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Australian Silk Terrier

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Compact, moderately short dog of medium length, with a refined frame, but of sufficient substance to suggest its ability to hunt and kill domestic rodents. The silky, straight and parted coat has a well-groomed appearance.

Personality:  Courageous, companion and active.

Energy Level : Very Active.  This dog is active and energetic, and needs daily exercise.  

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Weekly.


Life Expectancy : 13-16  years old.

Bark level:  Moderate.


The two main ancestors of this breed were the Australian Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier. During the period 1820-1830, a female broken-coated (hard) and bright blue terrier that was bred in Tasmania was taken to England and mated with a Dandie Dinmont terrier. Mr Macarthur Little from London bought some puppies from this litter and experimented with additional crosses until he produced the silky smooth coat. Subsequently, Mr. Little moved to Sydney, Australia, and continued his breeding program using Australian Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers. These dogs soon spread out of the Australian Colonies and the Australian Silky Terrier was known as a breed. A standard for the breed was first drawn up in the early 1900s.

Country of Origin: Australia.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  It should show terrier characteristics, embodying a keen liveliness, activity and solidity. A courageous and dignified “Toyterrier”, which is an unparalleled companion.

HEAD:  Of moderate length, slightly shorter from the nose to between the eyes than from the same position to the occiput. The head should be strong, terrier-like, moderately wide between the ears.


Skull: Flat and not full between the eyes, with a fine silky topknot, not falling over the eyes (long hair falling over the muzzle or cheeks is quite undesirable).


Stop: Defined but moderate.




Truffle: Black.


Lips: Tight and dry.


Jaws and  Teeth: Jaws strong, teeth even and not clenched, with the upper incisors closing close in front of the lower incisors (scissor bite).


Eyes: Should be small, oval, never round or prominent, darkest in color, with a lively intelligent expression.


Ears: Should be small, V-shaped, fine in texture, set high on the skull, erect and entirely free of long hair.


NECK: Of medium length, refined and slightly arched, set gracefully into the shoulders. Well covered with long silky hairs.  


  • BODY: Should be moderately long in proportion to the height of the dog. Top row: Always level (both standing and moving).


Loin: Strong.


Chest: Of moderate depth and width. Ribs well sprung, extending back to a strong loin.


TAIL: When not amputated, the first three vertebrae should be carried straight or slightly curved, but not over the back. It must not be rolled up. Its length gives an overall rocking look, it should be free of fringes.



FOREQUARTERS: The forelimbs are refined, with round bones, are straight and well placed below the body, without weakness in the pasterns. Shoulders: Thin and well set back, set in well angled arms and fitted to the ribs

Elbows: Not turned in or out.


Feet: Small, well padded, “cat paws” with well-closed toes; nails should be black or very dark.




Thighs: Should be well developed.


Knees: Should be well angled.


Hocks: Well angulated. When viewed from behind, the hocks should be well let down and parallel to each other.


Feet: Small, well padded, “cat paws” with well-closed toes; nails should be black or very dark.


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Movement should be free and secure, with no slack in the shoulders or elbows and no paws or pasterns turning in or out. The hindquarters should have strong driving power, with ample flexibility in the knees and hocks. Viewed from behind, the movement should be neither too close nor too far away.


  • COAT


Hair: Should be smooth, fine and shiny, with a silky texture. The length of the coat should not be so long as to interfere with the dog's action and should allow the "light" under the dog to be seen. The front and hind legs must be free of long hair.


COLOR: All shades of blue and brown are acceptable and the more intense and clearly defined the colors the better. Silver and white are not acceptable. The blue of the tail should be very dark. It is desirable that the topknot be silver-blue or fawn in color. The distribution of blue and brown (“tan”) is as follows: brown around the base of the ears, muzzle and on the sides of the cheeks; blue from the base of the skull to the tip of the tail, down to the forelimbs to near the wrists (carpal-metacarpal joint) and down the thighs to the hocks; presents a brown line below the knees, from the wrists (carpal-metacarpal joints) and from the hocks to the fingers and around the anus. The blue color of the trunk should be free from brown or bronze. Brown marks should be free of smudges. Black color is allowed in puppies; the blue color must be set at 18 months of age.


SIZE:  Height at the withers: Males: 23cm to 26cm. Females: May be slightly smaller.


WEIGHT: Weight in proportion to height.

  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.

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