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The Australian Silky Terrier may be small, but it is not lacking in energy and feistiness. This bold canine is inquisitive and tenacious, yet affectionate, loyal, and, playful. It is among the most intelligent dog breeds in the world and is thus highly trainable. In fact, it is known to hunt snakes in Australia, where this canine is from.
Also called Silky Pointing Terrier, this little dog tends to raise one of its front paws while focusing on its prey. This mannerism definitely goes with its perky personality, which requires daily exercise and mental stimulation. Its long-haired coat requires daily grooming. It can live anywhere as long as its needs are met. The Silky is best suited for owners who can put in the energy and time in caring for this crossbred dog.
The Australian Silky Terrier is believed to have been bred in 1890s in Australia. The local Australian Terriers and imported Yorkshire Terriers were crossed and produce three different results. The two looked like each of their parents, while the third had a size and hair length that was between the two. The Australian Terriers we see today were a result of interbreeding.
It was in 1906 that the breed standard guidelines were created in Sydney. However, a different set of standards were made in Victoria in 1909. The two only met halfway in 1926 to create a new breed standard. The pooch had numerous names, initially called the Sydney Silky Terrier then changed to Australian Silky Terrier in 1955. It is currently called Silky Terrier in the US.
The Silky weighs between 8 and 10 pounds, and stands 23 to 26 centimetres at the withers. It has a typical Terrier head with flat skull and black nose. It has small oval eyes and v-shaped pricked ears.
It is known for its straight, fine, sleek, and silky coat that hardly sheds. It is parted down the back that is 13 to 15 centimetres long. The standard colour is the combination of rich and well-defined blue and tan. A bit of black colouring is allowable in puppies. The coat may seem difficult to maintain but on the contrary, it only requires daily brushing to remove matts. Plus, it only needs a few baths in a month. Taking it to a professional groomer once a month will also help.
Aside from caring for your dog’s coat, make sure to regularly trim nails, clean ears and check for ticks or fleas. An overlooked aspect of dog ownership is a good oral hygiene. Take care of your dog’s teeth and gums to prevent disease and bad breath by brushing them at least twice or three times a week. Appropriate chew bones/toys, which your pets will enjoy, can help build strong teeth, as well also help remove plaque and dirt.
Silkys are independent, spirited, friendly, intelligent, and confident. As a true Terrier, the breed is a hunter inclined to dig and chase small animals. It can be a good watch dog as it barks at strangers and does not back down despite its small stature. It is devoted to its human pack and thrives in their presence. It can be a wonderful family pet but is best with older children that can handle dogs. It may not be tolerant to younger kids who have a tendency to be hyperactive.
They are easy to train as they are eager students but can make up their own rules. This usually happens when the handler is soft or inconsistent. Positive reinforcement and fun lessons would make trainings easier.
Each breed may have a certain pre-disposition in terms of temperament and intelligence. However, like humans, each dog is unique. A lot of factors play a role in developing its personality and abilities. Genetics are a factor but the environments where the puppy is born, and then later on raised have a huge influence.
A typical serving for this small dog is 1/2 to 3/4 cup of excellent quality dry dog food per day. Measure its food and limit to two meals a day to ensure a trim body size. Like in every breed, the amount of food depends on its age, size, build, activity level and metabolism.
Choosing the type of food you feed your dog is entirely up to you. High quality dog food, whether dry or wet, is specifically formulated to meet the needs of dogs. Check the labels and avoid buying cheap brands that contain chemicals and preservatives.
If you choose to prepare or cook your dog’s food, make sure you do your research because even though you use fresh ingredients, you may still not provide the right amount of vitamins and minerals. Avoid giving table scraps and stick to your dog’s specific food. There are certain human foods forbidden and deadly to dogs such as chocolate, grapes, avocado, chicken bones, fatty and salty foods, etc. Better safe than sorry!
Consult your trusted veterinarian before giving your dog any supplements as some may cause harm than good. Some vets do not encourage supplements when you are feeding high quality dog food that contain all the nutrients your canine needs.
Always make sure that your dog has access to fresh clean water and avoid giving them sweet human drinks like juice, soft drinks, tea or coffee.
The average lifespan of Silkys is between 11 and 14 years. It is generally healthy but is predisposed to the following conditions:
It may be considered a toy dog but the Silky requires actual exercise and training. Daily walks, romping and playing fetch in the yard, or going to a dog park are perfect activities. Always keep it on a leash outside as it can be difficult to find when it runs and wanders. Aside from physical activities, mental stimulation will also prevent this dog from being bored and destructive.
For a well-bred Australian Silky Terrier puppy, expect to spend £300-£450. Insurance may cost about £20 (basic) to £43 (lifetime) each month. The food expenses may reach about £30-£40 monthly. For vaccinations, boosters, annual checks and other veterinary costs, pet care bills may add up to more than £800 annually.
On average, a Silky owner will spend about £60-£90 per month. The insurance costs can also impact the cost estimates. For its lifetime (11-14 years), the costs can be as low as £7,920 to as high as £15,120 overall. This range does not include the expenditures incurred in buying a pup.
Are you sure the Australian Silky Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
If you think that an active dog like Australian Silky Terrier isn’t for you, take the Pet Finder to know which breeds suit you best.
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