Australian Silky Terrier

Lifestyle Needs

Australian Silky Terrier

The Australian Silky Terrier is one of the smallest of the lap dogs.  He is usually independent and perky – full of character and by no means a quiet dog.  He is happy in most home environments and makes a good companion dog.  He enjoys being active and should have regular exercise and opportunities for play.  His long, silky coat needs daily brushing to prevent knots and tangles and some professional trimming may be required from time to time.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 6.0% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • Breathing problems caused by narrow respiratory channels.
  • Weakness of upper and lower jaw and poor dentition (due to miniaturisation)

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (gradual loss of vision) (annual screening).

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:

DNA Tests Available

Progressive retinal atrophy  (prcd-PRA)

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

None known

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Dermatitis (skin inflammation)
  • Portosystemic shunt (an abnormality of the blood circulation, resulting in blood from the heart bypassing the liver and entering the general circulation)
  • Patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap)
  • Skin cancer
  • Cataract
  • Urolithiasis (stone formation in urine)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds