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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Silky Terrier


Silky Terrier Facts

  • Group
  • Toys
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 9" - 10"
  • Weight
  • 8-12 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Difficult
  • Colors
    • Blue-Tan
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Australian silky terrier, Silky.


The silky terrier originated in Australia.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed at the end of the 1800's.


The silky terrier was developed from crossing of native Australian terriers and Yorkshire terriers, when Yorkies were brought to Australia at the end of the 1800's. It is one of two native Australian terriers and has mostly been used as a companion.
Up until 1929 the Australian Terrier, the Australian Silky Terrier, and the Yorkshire Terrier were not clearly defined. Dogs of three different breeds might be born in the same litter, to be separated by appearance into the different types once they were grown. After 1932 in Australia, further crossbreeding was discouraged, and in 1955 the breed's name officially became the Australian Silky Terrier.


The silky terrier is a small, lightly built dog that is slightly longer than it is tall. Its head is strong, long and wedge shaped with a flat skull that is slightly longer than the muzzle. The nose is black and the eyes are small, dark and almond shaped. The ears are naturally erect, small and V-shaped. The body is low set and the tail is docked and set high. It has small, catlike feet. The coat is single, straight and glossy. It has a top knot but no long hair on the face. The blue and tan coat is parted down the middle from head to tail.


The silky terrier is a keen, friendly, and lively dog. It requires a great deal of attention and human interaction.


Despite its proud instincts for hunting down animals in their dens and for catching mice, this dog is considered exclusively as a companion dog.

Health Concerns

Cancer and non cancerous tumors, cataracts, Cushing's disease, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, Legg-Paerthes disease, luxating patellas, pancreatic disease.

Additional Information

This dog will require regular grooming by a professional and frequent brushing by its owner. The Silky Terrier's coat is highly susceptible to tangles and matting. They require daily brushing and combing. This breed requires a deep commitment from their owners.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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