Silky Terrier Overview
The Silky has its origins in 1800s Australia, however, it may have been mixed with several other breeds of terrier prior to that. Some ancestors include the Yorkshire Terrier, Australian Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, Skye, and Cairn. While hunting vermin was a possible job of the past for this breed, their primary popularity and function are as a companion and lap dog.
Silky Terrier Characteristics
The Silky looks strikingly similar to the Yorkshire Terrier in appearance. They feature the same blue and tan coloration, pricked ears, and short tail. However, the Silky usually has a shorter, easier to manage coat, while the Yorkshire has a coat that grows long and profusely. Silkies are also adept at hunting rats and vermin, even after being primarily a house pet for several generations.
Silky Terrier Temperament
Like other terriers, the Silky is smart, friendly and feisty. They are loving, but may not always show it to their owners except in their need to always be close by. Playful and mischievous, these dogs are usually the “clown” of the family and will find ways to entertain themselves and their owners. They are a bit delicate, and may not do well with roughhousing and teasing from small children. The breed is also prone to barking.
Silky Terrier Care
Silkies live on average 12 to 15 years, typical for a toy-breed dog. A few health concerns include allergies, epilepsy, diabetes and collapsing tracheas. Other health issues include luxating patellas, elbow dysplasia, intervertebral disk disease and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Careful breeding and care of their delicate bodies will help reduce the incidence of some disease.
Silky Terrier Coat
The long, silky coat which the Silky gets his name from requires brushing and combing daily to keep it free of mats and tangles.Regular bathing will also help prevent dirt and debris from accumulating. The coat may be kept in a natural or shorter puppy cut, which may require more frequent trips to a groomer. Care for the skin is also needed in this allergy-prone breed.
Silky Terrier Training
Even as a companion pet, the Silky is still a terrier that can be stubborn and willful. However, they are very intelligent, and will easily pick up on any training and tasks given to them. Patience, short sessions to prevent boredom, and fun activities will help keep them occupied. Like other toy terriers, the Silky may take a longer time to housetrain.
Silky Terrier Activity
Silkies are full of energy and require slightly more activity than other companion animals. Daily walks or a long play session will help keep them physically fit. Silkies tend to get bored easily, and if not kept physically and mentally stimulated, may form their own games that can be destructive to human furniture and other objects.