Dog breed info
Weight: 8 — 11 lbs
Height: 9” — 10”
AKC Rank 2008 #75
Life Span: 11—14 yrs
Dog Breed Info - The Silky Terrier
Origin: Late 1800’s. Original function: Companion, Vermin chasing. Today, companion.
The Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Terrier were rather recent developments of crosses with number of other terrier breeds. Some of the descendants from these crosses were shown as Yorkshire Terriers and Australian Terriers. A few, however, were exhibited under a new name, Silky Terrier, because it was felt they were the beginning of a separate breed, intermediate in size and coat length between it’s parental stock. Interbreeding these Silky’s did produce a true breed-strain within a short time. Around 1926 a standard encompassing all areas of the breed was accepted and was known as the Sydney Silky Terrier. In America, the name was changed to Silky Terrier in 1955. By 1959 the breed was registered by the AKC and has been mildly popular since.
Yes, but a slow learner. Stubborn. Pick up a CLICKER at your pet store. One of the best ways to work with s stubborn dog is with clicker training. Try it.
Want to crate train your Silky Terrier? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.
Silky Terrier ;puppies are not too difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.
If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.
The playful Silky Terrier
The Silky terrier is not your mellow lapdog. He is bold, feisty, inquisitive and playful, always looking for action. He’s a true terrier. He can be aggressive toward other dogs and pets. He can be quite stubborn and mischievous. This breed tends to bark a lot.
If you happen to get a Silky with separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."
Friendly Toward Other Dogs
Friendly Toward Other Pets
Not really. If raised with them, the Silky may do all right.
Friendly Toward Strangers
Fair. The silky is a bit reserved and wary with strangers but will warm up to some people.
Playful little fellow with his own family.
Somewhat. Not a lapdog. Too energetic.
Good with children?
Older children okay. Has no patience for young kids and may nip or bite.
Good with Seniors over 65?
No. Not affectionate enough, not a lap dog.
Does best in a house with a fenced yard he can explore and roam in. Not good for apartments, as tends to bark quite a lot.
High energy. Rate 8 bars out of 10.
Exercise needs, daily
Moderate. Needs two walks a day or some play time to keep him out of trouble. Vigorous games in the yard or house will also do it instead of walks.
Good. Will bark at any unusual sounds.
No. Too small.
Needs combing and brushing almost daily. Has a long silky coat that mats quickly and also tends to cover the eyes.
Suggested Reading For The Silky terrier
Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.
The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.
Silky Terrier Breeders
In the event you decide to go looking for Silky Terrier puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Silky Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale.
Silky Terrier Rescue
In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Silky Terrier Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Silky Terrier Rescue - (Nationwide)At the time of this writing, Petfinder is listing only 105 Silky's up for adoption in the USA. That number will fluctuate. If you do find one to adopt, try to locate any dog health records for possible future reference.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you may have to go online and search for Silky Terrier Rescue groups, kennels or adoptions.
Dog Health Issues For The Silky Terrier
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Silky Terrier by various vets.
This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.
The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.
- Malassezia dermatitis—A highly itchy skin infection, usually around the ears, muzzle, inner thighs, eyes or feet. The dog may become frantic, chewing and scratching the ears and feet. If an ear infection, there might be a waxy discharge and smelly odor. The dog will be rubbing and pawing at the ear. Look for Malassezia in the summer, humidity and allergy seasons. Your vet will treat this with appropriate medications and bathing after a diagnosis.
- Corneal ulceration—Caused by eye injury and common to dogs whose eyes are prominent. Corneal ulcers can easily become infected. Keep all dogs with prominent eyes like Pugs and Boston's away from dirty, polluted, dusty areas. Infections are very hard to treat.
- Patellar luxation—Limping, Lameness, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs on the Silky Terrier. It’s most common in small and toy dogs. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.
- Legg-Perthes—A disease of the hip joint in young dogs. It is a deforming of the head of the femur head where it fits into the pelvic socket and is generally noticed at around 6 to 8 months age. The disease affects small and toy breeds like the Silky Terrier and can range from mildly debilitating to totally debilitating. It’s very painful and the dog will have a lame leg at the affected hip. Pain can become severe in some dogs and the dog will go from occasional limping to continuous carrying of the leg. Severe muscle atrophy can set in with the appearance of shortening of the affected leg. Restricted joint movement is also a common sign Legg-Perthes. Surgery will usually restore a dog to a fairly normal life but prevention at the breeding stage is the right solution
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.
- Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision and if not treated can lead to total blindness.
- Osteochondritis dissecans—A common type of elbow dysplasia except it can occur in any joint including the shoulder. Flaps of cartilage rub against tissue causing irritation, pain, lameness and in time, joint degeneration disease and arthritis. Pieces can break loose and float around limiting movement, or getting lodged or wedged inside the joint itself. Look for lameness, pain and swelling in joints. Treatments include non-steroid anti-inflammatory meds, weight loss, confinement to rest the joints, and dietary supplements for joint health. Surgery is the last option for very severe cases.
- Intervertebral disc disease—Biochemical changes in a young dog of certain breeds like the Silky Terrier can cause at least one diseased or mineralized disc in the spine of a dog. A disc that is not functioning properly will cause pain, problems walking, stumbling, severe neck pain and even paralysis. The Dachshund has an 80% chance of having this problem. Treatments can go from non-invasive doses of anti-inflammatory steroids, muscle relaxants and bed-rest to surgery. Pain meds are also given as needed. Mess with the spine and you have a serious situation and it’s tough on the dog!
- Legg-Perthes—A disease of the hip joint in young dogs. It is a deforming of the head of the femur head where it fits into the pelvic socket and is generally noticed at around 6 to 8 months age. The disease affects small and toy breeds and can range from mildly debilitating to totally debilitating. It’s very painful and the Silky Terrier will have a lame leg at the affected hip. Pain can become severe in some dogs and the dog will go from occasional limping to continuous carrying of the leg. Severe muscle atrophy can set in with the appearance of shortening of the affected leg. Restricted joint movement is also a common sign Legg-Perthes. Surgery will usually restore a dog to a fairly normal life but prevention at the breeding stage is the right solution.
- Diabetes—The pancreas manufactures the hormone INSULIN. If the pancreas stops making, or makes less than the normal amount of insulin, or if the tissues in the body become resistant to the insulin, the result is called “diabetes.” The dog can NOT control her blood sugar without injections of insulin on a regular basis, but given the insulin, the dog can live a normal life like a human can. If the Silky Terrier does not receive the insulin injections at the same time each day of her life, the dog will go into a coma and she will die. Some causes of diabetes may be chronic pancreatitis, heredity, obesity or old age, but no one is sure. Symptoms are excessive drinking and urination, dehydration, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, and cataracts may develop suddenly. Treatment is in the form of the insulin injections daily and a strict diet low in carbohydrates and sugars. Home cooking may be suggested in some cases. Frequent trips to the vet for blood monitoring will be needed but diabetes is not a death sentence.
- Epilepsy - A disease of seizures that surfaces around two to four or five years of age.
- Tracheal collapse—The tracheal (air pipe) rings, made of cartilage, can become weak and “collapse” as a dog ages, reducing the air supply to the lungs by failing to keep the trachea open wide. This is most likely to be a problem during excitement or exercise when more asir is need in the lungs. This only affects small dogs, and particularly obese small dogs. Treatment depends on the severity and ranges from diet to medicine to surgery.
- Cushing’s disease—Too much glucocorticoid is produced by the adrenal or pituitary glands at which time symptoms occur such as hair loss, increased drinking and urination, increased appetite and enlarged abdomen. The disease progresses slowly and the Silky Terrier can be sick 1 to 6 years without anyone noticing any symptoms. Some dogs may have just one symptom, usually hair loss and owners often contribute the dog's condition to “old age.”. This is not a young dog’s illness. There are several treatments available including surgery which might save the dog’s life depending on the existence of cancerous tumors.
Other health problems could occur with your Silky Terrier. If you notice any problems with your Silky Terrier, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.
Back To Dog Breeds
Return To Toy Dog Breeds