Australian Silky Terrier

Sydney Silky, Silky Terrier, Sydney Terrier

The Australian Silky Terrier is the ideal dog, as much for his look as his formidable aptitudes. This very small size dog does not shed hair, has no odor and behaves very well. He is very clean, loves to play, can practice indoors, can even be clean indoors and use a litter box. He hunts away harmful rodents, and brightens up his master's daily life. He is very appreciated in his country and among Americans, but little known in Europe, in spite of his many physical and character qualities. He should absolutely be discovered.

Height 23 to 26 cm
Weight 3 to 6 kg
Life expectancy 13 to 15 years
Home country Australia

Quick Overview of the Australian Silky Terrier


  • Gentle and loving
  • Lively and cheerful
  • Nice, but sometimes rebellious
  • Well tempered character


  • Compact, rather short on legs
  • Finely defined silhouette
  • Noble and elegant general appearance
  • Robust


  • No particular pathology
  • Rarely ill
  • Generally in excellent health

Temperament of the Australian Silky Terrier

Gentle, affectionate, lively, cheerful, pleasant, but sometimes rebellious, the Australian Silky Terrier is endowed with a strong character, despite his small size.

His socialization is generally easy, but his education must be firm and adequate.

This small dog is very easy to live with, no matter the type of owner, he is attached to all the members of his family.

His affection often translates into very exuberant displays of joy, making the little ones happy. His active and good playfulness makes him an excellent companion for all children.

He is a great player and jumper, sometimes reminiscent of a cat, as he uses his front paws to catch objects with great skill.

Despite his active and very exuberant temperament, he loves cuddles and signs of affection. Being pampered is therefore his greatest joy.

Breed Appearance

Australian silky terrier

Small, compact and rather short on legs, the Australian Silky Terrier has a very elegant structure. Despite his natural elegance, the Australian Silky Terrier is a sturdy dog that is well suited to hunt domestic rodents.

The lines of his silhouette are finely drawn, but his general appearance nevertheless easily reveals his overflowing energy, as well as his great capacity for work.

Despite his noble, elegant general appearance, it's easy to see the robustness and liveliness in this small Terrier.


Between 23 and 26 cm (9.06 to 10.24 inches) for the male
Between 23 and 26 cm (9.06 to 10.24 inches) for the female


Between 3 and 6 kg (6.61 to 13.23 pounds) for the male
Between 3 and 6 kg (6.61 to 13.23 pounds) for the female


The color of his pretty silky coat varies between different shades of blue and tan and blue and tan grey.


The hair of his pretty coat is long, silky (hence the name silky), smooth, and very fine, running from the back of the ears to the base of the tail.

The hair is shorter on the legs, hock and carpus of the feet.


His head has a flat skull, but not really domed between the eyes. His small, almost round eyes should be as dark as possible.

His small ears are straight and v-shaped, and are completely devoid of long hair. His small nose is all black. His tail has no fringes and is usually shortened. It is set high and carried straight.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 3, section 4 and is #236

Tips About this breed

Above all a show and companion dog, he remains a formidable pest hunter. Mice, other small rodents and even garden snakes just have to behave themselves, because he's watching.

Combining the grace and elegance of the Yorkshire with the strength and robustness of the Australian Terrier, the Australian Silky Terrier pleases both by his beauty and efficiency.

This little hunter at heart is always ready to protect his own. In spite of his small size, he does not hesitate to stand guard, and warn with a beautiful voice, at the slightest intrusion on his territory.

His mistrust of strangers is natural, but it usually doesn't go beyond barking.

Not aggressive in any way, he is content to warn his master of the presence of a stranger, letting him judge the potential danger.

This magnificent little specimen can be very stubborn if not properly educated. Even if he looks more like a "toy", he is still a true Terrier by nature.

His education must therefore be firm and adequate. The teacher must impose himself in a very rigorous way.

It may sound silly for such a small dog, but he will really do as he pleases when he grows up if the master doesn't train him firmly.

His socialization is natural and rather easy, but should not exacerbate his natural fear of strangers.

He can live anywhere, and can exercise indoors without any problems.

Even though he needs to be very active and his energy is overflowing, he only needs a small space to move.

He can adapt to all situations, and all masters, as long as the master is up to his temperament.

Children and the elderly love him, this little dog brings joy to the daily life of all families.

Health of the Australian Silky Terrier

At first glance, he seems fragile, but even though he is small in size, this little dog is exceptionally robust.

Often classified in the "Toy" section instead of the Terrier section, he is still hardy and robust, like the large dogs of the Terrier family.

No genetic disease, congenital tare or particular pathology is officially linked to the breed, but some specimens can be affected by gum problems, hence the need to brush their teeth regularly.

This small dog is very rarely sick, enjoying excellent health and life expectancy.


It is preferable to bathe the Australian Silky Terrier regularly, in order to maintain the luster and beauty of his coat. It should also be brushed daily.

His dress is very sensitive to knots, and requires daily care. It is also recommended that you brush his teeth regularly.

The owner's commitment to the dog's care must be constant and daily, in order to maintain the dog's health and good appearance.

Show dogs should be taken to a professional groomer quite often, usually at least every three weeks.

History of this breed

The origin of the Australian Silky Terrier is unclear and fairly uncertain. It is thought to be the result of cross-breeding between different British Terriers, including the Australian Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier. The crossbreeding was intended to create a small pet Terrier with a much silkier coat.

The breed would have really started towards the end of the 19th century. Originally known as the Silky of Sydney, the Australian Silky Terrier was then found mostly around Sydney.

Although in Australia most breeds of dogs are created for work, this silky little dog was created specifically for companionship. However, in his country, despite his small size and very elegant appearance, he is well known as a killer of snakes and small nuisance game.

Although the breed standard was established in 1909, the Yorkshire Terrier, Australian Terrier and Australian Silky Terrier were nevertheless, frequently misunderstood because of their many similarities. It wasn't until 1933 that the Australian Silky Terrier was recognized in Australia as a breed in its own right.

American soldiers stationed in Australia during and after the Second World War brought a few specimens home with them in their luggage. A new standard was established in the United States in the 1950s, which served as foundation for the FCI, which officially recognized the breed in 1959.

The American Kennel Club also recognized him in 1959, as did the United Kennel Club, also in the United States. This little dog did not arrive in Europe until 1960, after first winning the hearts of Americans.

Although he is a formidable hunter of small vermin and snakes, the Australian Silky Terrier is essentially a companion or show dog.

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