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Adopt a Silky Terrier

Silky Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen



Area of origin:


Original function:

companion, small-vermin hunting

Average size of male:

Ht: 9-10, Wt: 8-11

Average size of female:

Ht: 9-10, Wt: 8-11

Other names:

Sydney silky, Australian silky terrier

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Silky Terrier Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Silky Terrier dogs available on Petfinder

Silky Terrier Dog Temperament

The silky terrier is no mellow lap dog. She is bold, feisty, inquisitive and playful, ever ready for action, a terrier at heart. She is clever, but tends to be stubborn, and can be mischievous. She tends to bark a lot.

Silky Terrier Dog Care

This is an active breed requiring slightly more exercise than most toys. She enjoys a moderate walk on leash, but especially likes the chance to nose around on her own in a safe area. Much of her exercise requirements can be met with vigorous games in the yard, or even house. Despite her hardiness, she is not a breed for outdoor living. Her coat needs brushing or combing every other day.

Silky Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: intervertebral disc disease, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, Legg - Perthes
Occasionally seen: diabetes, epilepsy, tracheal collapse
Suggested tests: elbow, knee
Life span: 11-14 years

Interested in the history of the Silky Terrier dog breed?

In the late 1800s, Yorkshire terriers were brought to Australia from England. These dogs had striking steel-blue and tan coat coloration and were bred with the native blue and tan Australian terriers in an effort to improve the latter's coat color while retaining her more robust conformation. Both the Yorkshire terrier and the Australian terrier were rather recent developments from crosses of a number of other terrier breeds. Some of the descendents from these crosses were shown as Yorkshire terriers and some as Australian terriers. A few, however, were exhibited under a new name, silky terrier, because it was felt that they were the beginning of a separate breed, intermediate in size and coat length between her parental stock. Interbreeding these silkies did, in fact, produce a true breeding strain within a short time. Because the breed was developed in two separate areas of Australia, separate breed standards were drawn up from each area in 1906 and 1910, with weight being the major disagreement. In 1926, a revised standard encompassing all areas was accepted, with accepted weights being somewhat of a compromise. The breed was popularly known as the Sydney silky terrier in Australia until her name was changed to Australian silky terrier in 1955. In America, her name was changed to silky terrier in 1955, just prior to her recognition by the AKC. Although not a rare breed, the silky terrier has been somewhat slow to attract admirers and is only moderately popular.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Silky Terrier Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Silky Terriers ready for adoption:

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