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Silky Terrier

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A Spirited Sidekick Ready for Action

Feisty, Inquisitive, Mellow

Silky Terriers are social, bold, and playful, small dogs. Silkys are devoted and loving family members, and get along splendidly with children, but they’re typically wary of strangers, and have troubles getting along with other dogs. These friendly and loving terriers are ideal for seniors, city dwellers, and families. They are active dogs, and require daily exercise. Silkys need a moderate walk every day and appreciate the chance to sniff around in a safe area outdoors. Indoor and yard games are also great forms of exercise.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs. 

Breed Details

Height:9-10 in. Weight:8-11 lbs Lifespan:11-14 years

Size
1

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Highly active indoors, Silky Terriers are well suited to apartment living and traveling. They have a tendency to chase small animals; always leash walk and a harness is recommended. 

Grooming: Daily brushing and regular trimming is recommended to prevent mats and keep their long coat beautiful.

Dental: Silky Terriers often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week.

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

Looking for a side kick? With her clever and adventurous personality, they're a jovial family pet eager to spend all her time with you!

Positive Traits:

  • Alert, curious, and busy

  • Loves to play games, especially fetch

  • Good with children

  • Lively, with a friendly personality

  • Intelligent and easy to train

  • Bouncy, cheerful, loyal, and enthusiastic

Negative Traits:

  • May have a tendency to bark excessively

  • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

  • Can be difficult to housetrain

  • Can be possessive of toys and food, tending to show dominance

  • Likes to dig

  • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly


Whether you are considering adding a new Silky Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Silky Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Silky Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Silky Terrier could encounter:

Cataracts

Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's)

Liver Problems

Knee Problems

Hip Necrosis

Knee Ligament Tear

The Silky Terrier originated in Australia in the late 1800’s from a cross between the Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Terrier. They were initially bred for small vermin control but became companion pets because of their personality. Silky Terriers are very social and do not like to be ignored or excluded from family activities. They are typical terriers: proud, opinionated, and feisty. Silky Terriers make excellent watchdogs due to their attentive and protective nature. When off guard duty, the spunky Silky Terrier makes for a wonderfully cuddly companion.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Silky Terrier shows signs of the following:

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat

  • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

  • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Greasy, hairless patches on skin and redness in ears

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Seizures, dull demeanor, spastic gait

  • Care

    Routine Care: Highly active indoors, Silky Terriers are well suited to apartment living and traveling. They have a tendency to chase small animals; always leash walk and a harness is recommended. 

    Grooming: Daily brushing and regular trimming is recommended to prevent mats and keep their long coat beautiful.

    Dental: Silky Terriers often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week.

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    Looking for a side kick? With her clever and adventurous personality, they're a jovial family pet eager to spend all her time with you!

    Positive Traits:

    • Alert, curious, and busy

    • Loves to play games, especially fetch

    • Good with children

    • Lively, with a friendly personality

    • Intelligent and easy to train

    • Bouncy, cheerful, loyal, and enthusiastic

    Negative Traits:

    • May have a tendency to bark excessively

    • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

    • Can be difficult to housetrain

    • Can be possessive of toys and food, tending to show dominance

    • Likes to dig

    • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly


  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Silky Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Silky Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Silky Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Silky Terrier could encounter:

    Cataracts

    Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's)

    Liver Problems

    Knee Problems

    Hip Necrosis

    Knee Ligament Tear

  • History

    The Silky Terrier originated in Australia in the late 1800’s from a cross between the Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Terrier. They were initially bred for small vermin control but became companion pets because of their personality. Silky Terriers are very social and do not like to be ignored or excluded from family activities. They are typical terriers: proud, opinionated, and feisty. Silky Terriers make excellent watchdogs due to their attentive and protective nature. When off guard duty, the spunky Silky Terrier makes for a wonderfully cuddly companion.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Silky Terrier shows signs of the following:

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat

    • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

    • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

    • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Greasy, hairless patches on skin and redness in ears

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Seizures, dull demeanor, spastic gait

Silky Terrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Silky Terrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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