Silky Terrier Information

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(Sydney Terrier, Australian Silky Terrier, Silky Toy Terrier) The Silky Terrier has a similar look to a Yorkshire Terrier. They have a square flat head and short square muzzle ending with a small black nose. Their eyes are medium sized and usually brown while their ears are triangular shaped and stand straight up. Their body is small but broad for its size. Yet, their legs are fairly long and skinny ending with small hare-like feet. Their tail should be docked so only a stump is left. Their coat is silky and flows down over their whole body. The dogs should have hair falling into their faces and falling down their backs to the floor so it covers their feet. Their coat can come in many variations of blue but will always be blue and tan or blue and red.

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The only visible difference between the Silky and Yorkshire Terrier is that the Silky is often longer and somewhat larger than the Yorkshire. This small dog is surprisingly tall for its size.

The Silky does not have fur but hair that falls over its back and has a distinctive split down the middle. It does not shed, although its hair may occasionally fall out. It is considered hypoallergenic.

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The Silky Terrier is an energetic and playful dog. They are extremely loyal to their owners.  While they like the children in their family, they may bite if they are teased or annoyed. They will also chase and hunt small animals, but they do not get along well other dogs most of the time. They will get jealous easily and will attack another dog. The breed has a tendency to bark and will bark constantly if not corrected. Silky Terriers are also bad about digging.

Silkies make fantastic companions. They are loyal, sweet, friendly and are full of energy. This breed is not known to bark much unless there is a stranger present. They are intelligent and easy to train. They love family time and strive to please. Some Silky Terriers are not easily house trained unlike most other dogs. This breed of dog takes extreme patience while trying to house break and keeping a pattern will work the best in most cases.

Housbreaking can be difficult with this breed but it is smart enough to catch onto new techniques quickly. It responds well to positive reinforcement such as giving treats for good actions, pottying outside.

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9-10 inches
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8-11 pounds
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General Health

The Silky Terrier is somewhat prone to a number of common small breed problems, such as elbow dysplasia, intervertebal disc disease, Legg-Perthes, and paterllar luxation.  Additionally, this breed can suffer from diabetes and epilepsy.  The Silky Terrier has an average life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years.

The Silky is prone to tracheal collapse. Owners should use a harness when on walks to prevent this type of injury.

Tracheal collaspe is when the dog's tracheal collaspes and makes it difficult to breathe causing constant gagging or honking sounds. This puts unnecessary stress on the dog's heart and lungs and can cause fainting due to lack of oxygen.

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The Silky Terrier originated in the 1800’s in Australia.  Unlike many dogs which were first bred for a job such as hunting or herding, the Silky Terrier has almost always been a companion dog.  The breed was most likely created by mixing a number of different terriers, including Skye, Cairn, Australian, and Yorkshire terriers.  During World War II, a U. S. soldier in Australia brought one of the dogs back with him to America.  Fourteen years later, the breed was recognized by the AKC.  By 1967, the modern Silky Terrier standard was established.

The Silky Terrier was bred to hunt vermin and was commonly used to rid houses of rats and other vermin. It is also capable of killing snakes.

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The Silky Terrier requires a lot of grooming because of their thick coats. They should be brushed or combed every day to avoid tangles which occur frequently. They should be bathed often and after a bath must be dried well. They also need their hair trimmed occasionally, and the hair on their face should be put up in a topknot. They could also have their hair trimmed short if they are not for show which will make them easier to groom. They do require exercise but will release most of it by just playing games or running around the house.

Although some Silkies have thinner coats than other breeds it is still necessary to groom them almost daily to prevent tangles. When combing, sometimes it is easier to start at the end of the hair to prevent pulling hair out and causing pain to the dog. De-tangling products work well with this breed. Silkies commonly go about 5-7 days before they need another bath. Their skin releases an oil and that makes their coat look as though it is uncared for. It is important to use proper shampoo to prevent their skin from drying out due to excess bathing.

The Silky Terrier is hypoallergenic and rarely sheds. Their hair requires regular grooming.

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Ideal Environment

The Silky Terrier is an energetic family dog. They become extremely devoted to their family, but they may bite children if they are teased or annoyed by them.  With well-behaved children who show respect for the dog, Silky Terriers are normally calm. The breed is untrusting and standoffish with strangers. They do not do well with small animals or other dogs. In fact, they may attack other dogs when they get jealous. They are also stubborn, so they do not always do well with training. They are good for older people who want an active companion because they do not require much outdoor exercise. They can also easily live in an apartment or a house without a yard. They need to be trained not to bark or they will bark all the time. They also dig often and need to be corrected.

Because of their strong hunting instincts, it is important for Silky Terriers to be introduced to other small animals, including cats, when they are very young puppies. Proper socialization will help them peacefully coexist with other species.

Silkys are known to be escape artist and like to dig. Be sure a fenced yard is secure.

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Dog Training!

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Silky Terrier Q&A

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How do I get my Silky Terrier's ears to stand up?

You probably won't be able to. I can't remember the exact term, but it's a genetic thing. My dog, and several other Silkies I know, have floppy ears and they are just as cute as the up-eared ones!


my 9 mo. old silky has tried biting me when i check to see what she has in her mouth (she is infamous for finding the least little thing like a dropped paperclip). is this normal?

The biting thing may lead to aggression as an adult, that should be addressed as quickly as possible. Taking your dog to obedience classes can help rid her of this bad habit. Young pups like to get into things, such as eating stuff off the floor and putting things in their mouth, just like a two-year old child they have to be watched constantly. If you suspect that she's eaten something toxic from the floor notify your vet immediately.


my silky is three years old and has been diagnosed with LYMPHNOMA CANCER. The pet store won't stand behind thier warrenty 'cause they say silkies do not get cancer of any type. If any body can help me with any information on this or have had a silky with this problem , anything would help.

You need to get a signed statement from your Vet, or whoever diagnosed the cancer. Present that to the store. I suspect the pet store is simply trying to circumvent their responsibility. Get a lawyer.


Do silkies have fur or hair?



my silky always starts barking and shivering when it starts to rain, is there anything I can do to stop her from doing so?

We had to get a sedative for our silky from the vet for whenever it stormed outside. He got very anxious during storms.


Hi I have a 5 month old female Silky and she's been eating her poop. How do I get her to stop?????

I have a female silky as well, who was doing the same thing. try giving her pineapples orbuy some adolph meat tenderizer and spinle that on her food. These two things will make her poop bitter to taste and she will no longer eat it.


I'm considering adopting a silky. Do you think a 12-pound silky could squeeze through the 3 3/4" pickets in my fence? Thanks!

Yes, anyway's dogs like Labs can fit though small holes in the wall. I think the silky terrier can manage.


We adopted our silky when she was about a year old. She's 2 now, well adjusted, but is terrified of going close to any other dog - even friendly small ones. Any ideas?

Yes, you can get her as close as possible to a small friendly dog, whenever she gets closer give her a reward(treat, praise). Do that often and that way she'll associate other dogs with good things.


How do I get my Silky Terrier's ears to stand up?

silky's normally after 6 months or so have perked ears naturally. my silky is 6 months and still have not perked. I like him better with droopy ears, personally. I heard that sometimes its just part of the breed your siky is from why his ears have not perked. If you're really interested in the ears standing tall you can get them cropped.


We got a Silky Terrier but she dosent really like to eat much, she plays with us but when we give her food, even meat but she never eats anything. What do Silky Terriers like to eat the most?

A lot of silkies are picky eaters, but this sounds like a problem. I'd suggest taking her to the veterinarian and having her examined, not eating can lead to a number of disorders down the road for her. If she is generally healthy then just mix in some wet food with the dry food, or mask the flavor in cheese or turkey. You should try eto find out what your dog likes the best. I suggest to leave out a few bowls with different things, such as plain yogurt in one, peanut butter in the other, and even some milk. She will go to the bowl she likes best. Then try mixing in the food with it.

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