Silky Terrier


A small Silky Terrier
Silky Terrer Quick Summary
Also Known AsSydney Terrier
Height (at withers)9-10in (23-25cm)
Weight8-11lbs (4-5kg)
Hair Colour(s)Blue, tan
Lifespan13-16 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size3-5
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Silky Terrier is a small and dainty looking dog. The low body is relatively long, with a level topline, straight front legs and a short docked tail. The head has a small muzzle, black nose, upright ears, small dark eyes and a topknot. The coat is long and silky, hence their name, and is parted along the center of the back. The colouring tends to be shades of blue with red or tan markings, although these dogs are generally born black.


Silky Terriers are lively and charming little dogs. Energetic and full of spirit, these confident little creatures are friendly, affectionate and thrive on attention and make loyal companions and pets. As they can sometimes be possessive and a little suspicious, they need early socialisation in order to promote stable temperaments and to reduce excessive barking tendencies. Curious by nature, they are also intelligent and quick to learn and so training is normally pretty straightforward. As a result, they are suitable for novice and experienced dog owners alike, so long as they are assertive to counter their bossy streaks. However, housetraining can sometimes be a little more awkward. Silky Terriers are suited to older, more considerate children due to their small size and the fact that they don't like to be handled roughly. They tend to get along well with other pets but can be problematic around same sex dogs, and have a tendency to chase other animals. Although friendly, they will bark to announce visitor and so make effective little watchdogs.

History & Skills

Silky Terriers originate from Sydney in Australia, and were devloped by crossing Yorkshire Terriers with Australian Terriers in the nineteenth century. Originally used as rat hunters and pets, they were brought to America by returning World War Two servicemen, and remain popular today as pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Silky Terriers tend to live between 13-16 years, and some of the health problems noted in the breed include luxating patella, Legg-Perthes, epilepsy, collapsing trachea and allergies.


Silky Terriers are low shedders and so are suitable for those with allergies. Their grooming requirements are moderate too, and the long silky coat will simply need brushing every few days or so in order to remove dead hair and keep it looking its best. It will need occasional trimming too, especially around the bottom area for hygiene reasons.

Exercise & Environment

Silky Terriers tend to live indoors, where they will be fairly active, and are suitable for small homes too. With high energy, they will need a daily walk and access to an outside area for play. These must be secure and any walks carried out on a leash as these dogs are keen diggers and they also love to chase other animals.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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