Selecting a Silky Terrier

Choosing a Silky Terrier

The silky terrier is named after is long luxurious hair coat. This dog looks fragile but is actually a good little ratter.

History and Origin

The silky terrier was developed as a companion and ratter in Australia in the 1800s through breeding of various terriers such as the Australian terrier, Skye terrier, Yorkshire terrier and Cairn terrier. The silky was originally known as the Sydney silky terrier until 1955 when the name was changed to the Australian silky terrier.

During World War II, American servicemen were stationed in Australia and fell for this little Australian dog with the long silky hair. These servicemen brought these dogs home after the war. Eventually, in the United States, the breed’s name was officially changed to the silky terrier and in 1959 he was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the toy group.

Appearance and Size

The silky terrier is a small terrier that is a little longer than he is tall. The head is wedge shaped and the ears are small and carried erect. The tail is docked and set high. The coat of the silky terrier is long, straight and silky. The color is various shades of blue and tan.

The adult silky terrier stands around 9 to 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 8 to 11 pounds.


The silky terrier is a loving and courageous little terrier. Although the breed may look fragile, he is actually quite tough. This terrier is energetic and active and isn’t known for being a calm “lap” dog.

Home and Family Relations

The silky terrier is a good pet for an active home with older children but some may be standoffish or even snappy. He is a good watchdog and will bark when strangers approach. This breed, as with other terriers, may chase small animals. They can do well with other family pets if raised with them. The silky terrier can do well in an apartment if taken on daily walks.


The silky terrier can be trained for obedience but may be difficult to house train.

Special Concerns

The long coat of the silky terrier needs to be brushed daily to prevent mats and tangles. Some tend to dig if left alone too long.

Common Diseases and Disorders

In general, the silky terrier is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

Life Span