EDUCATION SILKY TERRIER for TRAINEES, - silkyterrier-yorkshireterrier-info

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Level 2

The Only Australian Toy Dog
Council Notes; Published in Queensland Dog World. 1.8.2001


At this time, I would like to thank all the people who give their time to the education of our trainee judges, whether it be co-coordinator, breeders, speakers or the exhibitors who bring their dogs along, without complaint, for lectures and of course to the exhibitors at Open Shows.
If trainees cannot get the hands on experience, what then happens? we end up with fewer judges!


The Silky is not an exaggerated dog in any way. It is a well balanced type of dog who should display an intelligent alert look and move around the show ring in an agile manner. It must be well groomed, glamorous little dog with refined bone. The body coat length
should balance the overall dog.  

The dog is compact, moderately low set, of medium length with a refined structure but of sufficient substance to suggest the ability to hunt and kill domestic rodents.The parted, straight silky hair presents a well-groomed appearance.  

Regarding the silky general appearance, I find the words  MODERATE,   MEDIUM and   REFINED  are the key to structure and appearance. MODERATE being its low set appearance.MEDIUM being its length of body. REFINED being its overall bone structure.
The correct silky type in appearance should not be that of a long coated Australian Terrier or an oversized Yorkshire Terrier. As the standard specifically requests, " A well groomed appearance.The preparation and grooming of the Silky is most important.

It should display Terrier characteristics, embodying keen alertness, activity and soundness.   
It must be remembered that the Silky Terrier is a TOY DOG with Terrier characteristics,not a Terrier with toy characteristics. Aggressive type behaviour is  not desirable. Keen, friendly and  alert type behaviour is preferable.A characteristic we often see in Silkys is when they hold one front foot up, looking alert and ready to pounce on something. [Maybe a mouse] !!

Of moderate length, slightly shorter from the tip of the nose to between the eyes than from the same position o the occiput. The head must be strong and of Terrier character, being moderately broad between the ears; he skull flat and without fullness between eyes, with fine silky top-knot, not falling over the eyes,
[ a long fall of hair on the foreface or cheeks is very objectionable ]. Nose Black.


In proportion a Silky head should be two parts  muzzle, three parts skull. The top-knot should be groomed in such manner that the eyes be visible. Dogs often "domed" in the skull, are too narrow between the ears. The length of hair on the cheeks and foreface should be shorter than of the surrounding neck and fall.

EYES: Shall be small round,  not prominent,  dark as possible in colour with a keen intelligent expression.


Eyes are pretty good in silkys. Occasionally you will come across a light eye. This should be penalized as it takes away from the keen, intelligent expression that is projected from a very dark eye. Prominent eyes are usually set wide apart and go with a shorter muzzle.
This is also quite incorrect.

Should be small, V- shaped with fine leather, set high on skull, pricked and entirely free from long hair.

The set is most  important  to gain that keen alertness required for the breed. Leafy type, round ended type and too low set type are incorrect.The ears are tan  all overthe back, but you will find some are tan around the base only.

This is  quite acceptable. Pups may have their ears down up to the age of 7 months, but should not be shown after 6 months if ears have not come up.Set wide, large and flaring  not correct! Too large and round  not correct!  Large with tips pointing to the side,   not correct!

Any other colour than  black should not be tolerated. The butterfly nose should be faulted.

Strong jaws, teeth even and not cramped. The upper incisors fitting closely over the lower [scissor bite]. Lips tight and clean.

There should be six incisor  in both top and bottom of the scissor bite. Overshot: not correct! Undershot:  not correct!

Medium length, refined and slightly crested, fitting gracefully into the shoulders. Well covered with long silky hair.  
Here again appear the words  MEDIUM and REFINED. A neck that is too short will appear thick set and gives a cramped appearance not giving a graceful and refined appearance. The slight crest well covered with long silky hair adds to the glamorous refined look of a good specimen. The correct neck will display elegance and a degree of good breeding.

Shoulders fine and  well laid back, fitting well angulated upper arms snugly to the ribs. Elbows turned neither in nor out.
The forelegs have refined, round bone and are straight and well set under the body with NO weakness in the pasterns.   
Narrow chest, not correct.  Crooked bone, not correct.  Weak pasterns and toeing in or out, not correct.  

Again the emphasis is on REFINED bone. Heavy coarse bone is most unacceptable in silky. This is leaning towards the bone type in AUSTRALIAN TERRIERS. Please remember the standard calls for fine shoulders and refined, round bone in the forelegs.
Straightness in upper arm will sometimes go with too straight in shoulder.
The dog with straight shoulders will have faulty front movement, as he throws the front leg in a circular movement with each step or moves with a "HACKNEY" gait. This can give the impression of no reach in front when moving or the front legs can even have a swinging or paddling motion.There are some exceptionally good fronts, but they are few and far between.

Should be moderately long in proportion to the height of the dog.  Level top line, well sprung ribs extending back to strong loins.
Chest of moderate depth and breadth. A top line showing a  roach or dip is a serious fault.

Here we find the use of the word MODERATE, the dog appearing slightly longer from the point of shoulder to the set on tail, than it is in height [Approx. 1/5 to 1/6 longer than the height of the dog].
Level top line lengths of the body correctly measured from the withers to set on of tail. I cannot emphasize enough how important a level top-line is for this breed. Remember the standard says, "A TOP LINE SHOWING A ROACH OR A DIP IS A SERIOUS FAULT ".
A level top line should not be discounted in preference to a  glamorous coat. Always judge the top line when the dog is  gaiting around the ring. When  viewing the body, always check for a  moderately long body in proportion to the dog's height, about  28 to 29 centimeters long.

The thighs must be well developed and the stifles should be well turned and the hocks well bent. When viewed from behind the hocks should be well let down and parallel with each other.  

Silky's with straight stifles will tend to appear high in the rear. The hocks should be parallel.
If turning in they are cow-hocked.
This fault will quite often go with a down in pastern problem and not have sufficient drive to create that strong propelling power required for good movement.Check: Cow-hocks, not correct , Straight stifles, not correct,  No drive in hindquarters, not correct.

Preferably not docked, [in Australia] and carried erect [not over-gay]. Blue on tail to be dark. (Should be free of "long" feathering.)

A slightly gay tail rather than a tail down or between the back legs.
Tail carried erect, ONE O' clock. is the correct position

It has come to attention that bills are being passed in the Queensland State Government banning tail docking in this State.
The Minister for Primary Industries department has informed the Secretary that the ban comes into effect from 25 October 2003 All States. 2006

Small well padded,  CAT-like with closely knit toes, the toenails must be  black or very dark.  

Feet are not a major problem unless the nails are kept too long. This can tend to give them the appearance of wideness like a splayed foot, as the toes tend to spread rather than the required CAT- like look.

The movement should be free and true without slackness at shoulder or elbows. There should be no turning in nor out of the feet or pasterns. The hindquarters should have strong propelling power with ample flexibility at stifles and hocks. Viewed from behind the movement should be    neither too close nor too wide.  

A silky should be fluid in movement, showing drive in rear and reach in front.
If there are problems in the forequarters, you will sometimes see a stilted,  swinging or almost hackney type movement when coming towards you. Problems in Hindquarters can also produce uneven movement, such as swinging type rear, or lack of drive causing the dog to look as if its feet were kicking towards its stomach. The movement should appear light, free and true, from both front and back. When the dog is moving, this is the time to ALSO judge the top line.

Must be flat, fine and glossy and of a silky texture with a length of coat from 13 to 15 centimeters [5 to 6 inches] from behind the ears to the set on the tail, but must not impede the dogs action. The legs from knees and hocks to feet free from long hair.

In this breed the texture of the coat is  utmost importance. FLAT, FINE, GLOSSY AND LIKE SILK are the operative words. Remember it is a single coat and should not stand out from the body.
It should hang FLAT. in no way should it look or feel coarse.  
We want fine, silky, shiny, coat, which feels smooth like satin and almost cool to the touch.  
The coat must be straight,  never wavy.  Also it should not be a WOOLLY TEXTURE.

Blue and tan or grey-blue and tan, the RICHER the COLOUR the better. Blue on the tail to be very dark, silver or fawn topknot desirable. Distribution of blue and tan as follows: tan 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, running down the forelegs to near the knees and down the thighs to the hocks;
Tan line showing down the stifles and the knees and hocks to the toes and around the vent. The body colour must be  free from smut ordark shading.  Black colouring is permissible in puppies, blue must   be established by 18 months of age.

One of the most important aspects of this breed and probably one of the  hardest things to achieve is three complete different colors.

Topknot:  silver or fawn topknot desirable. Body:  Blue or Grey-blue.  Tan:  as per distribution of tan.  Almost silver within areas, which should be tan, is the most serious fault. Interpretation of "COLOUR " by George Grendon.
I have been a dedicated breeder of Australian Silky Terriers Since 1957 and was present when the original standard was drawn up in 1958. "
I feel the word RICHER is being misinterpreted considerably as to its meaning.
My interpretation of rich  was nothing whatsoever to do with darkness or lightness of colour, because the paragraph is written entirely in PLURAL,therefore it includes the  full colour range between  grey-blue and blue, frompigeon blue to slate blue.  
I have an interpretation, which I use when talking with some authority on this matter, or close Silky- breeder-friends.It is as follows:" Take two pieces of fabric exactly the same size. One piece of CALICO and one piece of SILK,
The CALICO is dyed a deep shade of blue and the SILK is dyed a lighter shade of blue. WHICH FABRIC DO YOU THINK WOULD BE RICHER IN THE COLOUR BLUE ??" My interpretation, tells me the SILK is the RICHER in spite of it being the lighter shade of blue.
It has a fine flat and glossy texture making it more attractive to the eye. The CALICO, no matter how deep a blue colour will still look
DULL and DRAB because of its non reflective heavy texture." When a dog changes to silver, light blonde on the body coat-it is  too light. Never  lose sight of the fact that a silky is  blue OR  grey-blue with tan,
NOT grey/silver [because there is no blue present in that blend]. Grey-blue is with the dark tip on the end of the tail and darker roots in the coat, particularly along the part.""In relation to COAT LENGTH, as a serious breeder?
I am adamant that you must see DAYLIGHT below the coat length and the feet should be visible when the dog is moving.
After all why bother to have rich tan cat-like feet if they are hidden by an over long coat and are unable to be seen.
This breed is the most definitely not an OVERSIZED Yorkshire Terrier but was originally bred from full terrier bloodlines for the  purpose of hunting rodents  and as such must be   free in movement and not be impeded by an over length and undesirable coat."

Height: Dogs: Approx. 23-26 centimetres [Aprox.9-11 inches] at the wither. Bitches  slightly less. Weight: Desirable weight from 4  to 5 kilograms [Approx. 8 to 10 Lbs]. Weight in proportion to height.

Over many years overall size of silky's has increased by about an inch, so naturally this has affected the weight as-well. Nevertheless a  degree of leniency  should be allowed to promote CORRECT TYPE, remembering  not to accept heavy or course bone, refined bone is what the standard ask for.!

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles full descended into the scrotum.  

 Approximately: Much like: resembling: to bring near.
 Moderately:   Within reasonable limits.  
 Desirable: Having pleasing.  
 Moderately Long: To a moderate degree without excess.

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.
Last Updated: 22 May 2009

Please download  silky terrier standard 2009  

Supplied by: "AUSILK" Helmut DRESSLER.    Phone:+[61] 7 55 460260     ANKC  

           Corect type Silky Terrier

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