The Australian Silky Terrier, called the Silky Terrier in North America, is a small breed of dog of the Terrier type, developed in Australia, but the ancestral type breeds were from Great Britain. The ancestors include the Yorkshire Terrier, and the Australian Terrier. The breed began at the end of the 19th century when they were crossed with the Australian Terriers. In the beginning it was known as the Sydney Silky because it was mainly found in the city of Sydney, Australia. This breed was developed primarily to be an urban pet and companion, whereas most other
Australian breeds were working dogs. However, it is also known for killing snakes in Australia.
The Silky Terrier, is small and compact with short legs. He stands 9.1-10.2 inches tall at the withers. He should be slightly longer than he is tall. He has a strong wedge-shaped head and small almond-shaped eyes. Light colored eyes are considered a fault. The ears are small and are carried erect, and he has a high-set tail, and small (almost catlike) feet. The long silky coat is an identifying feature of the breed. It hangs straight, is parted along the back, and is described as “flat, fine, and glossy”. It should be long, but not so long as to approach floor length. The colors can be grey and white or blue and tan.
This breed’s temperament has been described as keenly alert and active. They enjoy running and playing but one must have a tightly fenced yard. They enjoy brisk walks and playing ball. To discourage boredom, it is important that they are kept busy and social. As they are smart and often stubborn, they require firm leadership from their adored owners. This breed retains a lot of the classic terrier independence therefore they are a bit more spirited and prey-driven than the typical lapdog. Despite its size, this docile dog makes a good watchdog. It is not generally trustworthy with other small pets such as rabbits, hamsters or guinea pigs. AS long as the dog receives the discipline and structure that it needs, the breed is good with children. He is spunky, cheerful, sociable, and affectionate and likes to be close to his master.
The lifespan of the breed is 11-14 years old. The breed is generally a healthy breed but some minor health concerns include elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes, diabetes, epilepsy, tracheal collapse and intervertebral disc disease.