Australian Silky Terrier- A complete guide to the Sydney Terrier

The Australian Silky Terrier is a small dog breed that originated from Australia.

This dog is known for the typical Terrier traits of being a bit mischievous and having a stubborn streak. However, they have a refined appearance and are full of energy.

Australian Silky Terriers are closely related to their Yorkshire Terrier cousins but are larger than them.

You should not let their small bodies fool you are these dogs have large personalities.

They make loyal and loving companions despite being originally bred to be small game hunters.

This pooch may, however, not be fit for your kind of lifestyle.

That is why we, Mydogsinfo, prepared this guide for you to get all the information that you need to know about this Terrier before deciding whether you are going to adopt one or even purchase.

We are going to look at all the essentials from his appearance, temperament, and personality traits, how to care for this Silky Terrier, and much more.

So, why don’t we dive right into it? 


About the Australian Silky Terrier

Also known simply as the Silky Terrier, Silky, or Sydney Terrier, this pooch is a great companion for adult families and families that have older children.

Elegant” is an appropriate word that can be used to describe this small-bodied canine friend.

This dog may be small and beautiful, to say the least, but do not that fool you as he can come with a big attitude.

Silky Terriers come with true Terrier personalities of being tenacious and scrappy and are fond of chasing, digging, and even bark often. That is why we said that this dog may not be the best fit for everyone.

But despite having a tough attitude, this furry friend is a loyal and loving companion dog.

Another great thing about this pooch is that he is considered to be hypoallergenic and should be suitable for allergy sufferers.

He is a doggo that can adapt to different households and environments if he is given time and attention. This should be coupled with proper training and socialization for him to get along well with everyone.

So, what is the story behind the origin of the Sydney Terrier?

Origin of the Silky Terrier

This dog breed was developed in Australia, however, his ancestors are believed to be from Great Britain.

They were developed when Yorkshire Terrier was crossed with larger Australian Terriers with a target of improving their coats.

Other breeds such as the Dinmont, Skye, and Cairn Terriers may have been used in the development of this breed.

This dog was originally known as the Sydney Silky Terrier a moniker that was changed to the Australian Silky Terrier in 1955.

Americans that were returning from the second world war took these dogs back with them to the US.

Pedigree and breed recognition

This pooch was first recognized as a distinct breed in 1906 in New South Wales after they started breeding true to type.

He was later recognized in Victoria but the two had breed standards that had some slight differences. A more comprehensive breed standard was developed in 1926 with legislation to prevent further crossing with Yorkies being introduced in 1932.

The American Kennel Clun recognized the dog in 1958 and in 1965 the United Kennel Club did the same.

The Silky dog

Silky Terrier pros and cons


✓ Australian Silky Terriers are highly intelligent which makes them very trainable.

✔ They are energetic and friendly pooches.

✓ These dogs are great at games such as fetch and other interactive sports.


✘ These doggos are active diggers.

✗ They have a strong prey drive and prone to pursuing other small prey.

✘ House training Silky Terriers can take longer than other dog breeds.

Check out our guide on how to reduce your dog’s high prey drive.

Australian Silky Terrier characteristics and appearance

American Eskimo Dog summary table
Height 9 to 10 inches at the withers
Weight ‎8 to 10 pounds
Lifespan 12 – 15 years
Breed Type toy dog
Purpose companion and family dog
Suitable For Adult families and experienced dog owners
Grooming requirements moderate
Color Variations tan and blue, silver and tan, tan and blue silver
Health concerns Epilepsy, Tracheal Collapse, Patellar Luxation and Diabetes Mellitus
Temperament Responsive, Friendly, Intelligent, self-assured, Spirited, Inquisitive, Alert, Joyful, Quick
Other Names Silky Terrier, Silky, or Sydney Terrier

Size of the dog breed

The Australian Silky Terrier is a small dog breed with a height of between 9 to 10 inches and weighs between 8 to 10 pounds when fully grown.

Australian Silky Terrier

Silky Physical appearance

The Australian Silky Terrier is longer than he is tall.

This is a very adorable and beautiful dog with small dark almond-shaped eyes and an eager expression.

These dogs have black noses with erect v-shaped ears and wedge-shaped heads.

They have small feet that resemble those of cats and docked tails that stand up on the back of the body.

Sydney Silky Terrier shedding and coat appearance

The Australian Silky Terrier has a long, glossy, and silky Terrier that almost touches the floor.

Their fur looks more like human hair with the hair on their faces being long enough to tie a topknot. If the topknot is not tied it could block the pooch’s vision.

The Silky Terrier does not shed much and is considered to be hypoallergenic meaning that he could be a great companion dog for you if you suffer from dander-related allergies.

Their coats can come in different colors and color combination that include;

Black Blue and tan Black and tan Blue
Silver and platinum Tan and silver black Silver and tan Cream
Fawn Blue silver and tan Gray Gray and tan

Silky Terrier

Personalty traits and temperament of the Australian Silky Terrier

These dogs are keen, independent and bold with enough energy to keep you entertained all day long.

They form strong bonds with the people they love and thrive on human attention. If you are going to get this pooch you should also be prepared to keep him busy to prevent from thinking about mischief.

He is happiest when he is around you and wants to be part of the family’s daily life. As a result, he may end up following from room to room.

This is an alert dog that makes a great watchdog as he will let you know when they are a stranger approaching.

However, they are also frequent barkers as they try to sound when they spot something going wrong.

It is for this reason that this dog should be trained and socialized from an early age to make him used to new sounds, experiences, other animals and people. This will him distinguish a friendly situation from a threatening one and reduce his tendency to bark.

Family compatibility

Traits Rating
exercise needs
Ease of care

The Australian Silky Terrier is a great family and companion dog because that is partly why he was bred.

However, these dogs are more suited for adult homes and homes that have older children.

They may not be appropriate for homes with young children or living in an apartment because they can be extremely snappy around toddlers that are intrusive and move fast. This is not forgetting that they have a high prey drive and could easily nip children’s heels during play.

You should, however, remember that every dog is an individual and how he behaves mainly depend on how you raise and socialize him.


Frequently asked questions

Does the Australian Silky Terrier shed?

The Australian Silky Terrier sheds very little because his coat is more like human hair. This also means that they do not release much dander which makes them hypoallergenic.

Silky Terrier Puppies

A Silky Terrier mother can have a litter of about 3 to 5  puppies.

These puppies take around 12 months to reach their full weight but still retain their pup playfulness for longer. Silky puppies do not settle down with some taking up to 3 years or longer to settle down.

The average price of a Silky Terrier puppy is around $700 but the breeder, the breed line, and the location could affect the final price.

For superior lines and top pedigrees, a Silky Terrier pup could cost you from $2000 to upwards of $5500.

Finding a good and reputable breeder will ensure that the puppy you get has fewer health risks.

Adopting is also another great option to get a Sydney Silky Terrier. The Silky Terrier Rescue is a great place to start your search for a rescue dog and also give the dog a new home where he will be happy.

australian silky terrier_puppy

Sydney Silky Terrier grooming

It is crucial that you maintain the coat of your Australian Silky Terrier to keep him looking great and glowing.

Brushing is essential to keep the coat free of tangles and mats and should be done at least 2 times a week. It is important that during the brushing you reach the bottom of the coat to allow you to distribute essential oils and keep the coat shiny.

You may also be required to trim the coat to keep it at a manageable size and prevent hair from trailing on the ground.

This canine should be bathed once a month using an appropriate shampoo(should be recommended by your vet).

Oral and eye hygiene should also be your top priority as it helps reduce the risk of infections. The toenails should also be trimmed and kept neat.

Visit a professional groomer several times a year as this will help you get some better insight on how grooming should be done.

Exercise requirements

This dog may be small but he has a lot of energy and is super active.

He will need about 45 minutes of daily exercise and you can accomplish this by a couple of ways that include;

  • 2 daily walks
  • Dog sports
  • Agility training
  • Playing active games such as fetch

If you decide that you are going to be taking this dog for walks it is important that you always use a leash as he won’t hold park when he spots a small animal such as a squirrel.

It is also crucial that you use a harness instead of a dog collar to reduce the risk of tracheal collapse.

Having a fenced yard where this pooch can play and explore would come highly recommended. However, you should watch that he does not get into your vegetable garden as he could wreak havoc and leave the garden full of holes.

Mental stimulation is also important and can be achieved by playing interactive brain games such as puzzles with him.


Australian Silky Terrier dietary and nutritional needs

These Terriers do well on high-quality and nutritious diets.

It should be a high protein diet with at least 5% fat and should also contain other essentials such as fatty acids and mineral salts.

Some people may prefer to feed this dog in dry food and if you decide to take this route, the amount should not exceed 1 cup per day.

Silky Terrier Daily Food Consumption
Calories 400
Cups of Kibble 🍗

The canine can also be supplemented with safe fruits and vegetables.

Water should be available all of the time to keep the pooch well hydrated. You should also not forget to check the dog’s weight to make sure that he does not gain too much weight or become obese.

Training a Silky Terrier

The Sydney Silky Terrier is an intelligent dog that is very trainable but this does not make him any easier to train.

These dogs can be independent thinkers and can also have a stubborn streak which makes them more challenging to train.

Training should begin the moment they get home for housebreaking which is difficult in some of these dogs. You can also seek the advice of a professional trainer if it becomes too challenging to house train this canine.

Be consistent and patient with training as it takes time to achieve results.

These dogs respond well to positive reinforcement and reward-based training. You should never use any aversive training methods such as punishment or shouting at this Terrier.

Praise and reward this Silky Terrier when he does something right and just ignore him when he does something wrong.

Let him know that you are ignoring him when he does something unwanted and he will learn that is wrong.

Silky Terrier

Some of the major health concerns

Well-bred Australian Silky Terriers tend to have fewer health-related issues.

It is for this reason that you should make sure that you get your Silky pup from a responsible breeder. You should avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills at all costs.

However, even a well-bred Australian Silky Terrier is also susceptible to some health complication that includes the following;

  • Epilepsy which is a neurological condition and that can cause mild to severe seizure which are completely frightening to watch.
  • Tracheal collapse is common in small dogs such as the Silky terrier and is caused by weakened cartilage. The windpipe then flattens and obstructs the airway and this is why you should use a harness over a collar.
  • Patellar luxation is caused when the knee joint which is often on the hind leg to slide in and out of place and cause a lot of pain to the dog.
  • Diabetes Mellitus is a health disorder that results from the body not being able to regulate the sugar levels. Some signs of this condition is an increased appetite, weight loss and excessive urination.

If by any chance your Australian Silky Terrier starts developing signs of discomfort or that he may be sick you should visit the veterinarian immediately.

In spite of having several health risks, the Silky Terrier has a long lifespan of between 12 to 15 years.

Breed summary

The Australian Silky Terrier is an affectionate family dog that originated from Australia after several Terriers were crossed to create a great pooch.

These dogs develop bonds with all members of the family but are more likely to develop a stronger bond with one of the family members.

Before you decide to get this dog you should make sure that you have sufficient information about him and understand is he is a good fit for you.

So, was this dog breed guide helpful to you? 

Share your feedback and thoughts in the comments section below.

There you go, WOOF!

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