If you are considering buying an Australian silky terrier, you should probably prepare to spend the duration of the dog’s life correcting the uninitiated, who generally think that the dog is just a particularly glossy-looking Yorkshire terrier! The breed is in fact closely related to the Yorkshire terrier but is recognised as a breed in its own right, both in its home country of Australia, in the UK, and all across the world.
They are small, compact little dogs with short legs, which stand between 23-26cm tall, and weigh between 8-10lb. Their coats are very long and silky in texture, and can be either blue and tan or grey and white, with flat, very glossy and fine fur that is very hair-like in texture. While the breed today is widely kept as a companion dog and show dog, and has a coat that requires a significant amount of maintenance to keep it in good condition, the breed’s foundations involve various working roles, making them plucky, lively and entertaining little dogs too.
If you are wondering if the Australian silky terrier is the right choice of dog for you, in this article we will cover the temperament and core traits of the breed in more detail. Read on to learn more.
The Australian silky terrier is a spirited, lively and cheerful little dog that is self-confident, relatively bold and very personable. They are not aggressive or overly pushy, but neither will they let themselves be pushed around either, and they make for good watchdogs, being quick to make a fuss if someone approaches the home.
While they can be rather independent and are reasonably good at entertaining themselves when they have to, the Australian silky terrier is happiest when they are with their owners, and are very devoted to their families. They are loving, affectionate and loyal, and will likely follow you from room to room within the home!
They can be left alone for a few hours at a time when trained to accept this, but they will not thrive if left alone for the larger part of the day. As versatile, adaptable little dogs, they tend to travel well, and will be happier to accompany you out and about than to be left on their own while you go about your day.
It is a common misconception that small dogs only need a small amount of exercise, but this is simply not true. While the Australian silky terrier will not run you off your feet, they do need at least two to three reasonably long walks per day, which include lots of variety and the opportunity for off the lead play too. They like to be active, and enjoy games of catch and running around, and assuming that their need for exercise is met, will usually be calm and quiet within the home.
The Australian silky terrier is a bright, alert and intelligent little dog that takes well to training, and will soon pick up what is asked of them. They benefit from short, fun and varied training sessions with lots of praise and rewards, and display their best traits when trained using positive reinforcement techniques.
Keep training fun and intersperse it with lots of play and games, and the Australian silky terrier will remain alert, interested and hard working for you.
Like all dogs from within the terrier grouping, the Australian silky terrier has a reasonably pronounced prey drive, and will generally have a tendency to pursue smaller animals that run away from them. This means that good recall training and training not to chase wildlife is essential, as is early introductions to cats.
Socialisation with other dogs is important for the Australian silky terrier, to ensure that they learn how to play and interact with other dogs while still young. Assuming that this is achieved, the breed as a whole is usually perfectly good with other dogs, and they are often kept in pairs and multiples as small domestic packs.
The coat and hair of the Australian silky terrier requires a high level of maintenance, which includes daily brushing and grooming, regular baths, and trips to the grooming parlour too. Without regular care and maintenance, their coats will soon become knotted and matted, and so the breed is not a good choice for people who are unable to devote time virtually every day to caring for the dog’s coat.
Aside from this, the Australian silky terrier does not have any unique requirements specific to their breed, and they can live happily in both large and small homes, and with lone owners or families with children.