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A silky terrier in
The Silky Terrier is for people who love the sturdiness and hardiness of the short-legged terriers but who would prefer a finer-boned, more graceful, more elegant build covered by a lovely flowing coat.
The agile, light-footed Silky likes to keep busy -- he is inquisitive, physically and mentally quick, and spends much time trotting (or dashing) around checking things out and inventing his own clever games.
Keen of eye and sharp of tongue, the Silky Terrier won't fail to announce strangers, often in a high-pitched voice that can set your teeth on edge. Early socialization is required so he doesn't become too sharp or suspicious.
Though he can be bossy with other dogs and scrappy with those of the same sex, most Silky Terriers are willing to coexist with other pets. Squeaky pets, however, will be stalked, for he has a strong prey drive and can be an excitable chaser of anything that moves.
Silky Terrier must never be let off-leash except in a safe, enclosed area, and your fences must be secure, for they are amazing climbers and enthusiastic diggers.
Willful and opinionated, but quick to learn, the Silky Terrier responds well to obedience training that utilizes food and praise. Silkys are proud, sensitive dogs and may not put up with rough handling or mischief. They can be possessive of their food and toys, and housebreaking can be difficult.
If you want a dog who.
- Is small and easy to carry
- Looks like a sturdy short-legged terrier, but with a finer-boned, more elegant build
- Has a long, flowing silky coat that doesn't shed much
- Is quick-moving, light-footed, inquisitive, and "busy"
- Makes a keen watchdog
A Silky Terrier may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with.
- High energy level
- Providing enough exercise and activities to keep them busy
- Suspiciousness and/or sharpness toward strangers when not socialized enough
- Excitable chasing instincts
- Stubbornness (mind of his own)
- High coat maintenance (frequent brushing and combing, or trimming)
- Housebreaking difficulties
A Silky Terrier may not be right for you.But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Silky Terrier
If I was considering a Silky Terrier, I would be most concerned about.
- The dynamic terrier temperament. Most terrier breeds are remarkably similar. The same words are used over and over -- quick to bark, quick to chase, lively, bossy, feisty, scrappy, clever, independent, stubborn, persistent, impulsive, intense.
Terriers were never intended to be simply household pets. I strongly recommend that you get your Silky Terrier involved in obedience classes at the intermediate or advanced level, in agility (an obstacle course for dogs), or in an earth dog club (terriers dig and tunnel after small critters who are secured in a sturdy cage so they can't be harmed).
I do NOT recommend terriers for small children. Many terriers will not tolerate any nonsense from little life forms whom they consider to be below themselves in importance. Many terriers are quick to react to teasing, and even to the normal clumsiness that comes with small children (accidental squeezing of their ears or pulling of whiskers or stepping on their paw). Many terriers are possessive of their food and toys and will defend these from all comers, including children.
Terriers cannot be trusted off-leash. They will take off -- oblivious to your frantic shouts -- after anything that runs.
To teach your Silky to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Silky Terrier Training Page discusses the program you need.
To learn more about training Silky Terriers to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words .
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Silky Terrier the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams. will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Silky Terrier. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Silky Terrier might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service .
Once you have your Silky Terrier home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Silky Terrier.
When you're acquiring a Silky Terrier PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Silky Terriers who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an a typical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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