Other Names : Silky Terrier, Sydney Silky
Country of Origin : Australia
Dog Group : Toy
Developed in the nineteenth century, the Australian Silky Terrier is one toy breed regarded as truly Australian. Early examples of the breed were simply known as rough or broken-coated terriers and were crosses of various larger British terrier breeds, of which some are no longer recognised. Further crossings to Dandie Dinmont and Skye Terriers and later to the Yorkshire Terrier contributed to the silky coat and small size we know today. Initially the breed was known as the 'Sydney Silky' due to the prominence of the breed in Sydney. But Victorian and Tasmanian breeders also laid claim as the originators of the breed, so the official name, Australian Silky Terrier, was eventually adopted in 1956.
Australian Silkies are compact and moderately low set to the ground. They have a keen and alert appearance, further conveyed by their upright ears and watchful expression. The single coat is long, soft and as the name implies, silky. Puppies are born black and tan, changing to a silver and tan.
Feeding & Ownership
The Silky can subsist on very little food. It is very easy to overfeed a Yorkshire Terrier. Obesity is a serious state for the small dog and can lead to several nasty diseases, such as diabetes, joint problems, kidney failure, etcetera.
They're always happy to play, love human companionship and make a wonderful addition to active families. But they also have a mischievous side, Silkies are a very game breed, full of bravado and have strong guarding instincts. Some have a reputation for constant barking. Silkies often appear to think they are a large dog trapped in a small dog's body. As such they are known to try and take on much larger dogs. Obedience classes are recommended.
Bath Silkies once every couple of weeks, conditioning the coat. As their hair is a similar to humans, good quality dog shampoo and conditioner can should be used. A quick daily brush will keep knots out and will remove shedding hair which will cling to the coat. An alternative is to have the coat clipped. It saves on grooming and the dog will still look quite attractive.