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Answers from vets about your dog:

The Silky Terrier

Posted October 17, 2013 in Dog Breeds

Background

Silky Terriers were the inadvertent offspring of Yorkshire Terriers and Australian Terriers, which had been crossbred in an effort to attain a darker coat. For a period of time in the late 1800s all three breeds were considered one in the same, and a single litter could produce one of each type. Later, Silky Terriers were interbred only with Silky Terriers and other crossbreeding was discouraged. The result was an individual and easily identifiable Silky Terrier. Separate breed standards were written in 1906 and 1910 from two different parts of Australia and were particularly discrepant on the topic of weight. A final standard written in 1926 ended the debate with a compromise.

The American Kennel Club recognized the Silky Terrier in 1959 but they have been slow to catch on and currently have only a moderate level of popularity.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 8 to 10 lbs.
  • Height: 9 to 10 inches at the shoulder
  • Coat: Silky
  • Color: Black and tan, blue and tan, blue silver and tan, gray and tan, silver and tan, silver black and tan.
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years

What’s the Silky Terrier like?

The Silky Terrier is a terrier at heart: energetic, playful, curious, fun, and loyal. She needs more exercise than other terriers might and loves to dig, jump, run and show off. Outside, your silky should be kept behind a fence or on a line; otherwise, she might dart into traffic or chase a small critter until she finds herself lost. Inside, the Silky wants more playtime and a good romp around the room; she’ll keep you entertained for hours as long as you don’t ignore her.

Silky Terriers don’t like to be left alone and might suffer from separation anxiety if it happens too often. Little kids can occasionally play too rough but older kids make excellent companions. 

Silky Terriers can learn new tricks quickly and are always eager to please you. Positive reinforcement goes a long way during training and so will keeping their minds busy.

Silky Terriers require regular grooming.

Health

  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Luxating Patella
  • Cataracts

Takeaway Points

  • Silky Terriers have more energy than their size might lead you to believe.
  • Silky Terriers can dig underneath shallow fences.
  • Silky Terriers would prefer to play with older children.
  • Silky Terriers are fast learners and very smart.
  • Silky Terriers will make you laugh.

If you have any questions or concerns,

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Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.