The Australian Silky Terrier: a snake killer?
The Australian Silky Terrier is believed to have been bred by crossing the Yorkshire Terrier with the Australian Terrier. This mixture of the two breeds was intended to produce a toy dog with the gentle qualities of a small domestic pet and the inquisitive character and hunting ability of a terrier. Families that have Silkies will attest to the efficacy of the cross.
It is obvious from the Australian Silky’s color that a Yorkshire Terrier participated in its development as it wears the metallic blue color with rich tan spots and a silvery blue bow quite similar to the Yorky. When the dog is born it is much darker and as it grows the tan marks fade to a lighter shade and the metallic blue turns quite silvery. The “Silky Terrier” is called the Australian Silky Terrier in Great Britain and Australia, but is called “Silky Terrier” elsewhere. In any case, the dog is definitely a terrier and is destined to have the attributes of a terrier when it comes to its rat and rodent killing abilities and in the case of the country of Australia, the little terrier is adept at killing snakes. . The Silky is smaller than an Australian Terrier but larger than a Yorkie and the skull and muzzle are not as wide or heavy as those of the Australian Terriers, nor as long as those of the Yorky. In short, this little dog has an almost equal mix of the qualities of the two breeds.
Coat care is fairly straightforward, requiring daily brushing and an occasional bath. Of course, as always, nails need to be trimmed regularly. The ears are erect and only need occasional cleaning as they are not prone to ear infections. The hair on the face has a bearded appearance and there is always more care in this type of muzzle in terms of keeping the whiskers free of food debris. It can be trimmed if necessary but its coat is easy to comb as it is exactly what it is called: “silky” and there is no undercoat. It lies flat against the body and does not tangle like a double layer.
The little dog is very intelligent and is definitely a one-family dog. He is cautious around strangers and makes a good watchdog. When introduced correctly, it will accept strangers into the home, but still not be overly friendly. It is a very clean domestic pet and will get along well with other animals in the house if it is raised with them. Of course, the terrier temperament will come out if confronted and it can certainly do a good job defending itself when necessary. Obedience’s competitors have found Silky to be competitive in the Obedience ring and a favorite in the Conformation ring in most European countries, more so than in the United States.