Silky Terrier Dog Breed: Pictures, Colors, Bark, Characteristics, and Diet

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The Silky Terrier (Silky) is a toy dog breed with a big personality.

The male Silkies only weigh 9 to 11 lbs (4 to 5 kg) while female Silkies are generally smaller, weighing about 8 to 10 lbs (3.6 to 4.5 kg)

A Silky Terrier standing on the grass
The elegant Silky Terrier

In terms of height, male Silky Terriers have an average height of around 10 inches (25 cm) while females are about 9 inches (23 cm).

Despite their size, Silky Terriers are tough, confident, and fearless. They like to check things out and will announce to you if they ever become suspicious of something.

Their size makes them mistaken for lap dogs. But in reality, they are always up for an adventure, making them ideal partners for active people.

Underneath a Silky Terrier’s feisty personality is a loving companion friend who loves to be with their human pack all the time.

With their size, they are best suited in smaller apartments so long as they are given adequate exercise.

Just take note that they have excessive barking tendencies that may disturb the neighborhood.

If you’re looking for an easy-going fluffy dog, you can never go wrong with a Silky Terrier. This breed can be your little ball of sunshine.

Silky comes in blue, black, silver, and gray. However, only blue and tan colors are recognized as standard colors of Silky Terriers by International Dog Organizations.

Like other Terriers breeds, Silkies are 1/5 longer than their height. They also have a single, long, and silky texture coat. Their long hair covers their overall body and face.

On top of their head is also profuse hair that easily gets tangled. They have small almond-shaped eyes, a black nose, well-aligned eyes, and pointed ears.

While Silky Terriers are generally healthy dogs and have a long lifespan of 12 to 15 years, every owner must be mindful of their diet.

Silkies are notorious for sensitive stomachs and may get diseases once fed with the wrong diet. They need high protein and fiber food to maintain their energy level and long life.

Can’t get enough of the cuteness of a Silky Terrier? Read more to know if it’s suitable for you.

What is a Silky Terrier?

Silky Terriers are toy-sized hunting dogs developed in Australia. Originally bred as a companion pet, Silkies are famous hunters of rodents and snakes in their country of origin.

This breed is excellent for people who love adventures with this small silly creature as a travel partner. They are fun-loving, intelligent, and quickly adapt to any living condition.

Silky Terriers are small, elegant, and fluffy dogs. Their cute face is covered with fur that can be tied into a knot, making them more adorable.

Silkies are very identifiable because of their gorgeous coat, which as their name implies, silky to the touch. 

Why Are They Called Silky Terrier Dogs?

A close-up image of a Silky Terrier
A cute Silky Terrier

There are arguments about whether the Silky Terrier dogs should be named Australian Silky Terrier or Sydney Silky Terrier.

In 1955, they were known as Australian Silky Terriers in Australia.

However, in the US, neither of these names were chosen. In 1929, their name was settled to “Silky Terrier.”

Where Did the Silky Terrier Come From?

The Silky Terrier comes from a small-hunter terrier in Europe, then Australia. This breed is a mix of Australian Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier.

Silky got the muscular body of Australian Terrier while their coat type and color from Yorkshire Terrier.

For this reason, this breed is usually confused with Yorkshire Terrier. But the Silky Terrier has a larger size than the Yorkie and is way similar to the Australian Terrier.

When Did the Silky Terrier Originate?

A Silky Terrier puppy lying down on the grass
A Silky Terrier pup lying down on the grass

The Silky Terrier originated in Australia in 1890 through crossbreeding the Yorkshire and Australian Terriers.

The offspring of these two breeds combined either look like a Yorkshire or Australian Terrier. Most of the time, they look like the latter.

In 1906, Australian people made a standard and guidelines for what a Silky Terrier should look like. In 1929, another standard was developed in Victoria.

The two standards were not matched up, but a compromise for Silky Terrier standards was made in 1929. 

How Many Silky Terriers Are There in the World?

The Silky Terrier has been a popular dog breed since the 19th century and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1959 but its exact population is currently unknown.

They are ranked 108th out of 193 most popular dog breeds in 2020, beating some Terrier dogs such as Toy Fox Terriers (113th) and Parson Russell Terriers (115th), according to AKC. 

What are the Characteristics of Silky Terriers?

A Silky Terrier with a ball
Sisko, a Silky Terrier, is looking for someone to play ball with – Image source

There’s more to Silky Terriers than their fluffy appearance. This breed has adorable personalities that will make you love them. 

  • Alert: Silkies are curious dogs, and they are quickly alerted to any new smell, sound, and sight they encounter. They will take quick action once they observe anything foreign to them. This personality makes them a good watchdog.
  • Active: Silky Terriers are fun-seekers. They like to play, run, walk around the house, or even outside. As such, they are great companion pets for those who have an active lifestyle. After all, they need regular physical activities to uplift their mood.
  • Easy-going: While Silky Terriers are active dogs, they are relaxed and even-tempered. They have a high tolerance for older people making fun of them.
  • Tough: Silkies may be miniature, but they courageously warn off intruders they are not familiar with. They are willing to protect themselves and their loved ones. However, they are not suited to homes where they would be left alone. He tends to be destructive when left unsupervised.
  • Sweet: Silky Terriers are very sweet. They are family-friendly dogs. Silkies show their love to the family by skin contact, sleeping with you, or pleasing you.
  • Obedient: Because of Silkies’ willingness to please their master, it makes them easy to train. They are intelligent and can easily catch up with the trainer. However, trainers need to be patient as Silky Terriers are hyper at times.

If you want to be more familiar with their behavioral traits, check the table below:

Silky Terrier Characteristics Rating
Relation with family 5
Good with children 3
Friendly with strangers 3
Friendly with other dogs 3
Easy to Train 4
Energy Level 4
Barking Level 4
Mental Stimulation Needs 5

You may also want to check out this video to get to know more about Silky Terrier’s personality:

What Does a Silky Terrier Look Like?

Silky Terriers look like their parents, Yorkie or Australian Terriers. They have short legs, fine bone structure, and a muscular body. They come in different shades of blue, gray, or brown coats

As to facial features, Silkies have almond-shaped eyes, dark rims encircling their eyes, V-shaped ears, black nose, and scissor-like teeth.

As to body structure, Silky Terriers have a broad chest with a body longer than their height. They may have short legs, but they are muscular and strong. 

A Silky Terrier in the city
Sisko, a happy Silky Terrier in the city – Image source

How big is the Silky Terrier?

Silky dogs are toy terrier breed with a height of around 10 inches (25 cm) for males and 9 inches (23 cm) for females.

In terms of weight, male Silky Terriers are also a bit bigger, around 9 to 11 lbs (4 to 5 kg), and female Silkies are about 8 to 10 lbs (3.6 to 4.5 kg).

Check the table below for the height and weight comparisons of male and female Silky Terriers:

Silky Terrier
Physical Features
Male Female
Height 10 inches
(25 cm)
9 inches
(23 cm)
Weight 9 to 11 lbs
(4 to 5 kg)
8 to 10 lbs
(3.6 to 4.5 kg)

How long does a Silky Terrier dog grow?

A Silky Terrier can achieve their full adult size once they become nine months old. From nine months to 1 year, this breed will hardly grow.

They can reach a maximum height of 10 inches and around 10 lbs.

What is the average weight of Silky Terrier dogs?

The average weight of Silky Terrier dogs is somewhere between 8 to 10 lbs. Male Silky Terriers are about 9 to 10 lbs, and females are 8 to 10 lbs.

All in all, their standard weight is proportioned to their average height.

What is the Average Life Expectancy of Silky Terriers?

The average life expectancy of Silky Terriers is about 12 to 15 years.

It is long enough for a toy breed, but its ancestors, Yorkshire, and Australian Terriers can live for a few more years than them.

Silky dogs are healthy, but they are prone to health concerns. These diseases can be Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Epilepsy, Diabetes Mellitus, and Tracheal Collapse.

While some or all of these diseases may not occur to Silky Terriers, you must know all of them. Consult a veterinarian if symptoms persist. 

What Coat Type Do Silky Terriers have?

A Silky Terrier standing on a platform
A Silky Terrier flaunting its gorgeous coat – Image source

Silky Terrier has a single straight coat which makes them elegant and luxurious-looking. Their fur is dense but easy to brush and groom.

However, given the length of their hair, they are prone to tangles and mats. 

What is the Silky Terrier dog’s coat like?

Unlike other Terriers, the Silky has a long single-coat with a soft texture. Their coat is pretty similar to the Yorkshire, but the latter has a more wiry and rough texture.

Due to their long fur, this breed can live in countries with both cool and humid climates.

How long is the Silky Terrier’s coat?

Silky Terrier dogs have a long, sleek, and beautiful coat. Their coat is about five to six inches (12 to 15 cm) in length.

You may think that Silky is a fussy breed, but they are not. They only need a thorough brushing around two to three times per week.

How is the Silky Terrier’s coat density?

Overall, Silky has a normal dense coat. Since it has no layers or undercoats, their hair is much more silky and smooth.

Their coats resemble human hair more than dog hair. But due to their lengthy size, they need regular grooming and brushing.

Do Silky Terriers shed much?

Silky Terrier dogs have low-shedding hair. However, they are pretty high-maintenance for grooming and brushing. They are prone to hair knots, so paying attention to their hair is crucial.

Can Silky Terriers Live in Hot Weather?

A Silky Terrier walking outdoors
Koru, a Silky Terrier, invites you for a walk for some vitamin D – Image source

Yes, Silky Terriers originated from Australia so they prefer average to warm conditions. Their long, single coat makes them handle warm weather but is quite sensitive to cold weather. 

Small dogs, like Silky Terrier, are susceptible to colder temperatures and have the greatest risk of hypothermia.

In general, the acceptable temperature level for small dogs should be around 30 to 60 degrees F.

Do Silky Terriers Like Water?

Yes, almost all Terrier breeds including Silky Terriers like water. They are the type of breed who are always up for a swim when they encounter deep water.

Their physical structure can make them good swimmers. Thanks to their parents, Yorkshire Terriers and Australian Terriers are both pretty good swimmers.

What Colors Are Silky Terriers?

A Silky Terrier standing sideways to the camera
The beautiful coat of the Silky Terrier – Image source

Silky Terrier comes in a nice variety of colors that includes blue, black, silver, and gray (all of these are mixed with a rich tan).

However, the American Kennel Club (AKC) only recognizes blue and tan as the standard color of Silky Terriers. 

You’ll notice the different shades of blue in the base of the skull, the tip of the tail, forelegs, and elbows, and on the outside of his thighs.

The rich tan color appears on the muzzle and on the side of the cheeks, on the legs and feet, and around the base of the ears.

What Markings Do Silky Terriers Have?

According to Federation Cynologique International (FCI), the only acceptable marking for Silky dogs is tan.

The tan or bronzing marking must be free from smuttiness and should not appear on its blue body color. 

Silky Terriers are born black so the black coloring in puppies is allowed. However, the blue color must be established by the age of 18 months.

Are Silky Terriers Good Family Dogs? 

A Silky Terrier in a carrier
Sisko, a Silky Terrier that likes spending time with his hooman – Image source

Yes, Silky Terriers are fantastic family dogs. They love to spend time with their humans. They are a good choice for an adventurous household.

This breed is very active, but they can live happily in tiny houses or apartments due to their cute size.

Silkies are naturally hunting terriers, so they need to be taken care of to prevent them from sneaking into your house to wander.

Fur-parents of this breed must have a good sense of humor to appreciate this little pooch better. 

Are Silky Terriers good with other dogs?

Silky Terriers are good with their fellow dogs as long as they are trained to be around them. If they are not trained to be dog-friendly, expect them to be bossy or dominant. 

Like other Terriers, this breed is a hunter of small prey. They may chase small animals like cats, rabbits, rodents, and smaller pets.

Are Silky Terriers friendly with other people?

Silky Terriers are generally more friendly to their families than their fellow animals. They like to be with a human pack more than with other dogs.

After all, they are not bred to hunt as a pack with animals or mingle with them.

With their size, they are ideal to be indoor or house dogs. As such, they are mostly seen as household pets. 

Can Silky Terrier dogs get along well with strangers? 

Silky Terriers can get along well with strangers. They can do better with other people than animals. All in all, this breed is average friendly with people they first met. 

How do Silky Terriers get along with young children? 

Silky Terriers can be a great family pet with children.

However, given their active and rugged personality, they are best for kids older than ten. This breed will not tolerate prods and pokes from younger children.

If you want your younger children to get along with a Silky, you should teach them to be gentle with them. Children should also learn to never disturb them while eating or sleeping.

Can Silky Terriers Adapt Easily?

A Silky Terrier standing outdoors
Auggie, a Silky Terrier, keeps his eyes open for wonderful things – Image source

Fortunately, Silky Terrier can adapt quickly. Even if they’re energetic dogs, they can live well in apartment living. Just allow them to exercise regularly, and they will be happy. 

Moreover, their body can withstand even the harshest weather conditions with their long hair. While they are used to cold weather, they can also live happily in tropical countries.

Are Silky Terrier Dogs Aggressive?

In general, Silky Terriers are not aggressive. However, they are not used to mingling with other dogs and animals. Hence, they are more aggressive toward animals than humans.

Silky Terriers are bred to hunt solo and chase animals. As such, they need early socialization to get used to other pets. 

Are Silky Terriers Dangerous?

No, Silky Terriers are not dangerous. They are not violent toward other people, especially their families.

They are gentle and calm when around their humans. However, they can be dangerous with smaller animals if they are not taught to live with them since puppyhood. 

Do Silky Terrier Dogs Bite?

A Silky Terrier smiling
Koru is a smiley Silky Terrier – Image source

Silky Terrier dogs have low biting potential. They only bite occasionally and reasonably. The top reasons they bite are excitement, pain, protection, herding instinct, and when provoked.

Silky dogs are also the weakest biter among other Terrier breeds. Their biting force is around 150 to 200 PSI. But one should not underestimate their bite force as it can still be dangerous 

Our Silky Terrier Dogs Protective?

Housebreaking is difficult to happen because Silky Terriers are incredibly protective. They are alert to slight noise, smell, and sight.

They may have a cute size, but this breed is willing to protect their humans at all costs. They are also protective of their toys, food, and other possessions.

Are Silky Terriers Affectionate?

Silky Terriers are known as companion pets because they are naturally affectionate and caring to their pet parent.

They’re the happiest when they are around their favorite people. They love to sit, watch TV or sleep on the couch with you.

Are Silky Terriers Loyal?

A Silky Terrier wearing a colorful sweater
Louie, a Silky Terrier, is comfy in his sweater – Image source

Silky Terrier dogs can make loyal pets. They are very loving and devoted to their family. By only giving them quality time, you can easily win their hearts.

They make sure that their loved ones are safe by alerting them once the environment becomes suspicious.

Do Silky Terriers Like to Cuddle?

Cuddling is one indicator that a Silky loves you. However, they are not typically fond of cuddles because they are small.

It is typical for toy breeds like them to dislike cuddling. Once you cuddle them and are not in the mood, it may lead to barking and biting.

Does the Silky Terrier Love Freedom?

Yes, Silky loves freedom. They like to be by themselves, except for their family. They are devoted to their family and don’t want to be left by them.

As a fur parent, expect them to follow or join you in whatever it is that you’re doing.

This breed will thrive when he is around with his human pack than other animals. They will love to be around you whether you’re at home or outside the house.

Are Silky Terrier Dogs Easy to Train?

A Silky Terrier standing at a railway track
Sisko the Silky Terrier poses at a railway track – Image source

Though sometimes Silky dogs can be stubborn, this breed learns quickly. They are more obedient once you train them with praise and treats.

This canine is a rough dog, and they will not follow you if you become stern and strict. 

How Smart is the Silky Terrier?

Silky Terriers are highly intelligent. They can learn quickly as long as they are trained patiently. If you want to teach them efficiently, you need to reward them more.

Their trainers must also practice being patient because they can be stubborn. They also find it boring when the training becomes monotonous for them.

Can Silky Terrier dogs be used as working dogs?

Silky Terriers can be used as working dogs. After all, they are developed to hunt small prey.

However, due to their size, they are not ideal to be working dogs other than their designated profession.

Do Silky Terrier Dogs Bark a Lot?

A Silky Terrier standing on a tree
Koru, a Silky Terrier, having fun in the park – Image source

Barking is one of the most-enjoyed hobbies of a Silky Terrier. Although you can train them to respond to the “Quiet” command, this dog will bark when they need to.

The good this is that this trait makes them a good watchdog.

How does a Silky Terrier bark?

Like other miniature dogs, Silky Terrier has a loud and incessant bark just to sound the alarm.

A silky puppy terrier has a louder bark than older Silkies, which you or the neighbors may not like. However, they become quieter as they get older and will only bark when needed.

Do Silky Terriers Have High Energy levels?

Silky Terriers are energetic, but they only have above average energy levels, unlike other terriers.

They are satisfied with short walks every day. Overall, they can live happily in a semi-active family.

Are Silky Terriers Active?

A Silky Terrier walking
A Silky Terrier happily takes a stroll – Image source

Yes, Silky Terriers are active dogs. They need to be physically engaged to burn off their energy.

Otherwise, they will become hyper and restless. They need both physical and mental stimulation daily.

This breed is a marathon runner despite its small body. The highest recorded speed of a Silky was 17.6 mph (28.3 kph). Daily walks and runs are perfect hobbies for them to remain fit.

Are Silky Terriers Playful?

Silky Terriers love to play with their family. They can enjoy any games that involve running and chasing.

However, while this breed is naturally friendly, they are not ideal to be around with younger children. Only older children around 10 and above are safe to play with them.

Does the Silky Terrier Drool a Lot?

No, Silky Terriers are minimal drooling pets. They only drool a bit when tired.

However, even if they are hungry or barking, they won’t drool at all. If you observe excessive drooling with your Silky, you should immediately visit a vet for a check-up.

What Does the Family Life of Silky Terrier Dogs Like?

A Silky Terrier standing indoors
Zoe, a Silky Terrier, smiling at her hooman – Image source

Despite the small demeanor of a Silky Terrier, they are always ready to fill up the entire house with their love of life.

They always like to have fun, making them suitable companions for an active household.

Silky Terriers are good family pets because they love everyone, including kids. However, like other dogs, this breed needs early socialization to be gentle around energetic younger children. 

Before you decide to welcome a Silky Terrier to the family, you may want to know their overall temperament:

Silky Terrier’s Temperament Rating
Adaptability 3
Friendliness 3
Mouthiness 4
Playfulness 4
Family-oriented 5
Stranger tolerance 3

What Kind of Food Should Silky Terriers Eat?

A Silky Terrier being given with a cookie
A Silky Terrier accepting a cookie treat from her hooman – Image source

Silky dogs are omnivores so they can eat both meat and vegetables. However, they are also prone to sensitive stomachs.

Any grain-free dog food is good for them. Their diet must be suitable for their age and lifestyle.

Considering their size, at least 1/2 to 3/4 cup of healthy food each meal is recommended for an adult Silky while 1/8 to 1/4 cup is advisable for puppies.

What are the Best Dog Foods for Silky Terriers? 

Puppy and adult Silky Terriers have different diets. Puppy Silky Terriers are energetic, and they need healthy dog food for their active lifestyle. 

On the other hand, a senior Silky Terrier has an unpredictable temperament. They need a controlled diet that is high in protein and fiber nutrients.

For a puppy Silky Terrier, the best dog foods are the following:

Adult Silky Terriers need highly nutritious dog food to maintain their weight and keep their energy levels. Below is the healthiest dog food we can recommend:

What Other Dog Breeds Look Like the Silky Terrier? 

A Yorkshire Terrier sitting on a log
A Yorkshire Terrier enjoying the warmth of the sunlight

Silky Terriers are pretty much the same as other Terrier breeds.

Terrier dogs are usually small in size, fluffy, and have a long distinct coat. They have a lot of similarities, thus, they are mostly confused with one another.

Aside from Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Terrier, here are some breeds that look the same as the Silky Terrier.

The Bottom Line: Should You Own a Silky Terrier?

With a Silky Terrier’s cute physical stature, fluffy coat, and fun-loving personality, it’s truly worth it to own one.

Their size makes this breed suitable for apartment dwellers, travelers, and mobility-challenged individuals

Silky Terriers are easy-going, obedient, friendly, and affectionate. Therefore, it’s easy to fall for them.

However, if you’re always out and about and cannot be hands-on with them, then Silky is not the best dog breed for you.

But if you can make time to attend to their daily needs, don’t hesitate to bring one home and start a beautiful relationship with your Silky.

Do you have a Silky Terrier dog? What do you love most about them? Let us know in the comments!

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