Today we are looking at a fascinating breed from down under and asking exactly What Is an Australian Silky Terrier?
Table Of Contents
The ancestors of the Australian Silky Terrier include the Yorkshire Terrier and the Australian Terrier (which descends from the rough-coated type terriers brought from Great Britain to Australia in the early 19th century); few records indicate whether early dogs were just Australian Terriers born with silky fur, or whether there was an attempt to create a separate breed.
According to the American Kennel Club, the breed was created at the end of the 19th century when Yorkshire Terriers were crossed with Australian Terriers.
At first, the breed was known as the Sydney Silky, as it was found primarily in the city of Sydney, Australia.
Although most other Australian breeds were working dogs, the Silky Terrier was bred primarily to be an urban pet and companion, although it is also known for killing snakes in Australia.
Up until 1929 the Australian Terrier, the Australian Silky Terrier, and the Yorkshire Terrier were not clearly defined.
Dogs of three different breeds might be born in the same litter, to be separated by appearance into the different types once they were grown.
After 1932 in Australia, further crossbreeding was discouraged, and in 1955 the breed’s name officially became the Australian Silky Terrier.
The breed was recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council in 1958 in the Toy Group.
During and after World War II American servicemen who had been stationed in Australia brought back to the United States a few Silky Terriers. Newspaper photographs of the breed in 1954 caused an upsurge of popularity and hundreds of Silkies were imported from Australia to the United States.
The American Kennel Club recognized the breed as the Silky Terrier in 1959, as did the United Kennel Club (US) in 1965 where it is shown as a Terrier; it is also recognized as the Silky Terrier by the Canadian Kennel Club.
The breed is recognized by all the major kennel clubs in the English-speaking world, and internationally by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale as breed number 236.
It may also be recognized by various minor kennel clubs and internet breed registry businesses.
Character & Temperament
The ideal Australian Silky Terrier disposition, according to the breed standard, is one that is sharply attentive and active. They thrive when given the opportunity to run and play, but they require a securely secured yard. In addition, they like taking quick walks and playing ball.
Despite the fact that they are an active indoor breed, the Silky can adapt to living in an apartment setting.
This bright, adventurous, and attentive little terrier is a joy to have as a companion. It enjoys being near to its owner since he or she is affectionate, feisty, cheery, and gregarious. It has a lot of energy and requires a lot of physical activity in order to remain calm and collected.
It is an inquisitive and eager digger who is full of enthusiasm. Active, perceptive, and quick.
Despite its small stature, this gentle dog makes an excellent watchdog. This is a hardy breed that does well when it comes to traveling. When it comes to other non-canine pets such as rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs, it is not typically considered trustworthy.
It should socialize well with other animals, including cats, in order to avoid chasing them.
If the dog does not have a timid owner who fails to provide him with the discipline and structure that all dogs require, he will be excellent with youngsters. This kind of dog is particularly easy to train because they are so eager to please their handlers.
Keep this little dog from developing Small Dog Syndrome, a condition caused by humans in which the dog believes he is in charge of the group while around humans.
When a Silky believes it is in charge, its demeanor alters as it attempts to exert control over everyone and everything in its environment.
It may become obnoxious, willful, and protective, and it may begin to bark excessively.
As a result, it may become untrustworthy around children and occasionally people, acting snappish when irritated or provoking fights with other animals.
It is critical that kids are kept occupied and socialized in order to avoid boredom. Dogs 101 conducted a poll in which 91 small breed dogs (16 inches tall and under 22 pounds) were evaluated on their capacity to learn quickly.
The Silky Terrier was ranked in the top twenty in this category.
Training one, on the other hand, can be challenging due to the fact that this breed is typically stubborn and purposefully disobedient.
Their independence distinguishes them from other toy breeds, although they are friendly and loyal to their owners.
They are prone to barking, especially when greeting unfamiliar people.
In general, it’s a breed that is in generally good health. Intervertebral disc disease, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, and Legg-Perthes syndrome are all considered minor concerns.
Diabetes, epilepsy, and tracheal collapse have all been reported in this breed at various times.
It is critical to use a harness when working with dogs who are prone to tracheal collapses, such as the Silky because this ensures that you are not putting any pressure on their delicate necks.
Around 8 to 11 pounds in weight is perfectly healthy and normal for these little guys. With small toy breeds like the Silky, it’s important to remember that it is very easy for them to put on weight through treats and an overweight toy breed can suffer from this hugely, so always be mindful of that.
Coat Care of an Australian Silky Terrier
The Silky Terrier’s coat is prone to tangles and mats, and it requires daily combing and brushing to keep it looking its best. It is necessary to bathe the hair on a regular basis in order to keep it in good shape.
It requires a significant time commitment from its owner, requiring approximately 15 minutes per day. After bathing, check to see that the dog is completely dry and comfortable.
The coat must be trimmed on a regular basis, and the hair on the legs from the knees down is frequently shaved short as well. It is tied in a topknot so that the dog can see more clearly.
The Silky Terrier sheds little to no hair, making him a suitable choice for people who suffer from allergies.
Despite the fact that Silkies are bursting with energy, their diminutive size makes them unsuitable for long-distance running.
For a short jog of a mile or so, though, an otherwise healthy Silky will make a terrific companion.
Silkies love to go on adventures and will willingly accompany you on a two- to three-mile hike, but don’t push them too far. They are just small, and despite the fact that they may be willing, long trips of more than three miles can have a major, detrimental impact on the health of any small dog.
A good rule of thumb would be two 45-minute walks per day, as well as some playtime and off-leash enjoyment.
Keeping their weight and muscle mass stable, as well as exhausting the little fellas, is beneficial.
12 to 15 years is normal and a well looked after Silky could pass the 15-year mark too.
The trainability of an Australian Silky Terrier
The Silky Terrier is a stubborn and opinionated dog, but he is also intelligent and fast to learn. He responds well to obedience training that includes food and praise.
It is possible that Silkys will not tolerate rough handling or mischief because they are proud and sensitive.
They can be quite possessive of their food and toys, making housebreaking a challenging task.
Australian Terriers are hardy and possess a high level of self-assurance.
They are lively and active, but also loyal to their family members and curious about the world around them. They have strong senses of sight and hearing, making them great watchdogs and guard dogs.
They are relatively easy to teach, but they can be prone to excessive barking when first trained.
How Much Are They To Buy?
These toy breeds command serious money and a puppy would be somewhere in the region of $1000 to $2000 and maybe more for a show pedigree line. Always ask the right questions when you see the breeder too!