Meet the breed: Silky terrier

Apr 15, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. ET

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. If you're looking for an active and small watchdog to bring into your family, learn everything you need to know about the Silky Terrier.


  • Joyful
  • Energetic
  • Social
  • Adaptable



Bred in Australia from the Yorkshire Terrier and Blue and Tan Australian Terrier, the Silky Terrier was singled out as her own breed. Originally referred to as the Sydney Terrier, the vermin hunter was brought to America by servicemen in the 1950s. Small but fierce, the Silky Terrier makes an excellent watchdog.

photo gallery

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Toy
  • UKC group: Companion
  • Average lifespan: 12 - 15 years
  • Average size: 8 - 10 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Long, silky and parted down the middle.
  • Coloration: Born black; grows to have a blue coat with red or tan markings
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Other identifiers: Small with fine bones and cat-like feet; body is longer than breed is tall; black nose; black almond-shaped eyes with black rims; erect ears and high-set tail
  • Possible alterations: Hair is matted if not properly groomed

Is this breed right for you?

Fun-loving and active, the Silky Terrier is a small breed that enjoys activity. Having strong affection for its owner, the breed is smart and can do well with apartment living, although she prefers her own space to play and investigate by nose or digging. An inside dog, the Silky Terrier can develop small dog syndrome if not given the right amount of training or guidance. Doing well with children if she has a good leader, the Silky Terrier can learn to adapt to other animals if socialized correctly.

Breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Silky Terrier

A playful pup, the Silky Terrier will enjoy waking up and immediately investigating her backyard. With a quick run, she'll sniff out the perimeter to ensure everything is safe. Returning inside, she'll greet her owner with a small amount of affection before requesting a bit of quality playtime. After a game of fetch in the yard, she'll be ready for breakfast. Keeping up on her primary duty of watchdog, she'll be happy in the constant company of her family. After her evening walk, she'll be ready for her daily grooming session of a bath and blow-dry. Once she's brushed and pampered, the Silky Terrier will be ready for a snooze.

Other breeds you might like

Meet the breed: Affenpinscher
Meet the breed: Skye Terrier
Meet the breed: Australian Terrier