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Silky terrier - Discover this curious breed

Silky terrier - Descubre esta curiosa raza

Lobo Azul |

When we see the Silky terrier or Australian Silky, we immediately think that we are looking at a slightly larger Yorkshire terrier , which is because this English breed has a lot to do with the Silky, although the truth is that they are two dogs that have some differences between them.

  • Weight : 3.5 to 5 kilos
  • Hair type : long, fine and very soft
  • Character : curious, active and faithful
  • Health : strong, with some problems typical of small breeds
  • Life expectancy : about 15 years


We have to go back to the 19th century in order to know the origins of this dog, which was created in Australia and the reason differs depending on where we look for information.

In some places, in Wikipedia itself, we see that its origins were as a dog to exterminate rodents, but in others they tell us that it originated from crosses made by an English breeder who emigrated to Australia .

There he crossed some terriers with others such as the Yorki and the Australian Terrier , obtaining the Silky which was very popular outside of Australia, so much so that in 1900 it had its first standard.

It seems that this breeder, named Macarthur Little, did not want to obtain a new breed, but rather to be able to select a terrier with smooth, soft hair, instead of the matted and hard hair, characteristic of the breeds of the group.

Right now the Silky terrier is one of the dog breeds recognized by the FCI , which classifies it as a working dog, although the truth is that its appearance is that of one of the companion dogs that exists, something that gives us can deceive, since it is a working animal.


The characteristics of the Australian Silky, another of the names by which this dog is known, do not differ much from those of the Yorki, so much so that it is very difficult to distinguish it from it for a non-expert eye.

It is a small and very compact dog, since they do not usually exceed 26 cm at the withers in the case of males, and it is difficult for them to exceed 5 kilos, with 4 kilos being one of the most common weights.

Seen from afar it gives us the sensation of being a refined and elegant dog, something that is confirmed when we get closer to it. If we touch it, we realize that it has strong muscles under that mantle and that its jaws are powerful.

Its head is medium in size compared to its body, the eyes are oval and small, while the ears are V-shaped, erect and should never have long hair.

The eyes are one of the keys when it comes to differentiating it from the Yorkshire terrier , because while the latter's eyes are round, those of the Silky terrier are oval. In addition, the body of the Silky Terrier is less elongated and stronger.

How is your hair?

Hair is very important in the Silky, since it is one of its main characteristics . Thus, it is long while allowing you to move and never covers your eyes.

On the ears, as we have already seen, and on the legs, the hair should be short unlike the coat on the rest of the body.

There are few accepted colors, specifically any blue and tan, preferring intense and well-defined tones arranged as dictated by the standard.

Finally, it must be clarified that it is not unusual for puppies to be born black instead of blue, which will change as the months go by. In fact, it is said that the maximum shade of blue that a dog will have can be seen when it is 18 months old.

Silky Character

Although there is a diversity of opinions, it seems that the breed did spend some time killing rodents, as well as warning of the presence of intruders so that larger dogs would take care of the threat.

If the Silky Terrier did not live this lifestyle, it was the way the breeds that created it developed for centuries, so that instinct is always there.

What does that mean? Well, even though it has all the appearance of the typical animal that spends its life sleeping in its bed, the truth is that it is a working dog that has an enormous hunting instinct .

Therefore, it is not the best breed to live with other pets, so if we have cats, rabbits, small rodents, etc., perhaps we should think about another dog that gets along well with them.

Despite this hunting instinct, the Silky is an excellent companion animal , as it is very loyal to its family, so much so that despite its small size, it protects them from strangers whenever it has the opportunity.

Here we can talk about an excess of territoriality that must be treated as a puppy, socializing it at an early age so that it does not become an overly aggressive animal.

We can take him to the parks so that he can be with other dogs of his size once he has completed the vaccination cycle, which will help him know how to relate and live together without fighting. Likewise, you should try to expose him to cats and correct his reactions if they are not appropriate.


We start with how obvious it is to maintain their hair, which requires intense work that consists of combing it daily, even doing it twice a day during the shedding season.

To do this, it is best to consult with a dog groomer , who will explain how to comb it and what type of accessories to use with the idea of ​​preventing knots from forming without breaking the hair, which is very fine.

When washing it, it should be done with a shampoo for long-haired dogs, better if it has conditioner, since this will make combing it easier. If possible, we will choose a sunny day, since drying it with a dryer can be a quite tedious process for both the dog and us.

Another fundamental part of caring for this breed has to do with exercise. He must walk several times often, because despite his size he is very active and needs fresh air and running. Otherwise, obesity problems will not take long to appear.

With exercise you also have to help keep your mind busy, since this breed is very intelligent and restless. In this way, you can play environmental enrichment games and even mental acuity games, in which you will surely be surprised.


The diet is not complicated as long as we take into account that it has a certain tendency to gain weight , so we will have to be careful with the quantities, although exercise helps prevent this from happening.

Of course, we will choose a feed intended for small breeds, since it is the one that best suits them due to the size of the kibble and its composition.

Any premium brand will do, although if we want we can buy one specifically for the Yorkshire terrier, which is the breed that most closely resembles it in terms of build and weight, but it is not necessary.

We will have to pay attention to the scale, so we must respect the quantities recommended by the manufacturer and check the weight of the animal, notifying the veterinarian if we see that our specimen has a tendency to gain weight.

In this case, one of the solutions is to switch to a light or low-calorie feed, with a greater amount of fiber, thus ensuring that the Silky eats and is satisfied, but without ingesting too much energy, something that we will always do after speaking with the vet.

Silky Terrier Health

Given its origin, the Australian Silky is a very strong dog with excellent health . In fact, it is not at all strange for specimens of the breed to reach fifteen years of age without too many ailments.

Of course, like any small dog, it will always be prone to diseases such as patella dislocations and the problems associated with it, when this part of the joint moves.

It is a painful process and if it happens we will see how the dog becomes limp or even cannot stand on that leg, so we will have to go to the vet, where it is usually cured with medication.

When the dislocations are repeated and are more serious, it is possible that the dog will have to undergo surgery, although this is not the most common.

Another bone disease, which has a certain incidence in the breed, is Legg-Calvé-Perthe. Under this long name, hides a pathology that attacks young dogs and necrotizes the head of the femur, causing severe lameness, although it can be treated.

We must not forget about alopecia, which the Silky terrier also suffers from with some frequency, although there is not just one cause here and it can be due to many such as environmental causes, parasites, food allergies, etc.

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