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Silky Terrier

 

Don't let the luscious locks fool you: Silky Terriers mean serious business. This breed is known in Australia for hunting snakes. In fact, one notable Silky Terrier named Fizo saved an 11-year-old from an extremely venomous snake and earned Australia's highest award, the purple cross. Let's see your Yorkie do that!

Actually, Silky Terriers do owe their heritage to the Yorkie line: they were bred by crossing Yorkshire Terriers with Australian Terriers. Initially developed to hunt small vermin and keep their owners company, Silky Terriers now often compete in earthdog trials. They also still keep their people company, but folks in search of a lapdog should keep looking. (May we recommend a Shih Tzu or Italian Greyhound?) This little gal might snuggle when she feels like it, but your energetic, tenacious, and curious Silky often prefers to play and explore. Some also work as therapy dogs.

Originally from Australia, this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to about 10 pounds and lives an average of 13-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Toy group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeCompanion
OriginAustralia
Breed groupToy
Average lifespan12-14 years
SizeMini
Bark factor Moderate
AKC Ranking68
FamilySouthern (pariah)
Date of originLate 1800s
Original function Companion
Today's functionEarthdog trials
Average size of maleHeight: 9-10 Weight: 8-11
Average size of femaleHeight: 9-10 Weight: 8-11

 

Other nameNone
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersFriendly
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A SILKY TERRIER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

The Silky Terrier is the dog you want to sit next to at a dinner party: She's friendly, a tad cheeky, and full of life. This breed is sturdy but small — their size and energy levels mean they'll do best with supervised play with kids and other dogs. Silkies are a social breed. They want to be where you are, whether you're actively playing with them or just taking them along for the ride.

WHAT IS SILKY TERRIER BEHAVIOR LIKE?

Agile and alert, this is a very active breed. Think terrier dog levels of exercise, rather than your standard toy daily walk around the block-levels. And like many terriers, the Silky has an avid interest in chasing next door's cat, re-landscaping your backyard to feature more holes in the flower beds (she's quite sure they're “in” this year), and barking when she's got something on her mind.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A SILKY TERRIER?

These are extremely clever and generally biddable dogs who respond well to training. (Though like many toy breeds, Silky Terriers can be slow to housetrain.) Don't let that precious face convince you that rules don't apply to these mischievous moppets. They compete in earthdog events, as well as in agility, obedience, rally, tracking, flyball, and obedience.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO SILKY TERRIERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

Silky Terriers are infrequent shedders who don't smell very doggy. But those supermodel tresses require frequent brushing — think every day, if you leave them show-length — to prevent mats and tangles. Their long coats also equal regular trips to the groomer for trims.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO SILKY TERRIERS HAVE?

As a breed, Silky Terriers are generally healthy. Some are prone to eye disease or slipping kneecaps.

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