Silky Terriers Are Feisty, Friendly, and Love Being the Centre of Attention


silky terriers

Some dogs are made to be carried around in a handbag. Ok, ok, we can feel you rolling your eyes, but it’s true! Or rather, it’s true in the case of silky terriers. These outgoing, charming, sociable, hair inspirations love (a bit) of adventure and meeting new people. But they’re also happiest when their owners are close by. With that in mind, we can’t think of a better setting than a handbag. They can pop their heads out for an excited squeal from passers by, then go back to snuggling. 


Now, here is a real Aussie success story. Despite being popular around the world, silky terriers got their start Down Under in the 1800s when English settlers bred Yorkshire terriers with Australian terriers. The aim was to capture the looks of the Yorkie, with the robustness of the Aussie. Safe to say, it really worked. The new silky terriers weren’t just pretty, they were also great small vermin catchers. Although their charm saw them quickly became coveted companion dogs. 

There was actually even a bit of a fight over who got to claim them. Early in their history they were often called Sydney silkies due to their popularity in the city. But Victorian and Tasmanian breeders and fans were quick to point out that their fanclub wasn’t confined to one state. Over time, the name silky terrier stuck–satisfying everyone.


Weighing in between three and six kilos, these little guys are considered a toy-sized breed. Their famous hair is usually tan and either black, blue, grey, or silver.

Life Expectancy

12 to 15 years.

What You’ll Love about Silky Terriers

Loving: Silky terriers are known for being affectionate, friendly, and loyal. Their favourite thing in the world is being close to their owner. 

Smart: Being highly intelligent they’re easy to train and make good watchdogs. Although, their bravery sadly isn’t matched by their size so they aren’t very successful as guard dogs. 

Up for anything: While they love a snuggle, silkie terriers also need and enjoy a medium level of exercise. So they’ll be happy to join you on a walk or for a play in the garden, as well as a couch session.

What You Might Find “Challenging”

Stubborn: The downside of being so bright is they can be willful and resistant if they feel bored, restless, or lonely. Although training and exercise can counter that.

Destructive: Silky terriers have a strong prey drive and are deeply curious. Which means if they get bored they’re inclined to dig, bark, and chew up the house.

Grooming: That beautiful coat takes work to maintain. They need to be brushed daily to avoid tangles, and be professionally groomed regularly. On the upside, they don’t shed.

Common Health Issues for Silky Terriers

Eye diseases: They can be prone to cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). 

Orthopedic issues: Like many small breeds they can have issues with patellar luxation, arthritis and Leggs-Calve-Perthes disease–which may present as rear leg lameness.

Cushing’s disease: This is a malfunction of the adrenal glands causing them to produce too much steroid hormone.

Instafamous Silky Terriers

Thinking about getting a dog? Check out our other great articles on the topic, like:

Should You Get a Dog?

Should You Get a Rescue Dog? How to Decide

What You Need to Know about Bringing a Dog Home for the First Time

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Lead image via Freepik

Written by on for Off The Leash

Article last updated on March 23, 2022

Wendy's never met a dog she didn't like. Although she has a special place in her heart for muts: three legs, one eye, missing fur, bit of a weird walk? The scruffier the better. Her favourite dog in the whole world though is her terrier-mix Stevie.
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