This toy dog's glamorous, long coat is parted along the back and comes in blue and tan, grey-blue and tan, silver and tan, or silver-blue and tan. For full details see the breed standard. When fully grown, he stands at around 23cm and weighs approximately 8-10lb. He looks refined but not delicate.
Once also known as the Sydney Silky, this Australian dog has Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Terrier ancestors. It's thought that when breeders were establishing the Australian Terrier at the end of the 19th century, they used the Yorkie to improve the blue and tan colouring of the coat. The silky-coated puppies that resulted became the foundation of the breed that we have today.
Although he's in the toy group, and was bred to be a friendly, loving companion dog, the Australian Silky dog breed also has some terrier-like traits, which, given his ancestors, is no surprise! He's alert, confident, energetic – and still retains some of the hunting instincts of his forebears who killed rodents and even snakes!
Like many small breeds, the Australian Silky dog breed can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas), a hip disorder and a windpipe problem.
A couple of 20-minute walks a day will keep an adult happy, together with some play in the house or garden. He doesn't require much physical exercise, but he will thrive on the quality time spent with his loved ones. Mental activity is important for this bright little dog, too, to prevent boredom.
Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The long, silky coat needs just a few minutes of daily brushing and combing to prevent tangles and to keep it looking glossy and healthy. Be sure to check the coat after a walk, as, being around 13-15cm long, it can pick up all sorts of debris on the way!