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Silky Terrier Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know!

He hails from the Land of Oz!

The Silky Terrier, more commonly known as the Australian Silky Terrier, is often associated with what psychologists refer to as the Napoleon Complex.

The Napoleon Complex, as defined by Wikipedia, is “a theorized complex occurring in people of short stature. It is characterized by overly-aggressive or domineering social behavior, implying that such behavior compensates for the subject’s height. The term is also more broadly to describe individuals who overcompensate in other aspects of their lives due to a perceived handicap.”

Despite standing at a mere 9 to 10 inches tall and weighing 8 to 10 pounds, the Australian Silky Terrier sees itself as a Great Dane or German Shepherd! It’s pretty amusing, and one can draw comparisons to other small terrier breeds like the Australian Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier.


It’s worth mentioning that the Australian Silky Terrier is slightly larger than Yorkshire Terriers or Yorkies (so they aren’t the tiniest terrier breed out there) but more miniature than Australian Terriers (though only slightly).

These dogs possess a lot of grit; the first thing that will catch your attention is their gloriously silky coat. They are charming little characters, often playing the role of jesters and bringing joy with their adorable antics. Moreover, they are intelligent creatures who can manipulate you into getting what they want.

We should also mention that these dogs are commonly referred to as the Sydney Silky Terrier, as they were initially bred in Sydney, one of the largest cities in the world. So, if you’re considering adopting one of these delightful companions, you should also search for them using this name.

This makes sense because the Silky Terrier truly embodies the spirit of Sydney and thrives in the environment of an upscale city apartment.

But is a Silky Terrier the right dog for you?

That’s the real question we’d like to help you answer in this article. At IndulgeYourPet, we want to ensure these beautiful little dogs are matched with the most suitable owners.

Now this is not to say that you wouldn’t be a great owner of a Silky Terrier. There might be another dog breed that aligns better with your lifestyle.

So, without further ado, I think we should dive right in.

Australian Silky Terrier Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Australia

Original Purpose:  Companion animal, vermin hunter

Height: 9 to 10 inches

Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Toy Group

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Origin of the Silky Terrier Dog Breed

The Silky Terrier hails from Australia, as expected. It was bred in the 1890s by Australian breeders who crossed the local Australian Terriers with Yorkshire Terriers imported from England. As a result, there is a strong resemblance between Yorkshire Terriers, Australian Terriers, and Silky Terriers.

Breed Standard:

The breed standard for the Silky Terrier was initially developed in 1906, followed by another version in 1909. These standards had significant differences. Eventually, Australian breeders reached a consensus and established a new breed standard for the Silky in 1926, which was universally accepted.

In the United States, this breed is officially known as the Silky Terrier; in Australia, it is referred to as the Australian Silky Terrier. It is sometimes also called the Sydney Silky Terrier, its original name.

This delightful toy dog from Sydney received recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1959.

Physical Characteristics:

The Silky Terrier stands at a height of approximately 9 to 10 inches. It is a small dog with short legs and a long body rather than being tall. It possesses a distinct wedge-shaped head, V-shaped ears, almond-shaped eyes, a black nose, and a docked tail. Its movements are graceful and agile.

One of its most striking features is its exquisite coat. It is sleek, shiny, and glossy, measuring 5 to 6 inches long. The skin elegantly reaches the floor without actually touching it. Silky Terriers can have a coat color of either red or blue with tan markings.

Temperament and Personality

Like all small dogs or dogs belonging to the Toy Group, the Silky Terrier is an excellent watchdog. He remains alert throughout the day and will promptly alert you to even the slightest hint of trouble with his loud barking. So, he serves a practical purpose beyond being a cute little puppy. There’s more to this little guy!

He is a skilled hunter.

Don’t be fooled by his charming appearance. This little guy is a proficient hunter when it comes to small games. Watching him chase after cats, squirrels, and rabbits is something to behold. He can be relentless in his pursuit.

Silkies also make perfect companion dogs. While it’s fair to say that they can be demanding and even cunning at times, they are also loving and affectionate creatures.

Full of energy:

Although the Silky Terriers may be small, they are highly energetic dogs who always love to play. They make great playmates for well-behaved older children (not toddlers). They tend to be quite vocal, and you may be surprised at how much they bark. Their barking can be incessant and challenging to stop once they get started. Additionally, house-training Silky Terrier puppies may be a difficult task. However, you can guide them to behave appropriately with the right balance of firmness, love, and positive reinforcement (including food rewards).

Health Problems

Like all small breeds, the Silky Terrier is blessed with excellent health and has a high life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. But like all dog breeds, even the Silkies are vulnerable to specific health problems such as…

Fortunately, none of these medical conditions are considered life-threatening; they can become quite expensive to deal with, particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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