Let's talk Australian Silky Terriers

Irresistible and true-blue, the Australian Silky Terrier is a diminutive sidekick with a big personality. It’s hard not to latch onto this Toy breed’s alluring face and - you guessed it - silky fur. Despite their posh appearance, they are a Terrier through-and-through, which means tenacious, lively, and a good watchdog to boot. Embrace these qualities and you’ll have one devoted dog. A downside: Their desire to want you all to themselves almost all the time.

Official name: Australian Silky Terrier

Other names: Silky Terrier, Australian Terrier

Origins: Australia

Close-up of Australian Silky Terrier in black and white
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather? High
 Shedding level Low
Suited to apartment living?  Very high
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* High Family Pet?* 
Medium
 Compatibility with other pets Low
Can stay alone?* Low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
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Side view illustration of an Australian Silky Terrier
Male
23 - 25 cm Height
3 - 6 kg Weight
Female
23 - 25 cm Height
3 - 6 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 10 months
 Adult age 10 months to 8 years
 Mature age  8 to 12 years
 Senior age  From 12 years

Long haired Australian Silky Terrier standing on grass

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Get to know the Australian Silky Terrier

All you need to know about the breed

Smiles can’t help but happen at the sight of the beguiling Australian Silky Terrier. Part of the Toy Group, this petite breed seems fully aware of his size but pays it no mind. The world is his oyster and curiosity is the catalyst - if you’re by his side to explain everything at every turn, all the better.

And of course, one is immediately drawn to their glorious silky coat. Doused in a blue-and-tan hue, it falls at length all over the dog’s body, even from their head, parting in the middle and framing the face.

Although it may look like you’ll be grooming your Australian Silky Terrier 24/7, caring for that coat, as well as the rest of them, is fairly easy. Simple brushing a few times a week and a monthly bath is really all they need. With that manteau, the breed has been a favourite on the dog show circuit for decades.

Underneath those lustrous layers lies an eager gaze and a robust body - that of a Terrier - so be prepared for high spirits - including chasing, digging, and, at times, a good deal of barking. It’s just the Australian Silky Terrier’s way of protecting their pack. They may be pretty but they’re far from dainty. Bred to root out rodents, a high prey drive is part of the package here, too. Make sure to have your dog on a lead if in an area where smaller furry friends could do a fly by. 

Close-up of Australian Silky Terrier puppy

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2 facts about Australian Silky Terriers

1. They could prey upon...

The Australian Silky Terrier has a strong prey drive, which means he may go after smaller animals - including squirrels, rabbits, or even the family cat. It’s something innate so can be curbed only with a stern hand and a watchful owner. This may not be the breed for you if other smaller creatures are in their milieu.

2. ... or be the prey

As a small animal themselves, the Australian Silky Terrier runs the risk of being prey for larger animals lurking about, especially if you live in a rural area. Make sure not to let the dog out of your sight if so, and don’t keep them tied up in the yard where they could be seized upon by someone twice - or ten times - their size.

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History of the breed

The Australian Silky Terrier has a history that starts in the Land Down Under, where in the 1890s, the breed was developed from a crossing of the smaller Yorkshire Terrier and the homeboy, the larger Australian Terrier. Breeders in Sydney wrote a breed standard in 1906. Three years later, fanciers in Victoria drew up yet another, with the two standards differing in the preferred weight and ear type. A final breed standard was drawn up in 1926 and the official Australian Silky Terrier breed was born.

Lore has it that three breeds brought to Australia by English settlers - the Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, and Skye Terriers - were also bred into the Australian Silky Terrier mix.

Known by a few names, such as the Sydney Silky Terrier, the dog was officially deemed the Australian Silky Terrier in his home country of Australia but goes by Silky Terrier in the United States.


Side view of an Australian Silky Terrier in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Australian Silky Terriers

1. Ears

V-shaped ears set high and carried very erect.

2. Head

Fairly tall head, wedge-shaped, highly focused expression.

3. Coat

Silky, long coat, parted in middle, hanging at side of body.

4. Body

Robust small body, low set.

5. Tail

Tail usually docked so short and set high.

Close-up of Australian Silky Terrier looking at camera

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Australian Silky Terrier

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Caring for your Australian Silky Terrier

Grooming, training and exercise tips

They don’t call them Silky for nothing. Although the breed’s sleek parted tresses look high maintenance, they’re not. Grooming the Australian Silky Terrier requires brushing a few times a week to eliminate tangles and a monthly bath to keep them clean. Removing bacteria and tartar from their teeth with daily brushing would be ideal, but a few times a week will suffice. Since they’re a small breed - meaning they live close to the ground - make sure to check for any foreign matter, like twigs or a patch of grass, that could be stuck in their coat. A watchdog to the bone, the Australian Silky Terrier is known as a barker so training them should start strong in puppyhood and include a firm “Hush” when needed. Socialise your dog when young as they can be territorial with fellow canines. Bred as a sport dog, the Australian Silky Terrier will need a good deal of exercise - not daily jogs but walks and living-room-ball-chase-sessions. Watch for their surprisingly huge amount of stamina.

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All about Australian Silky Terrier

The Australian Silky Terrier is the result of cross-breeding between the Yorkshire Terrier and the Australian Terrier, and although the three breeds were considered one-and-the-same during the mid-1800s, they eventually obtained distinctive characteristics through selective breeding. The Australian Silky Terrier is larger than the Yorkshire Terrier but smaller than the Australian Terrier.

This is one breed that needs their people. The Australian Silky Terrier very much becomes bonded to their family and wants to be where you are at all times. If you’re also looking for a companion you can hold very close, the Australian Silky Terrier temperament a perfect fit.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/