Silky Terrier Breed Guide: An Expressive, Energetic Dog

Published March 10, 2021
Golden silky terrier

The Silky terrier is frequently called the Sydney Silky terrier or the Australian Silky terrier. The breed's beautiful, long coat needs daily grooming if the terrier is not clipped! This dog's main job is to keep his family happy, and in exchange, he only wants a daily walk around the block.

Silky Terrier Breed Overview

This attractive dog is a cross between the Australian terrier and the Yorkshire terrier. The Silky terrier was created in the late 19th century and is known for digging holes and chasing other pets! The breed is not a good candidate for a household with cats and small pets, including rabbits. The dog's long coat needs regular grooming, so he remains tangle-free.

Origin and History

The reason for the breed's development was to improve upon the colors of the Australian terrier. The Silky terrier is mid-sized between the Australian and Yorkshire, his coat is not nearly as long as the Yorkie's, and his bone structure is sturdier. This dog is skilled at chasing vermin and is known as a perfect family companion.

Silky Terrier Versus Yorkie

The silky is a cousin of the Yorkie's, and the differences are subtle but clear when pet parents get to know the breed.

  • Head: The Silky has a wedge-shaped head versus the more rounded skull of the Yorkie.
  • Coat: In the show ring, the Yorkie's coat is trimmed to reach the floor while the Silky's body coat is shorter.

Silky Terrier Temperament

This breed is an outstanding family companion. The dog is known to be territorial and barks to defend his home. If you live in a home environment with a lot of foot traffic, this breed may not be the best candidate for your family. With this in mind, the terrier is affectionate and a clever small dog.


The breed's straight, silky-feeling coat is similar to the texture of human hair.

  • Coat colors: The dog's coat is all types of blue and tan.
  • Height: This breed is up to nine inches tall.
  • Weight: The terrier weighs up to nine pounds.
Australian Silky Terrier

High-Maintenance Grooming

The Silky's coat does not touch the floor and is parted down the spine. Regular grooming is essential, so the dog's long coat is tangle and mat-free.

Health Issues

Pet parents need some health issues on their radar when talking with vets at a wellness appointment.

  • Patellar luxation
  • Legg-Perthes disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Allergies
  • Tracheal collapse
  • Cushing's disease


Overall exercise requirements are minimal, but a daily walk keeps your little buddy trim.

Best Diet for Small Breeds

There are many diets specially formulated for smaller breeds. Watching your small breed's weight to make sure he does not become obese is extremely important.

Typical Australian Silky Terrier

Caring for Your Senior Silky Terrier

All old small breeds need to visit the vet at least twice a year. When a dog ages, there may be a need to add a supplement or medication to address joint issues. A vet conducts a wellness exam and lab work to determine everything is okay with your pet, and this is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about any behavioral changes.

Silky Terrier Lifespan

This dog's lifespan is between 12 and 15 years. This life expectancy is long for a small breed! If you see the vet for wellness exams, your Silky terrier may live a healthy and happy life with your family.

Silky Terrier Originated From Sydney

This popular terrier is a cross between the Australian terrier and Yorkshire terrier. The Silky terrier is an active, energetic breed and loves to keep his family entertained. Many animal lovers confuse the Yorkie with the Silky, but there are some distinct differences up close. If you are interested in puppies, reach out to the Silly Terrier Club of America.

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Silky Terrier Breed Guide: An Expressive, Energetic Dog