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Australian Silky Terrier

Group: Toys (Group 1)
Club: Australian Silky Terrier Club Of Victoria Inc
Contact: Mrs Jan Cooke
Phone: 9850 1495

Brief History

In Australia, by 1896, it was evident that two different types of the Rough-Coated Black and Tan Terriers, originally introduced from the Isle of Skye in 1848, had developed. They were differentiated by their coats. The first type had a soft, silky coat that was easy to wash and dry, became known as the Silky Terrier, a household pet and playmate for children. The second type suitable for field work, had a coarse thick, rough-haired coat, became the Australian Terrier. The Australian Silky Terrier we know today was further developed as a bi-product of matings between the rough-coated black and tan Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.
The average life span is 10 to15 years.

The Australian Silky Terrier is not your typical lap dog, rather an animated dynamo, curious and high spirited. He should display terrier characteristics embodying keen alertness, activity and tenacity. They are a robust breed and are generally very happy souls who love to play.  However, they also have a mischievous side and although regarded as quite intelligent, loyal, and trainable, they still retain the determined demeanour of their larger terrier cousins.

General Breed Description
The Australian Silky Terrier is moderately low set, of medium length with a degree of refinement, but of sufficient substance to deter domestic rodents. He has a keen expression and a silky body coat, which gives him a glamorous appearance.  Prospective owners are surprised to find their new puppy has been born with a black and tan coat. The characteristic blue and tan colour should be established by 18 months of age. A mature dog’s coat should be flat, fine, glossy and of a silky texture with a part running down the middle of the back. Coat colour comes in all shades of grey-blue with tan markings on the head and legs. The richer these colours the better.

Coat and Care Requirements
The Australian Silky Terrier does require some maintenance, but it is not onerous for such a glamourous dog. They have a fondness for a grooming session, if this routine is started at a young age.  Basic grooming should include bathing, brushing, and combing of their coat on a regular basis.  Brush their teeth at least once or twice a week. Trim nails once or twice a month if he does not wear them down naturally.

Height: 23 to 26cms (9 to 10ins), Females may be slightly less.

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Australian Silky Terrier is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. In the past, there have been instances of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Luxating Patella, Legges-Calves Perthes (LCP) and Juvenile Cataracts.

Australian Silky Terriers are known to maintain a youthful ‘never grow up’ attitude throughout their entire life.  Therefore, they need to be kept busy and will excel in obedience, agility and earthdog trials. They need early socialisation where they are exposed to different people, sights, sounds and experiences. They are equally matched to suburban life or as an addition to the farmyard. They integrate well into the modern family that likes an active lifestyle.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.  With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular, the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders