Terrier or Toy?

When Yorkshire Terriers who’d been imported into Australia were bred with native Australian Terriers, the result was the spirited Silky Terrier which, despite its looks, retains its prowess as a rat killer and Watcher of Things that go Bump in the Night.

How best to evaluate a Silky in a show ring, however, is problematic for the layman who doesn’t know whether to give weight to the dog’s terrier roots, or to its toy ancestry. We rely on breed experts to right us if we’re wrong here, but a source we came across explained that the only resemblance a Silky Terrier should have with its Yorkshire Terrier relative is in color and coat texture, the rest should resemble an Australian Terrier.

A level topline is important to both the Australian Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier, so it’s not surprising that the Silky Terrier standard also calls for one. It makes sense in a breed that has proportions that are long in relation to its height, and breed experts agree. When asked to rank breed traits, a level topline was listed as an important virtue.

In no way should this brief and inadequate post substitute for in depth study of a breed that is over 100 years old. The post humbly posits one small aspect of a complex breed.

At this point, we mention that we don’t have nearly enough pictures of the Silky Terrier. Share!

Image: Silky Terrier by DJ Rogers – k9artgallery


6 thoughts on “Terrier or Toy?”

    • Heidi, what a looker! Maybe we’re wrong, but Billy the kid looks like a thinker – is he?

    • We’re glad to hear from you Sandy, but we don’t think the link to your article came through. Can you resend it?

  1. I have had Silky Terriers since 1979, they are much more terrier than toy. Mine were great hunters of both mice and snakes as well as show dogs and loving companions.

    • Happy to hear from you Joan, as input from experienced owners is always welcomed!

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