The Silky Terrier was developed in Australia in 20th century by crossing the Yorkshire terrier and the Australian terrier. Its long, flat, silky coat is tan and grayish-blue. Silkies are intelligent, energetic, alert and friendly, but some may be reserved with strangers. As all terriers, they like to chase cats and should never be allowed to run off-leash. These dogs need a few brisk walks daily to keep them in good shape. Health problems include yeast dermatitis, nervous system disorders and joint problems.
The Silky Terrier was developed purely as a companion breed, as a household pet, from its larger cousin, the Australian Terrier. Some experts believe that the Skye Terrier may have been involved, which would explain the Silky's pricked ears. The Silky is an intelligent, lively, fun-loving, high-spirited with with fine, silky, glossy, non-shedding coat that comes in all shades of blue and tan colors. He is an excellent watchdog. The tail is customarily docked. Puppies are born black and tan. From approximately three to twelve months of age, the blue and tan, or gray/blue and tan color sets in, with a silver or fawn topknot. The blue color is usually established by 18 months of age. The Silkie's coat is believed hypoallergenic and does not have an odor common in many other dog breeds.
Photo courtesy of Parmelia Australian Silky Terriers
Other Names: Silky, The Australian Silkie, the Sidney Silky Terrier, the Sidney Silky, the Silky Toy Terrier.
Country of Origin: Australia
Registration FCI Classification: Group 3 Terriers. Section 4 Toy Terriers. Without working trial; AKC Classification: Toy Group
Size: Small (9 to 10 inches at shoulder)
Colors: All shades of blue and tan colors. Puppies may be born with black coloring and the blue color is be established by 18 months of age.
Litter Size: 4
Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: >High. Brush frequently and trim every three months. The Silky Terrier is similar to Yorkshire Terrier in quality of coat and grooming style. The parting of the head and body coat is identical to that of the Yorkie, except that the topknot is not tied. The parted hair falls over the sides of the face and combines with the beard. The center part extends from the stop and continues over the middle of the back to the base of the tail. To enhance the characteristics of the Silky expression, the hairs on the middle corner of the eyes should be plucked or stripped, leaving the eyes fully exposed. The erect ears are carefully trimmed around the edges for a neat look. From the knee and hock joints to the feet, the legs should be trimmed of any long hair. The paws are trimmed closely to give a cat-like effect.
Shedding: Twice a year in spring and fall
Personality: Intelligent, energetic, alert and friendly, but some Silkies may be reserved with strangers and possessive with their food and toys.
Social skills: May be nippy with other dogs, will chase cats and other small animals.
Suitability for Children: The Silky Terrier will love children if raised with them and with those who do not treat him like an animated toy.
Exercise Needs: A few brisk walks daily
Train Ability: The Silky Terrier is intelligent but can be dominant. He needs firmness and consistency in training.
Health & Behavioral Issues: Health & Behavior Issues:
|Several health problems such as patellar luxation, elbow dysplasia, storage disease (a fatal nervous system disorder), yeast dermatitis (skin disorder) and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.