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Australian Terrier & Silky Terrier Mix Info, Pictures, Traits, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Australian Silky Terrier

Height: 9 – 11 inches
Weight: 8 – 16 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Black and tan, grey and tan, blue and tan, silver and tan, silver-black and tan, red, sand
Suitable for: Active families or individuals, those looking for a dynamic and outdoorsy dog, those seeking a smaller breed, families with older children
Temperament: Spirited, Curious, Keen, Alert, Courageous, Affectionate, Energetic, Smart, Devoted, People-oriented

Do you love small dogs, but want a canine companion that can keep up with you in an active and outdoorsy lifestyle? Then look no further than the plucky and spirited Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix.

Though diminutive in size, these pups pack a whole lot of dog into such a small package! They have a keen mind, upbeat attitudes, and a confident approach to life as well as plenty of the old-school terrier feistiness and heart.

To get a better idea of how this hybrid dog came to be, let’s look at the two dog breeds that make up this spirited little breed: the Australian Terrier and the Silky Terrier.

The Australian Terrier, like many Australian breeds, started out as a hardy frontiersman of a pup. They were bred as fearless, versatile exterminators and worked to clear out mammalian pests and snakes.

These tough dogs are thought to be the result of interbreeding English terriers such as the Cairn, Norwich, Scottie, Dandie Dinmont, and Yorkshire. The first fan club for Australian Terriers was founded in 1887 and the breed was soon thereafter imported to England and America.

Silky Terriers were first bred in the early 20th century and are cousins to the Yorkshire and Australian Terrier. These toy dogs have been prized as companion dogs for their portable size, luxurious hair like fur, and athletic terrier characteristics.

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Australian Terrier & Silky Terrier Mix Puppies


Before meeting some irresistibly adorable Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix puppies, it may be worthwhile to ask yourself some questions about readiness to welcome a new dog into your life.

Does your work or social schedule prevent you from being home to provide appropriate company and extensive exercise for a puppy? Is your financial situation stable enough to take care of a dog in good time and bad for up to 15 years? Are your other pets friendly and gentle towards puppies?

Asking plenty of questions of your own care capabilities is a sure-fire way to make sure you don’t jump headlong into a big commitment at the first sight of those endearing and heart-melting pups.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Australian Terrier & Silky Terrier Mix

1. Australian Terriers Are Emotionally Sensitive Creatures

It has often been noted by Australian Terrier owners and breeders that these bright dogs also possess a large amount of emotional intelligence and empathy.

If a family member that they are close to is feeling sad and moping about the house, these canine companions will likely be quieter, calmer, and more attentive.

And if a house is full of cheerful, expansive energy, Australian Terriers turn on the entertainment with playful antics and excitement!

2. Silky Terriers Have Many Names

The official name for the Silky Terrier used to be the “Sydney Silky Terrier.” In 1955, Australians changed the name to the “Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix.”

The same year as the new Australian moniker saw the first iteration of an American club for this breed, they dropped the “Australian” part of the name and dubbed the breed simply the “Silky Terrier.”

3. Australian Terrier Silky Terrier Mixes Are True Blue Terriers

Though many breed these small pups as companions and toy dogs, the Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix is much more spirited and prey-driven than the typical toy dog.

They are vigilant, alert, and enjoy chasing passing wildlife at every opportunity!

Parent Breeds of the Australian Terrier Silky Terrier Mix
Image Credit: (L) Lisjatina, Shutterstock | (R) Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Australian Terrier & Silky Terrier Mix 🧠

Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mixes have the looks of a designer dog, and the heart of a champion. They are whip-smart, upbeat, and full of youthful zeal throughout their years.

These energetic terriers form incredibly close bonds with their families and want nothing more than to be included in all the comings and goings of your day. They are rarely wary of strangers, but their alert nature means they can be trained as competent watchdogs.

Being such a people-oriented breed means that the Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix is prone to pining, depression, and the stir-crazies if left alone for too long. Lively homes and owners that don’t spend all day away at work are just right for these social little fellows.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The spunky, brave, and energetic Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix makes an excellent companion dog for active families. They want nothing more than to spend time with you, and often consider themselves as an equal in the family.

They love children, and their zeal for life can match the energy of a child with ease. However, like most terriers, they do much better with older kids that know how to behave with smaller dogs. These pups demand respect, and you should socialize both dog and child to ensure harmony.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

These scrappy, but friendly dogs love having more friends to play with and enjoy the company of other animals. Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mixes can become a little bossy with other pets, however, so consistent and early socialization is highly recommended.

It is especially pertinent to remember that terriers are bred to chase and kill little furry animals when socializing your Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix with a cat. They are perfectly capable of getting along, of course, but early introductions and socialization will be key for helping that relationship develop.

Australian Silky Terrier dog
Image Credit: Delia Strange, Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning an Australian Terrier & Silky Terrier Mix

This section is full of everyday information that you’ll want to look over if you find yourself seriously asking, “What would life with an Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix be like?”

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Energetic and small dogs like the Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix need a well-balanced diet to support their active lifestyle and fit their frame. Though dog nutrition can sometimes seem as complicated as that of humans, commercial dog food companies have made feeding your dog easy and affordable.

When perusing the pet food aisle, here are a few tips for this breed to keep in mind:

  • Lean proteins provide all the benefits but none of the extra weight. Choose fish, fowl, and eggs over fatty meats like pork and beef.
  • Whole food ingredients are healthy! Choose real food items (salmon, chicken, etc.) over by-products, cheap grains, and chemical additives every time.
  • Dogs should eat their vegetables too. Choose brands that include at least a few whole fruits and vegetables to flesh out the nutrient array.

And once you have a solid meal routine, you’ll want to consider treats next. Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mixes may enjoy the occasional carrot, cooked sweet potato, or blueberry as a snack or to liven up mealtime.

Though treats should comprise less than 10% of your dog’s daily intake, new foods and treats can enrich your dog’s day and be a useful training tool. Because when you can keep your pup’s keen mind engaged and intrigued with a new snack, they’re that much less likely to beg or find trouble elsewhere!

Exercise 🐕

Though the package may be small, Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mixes are little dynamos that need as much exercise as a larger dog.

Whether they’re roaming a rural property on their own, digging and rooting out earth dwelling creatures, or getting active with their family outside, they have a lot of energy and a zest for play and exploration.

The compact Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mixes fit well in apartments, but only thrive if you have close by access to a larger fenced-in area or dog park. If you must leave these perky pups cooped up for any period, find out what kinds of toys your dog likes to keep them engaged.

Puzzles, treat-dispensing toys, or even just a patch of yard to dig up will make these dogs happy as a bug in a rug until you return!

Training 🦮

The Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix is a lively, peppy student when it comes to training. However, they are also notoriously stubborn and bossy for such a small creature!

This interesting mixture of intelligence and independence can make for a challenging training experience. However, if you approach your Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix with patience, humor, and a kind but firm authority you are sure to find a middle ground.

Though feisty, these pups love engaging with their owners. And both of you will find even basic obedience training a rewarding way to learn communication and respect for one another.

Related Read: Best Dog Clickers for Training – Our Reviews & Top Picks


Grooming ✂️

Whether your dog favors the wiry hair of the Australian Terrier or the silky and long coat of the Silky Terrier, grooming maintenance ends up evening out to be about the same.

Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mixes are moderate shedders. We recommend weekly brushing to keep fur tangle-free and reduce shedding, as well as a good trim every few months or so.

Another grooming routine that you should be prepared to institute is ear and teeth cleanings. And the sooner you start, the comfier your pooch will be with your ministrations as they age.

These energetic terriers are likely to wear their nails down with their digging and frolicking. But it is still advisable to check nails for cracking and splitting every couple weeks just to be on the safe side.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Simply by virtue of being a hybrid of two pure breeds, the Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix is an overall healthier dog than either of its parents.

Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix are of a hardy stature, and the main delicate issues for these pups are their eyes and ears. Keeping those clean of dirt and bacteria will go a long way to supporting your dog’s health well into old age!

Furthermore, here is a list of all the possible conditions that can appear in the parent breeds – and thus, may be pertinent for the Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix as well:

Minor Conditions
  • Skin allergies
  • Eye and ear problems
  • Luxating patellas
  • Non-cancerous tumors
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Pancreatic disease
Serious Conditions
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epilepsy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Legg-Perthes disease

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Male vs Female

Female Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mixes are quieter, a touch more reserved, and physically smaller and more delicate than their male counterparts.

Males tend to be stockier and larger, as well as more prone to sexual behaviors. These behaviors include wanderlust, marking territory, and asserting dominance via humping or mounting and just being generally bossy.

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Final Thoughts

So, is the Australian Terrier Silky Terrier mix the right dog breed for you?

Those with sedentary lifestyles, no access to fenced-in exercise areas, or folks who want a low-key dog should probably look elsewhere.

However, active families and attentive individuals that are ready for a cheerful dynamo of a little dog may have found their new best friend!

See also:

Featured Image: Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock

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