Australian Silky Terrier

FCI GROUP: Terriers

FAMILY: Terrier

Allowed as pet in Singapore HDB Flat: Yes

Origin: Australia, late 1800s; ancestors include Australian and Yorkshire Terriers. The Australian Terrier and the Silky Terrier were categorised under the same breed for many years until they were separated. It was during World War II that some American soldiers brought home with them Silky Terriers. The breed standard was subsequently established in 1962 and revised in 1967.

Original Purpose: Primarily a companion dog, the Australian Silky Terrier also proved itself to be very good at vermin (rats and snakes) extermination.

Behaviour and Temperament: Outgoing, curious, stubborn, spunky, lively, friendly.

Breed Characteristics: Can be territorial; despite its size, the Australian Silky Terrier is a super watchdog. Can be barky. Demands a great deal of attention. Some individuals are reserved or shy. It is an enthusiastic digger.

Physical Features: 23 to 25.5 cm; 4 to 5 kg. Females are usually smaller than males. Colour is blue-and-tan.

Coat Type and Grooming: Long, silky. Moderate to high maintenance; the silky coat is susceptible to mats and tangles; needs daily combing and brushing. Bathe regularly to keep its coat in top condition. Dry the dog is thoroughly to a warm touch after bathing. Coat needs to be trimmed regularly. Professional grooming is recommended. The Silky sheds very lightly.

Life Expectancy: 11 to 15 years.

Health Concerns: No major concerns. The breed is sometimes afflicted with diabetes and tracheal collapse. Some individuals have orthopaedic problems.

Exercise: Moderately high; the Silky Terrier is full of energy and needs more exercise than most toy breeds. Long daily walks are recommended to wear off its exceptional stamina.

Housing: Adaptable to any living situation; perfect for apartment life. The Australian Silky Terrier is very active indoors, especially is insufficiently exercised.

Sociability: Tend to bond to one person. Most do best in a home without small children, although they are fine with older kids; some individuals can be snappish. Can be aggressive to other dogs and not to be trusted with other small animals such as guinea pigs and hamsters.

Trainability: Average; this dog does best with obedience training; can be hard to housetrain.

Activities: Earthdog trials.

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