed dogs there is not any information about its origins so to get a better feel for the Silkzer here is a look at the parents.

The Miniature Schnauzer

Sometime in the mid to late 1800s in Germany the Miniature Schnauzer was bred for hunting and catching vermin on farms. He also acted as a guard dog. The Standard Schnauzer was crossed with small breeds like Affenpinscher, the Miniature Pinscher and even possibly the Pomeranian and Poodle. During the two World Wars when other breeds were struggling the Miniature Schnauzer stayed popular.

There are differences from that one and the one we have today. Then they came in several colors but today are silver and black. He is a very social dog always wanting to be part of family activities. He likes to be close to you and will arrange himself so he is touching you when sitting. He is a feisty, needy dog who is intelligent and easy to train. He can be willful and will try to manipulate you.

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 Silkzer is a lively and outgoing dog, very friendly and happy. He loves to play but can also be quiet at times and loves a cuddle. His affectionate and easy going character means he is very adaptable to different situations. He likes to please and is happiest when you are playing with him and lavishing affection and attention on him. He is intelligent too.

What does the Silkzer look like

He is a small dog weighing 8 to 15 pounds and stands 9 to 14 inches tall. His coat is double, can be medium to long in length, soft, wavy or straight, it really depends on which parent his coat takes more after. Common colors are blue, red, black, tan, white, brown and cream. His ears are pointy.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Silkzer need to be?

Silkzers are just slightly active so not much exercising is needed to keep him happy making a good option for owners who themselves are not that active. It means he is good for apartment living with his size. He does not need a yard though is there is one that is a bonus place for him to explore and play. About a half an hour a day of walking should be enough on top of his indoor play. He would enjoy going to a dog park where he can have time off leash and play with you.

Does he train quickly?

He tends to listen quite well and since he is smart and eager to please he is usually easy to train. He may even need less repetition than other dogs. Your approach though is key. You need to be firm and consistent but stay positive. Treats, encouragement and praise are going to get better results than getting cross. Be patient with him, make it clear you are boss and don’t let him try to use his cuteness to get away with any nonsense! Also include early socialization with your training to develop him into the best dog he can be. You will be a happier owner and he will be a happier dog.

Living with a Silkzer

How much grooming is needed?

There will be some grooming and maintenance needs for the Silkzer, if he has a long coat it will be higher. He will need regular care, daily brushing to keep his coat tangle free and trimming at a groomers several times a year. He will need a bath just when he is really dirty so that you do not damage his natural oils. He is likely to need some trimming around the face too. A coat like the Silky Terrier will mat very easily and takes some commitment to look after.

His teeth need to be brushed at least two to three times a week. His ears should be checked for infection and wiped clean once a week. His nails need to be clipped when they get too long. There are live vessels and nerves in the lower part of dog nails. If you are not comfortable about where to safely cut so you do not hurt him and cause bleeding have the groomer do it for you.

What is he like with children and other animals?

This dog is one that really needs socialization to help him get along better with children, other dogs and other animals. He is great with people but in these areas he tends to need help. He is also fine with children if he has been raised along with them. He does like to chase small animals with a high prey drive and sometimes they do not get along well with other dogs. Therefore supervision in places like a dog park is important.

General information

His barking tends to be rare though some may be more occasional. He will need to be fed ½ to 1 cup of a good quality dry dog food each day that is split into at least two meals.

Health Concerns

Health concerns the Silkzer can inherit from his parents include Eye Problems, Urinary Stones, Myotonia Congenita, Von Willebrands, Congenital Megaesophagus, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Patellar Luxation, Diabetes, Epilepsy and Tracheal Collapse.

Costs involved in owning a Silkzer

A Silkzer puppy is not a common dog to find so prices are not currently available to get a range from. Other costs such as initial medical tests like blood tests, deworming, a physical exam, micro chipping, neutering and vaccinations come to about $280. Other basics like a crate, carrier, collar, leash and food bowls come to about $150. Annual non-medical costs for grooming, training, license, food, toys and treats come to between $535 and $635. Annual medical costs for check ups, shots, flea prevention and pet insurance come to between $435 to $535.


Looking for a Silkzer Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

A Silkzer is a great companion dog, best suited to a single or couple owner though he can learn to get along better with children and other pets with good socialization. He is a very friendly and happy dog but keep him on a leash when out with him in case he does not react well to seeing other dogs. Only let him off at a dog park if he has been well socialized.

Featured Image Credit: Left: Miniature Schnauzer, Debra Anderson, Shutterstock | Right: Silky Terrier, Anna Krivitskaya, 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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