Australian Silky Terrier Dog Breed: Pics, Info & Care Guide

The Australian Silky Terrier is a small, lively dog breed originally from Australia.

A member of the Toy group of breeds, it has a long silky coat that can come in several different colors.

This alert and intelligent breed makes for an amiable family pet, but it does have high exercise needs that must be met.

Get to know this unique canine better in our comprehensive guide to the Australian Silky Terrier.

Australian Silky Terrier white background

Overview of the Australian Silky Terrier

UTILISATIONToy Terrier / companion dog
HEIGHTMales: 23 to 26 cm (9 to 10 inches) at the withers
Females: Slightly less
WEIGHT9-11 lbs (4-5 kg)
TEMPERAMENTFriendly, Inquisitive, Alert, Responsive, Joyful, Quick
TRAINABILITYCan be tricky.
COAT LENGTH/TEXTUREFlat, fine, glossy and of a silky texture
COLORSSilver & Tan or Black & Tan
SUMMARYVery affectionate with family.
Great with kids.
Not the easiest to train.
Not very friendly toward strangers.
Adapted to apartment living.

About the Australian Silky Terrier

The Australian Silky Terrier, also known as the Silky Terrier, is a small dog breed that was originally bred in Australia in the late 1800s.

This breed was created by crossing the Yorkshire Terrier and the Australian Terrier, resulting in a small and elegant dog with a long, silky coat.

The Australian Silky Terrier was primarily used as a companion dog and became quite popular due to its charming personality and adorable looks.

Australian Silky Terrier standing on a road with a garden in the background.



The Australian Silky Terrier is a small, elegant dog with a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best. They have a small head with erect ears and a lively, alert expression. Their eyes are dark and round, and their nose is black. They have a compact body with a level topline and a well-arched neck.


The Australian Silky Terrier is a small breed that typically weighs between 9 to 11 pounds (4-5 kg) and stands at a height of around 23 to 26 cm (9 to 10 inches) at the withers.

Coat and color

The Australian Silky Terrier comes in a range of colors, including blue and tan, gray and tan, and black and tan.

They typically have a tan or silver-colored coat with darker markings around their face and legs.

The breed standard allows for some white markings on the chest and feet, but excessive white is considered a fault.


The Australian Silky Terrier’s tail should be set high and carried erect, but not bent over their back.

If docked, it should be free of feathering, and the length should provide a balanced look.

If undocked, the first three vertebrae are to be held erect or slightly curved, but not curled.


The Australian Silky Terrier is devoted to their family and will often stay alert and watch over them.

They possess a lively spirit and are intelligent, making them great candidates for training.

Silkies usually display keenness, activity, and enthusiasm at shows, showing a quickness in reaction to any stimulation they’re given.

In addition to their diligence when it comes to guarding their loved ones, Silkies also have an adaptable temperament that makes them suitable companions in most family environments.

Australian Silky Terrier in golden autumn leaves.

Owners’ caring expectations


The Silky’s has a low-to-non shedding and hypoallergenic coat. Despite its luxuriously soft fur, the Silky must be regularly brushed and shampooed to keep it looking its best and prevent tangling or matting.


The Australian Silky Terrier is an intelligent breed that is generally easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and should be socialized from a young age to ensure they are comfortable around other dogs and people.

Activity and Exercise Needs

Not needing a huge amount of exercise to stay healthy, the Australian Silky Terrier is perfectly suitable for living in an apartment. Although they’ll love going for walks around the neighborhood as often as you can manage, having a secure backyard for them to run around and patrol will bring them just as much joy.


The Australian Silky Terrier should be fed a high-quality, balanced diet that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. It’s essential to monitor their food intake and not overfeed them, as they can be prone to obesity.

Health and lifespan


The Australian Silky Terrier has a relatively long lifespan for a small breed, with a life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years.

Common health problems

Like most dog breeds, the Australian Silky Terrier is prone to certain health issues, including arthritis, cataracts or dental problems in old age. It’s essential to monitor their health and take them to regular check-ups with a veterinarian to catch any potential health issues early.

Australian Silky Terrier puppy.


The Australian Silky Terrier is thought to have descended from British-bred terriers, such as the Skye, Dandie Dinmont, Norwich and Border Terriers, and Toy breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier, Clydesdale Paisley and possibly even the Cairn Terrier.

They were brought to Australia by early British settlers in the late 18th century who sought out their companionship and prized their independent nature.

Although dog breeding was still in its infancy at that time, Sydney breeders eventually settled on a national standard that was adopted in 1959 when representatives from NSW and Victoria met to discuss it.

The breed was then renamed the Australian Silky Terrier, though here it is now referred to as one of six Toy breeds.


The Australian Silky Terrier is a friendly and affectionate breed that makes an excellent companion dog. They are known for their long, silky coat and vocal nature, and they require regular grooming and exercise to stay healthy and happy. With proper care and attention, the Australian Silky Terrier can make a loyal and loving addition to any family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Australian silky terriers bark a lot?

Yes, the Australian Silky Terrier is known for being a vocal breed and may bark frequently.

Are silky terriers aggressive?

The Australian Silky Terrier is generally not an aggressive breed. They are friendly and affectionate towards their owners and usually get along well with other dogs and pets.

How much does an Australian Silky Terrier cost?

The cost of an Australian Silky Terrier can vary depending on the breeder and location, but on average, they can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.

Do Australian silky terriers shed hair?

No, the Australian Silky Terrier doesn’t typically shed hair. Their long, silky coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

Do Australian terriers have separation anxiety?

Like all dogs, some Australian Silky Terriers may experience separation anxiety. However, with proper training and socialization, this can be reduced.

Do Silky terriers like to cuddle?

Yes, the Australian Silky Terrier is a loyal and affectionate breed that enjoys spending time with their owners, including cuddling.

What is the rarest terrier dog breed?

The rarest terrier dog breed is the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, with fewer than 1,000 puppies born each year worldwide.

Why are terriers so feisty?

Terriers were originally bred to hunt vermin, so their feisty nature was necessary for them to do their job effectively. Additionally, their small size and tenacious personalities made them excellent rat catchers in tight spaces.

How long do silkies dogs live?

The Australian Silky Terrier has a relatively long lifespan for a small breed, with a life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years. However, their lifespan can be influenced by factors such as genetics, nutrition, and overall health.

Are Australian Terriers high maintenance?

Australian Terriers, including the Australian Silky Terrier, are generally low-maintenance in terms of their exercise and space requirements. However, their coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

Are Australian Terriers hard to potty train?

Australian Terriers, including the Australian Silky Terrier, can be somewhat challenging to potty train. They are intelligent dogs but can be stubborn at times. Consistent and positive training methods are key to successfully potty training this breed.

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