Silky Terrier Breed Standard

Silky Terrier General Appearance

The Silky Terrier is a true "toy terrier". He is moderately low set, slightly longer than tall, of refined bone structure, but of sufficient substance to suggest the ability to hunt and kill domestic rodents. His coat is silky in texture, parted from the stop to the tail, and presents a well-groomed but not sculptured appearance. His inquisitive nature and joy of life make him an ideal companion.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size - Shoulder height from 9 to 10 inches. Deviation in either direction is undesirable.

Proportion - The body is about one fifth longer than the dog's height at the withers.

Substance - Lightly built with strong but rather fine bone.


The head is strong, wedge-shaped, and moderately long. Expression is piercingly keen. Eyes small, dark, almond-shaped with dark rims. Light eyes are a serious fault. Ears are small, V-shaped, set high, and carried erect without any tendency to flare obliquely off the skull. Skull flat and not too wide between the ears. The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle. Stop is shallow.

The nose is black. Teeth strong and well aligned, scissors bite. An undershot or overshot bite is a serious fault.

Serious faults: Light-colored eyes, undershot or overshot bite

Silky with paw up

Neck, Topline and Body

The neck fits gracefully into sloping shoulders. It is medium long, fine, and to some degree crested. The topline is level. A topline showing a roach or dip is a serious fault. Chest medium wide and deep enough to extend down to the elbows. The body is moderately low set and about one-fifth longer than the dog's height at the withers. The body is measured from the point of the shoulder (or forechest) to the rearmost projection of the upper thigh (or point of the buttocks). A body which is too short is a fault, as is a body which is too long. The tail is docked, set high and carried at twelve to two o'clock position.

Serious fault(s): topline showing a roach or dip


Well-laid-back shoulders, together with proper angulation at the upper arm, set the forelegs nicely under the body. Forelegs are strong, straight and rather fine-boned. Feet small, catlike, round, compact. Pads are thick and springy while nails are strong and dark colored. White or flesh-colored nails are a fault. The feet point straight ahead, with no turning in or out. Dewclaws, if any, are removed.


Thighs well muscled and strong but not so developed as to appear heavy. Well-angulated stifles with low hocks, which are parallel when viewed from behind. Feet as in front.


Straight, single, glossy, silky in texture. On matured specimens the coat falls below and follows the body outline. It should not approach floor length. On the top of the head, the hair is so profuse as to form a topknot, but long hair on the face and ears is objectionable. The hair is parted on the head and down over the back to the root of the tail. The tail is well coated but devoid of plume. Legs should have short hair from the pastern and hock joints to the feet. The feet should not be obscured by the leg furnishings.


Blue and tan. The blue may be silver blue, pigeon blue or slate blue, the tan deep and rich. The blue extends from the base of the skull to the tip of the tail, down the forelegs to the elbows, and halfway down the outside of the thighs. On the tail the blue should be very dark. Tan appears on muzzle and cheeks, around the base of the ears, on the legs and feet and around the vent. The topknot should be silver or fawn which is lighter than the tan points.


Should be free, light-footed, lively, and straightforward. Hindquarters should have strong propelling power. Toeing in or out is to be faulted.


The keenly alert air of the terrier is characteristic, with shyness or excessive nervousness to be faulted. The manner is quick, friendly, and responsive.

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