Care of your Silky

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General Appearance

The Australian Silky Terrier is a compact low set dog of medium length and an approximate height of 23 cm at the withers. The silky coat normally is parted to present a well groomed appearance. The small dark oval eyes represent an intelligent watchful expression and their small pricked ears are set high on the head. The ears, muzzle and feet are clean pointed and free from long hair.  Puppies are born with a black and tan coat. The characteristic blue and tan colour should be established by 18 months of age. All Australian Silky Terriers now have natural long tails since the prohibition of the practise of tail docking in April 2004.

Character & Temperament

Extremely brave, assertive and full of energy, the Australian Silky Terrier is not your typical lap dog. Rather, they prefer to be treated as an equal. They are equally matched to suburban family life and unit living. They integrate into the modern family and associate well with growing children, although, they will usually form a stronger bond with one person. Common terrier characteristics embody keen alertness and constant activity, whilst maintaining their ratter instinct by always watching for scurrying prey! Silky’s are a robust breed and are generally very happy and love to play. But, they also have a mischievous side and although they are regarded as quite intelligent, loyal and trainable, a defiant streak can appear. Above all, they are known to maintain a puppy attitude throughout their entire life excelling in obedience, agility and earth dog.

 

Health

 

The Australian Silky Terrier is generally a very healthy breed. I n past years, there were instances of patella luxation and Calves Legge-Perthes (deterioration of the hip joint). Due to selective breeding, we rarely see these problems in the modern Silky. Some problems seen today include cruciate ligaments and juvenile cataracts. However, a growing problem is poor dentition. Breeding programs in place aim to improve these elements. They are relatively fit and hardy dogs and should live to an expected life span of 14 to15 years.

The very few Veterinary expenses that owners will typical face are the usual annual vaccinations and check-ups, as long as a healthy and balanced diet is provided. They should also have a regular regime of exercise consisting of playing and walking. Their weight should be in the range 4 to 5 kilograms.

Grooming & Maintenance

 

The Silky is a low maintenance dog. They have a fondness for grooming if it is started at a young age. Basic grooming should include bathing, brushing and combing of their coat on a regular basis. Some of the many endearing qualities include a single coat that does not moult and a distinct lack of “doggy” odour, therefore making them ideal for people who have allergies.

 

 

Acknowledgments References:

Australian Silky Terrier Today by Hingeley, Marshall  & Wren. 1997.

Australian Born Australian Bred. The Australian Silky Terrier by Jan Boyce. 1997.

KCC Gazette, January 1936 and June 1956 editions.

Dogs Life, March/April 2007 edition.

Silky Terriers by Alice J Kane  2005.