The Silk Terrier originated from Australia and was initially bred in the early 1800s. Some Yorkshire Terriers were imported from England to Australia and bred with the local terrier breeds in a bid to improve the color of the breed. Initially, they were known as the Sydney Silk Terrier and only found in Sydney City. They were mainly kept for companionship unlike other dog breeds in Australia. During World War 2 some American servicemen in Australia returned with some Silk Terriers where they rapidly gained popularity.
They are short-legged and fragile looking dogs. They have a rectangular body form with a small round head supported by a short neck. They stand at a height of 8 – 10 inches and weigh 8 – 11 pounds. They have a small pointed muzzle with a black tip nose. Their eyes are round and buried under thick bushy eyebrows that cover their eyes if not trimmed. They have long hair growing on the side of their muzzle that forms a mustache. They have triangular, erect ears widely spaced at the top of its head. Their tail stands erect on their back and curls.
The Silky Terrier were bred for companionship, and that is what they have specialized in. They are very merry and warm always looking for an opportunity to play. They are very affectionate towards their owner and maximize on their quality time. They are intelligent and can be manipulative if owner breaks his consistency. They are very active and enjoy outdoor activities such as walking and hiking. They are smart to understand commands but also stubborn during training.
Silkies bark a lot and will need to be trained to bark only when it is necessary. They are companion dogs and should not be left alone for a prolonged period of time. They should be housed in a well-fenced area as they are prone to digging and chasing other smaller animals. The owner should ensure that training is done by a professional who will be firm but gentle.
They are a generally healthy breed but will suffer from some health concerns common to them which include: diabetes, epilepsy, tracheal collapse and Patellar Luxation. They have a general lifespan of 12 – 15 years.
They should be fed on high-quality nutritious diets. The amount of food they are given depends on the age, size and level of activeness of the Dog. They are very cunning, and the owner should not give in to feeding them haphazardly. A consistent time should be followed to avoid overfeeding the dog.
Coat, Color and Grooming
Silk Terriers as their name suggests, have a single, long silky coat. It comes in a combination of colors that mainly consists of tan or orange and dark blue. They should be brushed two of three times a week to maintain good lustre and straightness of their hair. Brush their teeth on a weekly basis and trim their nails as need be.
With family and other pets
Silk Terriers are highly sociable and good with children. They accommodate fellow dogs but will need to be socialized in order to be trusted with other pets.