The Silky Terrier vs Yorkshire Terrier debate often stems from the misconception that they are the same breed because of the remarkable resemblance in the breeds’ appearances. To clear things up, let’s examine both of these wonderfully loving but remarkably similar breeds
Neither breed is a particularly old one. The Yorkshire Terrier first appears in 1861 at a Benched dog show in England. At the time they were known as the “Broken-haired Scotch Terrier”. The Yorkie kept this title for about 9 years until at one show a reporter commented that the breed should be known as Yorkshire Terriers, because the breed had improved so much since their arrival in Yorkshire.
Originally the Yorkie was bred for the purpose of catching rats in mines. They were also used for hunting to burrow underground after badgers and foxes.
The Silky Terrier originated in Australia in the 1890s, when breeders crossed Yorkshire Terriers, imported from England, with native Australian Terriers. You could say they were a designer breed 100 years before the Labradoodle.
In 1926, Australian fanciers developed a solid breed standard for the breed.
The breed has had several names: initially, it was called the Sydney Silky Terrier. In 1955, he became the Australian Silky Terrier and is still the official name for the breed in Australia. In the U.S., the name was shortened to Silky Terrier.
The likeness in appearance is striking, but the two breeds are far from indistinguishable.
The most distinguishing feature is that Silky Terriers have erect, V-shaped ears which are set high on their head. While the Yorkies also have erect, V-shaped ears, but are turned slightly outwards.
Also, whereas Yorkies have a rounded head with a shortened muzzle, the Silky has a more elongated skull with a slightly longer muzzle.
As Toy dogs, when it comes to size, obviously are far from being a large dog. The Silky Terrier is larger and heavier than the Yorkshire Terrier. The Silky weighs 8 to 10 pounds with shoulder height of 9 to 10 inches. The Yorkshire Terrier weighs about seven pounds with shoulder height of six to seven inches.
Both breeds share a lush coat of various blues and tans that shed little to not at all. The Yorkie’s coat can grow past floor length, while the Silky’s hair usually stops at just above the floor.
Both breeds have long coats that require daily brushing. The Yorkshire Terrier might need more trimming due to the longer coat, but the Silky Terrier’s coat is more likely to get into tangles.Although many people keep both breeds in a puppy cut to reduce the amount of tangling.
Silky Terrier vs Yorkshire Terrier Personality
Appearance aside, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Silky Terrier are very much alike in regard to personality. Both are very affectionate and loving companion dogs.
Though the Yorkie had its start as a working dog, it stayed close to its owner’s side which made the transition to lap dog rather easy.
The Silky Terrier was purpose-bred as a companion lap dog, though with both of its parent-breeds (Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Terrier) being ratters, it may be not surprising to hear that the Silky Terrier has a reputation for chasing after small animals.
With chasing and hunting in their bloodlines, both breeds are known for being very alert and lively. And, with many generations of being revered lap dogs, both are quite suitable for that task.
Despite their hunting roots, they are not outdoor dogs and are happiest while with their family.
They are both highly barky breeds, making them great watchdogs, but it should be considered if you live in an apartment.
Silky Terrier vs Yorkshire Terrier Trainability
When it comes to training these breeds, there is one thing to remember, they are Terriers. This comes with two important aspects of terrier personalities: they are intelligent and they are stubborn.
Yorkies and Silkies are a very intelligent breeds and learn quickly. They do well with basic obedience, and tricks, but they have a stubborn, independent streak.
Like other terrier breeds, Yorkies and Silkies can be a handful to train. They are willful and stubborn and most definitely have minds of their own.
With both breeds, begin training early when your puppy is amenable to the process, and always conduct sessions with lots of praise and treats. Keep the sessions short, as Yorkies bore easily and try to vary the activity as much as possible.
Silky Terrier vs Yorkshire Terrier Energy and Exercise
Though their small size and delicate features make both indoor dogs, it is despite their diminutive stature that both are very active and energetic and are rarely happy if not taken outside for brisk walks and a bit of exploring on a regular basis.
They are after all Terrier, ground dogs. They love to dig, they love to run and they love to romp. But, they’ll also find joy in running around your house or apartment as well.
Silky Terrier vs Yorkshire Terrier Lifespan and Health
Both breeds have common lifespans for small breeds at between 12 and 16 years, though some can live quite a while longer.
Yorkies are prone to tooth decay, bronchitis, bone fractures, herniated disks, as well as eye infections.
The Silky is prone to tracheal collapse, diabetes and epilepsy. Other concerns include intervertebral disc disease, elbow dysplasia and patellar luxation or kneecap dislocation.
Which of these very similar, but somewhat different breeds would you choose; England’s Yorkshire Terrier or the Australian Silky Terrier? Let us know in the comments.
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