Breed Characteristics

The Australian Silky Terrier is a smaller breed, typically weighing between 6 and 10 pounds and standing about 10 inches at the shoulder. They have a sleek, slender build and a long, silky coat that can be either smooth or slightly wavy. The coat colors can vary widely but are typically black, blue and tan, red, fawn, or white with markings of one of these colors. The muzzle is long and pointy, the ears are floppy and thin, and the eyes are large and dark. Their long and thin tail is usually feathered. They are an elegant breed, and make excellent companions.

Silky Terrier vs. Australian Terrier

There are a few key ways to distinguish between Silky terriers and Yorkshire terriers. The most obvious difference is their size: Silky terriers are much smaller than their Yorkshire counterparts. In terms of coat, Silkies have a very soft, sleek coat, while Yorkshire Terriers have a more wiry coat. Yorkies also have a trademark “beard” and “eyebrows” of hair on their face that Silky Terriers lack. Finally, Silky Terriers are often a bit more playful and active than Yorkshire terriers.

Silky Terrier Temperament

The silky terrier is a small, alert dog with a lively personality. They are often described as spunky and fearless, and make great companions for active families. Silky terriers are confident and independent, but can also be very affectionate. Silky terriers are excellent watchdogs, and will bark to let their family know when someone is approaching. They are small, unassuming dogs with a high prey drive, so they are not the best match for a home with small animals like rabbits or hamsters.


Silky terriers have a very distinctive bark that is high-pitched and yappy. If you’re ever in doubt as to whether or not a dog is a silky terrier, just listen for its bark!

Common Health Concerns

The Australian Silky Terrier is a generally healthy breed, but like all dogs, they can be prone to some health issues. Some common health problems include patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes disease, and allergies. It is important to have your dog checked by a vet regularly and to keep up with their preventive care routine to help minimize the risk of health problems.

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The Legg-Perthes condition is a hip joint disorder that primarily affects young dogs. It is caused by the improper blood supply to the head of the femur, which can lead to the death of the bone tissue in that area. Signs of Legg-Perthes can include:

  • difficulty standing or walking,
  • reluctance to move,
  • a pronounced limp.

Treatment for Legg-Perthes usually involves surgery to correct the blood flow, and many dogs make a full recovery. Silky Terriers are particularly prone to this condition, likely because of their breeding history. The breed was originally developed as a hunting dog, and so they tend to have very active hips, which can increase the risk of developing Legg-Perthes. Prevention of the condition is difficult, but regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help. If your Silky Terrier shows any signs of Legg-Perthes, be sure to have them seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a condition common in Silky Terriers, in which the patella (knee cap) slips out of place. This can cause pain and discomfort, and may require surgery to correct. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition, but often include physical therapy and/or surgery. Early diagnosis and treatment is important for the best possible outcome.



Silky Terriers are bred to be active and playful, so they definitely need plenty of exercise. A good 30-minute walk each day should do the trick, but make sure you also allow for some playtime in the yard or at a park. Silky Terriers can become bored and destructive if they’re not given enough to do. In addition to regular exercise, Silky Terriers need plenty of mental stimulation as well. This can be provided through puzzle toys, training sessions, or just providing lots of interesting things for them to explore in their environment. A bored Silky Terrier is a destructive Silky Terrier!


The Silky Terrier’s coat requires regular brushing to stay healthy and free of mats. They also need to be bathed occasionally, especially if they get into something dirty. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, and their ears should be cleaned on a monthly basis. Overall, the Australian Silky Terrier is a high-maintenance dog. Grooming should start when the puppy is young, so they can get used to the process.

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To groom a silky terrier, you’ll need:

  • A good quality dog brush
  • A slicker brush
  • A metal comb
  • Dog shampoo
  • Towel
  1. Start by brushing the dog’s coat with a good quality brush to remove any dirt or dead hair.
  2. Then use a slicker brush to straighten out any tangles. Finally, use a metal comb to smooth out the coat.
  3. Next, bathe the dog using dog shampoo. Be sure to rinse all the soap off afterwards.
  4. Finally, towel dry the dog and brush their coat once more. This will keep their coat shiny and help them live up to their name!

Grooming a Silky Terrier is definitely a time-consuming process, but it’s well worth it in the end!


To trim your Silky Terrier, it’s best to take them to a professional groomer. However, if you do decide to do it yourself, here are the basic steps:

  1. Cut the hair around the dog’s eyes and ears with blunt-ended scissors.
  2. Trim the hair on the top of the head, so it’s even all the way across.
  3. Trim the hair on the muzzle so that it’s even with the rest of the top of the head.
  4. Clip the hair on the back and sides of the dog so that it’s about 1 inch in length.
  5. Finally, trim the hair on the tail so that it’s even all the way across.


Silkies make good agility dogs because of their athleticism and quick reflexes. They also excel in obedience trials. Some Silky Terriers have been known to compete in flyball and Frisbee competitions. Their small size allows them to be nimble and quick, making them a formidable opponent in any competition.

Cost of a Silky Terrier Puppy

The Silky Terrier can be purchased from a breeder for around $700-$2000. They also require regular veterinary care, which can add up over time. In all, the Silky Terrier is a relatively affordable breed to own. The cost of owning an Australian Silky Terrier varies depending on where you live and what type of care your dog needs. However, on average, you can expect to spend around $1000 per year on your Australian Silky Terrier. This includes routine veterinary care, food, toys and other supplies.

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Silky Terrier History

The Australian Silky Terrier has a long and varied history. They likely originated in England from crossing Yorkshire Terriers, commonly known as Yorkies, with the standard Australian Terrier, and were brought over to Australia with the first colonists in the 1700s. They were used as working dogs, helping to herd livestock and fetch objects, as their small size made them ideal for following small game through dense undergrowth. They were also used as ratters in Sydney’s dockyards. Other than that, the Silky Terrier was also popular with miners, who would use them to clear out badger setts and other underground burrows. In the early 1900s, they began appearing in dog shows, and quickly became popular as show dogs. The breed was first shown in England in 1884, and gained championship status in the UK in 1933. The breed was recognized by the Australian Kennel Club in 1948. Today, they are a popular pet and show dog.


  • Silky terriers are one of the smallest dog breeds out there.
  • A Silky Terrier’s coat is low-shedding and hypoallergenic, which makes it a good choice for people with allergies.
  • The most famous silky terrier was probably Benji, the star of a number of movies in the 1970s and 80s under the same name.
  • Other silky terrier celebrities include Wishbone from the TV show of the same name, and Eddie from the movie Frasier.

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