Silky Terrier

  • Overview

    These small, upbeat dogs have perky, defined facial features and a smooth single coat. They love to get into mischief if they are not sufficiently occupied, but they make quick, clever companion dogs. These dogs weigh between 8 and 11 pounds and should not be confused with larger terriers who have similarly colored, but thicker, coats.

    These little terriers love to keep their owners on their toes. They love nothing more than affectionate companionship and some energetic playtime.

    View Grooming Diagram for silky terrier
  • Personality

    Silky Terriers are clever and cunning, but they can be sharp-tempered and barky with other dogs. They are inquisitive and enjoy bouncing around a fenced-in yard where they have plenty of room to sniff and explore. For small dogs, they have some serious energy, so they do require plenty of exercise and love long walks where they can sniff and explore.

    Silky Terriers are scrappy little guys who live to get into some light-hearted mischief. If you will be displeased to notice your little dog digging, chewing or yapping in your yard, this is not the dog for you. Despite their terrier tendencies, Silkies are companions at heart, and they need attention and affection from their owners. If they feel neglected, these tiny terriers will unleash a piercing bark or resort to amusing themselves.

  • Coat Care

    The straight single coat that gives this terrier his name is indeed quite silky. The coat grows downward and outlines the terrier's refined body shape. These dogs are usually blue with tan markings, and they come in many shades of blue. The hair on the head and top knot should never be darker than the body hair. Their coat is a thin single coat, so Silky Terriers do not shed and their coats are not prone to tangles.

Brushing

Brushing and combing your Silky once a week with a small pin brush or comb will help prevent tangles and keep the coat looking neat. Frequent brushing will help the coat maintain its glossy appearance and soft texture.

Bathing

Silkies also need to be bathed with a gentle or detangling dog shampoo.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with drop coats generally require regular hair clipping because they do not shed, so their long hair grows continuously. It lessens the chances of matting, tangles and the infestation of fleas and other pests, thus reducing the risk of skin infections. There is no set timetable. Judgment should be made on an individual basis, depending on functionality and owner preference. There are a wide array of clippers and trimmers available that will make each snip a snap. It's a good idea to take your dog for a short walk to calm him down before you groom him. Thoroughly brush the coat to remove tangles and mats. Use clippers to trim excess fur off the dog's body, choosing the appropriate clip attachment to achieve desired length. Start with the shoulders and progress towards the tail. Always leave at least a half-inch of fur to protect the dog from the elements. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. Groom the head and face last, being watchful for sudden movement. Clip with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose.

Nails

These little dogs need to have their nails trimmed to prevent discomfort, so help them become accustomed to nail-clipping by starting when they are puppies.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Drop coated dogs have sensitive ears and long hair that tends to grow into the ear. Their ears need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Shih Tzus and Havanese are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.