Silky Terrier, Keen and Spunky

February 12, 2019
As a dog owner with over 25 years of experience, I can attest that having a dog is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life. The companionship and joy they bring is incomparable.

The Silky Terrier has parentage in the Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Terrier going back to the late 1800s. Yorkshire Terriers from England arrived in Australia to help improve the Australian Terrier’s coat colour. Although most closely related to the Australian Terrier, other ancestral breeds may include the Paisley Terrier, Clydesdale Terrier, and Dandie Dinmont Terrier. American servicemen from World War II introduced the Silky Terrier to the U.S.

Physical Characteristics

According to the American Kennel Club, the Sydney Silky should have a body measuring one-fifth longer than its height at the withers. Height ranges from 9 to 10 inches (12 to 25 cm); weight ranges from 8 to 11 pounds (4 to 5 kg). This small-boned dog is larger than its ancestor, the Yorkie. This low-set terrier stands with a very level back or topline.

At birth, the Sidney Terrier has black hair. The breed wears a single coat with long hair measuring 5 or 6 inches (12 to 15 cm). The characteristic silky blue coat can range from shades of slate blue, to silver blue or pigeon blue. Tan or red markings appear on the head and legs. Long hair frames the face. Owners often sweep the hair into a stylish topknot. From head to tail base, the hair falls parted.

The long, wedge-shaped head leads into a medium-long neck and medium-wide chest. The Silky Terrier has small, triangular-shaped ears set high. Dark eyes with dark rims give a keen expression. Strong forelegs with cat-like feet run with a free and light gait.


The friendly Silky maintains a high energy level. As a social dog, this breed should bond with humans early. An affectionate relationship can form between the Silky Terrier and his assertive master. This intelligent breed requires training, yet can rebel. Positive training should include treats, a variety of routines, and praise.

Consequences of poor training include barking at people, showing aggression to other pets, and being destructive. If the Silky Terrier takes on the role of a boss or pack leader, he will try to control humans and other animals he meets. Dogs may target children carrying food. To be on the safe side, a household should not include other pets, especially smaller ones.

Owners need to teach their children to respect their pet. Children should not pull their terrier's coat or ears, or snatch his toys or food.


With a confident and alert manner, the Sydney Silky can be a watchdog and rodent catcher. This dog can remain active indoors. Exercise helps calm this terrier. Owners need to take their dogs outdoors for at least an hour of walks, off-leash running and fetching.

The Silky Terrier enjoys a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

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