Breed Family: Terrier
Country of Origin: Australia
Size: Small, height 23-25cm, weight 4-5kg
Also Known as: Silky, Sydney Terrier, Australian Silky Terrier, Silky Toy Terrier
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Care Requirements: Medium/High
Exercise Requirements: Medium
General information and Appearance
The Silky Terrier is an Australian dog breed descended from the Australian Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier. It is small and exuberant, and very brave despite its size. This breed has a small build with light features. Proportionally, it is just a little big longer than it is tall. The body is not very large, but is not diminutive either. This active dog should have a little substance.
The head of this dog is shaped like a wedge with very dark eyes in an almond-shape on the sides. The ears are v-shaped and pointed directly upwards at all times. The neck curves to the body, which is level.
The coat of a Silky is characteristically soft and fine. This dog only has a single coat. The hair usually measures 12-15cm long and parts down the back. The hair is straight and typically shiny as well. Coat colours are grey and white or blue and tan. Some people mistake these dogs for Yorkshire Terriers, because of the blue and tan coat, but Silkys are an entirely different breed.
These small dogs are full of love, bravery and energy. They love to play, explore and spend time with their families. Their bravery coupled with their curiosity can cause them to get into a bit of mischief if left unsupervised. They would love to have a fenced-in yard to play in, but the fence is a must.
These dogs are good family dogs. They do well with children and other dogs. The need to be properly socialised with other animals, particularly cats, and probably should not ever be trusted with small, rodent-like animals.
Small dogs need the same firm, gentle training that larger dogs need. If small dog negative behaviours are not corrected, and the dog is not consistently taught how to behave, some very undesirable qualities can begin to present themselves. Small dogs that believe they rule the home can become aggressive and demanding. Consistent training and understanding of pack mentality can help reduce these problems.
Dogs of this breed are generally very healthy. The few problems seen include intervertebral disc disease, elbow dysplasia and Legg-Perthes. These problems have been seen, but are very rare. When speaking with a breeder, it is very important to ask about health history of the breed. Australian breeders take pride in clean bloodlines and healthy pups, so asking a few questions can go a long way.
Grooming and Care
These dogs have fine silk-like coats that are soft and beautiful, but they do require a bit of maintenance to keep them looking that way. The hair should be combed every day to remove mats and tangles. This dog also needs to be bathed frequently. The hair also needs to be trimmed from time to time. This dog is extremely low-shedding, which is good for allergy sufferers as long as owners are willing to put forth the time for proper hair care.
Suitability as Pet In Australia
As these pets were originally bred in Australia, they are very well suited for life here. These dogs are the best fit as a family pet. They are energetic and lively. People who live in apartments or flats can easily keep this dog as a companion. Sufficient exercise, including a walk each day, will help this breed to release energy.
Terriers by nature can be a bit stubborn and strong-willed. Consistent training from a firm alpha is necessary to train this breed. Once the dog understands the order of power, it will be happy to fall in line as part of the family. Once trained, this dog will be calm and social.
This breed is quite playful. It is a good idea to have plenty of toys around to play fetch with as well as to chew on. Boredom can be a great threat with this dog, as it generally leads to mischief and other unwanted behaviours. Not only will playtime help the dog to expend energy, it is also good bonding for the dog. These dogs are social and if left alone all the time, they will become bored, sad and destructive. A Silky wants to be part of the family, and not left on the outside. Before committing to this dog, the owner must ensure that he/she has enough time and love for this little dog.
Silky Terrier Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
Silky Terrier Organisations in the UK
Silky Terrier Rescue
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