Silky Terrier

8-11 lbs
Sydney Silky, Australian Silky Terrier, Silky

The Silky Terrier was developed in Australia during the late 1800s and early 1900s by crossing the native Australian Terrier and imported Yorkshire Terriers. Designed as a companion dog, the Silky is an energetic and entertaining companion, but they are also a fearless and efficient hunter of rats and snakes thanks to their Terrier natures. This dog is a fantastic addition to an active family with older children, but may not be as appropriate for younger children or apartments as they can become excessively vocal and may become anxious and snappy around fast-moving and intrusive toddlers. Even with their abundance of hair, due to their low shed rate and the human-like structure of the hair, this dog is generally considered to be hypoallergenic.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry

Silky Terrier Health

Sketch of Silky Terrier
Average Size
Male Silky Terrier size stats
Height: 9-10 inches Weight: 8-11 lbs
Female Silky Terrier size stats
Height: 9-10 inches Weight: 8-11 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Urolithiasis
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Spongiform Leukodystrophy
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Eye Disease
  • Diabetes
Occasional Tests
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Blood Test
  • Blood And Urine Protein Screens
  • Skeletal
  • X-Rays

Silky Terrier Breed History

In the late 1800s, Yorkshire Terriers were imported into Australia in order to cross them with the larger Australian Terrier as a way to improve their coats. By 1906, the Silky Terrier was breeding true to type, and they were recognized as a distinct breed first in New South Wales in 1906, and later in Victoria in 1909. The breed standard written in each of these areas had some differences, particularly in relation to weights and ear conformations. It was in 1926 that a more comprehensive breed standard was developed and in 1932 the Kennel Control Council of Victoria introduced legislation to prevent further cross-breeding between Yorkshire Terriers, Australian Terriers, and the Silky Terrier, then known as the Sydney Silky. These little dogs were brought to the United States with Americans returning from World War II, and the Sydney Silky Terrier Club was established in 1955, and in 1955 the name was officially changed to the Australian Silky Terrier, causing the American chapter to also change their name to the Silky Terrier Club of America. Shortly afterward, in 1959, the modern breed standard was finalized, narrowing acceptable weights from six to twelve pounds down to eight to ten pounds and the breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club. This breed, along with being an enjoyable and entertaining animal, is also known for their ability to kill both rats and snakes, and an eight-year-old dog named Fizo was awarded an Australian Purple Cross of Bravery in 1996 for diving off of a balcony to protect the tiny dog’s nine-year-old owner from five-foot long venomous brown snake, with no regard for his own safety. 

Silky Terrier Breed Appearance

A small, sturdily built dog with refined bone structure, the Silky Terrier is slightly longer than they are tall. They have a wedge-shaped head with dark, almond-shaped eyes and an attentive and serious expression as well as small V-shaped ears that are typically set high and carried erect. This spunky character gets their name from the glossy, silky coat that flows down from their backs five to six inches, generally stopping just short of reaching the floor. The Silky Terrier’s coat is structurally more like human hair than like dog hair and can develop split ends if not cared for properly. The hair on the face is long enough to tie in a topknot, but should not impair the dog’s vision by hanging in front of the animal’s eyes when it is not tied back. They come in several colors and mixes of colors, although the hair on the back and neck tends to be darker than the fur on the head, face, and feet for most of these colors. 

Appearance of Silky Terrier
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Silky Terrier eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Silky Terrier nose
Coat Color Possibilities
brindle Silky Terrier coat
sable Silky Terrier coat
silver Silky Terrier coat
blue Silky Terrier coat
fawn Silky Terrier coat
gray Silky Terrier coat
black Silky Terrier coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Silky Terrier straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Silky Terrier Breed Maintenance

The coat that this dog sports is more like human hair in structure than like dog hair, which means that the Silky Terrier often requires more bathing than other breeds, at least once a month, and the hair needs to be brushed every two or three days with a pin or soft slicker brush and a comb to prevent tangles from forming. The hair, like human hair, also requires trimming on a regular basis as untrimmed hair can lead to split ends and frizzing and can sometimes even cause the hair to trail on the ground, further damaging it. This shiny-coated dog is also considered a hypoallergenic breed as the structure of their hair also causes them to shed less often. They are an energetic breed, so they do need slightly more exercise than most toy breeds. This can be accomplished, however, by vigorous games that can be played in a relatively small amount of space in the house or yard. 

Brushes for Silky Terrier
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Silky Terrier requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Silky Terrier Temperament

This breed is active and energetic, preferring to spend their time with their families, playing, walking, or just sleeping on someone’s lap after wearing themselves out. If left alone for long periods of time they can become anxious and destructive and have been known to bark themselves hoarse. Although the Silky Terrier is small, they may not be appropriate for apartment dwellers due to their active nature and their tendency to bark frequently. This breed is wary of strangers and is known to bark at almost any provocation, and it is extremely difficult to train them out of this behavior. Their terrier nature also means that they still retain the urge to chase and the ability to dig, so they should never be left in the yard unsupervised, and any fences should be secured. Although Silkies do well with older children, they are known to be a little snappy with the younger ones, and their smaller size puts them at risk for injury due to clumsy or rough treatment. 

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
11 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes
activity minutes

Silky Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$0.80 - $1.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$20.00 - $30.00
food bag monthly cost

Silky Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Silky Terrier at six months
Male Silky Terrier size stats at six months
Height: 7.5 inches Weight: 6.0 lbs
Female Silky Terrier size stats at six months
Height: 7.5 inches Weight: 6.0 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Silky Terrier at 12 months
Male Silky Terrier size stats at 12 months
Height: 8.5 inches Weight: 8.0 lbs
Female Silky Terrier size stats at 12 months
Height: 8.5 inches Weight: 8.0 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Silky Terrier at 18 months
Male Silky Terrier size stats at 18 months
Height: 9.5 inches Weight: 9.5 lbs
Female Silky Terrier size stats at 18 months
Height: 9.5 inches Weight: 9.5 lbs

Top Silky Terrier Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Silky Terrier breeders of 2024.
Top Silky Terrier breeder Kountry Silky Terriers
Kountry Silky Terriers
Coxs Creek, Kentucky
Top Silky Terrier breeder Cedarwinds Silky Terriers
Cedarwinds Silky Terriers
Crofton, Nebraska
Top Silky Terrier breeder Tawny Mist
Tawny Mist
Beavercreek, Oregon
Top Silky Terrier breeder Wind Dancer Silky Terriers
Wind Dancer Silky Terriers
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Top Silky Terrier breeder Playtime Puppies
Playtime Puppies
Lamar, Missouri
Top Silky Terrier breeder Delayre Kennels
Delayre Kennels
Sun Valley, California
Top Silky Terrier breeder Tawny Mist Silky Terriers
Tawny Mist Silky Terriers
Beavercreek, Oregon
Top Silky Terrier breeder SacRiver Kennels
SacRiver Kennels
Ash Grove, Missouri
Top Silky Terrier breeder PNW Silky Terriers
PNW Silky Terriers
Beavercreek, Oregon

Silky Terrier Owner Experiences

Harley Howell
10 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Dog park visits
Dodge and chase
Window watching
Treats for good behavior
Belly rubs+++
I love this breed, so smart they can be almost scary, clearly little mind readers! Their Silky hair is wonderful to touch, and does not shed except after bath brushing. They are beautiful in dual color coats, and in long hsir they look elegant after brushing. Summer cuts are really cute in a modified Schnauser style. They are energetic as terriers, so they have that special quirky attitude and endless curiosity. They bond deeply with their Human and are fearless protectors. They are big fierce dogs in very compact bodies. Friends forever with unconditional love. They can be clingy, or needy little bundles, so lots of attention keeps them happy and healthy.
7 months, 3 weeks ago
4 Years
Playing with toys
I had a Silky stay in my home for three days. He warmed up to me immediately - he wanted to be next to me at all times. He loved being snuggled, and enjoyed sleeping under blankets. Very adorable and friendly!
6 years, 2 months ago
3 Years
Sweetest dog! Very affectionate and full of energy! He was absolutely adorable!
6 years, 2 months ago
9 Years
6 People
Terrier are very playful dan easy to train. They are very active and would like to spend a lots of times outside:) But Terrier maybe not for you if you kept other pets..My terrier used to frighten others dogs and cats and bitten frog or rabbit. They are very brave and won't back down on a fight!
2 years, 9 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd