Silky Terrier

Australian Terrier - Small Dog Breed

Quick Facts

OriginAustralia

Height9”-10”

Weight: 8-11 lbs

ColorBlack & tan, Blue & tan, Blue silver & tan, Gray & tan, Silver & tan, Silver black & tan

Lifespan13-15 years

Temperament: Charming, adventurous, feisty, joyful

 

Overview

What do you get when you combine the good looks of a Yorkie with the strength of an Aussie? The gorgeous and robust Silky terrier! You might think that with such long locks, this pup would be a super shedder. But no! This breed is generally considered hypoallergenic and sheds minimally. Attentive and alert, they make wonderful watchdogs.

They need a moderate amount of exercise, so if you are carrying around you pup in your purse all day, have him pop out every once in a while to stretch those legs!

Celebrity Owners

N/A

Fun Facts

  1. While it is generally accepted that Silkys are a cross between Yorkies and Aussie Terriers, there are some who argue that these pups are part Cairn, Skye and Dandie Dinmont.

Health

Silky Terriers are generally healthy pups. Some concerns owners should be aware of include:

  • Urolithiasis: More commonly thought of as kidney stones, this condition has stony concretions from anywhere in the urinary tract, including the kidneys.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: This disease occurs at the head of the femur (the ball and socket joint in your dog’s hips. Here, the femur degenerates which can cause the hip to collapse and can cause arthritis.
  • Spongiform: Also known as (SLEM) or as shaking puppy syndrome (SPS), this condition which effects the central nervous system is a hereditary disease effecting boarder terriers.
  • Leukodystrophy: Leuko means white. Dystrophy means abnormal or imperfect growth. Here, white matter grows abnormally in the brain. This can lead to all sorts of issues throughout the body.
  • Patellar luxation: Luxating simply means out of place or dislocated. Patella is a kneecap. A Luxating patella is a kneecap that chronically moves out of its normal position.
  • Tracheal collapse: This condition occurs when the cartilage rings on the trachea weaken, which causes the windpipe to collapse when they breath in.
  • Cataracts: A dog develops a cataract when the lens in its eye clouds. The clouding is caused by changes in the water balance or proteins in the lens.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: Atrophy is a wearing or wasting away of a body part. In this case, it is the retina in the eye, which eventually leads to blindness.
  • Diabetes: This condition revolves around glucose levels (sugar) in the blood. Constant monitoring and intervention could be required.

When looking to take on a new pup, always request the health screening of both parent pups.

While you always hope your pet will live a long and healthy life, it is always a good idea to invest in pet health insurance.

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and problem free goes a long way to your pup’s overall health. Dental hygiene can be the cause or can be the byproduct of other serious health issues.

Visual inspections can be performed to keep track of the signs of potentially waning oral health. These signs can be anything from bad breath to abnormal chewing to loss of appetite.

Keeping ahead of these warning signs can pay dividends. A preventative approach can delay and stop many of the common dental problems from arising.

Oral health can be tackled in five basic steps:

  1. Brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent an undesirable buildup of plaque
  2. Feed your dog a diet where the high quality dog food has dental benefits
  3. Regularly give your dog dental toys and treats
  4. Use mouthwash, to help where brushing misses
  5. At the sign of any abnormalities, consult a vet. You can even do it virtually, from the convenience of your home.

Dogs are just like humans in that they can experience anxiety. The degree to which they are susceptible to anxiety and how they deal with anxiety is breed specific. Left unchecked, initial signs of anxiety could give way to an anxiety disorder. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to a myriad of behavior issues.

Knowing the signs and symptoms will best equip you to keep ahead of it and to nip it in the bud at the earliest signs. There are options available to help with anxiety.

Grooming

Silky’s coat functions much more like human hair than dog hair. Be prepared to brush it thoroughly several times per week, if not daily. Bathe your pup at least once a month.

The coat will require regular trimming to prevent split ends. It is easiest to pair bath time with trims. Keep their eyes and ears clean and clear of debris. Clip your pup’s nails regularly and brush their teeth several times per week.

Cost

$800 – $3,500

Exercise

Silky terriers, like all terriers must be kept leashed or in a secure fenced in area when outside. The instinct to hunt and chase is often stronger than the will to respond to a return call. This breed has a decent energy level and will require around an hour per day for exercise.

Brisk walks, light jogs, playing fetch will all go a long way to helping your pup. These pups also are inclined to dig, so be sure your fence is very secure and goes at least 18” into the ground if you pup will ever be left unattended in the yard.

Training

As with all dogs early socialization with humans and other dogs is key. This breed benefits from starting training as early as possible. They can just as quickly learn bad behavior as good, so it is best to start out of the right foot.

They also can try to be sneaky and do what you ask but do it in their own way. Make sure commands are performed the correct way each time. Using lots of positive reinforcement and treats will help. This pup is prone to barking, be sure to address quiet commands in training.

Proper training is essential to ensuring the safety of your dog and those around you. Having your dog come when they should, and in general having them listen is something you want to address early in your pup’s life, as it will pay dividends down the line. There are many tried and true training programs to accomplish this training – faster and better than you might think!

Unless you’re living on a farm, or have the space, a yipping dog, or one that barks all day when you are gone could be an issue with the neighbors and/or landlord. Historically, dogs would bark to communicate with the rest of the pack when hunting and bark as a warning shot to predators eyeing up their flock. Barking is deep rooted in dogs and manifests itself in many ways and for a variety of reasons.

Just like any habit or instinct, there are effective ways you can train this issue away.

Nutrition

Your Silky will eat around 1 cup of food per day divided between two meals. The exact requirements for your dog will vary with age and activity level. Be mindful that little dogs that receive lots of treats and or table scraps end up overweight. A little dog that is overweight is significantly more likely to develop other health issues.

We’ve taken a look at some premium dog foods, high in nutrition here.

Supplements

As mentioned before, hip dysplasia is the most common ailment for Affenpinschers. A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend.

Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.

Ensuring a comprehensive preventative vitamin and mineral plan is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Truth is, there are vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, but doesn’t produce naturally. While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in your dog’s current diet and dog food, the question becomes, are there enough vitamins to ensure they aren’t deficient.

Poor nutrition can lead to some of the most common health issues, such as weak joints, compromised immunity, increased allergies, and low energy.

Vitamins play a vital role in your pet’s health and overall life expectancy. Here are some multivitamin and joint relief options.

As regulations around marijuana have eased, the emergence of CBD oils for humans and dogs have sprung up.

Just to begin to dispel the negative stigma, CBD extract comes from Hemp, marijuana’s cousin. Unlike its cousin, there are no psychoactive qualities in CBD oil. An emerging number of clinical and institutional studies have shown the wide variety of healing qualities in CBD, including pain management, and the containment of seizures and epileptic episodes.

Explore this remedy further to see all the health benefits that have transformed the lives of so many dogs to date.

The Good

  • Low shedding
  • Adaptable

The "Ruff"

  • Prone to digging
  • Prone to barking
  • High maintenance grooming