Australian Silky Terrier
The breed began in Australia at the end of the 1800s when Yorkshire Terriers were crossed with the Australian Terriers Terrier, (who were descended from the rough coated type terriers brought from Great Britain to Australia in the early 1800s). These terriers may have included the Skye Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Cairn Terrier and the now long extinct Clydesdale Terrier also known as the Paisley Terrier and even possibly the Dandy Dinmont Terrier which could account for the length of time it has taken to establish a level top line in the breed.
Initially the breed was known as the Sydney Silky, and it was bred primarily as a pet and companion, although it has built up a reputation for killing snakes and rats. During World War II American servicemen brought back these dogs to the USA and hence the breed was recognised there in 1959. In 1955 the breeds name officially became the Australian Silky Terrier.
The Australian Silky Terrier is a terrier, although it is known as a Toy Breed in the UK and the USA. He is a vivacious little dog with a big heart, a lively, charming, friendly family dog who gets along well with children liking affection but not being fussed over, he will usually form a special bond with one particular family member.
Whilst thriving on attention he is not the usual lap dog, and with his terrier temperament he can be a little bossy, and quite possessive of his food and belongings. Males can be quarrelsome with dogs of the same sex. A Silky is a good watch dog in the home.
The Silky coat is fine almost like human hair, it should be long but not floor length requiring gentle daily grooming to prevent tangles and matting. Being a non shedding breed they are suitable for those suffering from low-medium allergies such as asthma also they do not give off a doggy odour. The colour on the body should be grey-blue and various shades are acceptable and when the coat on the body is parted you should be able to see the dark blue colour at the roots, the tail should also be dark blue. There should be tan on the head and legs, the richer the colour the better. The feet are almost cat like.
Silky's are very agile, and do very well at agility and if given the chance will enjoy hunting in the garden and have even been known to climb trees. Given their terrier temperament the owner must be assertive. They respond well to training especially from an early age.
Australian Silky Terriers are relatively healthy dogs with a life expectancy of 13 to 16 years of age.
Problems known and documented include luxating patella (though currently there are none registered with this problem in the UK), digestive disorders (sensitive stomach), and cataracts.