The Silky Terrier dog breed is an affectionate family companion.
The Silky Terrier comes from Australia, and at first glance you may mistake it for a Yorkshire terrier. While the 'Yorkie' certainly played a role in the development of the Silky, they are quite distinct breeds, with the Silky terrier being larger. Although this breed is known as the 'Silky Terrier' in the USA, it is known as the 'Australian Silky Terrier' in every other country of the World.
This breed is alert, active, and loves to play and run around, like all terrier dogs. They need a well-fenced yard to run around in, and appreciate playing with a ball. They are intelligent, and need to be kept active to stop them from getting bored.
'Silkies' are classified as a Toy dog breed, but actually behave more like Terriers. They are more affectionate than most Toy breeds, and need more exercise and attention.
You will need a well-fenced yard, so that you can play ball with your 'Silky', and let them have a good run around. Like all terriers, they have a strong prey drive, and will chase anything that moves. They should not be allowed to roam off-leash outside of the home, otherwise they might take off into the distance after a cat, rabbit or small dog!
The Silky Terrier was created in Sydney, Australia, by mixing the Yorkshire, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont and Skye terriers with Australian Terriers. Unlike all other terriers, the Silky was not bred to be a working dog, but rather a companion dog. Some sources claim that despite the domestic nature of the new breed, it retained some terrier instincts and was adept at killing snakes.
The Australian Silky Terrier was officially recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council in 1958 as a Toy breed.
After World War II, many American servicemen returning to America took Silky Terriers with them, and the breed had a surge of interest in the USA. The AKC recognized the breed in 1959, and by the UKC in 1965.
Height; 9 to 10 inches
Weight; about 10lbs
Life Span; 13 to 16 years.
The Silky Terrier dog is adaptable, and can live in most situations including apartments AS LONG as it gets enough exercise and enough attention from their owner. They don't like to be ignored, and need human interaction to be happy. This is not a breed to sleep the afternoon away on a couch.
Training must be started early, with socialization as a puppy, to introduce the dog to new sights, sounds, unfamiliar people and unfamiliar animals.
Formal training is best kept to short sessions of 5 to 10 minutes, repeated 3 to 4 times a day. It is essential to be consistent with training commands and expectations. If you let your Silky get away with bending the rules ONCE, they will remember and try to get away with it again and again.
'Silkies' will bark at almost anything, and so make great watchdogs. Even if it is a familiar visitor, they will still bark. You will always know if something is happening!
But as a guard dog, they are simply too small to be effective. This is a Toy dog breed, after all. If you are looking for protection, you should look for a bigger breed. I recommend you look at our Guard Dog Breeds page HERE.
Because they have such fine, long hair, the Silky needs a lot of grooming. You need to factor in plenty of time for this. They should be brushed 3 to 4 times a week with a pin brush or soft bristle brush. Once a week they should be groomed with a steel comb, to prevent tangles and matting.
Because of the long coat attracting dirt, these dogs should be bathed about every 6 weeks, with a special dog shampoo. The skin is susceptible to dryness, and so an aloe based shampoo is a good choice.
Silkies shed occasionally, but because of their small size you will not find your home swimming in dog hairs!
Vets recommend that the teeth should be brushed every day, with a dog-specific toothpaste, because most human toothpastes contain Xylitol, which is not good for your dog.
The ears should be checked every week, for foreign objects, excess wax and signs of infection such as redness and swelling.
This is a solid breed, with very few health issues. The American National Breed Club does not recommend any specific health tests.
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