Silky Terrier Puppy Facts
also known as the Australian Silky Terrier)

Did you just bring home a new Silky Terrier puppy and want to learn more about the breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Breed History

The breed, also known as the Australian Silky Terrier and Sidney Terrier, was developed in Australia at the end of the 19th century by crossing the Australian Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier.

But while many breeds were developed to perform a specific job, the same can't be said about the Silky. This breed came into existence only because of an effort to improve the coat color in the blue and tan Australian Terrier by breeding it to the newly imported Yorkshire Terrier.

Some puppies born in the early litters resembled Yorkies and some looked more like Australian Terriers. But some puppies had a distinct look that didn't resemble either of their parents. Further selective breeding of those puppies produced a breed we recognize today as the Silky Terrier.

While most other terriers, and Australian breeds for that matter, were working dogs, the Silky Terrier, while good at killing small rodents, was bred primarily for companionship.

The first breed standard was developed in 1906 in Sydney, New South Wales. A separate standard was developed in 1909 in Victoria. To remove some discrepancies that existed between the two standards, a new standard was developed in 1926.

To protect and preserve the Yorkshire, Australian, and Silky terriers, the Kennel Control Council of Victoria introduced canine legislation in 1932 that discouraged further crossbreeding.

In its early days, the breed was known as the Sydney Silky Terrier but was renamed to the Australian Silky Terrier in 1955. This is still the official breed name in Australia. The name was changed to Silky Terrier in the United States after the breed was recognized by AKC in 1959.

Physical Characteristics of Silky Terrier Puppies

The Silky Terrier is a small, moderately low set, fine-boned, and slightly longer than tall dog. He has medium wide and moderately deep chest, medium long neck, and sloping shoulders. The tail is usually docked and set high.

The front legs are straight and strong. The back legs are also strong and well muscled, but not heavy. The catlike feet are small and round, with thick pads and dark nails.

The wedge-shaped head is moderately long, with small, V-shaped ears that are carried erect, black nose, and dark, almond shaped eyes.

The single coat is straight, glossy, and silky in texture. The hair is parted on the head and down over the back to the base of the tail. The coat, while long, should not reach the floor. It comes in rich tan and various shades of blue.

    Height Weight
  Male 9 to 10 inches 8 - 11 pounds
  Female 9 to 10 inches 8 - 11 pounds


The Silky is an intelligent, fun loving, sociable, and alert little dog. Like most terriers, the Silky Terrier is also very energetic, curious, and confident. And like almost all terriers, he is passionate about digging!

This is not a dog to be left alone and ignored for extended periods of time. Be prepared to keep your pet busy by taking him for long walks, playing fetch, and just making him feel like part of your family.

Despite their small size, Silky Terriers are courageous and make good watchdogs. However, don't confuse a watchdog with a guard dog; Silkies are anything but guard dogs!

Without proper discipline, they will resort to numerous negative behaviors. They will try to dominate you and your family members, become too demanding, get into fights with other dogs, etc. Luckily, because they are a curious breed and eager to learn, they are also easy to train. But they do require a firm owner.

As long as they are properly socialized and taught that they are not leaders of the pack, they make wonderful pets. On the other hand, even when properly trained and socialized, they can't be trusted with small animals.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

The Silky Terrier is a very adaptable dog breed. Despite being fairly active indoors, as long as he gets adequate exercise, he will adapt well to an apartment lifestyle. He requires a firm and strong-willed owner.

Some Silky Terrier breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

Despite his small size, the Silky Terrier is an energetic breed and needs daily exercise to stay fit, healthy, and out of trouble.

His exercise can consist of daily walks or playing with you in a yard or at home. Some owners sign up their pets for dog agility classes.

Many dogs get most of their exercise indoors, and that's fine as long as it doesn't come at the expense of daily walks. At a minimum, take your pet for several walks every day.


The Silky Terrier doesn't shed a lot and his long and silky coat, as long as you do it on a regular basis, is easy to maintain.  

Comb and brush at least several times per week to prevent tangles and mats. Bathe once per month. Comb thoroughly before giving the bath and blow dry right after.

You will also need to do some trimming. Clip the hair inside and outside the ears. Some owners trim the hair on legs from the knee down.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, Silky Terriers are susceptible to complications caused by internal and external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.

Other health concerns include Patellar Luxation (dislocation of kneecaps), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy. Visit dog health problems for more information about dog diseases and health.

Buy only from reputable Silky Terrier breeders to reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, but there are many others that will not, and you may handle them on your own.

To save time and money, learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for Silky Terrier puppies is between 12 and 15 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Silky Terrier rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this dog behavior and obedience training guide.

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