The Silky Terrier was developed mainly from crosses between Australian Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers; indeed, the breed seems to show a blend of characteristics from these two breeds.
The Silky Terrier was originally known as the Sydney Silky Terrier, but its name was officially changed to the Australian Silky Terrier in 1955.
In most kennel clubs, the Silky Terrier is classified as a Toy, though it does demonstrate some terrier personality and it was purportedly used as a ratter. The American Continental Kennel Club classifies the breed in the Terrier group.
This breed is extremely sensitive to tone of voice. A shriek can stop them in their tracks, while a deep, loud tone will scare them.
The Silky Terrier, though tiny, can be an effective watchdog.
The Silky Terrier is both an excellent climber and an excellent digger. You need to make sure you have proper fencing in your yard if you leave your dog off leash. They will climb up chain link or wire fences; make sure you dig your fence some ways into the ground to avoid the dog digging under it to get out.
The name of the breed is derived from its long, luxurious silky coat.
The Silky Terrier impressed American soldiers stationed in Australia during World War II. They brought the dog home with them to the US and it became quite popular.
Though they are most often classified as Toy dogs, Silky Terriers are not lap dogs and need plenty of exercise. They do well indoors, though, and so are great apartment dogs.
The Silky Terrier's coat must be groomed daily, as it is highly prone to matting and tangling.
The Silky Terrier has a single-layered coat, like the Yorkshire Terrier.
Though Silky Terriers were mainly bred for companionship, they were occasionally used as ratters. In conformation shows, judges must see that a Silky Terrier's structure is elegant but substantial enough to perform as a ratter.
Crosses involving Skye Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers may also have contributed to the breed.
The Silky Terrier coat can come in various shades of blue and tan.
The Silky Terrier initially was seen as a variety of the Australian Terrier. Indeed, in the 1920s, there were different breed standards and England's Kennel Club wished to create the categories "Australian Terrier, Hard Coat" and "Australian Terrier, Soft Coat"; the latter would have included the Silky Terrier. Breeders rejected the idea.
It is believed that both the Australian Terrier and the Silky Terriers were first shown at the Melbourne Royal Show in 1872, under the name "Broken-Coated Terriers, Black and Tan", though there is not much evidence to support this.
A "Silky Coated Australian Terrier" was shown at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in the year 1902. What was officially to become the Silky Terrier seems to have been officially shown in 1907.