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Silky Terrier

Terrier Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The Silky Terrier is one of two native Australian terrier breeds, the other being the Australian Terrier. They were developed in the early 1800s, incorporating such breeds as the Dandie Dinmont, which was crossed with the local blue and tan broken-coated terriers. Called the Silky Terrier in the United States, it is referred to as the Australian Silky Terrier in its native land.

The Silky Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1965.

General Appearance

The Silky is a true toy terrier. It is compact and slightly low set, lightly built, with fine but strong bone. It has substance that is sufficient to allow it to hunt and kill domestic rodents. It has a distinctive blue and tan coat that is straight and parted from stop to tail.


The Silky exhibits a keenly alert air, and has a quick, friendly, responsive manner. The breeds inquisitive nature and joy of life make it an ideal companion.


The head is strong and Terrier in characteristics. It is only moderately long, with the length of the muzzle being slightly less than the length of the skull.


Moderately broad between the ears, flat on top, and joins the muzzle with a shallow stop. It has a fine, silky topknot that does not fall over the eyes.


Tapering in width from stop to nose, with strong jaws and tight lips.


A full complement of well-aligned, strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Serious Faults: Undershot or overshot bites.


The small, dark, oval-shaped eyes are deeply set, and give a piercingly keen expression. Eye rims are dark.

Serious Fault: Light eyes.


The nose is black.


The small, V-shaped ears are set high and carried erect. They are free of long hair.


The medium-long, slightly arched, fine neck blends gracefully into sloping shoulders.


The well-laid-back shoulders, in combination with proper angulation of the upper arm, provide for the forelegs to be nicely placed under the body.


The strong, straight forelegs have rather fine bone that is round. Elbows are close to the ribs. Pasterns are slightly sloping without weakness.


The moderately low set body is somewhat longer than tall. The chest is moderately deep and broad and the ribs are well sprung and extend back to a strong loin. The topline is level whether standing or moving.

Serious Faults: Roach back. Dip in back.


Hindquarters are strong with well-developed thighs.


Well angulated at both stifle and hock. Rear pasterns are straight, short, and parallel when viewed from behind.


The small, cat-like feet are round and compact. The pads are thick and springy. The dark-colored nails are strong. The feet point straight ahead, without turning in or out.

Faults: White or flesh-colored nails.


Customarily docked, set on high and carried erect but not curled over the back. Free of feathering. If undocked, the tail must be free of feathering and not curled over the back.


The coat is fine, flat and glossy with a silky feel. It must not be so long as to impede the dog’s action. Daylight must show under the dog.


Blue and tan is the acceptable color combination. The darker and richer the colors, the better. Blue on the tail should be very dark. A silver-blue or fawn topknot is desirable. Color distribution is as follows: tan around the base of the ears, on the muzzle and the sides of the cheeks; blue from the back of the skull to the tip of the tail, running down the forelegs nearly to the wrists and down the hind legs to the hocks; a tan line shows down the stifles and from the wrists and the hocks down to the toes and around the vent. The blue body color must be clear without tan or bronze streaking and the tan markings must not be smutty. Black coloring is acceptable in puppies but must clear to blue by 18 months of age.

Serious Faults: Silver or white.

Height & Weight

Height, measured at the withers, ranges from 9 to 10 inches. Deviation in either direction is undesirable.

Weight is proportionate to height and correct substance.


The straightforward, lively gait is free and light footed, with good flexibility at stifles and hocks. The hindquarters exhibit a strong propelling power.

Faults: Toeing in or out.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.

The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.

UKC Breed Standards: Silky Terrier

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Official UKC Breed Standard

Revised April 15, 2007

©Copyright 1992, United Kennel Club