It is easy to see why you might think a Yorshire Terrier and a Silky Terrier are the same breed of dog or that they are very closely related. At first glance even the most experienced breeder could be forgiven for mistaking the two breeds and in truth the two dogs are really quite similar with the main difference being that Silkies are bigger than Yorkies are but even this can be confusing if you are looking at an overweight Yorkie!
As mentioned, Yorkies are much smaller dogs than Silkies which when they reach maturity stand at anything from 9" to 10" tall at the shoulder. They also boast larger heads and muzzles. Silkies are longer backed too but the most significant difference is in the breeds is in their weights. Yorkies are that much lighter with Silkies weighing anything from 8 to 12 lbs whereas a cute little Yorkie usually only weighs in at around 7 lbs.
It goes without saying that a Silky's coat is just that "silky" but it's also quite wavy too. However,the breed does not have a plumed tail. Yorkies have a silky looking coat but they are not wavy and typically their coats are longer than that of the Silky. The trouble is that when clipped or trimmed, it can be really hard to tell the two breeds apart.
When it comes to the differences in colour – this is where it can also be pretty confusing if you are not familiar with both breeds. A bi-coloured Silky boasts a blue and tan coat but the Yorkie too has a coat that is blue and tan. The difference being that a Silky's blue colour can be a slate blue right through to a silvery blue. However, in the Yorkie the blue is dark steel in colour and not silvery at all.
Silkies also have a deep tan colour on their faces as well as at the base of their ears, legs and feet. They also have a deep tan colour on their back ends. Yorkies, on the other hand although the markings are similar the colour is different. With Yorkies the tan colour is much darker at the roots and gradually gets lighter at the tips. Again, you would have to look very closely at the dogs to be able to tell them apart!
Yorkies were first bred in the north of England where they were bred to hunt and kill vermin namely rats. Being of Terrier descent, these little dogs were very good at their jobs because they are both courageous and determined. However, the Silky originates from Australia and first appeared on the scene in the late nineteenth century and they boast an Australian terrier ancestry. This means they have inherited the larger size of their ancestors. Silkies were bred more as a companion dog rather than a working dog and have remained a firm favourite when it comes to being a great family pet.
Yorkies being terriers are pretty fearless little canines although some are more timid than others. They are renowned for being smart and they are also very inquisitive by nature. The one thing a Yorkie is very good at is being a ferocious guard dog and once they start barking or yapping, it can be hard to make them stop! Yorkies are clever and adapt to most situations really well. However, they are not very good around small children who may play a little too hard for their liking but this is the only time when their size does make a difference to how they react to things!
Silkies too are very clever little dogs – they are friendly although they do tend to bond with one person and remain friendly with others. If they are introduced to children at a young age, they become great friends. However. much like Yorkies they are not overly keen on being petted too much by children no matter what age they happen to be. However, they are brilliant guard dogs and will soon let you know if there are strangers around.
When it comes to training, Yorkies are intelligent which makes them easy to train although getting them to stop barking can be a challenge. Silkies too are easy to train because they are clever little canines. Both breeds do in fact really enjoy interactive games and other "doggy" activities that keep them active and busy which means both breeds are good at agility which they really enjoy.
As both breeds are small dogs, they are the perfect choice for people who live in apartments. Yorkies or Silkies do not need an excessive amount of exercise and are quite happy to go out for short walks with their owners. However, both breeds do need and like to be around people and are never happy if they are left on their own for too long or if they re ignored when owners are at home. Both breeds really do adore being around people they love.
Both Yorkies and Silkies do get on with other pets and the same can be said of cats which is unusual for terriers. However, when it comes to getting on with other dogs, it's a different story altogether. The thing to remember is that neither breed realises just how small they are and will take on much larger dogs if they are given the chance. This means being careful around bigger dogs if you are out with your pet whether it's a Silky or a Yorkie.
Silkies and Yorkies are indeed cousins with the latter boasting more flowing coats than Silkies. However, the larger Silky does not shed as much which does make them a better choice for anyone who suffers from allergies. The main difference between the two breeds is in their weights, with Yorkies being that much lighter than their cousins from down-under and both make wonderful pets especially for people who live in apartments!